Tagged: social media

Responsive Website Design – Benefits for Your Medical Practice

More and more people and prospective patients are accessing the Internet using mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Unfortunately, not all websites are designed for this type of access and those that aren’t are not creating a great user experience.

responsive medical website
It is becoming increasingly important for websites to provide a web presence that is usable and user friendly for mobile devices. Responsive website design makes attractive and efficient sites possible, regardless of the device used. With a responsive website for your medical practice, prospective patients can access one website on all devices.

Understanding Responsive Website Design for Medical Websites

Responsive website design was named for its ability to respond to a device regardless of how a site is accessed. The images, content, and structure of the site are the same no matter the device. When a responsive site is accessed using a smartphone or tablet, the site “reacts” to fit to the smaller screen, so there is no need to worry about creating different sites for various devices.

A responsive site uses grids and proportions instead of pixels to fit into the screen. More and more people are using mobile devices – we see 20-25% of all traffic for our medical websites being from mobile devices.

A prospective patient is very likely to search on their iPad or iPhone for a physician after work rather than sit in front of a home computer; especially if they’ve been sitting in front of a computer all day.

In the past, websites needed a regular version and a mobile device version, but responsive site design has eliminated this need. In addition to creating efficiency with only one site, there are numerous other reasons you should consider a responsive design for your medical practice.

Mobile Market is Growing

There are few people out there not using a smartphone, tablet, or both. Statistics show about one-fifth of all Google searches are performed on a mobile device. It is predicted that mobile usage will surpass desktop usage during 2014 and that the mobile market will only continue to grow.

Not only that, Google also prefers responsive design. Responsive website design is more efficient for Google bots to crawl, index, and organize because they have only one URL and the same HTML across all of the various devices. Not only does this mean less work for Google, it also means it is easier for users to share and interact with content.

Responsive Design has the Ability to Increase Conversion Rates

More and more people are using their mobile devices for finding information online. Research has recently shown nearly 70% of all mobile device users made a purchase within the last month. The less work users have to do to finalize their purchase the better, and responsive design makes the process easier. Responsive designs are able to adjust to any screen, so developers control how the conversion elements display on mobile devices.

What does this mean for a medical site? It means patients are more likely to follow through once they arrive at your site. The information you want to share with patients will be easy to access and you stand a better chance of getting visitors to your site to take the action you want. Also, since responsive sites aren’t prevalent, you will stand out from your competition. A prospective patient may visit a competitor’s non-responsive site and find it difficult to use, and then leave the site.

Social Media

If there is one thing users of mobile devices access when online, it is social media sites. Estimates show more than half of all social media interaction occurs on a mobile device. Social media also continues to carry a great deal of weight in the marketing world and as more and more Internet users incorporate social media into their everyday lives, its impact in physician website marketing will continue to grow.

One of the main things people are doing when using social media is sharing content. In order for this to have the greatest impact, the content must be accessible to as many people as possible.

For instance, if a Twitter user posts a link to the medical content on your site and 30% of people clicking the link from their phone are unable to access the information, you just lost nearly a third of your potential audience. However, with a responsive medical website, people are able to access your content, regardless of the device they use. You ensure your content is accessible to 100% of users. As more and more medical websites feature important content, easy access across all platforms is essential for making the most of your investment.

Optimal User Experience

Responsive website design results in medical sites that are more user-friendly. Instead of zooming and shrinking to see everything on a screen that is smaller than a desktop, all of the content automatically adjusts when the site loads. This makes it as easy as possible for visitors to utilize your site.

Studies have shown that when a visitor arrives at your site and is not happy with what they see, there is more than a 60% chance they will head elsewhere. A positive experience with a site increases the likelihood a person will trust the site enough to follow through and make contact.

When your site does not offer responsive design, the message you give patients is that you care very little for the experience they have when they arrive at your site. Think about your use of responsive site design as you would designing a brick and mortar office: If a patient walks in the front door and is greeted by a wall that prevents further access, he or she will turn around and leave. On the other hand, if the patient enters and encounters a pleasant atmosphere that feels friendly, inviting, and comfortable, the odds of that patient settling in and feeling comfortable increase. Your site should create this environment regardless how the prospective patient accesses your website.

Easier to Manage Marketing

Every medical website owner knows how much work it takes to manage a site and ensure it ranks high on search engines. Imagine having to do double or triple the work. That’s what happens when you do not implement responsive design. You will need to run separate SEO campaigns for each URL. A single responsive site means a single SEO campaign.

