4 Reasons Why Hospitals Must Embrace SEO

March 30th, 2015

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More often than not, people turn to the web to solve their problems before seeking out the help of a professional. Health concerns are no different. In 2012 alone, more than 70% of people sought answers to their health concerns online using the power of internet search according to Pew Research. The information these individuals are looking for range from information about a disease, symptoms and treatments to specialists and physicians.

With so many people researching health-related information from behind the comfort of their keyboard, hospitals and physicians are wise to incorporate some basic SEO strategies into their business plan in order to ensure that their facility ranks high on search results.

Below are four reasons why hospital marketing directors ought to consider using SEO to reach potential patients:

1. New patients are only a search away

The rising cost of healthcare is at least partly responsible for turning people from their physician’s office to Google for answers to their healthcare questions. Websites like WebMD—which is where a large portion of healthcare concerned people end up—are capitalizing on this need. However, it seems people are not relying on the sites alone. Most internet browsers (as much as 77%), ultimately turn to Google in hopes of being directed to an appropriate website.

2. Make advertising easier

Word of mouth is still important when you engage in SEO because without authority, you won’t be able to attract new users to your website. In addition, word of mouth and searching online for information are connected because once one person has located helpful information, they are likely to recommend that information to their friends and family.

3. A high-ranking website can increase appointments and reduce anxiety

Most people experience a certain level of natural anxiety about visiting the doctor. If they’re sick, usually the first step people take is to Google their symptoms to see if they can find a diagnosis on their own. This leads either to relief (possibly unjustified) or to panic. Hospitals and physicians can use SEO to their advantage by listing stories of successful visits and treatments, as well as information about physicians. This can help to alleviate some fears your patients will have about coming into the office.

4. A strong staff = patient trust

Typically, you can trust the information you receive about healthcare from a hospital’s website. The same can be said for your physician’s office. This is especially true if physicians partner with an SEO expert who knows healthcare topics. These SEO professionals can create very informative content that will help to develop relationships between patients and doctors before they ever meet.

To speak with an SEO professional specializing in medical marketing and search engine optimization, please contact us today. In the meantime, you can also learn more about us by browsing our website and blog.

Cloud Computing: Wave of the Future for Healthcare Organizations

March 16th, 2015

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More and more businesses are looking toward the quickly evolving world of cloud computing to help run their business more efficiently and with better collaboration. This is especially true in the world of healthcare, where roughly two-thirds of mid-sized organizations are using cloud computing.

Recently, Dell Inc. published a survey in which 2,038 IT professionals for mid-sized healthcare organizations were polled. Of these 2,038:

  • 43% have private cloud storage solutions in place
  • Another 43% have employed a hybrid cloud
  • 46% percent of cloud users stated that they began using the cloud because it allowed them more freedom to allocate resources. Cost savings motivated another 39 percent.

Dell’s Healthcare and Life Sciences chief medical officer Cliff Bleustein believes cloud computing can help act as a facilitator for collaboration between various medical practices. Moreover, Bleustein feels that healthcare’s future will be found in “intelligent data repositories” and in the ability for healthcare providers to be able to “incorporate clinical workflow functions and predictive and prescriptive analysis” into their IT plan.

Dell is not the first company to notice the trend of healthcare facilities incorporating cloud computing into their business plans.

Last summer, HIMSS Analytics reported nearly the same findings—that roughly 80% of mid-sized healthcare facilities were using cloud computing to streamline their data. In addition to the high number of users, HIMSS discovered that only a small portion of the healthcare population (about 6%) felt uncomfortable storing sensitive data (i.e. patient records) in the cloud. The biggest concern this 6% had about cloud computing was the ability to keep data safe.

The versatile nature of the cloud means that healthcare organizations are able to use it for a multitude of functions. This includes everything from data storage to hosting software and making HR programs easier.

Centegra Health System chief information officer and CFO David Tomlinson was one administrator who initially voiced concerns about the safety of cloud computing in the healthcare field. For him, his biggest concern was the transportation of his current system in-house storage to the cloud. He also voiced concerns about the access he would have to his health system’s data via the Internet—specifically what would happened in the event of an outage.

Tomlinson’s concerns were alleviated and he is now pleased with his decision to begin using the cloud.

“It’s the wave of the future because it offers lower cost points and lower total cost of ownership,” he said.

Have a question about medical marketing technology and information? Contact us to request more information.

6 Myths about SEO and Your Medical Practice

March 2nd, 2015

Implementing successful SEO strategies in the medical field is growing in importance. Doctors and physicians everywhere are starting to realize the value of enhancing the online presence of their practice (or in some cases, creating one).

However, over the course of this growth, many myths about medical SEO (and SEO in general) have arisen. Keep reading for 6 of the worst of SEO myths for medical practices:

1. You have to notify search engines before they’ll rank your website.
Once you’ve let search engines know that your site is functional, you don’t need to tell them anything else. Google will find and index your site automatically.
Read the rest of this entry »

3 Steps to Better Local SEO Performance

February 16th, 2015

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Healthcare has proven to be one of the most competitive markets, especially in terms of local SEO. This is due in large part to how often medical practices acquire new patients—a number that is comparable to the restaurant industry.

Another reason why the competition for local SEO is stiff in the healthcare industry is that medical offices usually obtain new patients through direct-response marketing, which thrives on search engine optimization. Direct-response marketing refers to potential customers turning to Google to find the service they need.

For the medical field specifically, patients frequently rely on Google to find a specialty physician. Direct-response marketing makes logical sense in healthcare because people don’t just visit an immunologist on a whim. For this reason, and others, medical practices can greatly benefit from including SEO in their marketing efforts.

Here are three tips your medical practice can implement to improve their local SEO:

1. Find a balance between medical jargon and everyday terminology.

While someone who’s been researching his or her condition may know some medical terminology, the average person will not. This means you will need to include both medical jargon and common words on your site. Including both terms will help increase your internet rankings by encouraging a wider range of audience.

2. Give more focus to your local audience.

Your main focus when building your marketing strategy is to focus on those potential patients located nearby. You are more likely to attract local residents to your practice than lure people from several cities away. For this reason, if you spend your efforts (both marketing and SEO) locally, you will have a more effective online marketing campaign overall.

3. Focus on quality content.

Producing content related to the medical field can be fairly painless since there are many opportunities to create high-quality content. With such a vast number of medical specialties, the list of topics that can be written about is virtually endless. Furthermore, these topics can be manipulated to fit your local market by pulling in some of your practices’ keywords.

We hope these tips help improve your practice’s SEO strategy and thus attract more clientele. For additional medical marketing solutions, check out our blog or contact SEOMedical today.

Google Hummingbird Changing the Face of Medical Marketing

February 2nd, 2015

Having a visible online presence is vital for increasing the number of patients you have regardless of whether you are opening a new medical practice or if you’ve been established for years. Even if you’ve never heard the terms SEO or SEM, you are well aware that your patients (established and potential) will perform Google searches on you. For this reason, you need to have a website that has a favorable rank on Google; however, this task can be daunting.

While search engine algorithms seemingly change on a whim, there is definitely a rhyme to their reason. Recently, Google’s algorithm, named Hummingbird, proved to have a significant impact on medical marketing.
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What does Hummingbird mean for your practice?

Google Hummingbird is meant to be more precise and faster than Google’s previous algorithms. For physicians with websites, this means if your online presence is built on a foundation of poor internet practices, then Google is going to lower your rank. In addition, this new algorithm is going to pave the way for a more organic SEO. Therefore, if your practice is quick to change, you’re more likely to be rewarded.

One advancement that Hummingbird will provide is voice operated Google searches (i.e. iPhone’s Siri and Android’s Google Now). More people are using these features to look up information online, meaning Google has had to change their formula because of the more complex nature of voice searches. This is a huge benefit due to the ‘on the go’ nature of most people today.

Google will also be integrating the social cues of their users into their algorithms. For example, Google+ users who visit certain businesses (in this case a doctor’s office) will receive links to this business more often when they’re searching for related businesses. More importantly, these results will start to be returned to people you interact with via social media and you will begin to receive results on places they frequent.

