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Three Predictions for Medical Website Design and SEO in 2015

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Year after year major changes happen in the world of online marketing. Staying ahead of these changes is a large part of our success working with plastic surgeons and other medical practice specialists over the last six years. While so many practices fell over the last 18 months to Google’s major algorithm updates our clients’ sites held up. In fact many of our plastic surgeons clients websites actually jumped up in the rankings as a result of their competitors sites being penalized.

Our clients and I were very fortunate that many of the predictions I felt were coming did in fact happen. Three years ago I really felt a major shift coming, I knew Google was going to slam paid link building and fall back in love with content. Before this happened we brought on content writers to build our clients content, we followed this up by adding a licensed PA-C to our staff to insure out clients medical content would be top notch. My prediction came true. I believe most if not all of these will come true for 2015.

Non responsive medical websites for mobile users will take a beating in the search results. 

Google has begun testing search results for mobile users providing icons next to sites in the search results that are mobile friendly. They recently published this article in their webmaster guidelines clearly stating “studies show that mobile visitors are more likely to revisit mobile-friendly sites.” Diving deeper into links within the Google article it states that 67% of people are more likely to buy from a mobile “friendly” experience and 61% are more likely to leave a site that is not mobile friend. Wow!

Patients are customers not matter how you look at it. If your plastic surgery website isn’t responsive you will lose your rankings and the patients those rankings bring. If your practice specialty isn’t as competitive as other plastic surgery websites you don’t have as much to lose for now but keep in mind user experience is still important. Making sure your patients can find you is still important.

Google will place a high value on brand mentions across social sites.

Quality links still have value and will continue to do so, however Google is getting smarter every day. If you do not know what link building is it goes something along these two different channels.

Option one (not recommended)  – someone goes out and contacts link building companies. Most of these companies are based overseas. These companies have affiliations with tens of thousands of websites. Most of these websites are porn and gabling websites having nothing to do with plastic surgery or any type of medical practice. Links are bought and go up. Google sees these links and believes the site for which the links are pointing to is a great website therefore they rank the site higher. This method is the absolute wrong way to obtain links! Over the last two years with its Panda and Penguin updates, Google has punished medical practice websites that did this.

Option two (recommended) – Produce top quality medical related content and do your best to make sure it is published and shared across the web. This is what we specialize in. The more popular your practice is, the more popular it will be on Google.

Back to social mentions. Google is now beginning to just see your name out on the web along with the providers names in you practice. They are able to connect the dots between the two. If your name is mentioned it’s very close to the same thing as a link to your site. I believe Google will put more value on these types of brand mentions compared to link building. Its much more difficult for spam sites to track brand mentions and much easier for Google to stop trying to figure out if links are paid links or natural links. Check out this article on Moz posted a year back in April. Its coming, be ready for it! http://moz.com/blog/panda-patent-brand-mentions

Reputation management for your practice will need more attention.

Let’s face it, your online reputation isn’t always fair and it’s never going to be.  Google does not segment its search algorithm for each and every type of business. When Googles bots crawl review sites such as Yelp and Google Plus and see many great reviews for a restaurant it would only make sense for Google to rank that restaurant’s website higher in their search results. Google is smart enough to know that most people are not looking for a restaurant with awful food and service that matches. The issue is simple – people love to take pictures of their meal and post them on Yelp or Facebook. When was the last time someone posted a picture of a cyst they had removed or the waterfall in your waiting room? People love to review restaurants and stores, not doctors.

The people who typically review a medical practice are not happy, pure and simple. A good amount of negative medical practice reviews are the fair opinion of the patients. Others are for the purpose of extortion. Either way these negative reviews hurt your practice in two ways. People who look you up online and read them and may cancel their appointment. Google looks them up reads them and cancels your appointment on the first page of its search results. Not only will having more reviews help keep your appointments coming into your office they will help you gain more patients via search engine. This year we launched Viaomni.com, to help more practices increase the amount of reviews they receive. In addition our system helps practices step in to stop negative reviews before they are published on the web forever.  If negative online reviews are hurting your practice or you believe they may in the future, give us a call!

