Reality SEO: How Rudo Makuyana is dipping her toe in the digital marketing pond

Reality SEO: How Rudo Makuyana is dipping her toe in the digital marketing pond

Or how to market a podiatry business

 

In my Reality SEO series, I interview REAL LIFE HUMANS who’ve changed their digital marketing for good and used simple techniques to transform their business and brand.

These shorter episodes will include practical DOABLE advice and tips from people just like you.

Find out how Rudo Makuyana has focused on her Digital Marketing to build relationships, put herself out as the face of her brand, and be more customer-friendly and less medical jargony!

 

About Rudo Makuyana

 

Originally born in Zimbabwe and later moving to Australia, Rudo brings a unique perspective to The Foot Hub. She is passionate about helping people make their lives better and strongly believes in treating people as individuals. That’s why Rudo views each foot complaint holistically, taking into account the history, interests, and needs of each patient.

Rudo gained her Bachelor of Podiatric Medicine at the University of Western Australia (School of Surgery) in 2011, and since then has been helping to make a difference in the lives of her patients.

In her spare time, Rudo volunteers and advocates for the rights of the world’s poor. Her multi-cultural background and diverse interests mean she brings understanding and compassion to every one of her patient visits.

 

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And big thanks to Juggie31 for their lovely review.

 

Testimonial

“This is hands down one of the most educational shows I have listened to, whilst getting my head around all things SEO. Kate has a great understanding of her audience and delivers the show with some great guests and relevant subjects. She also supports this show with an amazing FREE Facebook group, which offers further insights into what is going on and things to do to improve. Keep up the great work Kate and look forward to the next show.”

 

Juggie31 from Australia

 

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Transcript

Kate Toon:

In my Reality SEO series, I interview real-life humans, who’ve changed their digital marketing for good and use simple techniques to transform their business and their brands. These are shorter episodes, which include practical, doable advice. And today we’re talking with Rudo Makuyaya, I hope I said that right. And we’re going to find out a little bit about her podiatrist business and what she’s done to market that to her customers. So let’s get started.

Kate Toon:

Hello, my name is Kate Toon and I’m the head chef at The Recipe for SEO Success, an online teaching hub for all things related to search engine optimization and digital marketing. And today I’m talking with Rudo. Hello, Rudo.

Rudo Makuyana:

Hey Kate.

Kate Toon:

How are you?

Rudo Makuyana:

Good. I’m okay. Just a bit tired of feet this week. But-

Kate Toon:

Too many feet. Too many feet, you said. She just said this. How can there be too many feet when you’re a podiatrist? It’s like feet are life, surely.

Rudo Makuyana:

I know. I think I always thought when I went to university, I had no idea how many feet I would see, after university. Like, I don’t know. I thought maybe five or 10, but not the numbers that I’m seeing. So yeah, it’s just always blows my mind.

Kate Toon:

Do you dream of feet?

Rudo Makuyana:

Yeah, that’s when I know I’ve seen too many patients when the dreams start happening.

Kate Toon:

I know that feeling. I have dreams where Facebook is just scrolling endlessly in front of my eyes. That’s when I need to switch off.

Kate Toon:

Look, I’m going to read out your bio, for everyone to understand who you are. So originally born in Zimbabwe and later, moving to Australia, Rudo brings a unique perspective to The Foot Hub. She’s passionate about helping people make their lives better and strongly believes in treating people as individuals. Don’t we all? Well, maybe not all.

Kate Toon:

So Rudo’s views on each foot comply holistically taking into account the history, interests, and needs of each patient. Rudo gained her Bachelor of Podiatry Medicine at the University of Western Australia in 2011. And since then, has been helping make a difference in the lives of patients through her business, The Foot Hub. In her spare time, Rudo volunteers and advocates for the rights of the world’s poor. Her multicultural background and diverse interests mean she brings understanding and compassion to everyone of her patient visits. God, you sound lovely and you are lovely. So let me just explain. She’s just mortified by that. So embarrassing having your own bio readout.

Rudo Makuyana:

[inaudible 00:02:38]

Kate Toon:

Especially because it makes you sound like I’m just the best person ever. But so we’ve known each other for a while now and we’re going to talk about that in this episode. But take me back a couple of years before our universes collided. How long have you been running The Foot Hub? How long have you been running?

Rudo Makuyana:

Yeah, so The Foot Hub, the first clinic opened in 2015. It took about 12 months to get to open. So it’s about, what is that? No, I think it was 2014. It’s about six years old. And before that, I was more involved in actually opening the clinic and actually getting in systems in place rather than the marketing. Even though there’s two of us in the clinic, it’s still quite an absorbing job when you start up a clinic. I don’t think I could have done everything at the same time. So it was years of just growing this patient, this beast, this clinic… Oh, sorry. I should have put my phone on mute.

