Does Your Medical Practice Have a Story?

Medical SEO, Telling a Story About Your Practice


Fresh out of law school I began my legal career with the Department of Defense. At the time I had thought DoD’s primary job was to ensure the production of tanks, planes, ammunition, and other war fighting paraphernalia. While those items are necessary and certainly a part of DoD’s story, the truth is that it is the people who fly the planes, shoot the guns and protect our nation that make-up DoD’s story.

Surprisingly, this information was not part of my initial orientation. It was not until I actually listened to the stories of the soldiers and civilian workers who had deployed that I realized they were my true employers, not DoD. This realization changed my perspective and gave me purpose.

So How Does this Relate to Your Medical Practice?

When you hire a new receptionist, technician, or office manager what do you include in your orientation? Do you start with all of the legal paperwork or do you start with your story, your purpose?

Who is the true hero in your story? For some practices the hero may be the patient, for some it may be collective heroism, meaning the staff as a whole and for some it may be the physician. Practice managers who develop their practice’s story and then market that story to both internal and external stakeholders will create purpose for their staff members and patients.

To give you a sense of reference, think of your story as collective pool of water. Each patient or staff member who comes into contact with the pool adds a drop of water. This pool of water is dynamic and is constantly adding to the collective vision. And this vision is continuously reflected out to your internal and external communities.

Why Storytelling?

By creating and retelling your story you give a purpose to your call of action. For employees, you inspire them to add to and continue the collective “pool.” For patients, you give them a sense of belonging and ownership in the practice.

Google “Down” on the Farms

Content Farms, Google searchGoogle recently announced that web sites using manufactured content from so-called “content farms” will receive lower rankings based upon the fact that such content is usually of poor quality and low relevance. This is a further move to limit and penalize sites that use duplicate content.

Poor Quality = Low Relevance

As the importance of content marketing, aka SEO marketing, continues to increase, the use of duplicate content has sky-rocketed over the past couple of years. The new algorithms were announced last week by Google and may immediately impact as much as 12% percent of web pages.

At issue is the quality of articles.  Google bases its algorithms on the quality of content relative to the user’s search query.  That is, Google rewards web pages with great content.

Articles, or content, generated by content farms are written to meet the requirements of the automated search engines.  Authors are instructed to generate articles using specific words and phrases.

As a result, articles often lack any nuance, may be off target and use portions of text found in other articles.  The rather poor quality lacks in relevance, is poorly written and is copied.

Google now depresses such sites in the rankings.

What Does This Mean?

This is an excellent opportunity to re-evaluate your need to follow through with improving your web page rankings using medical SEO.

Google has long been intolerant of “duplicate content” (aka plagiarism), but this new stance takes their commitment to relevance to a higher level.

Google also makes it more difficult for “games” or “gimmicks” to be used to achieve high rankings for web pages.  In fact, this new algorithm paves the way for unique, fresh high quality content to rise to the top.

In other words, only the articles written and directed for a particular audience will survive the new bot regimens.  Your articles, written for your patients, will continue to escalate your web sites’ rankings


Knocking Down The Ivory Tower

Creating and Image and Brand, Medical SEO, Medical Marketing Enterprises

Last week I posted an article challenging physicians to take down their diplomas and meritorious plaques and replace them with pictures of themselves, friends, kids, favorite activities, etc.

The goal is to give your patients some flavor of who you are instead of reminding them what you are.  This concept is crucial to understanding social media.

Go ahead, “redecorate.”

Placing your favorite artwork on a wall, a picture of the kids’ soccer team, a picture of  you sailing on a boat or fishing gives patients an idea that your doc is…um, human.  They, too, are a person!  It gives patients information and chance to bond with their physician.

It is a version of Social Media.

By giving a person a glimpse of who you are, gives the opportunnity for that person to engage you in a conversation.  A true dialogue vs. the traditional monologue too often seen in doctors’ offices.

Creating an Image, Medical Marketing Enterprises

Here, Try This:

Imagine a medical school diploma on a wall.  What does it say?

A.  It says that this person went to medical school.  No kidding, really?

Now, replace with the cycling picture above:  Now what does it say?

A1.  Likes cycling
A2.  Likes exercise
A3.  Likes to be healthy
A4.  Prefers a certain type of cycle.
A5.  Likes solitude
A6.  Uses a particular brand of helmet.

Etc.  Get it?

Just as a pictures says a thousand words.  A diploma doesn’t say much more than anything you don’t already know.  A diploma reinforces the “ivory tower,” whereas, mementos start to reveal a person tucked beneath the white coat.

Patients of today are looking for anything human to relate with their chosen doctor.  They are not looking for just another doc.  There are tons of those.

So, too, on the Internet.  Doctors willing to share just a bit about their office, their staff or themselves are more likely to develop a following than those that don’t bother.