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The Relationship between Website Navigation and SEO

Refining site navigation and structure is so important when it comes to search engine optimization. The idea that you could just put up your web site and never change it has become prehistoric. Today web sites need to revised at least every two years. Not for an aesthetically please purpose but for speed, video, and most importantly search engine rankings. So what does an optimized web site navigation look like? Here’s an example of navigation in its most basic form.

Your home page filters into header tabs, then header tabs filer into subcategories, which are, related to the header tabs. Each of the lower levels supports the higher levels from a linking perspective. The lines are indicative of potential cross-linking relationships, the implementation of which would be assessed on a site-by-site basis.

 

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 Search Engine Optimization and Navigation

 So what are the benefits of an optimized site? By creating straightforward and simplified navigation that access internal pages of a website are beneficial in the following ways:

  • Users are able to navigate the site easier
  • Search engines web site crawlers can easily crawl the site due to simplified navigation
  • Bringing exposure to subcategories within the site
  • Increases web site rankings

The above navigational structure is vital when it comes to users who have no idea the depth and size of your web site. Compared to a brick and mortar store, more than often, the consumer knows how large the store is before they walk in the door. Having a simple and straightforward navigational outline, an user and a search engine like Google will breeze through each component or department after department of your web site without a second thought. The goal here is to the make the user experience effortless. Making it so natural for the user simply allows the user to loose track of time and enjoy the entertainment.

As search engine optimization and usability experts, we often find that a website’s navigation can be simplified. By doing this, and creating a hierarchy of content supporting specific sections, we are improving navigation. But we are also creating a relationship which supports the sites linking, an absolutely critical component of SEO.

Ultimately, refinement of your navigation benefits the amount of pages Google and other search engines can locate on your site, allows you to increase your rankings, enhances your sites usability and improves your bottom-line. When you are creating your navigation, or refining an old one, make sure to take your time. In addition, consider the main keywords you are targeting to determine traffic and hub value. The bottom line is think about the end-user and how their experience on your site makes the most sense to find information. In addition, consider what common themes run through your site. This will allow you to accurately determine the correct paths and which links you would like to promote at the top of your navigation hierarchy.

Links pointing internally from the home page and globally on your website play a large role in your SEO success. Make sure your site makes sense from a usability and keyword traffic perspective and you will be a step ahead of many websites online.

 

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Responsive Websites Rank High on Google SERP

Just when you think your web site is up to date, Google changes its algorithm yet again. This last month’s change has Google’s pack of 7 down to a pack of 3 business web sites on the organic search page listing. In addition, addresses and phone numbers have been removed altogether. As you can see, only three web sites are listed for “medical weight loss Las Vegas” and are supposed to be listed based on proximity and relevance of the search. However, these businesses that are listed are not close to my location nor are they weight loss centers. So what does this mean to business owners?

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Well it actually means more than you might think. It means that for you to be even somewhat competitive, you need to update your web site to increase your chances of being in the top three along with staying on the first page of Google’s organic searches. So how do you increase your chances to be in the top three on the local pack of Google? Here are five recommendations:

