Creating Value on Your Medical Website



Successful websites create value for the visitor.  Does your medical website create value for your potential patients?

By creating value, you’ll attract more visitors to your site and more patients walking through your door.

For you to have a successful website with high rankings, a medical practice must give something valuable away for ‘free.’  Free develops trust and credibility.  ”Free” starts the social media conversation.

Create Value

The first step to attracting patients to your site is to create value.  Creating value comes in different forms for a medical practice.

The simplest way to create value for your website (and therefore your practice) is to provide health information.  Why?  Because it’s what patients are searching for…answers.

80% of Americans are on the Internet Looking for Answers

By providing answers to their questions, you have created value.

Giving Value Away for Free

This is a tough concept for most physicians, but yet we do it everyday.  It’s not services you’ll give away, it’s not your advice either, it’s just information about health, aka it’s patient education.

The best value we can create is to educate …and for free.

Why Give Away Health Information?

As health care providers, we are the authorities in our fields.  Who better to educate than the experts?

Those medical practices that choose to recognize this need will be rewarded with;

  • high ranking web pages
  • increasing patient base
  • stronger relationships with existing patients
  • recognition as a trusted health expert


Improving Your Web Rankings

Providing fresh relevant content is the key to successful website optimization and performance.  A website that provides relevant, refreshed and regular content will be rewarded with high rankings.  (A simple fancy web design, or redesign, does nothing for your rankings.)

What is content?  The content will be your articles and posts containing the answers to their questions.  It’s simple and straight forward.  Publishing articles on your website that provides answers….will move you higher and higher in the rankings.

This is the core of content marketing strategies.  This is the core of medical SEO or website optimization for a medical practice.

Medical website optimization is the only way to achieve and maintain high rankings on search engine results pages (SERP).

Building Trust in Your Community

Regardless of how you define your community, whether it is within your local zip code or your virtual neighborhood, “free” opens the door to credibility and trust.  A site that is credible and trustworthy says alot about its doctors and staff.  Certainly much more than those practices that don’t even have a web site.

This is the modern way of distinguishing yourself from your competitors.  Those practices that are able to establish trust and credibility will gain a healthy advantage over those practices choosing to remain isolated.






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.

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.

3 Secrets to Writing Great Copy

3 Secrets to Great CopyWriting,
Great SEO copywriting for the web means writing articles that appeal to both your readers and the search engines. Your goal is to write content that interests your readers and is search engine optimized! Good SEO practices will allow your pages to rank higher.

Copywriting, or posting for your blog, is different than writing an English essay or a research paper. These 3 “rules” should help you achieve your goals of attracting both readers and high rankings.

Choose One Topic Per Post

One of the difficulties I had when getting started was trying to whittle down my message. I tried to stuff way too much information into the same article. In short, I was trying to say so much that it either diluted my real message or completely lost my reader.

Two reasons to limit yourself to one topic. First, it focuses your task of copywriting. By staying with one message, it is easier to construct meaningful titles, headlines and sub-titles that are necessary to grab your readers attention and, just as importantly, achieve great SEO.

Second, most people searching the Internet have a very specific question. Thus, they are searching for a specific answer. By limiting yourself to one topic, you are more likely to grab the attention of your readers as you’ll be providing a more direct answer.

“O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?”

You will not be reviewed by your colleagues. You are writing to your potential patients. Close your eyes and imagine one single person, patient or client to whom you are writing. Write in a style and use words that will appeal to that imaginary person, not your colleagues.

In a way, this is like writing a love letter, you want to reach out and appeal to your reader. Your writing has to strike home and make a connection with your audience. Don’t write to “show off.” Your readers will “bounce” away.

Effective writing requires that you communicate at the same level as your reader. Unlike most of your technical writing, you must write “down” to your reader. Writing “above” the reader will bore them.

One simple tactic I’ve used is to write down the hundreds of well rehearsed answers (lectures) I have given to patient questions. Over time, we all have our “pat” answers to commonly asked questions. As you know,these answers are well rehearsed because we have given them thousands of times. This is a great source of content…and you’ve already created it! Just write it down.

