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.


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.


Randall Wong, M.D.
SEO for Professionals!



3 Types of Websites: Which is Yours?

3 Types of Websites, all must be created on WordPress.Your website can only be a:  a resource site, a marketing tool or an interactive website.  Which is yours?  As long as your site is built on a flexible platform, it doesn’t matter.

Good – Resource Site

Of the doctors who do have site, most have this type of site.  A resource site contains basic contact information, an about page, insurance participation, hours of operation, etc.  A resource site is not dynamic.  A resource site rarely has content or needs to updated.

A resource site, therefore, has absolutely no marketing value.  Without fresh content, it becomes impossible for this site to become ranked on Google.  No content, no rankings and no visibility.

The only people who visit your website are already familiar with you, that is, your existing patients.

Better – Website as Marketing Tool

A website becomes a marketing tool when it starts to rank highly in SERP (Google results).  Patients search on Google and your webpage becomes visible on the results pages.  Patients click on your site.  Your site is now marketing your practice!

To rise in Google rankings, your website must regularly get updated with relevant content.  This is the principle behind content marketing.  Search engines compare webpages based upon the content.

Websites of this type are dynamic, receiving  fresh new relevant content to the website on a regular basis.  This is the only way to get your website to attain and maintain high rankings.

Best – Interactive Tool

A website can be a dynamic interactive tool for your practice.  It has the same rudimentary contact information as a resource site and is full of relevant content….but it also displays conversations, or threads, between you and your next prospective patient.

This is the basis of social media.

Your articles will gain you exposure in terms of traffic and rankings.  Your willingness to publicly “talk” with your readers on your website is the most compelling component of a blog…the purest form of social media.  It will set you apart from your competitors.

Finding others with the same problems becomes magnetic and provides you with a golden opportunity to show compassion and your “bedside manner.”  Exhibiting this type of transparency builds value and trust.

This is how a website brings patients to your door.

What Can You Do?

Remember to march at your own pace.  No need to be overwhelmed.

Every modern website should be constructed as a blog and the best framework is WordPress.org.  In this way, you can start off with a resource site and add functionality only when you are ready….and it won’t cost anything extra!  A simple resource site gets the ball rolling and does demonstrate to your patients that you are willing to engage the Internet.

With time, you may want to add content.  This will elevate you in the rankings and start to market your practice.  Later on, start to interact with your readers by answering comments and questions.

By using WordPress.org, you can add functions when you are ready and it doesn’t cost anything to increase your function.  All CMS (Content Management System) programs have all of this functionality built in…you just use it when you are ready.  There is no hurry.  Starting out on the most versatile framework in the world…Wordpress.org.

Static sites offer only design….cant’ do this.

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

Is Your Site Mobile Responsive

Mobile Responsive vs. Mobile DesignedThe following is a guest post from my good friend Howard Jacobson.  Howard is a pioneer in intellectual property and has extensive programming talents.  This is from a thread we exchanged over Google +;

“Mobile responsive design” really is two different things. “Mobile” design means to design a web site for a mobile device (e.g., a smart phone or tablet). “Responsive design” means to design a web site for a browser window of varying size no matter the device on which the browser is running.

Until the advent of mobile browsers, web sites were designed only for PC / Mac screens of a certain size. In the earlier days of the web, that size was perhaps 500 pixels wide (because computer screens were limited to a width of 600 pixels. Later, the size grew to perhaps 650 or so because screens became capable of displaying 768 pixels width. Later still, screens became capable of displaying more pixels, and the standard web site width became 960 pixels.

Then, mobile devices came along. These devices have much smaller screen widths and so cannot display well a web site designed for a PC / Mac screen. Many web sites initially responded by creating a duplicate of their site but redesigned for a much narrower browser width. These duplicates were not “responsive”, but they were “mobile.”

As mobile device designs proliferated, the number of different device widths increased. So, one mobile site design did not work well on all mobile devices (e.g., phone versus tablet). The need for a “responsive” technology became apparent so that web site developers and designers did not have to design multiple different separate web sites for different devices (e.g., iPhones versus iPads versus MacBook Airs versus large desktop displays).

CSS3 and Javascript provided that technology. (HTML5 and other technologies like jQuery also help.) These technologies allow a web site to “respond” to the size of a web browser and dynamically adjust the size and arrangement of items on the page as the width of the browser changes (wider or narrower) no matter the device on which the browser is running.

The web site developer and designer create only one site and include the CSS3 and Javascript that detects the browser width and changes the CSS3 properties of page elements to adapt to the changing browser size. This kind of web site is a “responsive” web site.

– Howard

While this may seem confusing, the remedy is quite simple.  Mobile responsive designs are simply website designs which can adapt, via mobile browsers, to varying screen sizes.  One website fits a variety of mobile screen sizes.

“Mobile design is really out of vogue.  All design is now “responsive.” says Howard.

Studiopress makes this simple.  The newer themes from Studiopress are all mobile responsive, keeping you way ahead of the game.  All of our customers and our own sites are built upon the sturdy Studiopress themes;  built on WordPress, optimized and now mobile responsive!


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.