Your Complete Online Solution.

Medical Marketing Blog

What To Do Now That You Have Great, Unique Content

by

So you invested the time and/or money into creating wonderful, unique content. The content is thorough enough to fully explain the product or service you’re offering, but not so long that it gets away from the point of the page. It doesn’t aim to deceive either the user or the search engines crawling it. It promotes natural engagement and it stands out from content provided by others in your niche. If you have all of those boxes checked, you’re already way ahead of the game.

However, website content is not something you can “set and forget”. Just like a good blog needs a steady stream of new pieces to be read and absorbed, product and service content is at it’s best when it’s continually updated and refreshed. Search engines have no reason to recrawl your page if they find the same content every time they come back.

Reformat Content: In some cases, the content you already have can be improved upon or explained further by recreating it in another format. If the content currently looks like a wall of words, explore ideas for how to use the same information in an infographic or another form of visual. Breaking up content with an explanatory image or presenting statistics on a neatly designed graph can help drive home your message.

Another way to present content is with videos. Something as simple as a YouTube video of a person talking through the product or service and it’s benefits can reach a wider audience than by just having written content.

Sometimes it’s as simple as rearranging the content on the page. Move a few paragraphs around and rewrite any transitional sentences and see how it reads. Even that is enough to draw the search crawlers back to your page.

Listen To Customers: If you interact with your customers on a routine basis, start to take note about what questions you’re commonly asked and adjust your content to emphasize those questions and answers. If the people that come into your business are asking certain questions frequently, that’s a good indication others are wondering the same thing.

Say for instance you’ve had multiple people ask you for more information about the recovery process for a certain medical procedure. That’s a good opportunity to expand upon the content you have for that procedure by going into more detail about the recovery process. Adding a few sentences here and there, especially for topics you know are on customer’s minds, is a great way to refresh your content while helping the user find the answers they’re looking for.

Be Creative: If you have an idea for a way to present some form of content to the user, don’t be afraid to try it! As long as you don’t intend to mislead the search engines or users, trying something new won’t have a negative impact on your website. Keep your experimental changes on a small scale at first to see if it catches on. Try just one page to start and expand if you notice positive gains.

Let Us Handle It For You: Creating and maintaining great content is a time-intensive task and has overwhelmed more than a handful of medical practices. If you want to just sit back and let us take care of it for you, or if you simply want more information about medical content marketing, get in touch with us today.

 

Re-sizing Website Images for Mobile Users With Minimum Bandwidth Usage

by

With the advent of smart phones, tablets and other mobile-friendly devices the web is increasingly being viewed at a wide range of varying screen sizes. Whereas 5+ years ago the web was almost solely viewed through desktop computer screens and similarly sized laptops, the web is now increasingly viewed on devices that range from large desktop computer monitors to palm-sized smartphone screens. Recent statistics show that mobile devices make up 60% off all online traffic*.

CSS allows us to tell browsers at what width to display an image for optimal viewing based on the user’s device/screen width. However this does nothing to eliminate the fact that mobile devices will still be loading up a version of the image much larger than is needed and then re-sizing it. Leading to unnecessary bandwidth/data usage and bloat that can hinder many mobile user’s experience on a website.

How can we make sure that images on our sites are optimized and view-able for every visitor to our websites, no matter what device they are using while keeping the amount of data/bandwidth used to a minimum?

Adaptive Images

Our chosen solution is Adaptive Images, by Matt Wilcox.

A mostly server-side solution that uses a little JavaScript, the Apache 2 Web Server, PHP 5.x and the GD library. Installation only requires you modify or add an .htaccess file, installation of some PHP files to your website’s root directory, one line of JavaScript on your pages and some configuration of breakpoint variables in the PHP files to match your site’s media queries.

That’s all. Now when someone visits your website a session cookie is written that stores the visitor’s screen size in pixel dimension. Adaptive Images then intercepts any request for an image made by the browser and re-sizes the image based on the data of the session cookie to best fit the visitor’s screen width automatically. This newly created image size is cached and stored in an ai-cache file and displayed in the browser. This is all done server-side, reducing the bandwidth/data required for mobile user’s to view each image. If no cookie is found your sites responsive media queries are used to determine screen width.