Kate Toon:

That’s okay, it always happens. I must say, from the outside, looking in, we all know how to do what we do once we’ve done it. But the idea of setting up a clinic and all the equipment you would need and the compliance and the building stuff and the renovation. Oh, that just sounds utterly overwhelming to me. But then I know that people come to me and go, “Oh, building a website, doing SEO. That sounds so overwhelming.” So it’s kind of like, you know what you know. So in those early years, how were you attracting patients? Were you just dressing up as a foot and walking around in the street?

Rudo Makuyana:

Well, in the early years, we actually did quite okay with GMB listing.

Kate Toon:

With Google My Business?

Rudo Makuyana:

Yeah, Google My Business. So people, were just putting podiatrists in and we were actually getting patients from then. And then of course in healthcare, it’s this word of mouth chain that happens. And so we had a website, it was just there. It actually did do something. So yeah, I hate to say luck, I underestimated some of the stuff that was there because we don’t have a street frontage. So people were actually finding us online.

Kate Toon:

That’s amazing and it’s not luck because I’d say still a huge percentage of shopfront businesses, whether you’ve got a physical shopfront or an address, haven’t set up their Google My Business profile. It’s shocking, the amount of people that I still say like, “Seriously, you haven’t done that, that free real estate?” So, I mean, even just going to the effort of doing that, having your opening hours. I mean, you think that sounds like nothing, but it’s actually a fairly big deal. So it’s good that it works. And you had a basic website as you said, so you were getting the customers word of mouth. Obviously you get repeat customers as well, people coming back again and again. But then what made you decide you wanted to ramp it up a little bit and focus more on your digital marketing?

Rudo Makuyana:

Sure. So when we opened the clinic, I was still working in another clinic as well. So this was done, this is my side hustle. My clinic was actually a side hustle and then eventually I quit all my other jobs. So I had a lot more time for the business and yeah, like any entrepreneur when you don’t know what you’re doing, you just sit the whole day by the computer collecting [inaudible 00:06:05] “What am I supposed to be doing? I’m supposed to be doing something. What is it?” And then you go down this journey. Okay fine, you start to learn a few things on your own. And I realised with my website, we get a lot of patients through the website because of the online booking system that we have. So yeah we just focused more on this Google stuff. That actually was okay for me. Everything else was a little bit intimidating.

Kate Toon:

And so you joined The Recipe for SEO Success big course. I’d say I’m thinking a couple of years ago now, is that right? I can’t remember.

Rudo Makuyana:

It’s actually last year.

Kate Toon:

Is it only last year? [crosstalk 00:06:46] I thought you’d been in my universe forever. I don’t know. But you were a keen student, asked a lot of questions, and one of the things that we talked about because I’m vaguely obsessed with feet. I don’t know if I’ve told you this, but I’m also vaguely obsessed with all things medical, so I’m fascinated by your website.

Kate Toon:

And I did a bit of a review for you and we talked about some of the things, because I think often when you’re a podiatrist or you’re dealing with any kind of medical stuff, there’s this temptation just to cover the site with really graphic medical pictures of bunions and corns. And we know that’s the problem, but do we actually want to see that? And so you’ve done quite a nice redesign on your website. What have you been focusing on, on your website lately, when you’ve been fiddling with it?

Rudo Makuyana:

I think I treat people who visit my website not necessarily as patients. I treat them as people which are just looking. I think a lot of medical people get too technical in the language that they use and how they talk, how they come across like. We were actually, naturally like that in the clinic. We have a very good way of breaking down things, so we’ve brought that onto the site, try not to make them sound like university assignments. So it’s a process that I’ve taken and actually really learning. This is not podiatry students, which are on my site. These are people which don’t know certain terms and don’t intimidate them, like what the hell are they talking about?

Kate Toon:

I love that. You know, I’ve worked with a lot of medical… That was one of my niches when I was copywriting full time and there’s this tendency to kind of go, “Well, you have to be super professional. So we have to use long words and we have to show our expertise. So we have to talk about… We can’t call it a bunion. We have to call it a grabalaxius maximus flocalus.”

Rudo Makuyana:

Hallux valgus.

Kate Toon:

What is it? What is it?

Rudo Makuyana:

Hallux valgus.