Size Matters

This is easy. You want your article to be about 300 – 600 words in length. Too short and you won’t index well. Too long and you’ll bore your readers and your “bounce” rate increases. Remember that your posts must grab the attention of the search engines and your potential clients!

In the next article, we’ll cover proper formatting to capture the attention of your readers!

Does Your Web Page Market Your Practice?

Top 10 rankings for your web page should be your marketing goal.

Does your web site market your medical practice effectively? Chances are your web page is “pretty good” and serves more as a reference site, but not as a highly effective marketing tool.

Your Patients Already Know You…

A typical medical practice has constructed a web page that serves only as a resource, or reference, for new and existing patients. It may contain hours of operation, participating insurance carriers, pictures of the office staff and a bio of the doctors.

This is a great resource for existing patients, but does not have any ability to attract new patients surfing the Internet looking for a new doctor.

How to Attract New Patients

The key to attracting new patients with your web site is to achieve high “top ten” rankings on search engine results pages. These are the results that are listed after you search, or “Google,” a particular subject.

Imagine your rankings souring to the “top ten” and the visibility you’ll receive!

SEO to Achieve “Top Ten” Rankings

The key to getting great search engine rankings is by adding fresh, relevant content to your web site on a regular basis. There is no substitute. This is technique is referred to as search engine optimization (SEO).

By simply adding new content (articles) to your web site, your site will become more noticeable. Get in the habit of routinely adding an article to your web site every month or every week…just make it a routine.

As a reward for your efforts, Google (Bing and Yahoo, too) will start list your web site higher and higher. It will recognize that your web site contains relevant and refreshed content…on a regular basis. Your site will start to rank higher than your competitors on search results pages.

Patients looking for a new doctor will start to see your web site as it rises through the rankings.

Maximize the power of your web site by providing content on a regular basis. Your web site has the potential to be the most powerful marketing tool you own to promote and grow your practice.

Social Media Marketing: Make the Time

Social Media for Medicine: Take the time, Medical Marketing Enterprises

Is the Day Ever Long Enough?

A fantasy of mine is to have a personal assistant who will take care of all the things that need to happen in my life, but don’t necessarily need my personal attention. He or she will waltz in each day and know just what I need to accomplish and will tackle it all with ease. Like I said; fantasy. In the medical practice industry, there are office staffs, teams and business partners who successfully do the tackling on a daily basis, yet the struggle to manage one’s own schedule effectively continues.

I Can’t Find the Time

For years, I thought I needed to “find” time. I have recently come to believe that the idea that we can “find” time is a cop-out, we have to make the effort. There is no easy way to do it, we have to commit and it takes focus and attention. When we decide to make a commitment and what it means for the outcomes we’re seeking, establishing a routine can be a pretty important consideration. It can also be anything but “routine” to get started…

I struggle with this myself. I’ve noticed recently that my priorities have shifted in a few areas of my life and I am devoting more time to the things I want to accomplish, rather than the things that seem to get in the way. (Insert applause here.) The biggest challenge has been maintaining some semblance of my daily routines, personal and work- related, while finding enough hours to make sure that these new priorities have a place a place, too. Sound familiar? I don’t quite have a routine yet, it’s going to take…. wait for it…. time.

Investment is not Just Money

We tend to forget that investment is not always monetary. Any investment that your medical practice makes in an effort to expand and provide a return will also be time. In this context, time often includes education, research, planning and implementation. The process is cyclical and as the effort progresses, the amount of effort invested tends to decrease as efficiency increases. Once you establish a process and a web presence/following, the ratio of time to return changes in your favor.

Time is of the Essence

We’ve all read statistics about the year over year increases in people joining social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and others. And who knows, in a few more years they could all be passé as we shift to ever more progressive methods of interaction and communication. My point is this… if you believe that social media can be a marketing tool to help you grow your medical practice, there is no time to waste. The medical practice industry is one last industries to embrace the web as a means to improve the return on marketing investment.

Making the Best Use

At the risk of being cliché, I’ll wrap this up with a quote from Ben Franklin who officially coined the phrase “Time is Money” long before the rise of industry and technology which we rely upon so heavily today. “In short, the way to wealth, if you desire it, is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly on two words, industry and frugality; i.e. Waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both.”