 

10 Ways to Fill Your Practice’s Waiting Room Using Social Media

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  1. Promote your blog or content pages on Facebook every week! If your site is built well it is as easy as cutting and pasting the URL from the page you wish to share to your status update bar.
  2. Create a slide show presentation for any procedure you would like to do more of.
  3. Hashtag all of posts associated with your brand or the types of procedures you love.
  4. Follow anyone who follows you one twitter.
  5. Tweet at least once per day, it simple, fast and if you add hashtags related to the keywords people search when looking for you, chances are a few more people will find you.
  6. Answer people who direct message you on social media even if it’s as simple as saying thank you and asking them to contact your office for more information
  7. Blog about useful information about you and your practice. Need ideas? Think of the frequently asked questions patients ask you, people are searching for answers to these questions online too!
  8. Add the G+ button to every page of your website.
  9. Create a Pinterest board related to your practice!
  10. Check out your competition, if they are more active on social media most likely their practice will more active in the future.

While you may not have the time for social media now doesn’t mean you need to miss out on the terrific exposure and brand building social media can provide. Our social media solutions are extremely affordable and even more effective. Contact us at info@omnimedicalmarketing.com for more information.

Valuable Resources for Medical Practice Marketers – Part 1

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If you have the necessary time, patience and dedication, marketing your own medical practice website can have fantastic results.

While many don’t have the time, those who do typically don’t have the budget to hire a high quality repeatable firm.

We are all about helping those who want to help themselves and have no problem offering some of the tools we pay quite a bit of money to have access too. While some of the paid tools are fantastic and provide great detail, they are also expensive and may not make sense for a DIY type of person to invest in.

On the flip side, there are many amazing resources available. Here are the first half of my top ten:

  1. Moz.org — just Google the term ‘SEO’ and you will see that Moz comes up first. I would estimate that 90% of what you will read that has been published in the last year on Moz.org will provide great results while sticking close by Google’s guidelines.
  2. Matt Cutts blog — Matt Cutts is one of, if not the most outspoken executive at Google who often provides hints as to what Google needs to see in order for you practice website to rank higher.
  3. Google’s Webmaster tools — Who would have thought Google would just tell us how to rank sites? While they do not tell us everything they do provide the foundation.  Since Mobile is now more than 50% of web traffic I suggest you start here on this page. Time and money could be saved by just reading one page on webmaster tools. See what they have to say about having a medical practice mobile (RESPONSIVE) website.
  4. Another great free reference from Google — The Keyword Planner — This tool will help you find what people area searching based on volume for when they are looking for your services. Don’t have time to visit the Keyword Planner? If you are plastic surgeon looking to increase your visibility give us a call. We have the complete list and we can send it to you for free!
  5. Mashable — Great section on social media. While many of are not fans of social media, if our competition is there, we need to be there, too.

While doing your own marketing may be very difficult and it can also be very fulfilling, provide profits and the knowhow to oversee an agency if you do decide to higher one.

Is SEO dead? Should I fire my SEO company?

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Omni Medical Marketing - Responsive Design WebsiteThese are the top two questions anyone actively seeking new patients from their website should be asking.

There is no right or wrong answer, and as you will see from what I am about to tell you is based mostly on the term SEO itself.

SEO for most stands for ‘search engine optimization.’ SEO itself is not dead, however “SEO’S,” the people who do SEO certainly are a dying breed. Here’s why:

For years the way SEO’s or SEO companies went about ranking websites was very spammy and even a bit seedy. To produce the highest profit margins these companies would use tactics to trick Google into thinking a site was more popular than it actually was. There are many tactics that could be used to do this, the most popular is to buy links from third-party companies. These companies could provide 1000’s of links to a website for a very low cost. Each one of these links would be counted as a popularity vote for the site. Google would see these links, believe it was popular then rank the site higher based on each one of these votes.

Why did Google put a stop to link building?

