The Omni Advantage

The Omni Advantage is simple – we provide the services our clients want, nothing more and nothing less. Not every market is the same, not every medical practice, bariatric surgeon, plastic surgeon, otolaryngologist, etc. is the same. Why should online marketing companies only offer you one package without understanding your needs and desires?

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What is the difference between White Hat and Black Hat SEO?

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This is a great question that leads to a lot of different explanations.  More now than ever, the line that is drawn between white hat and black hat SEO is growing wider.  With the inherent difficulties associated with marketing medical websites, some companies are tempted to blur that line.  While you always hear that black-hat SEO is a horrible way to achieve long-term results, it really comes down to what you see as black-hat, what you see as white-hat, and how broadly you draw the line between them.

Each medical marketing company can have a very different view of what is black-hat, and what is white-hat.  Of course, when it comes to acquiring new clients, every company claims to use only white-hat techniques.  No one wants to admit to using risky techniques that directly go against Google’s best practices.  This can lead some to hide their efforts behind the facade of white-hat SEO, while also taking very big risks with the site to show a large initial improvement.  This blog will lay out the agreed upon differences between the two medical marketing strategies, but will also offer a world of grey.  A world where risks are taken and skirt the edge between right and wrong to deliver results.

What is White-Hat SEO?

As you might infer, white-hat SEO offers a strategy that adheres closely to Google’s best practices and standards.  The main focus is through promoting the website through more traditional PR methods, and typically requires more work on behalf of a medical marketing agency.  This method involves a constant attention to the ever-changing search engine environment to ensure that every approved method possible is being done to get a website noticed within search engines.  Especially true for new medical websites, white-hat SEO typically takes more time for a website to rank, because it relies on word-of-mouth and creative content.  The website has to be noticed and shared before it starts to see a return on investment.

Every medical marketing company claims to use white-hat SEO, but quite frankly, there’s much more grey involved than anyone wants to admit.  After all, we’re all trying to get a website ranked for competitive keywords quickly, which inherently goes against what Google is trying to achieve.  We all want to deliver high-traffic keywords quickly to please the client, and hopefully have more time to do things the right way.  With each marketing company trying to improve your rankings faster than their competitors, it can be tempting to move closer to the middle of the road.  In the long-run, sticking closely to Google’s best practices will deliver the best long-term results, but it does typically take more time to show positive results.

What is Black-Hat SEO?

In general, black-hat SEO is the use of any technique that does not comply with Google’s best practices.  It involves using a strategy that is either devalued, or actually penalized by Google to achieve quick results.  It’s the idea that it’s only wrong if you get caught.  For medical websites that don’t get caught, it can be a quick way to improve search engine rankings and often leads to a medical professional applauding the efforts of their SEO company early on.  Some agreed upon black-hat methods are site-wide footer links, purchased back-links, and keyword dumping.  While these methods have been hit hard in recent years, these methods are still being used to this day to improve search engine rankings.  Why would anyone use a tactic that has been directly penalized by search engines?  It’s simple really, sometimes they actually work.  The question any medical professional should ask themselves is, “Can I afford to lose my rankings overnight?”  This has happened, and will continue to happen, as long as companies are willing to take the big risks.  But is it a medical marketing company’s right to take risks with your medical practice?

If you’re willing to take a big risk with your success, and by risk I mean potentially never recovering from a Google penalty, then using any and all methods available can offer some short-term success.  The main problem with black-hat SEO is that medical professionals are rarely aware of the risks that are being taken with their overall success, and by the time they find out, it might be too late.  An all too often example at black-hat SEO is link-wheels.  This is where a medical marketing company decides to link all of their client’s sites together without actually notifying their clients.  This is done through hidden pages on their site that are a laundry list of clients with links going out to other websites.  While this can give a medical practice a boost early on, the long-term ramifications can be severe.  Not only is Google looking to penalize these “link-wheels,” but if a potential client found this page, would you want them to see a list of your competitors on your medical practice website?  As you can see, black-hat can be more than just taking risks.  Attempting to hide black hat SEO practices behind a veil of white hat SEO can actually be dishonest and unethical.

The Evolution of Grey SEO

While any marketing director will tell you that Google provides what it considers black-hat SEO techniques, they tend to move the field goal posts when search engine results no longer deliver valuable content.  For example, up until late 2011, footer links were a great way to add value to your site.  With a number of updates since, sites that use site-wide footer links have been penalized severely for the practice and are now struggling to recover.  While we don’t know what the next target will be, we can certainly make assumptions as to where search engines are heading.  Finding a good SEO company can be as simple as finding the company that has the most logical forward-thinking strategy.  That is to say, medical marketing companies should be taking calculated risks to deliver results.  The most important step though, that often gets skipped, is honest communication.  Any good medical marketing plan, black, white, or grey, will include an honest discussion with those who have the most to lose; the medical professional.  Is black-hat SEO the use of risky techniques to increase ranking, or is it an overall dishonesty that makes a strategy black-hat?  Anyone who has done medical marketing for any length of time knows what risks are necessary to meet the desired goal, but taking large risks with the success of your medical practice, without having you on board, is the worst of the worst when it comes to black-hat techniques.  Grey SEO is willing to take risks to achieve results, but it should never be without transparency with a client.  