Kate Toon:

There you go. I thought I did quite good grabalaxius maximus. That’s probably something that’s probably what [crosstalk 00:08:45]. And you’re so right. It’s human language. And also, feet are quite intimate. Anything medical is intimate, it’s quite an intimate thing. So you want to know I can trust the person that you’re going to be working with. Now, the other thing is, one of the things about having a relationship with your medical practitioner is that you have to feel that, you know the medical practitioner. So how comfortable have you been about putting yourself out in front of your brand? Like you representing your brand.

Rudo Makuyana:

Yeah. So before we never used to talk much about us or Steven or pictures, so we’re trying to incorporate that. I do know that at some point, we’re going to do more videos and actually put that onto the site, but I am now referencing us as clinicians more than I’ve ever done when I write copy, when I talk. Yeah, it’s just we are people, we’re not like an actual thing.

Kate Toon:

You are people. I know she’s real. If you check out The Foot Hub, I was actually just on your about page today and reading about you and the person you run the business with. And it was very personable. Do you know what I mean? And I want to check that out. People don’t realise that the about page is often the second most viewed page on your website.

Rudo Makuyana:

Well, I didn’t know that until I checked my Google analytics. So people go from the homepage to about us.

Kate Toon:

Yeah, it’s quite shocking. And of course, they look at your services page and all of that kind of thing, but actually, I think, even we’re recording this during COVID, post-COVID that people really want to know the people behind the business. And obviously you’re a local business. You have an opportunity to become known in your local area. I checked your ranking this morning, incognito, and for the term that I used, I think I put podiatrist Sydney, you were ranking in position four, for that for me, which is pretty good because you’re not actually in central Sydney, you’re a little bit out. So have you done much work for your local SEO or is it really been a lot to do with Google My Business for you?

Rudo Makuyana:

Okay. So I have done a lot for local SEO. I know it does change wherever you are. So for podiatrists Sydney, we do rank, okay. Depending on where you are, it can move. Also for podiatrists Marrickville, we also rank as the second clinic, we’re okay. But then one thing which I got from the course was you talk about people who are fixated with the keyword and you’re like, go for that one keyword, get it over and done with and then move on to other keywords, right? And I feel like a lot of podiatrists actually are fixated with podiatrists Sydney. You know what I mean? So I got over that keyword very, very quickly because there were other keywords. So our ski boot fitting actually ranked number one. So we get lots of patients for ski boot fitting. We’re starting to rank quite well for ingrown toenail, ingrown toenail surgery. So, I don’t know, I’ve sort of-

Kate Toon:

I love that. I love that because it’s what I talk about in the course. It’s the golden keyword that people become obsessed with one keyword and if they’re not ranking for that, they’re failing. And I talk about my ex-partner’s business, VoulezVouloz and it was French lessons, Sydney. That was all he cared about. And then when I did the keyword research, there were just a multitude of other phrases. And what I like about that as well is looking at those conversion intents. Ski boot fitting, I mean, those are people who’ve got some money. They might actually be willing to travel across Sydney, to get that service done. They’re not necessarily and no disrespect, an 80-year-old who wants her bunion dealt with. These are people who maybe have a higher value to you.

Rudo Makuyana:

Yes.

Kate Toon:

Ingrown toenail surgery, you would travel for an expert who is an expert in that. I’ve had that done. It’s the most painful surgery ever. I’m sure it isn’t with you Rudo. I’m sure you’d just make it the most beautiful experience. But, it’s looking at not just the golden keywords but the keywords that are going to generate more money. I mean let’s be honest.

Rudo Makuyana:

Yeah. And just to put that into perspective, we’ve had a couple come from Tasmania for ski boot fitting. And we had a guy in Singapore, which was coming to Australia, which had his ingrown toenail surgery with us, booked in advance. Somebody drove from central coast for ski boot fitting. I mean, it’s all of these things and yes, it has a higher value because podiatrists Sydney is actually really generic. It’s such a generic term and it’s great. I mean, it’s lovely, but I’ve evolved and I’m really proud of that journey.

Kate Toon:

I love that evolution. The thing is, you know what, we talk about a lot on the course as well, is that the long-tail keywords have better conversion intent. You’re much clearer what they want. They’re much closer to purchase. And then, they put in as many words as they can to find the exact result. And if you are the result, it’s only going to probably take a few clicks to get them over the line. So you’ve worked hard. You obviously did the recipe course and you’ve worked hard on your SEO and now you’re a member of the digital master chefs. And I think you’re broadening your horizons from focusing on just the website and SEO. What other marketing tactics are you going to try out in the coming months?

Rudo Makuyana:

Definitely. So I really do want to go into social media stuff. It’s not an area which I’ve done well in, but I now know, after doing the course, that I probably do need to learn a bit more better from somebody, you know what I mean? There are so many things out there which don’t quite work… I don’t know [inaudible 00:14:17] type stuff. So yeah. So that is my next thing. And like I said, video stuff, all of those things are definitely on the agenda.