Google is the number one search engine, and wants to stay that way. Part of the reason why they are number one is due to the fact they provide high quality search results to the people who use it. Better quality search results will keep people using Google, while poor quality results will result in more traffic for Bing and Yahoo.

Think about it this way. If we optimized a swimsuit e-commerce site for the term ‘tummy tuck,’ built a large number of spammy likes using the keyword ‘tummy tuck’ and Google ranked it high for the term, people would end up on the site even though they just wanted the hottest new two-piece. If this type of scenario happened all the time people would start using other search engines.

So is SEO dead or not? SEO is very much alive and doing better than ever. Why? Because Google has always defined what SEO is, and their process is more and more meaningful every day. Google has provided outlets of information to inform us exactly how to best optimize your medical practice website for higher rankings. They have also warned for years not to try to cheat or manipulate their suggestions (DEAD SEO).

So what should I be focused on now?  There are many details, too many to list and actually expect someone to finish reading so I will just give you the bullet points.

  1. Content marketing (what SEO has always meant to Google) – Provide fresh relevant content users of the site will invest time into and enjoy.
  2. Social media – Google sees your activity on social media. Make a plan and stick to it.
  3. Provide value (content marketing) – Answer questions no one else is answering.  Realself.com traffic and popularity is all due to the simple fact that they add value to the user. You can do the same on your site!
  4. Mobile – Make sure to have a responsive site, NOT a M.dot website. Take a look at what your site looks like to users and to Google using our free preview tool.
  5. Onsite SEO – Each page of your site needs to be dialed in and highly crawlable by Google. This often takes time. We spend countless hours increase the page value of each page on a site by making changes to stay ahead of the latest suggested best practices. Since spammy SEO is dead each page of your site needs to be nearly perfect.

Keep in mind most SEO’s will not do the hard labor listed above as there is little profit margins compared to buying tons of cheap, spammy links.

What should I watch out for with my current company of one I am thinking about hiring?

  1. Link spam – links should never be purchased for your website – especially in bulk. Google will find out and will penalize you.
  2. Link Networks – Don’t just trade links with other people. A link from my website to your website with a link from your website to mine will at best cancel each other out. If the link coming to your website is not relevant i.e. from a hardware company, a trucking company or a gambling site this link will look spammy to Google.
  3. Link wheels – Having a large number of links from your site to a large number of other sites that are relevant. At some point Google will catch this and you could face a penalty.
  4. Press release spam – Yes this can be spam too. A press release from time to time can be a good thing, however sending out a press release every two weeks will look odd to Google and the original links will be devalued.

DO NOT buy into a separate M.dot website (see our blogs on M.dot sites). These duplicate content and do not provide all of your content for Google and users to see on mobile devices. Duplicate content does negatively impact SEO and it should be avoided at all times.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us directly at (800) 549-0170.

Mobile Medical Practice Websites – What Google Has to Say

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Here are Omni Medical Marketing, we pride ourselves on staying in line with Google’s best practices when comes to building websites for our medical practice clients. In addition, we find it even more important to listen and follow closely with what Google has to say in regards to optimizing your website to appear high on their search rankings.

Because we mimic rather than try to manipulate Google, we encourage all potential clients to double check our advice directly with Google.

Last year we moved strictly to responsive design websites. Responsive design allows our clients’ sites to morph or scale for a great user-friendly mobile experience. Some of our competition still sells (at a great cost and profit, mind you) M.dot websites as a mobile solution. While these M.dot websites do offer a nice looking home screen for mobile users, much of your content will be unavailable for mobile or tablet users, yielding a frustrating experience for both you and your potential clients.

Notice in the article on Google’s developers page, item number one is “Stop frustrating your costumers” . The bottom line is visitors or customers will be attracted to the website that is the easiest to use and the most informative. Don’t let your competitors steal your business because your website doesn’t provide what they are looking for. If your competition’s website is less frustrating, which office do you think they will end up visiting?