So what does this all mean for your medical practice?

At Omni Medical Marketing, we understand the importance of achieving rankings quickly.  More importantly, we understand and have seen the impact that penalties from Google can have on the overall success of a medical practice.  It’s important to know that white-hat SEO is always the best bet for long-term success.  Occasionally, we all want to drift closer to the line, and even blur the line, when the pressure is on to deliver results more quickly.  However you decide to conduct your medical marketing strategy, the most important thing is that you stay informed on the risks you or your medical marketing company are taking.  Slow and steady (Following Google’s guidelines) wins the race in the long run, but if you want to lead laps in the meantime, sometimes you have to take calculated risks.  When it comes to the riskiest of black-hat strategies, make sure you can afford to crash and burn.  Trial and error can be a big part of an ever-evolving medical marketing plan, but it should never compromise the professionalism of your medical website design and medical practice.

Perhaps we should just throw out the terms altogether.  At the end of the day, we all want to see search engine gains, we just have a different way of achieving them.  Perhaps instead, we should break it down to honest and dishonest SEO practices.  At least in this case, it leave less room for grey.

If you want to learn more about SEO for medical practices, and our personal commitment to an honest SEO strategy, give us a call.

Call 800-549-0170.

Blaze Your Own SEO Path to Success

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Creating a well-planned medical marketing strategy can come with its own set of challenges.  With the importance of social media marketing and Google reviews growing, there are certain medical fields that are at a distinct disadvantage.  For example, a plastic surgeon is going to have a much more difficult time getting patients to post public messages or reviews that are directly tied to their personal social media accounts.  This can cause an overreaction by focusing too much on what the competition is doing.

The most important thing to remember when planning a medical marketing strategy is, don’t get caught up in what the competition is doing.  While it’s tempting to duplicate the efforts of the competitor that may be ranked #1 for a target keyword, this is never going to yield the results that you really want.  Your new medical website design is unique, and it will have a very different set of circumstances.  The strategies that are implemented by your competition are unique to their circumstances and won’t always work for you.

While there are tried and true methods to medical marketing, taking your practice to the next level can be a difficult task that may involve trial and error.  In many ways, the ever-changing Google algorithm can make it seem like each site is being held to a different standard.  In all reality, this is absolutely the case.  While some sites have been penalized severely for “Black-Hat SEO” techniques, it seems as though others have flown under the radar.  For example, many sites were penalized in 2012 for a large number of footer links.  These are links that exist at the bottom of your site and are on every page of your site.  With a little digging, you may find that your competition has a large number of footer links, but they seem to rank well for every keyword.  Whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of doing what they’re doing.  Chances are, you’ll be hit right away with a Google penalty and essentially have to go into recovery mode.  This isn’t fun for anyone, and your website traffic will suffer.

Avoid the war, and be patient

Your first reaction may be to want to report the competitor site for using “Black-Hat SEO” techniques to leap to the 1st position, but you should avoid this too.  No need in starting a search-engine war with your competition.  In due time, doing the right things will pay off.    As your medical website design reflects the level of professionalism that you want your medical practice to represent, so too should your medical marketing strategy.  While it may take time for Google to catch your competition using negative SEO techniques, penalties can go as far as de-indexing the entire site from search engines.  By penalizing your competition, guess who’s next in line to take their spot at the top of search engine rankings.  Most importantly, if you manage to stay above the fold in your medical marketing strategy, you won’t have to worry about losing the #1 spot anytime soon.  You got there the right way, and you don’t have to worry about Google updates raining on your parade.

Competitive SEO Analysis

While there is no doubt that you want to avoid duplicating your competition’s marketing strategy, understanding their strategy can be very beneficial.  For example, how are they building links?  Are they using paid listings or Pay-Per-Click marketing?  Knowing what your competition is doing can help you to counter their strategy, and it can also give you a heads up if a Google penalty is heading their way.  In some cases, you may even see where they are building their links and see if you can get a link or two from the same sites.  However, you don’t want to duplicate their link profile either.  Again, your site is different from their site, and your marketing approach should be unique to your goals and circumstances.

