Understanding Off Page SEO and Local Search| Claim them

Rank well with Local Search, Medical Marketing Enterprises, LLCRegardless if you have a website or are active on social media, you do need to claim the accounts automatically created on the many business directories listing you and  your medical practice.

Google +, Facebook, Angie’s List, Yelp and dozens of other business directories “aggregate” information about businesses in order to build a comprehensive business listing.

It is here that your “online reputation” resides and these “off-page” sites also heavily influence your local SEO.

Most of these sites provide basic information about your medical practice, such as Name, Address and Phone number.  Some will provide information about your education, credentials and participation with insurance plans.   Most ask for reviews from patients.

Why You Should Claim These Accounts

There are 3 reasons to claim these accounts.

  1. Ensure contact information is correct
  2. Monitor online reputation and respond to reviews
  3. Improve Off-Page SEO

Almost all of these sites are aggregators (sites which collect information about similar businesses) and do NOT collect their information from you.  Unlike Manta, a so-called 1st party collector, the others can collect information from a variety of sources.  The information collected, however, can be wrong or dated.

For instance, your business address might be shared with these sites by your local medical society, but you haven’t paid your society dues in years since you moved to your new office.  As a result, your name and business is listed, but the contact information is wrong.

Patients trying to find you have hit a roadblock.  So you want to claim these accounts to ensure and verify the information published is correct.

The second reason to claim these sites is to enable you to respond to reviews.  Although we recommend you set up a free “Google Alert” to help monitor the Internet of any review posted, I also encourage that you respond to every review you find.

Responding demonstrates a willingness of you and your business to engage your customers over the Internet (patients want to be engaged).  Your responding will also generate more reviews as it demonstrates you are involved.

Improve Off-Page SEO!

Local search, believe it or not, and online reputation management are closely related.  The same sites which will propel your local search results are also the same sites which constitute the majority of your “online reputation.”  Your “off-page” reputation lies within these sites.

The 3rd reason is to ensure these sites are linked to your website.   With every account on every site, make sure you create a link to the home page of your website.  This is particularly important with health related aggregators such as Healthgrades.  Creating these “backlinks” will improve the overall SEO of your website.

What Can You Do?

Depending upon your locale, there are probably 2-3 dozen such sites.  I recommend checking Google+, Yelp, Angie’s List and Facebook for existing accounts.  Claim or verify any account you find.

Correct your contact in formation.  Make sure your NAP (Name, Address and Phone) are EXACTLY the same from site to site.  Decide to consistently spellout or use abbreviations for the NAP.  This will avoid Google (Bing and Yahoo) from creating multiple addresses for your medical practice.  The more often Google indexes the same address…the higher you’ll rank in local search.

 

Randy
Randall Wong, M.D.
SEO for Professionals!

 

 

 

 

Google Adds Mobile Friendliness to Search Algorithm

Google Includes Mobile Friendliness to Rankings Algorithm | Medical Marketing EnterprisesMobile responsive design will now be part of the Google “Search” algorithm starting April 21, 2015. Google will now consider your website’s mobile friendliness when ranking websites…even when you are searching on your PC.

What is mobile responsive?  Mobile responsive, or mobile friendly, means your website automatically adjusts so that it may be viewed and navigated on a variety of differently sized screens; pc monitors, laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.

Why Does Mobile Responsive Matter?

Use of mobile devices to access the Internet continues to increase not only because of the popularity of the mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets, but also because there is a growing percentage of Americans who depend upon smartphones as their sole way to connect to the Internet.

In short, your website needs to be mobile responsive (mobile friendly) as more and more people access the Internet with a mobile device than ever before.

More than half of smartphone owners access information about health or online banking using their mobile device (Pew Research Center American Trends Panel survey, October 3-27, 2014).

Mobile is a Must for Optimization

The concept of mobile-friendliness has been around for awhile.  More recently, you may have noticed that your Google search results listed those sites which were “mobile friendly” when searching your phone.   As of today, this mobile friendliness becomes a key component to getting and maintaining high organic search rankings.