Kate Toon:

Yeah, I mean just to give a bit of a spruik, what I love about the Digital Masterchefs, is we’ve got an Instagram expert and a video expert and a podcasting expert. And there’s all these opportunities with different avenues. I mean, I find again it’s funny because you think if I’m looking for a podiatrist, I’m not going to go on Instagram, looking for pictures of bunions. That’s not what I’m about.

Kate Toon:

But then I find that a lot of dentists manage to do quite a good job on Instagram. They can of course do the makeover pictures, which are very aesthetically pleasing, but they also just do tips and advice and they show their beautiful clinic and they show the people behind the business. And it’s not, I think that you’re going to get a direct conversion from showing a picture of the outside of your clinic or a foot. It’s that you build up that relationship with tips, advice, and stories. And then when the next time I do need a podiatrist, you’re the only one I can remember. That’s I think the way to do it and personal stories and you and your podiatrist partner, you’re not unattractive humans. So getting your faces out there and building that personable relationship, I think that’s what it’s all about. And video’s great for that as well. But I also think, and I don’t know if this is controversial, but people are fascinated by medical stuff. People are interested in it. We’ve got Dr. Pimple Popper, one of the most popular YouTube channels in the world. So there’s lots of scopes.

Rudo Makuyana:

Yeah. So there’s a new show on TLC, My Feet are Killing Me and it follows two podiatrists-

Kate Toon:

How cool.

Rudo Makuyana:

Which is a pretty good show because we watch it and we couldn’t understand why [inaudible 00:16:04] oh lovely. But yeah, so there’s definitely, I think podiatry… One thing is dentistry has a lot more brand awareness than podiatry, thanks to Colgate. We still don’t have our Colgate equivalent in podiatry. So yes, it’s definitely growing. It’s becoming a lot more popular. So hopefully we will definitely get to that stage where we can do stuff. We always have content. It’s boring to us. We don’t understand why anybody would want to know any of that stuff. I don’t know, but some people might find it interesting so we’ll just put it out there and we’ll see what happens.

Kate Toon:

Yeah, totally, because what’s commonplace to you is fascinating to people who aren’t in the know. And I think people are fascinated by that. There’s a lot of legs for it. I also think, people don’t understand truly what podiatry is and the vast range of things that it covers. We talk about people that are in solution mode, people in problem mode, people are in awareness mode. I might have something that might… Every day my feet feel a bit funny, but I didn’t realise there was somebody who could actually fix that problem. I thought it was just something I have to live with. I didn’t realise I could go and get someone to actually fit my ski boots so it didn’t feel awful for the three days I’m at Thredbo. I didn’t know that existed. So you’re almost looking for people that are in the awareness stage as well and are moving the brand of podiatry away from what people traditionally think of it as an old person’s medicine. Do you think that’s true as well?

Rudo Makuyana:

That’s very true and you are correct with the awareness. You know what, I created a twitter mentorship the other day in the weekend and I started talking, and like, “Oh my gosh, I’ve got this thing. I can actually go to a podiatrist for this.” So that is podiatry. We have solutions for weird things with feet. Who wouldn’t know that we can actually fix it and who unfortunately actually come to us 10 years later with a problem, which is a problem for us because-

Kate Toon:

When the problem’s irreversible.

Rudo Makuyana:

Yeah, exactly.

Kate Toon:

I think that’s a really interesting thing to think about that. Again, people might not be searching for the exact term. They might not be searching for what you do. They might still be in the questioning area and that’s where constant marketing is amazing because you can write blog posts with videos and lead people in and go, “Wow, this is a service that I didn’t even know that I needed, but now I want it.” So look, these episodes are usually traditionally short and we usually like to end on a bit of a tip. So, to somebody who’s out there, who’s maybe a medical practitioner and who has a clinic and they’re thinking, “Where do I start? What are the first couple of things I should focus on with my marketing? I’ve set my clinic up, I’m ready to go.” Or I’ve had a clinic for a while and it’s kind of just ticking along. What would you say really moved the needle for you?

Rudo Makuyana:

Okay. You have to dedicate time, which is non-patient time to actually eat. Thursday mornings, I have time where I can actually just think about what I want to do, without saying, “I’ll slot it in when I don’t have a patient.” I think as a clinician, that’s one thing that you have to accept. You can’t do both.

