Dasco looks at what makes people 'click'

Friday, July 31, 2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio--Type “home medical equipment” into Google’s search function and you’re as likely to pull up an independent provider like Dasco Home Medical Equipment as you are a national chain.

That’s no accident, says Linda Roberts, Dasco’s IT manager. Last year, the provider set out to increase traffic to its Web site by tracking key word searches and updating site content monthly.

The effort has paid off. In April 2009, the site had 8,965 page views, up from 3,888 the year before.

“We recently added ‘Serving Ohio and surrounding areas,’” said Roberts. “If anybody searches for HME in Ohio, that may pop us up a little higher on the search engine.”

The benefit of fresh Web site content is twofold, says Jeremy Kauten, general manager of VGM Forbin. It not only draws users to the site, but also catches Google’s eye.

“Google scans sites and copies their content,” he said. “So if Google comes back month after month and your site is exactly the same, that will lower your rating because Google sees it as neglected. Even doing small updates, like a product update or a ‘Did you know’ health question feature makes a big difference.”

In May, Dasco had an animated graphic highlighting May as “better sleep month” alongside sleep product offerings.

“CPAP patients are more Web savvy then the traditional oxygen patient,” said Jason Seeley, Dasco president. “We’re pushing hard to generate reorders of supplies through the Web site.”

Kauten thinks Web advertising may eventually supplant traditional advertising mediums.

“I see people shifting dollars from Yellow Pages, TV and radio to the Web,” he said. “People have really opened their eyes to how inexpensive it is.”