What Can You Do?

The first thing to do is test your site for its mobile friendliness.  Use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to determine if you even need to worry about this at all!

For those of you who fail, consider Google’s recommendations to creating a mobile site.

For our clients, we have long recommended WordPress.org and Studiopress.  All of our design packages include use of mobile responsive themes.

 

Randy
Randall Wong, M.D.
SEO for Professionals!

 

 

Your Website Should Be “Under Construction”

Medical marketing enterprises.  Every great website should be under constructionEvery great website should always be “under construction.”  Of the three types of sites;  resource, marketing and interactive, only the resource site is ever really finished.

And you know I’m not talking about web design.

Great websites must remain dynamic whether by adding a constant stream of great content or with user generated comment vis-a-vis threads and conversations.

Content Marketing is Best

Blogging, or content marketing, remains the most important marketing strategy for your medical practice or small business.  While many businesses promote their use of a social media marketing strategy, blogging remains #1 in terms of ROI, branding and value.

The success of content marketing can be easily measured.  Visitors, bounce rate, comments, click through rates are all metrics showing the likes and needs of your patients, your customers.

The expense of time spent on a social media campaign is less tangible perhaps only because social media efforts ultimately draw attention to a great website that is “under construction.”

Value, Dedication, Commitment

Your content provides your patients with value.  Your articles provide solutions (answers) to their health specific questions.  Moreover, your consistent writing also displays a level of dedication and commitment that sets you apart from your competitors.

Value is the key to any website, but by continued and consistant writing, your dedication and commitment turns you into an industry expert.

Your content also remains the key factor to obtaining great SEO…unmatched and immesurable with any social media campaign.

What Can You Do?

Develop a long range objectives for your practice, i.e. define your marketing goals.

Write articles consistently on topics related to your long range initiative (SEO best practice).

With time, your articles will begin to reach out to your patients, compelling them to write and leave comments.  Make sure to answer each of the comments in a timely manner, thus creating a dialogue.  This visible interaction and engagement is the heart and soul of a blog and will eclipse any social media based campaign with respect to ROI, branding and providing value to your patients.

Both content marketing and engaging your patients online present time challenges and require consistent and continued publications and responses.  

A great website, therefore, is never completed and, hence, is always “under construction.”

To Your Growth And Success!

Randy

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

www.MedicalMarketingEnterprises.com

Google Plus: Lots to “Like”

Google Plus and Author Rank, Medical Marketing Enterprises.There are 3 reasons to use Google Plus.  After starting your Facebook, I recommend starting your Google Plus Account.

Your Google + account will now get you noticed on a Google Places, can aggregate any reviews about your practice (from other sites other than Google), selectively share information via Circles with new and old colleagues and starts your Author Ranking!

Google Local and Business Page

Starting a Google + Business page simply requires a free Gmail email address.  Follow the directions to get your practice indexed on Google +.

As Facebook and Google Plus plan their local search strategies, you want to make sure either you create your business page or claim one which already exists.  Simply make sure your contact information is correct.  With time, you can add more information.

Google Circles: Selective Sharing

A unique feature of Google + are the “circles.”  Circles are different groups of people based upon a common interest or relationship, for example, Friends, Family, Business, etc.

This allows you to pick and choose the group of friends with whom you’d like to share information. You can use “circles” to customize your communications….you can tailor who you’d simply like to follow versus people you’d like to share information.

At the outset, Circles are the same as “Friends” on FaceBook, but Friends lack the ability to share vs. follow and sharing may not reach all of your followers. (Facebook does not share all of your posts with all of your followers).

Circles allows  you to wear several hats yet use the same account.

Author Rank

Author Rank is the newest variable introduced last summer for SEO.  Simply put, author rank, measures your expertise and contribution to the Internet on any particular subject.  How your Author Rank is computed is another post.  The greater your Author Rank, the more credible and trusted you are as an expert.

The higher your PageRank, the higher your rankings.  Now, the better your Author Rank and PageRank, the higher your rankings.

