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Send Traffic to Your Life Science website
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In the past, a press release in the right place would help your organisation stand-out, get reasonable enquiries and built a sales campaign with results. Press releases or press advertising usage continued due to reliance on scientific audiences reading printed materials to get to know you.

Let's face it, traditional PR is dead. So what should you do instead?

It used to be the main objective for life science marketing teams. Get your press releases in journals and adverts in conference handbooks, reading about your latest innovations to gain the exposure you need.

In the past, you probably sent out brochures and flyers by post. One example was the Molecular Probes catalogue. It was a 'book-end', literally, on most researcher's desks. It was full of protocols, tips and hints and not just products.

This 'book-end' got the company brand visible right in front of the right people at the right time, in their workspace. Like you, I used to get excited about the latest copy of Genetic Engineering News or the GE Healthcare magazine landing as a glossy thing on my desk. I'd read about the competitors, the latest developments, events coming up. Articles and references I could cut out, keep and share with colleagues.

Well-designed and deployed printed materials, conference attendance, customer visits and press releases are all part of the mix, but now you need to be increasingly visible online.

Now planning, maintaining and developing an impressive online presence, a stunning life science website with good digital assets is essential. Digital marketing means you can achieve an incredible amount without the same time and budget requirements of old school press releases delivered by traditional PR companies.

And in today’s world of easy access to devices, internet and a global market, you have to have a digital presence. And in that noisy online space, you need to achieve stand-out. No matter what stage of your business growth you are at.

We all love beautifully designed printed material, but online is where the biggest returns are happening.

Integrating your marketing assets, like press releases, with an online presence can do the following 3 things,

  1. Reinforce the strong message you have built up in other touchpoints
  2. Give potential customers an exciting, memorable place to go that they can easily share with others
  3. A way to work as a sales driver 24/7.

There are many assets that you can apply from your marketing mix to take people to your website. In this article, we’ll focus on press releases, the asset that can be overly relied on to do this.

The problems of using a Press Release based approach to create web visitors

You also have a website, and you want to get people to it, so they see how well you do what you do and then capture them as a lead to turn that interest into a meeting, sale, investment or whatever action you need them to take when they are ready.

An approach you may well be thinking of to achieve this is adding your press release content to your website. Publishing your press releases online is still prudent; however, they aren't written for new customers, they typically aren't very search-friendly, and they don't usually have an explicit call-to-action.

It could even be you your press release is that you have a brand new website, so that's got to drive traffic to the new site right?

It appears simple in principle. But there are 3 major pitfalls you face.

#1 Press releases are typically written in a certain style

You also have a website, and you want to get people to it, so they see how well you do what you do and then capture them as a lead to turn that interest into a meeting, sale, investment etc. down the line.

An approach you may well be thinking of to achieve this is adding your press release content to your website. Publishing your press releases online is still prudent; however, they aren't written for new customers, they typically aren't very search-friendly, and they don't usually have an explicit call-to-action.

It could even be you your press release is that you have a brand new website, so that's got to drive traffic to the new site right?

#2 Press releases and websites are different mediums

At the most extreme, one is a printed piece with a limited shelf-life in a magazine. Even digital press releases are stand-alone and are required to be sent out, received, read, shared and acted upon to be effective.

Websites are dynamic, instantly available and host lots of different types of content that users navigate themselves. Press releases and websites are very different user experiences.

How can you join that up?

An obvious solution is to host press releases on a press page on your website right?

But is a new web visitor going to be reading your website like a newspaper?

No, they are most likely arriving from a Google search for a term that defines what problem they have or a solution they need or a specific product name.

In the past, you have relied on your PR or Communications company to create an article for both PR and your website, but most PR companies either don't create websites in-house or have no experience of SEO. This means your communications are low impact and not much use for website content.

#3 Using a press release to drive traffic to your website requires a sequence of events to all work well.

And it requires the people you want to visit your website to work hard.

Expecting busy professional people to step out of what they are doing and work hard to get to your end goal of website enquiry is a significant challenge. You are competing with a lot of other time and action demands on each person that you want to engage.
Let’s consider the scenario where you want to achieve inbound enquiries from potential collaborators to licence the technology you have. You need a lot of things to work well together. These include:
  • Creating a large database of the right people in the right organisations.
  • Create a punchy, compelling press release with a clear call to action
  • Send it out in the best way to reach them at the right time; email is an obvious choice, but how many emails in their in-box are you competing with?
  • Have a page of content on your website, relevant to the press release that they can go to after reading it, which will encourage them to read more or contact you.
  • A way to capture the inbound enquiries and know the press release they were stimulated by
  • A mechanism to follow up that inbound enquiry in a personalised, timely way.
  • Repeat if you don’t get the success you want on first go-round.
How to Avoid 3 Major PitFalls When using Press Releases to Send Traffic to Your Life Science website

The Solution – Search Engine Optimisation, your new press release process.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is how to work smarter, not harder online. You are not limiting your reach to the database of people you know you can send a press release to. It is the thing that is going to get the people you don’t even know about yet to visit your website. That’s how you can grow quicker than you projected. You can use SEO to get specific audiences that you want to target and engage with on your website.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for life sciences is a vital part of any website that we create.

Create your website with the right structure, designed around user journeys for the specific audiences you want to get in contact with, so they can find out what they need to know about you 24/7 365 days a year.

Design it with the right imagery, style, colours and brand that creates a connection to your audiences.
Add on-page text, images and host other assets ALL written with SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION for your audiences in mind.

Our SEO process can start with an SEO and KEYWORD audit for your site versus your competitor sites with our unique SEO Discovery Process we run here at Arttia Creative.

You need to consider your website as an active live resource. Over time, study what is working, where people are visiting you from and create campaigns to target keywords in specific locations or around a life science event.

Measure the success of any campaign using specific keywords. Keep tracking your SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION and adapt your content.

SEO, together with Content Marketing, is how you can by-pass the limitations and pitfalls of relying on press releases to generate highly engaged web visitors. They can find you in many more ways using the SEO-centric approach. You are no longer relying on the limited reach of press releases and the specific steps required to drive web traffic to your website with a press release as your starting point.

The next step is developing the right assets for your marketing mix that reach your audience in other ways. You can use an “SEO approach” to designing and deploying these assets, so they match the way you know users will find your website quickly and give them a seamless journey online when they do. That is a topic we’ll cover in another blog post.

How to Avoid 3 Major PitFalls When using Press Releases to Send Traffic to Your Life Science website

The Takeaway.

At Arttia Creative, we have over two decades of experience working with clients like you to make the most of the latest design and digital tools services. So your Life Science or Biotech business can reach highly targeted audiences with unique messages. And apply the latest tools to give you insights into who is engaging with your business, how and when.

Websites are now the primary way customers and people you haven’t spoken to you will get to know about you. But first, they have to find you. They need to do this quickly, without too much interruption to their busy time, and in a way that takes them on a journey to discover for themselves why they want to contact you.

You have a lot of ways to try and get people to find you and find the right content they need on your website. Press releases are often thought of as a reasonable way to do this. As you can see, are three major pitfalls to using this approach.

We’ve seen a significant shift in what audiences expect to get from engaging with a business on-line. The people discovering your business, potential sales opportunities you already know and your existing loyal customers, engage with your brand, company messages and information in a much more diverse way now. The people you want to reach are the ones you don’t know about in your databases yet, that’s how you can grow more quickly.

The smarter solution is putting Search Engine Optimisation at the heart of your website design, development and deployment process. Talk to us about how we can help you move on from just publishing press releases.

Belinda signature scan transparent

Belinda White | Creative Director
Image credits: Adobe Stock

About Belinda White

Website consultant, digital strategist and award-winning designer with over 28 years’ creative industry experience. Creating successful brands, digital and print campaigns for UK and international clients. Creative industry experience includes design for BP, Shell, GSK, P&G, Marks & Spencer, Nike, Master Foods, Co-op, Argos and Sage Business Software to name a few. Specialist experience in Life Science and biotech web design and digital marketing consulting.

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