  1. Your website address is now more important than your phone number. In the new local pack, the address and phone number are removed from the main search result. Instead, the search results show your store hours, reviews and offers a link to the website and directions. Of course, you can still see the spot on the map where your business is, so address is still important. But it’s interesting to note that they make your website URL prominent and not focus on your other contact info. Make sure that your search listings have a Website URL, and it can’t hurt to make sure your hours are filled in too. Also, it’s extremely important for you to make sure Google has your address listed so you come up to the nearest prospect who is looking for your services.
  2. Google is taking away its emphasis on Google+. Google also removed the links to Google My Business pages. This makes Google+ less relevant, which might be a relief to a lot of people who felt forced into creating a Google+ account. In the meantime, it’s still best to keep up with your Google+ pages while we wait and see what The Big G chooses to do next with their social media service.
  3. It’s going to be even harder for a local business to rank here. While we always want to be as high as possible in search results, now it’s even harder. As you can see on the example above, there is A LOT of local competition in our area for the medical weight loss industry. I would be willing to bet that it’s similar in most other industries. This means that the majority of businesses won’t be listed on the local pack of Google. My prediction is that customers will rely less on this first page as a result. They might get into the habit of expanding the local pack to see all 20 top results, or looking in a different area for local results. People like options! If this happens, businesses will not place such an emphasis on ranking locally. Of course, it could be the exact opposite – competition for that 3 pack could greatly increase. In that situation, only the best, most relevant sites will prevail.
  4. It’s more important than ever to make sure your website is optimized. As you can see, Google is not going to slow down any time soon in aiming to give people the most relevant search result possible. This means that it is extremely important to make sure your website is helpful, mobile-responsive, complete, and relevant.Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 5.09.04 PM
  5. Adding video on your website increases your rankings on Google’s organic searches. As you can see Unicorn’s YouTube channel is helping it come up in rankings on Google’s search engines. It’s not one or the other for testimonials, we recommend both as some prospects may want to read about other patients’ experiences while others may want to hear it. Giving options to your patients is key to success.  As you can see in the screenshot below Unicorn Medical Weight Loss & MediSpa tops the list on the organic search and it’s YouTube video is #4 on the first page of Google’s organic search engine.

Does your website need an SEO facelift? If you think you need to update your site and boost your organic traffic, click on the image below to learn about our website packages.

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Top Five EHR and Practice Management for Medical Practices

 The Mechanics of Keeping Your Patients Part 2

Running a profitable medical office requires keeping on top of key metrics such as accounts receivable ratios and net collection percentages. However, you have to look beyond those numbers to stay in the black, experts say. Successful practices prioritize teamwork and ensure that everyone on staff knows their role in the revenue cycle and that includes implementing an integrated practice management and EHR software system that best-suits your practice.

For a medical practice, EHR may be important — but practice management is essential. According to KLAS ratings, the top five practice management software systems are as follows:

    • 1. – Epic has become the default system of choice for hospitals, particularly larger hospitals. As a system designed for large enterprises, it is not even an option for small medical practices. While customers may choose Epic as much for its reputation and the breadth of its suite as for any single piece of software, the KLAS rating shows they are also happy with the practice management functionality, which actually reflects the performance of multiple products
  •  2. – Aethenahealth: Aethenahealth rates #1 for practices of fewer than 75 physicians. While most practice management software vendors offer some version of their product as a cloud service, Athenahealth is the one most insistent on sticking exclusively to a cloud model. Just as significantly, the AthenaCollector software is inextricably linked to the company’s business services. One major strength of Aethenahealth is that it can see where in the workflow employees are getting hung up, or how long it takes a patient to get checked in or checked out for a visit.
  •  3. – eClinicalWorks: Ranking in the KLAS survey as one of the top practice management systems for practices of all sizes, eClinicalWorks is second only to Epic for practices with more than 75 physicians. eClinicalWorks boats that it’s clients currently experience a 98% first-pass acceptance rate (claims paid on first submission).
  •  4. – NextGen Healthcare is another of the top-ranked practice management systems in the KLAS survey across practices of all sizes. NextGen offers a revenue cycle management service, although so far fewer than 5% of customers take advantage of it. The software’s ability to track the work that needs to be done to process claims and secure payments are among NextGen’s strongest features. While often overshadowed by EHR hype, practice management is really the core of the system.
  •  5. – McKesson shows up in the KLAS rankings for two products, Practice Plus, one of the favorites for practices of 75 or more doctors, and Practice Partner for smaller practices. McKesson prodcuts are distinguished by their ability to adapt to individual locations, so it’s not cookie cutter, and adjust software workflow to the way a practice functions.

warkprofileprofessionalPractice management software is just one component of helping keep medical offices running smoothly. Technology systems are not the only systems that need to be adopted in your practice. Before you decide a system that fits your practice, you need to have a full grasp of every function in your practice. For example:

  • What happens when a new patient contacts you?
  • What actions happen when you sign on a new patient?
  • What steps do you follow to deliver your healthcare services?
  • What tasks need to be completed when you complete a project?
  • How do you run your back office and administrative affairs?
  • What roles and responsibilities do any team members (employees, subcontractors, etc.) have and what steps do they follow to meet those duties?
  • What does your schedule look like? What constitutes “open for business hours” and “closed for business” time?
  • What are your policies and procedures for working with patients? (Think: patient forms and arbitration agreements.)
  • What are your billing and payment policies and procedures?

