The “Positive” Side of Negative OnLine Reviews

Negative Online Medical Reviews, Medical Marketing EnterprisesNegative online reviews can build your practice.  Negative online reviews can show that you care.   While you may believe this to be personally insulting, take the negativity and turn it around to make “lemonade.”

Online reviews will only become more popular.  The most objective websites will attract the most loyalty.  “Legal” contracts forbidding negative remarks will disappear and so, too, will the “review” sites where only positive reviews will be published.

Here are a few ways to take “lemons” and make  lemonade.

You Are Not Perfect, You Are Human

In any business, it is impossible to please every customer, every time.  Of course you’ve had an unhappy patient, it happens to everyone…once in a while.

Our patients know we aren’t perfect.  Living in a world of only positive reviews is not realistic.  Humans make mistakes.  So, too, do medical practices.

The occasional negative review shows we are human.

Negative online reviews demonstrate your humanness and that you are willing to admit it

Fix Problems in Your Practice

Negative online reviews that are critical of  you and/or your practice can alert you to problem areas in the practice.

In addition, review sites can serve as a “suggestion box” alerting your practice of problems that need fixing.  These reviews provide an “outside” opinion of what needs to be fixed in your practice.

Show You Care

Whenever possible and in response to both positive and negative reviews, you should take the opportunity to respond to your reviewer.

Positive reviewers deserve a quick note of  “thank you” for taking the time, and effort, to share their experience and opinions.

Negative reviewers;

  • wait 24 hours before responding.  You want your emotions to calm down, yet you don’t want the “complaint” to go unanswered.
  • comply with privacy restrictions
  • be positive, professional and constructive.  Give it your 5 star hotel approach.
By responding, your objective is to show subsequent readers/patients you care.  You may not ameliarate the negativity, but you can absolutely take this opportunity to show you care about your patients, your practice and your service.

Showing You Engage

Most importantly, you are showing your online world that you are willing to engage them by starting a conversation as you respond to their plaudits or criticisms.  Demonstrating the ability adn wilingness to engage by creating a dialogue is fundamental to realizing the fullest power of social media.

Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization



Using Titles and Subtitles

Choosing effective titles and subtitles make your articles interesting and easy to read for your readers, but did you know that creating titles (headings) and subtitles (subheadings) correctly is also a powerful way to optimize the SEO for your articles?

Well written and SEO optimized articles get the highest rankings, as your copy-write will appeal to both readers and the search engines.

People Read Titles, Bots Read Header Tags

Essentially, titles and headings are synonymous.

Text Title:  “Using Titles and Subtitles…”

Same Title with Tags: <h2>”Using Titles and Subtitles</h2>

Titles are what we write.  Titles get marked/coded for the search engines to understand.  This translation takes place automatically as you are writing in WordPress and most other CMS or HTML generators.

Headings are simply the text title marked by code called header tags.  There are technically 6 header tags.  We only care about H1 and H2 tags.  3-6 are not very practicle to use.

H1 is the title and is the most important SEO element of your article.  This is the same as the title of your article.  Subtitles are designated as H2 tags and are the second most important SEO value in your article.

Use a Keyword in the Title

Your title, and therefore your header (H1) should contain your keyword.  Your keyword is basically the main subject of the blog post.  For instance, if I am writing an article about bicycles, my title should contain the keyword bicycles.

“Why I love Bicylces” is much better than “Why I Love My New Gift.”

In this case, the computer will look for text bracketed by the H1 tags.  The H1 tag, or title tag, alerts the bots that this article is about bicycles.   Google will then index my article under “bicycles.”

Choosing Subtitles

It’s a great idea to break up your post into different sections.  Each section should have a subtitle.  Use either the same keyword or phrases in the subtitle that relate to the title!

This is not always easy, but let’s try these subheadings for our imaginary article on bicycles;

  • “Bicycles Last Forever”
  • “Environmentally Friendly Transportation”
  • “Low Cost Commuting”

These might be poorer choices because they say nothing inherent about bicycles.  While they may have nuances about bicycles, computers don’t understand nuances (neither does a reader skimming vertically through your article);

  • “It’s the Best Value for the Money!”
  • “Saves the Planet”
  • “Easy on the Wallet!”
By the way, my subtitles are not just a larger font, they are indeed enlarged, but they are also tagged with the  H2 tag.  As I write, I highlight the subtitle and change to “heading 2” in WordPress.  Your own program will have a similar function to code your subtitles.

Where to Place the H1 and H2 Tags?

Translating to HTML tags is done automatically by most programs as we write.

Depending upon the program, you may need to manually install the H1 information, that is, you may need to type the actual title you want used as the Title.

Too many websites and too many webpages are missing Titles!