The bottom line is, as a business and website owner, you need to stay on trend and adjust to the market, but you also need to make smart decisions. Responsive website design allows you to do both. Not only are you able to keep up with the competition, you implement a strategy that makes everything about managing your site easier. Responsive website design is a win-win for everyone involved.

All medical websites developed by Physician Designs are now fully responsive. We can create one website for your practice that will work on all devices.

Should Physicians Use Social Media?

The short answer to whether a physician should use social media in their medical practice is “yes absolutely!” – but most doctors need to understand specifically how social media can help the practice.

Opening a handful of social media accounts is not enough. Unless you utilize these accounts and set practical goals for a social media strategy, you will be unlikely to attract and engage people and potential patients.

social-media

Successful marketing for physicians requires a solid social media strategy. This should not mean using every social media platform available and it certainly does not mean spending hours each day Tweeting or posting on Facebook. Your best bet is to organize a plan that is consistent, engaging, informative, and effective.

If you doubt the power of social media consider the following:

  1. Social media establishes your presence online. When potential patients begin their search for a doctor, the process most likely involves a search on the Internet. If you have not established a presence online, you might as well not exist to them. Social media allows you to expand your online presence beyond your website and attract even more attention from search engines.

  2. Social media makes it possible to share information with as many people as possible. An important part of your medical website design is the informative content. Unfortunately, the only people who will see this is those people specifically looking for your site. Social media makes it possible to reach a greater number of people. Not only are you getting them to notice your practice, you are also sharing valuable medical information.

  3. Social media helps you distinguish your brand from your competitors. The more solid the public’s image of you, the more you stand out. Think of the best brand accomplishments out there. All you need is to see a logo or hear a tagline or jingle and you know exactly what company you are dealing with. Social media allows you to further establish your brand in the minds of your current and potential patients.

So how do you create a strong social media strategy?

social-media-studentsAll successful offline and internet/website marketing for physicians should have a social media component. You can choose to speak directly with patients via social media or you can allow someone to post information for you.

The key to engaging users is providing eye-catching information. Most users skim through social media so it’s important to post items that can be quickly read and understood. Examples of this include lists of items such as “5 ways to prevent allergies” or “7 benefits of eating vegetables”.

Also be sure anyone posting to your social media accounts understands the mission and goals of your practice. The last thing you need is a message being conveyed to the public that is not in line with your practice.

Determine how often you want to post to social media and what information you would like to share. Often, people use social media to share informative content and to put a human spin on their practice’s online presence. You can use a blend of personal tidbits about staff and the day-to-day operations of your practice, as well as links to blog posts and relevant articles about your field of practice.

Is social media necessary for doctors? You bet it is. It can put you at the forefront of your field and create an engaged audience. Now is the time to include a social media campaign in your marketing strategy for your medical practice. You can contact us for a quote for an active social media management campaign.

The Importance of Optimized Content for Physician Website Design

Website design for doctors and healthcare professionals is more effective when the content featured on the site is unique, informative, and properly optimized. Content is important because optimization affects search rankings and social media interaction. It is the single best tool you have for improving the value of your website and an optimized content strategy is an essential part of marketing for physicians.

What is Optimized Content?

content managementSuccessful medical website designs include a variety of features. Which of these features is most important has changed over the years and optimized content has become the single biggest tool you have for improving the value of your medical website. Websites for doctors that utilize optimized content are effective for attracting attention from search engines, and of course, site visitors and potential patients.

What exactly makes content optimized? In addition to being well-written and engaging, optimized content uses keyword phrases that drive organic and natural search traffic. Awkward writing crammed with nonsensical keywords is a thing of the past and not effect – and possibly detrimental. Today’s optimized content is informative and interesting, and ultimately, leads to conversions. Optimized content attracts attention when shared through social media platforms and allows you to share your message with the public. Whether it is a newsletter, blog article, website page or posts on social media, optimized content helps you achieve your online marketing goals when it provides useful and informative content. Our team of writers at Physician Designs can help you create content for your internet presence. Our medical writers provide unique content about medical services and procedures. They can also create content for social media that is both engaging and informative.

Using Social Media and Search Engines

It is no secret that popular search engines including Bing and Google use certain “social signals” for ranking pages. These social signals are an important part of their organic search algorithms. Google is even placing additional importance on the use of its social media platform, Google+. Search engines view social media activity as extremely relevant, which makes it an important part of your optimized marketing strategy. Optimized content uses keywords to generate attention and increases social signals. It is found faster and deemed more attractive to readers.medical social media marketingPhoto Credit: HTSABO

What Should You Include in Your Optimized Content Strategy?