If this algorithm sounds complex, you’d be right; moreover, it’s completely on purpose. Google is working very hard to eliminate spam marketers and those who practice black-hat SEO. Hummingbird seems like it has the possibility to eliminate spam returns from your search results.

In the course of developing a marketing and SEO plan for your medical office, you also need to pay attention to how your office will be viewed by a search engine, and more importantly, internet searchers. Visit our blog for more information, or contact SEOMedical for assistance building your plan.

How Personal Trainers Can Use SEO to Pump Up Their Business

January 16th, 2015

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Being a personal trainer often entails finding your clientele via word of mouth, which can make it hard to earn a steady paycheck. One way you can increase the number of people who know about your services is by creating a website.

With the help of these 4 SEO techniques, you can increase your website’s traffic and hopefully your client base:

  1. 1. Keyword Identification

    Your first big hurdle is understanding what words people interested in a personal trainer will use when performing a web search. For instance, you should include the words “personal trainer(ing)” and the city you’re based in. You can also use keyword software, like Google AdWords and Keyword Tool, to help see the frequency of certain words. Once you know which keywords to use, incorporate them into title tags, your page’s URL(s), any blogs you write, press releases and advertisements.

  2. 2. Use Local SEO

    Take advantage of all the local profile sites you can join, such as those offered by Google, Yahoo and Bing. These services will put your business’ important info online and in a place where people already go to for information. Not only can potential clients find you on these sites, but they can also leave reviews, which will help strengthen your business’ reputation. In order to reach the greatest number of people, make sure you fully complete your profile.

  3. 3. Posting High-quality Content

    Submitting blogs to fitness websites can also increase your presence online. Not only does publishing content online increase your exposure, but it also establishes you an authority on the subject you’re writing about. The more blogs you write and publish, the more likely you will start receiving quality backlinks to your blog and/or website, which helps boost your online visibility.

  4. 4. Become a YouTube Star

    Posting videos of your training sessions can give your business a boost as well. Not only can it give potential customers an idea of what your training is like, but it also provides an example of visual marketing. Furthermore, all of your videos can be linked with your keywords; thus, increasing your search rankings.

Setting up an SEO solution for your business can be tricky, especially if you’ve never ran a business before. Contact SEOMedical to help with all of your SEO needs, or visit our blog for more information.

SEO 101: 7 Basic SEO Essentials for Your Medical Blog

December 29th, 2014

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It is just as important for your medical practice’s blog to practice SEO techniques as it is for technology-based businesses. When using SEO techniques, remember Google is looking for active websites—meaning they are regularly updated with quality blog posts. Google also looks for the following key items to raise the website’s page rank.

  1. 1. Write for patients, not engines

When Google assesses your practice’s website, they are not going to be looking for content that is geared toward search engines. The higher-ranking webpages are ones that provide their customers with well-written, useful information.

Here’s a good resource for tips on creating great web content for your site.

  1. 2. Make a list of target keywords

If your website is not achieving the page rank you’d like, chances are you’re not highlighting the correct keywords that your patients are using to find you.

  1. 3. Titles should work for search engines and readers

To help search engines pick up your blog content, you should make sure that you place keywords in your titles, and are most helpful within the first words.

  1. 4. Place keywords/phrases in the opening sentences

This goes for both webpages themselves and blog posts. You should work hard to get keywords in your introduction paragraph.

  1. 5. Place keywords in your meta description

Moreover, it is recommended that your meta description keywords should be incorporated in the form of a question. No, you’re not on Jeopardy, search engines just read them better this way. Typically, the keywords are also bolded to enhance the visual focus and being a question can get people to click on and browse.

  1. 6. Place keyword(s) in your web page’s URL

Although search engines skip pronouns and articles, they will easily notice keywords. Placing keywords in your URL will increase the likelihood that your practice will be high on your patient’s Google search.

  1. 7. Add in keywords to article sub-headings

If you’re going to include a sub-heading to your articles, you should not only make sure to ad in keywords, but you also need to ensure that they stand out from both your heading and the rest of your text. You need to make sure that your sub-heading stands out because most readers are in fact, skimmers. If you set up your headings thoughtfully, you can direct readers where you want them to read.