Make sure each and every article has a title!

Where to Check the HTML?

Right click your mouse on any webpage and choose “view source.”  This is the HTML.  This is the version of your article the search engines read and understand!

You may also try a free analytics program, such as to search your site for a title.

To Your Growth And Success!


Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization




Starting to Understand SEO, Include a Title with Every Article

There are two versions of every article I write.  One version is written in English for you, my readers.  A second version is generated (automatically) for the computers and is written in a computer language called HTML.

Search engine optimization is the process of fine-tuning the HTML version so the search engines may easily index and rank your webpage.  “Optimizing” this process gets your pages ranked as high as possible.  The result is high rankings for your webpage.

Where is the HTML?

Every page you read on the Internet has an HTML version.  Right click on a page and choose “view page source.”  This is the computer coded version of the article you are reading.  These are the instructions for your computer and web-browser to generate all the visible and audible parts of your webpage.

Within the HTML lies the information needed to index your webpage with the search engines.  The process of completing or “optimizing” this information is called SEO (search engine optimization).

You Don’t Know HTML?

Almost all website programs (aka HTML generators), blogging software (aka content management systems) and word processors automatically generate an HTML version of your webpage, blog post or simple text document.  You don’t need to do it.

Most successful bloggers do not know HTML.  You don’t either.

Fortunatley, converting your text to HTML is standare.  In fact, there’s no variation between systems and is very uniform regardless of the system you are using.

Header (Title), Subheader, Keywords, Meta Tags and Anchor Text

Completing all the necessary elements for the SEO; however, varies greatly.  The method to complete the basic SEO elements such as;

  • the header (telling the bots what your article is about),
  • sub-headers (phrases that augment the header),
  • keywords (main subject of the article, should be one or two words only),
  • meta tags (additional descriptors) and
  • anchor text (a hyperlink using descriptive words),

all differ from system to sytem.  Most systems require you to manually complete these items (there are special boxes to fill in for every article…usually) to allow insertion into the HTML.

In many cases, the authors ignore the SEO and the search engine is left to it’s own devices to figure out the most important elements of your work to index and rank.

What Can You Do?

1.  Don’t ignore the SEO.  It’s the key to content marketing and the only way to get your webpage ranked highly.

2.  Install SEO Plugins on your WordPress site.  These plugins will help you easily complete the necessary SEO fields to get you started to optimize your own articles.  Highly reputable plugins include;

3.  Make sure each of your articles has a correct title, keywords and meta tags.  While the use of keywords and meta tags is no longer used by Google, it is a helpful exercise to start using these descriptors to index your article on your own.  Other search engines may still index your site using these criteria.

To Your Growth And Success!


Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization


3 Keys to Writing Successful Posts

Great medical copywright, should be written with 3 goals in mind.  Your next post should provide value, be tailored to an individual “patient” and, most importantly, evoke a response.

Content Provides Value = No Value, No Patients

First and foremost, your articles must provide value.  Remember, value creates trust and trust brings loyalty.  If there is no value to your articles or website, you will never create traffic.  Think about every website you enjoy visiting….it provides for a need, whether it is a sports schedule, the weather or the latest recipe.

So, too, your medical website must create value.

The value you provide is your medical knowledge.  Your patients have questions, and you, as the authority, provide the answers.  Your answers to their problems solves their needs.

Write to Your “Ideal” Patient

Close your eyes and pretend you are talking one person.  This one person should be your “ideal” patient for this discussion.  The dialogue or explanation you have with this indidual is your next post.

By making this “personal” you will be speaking directly to your reader…your next patient.

You are not talking to a large group, you are speaking one-on-one.

By writing in this manner, you have a greater chance of engaging your readers, i.e. patients.  They will hear you speak to them through your article…one on one.  The greatest effect is that you will engage them, causing them to read more.

Don’t Please Everyone

You want to evoke a response.  You want your reader to leave a comment.

Your article is ideally delivering one message.  It should not be an exhaustive review, it should cover one topic.  It should cover the most salient details.  Resist the temptation to showoff by knowing all the answers (your readers know you do).  Leave something to be questioned.

A great article is informative (provides value), is written personally and evokes a response…or in social media terms, should start a conversation.  The most powerful article is written to invite the reader to leave a comment.

Making a comment or asking a question on your website is the most powerful element of social media.

What have you done?

You have written an article solving your reader’s question (providing value),  you have engaged them by writing personally and have evoked a response (they have left a comment).

This conversation allows subsequent readers to identify with your original reader.  You have created an opportunity for others with similar problems to identify with one another.  This is the power of your website and why you will stand out above your competition.

Care to leave a comment? :)

To Your Growth And Success!


Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization