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March 2013

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Social Media

15 Social Media Updates You Need to Know

It’s a new year and many of your favorite social networks have been rolling out new updates to their platforms. For better or worse, these changes are here to stay, so we have compiled the basics of each important update and have explained how they impact your social media marketing efforts.

Facebook

• Allows users to “Reply” to comments directly
Prior to this update, users could only respond to comments with another comment, making the conversation difficult to follow. Now, on business pages, there is a “Reply” option, where you can reply directly to a comment left on your page As a business owner, this option is quite helpful, as it allows you to create a clearer, more personal conversation with your followers.

Note: To take advantage of this new feature, go to your Facebook Business Page and click “Turn On Replies,” at the top of your page.

• A revamped News Feed
As social media interaction trends show preference of images and video over text-based posts, Facebook has redesigned their News Feed to highlight more images to accommodate user preferences. Stories and news will now be a more visual experience, so be sure you include videos and images along with your posts or updates.

• Mobile consistency
Unlike the old Facebook News Feed, the new feed will display identically across every platform.

Google+

• Communities that let you interact with similar users
With Google+ Communities, you can connect with others who share similar interests, occupations, or concerns. Communities keep you informed and engaged with the latest trends.

• Larger cover images and a revamped profile appearance
Google recently launched larger cover images (2120 X 1192 pixels) that allow users less restriction when selecting a photo to showcase.  Additionally, they have introduced a new profile layout with a streamlined appearance and clearly defined sub-sections.

• Allows GIFs to be profile images
A GIF is a file format (like .JPEG or .DOCX) that allows multiple images to be saved as a single item.  This creates a short video clip that appears similar to a flipbook.  To view a sample of a profile using a GIF image, see the profile of one of the head Google engineers, Matt Steiner.

Instagram

• New “Mayfair” Filter
Instagram recently added a new filter, “Mayfair” to their selection. This filter adds a warm, pinkish glow to the center of an image, with a subtle darkening of the outer edges.  It is ideal for pictures taken in ample lighting and looks great on scenery or portrait photos.

LinkedIn

• Larger headlines and profile photos
Your profile should highlight you.  In the past, LinkedIn headlines and images were small, suggesting a lack of importance.  Now, the font and image sizes grab more attention.  Profile images can now be as large as 500 by 500 pixels.

• Hidden contact information
It used to be easy for any user to see another’s contact information and website.  Now, LinkedIn hides this information, requiring your connections to expand the “Contact Info” section to view it.

Pinterest

• Larger pins
Pinterest has recently realized that all we care about are the images; that being so, they have increased the size of pins to allow users to view more of the pinned image.

• A “Pins from the Same Source” section
Now, users pinning images from your website can view all pins stemming from your website as they interact with any single pin, which can help increase your website traffic.

• An improved interface with streamlined navigation
As Pinterest has become increasingly popular among mobile users, the company has decided to make their webpage emulate its mobile app.  Now users get the same experience across different platforms, eliminating confusion and difficult navigation.

Twitter

• Vine, a new video sharing app
Twitter Vine is currently available on Apple devices, but should be available on others in the near future.  It allows users to share 6-second video clips that act as brief glimpses into their daily functions, perfect for sharing snippets of your procedures or processes.

• Search upgrades with auto-complete functionality
Twitter has adopted one of the most loved aspects of Google search.  As you type in your search query, Twitter now suggests completions of your entry, highlighting popular terms that other users are searching.  Knowing popular search terms and phrases can help you post related Tweets to increase your exposure.

• Allows users to input line breaks
If you’ve ever wanted to split your 140-character tweet across multiple lines, now you can!  Rather than one solid block of text, you can break up your messaging for greater clarity.

These are just some of the latest updates from popular social networking sites.  We hope you find this information useful as you continue in your social media marketing efforts.

If you need more help getting started with social media marketing, check out our Ultimate Social Media Guide series and download the free whitepapers here.

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Company News

Stand Out Online – New Custom Design Option

You already know the importance of making a strong first impression. In fact, a recent Google study shows it takes about 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for visitors to form an opinion on the attractiveness of your website. While just 5 years ago simply having a website may have put you ahead of the competition, today, this is no longer the case. With nearly 70% of small business owners now having a website, it’s important to not only have a website, but ensure it is designed to help you stand out in the crowd.