Take a few minutes to read the article, have questions? Give us a call, we will be glad to help!

https://developers.google.com/webmasters/smartphone-sites/website-improvement-checklist

Bowie Orthodontist, Dr. Alexis Kirkland-Miller, Launches Responsive Design Website

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Bowie, MD (PRWEB) December 10, 2013

Bowie orthodontist, Dr. Alexis Kirkland-Miller, has launched a new website to better showcase her practice to existing and potential customers. Dr. Kirkland-Miller’s new websites utilizes an innovative ‘responsive design,’ that allows visitors to view the website seamlessly on any platform.

Additional improvements to Dr. Kirkland-Miller’s website include a cutting-edge design that emphasizes functionality and ease of use while still maintaining an aesthetically pleasing design.

Dr. Kirkland-Miller launched her new website to showcase her practice in a new and informative structure that will keep her existing patients and potential new clients informed of the services andtypes of braces she offers. The responsive website design ensures that the nearly 25 percent of medical related searches that come from a mobile device will have the same access as computer users.

“After years of service in the Washington D.C. area, I wanted a website that would better inform my patients of the options available to them at my office, regardless of their device of choice,” explains Dr. Kirkland-Miller. “I have no doubt this new website does exactly that and more. The new website helps provide current patients and future patients with the information that everyone should see when considering orthodontic work.”

Dr. Kirkland-Miller graduated from Howard University with her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree and Certificate in Orthodontics. She also earned membership to the prestigious Omicron Kappa Upsilon honorary dental society. She is currently a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, the American Dental Association, the National Dental Association, the Middle Atlantic Society of Orthodontics and the Maryland State Society of Orthodontists.

“Orthodontics is more than my profession, it’s my passion,” Dr. Kirkland-Miller said. “I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to create long lasting relationships with wonderful people, and positively affect their lives by helping create their beautiful smiles.”

Dr. Alexis Kirkland-Miller takes the time to listen to each patient’s concerns and desires, and creates an individualized treatment plan to ensure the best possible results.

Contact:
Bowie Braces
Dr. Alexis Kirkland-Miller
6828B Race Track Rd
Bowie, MD 20715
http://www.bowiebraces.com/

Read the full release at PRWeb.com.

Omni Medical Marketing Announces New National Account Executives

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Centennial, CO (PRWEB) July 31, 2013

Omni Medical Marketing is pleased to announce the addition of Leigha Brantley-Wilkinson and Brooke Johnson as National Account Executives. With over 10 years of combined sales experience in a number of related fields, both Leigha and Brooke bring their experience and dedication to medical sales to the team at Omni Medical Marketing. Harnessing previous sales experience along with experience in the medical field, Leigha and Brooke are poised to deliver excellent client management and business development success to the proven Medical Website Design and Medical Marketingteam at Omni.

Brooke Johnson joins the Omni Medical Marketing team having graduated from New Mexico State University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. After graduating from New Mexico State University, Brooke attended the Medical Sales College to gain medical sales device certification and surgical sales experience. Since graduating from Medical Sales College, Brooke has worked closely with medical professionals, and has helped to grow practices while also being a presence in the operating room.

Leigha Brantley-Wilkinson joins Omni Medical Marketing after having received a bachelor’s degree in Geography and Environmental Studies. Leigha’s professional career has consisted of developing a broad knowledge of business development and brand awareness with some of the largest companies in the United States. She has developed, managed, and cultivated high-level relationships, and she has been tasked with over-seeing nation-wide marketing campaigns.

“I am thrilled to announce the addition of both Brooke and Leigha to the ever-expanding team at Omni Medical Marketing,” explains CEO, Patrick Chavoustie. “I have no doubt that both Leigha and Brooke will be able to hit the ground running, and continue the success that Omni Medical Marketing has seen over the years.”

With a team focused on both Medical Website Design and Medical Practice Marketing, Omni Medical Marketing has been delivering world-class website designs for plastic surgeons, doctors, and dentists. The team at Omni Medical Marketing has over 40 years of combined experience in marketing, search engine optimization, website design, and client management. They are dedicated to delivering a high level of service to each client, regardless of the project size or need.