This can all be implemented with no custom markup on any of your img tags. Making this solution extremely beneficial if you use a CMS or want to include it for existing markup as it is entirely non-destructive and requires no markup rewrite or modification.

The PHP file also allows for configuration of options such as image quality, breakpoints, caching a sharpening filter.

PROS:

  • Requires no custom markup
  • Works on existing sites
  • Mobile-first structure
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Meant for use with responsive design and fluid image techniques

CONS:

  • May not work with all CMS and website platforms due to the fact that it requires a combination of Apache and PHP
  • Works by intercepting image requests, so if your images are hosted elsewhere, like a content delivery service, it won’t work

This is the solution we have chosen and currently implement but there are many others that may be of use for this or different situations.

Some Other Solutions:

Picturefill

Picturefill, by Scott Jehl is a script that doesn’t require jQuery but only the picturefill.js script be included in your pages. Then include separate versions of an image optimized for different screen widths and differentiate the image versions with data-media attributes that will act just like CSS media queries.

Picturefill is a tried and true solution. However it is a bit more work as it requires multiple sizes of images and special markup that may interfere with current markup or your CMS.

HiSRC

HiSRC is a jQuery plugin by, Marc Grabanski and Christopher Schmitt that enables you to create three separate version of an image in low, medium and high resolutions that the script will then serve up depending on the Retina-readiness and network speed of the user’s device. The script will always load the lowest resolution version first and then check to see if the user’s device is appropriate for a higher resolution image, and if so it will serve up the highest resolution version appropriate.

Some drawbacks are the fact that the script uses jQuery which may be an issue for some and requires special markup that may interfere with a CMS that does not allow modification to the <img> tags.

The <picture> Element

The html5 <picture> element allows developers to skip CSS, JavaScript or solutions like those listed above to achieve fluid image re-sizing using minimum bandwidth no matter the user’s device size. By placing multiple images inside <source> tags with media queries or “hints” within your <picture> tags you can tell your browser which size image to display based on the user’s screen width or other elements using only HTML, no CSS, JavaScript or anything else required.

While this solution is the most attractive it has severe limitations at the moment as it is recognized by only a fraction of browsers. So until it receives native implementation across all browsers it is not really a viable option when serving up a large variety of visitors.

*Major Mobile Milestones in May: Apps Now Drive Half of All Time Spent on Digital

Is Outsourcing Your Medical Website Design Right for Your Practice?

by

The world has gotten much smaller over the last 10 years and will continue to do so. Unlike many professions, the market is worldwide for website developers. Due to hourly wages being far less in other countries than in the US many people consider outsourcing their medical practices website design, development, marketing, SEO and social media to people all over the world. While this may seem like a great way to save money, and for some it can be, for others it could cost you much more than you had bargained for. I have listed out some of the pros and the cons of engaging in this type of relationship. Ultimately the decision is up to you but when armed with information, selecting the best medical website builder will be much easier.

Medical Website Design Costs

In third world nations some website designers and developers literally work for $3 per hour — I’m not kidding.  This should be a huge red flag. Even though $3 per hour may be a good wage in their country, it’s still way below world market value. Developers charging $50 per hour are still getting plenty of work on worldwide outsourcing sites like Elance and Upwork.

Freelancers often do not have the overhead many agencies have which does mean there can be hourly savings but it may not be worth the amount of extra time you will need to put into the project. Remember your time has to be calculated into the total cost of the project. If you make $200 per hour and a project takes 50 additional hours of your time you have to add $10,000 to the total project cost. Saving can be eliminated right here making you wish you had not used a freelancer.

Time of Project Completion

As mentioned above your time involved in the website design and development process needs to be factored. The total competition time should be factored in as well, meaning how many patients will you lose waiting for your new site and marketing? If you currently do not have a responsive website for your medical practice you are ignoring 50 percent of the people looking at your website. Fifty percent of medical website traffic from SEO and PPC marketing are using mobile phone and tablets. If you are planning on optimizing your practice’s site for the keywords people use to find your marketing, waiting for the project to finish is costing you time and money. Every month we have doctors calling us because the outsourced company they used still has not delivered the final product. Not only have the lost money, time, and patients, they now have to start from scratch.