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Finding Patients with Social Media

Marketing Strategy for Medical Practices

“Who am I reaching with my online marketing strategy?”

Anyone focused on medical practice management should ask this each time a marketing strategy is researched, planned or launched. And as you are keenly aware, the primary goal of marketing by most medical practices is to attract new patients and keep current patients coming back. With online targeting on a steady incline, it’s no surprise that everyone is looking for the best way to carve out a piece of the pie. The many options available to you should be carefully considered to optimize your results.

Missing the Obvious… Duh

Ingrained in any step of this process is a common thread so obvious that we often forget to take it into consideration. It is the audience. By taking the time to thoroughly consider who you want to reach, you will increase the likelihood that anyone will listen and take action.


I did a little research today to understand the current stats on the number of marketing messages an average person in the US receives on a daily basis. Most of the seemingly reliable information I found informed me that the number is between 3,000 and 5,000 messages per day. You read that correctly, per day! Because I am a natural skeptic, let’s cut that in half… the numbers are still huge.

A successful medical practice marketing plan to attract new patients will aspire to cut through the clutter and get them to interact with and come to your website. The first step is to assess and determine the optimal methods to put your message in front of them and create an overall message that speaks to them. By customizing the right message, in the right place, to the right audience, your content can intrigue and draw people to you practice.

Attract… Capture… Measure… Repeat…

Your ideal patient has arrived at your website. Now what? Keep them on your site and get them to come back! Measuring audience interaction, page visits and time on site can help you to understand how search engine optimization can work for you to improve your results over time. This is not a “set it, and forget it” endeavor, but the good news is that if I can learn it, you can learn it.

A Secret Ingredient: Your Audience

“Who am I reaching with my online marketing strategy?” Now you know a secret ingredient to boosting the return on your marketing investment online. Audience. Understanding the ideal audience will empower you to reach them with a compelling message at a time when they are either looking for you or open to the information you are sharing. This will ultimately grow your practice’s brand and keep those new and returning patents coming through the door.

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Social Media is the New Yellow Pages

Social Media is the New Yellow Pages

Social Media Turns a Physician Listing into a Needle in the Yellow Pages Haystack

Finding a new doctor, despite the Internet, is still too difficult. I am surprised to find most doctors don’t use the Internet to grow their practice. I moved a little over a year ago and have been looking for a primary care physician ever since. I started where everyone does and asked my friends who they recommended. Four of them saw the same person and raved about her, so it was a “no-brainer.”

As I tend to do, I took my time in making an appointment, and while I dallied she left her practice and has not joined another. Now we’re all looking for a new doctor, and we’re having a difficult time.

Missing Out on Your Target Market

Last month, I turned 38, and I keep hearing about how my physical condition is pretty much a slippery slope from this point forward. I’m an upwardly mobile professional with a flexible schedule and great health insurance. I was raised to believe that preventative care and regular visits with a doctor are important. I am probably your target market… but I can’t find you because you don’t have a Web presence!

Finding a New Doctor

Let me explain what I mean by “find.” I’m not talking about the Yellow Pages. And yes, I did receive a few cards in the mail from one practice or another welcoming me to the neighborhood, but I found they smacked of desperation more than anything. The listing of physicians that have a partnership with my health insurance company is obviously important to my search. But when I say “find,” I am specifically looking for more than your name, phone number and location. I am looking for information that indicates you have a strong reputation and you’re open to sharing information, learning from others, and interested in having a dialog with your community.

I am interested in learning something about you, and I want to learn it on the Web.

Social Media for a Medical Practice

The use of Social Media can allow potential patients to find you by increasing your internet search rankings. It can also build your practice’s reputation, help both you and your patients stay up to date on credible industry news and information. Engagement and dialogue are becoming paramount in the way that people are making decisions. If you are not participating in the discussion, you will increasingly be overlooked.

So, while I continue my quest for a physician that I can get to know a little before making an appointment, I challenge you to consider what you can do to put yourself out there and invite a conversation with your community. And if you are part of the small percentage of physicians who have already headed down this path, I’m just sorry we don’t live in the same town.