Read the full article on PRWeb

Google Announces Mobile Ranking Factors That You Should Know

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The Head of Google’s Webspam Team, Matt Cutts publishes videos for webmasters to learn more about search, and what steps are being taken to improve Google’s algorithm.  In recent videos, Matt Cutts has spent a good deal of time discussing mobile search, mobile websites, and mobile marketing.  In these videos, Matt directly address questions that are submitted to him to try to gain an understanding as to how mobile search can be optimized.  Offering some of Google’s best practices, he makes a few things clear, and if you know Google at all, you should really be listening.

The first main declaration that he made was concerning separate mobile sites, and the proper way to route traffic.  While an m-dot site (m.yourdomain.com) is possible if done correctly, Matt makes it clear that responsive website design is really the way to go to create the best user experience.  As reported by WebProNews, “Some websites use separate URLs to serve desktop and smartphone users,” explain Google’s Yoshikiyo Kato and Pierre Far. “A faulty redirect is when a desktop page redirects smartphone users to an irrelevant page on the smartphone-optimized website. A typical example is when all pages on the desktop site redirect smartphone users to the homepage of the smartphone-optimized site.”  The long and short of it is, regardless of how you build your mobile site, make sure you always keep user experience in mind.  While responsive website design is the best way to create mobile versions of your site that will deliver quality user experience, it is not impossible to properly structure an m-dot site to eliminate any confusion for the user.

Also, you may have noticed that Google has attempted to improve mobile search by using a “Nearby” function that allows geo-targeting to improve results.  This means that you can search for businesses and medical practices that are close to you, relative to your geographical location.  Have you noticed Yelp listings appearing in the top 10 search results on Google recently?  This is part of the strategy.  While many businesses, especially medical practices, have been hesitant to allow Yelp’s business practices to continue, Google has actually given Yelp more power in local search.  It’s even more important now than ever to ensure that you are listed in local directories with an emphasis on Yelp.

With an average of 30% of website traffic for medical practices coming from smart phones and tablets, can you really afford to ignore these potential patients?  If you are looking to target these potential patients with a responsive website design and local marketing, Contact Omni Medical Marketing today.

5 Basic Things You Should Monitor in Google Analytics

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It’s easy to brag that you get thousands of visits to your medical website each month, but is it quality traffic?  Are you using analytics to find a high-quality audience, or are you settling for a high number in the total visitors column and assuming your website will convert sooner or later?  This is an important question to ask yourself when spearheading your own Medical Marketing strategy.  For many, Google Analytics is the preferred tool for gathering information about your website.  While there are a number of other tools that will gather this information, Google Analytics has been the go-to-source for this information and has proven the most reliable.  That being said, it’s important to know what is available in analytics that you may or may not be using to gauge the success of your marketing.

By actually analyzing the large amount of data that Google Analytics provides, you can get a better idea as to marketing strategies that have worked, and strategies that have not.  For example, do you know how users are finding you?  Are they finding you in search?  If so, what search terms are delivering visits?  This is a just a small portion of the amount of information that you can find in analytics.  Below, you will find the top 5 basic things that you will find on Google Analytics, besides the total number of visits, that you should be monitoring.