Experience

Most freelancers will take any type of project they can get their hands on. Marketing your medical practice website is not the same as marketing any other type of business.  HIPPA, patient behavior, content and conversions are all very different for medical websites. Not to mention specialty. All we do is medical, we understand the legal issues, we understand SEO for plastic surgeons and all other types of specialties. Since all we do is medical we are able to save our clients time, money and provide better marketing results to help you build your practice.

Communication Issues

We pride ourselves on being available. Without being able to speak directly to the people working on your site, communication will suffer. Communication is one of the often left out elements of a great partnership. If you are still considering outsourcing be sure to consider communication a need during your decision making process.

Marketing Your Medical Practice

Experience comes into play here. While great SEO companies can do a good job of marketing your practice there will be a learning curve for them. Whenever you are marketing a business online you need to become an expert in marketing that type of business.  A great deal of the time we put into SEO for doctors is researching. Since we only have to research medical related SEO and PPC we save time across all projects. This saves time and delivers better results. If a lawyer were to sign up with us we would invest time every month to see what lawyers are doing to market themselves online. It doesn’t seem that bad but mix in a dozen other types of businesses and you can see how little client work time is left.

As you can imagine there are many factors to consider. If you believe in keeping your hard earned dollars in the US whenever possible also be sure to check to see if the big name medical website company is sending your work overseas. We know some of our competition does this. While it makes sense for their bottom line it may hurt your outcome. We never send our work overseas, we are proud to have the best medical website design and development team on the planet working right here in our office.

5 Simple Tips for Monitoring Your Medical Practice Reputation Online

by

Don’t Ignore Reviews

When patients leave reviews on directory sites be proactive. Read the comments and see what patients are saying. Comments can provide great feedback and by listening to feedback you may get more patients. Reviews do not always tell the whole story, but it can give you a glimpse of someone’s experience. Reading each review posted does take some time. But keep in mind, hundreds of thousands of dollars are lost each day because of false, erroneous or misleading search engine results. Whether the negative listings are from a competitor, a disgruntled former employee, or a former client, the impact can be devastating to your online reputation, costing you potential new clients and referrals.

Listen

After reading a review see if you can get something out of it. Can you change your behavior for the better based on the comment? Listening to constructive criticism can help the practice and benefit your reputation. Not taking the full review as only truth, but listening to what the patient is saying can help your practice in the future.

Encourage Positive Reviews

Once you meet with a patient give them a flyer or review card asking to leave a review. Asking to leave a review shows you value their opinions making them feel like their voices are being heard and are value. When you encourage positive reviews from your patients, you will get more results. Thus, moving any negative reviews further down the page. Also, if you have 3 negative reviews, and 110 positive reviews, the negative reviews become obsolete.

Make Your Website Personal

When patients leave the practice there needs to be a way for them to connect and feel like they have a connection to their doctors. Create a blog featuring patient successes, add pictures to your site, and find ways to make patients feel like the office is a friendly environment that they have a connection to. This will generate positive feelings, therefore positive reviews. Make social media easily accessible for your patients to brag about you.

Never Go Negative

No matter how negative a review may be, do not comment something that can start an argument on a post. Starting an argument on the internet will do harm to your reputation. Respond politely to the review and see what you can do to please the patient. Finding the negative review immediately will help with the relationship between patient and doctor.

Our Medical Reputation Management and Social Media Marketing packages go hand in hand. Based on your individual situation, we tailor a course of action specific to your needs. Whether that involves repairing your reputation, removing erroneous reviews from the search results, or simply providing ongoing monitoring.

Contact Omni Medical Marketing to get a customized proposal for medical reputation management for your doctors or your medical practice.

Dr. Robert S. Reiffel Launches Newly Designed Plastic Surgery Website

by

We are pleased to be working with our new client Dr. Reiffel, a board certified plastic surgeon located in White Plains NY.

Prior to working with Omni, Dr. Reiffel did not have a responsive website. Today nearly 50 percent of patients seeking plastic surgery are using mobile devices to view the website of their potential doctors.

ArtisticPlasticSurgeryNY.com - Before

ArtisticPlasticSurgeryNY.com – Before

During the design process Dr. Reiffel provided feedback in regards to look and feel, and in addition he hand selected each stock photo used on the site. Now people looking for a plastic surgeon in White Plains, NY will have the opportunity to view Dr. Reiffel’s site on all types of devices.

ArtisticPlasticSurgeryNY.com - After

ArtisticPlasticSurgeryNY.com – After

Our expertise in marketing websites using plastic surgeon SEO and social media marketing means more people than ever will hear about this great surgeon.

Welcome on board, Dr. Reiffel!

Why Your Medical Practice Should Excel in Social Media

by

Patients have come to expect unprecedented access to their physicians, especially through technology-based means; a large part of that is social media. However, many physicians are leery of paddling into uncharted waters that have the potential to open them up to legal risk and possibly blemish their reputation. Yet refusing to embrace social media could ultimately harm your practice. Younger tech-savvy patients expect to see their physicians online. If they don’t, they may choose to leave your practice for one that has a more robust online presence.

One of the best reasons for using social media is that you can reach your patients where they are increasingly active — online. Smartphones and other mobile devices are omnipresent, and, in one sense, just a more sophisticated vehicle for word-of-mouth marketing. Patients continue to ask each other for the name of a good pediatrician or family doctor, but now they are doing that online.

SOCIAL MEDIA DO’S

Once you decide to plunge into social media, make sure you develop a plan. As with any worthwhile endeavor, it helps to have a playbook. Here are just a few factors you should consider first:

  • Identify your goals. The first step to creating an online presence should be to define your social media goals as a practice.
  • Find your ideal patient.
  • Make it fun. Make the learning process fun to remove some of the perceived drudgery of yet more administrative work.
  • Set a time commitment. Another hurdle that practices worry about is the time commitment they will have to make to their social media efforts. Busy physicians barely have time to see patients, let alone contribute to social media platforms on a regular basis.

SOCIAL MEDIA DON’TS

Many physicians are unreasonably afraid of establishing a social media presence online. As long as physicians keep common-sense tenets in mind, like not posting protected health information (PHI), they’ll be fine.

However, there are a few social media pitfalls that physicians should be on the lookout for. Here are some things to be mindful of:

  • Guard against HIPAA violations. It is important to protect your practice and patients against HIPAA violations. Your “office policy” should dictate that staff are not to comment about patients or office-related matters on their personal social media accounts.
  • Don’t blur professional and personal profiles. Physicians should never combine personal and professional social media accounts. They should be kept strictly separate.
  • Never give specific medical advice online. It is best to direct patients to call the office if they wish to speak with a physician.
  • Don’t acknowledge a physician-patient relationship. Another pitfall that physicians need to be aware of is acknowledging online that a person is their patient. Simply acknowledging that somebody is your particular patient can create a HIPAA issue

If you don’t have the time or inclination to manage a social media campaign, Omni Medical Marketing is here to help. We can get you setup correctly, sync your social sites, provide valuable content related to your vertical, and distribute your content on multiple platforms to manage your reputation and build your brand.

Contact Omni Medical Marketing if you are interested in getting started with Social Media Marketing.

Do it Yourself SEO for Plastic Surgery?

by

While every medical practice should be optimizing their website to encourage more traffic, plastic surgery related search terms remain the most difficult to rank for.  Because ranking plastic surgery websites on Google is much more difficult than other types of medical specialties, some may choose to do it on their own. Providing outstanding medical marketing solutions for our clients requires two major components, the first being knowledge, the second being hard work. Without staying on top of trends and search engine algorithm changes, our client’s competitors, and local markets, the second requirement would mean very little.

If you have more time than money and want to market your practice online here are the top blogs to keep an eye on. Some articles on these blogs/sites are certainly more valuable than others, however most of the latest information is valuable.

Google’s Blog

Working to market medical practices nationwide we need to mimic what Google tells us to do. Trying to manipulate Google will only get you in trouble. Never use any link-building platforms or software. Never sub out SEO work overseas and never buy cheap SEO services with huge promises. Stick with what Google tells you to do. The results will never be instant but they will be sustainable.

The Omni Blog

We constantly add recent content which is typically specific to medical practice SEO, social media marketing, reputation management and website design. Am I only self-promoting by recommending this blog? No, even though that is one reason we do blog. I recommend this because our blog is written specific for doctors wanting to increase their reach online in their quest to increase the amount of new patients they see. Reading what is specific to medical website marketing will benefit you greatly.

