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August 2013

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Search Marketing

How to Attract Local Patients to Your Site

Marketing your practice online is an intimidating task. The Internet is vast and ever-changing, which makes it difficult to stay abreast of Internet marketing best practices; however, one thing is certain: whether you’re marketing your services on social media or implementing search engine optimization, targeting your local audience is critical. In fact, 67% of all online searchers specify a location within their queries. If you haven’t started targeting your local audience, the time to start is now.

The following methods are ways you can start incorporating location into your online marketing strategy:

1. Infuse location into your content – When writing the content on your website, it’s important to personalize it with your location to get in front of your relevant audience. You can use Google Analytics to determine where, geographically, your website visitors reside. Incorporate these locations into your content for better reach.

2. Focus on quality locations – All too often, doctors think the more cities they show up for in search, the better. Some even see ranking for their state as the Holy Grail. This method of thinking isn’t always lucrative. Prospective patients are much more likely to search “San Diego dentist” than something as broad as “California dentist”. The more targeted your location is, the better chance you’ll have at converting online searchers into your new patients. 

3. Link to your optimized Google+ Local page – An optimized Google+ page will increase your chances of showing up for local search queries. Even better, including a link to your optimized Google+ page on your website increases the authority of both. When optimizing your Google+ page to focus on location, be sure to do the following:

a. Include your practice’s physical address and city.

b. Make sure the address listed matches the address displayed on your website.

c. Make sure the phone number listed matches the number displayed on your website.

d. Make sure your page is owner-verified.

e. Use the “About” section to describe the services you offer, and be sure to mention the various cities you service.

4. Join your local Chamber of Commerce – Not only will most chambers link to their members’ websites, but being affiliated with a community organization will give your website increased local exposure.

5. Encourage Facebook or Foursquare check-ins – When a patient visits your practice and checks-in, each check-in reiterates your location to search engines and shares it with all of your patients’ social connections. This can drastically increase your exposure among local prospects. 

6. Add optimized Alt tags to your images – Alt tags help search engines “see” the images you add to your website, as they cannot determine what the image is on their own. When you add an image to your site in the WebEngine, right-click on the photo, and select “Image Properties”. Then, within the “Image Alt Text” field, type a descriptive sentence that includes the cities your practice serves. Save your changes; publish your website; and, you’re done!

7. List your address and phone number on every page – Search engines don’t always scan every page of your website to determine its ranking on their results pages. Adding your address and phone number to every page will ensure the search engines see it, no matter which pages they scan. 

Now you’re ready to start optimizing your website to reach local prospective patients, but don’t stop there. Add your practice to online business listings, publish a press release, and continue to get your name out there!

Want to hand over your local search marketing to our optimization experts? Contact your website consultant at 888-932-3644.

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Website Design

Yes… Blogging Does Matter

Many resist the idea of blogging, claiming to be too busy to keep a blog; however, it is important to understand that maintaining a blog is a key component in ranking well on the all-so-powerful search engines. 

Why Is Blogging Important?

We have established that blogging does matter, but in order to maintain a productive blog, it’s important to understand WHY blogging matters. Individual search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, have come up with their own algorithms to determine a site’s importance and position in their search results pages. Though no one knows their algorithms, it has become clear that fresh content is held in high esteem. 

Maintaining a blog ensures that fresh content will be fed into your website on a fairly regular basis. Even if you only blog once a month or so, if the content is unique and focused, search engines will take notice and re-evaluate your website’s rank.  In contrast, websites that are left idle won’t move up in rank, and may be passed up by other websites with fresher content. Blogging is a simple way to make sure that your website content changes. 

In addition to grabbing the attention of readers, relevant blog pages may also be attractive to other website owners. This may prompt them to share your website with their audience via a backlink. Search engines favor reputable backlinks and incorporate them into their ranking factors. 

In the spirit of linking, it is also a good habit to incorporate links to your own website within your blog posts. Internal links show search engines continuity between your webpages, which can help improve your website’s ranking as well. 

How to Write a Relevant Blog

Blog with focus by having a specific subject matter in mind. A blog is not the same type of social media such as Facebook or Twitter where minor updates on just about anything flies. Blogging should consist of well thought out pieces of content. Focused articles will allow you to incorporate keywords or keyword phrases that help promote your expertise. 

An example of a good blog entry would be to write about a new technology that your office just purchased or began using. Did your office buy a CEREC machine? Write about it! Write about CEREC, why you believe in the technology, how it’s performed, patient reactions, and so on. Or, you can write a blog post on an upcoming event that you are going to take part in. Write about the event, how you and your office team are involved, and what you hope to see out of the event. 

