Vasectomy reversal surgery has become, since 2006, a highly competitive area of private practice but not always for the right reasons. Prior to this date, there was a monopoly of this type of surgery. Around this time, several surgeons had the same idea: to offer vasectomy reversal surgery. My challenges were:
- A brand new business
- Needed an online presence
- Fierce competition
Not long after this year, Google increased the cost per click for the term “vasectomy reversal” within their Adsense program. The impact was disastrous. People intent on making money through the Adsense program abused the term “vasectomy reversal” so that legitimate search engine optimisation efforts aimed at those seeking surgery were severely hampered. A high ranking in Google was harder to achieve, although this website did keep one of the three top spots on page one of Google for “vasectomy reversal” for over 7 years. Ultimately, several times, the site was (very unfairly) penalised by Google because the site was associated in Google’s eyes with spam. This meant that there was a constant need to not just focus on SEO but to think of other ways that the practice could grow. This also meant that the top spots on Google were now occupied by large portal sites with poor or out of date information. Having completed an MPH and once been a nurse, I knew how important it was to educate patients to ensure they had accurate information. Here Google was, providing sub-standard information in the top positions: an absolute scandal to me. This only meant that the need to inform accurately was greater than ever.
DISCLAIMER: I worked with my husband in this practice but I tested and learnt everything I do today through that clinic so I see it only as highly relevant experience and an education in competitive fields.
When I was first approached to write a website for this new area of private practice, my husband, a urologist, had only performed around 19 vasectomy reversals. Within two years we had over 500 patients a year completing surgery. For many years subsequently, around 450 patients a year attended for surgery.
Google Changed the Algorithm
In 2012, whilst I was on holiday, Google changed it’s algorithm again. At that point, the website for vasectomy reversal surgery had been in either position one, two or three on the first page of Google for many years. Using different, legitimate, SEO techniques, I had built links and ensured that the website performed well. Overnight that website disappeared onto the 112th page.
Had it not been for the comprehensive Google Ads campaigns, the practice would have stopped as quickly as Google changed the rules. Instead, the combination of content and Google Ads ensured that even if the first page had been penalised, the amount of articles and links around the web in addition to focussed Ads meant that enquiries continued as before.
Google Ads Asked to Meet With Me
Due to the spend on Google Ads, Google contacted me to arrange monthly meetings. This one-to-one contact ensured that my knowledge was kept up to date and helped generate over a 9.6 x ROAS (Return On Ad Spend). This is considerably higher than the industry usually acknowledges: spend $1 and receive $2 back.
Google Liked the New Website
Due to the manner of the algorithm change, I decided to start over with a new domain, keeping the old website intact and live, and start again with another brand new website. This led to the new site floating up to page 2 on Google, sitting behind the NHS and other very large portal websites. The old site floated up to around page 2 and many other links to content that I had posted were drifting on pages 1, 2 and 3 between the two sites. Anyone looking through the organic pages would see article after article linking back to the vasectomy reversal centre.