One of the best ways to immediately grab attention is to be unique. Thousands of websites are developed each day, and a professional, custom design is a surefire way to showcase the true essence of your practice.

We recently launched a new custom website design service which enables you to save money while you get a completely custom website that conveys the uniqueness of your practice.

How It Works

To help begin to envision your new website, you get to choose from 6 different guides in terms of general layout. Our design team will conduct a thorough interview with you to fully understand your design preferences (photos, colors, patterns, logos, etc.) and brand.

You will then receive a mockup of the design and will be able to provide revisions, resulting in a state-of-the-art website that showcases you and the true essence of your practice.

Additional Benefits

We know everyone loves to save time and money, and our new custom design service helps you do just that. Here’s how:

• Faster Turnover: Our goal is to create the perfect website design for your practice in a timely manner. Because we streamlined the process of our custom design services, the turnaround time in creating your custom website is much quicker than previously possible.

• Added Savings: Because of the simplified process, we are able to provide you a fully custom website for just a fraction of the cost!

The Sky Is the Limit

Our designers live and breathe creative innovation – they know how to think out-of-the-box to give you a beautiful custom website that you and your patients will love.

If you’re interested in “wow-ing” your patients and standing out online, give us a call at (888) 932-3644 to learn more.

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Website Design

5 Reasons You Need a Mobile Website

As mobile browser usage continues to skyrocket, having a mobile website is shifting from being a luxury to a necessity, and if you don’t have a mobile website, you’re letting potential patients slip away! Here are the 5 major reasons why you need a mobile website now:

1. Like mobile phones, mobile websites are not a fad or trend – they’re here to stay.  With the advent of Wi-Fi, Facebook, and numerous emerging technologies, nearly every new phone is equipped with Internet accessibility and a mobile browser, enabling cell phone users to have the Internet constantly at their fingertips.  Over the past year, Google research shows the number of Internet users searching on a mobile device has quadrupled(!) – and that number continues to multiply.

2. Mobile phones outnumber PCs 4:1.  Here’s a little insight… your targeted audience is already searching for you via mobile browsers.  83% of the population has a mobile phone.  If that statistic alone doesn’t astound you, how about this; 4.8 billion people have a mobile phone, while only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush!  The mobile revolution is here, and if you aren’t marketing your practice accordingly, you may be missing out on new patients!

3. Mobile users are even less patient than PC users.  When searching, most mobile users are on-the-go, with 80% of searches inquiring about the nearest business or service.  Because of this urgency, mobile users want their information fast.  A mobile website has compressed images and less fluff, so download times are much faster than a mobile-compatible website.  Faster page-load times = happier prospects.

4. Google’s Smartphone Crawler is a search bot that crawls and ranks mobile sites differently than mobile-compatible websites within Google’s mobile search results.  As more search engines debut new algorithms to account for mobile websites, a non-mobile or mobile-compatible website is sure to be left in the dust.  Additionally, Google will naturally begin to rank mobile-friendly websites higher in the search results for mobile users in order to deliver a better search experience.

5. Improve a mobile Internet user’s experience.  Any good business puts their customers first and meets their demands.  A mobile website is really an improvement in customer service, allowing clients and prospects to quickly access the information they desire.  A mobile-compatible website will leave your clients squinting at the screen or will require them to constantly zoom in and out to find what they’re looking for.  Mobile websites have thumb-friendly navigation and larger fonts for optimal viewing.

Will a mobile website benefit your practice?

Absolutely!  Contemplate the fact that 1 in 3 searches conducted from a mobile device is for a local business or service, and that number increases every day.  Get a head-start on your competition and get a mobile website.

To find out more about reaching on-the-go patients with a mobile website for your practice, contact us at (888) 932-3644.

Check out our other blog post to learn more about reaching the thriving mobile market here.

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Practice Marketing

3 Ways to Track Your Website’s Performance

Your practice’s website is undoubtedly the most crucial element needed for an effective online marketing strategy. But, once you launch your website, how can you tell if it’s really helping you attract new patients and increasing the demand for your services?