The above components are all a part of creating standard operating procedures and policies to adhere to at every level of your practice. If you need help with designing your operations in a way to help your practice runs efficiently, please give us a call. It’s time to start running your medical practice like a very successful business.  Call us today at 702-682-8300.

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Video Testimonials – Most Powerful Marketing Channel

Video is a powerful tool for persuasion. We are now talking, sharing, producing and consuming in a mobile world and video content has a greater impact in all of these areas than anything else. The ease of distributing video content has also resurrected the art of personal persuasion- real people, to whom you can relate, expressing their true feelings about something and suggesting you do the same. There is nothing more powerful than a real satisfied patient, client, or customer expressing themselves to other real people.

 

 

The production is first class, and the message is simple, short, unscripted, and compelling. It meets all of the communication demands of today’s consumers. It is also a component of a larger campaign in promoting Cataract Awareness Month. As part of promoting Cataract Awareness Month on behalf of our client, we are rolling out testimonials on laser cataract surgery that will be distributed throughout the various digital media channels. The above video is one of many that will be used to help with SEO ranking and consistent messaging throughout the digital media channels like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and the web site.

Social media channels are now awash in video content. It was only a matter of technology catching up to our insatiable appetite for moving images. Today we expect to be talked to, entertained by, and persuaded with video. If there is one phrase that optimizes our rules of engagement it’s, “If you want to tell me something, say it, don’t’ write it”. YouTube is a perfect example of how popular videos are used by businesses for messaging. The stats on YouTube alone are staggering.

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  • YouTube has grown to be the largest social media site surpassing Facebook in 2014
  • YouTube has more than 1 billion users
  • YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine behind Google
  • Every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views
  • The number of hours people are watching on YouTube each month is up 50% year over year
  • 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • Half of YouTube views are on mobile devices
  • Mobile revenue on YouTube is up over 100% y/y

 
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With the exception of brands and businesses that cater to millennials, the rest of the world of commerce lags behind their respective markets in the video medium that is the most effective with consumers. I began to approach my medical clients a year ago about integrating video content into their social media marketing. My suggestions weren’t met with reticence as much as a sincere lack of understanding why a video medium would be desirable to market products and services. The reaction lead me to do a bit more research on the web to see how doctors and their practices were using video in the digital world.

Most of the doctors that had a presence on Facebook, You Tube, and on web sites, although positioned professionally, had a remarkably unprofessional quality to them. Many of them were self-produced and consisted of a doctor talking into the little imbedded camera on a computer screen, under florescent lights, and talking at length. I felt like I was sequestered in some digital dungeon being force fed content for CME credits. The lack of quality reflected poorly on them as professionals and they clearly didn’t understand that this was probably their worst foot forward.

Today that’s beginning to change. Medical professionals recognize they are in an ever increasing competitive market that demands authenticity and excellence. Recording rambling video in something that resembles your mother’s basement doesn’t cut it. Consumers expect the highest quality services and products in the field of medicine and they want to hear about it from people like them. Make your happy patients your best sales people.

Creating excellent video messaging is becoming an imperative for marketing success. I would love to help you achieve that. Feel free to contact us at 702.682.8300.

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Getting Real About Your Social Media ROI

Question: What’s as legendary as the Lock Ness Monster, or as allusive as the Publisher’s Clearing House Million Dollar Prize?

Answer: It’s an acceptable ROI on your business’s digital media efforts…or some would have you believe.

While a return on investment for social media would appear to be one of life’s great mysteries, there are a number of ways to wrap your brain around this vexing issue.