Keep in Mind that Getting Re-Indexed Can Take Time

Search engines can be slow, so know that it may take days or even weeks for your new content to be re-indexed by the search engines. With this in mind, don’t stress, thinking your new blog post isn’t working for you. It is. Fresh content is always valuable in the search engine’s eyes. 

What to Do Next

Get a blog and start writing! Whether you sign up with WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr or any other blog site, start now so you can be on your way to increasing your website’s optimization!

Want us to help you get your blog started? Give us a call at 888-932-3644.

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Website Design

9 Tricks to Capture Leads on Your Site

Obtaining new patients is the goal of almost every practice marketing strategy. When entering the world of online marketing, there are three primary steps required in order to achieve success:

1. Launching a website

2. Acquiring website visitors by implementing search engine optimization (SEO) techniques or engaging in search engine marketing (SEM)

3. Converting those visitors into new patients by engaging them long enough to “sell” your services

While getting visitors to your website is difficult in itself, keeping them long enough to convert them into new patients is another challenging task. The following 9 tricks will help you refocus the components of your website to capture more visitors and turn them into your new patients.

1. Improve readability  

No one accesses your website with the intention of reading a novel. You should provide visitors with concise, informative content that is well-organized. 

Quick Tips: 

• Use bulleted or numbered lists to break up content. 

• Use bold and italics to set off important text.

• Create subheadings that further categorize the information.

• Use a font that is easy-to-read.

2. Know your audience 

Write content for your audience knowing that the average adult is at a 7th-grade reading level, according to a study conducted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. If your audience can’t understand your content, they likely won’t feel comfortable choosing you as their provider. Be sure your images and videos relate to your target audience as well; irrelevant visual content is equally as off-putting. 

3. Have a call-to-action (CTA)

When a visitor accesses your website, they should immediately know what action you would like them to take. Display a clear call-to-action (CTA) that tells visitors to schedule an appointment or call your practice. 

4. Improve navigation 

Prospective patients are likely to leave webpages that don’t meet their needs. When a visitor accesses your website, it should be organized in a way that allows visitors to easily find the information they desire. Also, you can further improve your website’s navigation by adding internal links to other related pages on your website.

5. Increase Page Load Speeds 

Studies indicate visitors are likely to leave if your website takes longer than 4 seconds to load. If you notice your pages are taking a while to load, talk to your website provider to see what efforts can be made to improve its speed.

6. Offer coupons or online promotions 

Prominently displaying coupons or promotional offerings immediately captures visitors’ attention and prompts them to look further into the services you’re advertising.

7. Remove errors 

If a visitor runs into an error on your website, such as a missing link or a page that won’t load, they will absolutely abandon your website. Regularly check the functionality of links and ensure each page on your website is loading correctly. Also, smartphones and tablets may experience display issues, so be sure your website adapts accordingly:

8. Remove distractions 

Having bright-colored text, moving images, or videos that automatically play can distract from your overall message, confusing visitors and prompting them to leave your website. 

9. Display a strategically placed testimonial 

If you have a really flattering testimonial, don’t tuck it away on your Testimonials page; prominently display it right on your home page. Exhibiting flattering reviews front-and-center will show your visitors that you have a proven record of success and will entice them to learn more about your services. 

After you’ve made these simple tweaks to your practice website, you may want to consider measuring your success. Check out our blog article about tracking your website’s performance to learn how to assess your results.

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Company News

Answering Your Customer Service Requests

When our developers created our website editor, the goal was to enable you to have the freedom and capability to edit your website whenever you desired, without needing any technical know-how.  That being said, our goal was not to hide behind technology and self-service, but to give you the opportunity to control your website your way.  And, we’ve found that while you have access to your own dedicated member services representative, many of you share a common desire to edit your website on your own time.

In an effort to respond to your feedback and give you more creative freedom over your website, we have compiled the following tutorials to help you perform some of the most common functions within the website editor.

 

Click on the icons below to immediately access the coordinating tutorial.

If you require assistance making additional edits within the website editor, please call us at (888) 932-3644 to be connected with your member services representative.

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Practice Marketing

White Paper: How to Combat Negative Reviews

As the popularity of social networking platforms, online review sites, and business directories continues to increase, having an online presence is no longer the only concern for your practice. Currently, a reported 83% of consumers use the Internet to research providers before hiring their services. Because more prospective patients are determining your credibility based upon your online reputation, combating negative online reviews is vital.

Whether your online reputation is outstanding or needs help, you can learn the essentials in improving your online reputation by downloading our free white paper.

 

 

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