This means two articles with very similar content, i.e. with the same PageRank, will now be ranked differently based upon Author Rank…the article written by the author with the highest rank (i.e. trust and credibility) wins!

Google Authorship via Google Plus Profile

Establish your Google Authorship!  The next goal is to inform Google which is/are your website(s).  Uniting your Google Plus profile with your particular website(s) alerts Google of your Authorship.

In your Google Plus profile, list the website(s) to which you contribute.  In your websites, attach the code to your Google Plus profile.  This is most easily done by creating a hyperlink using your name as anchor text back to your Google Plus profile page, or make sure you are using Genesis on WordPress!

WordPress and Genesis

The newest version of Genesis recognizes author rank and allows you to marry your user profile with your Google + profile by simply entering your profile code into your WordPress user profile….done!

To your Success!

Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization
www.MedicalMarketingEnterprises.com

I Bought a New Car

Meet patients online needs.I bought a new car last week.  This is not a post about buying a car, but there are some strong messages about online relationships.

I chose a 2013 Honda Crosstour, the dealer, and my salesperson before ever walking into a sales room.  I did it all online.

The Right Time to Buy

I haven’t had a brand new car since 1990.  My last 3 were previously owned.  I simply drove too much to justify the rapid depreciation costs of a new vehicle.

While two kids are already driving, we will have 3 more who will be of driving age in the next 18 months.  The car I just traded in wasn’t safe enough to keep around for any of them.

So, for a myriad of reasons it was time to buy.  As it was Christmas break, I didn’t want to waste precious vacation time.

Online Window Shopping

Through several auto sites (USAA, Edmunds, Autotrader) I expressed interest in the particular make and model; Crosstour V6, 2013.  In doing so, interested dealers in zip code made contact via email.

Within 24 hours I had received emails from 6 area dealerships.  I read the reviews of the dealerships.  I easily chose two finalists.

The others were disqualified for;

  • Deception:  gave me a quote for a 2012, not 2013.  No 2013’s even in stock.
  • No Quote:  wanted me to visit dealership first before giving me a quote
  • No Response: waited too long to email me or return emails
  • Poor After Market Service

“I Will Beat Any Deal You Receive”

The two “finalists” were quick to communicate and straightforward with answering my questions through emails, gave me a quote and showed some personal interest in meeting me.  They engaged me by accommodating my needs.

In his opening email, my eventual salesperson, “Ama,” even stated he’d” beat any offer” and gave a most competitive quote.  To me, this meant he was serious in wanting to meet me.

For the purpose of comparing, I visited both dealerships.  The first dealership just couldn’t beat the quote I received from Ama.  I drove across town and bought the car from Ama.

What Can You Learn?

Buying a car is a huge purchase.

It seems only too natural to start your search for a dealer and salesman online.  Price is a huge factor, but so is the personality of the sales team.  Are they willing to negotiate, or are they jerks?  Can I start a relationship with a specific person before entering the show room?

For me, there was great satisfaction in already knowing who I’d be dealing with upon my arrival, knowing he’d was anticipating my visit and that we’d already begun the negotiation.  I was also very happy that I was choosing a dealership endorsed by others.

Satisfied, I made the purchase.  I had found a dealership who takes online shopping seriously.  I met a salesman who understands that the online customer is likely to be very savvy about the purchase, but also, very serious about buying a car.

They met my needs.

Just as the dealership met my needs.  We, as doctors and health providers, need to meet our patients needs.  Most of America search first for questions about health providers online.  We need to provide information on our sites about our practice philosophy and who we are as people.

Just as I expect this about a car purchase, our patients, with their health on the “line,” expect to find us on the Internet, too.  Create websites with great content, educate and become transparent.

The car sales industry is changing, but really it’s the consumer, i.e. our patients.  I turned to the Internet for my car.  Doesn’t it make sense more would turn to the Internet for more important issues such as health?

Take them seriously, meet their needs and you’ll be greeting them in person when they walk through your office door.