Media is media. Businesses have always needed to market, and the same question always arises, “How much money do I have to spend to convince people to buy what I have to sell?” Whether you spend money on traditional media like TV and radio or social media like Facebook and Twitter, you will always be faced with the uncertainty of which ad at what time and place compelled the consumer to become the customer. We must demythologize digital and social media if we are going to alleviate the anxiety and the angst over spending advertising dollars on digital and social media without feeling like we are chasing an imaginary audience. It’s easier than you may think.

It begins by managing your expectations. Understand that successful marketing is an exercise of trial and error. Messages, resources, and social media channels need to be tested constantly. More resources are committed to the formulas that have an acceptable level of response and return, but the testing should continue to keep pace with evolving markets and delivery systems.

The ultimate goal is to get conversions (customers) and keep conversions, but that is the result of a marketing process. The process begins with presenting yourself to your audience and then trying to figure out if they notice you enough to do something about it. Any great salesman will tell you that the secret to selling is to develop a relationship with your potential customer. Until recently every social media marketer was glued to analytics that would tell you how many friends or followers you had. The enthusiasm for those great numbers died quickly when owners realized those indicators weren’t translating into an increase in customers. It turns out we were looking at the wrong thing.

It’s now apparent that meaningful response to social media messaging comes when someone is willing to engage. That engagement takes the form of traveling the next step down the sales funnel, whether that is sharing a post, hitting a recommended link for more information, or actually giving you contact information that you can now use to create that relationship. Now that you know that engagement is the goal, you can make sure that your social media dollars are going towards a strategy that compels the viewer to engage. The more people you have drawn to the step of engagement the greater success you will have in creating a relationship and ultimately making them a customer.

Measuring your Digital and Social Media ROI is not just limited to small business owners. Global marketers both in Europe and America have increasing pressures to prove their worth. The illustration below shows how the digital channels rank in their ability to measure ROI from global marketers.

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newly-released survey [download page] from Econsultancy and Oracle Marketing Cloud that analyzes global marketers’ ability to measure ROI from a variety of digital channels finds that there is only a single discipline that most marketers rate themselves “good” at measuring.

The survey – fielded predominantly among European marketers, who made up three-quarters of the sample – found that 52% of company respondents consider themselves “good” at measuring ROI from paid search (PPC). Similarly, 53% of agency respondents rated their clients’ ability to measure the ROI from paid search as “good.”

No other discipline was able to crack 50% of respondents rating themselves “good” at ROI measurement. In fact, email marketing (for acquisition) was the only other channel for which respondents (both marketers and agencies) were more likely to rate themselves as being “good” than “okay.”

On the other end of the spectrum, just 13% of company respondents rate themselves as “good” at being able to measure the ROI of video advertising, and just 12% of agency respondents agreed with respect to their clients. By one measure, though, content marketing fared even worse: a plurality 43% of company respondents rated themselves “poor” at measuring content marketing’s ROI. That was the only channel of the 19 identified in which more respondents considered themselves “poor” than “okay” (41%) or “good” (16%).

Social media investment also appears to be a pain point, according to marketers and agencies, echoing the sentiments of US CMOs as noted in the study referenced above.

Despite those difficulties, inability to measure ROI is not the primary hindrance to increased digital marketing investments, per the Econsultancy study. Instead, marketers were most likely to say that a restricted budget for all types of marketing prevents more investments in digital, while a lack of staff to make the most of digital investments was the second-most cited barrier. Interestingly, agency respondents see a lack of understanding about digital and company culture as the biggest impediments to clients investing more money in digital.

That’s not to say that there’s not money flowing to digital marketing, though. Instead, this latest annual study finds digital marketing budget expectations to be at their highest point since the survey’s inception in 2010, as 77% of respondents plan spending hikes this year, up from 71% in last year’s survey. Of note, 71% of company respondents agree that it has become easier to secure boardroom buy-in for increased digital marketing budgets, an increase from 64% last year.

warkprofileprofessionalSocial media marketing and the results of that marketing shouldn’t be a great mystery. Put together a plan (or find someone that can do it for you), commit the proper resources to executing the plan, and execute the plan knowing that you have invested wisely in something that’s real…not a legend.  Call me today to create a marketing plan that is tailored for your business. 702.374.1944

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Branding: Your Market I.D.