Position yourself to win

I can’t stress enough how important it is to do the right things early.  When you begin to develop a medical marketing strategy, you’re essentially building the foundation that will support the overall structure over time.  It’s the difference between building your castle on stone or sand.

If you are interested in building a winning SEO strategy, Contact Omni Medical Marketing today.

Call (800)549-0170

Is your medical website part of a link wheel?

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For many of you, your first question will be “What is a link wheel?”

In short, a link wheel is to create a pattern of links which flow from one website to another which would finally link to a targeted website for the benefit of promotion.  That is to say that building quality links can be a time consuming task, and by building out a link wheel consisting of sites you control, it’s essentially taking a short-cut.  What’s astonishing is that most medical practices don’t know that their medical marketing firm is even adding these pages to their site for the purpose of link-building.

Google has said time and time again that building link wheels will hurt your own online marketing efforts in regards to SEO.  While passing a link from your site to another may be a good thing if you are referring or recommending another practice or company, doing so for the sole purpose of gaining higher rankings could significantly impact your rankings in a negative way, if and when Google catches on ( and they will).  It’s also important to note, that if you don’t know the page is there and a potential patient finds it, what links will they actually find?  Will they find links to your competitors?  While it seems hard to believe, this actually happens more often than you would think.

How do I know if my site is part of a link wheel?

For some it may be easy; we found a large number of plastic surgeon websites designed and built with a page called “resources” . For these sites you can usually enter your URL this way to land on this page. “”. Once you find this page, you’ll be able to see a number of outbound links to other medical practices and related websites.  For others we need to do a little more digging to find these pages that are often buried within the site structure. At no cost, we can research this for you to see if there is a hidden page on your site that you may not even know about.   Just shoot us an email with your website name and we will let you know the results (

What can I do if my website is part of a link wheel ?

First, ask your provider to take the page down and request in writing an agreement that they will not link to any other websites without your permission. For some, your provider may have included permissions in your contract for them to add links. This will obviously make removing links difficult and you may have to wait till your agreement expires in order to remove the links.

There is a right way and a wrong way to optimize a website for rankings. Easy come, easy go applies. We have witnessed many of our competitor’s client sites drop significantly in the rankings over the last year, mostly due to Google’s SEO updates. If a medical practice SEO company is using spammy links or links wheels, someone is going to get burned.  In these cases it is always the clients and not the SEO company.

Call 800-549-0170.

Are your medical website visits up? Do you know why?

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In the medical marketing field, it’s easy to ignore your website when your traffic is up significantly.  While we spend most of our time addressing our site when traffic is performing below expectation, it can be equally important to focus on your site’s productivity during the good times.  What have you done recently to make traffic go up?  Have you tried a new SEO strategy?  Are you just coming out of the holidays when traffic generally slumps?  These are all important questions to ask when enjoying a spike in traffic volume.

I know, you spend so much time on your site to improve it, you just want to put it on the back-burner for a while and enjoy the current success.  Here are 3 reasons why it’s so important to know why your traffic is up, just as you want to know why your traffic is down.

SEO Updates Take Time to Manifest

If you’re heading up your own search engine optimization, making changes to the site will take time to manifest in results.  If you’ve made changes recently, take some time to let the changes take hold within the search engine index.  One of the biggest mistakes you can make is panicking and making a ton of changes to your site to improve ranking.  Now that your traffic is up, how do you know which strategy was effective?  In a competitive medical marketing strategy, it’s easy to make a significant amount of changes to your website all at once in hope of improving traffic dramatically.  Controlled changes will give you the ability to assess what worked, and what didn’t.  During the positive increases in search traffic, you’ll actually be able to identify what it was that helped move your medical practice up the rankings.  While we all want our medical websites to rank for hundreds of keywords as quickly as possible, not knowing how you got there can lead to a lot of questions down the road.

Search Engine Algorithm Updates Can Be Confusing

One of the major additions to the search engine landscape has been the Panda and Penguin updates from Google.  If your SEO strategy depends heavily on buying links and “black-hat seo” techniques, these updates can cripple any progress you’ve made.  A punishment from one of these updates can cause your traffic to plummet, literally overnight.  So if you see a sharp increase in traffic from buying back-links, or you suspect your medical marketing firm may be doing the same, knowing the reason for a Google penalty will go a long way.  While it may be fun riding the wave of an increase in search engine traffic, an algorithm will quickly bring your party to an end.  Understanding how to avoid these updates, and in many cases benefit from them, understanding why you’re seeing an increase in traffic is a good place to start.

Diagnosing an Unexpected Drop in Ranking

The more you know about your websites successes, the better you’ll be able to understand where it may be coming up short.  If a keyword is delivering quality leads to your practice, it’s important to understand how you got there.  For example, if you rank for Rhinoplasty in Orange County and it’s delivering quality traffic to your site, how would you react if this keyword feel out of the rankings entirely?  Knowing why a keyword ranks highly for your site will give you a great starting point if it no longer happens to do so.  When diagnosing an unexpected drop in Google ranking, it’s important to look at the things you’ve done to achieve a quality ranking.  It’s not always a Google Update.  In some cases, your competition may just have changed their strategy to be more competitive for that specific keyword and dropped your ranking.  With a majority of search traffic going to the top 3-5 results, 1-2 spots can make a huge difference on the amount of traffic being delivered.

Not sure if you have the time to track your search engine results?

That’s okay.  Tracking negative results can be time consuming as it is, so it’s understandable to think you may not be able to also watch your site’s success.  SEO is a fluid system that has it’s ebbs and flows.  Hiring a medical marketing professional is a great alternative to constantly observing your site in the good times and the bad times.  Not to mention, additional experience in the field will help a professional know whether or not to panic.  It’s essentially the idea that they can stress out about your medical website, so you don’t have to.

If you’re a medical professional that sees more fluctuation in search engine ranking than you can possibly keep up with, Contact Omni Medical Marketing today.

If you want to speak to a trained medical marketing professional, give us a call now.

Call 800-549-0170.

3 Reasons Why Medical Practices Should Love Facebook’s New Graph Search

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As is the case with many of the changes Facebook has made of late, this is another change that will directly help business.  While those who clamor for the days when Facebook was an intimate site that connected friends and family may not like the change, medical practices should be thrilled with Facebook’s latest innovation.  As Facebook focuses more on attracting businesses to set up fan pages and invest in Facebook advertising, Facebook’s new Graph Search is another tool to help bolster local business.  While it certainly has it’s creepy sides, Facebook’s Graph Search takes referrals to another level.  Medical practices tend to rely on word of mouth marketing, and this new tool is essentially a word of mouth tool.  Instead of relying on people to share your fan page, or like your status updates, people will be able to directly search for a medical practice that their friends already “Like.”

So what does Facebook Graph Search actually do?

Simply put, it’s like Google, but only delivers results that relate to your network of friends.  While this does go a bit further by including some information from friends of friends, it is essentially a local search engine that only crawls specific data.  Anything that is marked private and only for “friends” will remain that way.  Facebook Graph Search essentially delivers information you could have found the hard way in a much easier to use search bar format.

  1. Referral Marketing: Facebook Graph Search makes it possible to see what your friends “Like” and “Recommend.”  For a simple search for “Dentists my friends like,” Graph Search will pull data pertaining to dentists that friends have publicly liked.  This serves as an instant referral and vote of confidence.  Now, having an active business fan page on Facebook is even more important.  The more people like your page, the more potential people you can reach with this new tool.
  2. Build a new fan page much more quickly: In the past, medical practices have had to rely on people sharing posts on their personal wall to reach their friends.  Now, medical practices can be discovered much more quickly after even just 1 “Like.”  By continuing to be active on Facebook, your practice will be able to get much more exposure with this new search tool.
  3. Captive Audience: Millions of advertising dollars are spent every year trying to capture the Facebook user.  Given the frequency that people check their Facebook page, and the amount of time spent reading their News Feeds, reaching potential patients on social media has become a goal for most medical practices.  Now, you have to worry less about a crazy viral post to expose your practice, people looking for a qualified medical professional can now find you in Graph Search.  The social media audience is a captive one, and drawing potential leads to your practice tends to lead to higher than average conversion rates.

Running a successful social media marketing program is still going to be important, but graph search has the potential to make things even better for medical practices on Facebook.  While the new addition was just announced recently, and Beta testing is rolling out gradually, Graph Search appears to be the next great Medical Marketing tool in the arsenal.  If the initial Beta testing goes well, you will be able to build your audience, build your brand, and extend your reach with Facebook Graph Search.

If you are considering a revamped social media marketing campaign, or if you are interested in taking your medical practice to the next level, Call us at 800-549-0170.

Medical Marketing and Word of Mouth Marketing

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So you’ve decided that your medical practice could use a boost in 2013.  Maybe you’re doing enough to get by, but your vision for your practice is not quite fulfilled.  It’s easy to say that your work will speak for itself, and if you’re good enough at what you do, patients will come.  While there is definitely truth to that, it is certainly not the whole truth.  For example, plastic surgery practices rely heavily on referrals to increase consultations, as the best advertisement for your plastic surgery practice is the results that are produced within.  Each and every plastic surgery procedure you perform translates to a walking billboard of your success and skill.  So why do you even need Medical Marketing?  Medical marketing is really just taking control of your brand, and not always leaving it up to previous patients to spread the word for you.  Keep in mind, that while plastic surgery is a growing field, not everyone is going to run home and tell their friends that they had work done.  So how do you reach potential patients that may not have a close friend or family member telling them how great you are?  While I won’t argue that the early days of SEO didn’t necessarily focus on the quality of a medical practice, Google Updates in 2012 have drastically changed the industry for the better.

The SEO industry has changed so much over the last year, that many SEO professionals have been forced to learn how to rank websites based upon creating actual quality.  This means that there is more focus on quality content, user-friendly medical website design, social media marketing, and actual PR.  The days of buying links to your site to rank for terms you don’t necessarily deserve are over.  Now is the time to implement realistic medical marketing plans to increase your online visibility.  After all, that’s exactly what SEO originally was intended to do.  Let’s put it in perspective by examining some of the older forms of marketing and advertising that medical practices relied upon.  Let’s use the Yellow Pages as an example.  Did you settle for the free listing that was listed alphabetically along with all of your competitors, or did you make an investment for a half-page or full-page layout?  The best way to look at medical marketing is to relate it to buying a full-page advertisement in your local phone book.  Do you want the full-page to be in color to get people’s attention?  Do you include a “call to action” to increase conversion?  Do you clearly offer the services provided at your practice?

Yellow Pages

Does Word of Mouth Marketing Still Have Value?

Of course it does!  Just as other forms of marketing have value (i.e. radio, print and television), so too does word of mouth marketing.  There is no doubt that word of mouth marketing is a great way to grow your medical practice and has the highest conversion rate.  Just as you might diversify your stock portfolio, a diversified marketing strategy will also yield the best long-term results.  While Medical Marketing focuses on your online presence, the oldest form of marketing, word of mouth marketing, will always play a large role in the success of your medical practice.  To see how word of mouth marketing and medical marketing might work together, you need to look no further than a strong social media presence.  Since social media plays a large role in how society communicates and fosters relationships it makes sense to utilize a “fan page” to make social sharing simpler.

Developing Your Brand with Medical Marketing

Take out a full page ad for your medical practice!  Remember, medical marketing is designed to highlight the best parts of your practice and increase your online visibility.  There’s a certain amount of people who believe online medical marketing isn’t a fair practice because it can elevate a practice in Google rankings allowing for more leads.  But if you develop a well-known and visible brand through marketing, you’re reaching potential patients that are looking for you.  Also, it should be looked at no differently than taking out a full page in the Yellow Pages.  You’re simply putting your medical practice in a position to succeed in a competitive market.  With recent studies showing that 80% of those surveyed have used the internet to search for healthcare information, take stock of your current medical marketing plan in 2013.  Do you have a full page ad, or are you just another name in the long list of your competitors?

To see how many more leads Omni Medical Marketing can get for you, give us a call.

Call 800-549-0170.

Sudden Drop in Google Ranking Have You Questioning Your Medical Marketing Company?

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As is often the case, a recent update to the Google Algorithm has shaken the medical marketing community.  While Google does not specifically say that an update occurred on December 13th, simply looking at the search engine results pages will show you a large fluctuation in the top 10 results for varying keywords. The SEO “MozCast”  actually states that there was more fluctuation on this day than on some of the larger well-known updates to hit in previous months.  So how did your medical practice website do?  Anytime one of these large algorithm updates hits, it’s important to hold your medical marketing company accountable for the negative impact.  While the exact targets of the most recent update are unknown, one thing is certain, many medical practices saw a sharp decline in Google ranking.

In an earlier blog, I discussed how Google updates can actually help your medical practice.  By taking a long-term approach to your medical marketing and SEO strategy, this most recent update should have been a positive for your practice.  Again, if we assume that Google is trying to deliver relevant results, the question you should be asking yourself is, “What have I done to make my medical website more relevant for my target audience?”  If you keep this in mind, staying ahead of the Google curve can be quite simple.

So why did you see your ranking fall?

Chances are, you’re probably guilty of more “black-hat SEO” techniques than you may have thought.  Now this may not be something you’re intentionally doing, but in a desire to please clients with immediate results, it’s not unheard of for medical marketing companies to use these frowned-upon techniques.  While the exact factors that go into search engine optimization are largely a mystery, Google has made no secret of the techniques that they are targeting that may deliver irrelevant and poor quality websites.  Here’s the catch… You can absolutely get away with doing them, at least for a time.  You can see your site skyrocket in ranking in a matter of weeks, but at what cost?  If I told you that I could get you ranked in the top 3 results for high-traffic keywords, but it would only last a month, would it really be worth the investment?

Omni Medical Marketing had EVERY client see improvement in ranking after December 13th


So why did Omni Medical Marketing’s Clients see such an improvement?