Rudo Makuyana:

Then of course I would then move on to have a look at your clinic, have a look at what services you guys see more of and what works for you and then try to lead with that first in your digital marketing. Don’t lead with the stuff which you think is popular and might not be popular, because it might be somebody else’s doing it way better than you. So be confident in that as well. Of course do the course. I’m sorry. I’m not saying you’re not trying to sell a product, but you have to have some sort of… I mean, I said it the other day, I went to university to be a podiatrist. I spent a lot of time, a lot of money, learning feet. I did not spend a lot of time or money learning all these other things. You cannot Google it and learn it.

Rudo Makuyana:

As medical people, we think we’re highly intelligent and we can just look at something and we’ll know it. That’s what people in my profession are like. It’s like ego problem. You cannot do that. It doesn’t work like that. So yeah, go back, learn, first with that dedicated time, dedicate it to learning, to listening. And I’ve also said to other people, talk to other people, other professions, non-medical people because we suck at running our own clinics. We’re not great at them. This is a fact. Talk to other people, in other industries and learn from them. Listen, don’t like, “I’m going to do my own thing.” And yeah, that will all come together initially, and then you have a good idea where you need to go to.

Kate Toon:

I love it. I mean, that’s one of the reasons I love our Digital Masterchefs group, because it’s such a melting pot of random people. We’ve got someone who sells dog treats, someone else who makes jewellery with people’s ashes in them. We’ve got podiatrists. We’ve got psychologists. We’ve got copywriters. And you can look at somebody who’s selling organic projects and they’re doing a sale and they’re using percentages and you as a podiatrist can take something from that and go, “Well, what if discounting process work for my…”

Kate Toon:

And it’s totally a different industry-

Rudo Makuyana:

But it might work.

Kate Toon:

But it might work. And also just having people outside your industry, look at your site and go, “Why’d you have that picture on your homepage?” And you’re like, “Well, every other podiatrist has that picture.” Because you’re just so enmeshed in your own little world. So I love that advice. I also really love what you said about the ego and that smart people can have a tendency to think, “I’ll just work it out, because I’m smart.” How many years did you study to be a podiatrist?

Rudo Makuyana:

Well, it was four years, but it’s now a six year degree, because we were there every day. We started early in the semester, had only two weeks mid semester break. So-

Kate Toon:

Yeah, it’s like a proper degree. Not like mine. I did English and history and did two hours a week. It was brilliant, spent the whole time in the pub. Six years to learn your trade and yet people think they can read a couple of articles and learn how to master Instagram or master SEO or master email marketing. So I love that. I love the acknowledgement of ego, we’ve all got a bit of that.

Kate Toon:

So Rudo, where can people find out more about you and check out your wonderful website?

Rudo Makuyana:

So I’m at The Foot Hub, which is simple, www.thefoothub.com.au. You can connect with me on LinkedIn, Facebook, wherever really, email. I’m relatively easy to find. I’m also on Twitter actually. I do tweet a lot. So if you tag me, I will respond. Yeah.

Kate Toon:

Cool. That’s one of the advantages of having an unusual name, like Kate Toon, Rudo Makuyaya because there’s not many of us.

Rudo Makuyana:

You will find me if you just put Rudo feet. I’m pretty sure [crosstalk 00:23:01].

Kate Toon:

Rudo feet, awesome. I want that. Maybe I would come up. I’m not sure.

Kate Toon:

Thank you so much Rudo. It’s been amazing to chat to you and I can’t wait. I’m coming to you to deal with my foot issues. I’m not going to tell you what they are because it’s very personal, deeply personal, but I will travel, travel across from the central coast to see you in Sydney. So thank you so much for talking to us today and that’s the end of the show.

Rudo Makuyana:

Bye.

Kate Toon:

So that’s the end of this week’s show. If you have questions about this episode, head to my, I love SEO group on Facebook. As you know, I like to end the show with a shout out to one of my lovely listeners. And today it is from… I’ve lost the testimonial. Here it is. It’s from Juggy31 from Australia. And Juggy tells me that this is hands down one of the most educational shows I’ve listened to, whilst getting my head around all things SEO. Kate has a great understanding of our audience and delivers the show with some great guests and relevant subjects. She also offers this show with amazing free Facebook group, which offers further insights into what is going on and how things to improve. Keep up the great work. Kate.

Kate Toon:

Thank you very much, Juggy31. It’s lovely to get positive feedback and thanks to you for listening. If you liked the show, please don’t forget to leave a five star rating and review on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you heard the show and you can learn more about SEO and digital marketing as you can tell, I’m tweaking a little bit away from SEO to talk more about general digital marketing, but we’ll always talk about SEO too. You can check out the show notes for this episode@therecipeforseosuccess.com, where you can learn more about Rudo, checkout links to her amazing website, give us some support on socials and leave a comment about the show. So until next time happy digital marketing.

 

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