Yikes! How Do I Get an Accurate Report of My Medical Website Rankings

December 15th, 2014

You’re trying to improve the search visibility of your medical website. And while it may seem logical to just open Google and start searching to see where your clinic’s website stands, the results can be a little skewed.

As explained here:

Thanks to browser cookies, you’ll need to do a few extra steps in order to ensure you are getting a true picture of site performance

Fortunately, there are some quick ways to get an accurate view of your rankings in the search engines:

  1. Disable personalized search features
  2. Search Incognito, or enable privacy modes in your web browser
  3. Copy/paste “&pws=0” at the end of your search results URL. This code overrides your existing cookies

Check out the piece from SEOe for more…

Dr. Ashima Singla Joins Gainesville’s All About Women Obstetrics & Gynecology Office

November 6th, 2014

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All About Women Obstetrics & Gynecology (http://www.allaboutwomenmd.com/), recently welcomed Ashima Singla to their North Central Florida practice. AAW is known for using advanced treatment for women, and this high-level of treatment will only continue to grow with the addition of Dr. Singla.

Dr. Singla not only brings with her years of expertise, but she is also well versed in the daVinci surgery system, a laparoscopic, minimally invasive procedure used in high-risk pregnancies and other gynecological issues, including the robotic hysterectomy.

An alumna of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in India, Dr. Singla became chief administrative resident at New York’s Rochester General Hospital. In addition to her years of practice, Dr. Singla is also an award-winning researcher. She has also won awards for her skills at practicing medicine and for her bedside manner, including the Dr. James Craig Potter award (an award for exemplary honesty, trust and skills).

You can find more information about Dr. Singla and her joining the AAW team here, or check out this physician bio page for more about Dr. Singla and the rest of AAW’s exceptional doctors, midwives, nurses and staff.  You can also call us at AAW’s office at (352) 331-3332 to schedule an appointment.

Making Images Work for Your Medical Website

October 24th, 2014

How to find the perfect image for your content and how to ensure that your customers can find them online

doctor-at-work

We live in a visual culture and things that are bright, colorful and move attract attention. For this reason, when you are creating and uploading content to your medical website, it is important to include an image with your content. Chances are you don’t have time or the resources to create a new image for each article or blog you post. Luckily, there are numerous places on the web where you can find free images or high-quality paid images.

Ben Larcey has compiled a list of some of the most popular and easiest places to find stock photos. Most of his listings are for free images; however, some of the services are available at low cost. Here are a few examples of where to find free and paid images. For a more extensive list, read Larcey’s article here, or check out this handy list from our sister blog SEOe.com.

Free Images

  • Wikipedia Public Domain Images—images that are in the public domain that you can search.
  • Death to the Stock Photo—a number of images are emailed to you every month. The site is not set up for you to search for photos.

Paid or Attribution Required Images

  • Snapwire—a fun concept where you create a ‘challenge’ and the artists will take photos and upload their best image. You choose and purchase the one you like the best.
  • Yayimages—a searchable catalog of over 5 million images for 9.90/month

Making Sure You’re Found on the Web: Optimize Your Photos

Now that you’ve found the perfect photo to accompany your content, how do you make sure that your patients (both current and potential) can find your practice from your photo? Easy, you need to make sure that the photo is optimized to enhance search engine rankings.

Just as content (through keyword based web searches) receives traffic on the Internet, images can be located through image searches. Therefore, you need to make sure that you optimize your photos to handle web searching in order to pick up search traffic.

In order to do this, you need to make sure your image has the following information:

  • Save your image file using one of the keywords from your content (i.e. the keyword that is most likely to give you a high ranking)
  • Since the size of your image can have an effect on the time it takes to load, make sure the image isn’t so large that it takes too much time to load. Most people don’t have the patience for images that don’t load.
  • Include alternative search terms to ensure that web spiders still locate your image if the search term isn’t exactly how you’ve saved it. For example <img src=”medical-office.jpg” alt=”Medical Office” />

To learn more about enhancing your medical office’s position in the search engines, or otherwise marketing your practice online, continue browsing our site or contact us today to discuss your goals.