The world of optimizing and social media gets confusing, especially with so many new opportunities cropping up every day. Determining what works best for your medical practice and how you can use your medical website to produce the best results is not your top priority. Luckily, our design, content, and marketing team can help you design the perfect optimization strategy.

Your strategy should begin with targeting the best optimization opportunities available. Maximizing your content through social signals is a great way to generate excitement around your site. Sharing optimized content through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+ establishes influence in your field and generates attention from search engines. Optimized content enhances your use of social media and your use of social media enhances your search rankings. Each component is part of a cycle of success for your medical website and practice.

What Else Can Optimized Content Do for Your Practice?

In addition to growing your social media status and improving your search engine ranking, optimized content is also able to give you an advantage over competitors, puts your content in demand, and positions you as a leader in your industry. Just as speaking at an important event improves your ranking in your field, speaking out through a blog, website, or social media also enhances your standing for the patient and general population. You gain the trust of readers, establishing a relationship with potential patients before they even come through your practice’s door.

People want to read about your practice and learn what you offer. The information keeps them informed and puts them at ease when the time arrives for a visit. Not only does optimized content improve your online status through search engine rankings and online reputation, it changes how people view you and your services as a doctor.

A successful SEO campaign includes practical optimization and content marketing strategies that combine to achieve the best results. Optimized content can make your website more valuable than ever before. Contact us to make the most of your online presence and grow the value of your medical website!

How Word of Mouth Can Affect Your Medical Practice

Word of mouth has always been an effective marketing tool but in the age of social media and online marketing does it still work? Absolutely! Word of mouth is a major catalyst for driving traffic to a website, attracting the attention of potential patients, and building your medical practice’s brand. It is now more important than ever to utilize word of mouth when it comes to medical marketing.

How Word of Mouth Used to Work

Word of Mouth MarketingMarketing via word of mouth used to leave doctors with relatively little control once their primary work was complete. Patients received treatment and took their experience out into the world. If they chose to share a positive experience with others, the practice would benefit from word of mouth.

If the patient kept their experience to themselves or chose not to act as an ambassador for the practice, the marketing opportunity fizzled. A doctor could encourage his or her patients to share experiences, but there were no guarantees. Aside from giving the best possible service and best possible care, doctors lost control once a patient left the office.

Modern Medical Marketing

Nowadays, doctors have more control than ever before over word of mouth marketing. The key to building a successful brand through word of mouth is to blend social media with word of mouth marketing. People (and patients) are more vocal now about experiences because they have social media platforms allowing them to speak their minds. In the past, patients shared their experience with fewer than a dozen friends and family members. Now, they can post their opinions online and reach thousands of people.

How You Can Use Word of Mouth Medical Marketing to Your Advantage

As a physician wanting to market a medical practice, your goal is to encourage your patients to act as online ambassadors of your practice. This is similar to encouraging patients to share their opinions the old-fashioned way, but it has a much bigger impact. If you are able to get just one or two patients to utilize social media for word of mouth marketing, you are able to reach massive numbers of potential patients. Imagine if you could get just 20% of your patients to take to the Internet and share their positive experience. That has the potential to be 80 patients per month marketing your services and medical practice.

medical-social-mediaThe best way to encourage patients to share their opinions is to provide them with as many opportunities as possible. Different people are comfortable with different forms of online communication, so make sure everyone has a chance to share their opinion. Establish a strong presence online and use as many different platforms as possible.

If you think a particular platform is not a great fit, find creative ways to get involved. Using sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest make it possible to establish a presence online and build a strong brand. Each of these sites drives traffic to your website and gets people talking about your practice. You can speak with a project manager at Physician Designs to learn more about each social media profile and how it can benefit your medical practice and marketing needs.

The world of medical marketing it constantly changing and it is easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what the future holds. Tried and true methods of marketing may no longer produce the same results, but that does not mean you should give up on them completely. Word of mouth is just as valuable today as it was 10+ years ago, but it is being used in a new way that can actually spread information faster. You can use it to generate new patients for a medical practice and build a thriving practice in this modern age of medical marketing.

5 Social Media Tips to Drive SEO for a Medical Website

There are many areas on a website where social media can improve SEO for your medical website. Social media search engine optimization is a relatively new concept that is based around the idea that social media links and properties can have an immense roll in a website’s rankings (SERP). Social media should be part of any medical web strategy ensuring patient interaction and engagement. Being an authority in online social media is beginning to hold more weight for search engine rankings, and its proper utilization is vital to both established and emerging websites and businesses.  You should consider the role social media will play in your medical website development process for both design and marketing. The following tips will ensure that your medical web site can take the full advantage of available social media opportunities.