The Moz Blog

We not only subscribe to Moz’s services, we also read their blog daily. Moz is one of the most trusted SEO companies out there. While they do not offer SEO services they certainly offer a ton of great information for free. While you do need to pay for their reporting and analytics tools their blog is open for anyone to read. You won’t find anything specific to your practice however most of the information will apply to any type of medical website marketing plan.

SearchEngineLand

This site is very different than Moz in that it’s much more focused on online marketing news. While there are some amazing articles that you can use to build your practice I recommend treading lightly. Not everything you read will be useful, and in my opinion some may even be harmful. Remember, always do what Google tells you to do. If it seems a bit risky or doesn’t feel right, move on.

Going it alone can often lead to lackluster results and countless hours of trial and error. Some money will be spent each month on monitoring tools such as the Moz suite, so this is something you need to factor in your decision. If you do go it alone stay on top of it every week. Remember hard work is important but making sure you know the correct actions to take will increase your chances of success.

If you know this is all way too time consuming and requires more time than you can dedicate, we would love the opportunity to earn your business and be a part of you and your practice seeing more patients for the years to come.

Medical Practice Responsive Design in Simple, Non-Tech Talk

by

Why responsive website design?

Over the last several years smartphone and tablet use has grown by amazing numbers. By the end of 2015, over 200 million people in the United States will be using smart phones. Just over half of all website traffic including medical practice traffic comes from handheld devices. I assume most of you own a smartphone, in fact I know more than half of you are using your phone to read this blog on our responsive website. While smart phones still call people and text they have become the popular convenient way to view website content. In the busy life most of us Americans live we need to multi-task, and smart phones are the No. 1 multi-tasking tool. It’s difficult to have a desktop on front of us when we are in line at the bank, stuck waiting in airports or waiting for a game or practice to begin. What about waiting in the doctor’s office? We know 70 percent of patients are using the internet to find their doctor, how many of them are now in your  waiting room, smartphone in hand, browsing the internet when their name is called?

As you know mobile devices come in all shapes in sizes. As well laptops and desktops have many size screen options, all the way from 8 inches up to 32 inch monitors. This is the exact reason your medical practice needs a responsive website and great search marketing to drive traffic to it.

Responsive websites when developed properly automatically adapt to the screen size the person is using, providing the most easy to use and read format possible.  Sometimes depending on the size of the mobile phone people are using to view a website, columns may need to become rows, the drop down menu needs to be formatted with larger font. Pictures and videos need to load in a smaller size along with videos so people see the whole picture not just a part of it. How does this all work? We simply create different layouts for different devices. Each layout is served when the website recognizes the size of the screen the user is on.

How long have responsive sites been around? Are they here to stay?

We started developing responsive websites for our plastic surgery clients over four years ago. Plastic surgeons work within an extremely competitive field. Being aggressive in nature plastic surgeons demanded the best possible website and SEO/social media solution for their practice. When we started less than a few percent of people were using smartphones and tablets to find a doctor, as mentioned above that number has grown to nearly 50%.  Within the last few years with changes in the way people find their doctor more and more practices have gone or plan to go responsive. Google has made significant algorithm changes, if you do not have a mobile friendly site people, even your own patients will not find you online. Because responsive websites adapt to the screen size of the device and not the actually make or brand of the device they will be here for some time. I would like to say responsive will be used for ten plus years however new technologies combined with people’s habits may change that.

What about a separate mobile website for my practice?

One of competitors pushed separate mobile sites for a very long time, in fact I believe they still do. A separate mobile site means you have one site for desktops and one for hand held devices. Google puts out recommendations on how sites are built to rank high. Google make it very clear, Responsive is what they recommend. We strongly discourage using a separate mobile site. It may seem tempting as it will save you some money upfront however it will cost you far greater in the future

How can I tell if my site is responsive?

We have set up a free responsive website tester, its free and simple to use you can click here, enter your site address and off you go.

Omni Medical Marketing is the pioneer in responsive medical website design and development. For a free no obligation website analysis call (720) 549-9222 or email us at contact@omnimedicalmarketing.com

3 Reasons Your Medical Practice Needs a Blog

by

You have worked hard putting together great information for your medical practice website — don’t let that go to waste.