What Are You?

“Branding” is quickly earning its way onto my Banned Words List. It’s still essential to successful business marketing, but it is in danger of becoming nothing more than a trendy buzz word. And trendy buzzwords too often become a cheap substitute for a little heavy lifting that any business needs to be successful.

Branding only seems difficult because it requires a business owner to take a longer and deeper look at their business. After all, it so much easier to just desperately struggle every day chasing customers that have absolutely no idea why they should trust you! The exercise of branding your business begins not with an over-priced trademark or logo, it begins with a philosophical question, “What or who are we?”

 

I ran across a great article in Forbes where the author said that building your brand starts inside your organization with defining your corporate culture. You have to mold your own set of values and behaviors if those characteristics are ever going to be recognized in your brand. Every department and person in your business should be keenly aware of what your brand means. When you have really committed to building your brand you will begin to understand the need to hire people that reflect your corporate culture and properly represent your brand in the marketplace.

 

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A well-recognized and regarded brand is about owning the market, not competing in the market. When the customer believes in your brand they stop comparing you to the competition. They form an emotional attachment to your product and service. It’s not a question of how many times they see your logo, it’s about what stands behind it: integrity, a great product at a great price, caring customer service, etc. It’s your customer’s emotional attachment, and your brand discipline, that will sustain you through the rough patches, the pretenders, goofy trends, and market swings.

Marketing your brand is an act of discipline too. The ROI on an effective branding campaign is not going to deliver short term results like a standard retail campaign would, but it will be priceless in the long run. Some mediums, like social media, are going to be more effective for branding than it will be for generating direct sales. A video testimonial, because of the visual medium’s emotional appeal is likely to have a greater impact than a newspaper ad.

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A brand is more than a catch word, it’s the definition of who you are and what you represent. It’s on which everything else sits. It’s time to build a foundation for your business. Build a brand. For a consultation, call me directly at 702-374-1944. Let’s start today!

Marketing Plan

Are you a man with a plan?

Marketing plans are like travel plans-if you don’t have one you can find yourself wandering around in circles. A plan compels you to look ahead, and a good marketing plan is a product of thorough research, conservative forecasting, a good chunk of expertise, and a dash of imagination. Unfortunately, too many business owners get the ingredients confused and instead decide that their marketing plan should have a big chunk of imagination.

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Set you inner “Mad Man” aside, and get your arms around the less exciting, but more crucial elements of a successful marketing plan, The Four Ps. The Four Ps are Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. Each one of these components is essential. So let’s break it down:

Product: The marketing plan identifies the ‘hook’ for a product or service. You better know who your target audience is, and why they should be willing to buy what you are selling. And you need to tell everyone why they should buy yours instead of your competitor’s.

Price: What pricing strategy will your practice follow for this product/service? Is the plan to sell large volumes so the economies of scale can keep the price low? Or will be marketed as a boutique practice, which keeps the service and products more exclusive but the prices higher?

Promotion: What is the advertising strategy? How will the service/product be packaged? Are you using your satisfied patients and customers as your best salespeople? Are you using advanced technology to promote your practice, and the wealth of knowledge of your physicians? All of these questions need to be addressed and written down so that the marketing campaign is focused.

Place: How will the product/service be distributed? Will it be pushed out through social media channels, print, traditional broadcast media outlets, or all of the above?

These are just the first steps in developing any marketing plan. There is always a ton of fine tuning once you deal with the basics, but at least you are going to be headed in the right direction. As we all know, summer is around the corner and can be a seasonally slow time for elective medical services, so you need a marketing plan more than ever.

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It’s not too late to put a campaign together. You need a strategy to build strong and loyal patient relationships, as well as grabbing a bigger share of the market. I can help you do that. Give me a call directly at 702-374-1944.