The answer here is really two-fold.  First, our SEO strategy has been fine-tuned specifically for medical-practices with a huge focus on quality medical website design and focused content.  This strategy has helped to grow plastic surgery, bariatric surgery, dental practices, orthodontist practices, and other medical websites.  Second, our clients moved up, when other medical practices saw sharp declines.  After all, the easiest way to move up in ranking is to have everyone else around you fall.

While every medical marketing company wants to be able to tell you that they don’t use “black-hat SEO” techniques to increase your rankings, the proof is in the results.  While Google is certainly not immune from indiscriminately lowering the rankings of quality sites, the long-term results show a dedication towards returning relevant results.  If you saw a dramatic decline in Google rankings recently, you should consider whether your medical website is prepared for the next update, or the one after that.  With hundreds of updates occurring each year, how many updates can your medical website suffer through?

What is your medical marketing strategy for 2013?

As of the writing of this blog, the world hasn’t ended.  Assuming we make it through the entire day, what is your medical marketing strategy for 2013?  If you would like to speak to one of our trained SEO professionals to see what you can do differently to avoid a sudden drop in Google ranking after the next update, give Omni Medical Marketing a call today.  Our trained SEO professionals will explain the difference between an honest medical marketing strategy, and one that will lead to long-term failure.  You can’t afford to continue to lose ranking due to Google updates, and Omni Medical Marketing has proven to have a strategy that will do just the opposite.

Call 800-549-0170 to see what Omni can do for you in 2013.


Why Google Algorithm Updates are Actually Good for Your Medical Practice

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Okay, so this won’t get me many friends in the SEO and Medical Marketing community, but there is no doubt that the incredible number of Google Updates in 2012 has improved the user experience.  Every time Google updates their algorithm, you may see wild and seemingly unwarranted shifts in your Google rankings.  Don’t worry, Bing and Yahoo have been busy themselves in 2012, and keeping up with the changes has caused many Medical Marketing and Medical Practice SEO (Search Engine Optimization) firms to lose their minds.  One day, you’re ranked #1 for a target keyword, and the next day, you can’t find your business anywhere.  With adorable names like the Google Penguin Update or the Google Panda Update, can you really be all that upset?

Medical Marketing | Google Panda Update

Of course you can.  After all, losing a ranking in Google can translate to fewer visits and leads to your medical practice.  But after spending a few days pulling out my own hair trying to keep up with these large updates, one thing became clear.  The user experience when searching within Google was greatly improved.  Results were significantly more relevant to search terms, and the delivered websites actually delivered the information you were looking for.  While this is always the goal of the search engine, certain Medical Practice SEO techniques can actually hurt a search engine’s ability to return relevant results.  You may or may not have heard the term, “Black Hat SEO.”  These tactics work to get your medical practice ranked for keywords that you simply don’t deserve to be ranked for.  When these techniques are used, it becomes more difficult to find relevant information in a search.  And while the traffic to your site may increase dramatically, there’s an improved chance that someone visited your site for information inadvertently and quickly clicked away when they didn’t find what they’re looking for.  This doesn’t help anyone.

So How Do These Updates Help Your Medical Practice?

First of all, a Long-Term SEO Strategy will rarely have to deal with dramatic declines in ranking coming from an algorithm update.  In essence, you have a great ranking because you’ve earned it.  By not using these techniques, you can rank well, deserve it, and keep it.  Better yet, if your competition is using these tactics to get ranked prematurely, they’ll lose their place on the first page, making more room for you on top of Google search rankings.  Also, since the search results are more relevant, you have an increased chance of getting quality visits from visitors actually interested in your medical practice.  Getting an increase in traffic is one thing, getting quality traffic is another.

Medical Marketing Changed in 2012… For the Better

Imagine a world where your medical website can rank well in search for having quality content, a great Medical Website Design, social media popularity, PR, and website maturity.  Admittedly, some of the tactics to rank poor quality sites are still viable, but each update takes us one step closer to making this a reality.  By combining the efforts of our medical marketing team and our medical website design and development teams, we are building medical websites for the future.  By ignoring quick fixes and “Black Hat SEO” techniques of the past, we create an honest and reliable medical marketing plan that can make your medical practice website virtually immune from algorithm updates.

It is important to note that SEO is far from dead.  It’s simply changing.  Frankly, it’s becoming more difficult and requiring a more extensive background in content writing, PR, and Social Media Marketing.  The team at Omni Medical Marketing is built to meet the changing face of SEO head-on to deliver more leads from your medical practice website now, and into the future.  Change can be scary, but in this case, it can also be very good.

What Does This Mean For Medical Marketing in 2013?