  1. Average Time On Site – This is a great way to measure how engaged the average user may be.  Are you ranking for a term that doesn’t really have to do with the services you offer?  It’s more common than you might think.  For example, someone could be searching for the best tooth-whitening toothpaste and land on a dentist’s professional teeth whitening page.  While this is a generally positive outcome, the likelihood that they will immediately leave the site is much higher.  Using this information, you can change your keyword targeting to “Professional Teeth Whitening” to ensure that you are capturing the right audience.
  2. Landing Page – You might not think this is important, but knowing where people are entering the site is important.  Not all visitors to a medical website will begin their experience on the home page like you may want them to.  They may land on a procedure page, or a blog.  By knowing where users begin their experience, you can customize the navigation of the site to drive visitors to different areas of the site and improve engagement.  Are you relying heavily on blog tags and categories to drive traffic to your site?  If so, what is the user experience like once they’ve landed on a tag or category page?  The more important question to ask yourself is, if you took your focus off of tags and categories, and spent more time optimizing specific landing pages, are you willing to accept fewer visitors to your site that are much more likely to convert?
  3. Referral Sites – Not all traffic to a medical website will come directly from search.  If external marketing efforts are driving traffic to your site, it’s important to measure the return on investment.  If you are running an advertising campaign with Groupon, looking at referral sites can help you to determine if this particular idea was effective.  Also, if you’re paying for a directory listing, or you have purchased banner ads on other websites, the referral sites data in analytics will tell you if these investments are worth the money.
  4. Mobile Overview- As the number of visitors from tablets and smart phones increase, it is important to understand how much traffic is coming from a mobile device.  This information is going up across the board, but you might be surprised to learn that 25% of all healthcare related website traffic is coming from mobile devices.  If you are seeing a significant amount of traffic coming from mobile devices, this will drive home the importance of having a mobile site built with responsive design.
  5. Geographical Location – If you know that you want to geographically target certain areas with SEO, do you know which cities, and do you know how to track your success?  Google Analytics also tracks where website visitors are physically located and reports that information.  For a dentist, they may want to create a tighter geographical area to target, while a plastic surgeon may want to create a much larger reach just based upon the nature of their medical practices.  While people may be willing to travel further for plastic surgery, the same may not be true for dentistry.  If you are a dentist that finds a significant amount of your website traffic is coming from surrounding cities, and you’re not seeing an increase in patients, it may be time to reassess your marketing strategy.

While Google Analytics offers much more data to comb through, these five basic examples of additional data can give you a great perspective on your current medical marketing strategy, and the additional data could lead you to even manipulate your current strategy.  Paying close attention to these additional factors will help you to attract potential patients that are much more likely to convert once they reach your medical practice website.

If you don’t know if your current medical marketing strategy is working to the best of its ability, or if you are looking for someone to manage the massive amount of data that is generated by analytics tools, give Omni Medical Marketing a call.  Our team of trained marketing professionals can help you to analyze the data to determine what things you may be doing right, and what things you may not be doing as well.

Call 800-549-0170.

The biggest mistake to avoid while choosing a medical website designer

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The biggest step to avoid when hiring a medical website designer is pretty simple. Let your marketing company help choose your designer. While there are numerous developers and designers who do amazing work, very few take into consideration your return on investment. Sure they are capable of building an amazing looking site, but does it convert? Does it drive in the additional patients your practice needs every month? How many medical practices has this website designer worked with? Do they understand exactly what people seeking top notch medical care are looking for and what pushes their buttons to make an appointment to see you?

There are many companies out there that do very good work for plumbers, bakeries, schools and law firms for example, but do they know how to build a website that will drive traffic to your site and increase website conversion?

Often times, medical practices get caught up in the look of the website.  While this is certainly important, it is not as important as building a plan to drive traffic to the site. By combining both a preliminary marketing strategy and a world-class medical website design, medical practices can enjoy the benefits of a great looking website that converts leads into appointments.

Each and every month, a medical professional will call us after having invested a large amount of money on a complete website design.  Despite the large intial investment, months or years can go by and the website may still not generate and convert any potential patients to your practice.  This triggers the call to us.  When we review the work that was done by a previous medical website designer, we often find that many of the best practice’s for lead conversion are either done incorrectly or missing completely.  We find issues from lacking a mobile-friendly version, lacking a call to action, hidden contact information, or other serious best practice flaws that lead to lost website traffic.

There’s no doubt that our In-House Medical SEO Team can increase the traffic to a previously designed website that doesn’t focus on marketing, but will it ever reach a return on total investment that will overcome the large initial investment of a website design?  Possibly, but it leaves us with two options.  Either we turn away the business because it may never reach the potential we work so hard to achieve, or we tell the client that they have wasted a large amount of money on a website design that can’t be marketed to its full potential.  We would prefer to not have to choose from either of these options.

Building a medical website right the first time will save you money.