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
www.MedicalMarketingEnterprises.com

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!

Randy

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.

Hosted vs. Self-Hosted Websites

What's the Difference between Hosted and Self-hosted websites?In most cases, I recommend you choose “self-hosting” for your websites.  Self-hosting allows maximum flexibility and is the best choice for maximizing your SEO.

Hosted Websites are Free

The two most popular “hosted” websites are WordPress.com and Blogger.com.  These are free and “all-in-one.”  Hosting, design, setup and maintenance!

Travel to these respective sites, follow the directions and create your website!

There are several advantages to hosted websites:  convenience, security and cheap.

In either case, both provide hosting and are an “all-in-one” solution for creating a website. You don’t have to worry about security updates and your website will be hosted on safer and better servers than you can arrange yourself.  Security issues, malware and downtime are virtually non-existant…and not your problem.

Hosted websites, however, are severely inflexible and your ability to customize the theme (aka appearance) and functionality is limited.  Worst of all, this option provides limited ability for search engine optimization (SEO).

Self-Hosted Websites

These sites require you purchase hosting (nominal rates, keep reading), install WordPress and maintain the site yourself.  In return you get maximum flexibility, customization and complete autonomy.

There are many “self-hosted” companies offering to host your WordPress.org site;  GoDaddy.com and Bluehost.com are two of our favorites and two of the most popular.

For a low monthly fee, usually less than $10, you can obtain hosting for your site, install WordPress.org with one click and have complete access and control over your site.

There are countless free themes from which to choose compared to a more limited selection with the “hosted” sites.  In addition, WordPress.org is “open source” allowing the creation of infinite “plugins” to add almost any function imaginable to your site.  These, too, are free.

Security updates are provided regularly to prevent hacking (i.e. invasion from malware, spam) and while upgrading is a simple click, you must still remember to do so, whereas with hosted sites, this is provided for you.

Best Way to Maximize SEO

Your ability to optimize your site, however, is the biggest reason to move to WordPress on a self-hosted site.  Maximum flexibility includes use of plugins to specifically allow you to optimize your site;  analytics, webmasters tools, Scribe, etc.

Maximum flexibility also means you can start and grow your site at your own pace.  Millions of blogs and websites are “self-hosted,” that is, it isn’t too difficult.

Ownership

The last advantage to “self-hosted” is that you own your files.  There is no risk of your site suddenly disappearing due to a change in policy or rules.  With self-hosted plans, you have constant access to your servers and files.

 

Search Engines Rank Webpages Not Websites

Search engines rank webpages not websites.Search engines rank webpages, not websites.

Think of a reference manual;  dictionaries, encyclopedias, thesauraus.  The title of the book refers to a collection of pages bound together.  Unlike a novel, reading each page in order serves no purpose.

A website is composed of webpages.  A collection of webpages constitutes a website and as in our manual example, each webpage of a website contains useful information.

Search engines, such as Google, rank individual pages of each site and not the whole site collectively.

Overall, with good SEO, most of your pages will rank well.

The URL or Domain

Think of a website as a place (i.e. your Domain) where webpages of a common theme reside.  In this way, you may better understand how a “website” may rank for dozens of keywords.  In actuality, a successful website contains many pages allowing for the excellent SERP rankings.

When establishing a PageRank, an overall score is assigned to your domain, or website.  A PageRank is different than index rankings on a SERP.  It gives you an overall score of the relevance of a website.

Webpages

Each article you write for publish for your site will have a separate and unique URL. The root URL remains the same, but the extension, or filename, is unique to everypage of the site.  For instance;

MedicalMarketingEnterprises.com

This points to the home page and is the “root” URL.

MedicalMarketingEnterprises.com/About/Randall.V.Wong

This URL is the address of my “About” page.  It is indexed separately from the home page and all other pages on this site.  This extension signifies that it is completely separate file, or page, on my site.

Each of these pages is read and indexed separately by Google.  One page may rank better for “medical search engine optimization” and the other for “randall wong md.”

This website has almost 300 pages “indexed” with the search engines.  In theory, this means this site could rank for at least 300 different keywords or subjects!

Do you have 300 areas of your practice for which you’d like to rank Number 1?

What Can You Do?

This emphasizes the importance of relevance.  Each and every article should be relevant to one subject, or keyword.  The more specific your article, or post, is to one keyword, the more relevant.  Try to write an article “concentrating” on too many keywords and you lose specificity, i.e. relevance.

To your success!

“Randy”

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