Assuming the Mayans were wrong, 2013 is shaping up to be a great year for Medical Marketing.  With more algorithm updates undoubtedly coming down the pipeline in 2013, the question every medical practice should ask themselves is, “Is your medical practice website ready for what’s next?”  There is no doubt that search engines will continue to work towards delivering the most relevant and beneficial material to their users, and a successful medical marketing plan involves providing just that.

To speak with a Medical Marketing professional about the current state of your medical practice website:

Call 800-549-0170.


5 Key Elements of Medical Practice Website Design and Development

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In any good Medical Marketing plan, website design and development should not be overlooked.  Medical Website Design and Development can play a key role in SEO and the overall marketing for your website.  Take a minute to read through the 5 key elements of Medical Practice Website Design and Development below to ensure that you are seeing the results that you deserve from your hard work.


  1. Looks Matter
    • Too much or too little; if your website looks like it is part of the Vegas Strip or Times Square, it can quickly turn people off. The first 3 seconds matters. Three seconds will buy you 30 seconds, and those 30 seconds will buy you three minutes. Yes, your site needs to be pleasing to the eye, however, most people do not want to feel like they are being sold or advertised to. Remember what attracted people to your website to begin with. It was the content, not over the top graphics and a sales pitch. Yes, the internet has turned into the number one source of marketing, but it’s not necessarily what people are actually looking for.
    • Having a dated website, that looks like it was built ten years ago by the kid who lives next door, will give the impression that you are out of touch.  Some of the most cutting edge websites out there are simple, clean and yet elegant. A Chrysler 300 may appear to have the elegance of a Bentley.  That is until a Bentley pulls up next to one.  Both cars have very similar lines; however, a 300 will never match the class of a Bentley aesthetically. You can keep it simple and have all the class in the world.
  2. Navigation
    • Keep the overall navigation simple throughout all pages. Using top navigation on one page, left on other and right on the next will turn people off.
    • Make sure there are easy to find buttons/links to your photo galleries.
    • Phone number/address: Many sites we review make it very difficult to find the phone number of the medical practice on their website. Make sure it is clear and visible on every page. This alone will increase conversion.
  3. Content, content, content
    • Give people what they want and need right away.  Navigation should quickly allow your audience to find out who you are, what field you are in, what services you offer, what hours you keep, and how to contact you. When navigation is done correctly, people will never question what services you or your medical practice provide.
    • Consider offering downloadable content, like brochures that people can share at the dinner table. Not only will this provide the user with the information they want right away, it will give them something to look at time and time again. Allow people to email these brochures to their friends and family. Get creative with the message that you want people to receive.
  4. Make sure people can find you.
    • We made our name providing medical practices and plastic surgeons with top notch SEO. We certainly recommend you working with a reputable SEO, that specializes in medical practice websites. However, there are a few simple tricks you can to do help.
    • Name all of your photos relative to what they are. If you are a plastic surgeon in New Jersey each one of your photos should be named something like FaceliftNewJersey-01.jpg . This will let Google know what the photo is and provide you with a better chance of being ranked for that term.
    • Find more ideas on the SEO section of our blog: Medical Marketing | SEO
  5. Use Social media for your medical practice.
    • Being active on social media gives people the opportunity to provide you with more referrals. Each time your post is shared, your reach multiplies greatly. Because these shared posts are coming from friends, the value of the post is very high.
    • Consider using software to limit the time you need to invest, while actually increasing the amount of social posts being pushed out. We offer our Social Media Software with a free trial period.  This allows you to see the results with no risks.
    • Post messages that matter. Blogs, useful health tips, and interesting news stories will demand more attention. If people find value in your message, they will keep coming back and will be more likely to share this information.
    • Post on the weekends. People log into Facebook daily, but actually spend the most amount of time there during weekends. Posting during that time is highly recommended. This is also a time where your competition is most likely not posting. It’s Win-Win.

Are Exact Match Domains Helping or Hurting Your Medical Practice

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One of the most hotly contested attributes in the SEO community is whether or not exact match domains are the way to go when searching for a medical practice domain.  An Exact Match Domain, or EMD is a domain that is keyword heavy, and generally ranks well for 1-3 keywords automatically.  While there are some tricks of the trade that can make a difference in search engine ranking, there is no doubt that Google has identified EMD’s as a potential problem when identifying issues preventing relevant search returns.  Extremely common in the medical community, buying a domain that directly targets potential searches has altered relevant search results, and not always for the better.