If no one ever sees your content because your website is not visible to those looking for your specialty and services all of your hard work and money isn’t  reaching its full potential.

As many of you know, more than 70 percent of people use search engines such as Google to find medical practices online. Adding a blog is a great way to gain more reach, showcasing your practice to those in need of your services. Here are the top 3 benefits of having a great blog on your website.

  1. Relationship building –

A blog allows you to constantly add content to your website without re-working each individual page. Blogs do not require the same effort, editing and polish as a page on your practices website does. Blogs allow you to show “bed side manner” writing in simple, plain English allows you to avoid medical terms speaking directly to the patient. When someone visits your site and views your blog it builds trust. Trust is the foundation of all relationships and extremely important for your patients and potential patients to feel.

Blogs also allow you to write about anything you wish to share. If you are a dermatologist  practice seeking new patients for example, you can write about a baseball game you attended connecting that with need for little league players to use sunscreen. Yesterday I read an article on the local news, a sad story of a 7 year old getting bit on the face by a dog. A plastic surgeon seeking new patients marketing online could write about this story and the steps to take in order to minimize scaring.  Writing a blog once or twice per week can do wonders for your medical practice, in addition it can give you a chance to share your  expertise with patients in your own voice.

  1. “SEO for your medical practice”

Optimizing your website for Google, Yahoo and Bing is critical. Having a great website for your medical practice is one thing, making sure people can find is even more important. Blogging builds content people can share. Content marketing involves making sure your content is all over the web with links form varies people and websites posting and sharing your website. Blog examples like the ones above are the types of articles people will share with their friends and possible on their website.

The more websites and people that share your websites blog the better your practice will rank in search engines. Google wants to send people to the most relevant websites when people use its search engine. They use many factors on determining what sites to send people to. A great blog can put a check in the box for two of Google’s biggest requirements. 1. Relative, unique content and 2.  Social/ Link signals ( people/websites sharing your content). Write content that is unique, interesting, put it in a sharable format and publish it for people to find. Not only will you be building relationships and helping people you will be marketing your practice for new patients to find you.

  1. Social media for your medical practice.

Social media is one more way people will find you online. People constantly look at the social media accounts of practices they are considering booking and appointment with. Patient loyalty is at an all-time low. As many of you are aware social media is critical if you want to see more new patients and keep the ones you have. The problem many face when trying to maintain social media campaigns is a lack of good information to post. There is no better, more effective solution than posting your own original content. Creating 4 blogs per month gives you four great social media posts per month. Post each blog to twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and LinkedIn and you have your great medical content being published 16 times per month! Without any sharing you have built 16 quality links/ social citations for Google to pick up when they index websites.

The way people find medical practices has changed. Word of mouth is still out there but its online in social networks. Referrals are still provide but more come from Google than someone primary care doctor. Omni Medical Marketing handles each and every element of your practices digital needs. Starting from medical practice website design, SEO/content marketing, social media management and reputation management we have you covered. To speak with a consultant or to receive a free digital marketing analysis for your practice contact us today.

Medical Practice Mobile Website Doomsday Coming April 21st?

by

As many of you know more and more users are using smart phones and tablets to view your medical practice website. In fact our statistics show that roughly 50 percent of all medical website traffic is coming from mobile devices, with roughly the same number coming from desktop/laptop users.

Google has finally made an official announcement regarding their changes when it comes to mobile search. Starting April 21, Google will provide a higher rankings to those websites offering a great mobile experience. Why April 21st? Google is providing time for website owners who do not have a mobile site to get there site in tip top shape.

What does this mean for you?

If you currently have a responsive medical website, great! You will see better search results than those who do not have one.

If you do not, I suggest looking into upgrading quickly! Not only will a responsive site look better to your patients, it will look better to Google as well. Looking better to Google means more people will find you when they are looking for your services and specialty.

Here at Omni Medical Marketing we stay ahead of the coming trends. Thinking like Google helps us provide the absolute best digital marketing solutions to our clients. We started responsive before anyone else in medical practice and plastic surgery website design.  Take a look at what I wrote several months ago, well before Google’s big announcement.

If your current site isn’t mobile friendly call us today. We will be glad to listen to your needs and put together a proposal that is best for you and your practice.