Would you like experts to review your website performance and offer solutions today? Request a comprehensive website analysis here.

1. Understand Your Website Traffic

Google Analytics (GA) is a service from Google that gives you access to statistics which help you track and monitor your website’s performance. With GA, you can learn key information about your website visitors, and from that, make any necessary adjustments to optimize your website’s success.

Here are just a few of the many statistics you can find with GA:

Website Visitors: See how many new and returning visitors view your website and how long they stay. Do they leave immediately (bounce), or do they look around and explore your site? If you that find most visitors bounce within seconds, consider adjusting your website (e.g. make navigation simple, create easy-to-read content with bullet points, add images) to increase the duration of their stay.

Page Views: Identify which pages receive the most views to help you better understand what visitors are looking for. Ideally, the “Contact Us” page will be one of your most viewed pages.

Traffic Sources: Understand how visitors arrived at your site (e.g. search engine results, social networks, referral websites, direct traffic). Referral sites represent other websites that share a link to your website, whereas direct traffic represents users who typed your domain into the address bar at the top of the browser window.

Keywords: You can see phrases and keywords people have used to search for your website (e.g., “Houston Family Dentist”). Knowing the most popular terms can help you optimize your site to include more of these keywords and improve your visibility.

Measure Conversions: Conversions represent how many visitors take action on your website.  Actions could include submitting a form or online appointment request – any “click” that brings in new prospects.  If you have a high amount of traffic but few conversions, consider editing your website to encourage your visitors to contact your practice. For example, include contact forms on each page, and be sure your “Contact Us” page is easily accessible.

These are just a few of the many insights that you can gain from utilizing GA tools. Some website providers may set-up GA tracking on your website, but you may have to implement it on your own.  If you are a ProSites member, we can help you set up GA for you upon creating your site.

2. Consider Phone-call Analytics

When a prospective patient visits your website and proceeds to call your practice to schedule an appointment, you may not know that your website referred the call (unless your staff is asking new patients how they heard about your practice). With a phone-call tracking service, you can easily trace where the caller found your services as well as how many calls your website is generating.

Ask your website provider if they offer phone-call tracking services, in which they place a unique number throughout your site that automatically forwards to your main line. When people call this number, you’ll be able to identify whether the caller visited your website before calling.

3. Communication is Key

When new patients first call your practice or have their first appointment, be sure your staff is asking how they heard about you. Also, consider adding a question on your new patient forms that asks how they heard about your practice and if they’ve visited your website.

By asking patients on the phone and via new patient forms, you can more accurately identify where and how your patients heard about your practice.

There are many ways to track your website’s performance both online and offline, enabling you to measure its effectiveness. To learn more about how you can further improve your website’s performance, call ProSites at (888) 932-3644 or fill out the form below.

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Company News

Check Out New (Free!) Color Palette Options

You asked and we listened! To help you create the website you want we continually challenge ourselves to create revolutionary features and services.  With numerous inquiries about color and customization, we are excited to announce that we will be rolling out new color palettes for our site styles.  Some new palettes have already been made available, and we will frequently continue to introduce more color options within the design library.

How do you change your site style?

Changing your site style can be done with two simple clicks in the Website Editor.  Once you log into the website editor, scroll down to the “Style Options” section at the bottom of the page.  Within the Style Options, simply click the “Select” button of your desired site style.  Next, click “Publish” at the top right hand corner of the page, and in less than 60 seconds, you have a brand new site style.

When publishing your new site style, all of your existing pages, content, images, videos, etc. will automatically transfer over.

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

Why should this matter to you?

These new color options provide you even more creative freedom over your website design, while also:

• Giving you the opportunity to further customize your website coloring, free of charge
• Enabling your practice to choose a color palette that your practice identifies with, improving brand awareness.
• Promoting efficiency.  Changing your site color can be completed instantaneously, with two simple clicks and no down time.
• Allowing you to refresh your site’s appearance without adopting an entirely new site style, preventing confusion among returning visitors who may be familiar with your site’s appearance.

We invite you to log into the Website Editor and explore these new design options!  If you have any questions about other color palette options or custom website design, please give us a call at 888-932-3644.

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