“We have looked at the rankings and weights that we give to keyword domains and some people have complained that we’re giving a little too much weight for keywords in domains. And so we have been thinking about adjusting that mix a little bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm so that given two different domains, it wouldn’t necessarily help you as much to have a domain with a bunch of keywords in it.– Matt Cutts- Google Engineer”

The idea behind exact match domains is that you can get ranked quickly for 1-3 good keywords immediately, without actually focusing on content or website design.  While Google has rewarded this in the past, the most recent set of updates shows that they are beginning to target domains that don’t deserve higher rankings.  While some SEO professionals still believe it’s worth the risk, the .6% of exact match domains that were affected by the most recent updates might say otherwise.  So that begs the question, “How do you capitalize off of a great domain name and avoid search engine ranking purgatory?”

Which Exact Match Domains are Likely Affected?

As Matt Cutts explained in the above quote, it’s not the exact match domains that are specifically being punished, it’s the domains that tend to rank for keywords that they don’t particularly deserve.  When compared to another site that may have more relevant content, exact match domains should be the difference-maker.  A well-planned Medical Marketing strategy generally begins by getting a medical practice ranked for local searches.  By targeting the immediate audience in the local area, it’s the quickest way to see results.  Once the local traffic has been captured, the marketing strategy expands outward to surrounding cities, and eventually the state.  For example, an exact match that targets a specific city will fare much better than a site that starts by targeting the state.  Some example domains could be www.”Plastic Surgery Procedure” versus www.”PlasticSurgeryProcedure”  Since Colorado will be much more competitive in search engine rankings, getting an immediate ranking in the state because of your domain name can cause a lot of controversy among the practices that are attempting the reach top ranking as well.  Essentially, rewarding a practice for having a keyword friendly domain name might be in the Google cross-hairs.

Since medical practices saw an initial response, domains started getting longer and even started including dashes.  If www.”PlasticSurgeryProcedure” was taken, the next strategy was to begin buying .net or .org domains to be able to capitalize on the benefits of EMD’s.  All of a sudden, www.”Plastic-Surgery-Procedure” was ranking well just because the domain was keyword friendly.  This is where the battle in the SEO community heats up.  If you are trying to capitalize on the 43% of users who click on the first result on a given Google search result page, learning that one of these sites may be out-ranking your much more informative site can be troubling.  Let the battle begin!

While there is no doubt that a great domain name can have a significant impact on search engine ranking, choose your domain wisely, and don’t count on it being the final solution to SEO.

Were you affected by an EMD update?

While very few sites were impacted by the last EMD update, there is no doubt that Google will continue to focus on potentially bogus search results.  So what do you do if your site seemed to have completely lost ranking overnight?  First, take a deep breath.  While any algorithm update that seems to cause your site to fall in search engine ranking seems like a punishement, take it for what it is.  It’s actually Google just telling you that your original SEO strategy just isn’t good enough.  Where you may have been ranking in top slots for very broad keywords, this recent update is telling you that you probably didn’t deserve the ranking to begin with.  It’s time to take your medical marketing strategy to the next level.  Look at the sites that are ranking well for specific keywords.  Are they more informative?  Are they more popular on social sites like Facebook and Twitter?  Re-examine your strategy and start attacking.  Any Google ranking that is worth having is worth fighting for.  Start by improving your on-site SEO (Title, Description, Keywords, Internal Linking Structure), and then expand out.  While the turn-around may not be immediate, and your ranking for these broad keywords may take some time to recover, re-focusing your attention on executing a successful medical marketing strategy can and will pay off.

If you currently own a site that you think may have an Exact Match Domain that could negatively impact your site, keep working on improving your Search Engine Optimization.  Again, Google isn’t going after sites for having a keyword specific domain, it’s re-evaluating whether the domain name alone has delivered you search engine rankings that you perhaps weren’t ready for.  As search engines grow in popularity, and more practices are taking advantage of SEO to increase their traffic, it’s tempting to do anything and everything to get to the top.  Just remember, taking these risks may lead to temporary success, but they should not be considered long term marketing strategies.

 If you’re not constantly improving, your probably losing

A proper Medical Marketing strategy should never rely on just one method to improve practice to the site.  If you’re relying exclusively on an exact match domain to drive you more traffic, these Google Algorithm updates can be crippling to the success of your practice.  If you take a step back and ask yourself, “What is the end-game for Google?”, you reach the same conclusion.  No, not world-dominance.  Rather, Google has made its name off of constantly evolving and improving, in order to deliver the most relevant search results.  85-90% of internet searches occur on Google for a reason.  Users believe they can trust the results that are delivered by Google and continue to value the search engine as a source of relevant and ever-expanding information.

If you want to know how to improve your overall search results, keep this in mind.  If you’re attacking search engine ranking from different aspects, it’s highly unlikely that any of Google’s algorithmic updates will ever cripple your site.  Exact match domains are a great supplemental tool, but they should never be the only tool.

Call Omni Medical Marketing today to see if exact match domains could potentially negatively impact your practice.

Call 800-549-0170.