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The 5-Star Patient Experience

5-star-facilityIn today’s healthcare delivery system, it is rare to find medical practices where you are greeted with a warm welcoming smile or, God forbid, the front office person knows your name. Most of us dread even going to the doctor’s office and it’s not because you have to get your annual check-up. Rather, it’s the long wait, the unfriendly front office person, the confusing insurance co-pays, and the too-short five minutes with the doctor.

The business model for a service business should always insist that both the first and last point of contact with a customer must set a precedent for a positive experience. That is why the front office position is one of the most important roles in your practice. So how do you create a formula for a successful patient experience? Here are some tips that have shown tremendous success in providing a superior approach to patient experience and management.

Hiring the Right People

In any service-oriented business, the patients’ experience is all about anticipating their expressed and unexpressed needs. This means it’s imperative to seek out those needs. How do you achieve this? Hire the right people.

Employee Orientation

New employee orientation is so important in weeding out who is a right fit in your organization. One characteristic that stands out to me when I have hired for front office positions is PASSION, which I define as the following during the initial interviews:

  • Service orientation
  • Work ethic
  • Positivity
  • Relationship
  • Team spirit
  • Empathetic

Policies and Procedures

Your front office staff must work as a team and be given clear and specific direction by management. Saying, ”We want to offer great service.”, is not specific enough when it comes to attaining service excellence. Employees need a road map. Management should never assume anything. Service standards should be written down. Learning through role-playing, or allowing the trainee to observe your senior staff in interacting with patients is a must. Don’t assume that their mother or father, or previous employer taught them what really great service looks like. Have a written service strategy.

Successful Service Strategies

I suggest scheduling a 15 minute meeting every morning. Break it down where you spend 5 minutes going over follow up issues from the previous day, and 10 minutes discussing the line-up of patients coming in for the day. The theme of the meeting is not about venting; on the contrary, it is about empowerment. It’s telling your employees that we trust you to help the patient.

Another component of service success is making sure management inspires employees to bring their passion to work every day and to always give their best. You do that by reinforcing their purpose, not their function. Not the “how”, but the “why”.

Confronting Employee Failure

What happens when an employee gets “off track”? It depends upon the nature of the mishap. The employee who gets off track ethically is out. There is no coming back, no compromise. In my experience, you cannot teach ethics.

For the employee who is in the wrong job position, management should reassign the misfit into a more suitable slot. For instance, a successful front office person might move into management, and perform poorly. In those cases, a return to front office has saved the employee and restored productivity.

The long and short of excellence in patient satisfaction is being able to provide services that money cannot buy. Giving your patients respect, dignity, employees who really listen, prompt and courteous response to requests, as well as an unfeigned friendliness is a recipe for high patient retention rates and five-star reviews.

warkprofileprofessionalIf you are wondering how healthy your practice really is or if you want to explore on how to improve  your customer service and patient experience, we would love to help you. Call me directly at 702-374-1944 and I can offer practice management solutions that include on-site training, standard operating policies and procedures, as well as responding to negative third party social media reviews like Yelp.

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Mobilegeddon – The Move to Mobile

Google to Favor Mobilized Web sites

For those who have not heard of the term Mobilegeddon, it’s time that you know what this word means. This cleverly coined name is not exactly the end of the world, but it definitely could be damaging to your business. This word has not been defined yet in Wikipedia but it is breaking news for tech savvy businesses that want to remain competitive on mobile Google search engines.

Mobilegeddon, dubbed by the media, is the rollout of Google’s new formula that will give a boost, in Google’s “organic” search results, to sites that are designed to look good on smartphones, while penalizing those that don’t. In other words, Google, which dominates online search, is launching an algorithm to favor sites that are “mobile-friendly.” This means that people who use Google to search on their smartphone may not find many of their favorite sites at the top of the rankings. Websites that have not been updated, or reformatted, could find themselves ranked much lower, which in turn could mean a huge loss in business.

This rollout is expected to affect mobile searches today but will take a few weeks to be completed; however, it will not affect desktop searches. This new algorithm comes at a time when smartphones searches are dominating local searches for businesses. Many searches are conducted on smartphones. A 2013 report by Google on mobile use found that 94% of smartphone users search for local information; 84% of those users act on the searches they conduct, such as contacting a business.

And indeed, many will be affected. Forty percent of the Internet’s top sites aren’t considered mobile-friendly by Google’s standards, according to marketing company Portent.

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How to tell if your site is “mobile-friendly”? When you conduct a Google search, next to your site it should read Mobile-friendly. The screen shots below show mobile google rankings with the Unicorn Medical Weight Loss & MediSpa ranking first in Las Vegas for “Medical Weight Loss Las Vegas”. As you will see, I highlighted and outlined the font in red. This is the location on your results where you will see if your site is Mobile-friendly.

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Another illustration is below, where the mobilized web site, Nevada Eye & Ear is ranked #2 on the Google Mobile search engine for “Cataract Surgery Las Vegas”. As you will see, I highlighted and outlined the font in red, where you will see if your site is Mobile-friendly.

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Love it or hate it, change is here, but Google and other resource providers have made an effort to take the guesswork out of going mobile. If you need your site to become, mobile friendly give us a call, and we can have it ready in less than a week. Call me directly at 702-374-1944.

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Start fostering an effective digital media strategy in your practice today. For questions or to make an appointment to meet with us, please call 702-682-8300 or email me a question at lmwark@gmail.com.

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Take It Personally

Personalizing Your Practice

We have all sat in those marketing meetings where the talk is all about the newest and greatest gadget that will attract new patients, where we have armed ourselves with the storyboard comparing our unique practice to the competition’s. But when all is said and done, the process and strategy of reaching new patients starts with the basics:  Personalizing Your Brand Leads to a Connection 

And the end result of being personable and connecting to prospective patients increases conversions. The graph below shows on average the benefits of a personalized media campaign. As you can see, personalizing your message increases engagement and conversions.

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In order to start a conversation with a prospective patient you need to define who you are. Are you the cosmetic high-end dentist? Are you the family eye doctor? Do you have a fixed menu of services or is pricing not discussed with the healthcare provider? When prospective patients see your practice, what comes to mind? Now that you have defined what you think you are…you need to personalize your brand to your prospective patients. Defining who you are and being disciplined in conveying that to patients sounds elementary, but you would be surprised how quickly you can stray from your brand and confuse your patients.

 

When you Personalize your Brand, you are Connecting to Patients

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Remember after you ask a question, you need to listen. One company that has been effective and very successful in listening to its customers is Starbucks. Although they stumbled badly last week with their “Race Together” initiative they heard their customers and did a quick about-face and discontinued it yesterday. In a company where the “experience” compensates for the high prices, it is in Starbucks’ best interest to receive feedback directly from BrandsFocusingPersStrat_61-74_infographicthe customers themselves. Starbucks has created a consumer portal, “My Starbucks Idea” where employees discuss ideas that are being implemented while responding to other suggestions.

Another company that has seen tremendous success in personalizing their brand is Southwest Airlines. Southwest has effectively used social media to show what makes them unique and uses social media activity and community engagement to highlight their uniqueness. From promoting a viral video of a rapping flight attendant on YouTube to informing customers of delayed flights, Southwest has successfully created a personable image that conveys a friendly, unique, and intimate brand to its loyal flyers. In fact, a customer on a flight randomly filmed their experience that was posted and quickly went viral. Southwest executives thought it was fun as well, and looked at it as a great branding opportunity, and promoted it on all its social media channels. Since the video was published, it has been on major television networks, talk shows, and news networks.

warkprofileprofessionalIt’s never too late to define, empower, and personalize your brand. Whether you have been around for twenty years or are just opening your doors, defining who you are in the marketplace is essential in attracting and retaining prospective patients. Then, remember to follow-through by meeting and exceeding patients’ expectations.

Call me directly at 702-374-1944 and let’s start branding your business today.

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