  1. Have links to all of your social media accounts on your Home page
  2. Use only relevant social media properties
  3. Update and actually use social media
  4. Be patient!
  5. …not social media related…but use ALT tags

Have links to all of your social media accounts on your medical website

Google, as well as other search engines like Bing and Yahoo, will immediately associate any of your linked social profiles with your medical website. Once a search engine has made this kind of association, any posts coming from your social media accounts will help rank for the most frequently used keywords. This trend will only continue to grow as social media becomes a bigger ranking factor for search engines, a trend that has already started. The Physician Designs medical marketing team can help you choose the right social profiles that will not only benefit your practice but also your web presence and ranking.

Don’t use irrelevant social media websites to promote your medical practice

There are countless social media websites that cater to all sorts of different groups of people with a variety of interests. If your medical specialty does not fit in with the community of a given social media site, then don’t use it. The sites with the most traffic are not always the best ones to join and use for medical web marketing. Using more targeted social media sites will help improve your ranking, and result in more conversions. Again, your dedicated project manager at Physician Designs can help come up with the best social media sites for your medical practice.

Be consistent on your social media platforms

Google and other search engines will always prioritize ranking sites with consistently and regularly updated social profiles over abandoned ones. Having said that, as always, content is king. Having a lot of posts containing irrelevant, low quality non-medical or healthcare related content will not help to improve your search engine rankings at all. A successful social media optimization strategy includes staying up to date and regularly contributing to your social media properties – and updating your medical web site’s profiles with relevant content. The consistent submission of relevant updates, especially with current events or healthcare news, will always help your practice’s online presence. For example, you can share updates or news about specials and new medical services provided by the physician on Facebook or Twitter.

We have many physician clients that use their Facebook page as a way to keep themselves in minds of current and new patients. Our medical design and marketing team can also give all of your social media properties a uniform design scheme. Some social sites like Facebook and Twitter allow you to customize banners and backgrounds with your logo. This also helps build a brand and shows consistency in your medical web marketing strategy.

Be patient

Even with the most efficient application of social search engine optimization, your rankings will not increase overnight. As is the case with all things, and especially SEO, it will take time for your medical website to see the effects of your efforts. It is important to keep this in mind and not to get frustrated if you aren’t seeing the results you are looking for right away. Social search engine optimization is a long term strategy, and if you consistently stick with it, you will definitely see results.

It’s also important to remember that rankings aren’t the only reason you are utilizing social media. There are many other benefits such as patient interaction and communication – these sites are a way for you to constantly market your medical services to current or prospective patients. With a website, users have to visit your site, but with something like Facebook, your updates show up on their newsfeed. This is a huge change in how information is provided to people.

Use alt tags for icons

This tip is a bit more website development-based but is still important to your social media optimization and medical practice website marketing strategy. Alt tags are usually overlooked by some website designers and developers; most often the focus is given to meta tags. Having alt tags to all your images will increase the chance that your site’s image will get indexed in Google Images, which will lead to more targeted traffic. For example, an appropriate Alt tag for a physician’s picture would be the doctor’s name. This will help the picture of the physician show up on Google Images. Alt tags also let search engines know what your website is actually about. We include Alt tags for all of our healthcare and medical marketing clients. You could also have a medical procedures’ name as an Alt tag for an image of it. This would only reinforce the content on the page.

No matter the size of your medical practice, think of us as your personal medical web design and physician marketing team. Your dedicated project manager will with you to develop a website and medical marketing strategy tailored for your services and area.

Our goal is to develop a website and medical web marketing campaign that becomes a business asset for your practice.

Four Easy Steps to Protect Your Online Reputation

Wondering what your patients are saying about your medical services, staff, or office? What are your potential patients reading about your medical practice? Want to know if your patients are happy with your bedside manner? There is nothing worse than finding out that a potential patient “Googled” your medical practice or name and decided not to schedule an appointment based on negative or untrue online reviews. Having a website for your medical practice can go far in building trust but a potential patient may come across review websites that have mixed reviews when searching for more information about a physician. Being left in the dark about your patients’ feedback about your services and medical practice can cause you to lose business without even knowing it.

medical reputation management

Attracting new patients is one of the top priorities for a practice and to do so, it is essential you not only uphold your practice’s reputation physically but have a reputable online presence as well. A custom doctor website can help patients find your medical practice but then they may also rely on other online resources for more information.

You can have a medical website for your practice and provide personal information but many other websites exist out there that allow for patients to leave reviews.

Here are 4 simple steps to help you make sure you are aware of your medical practices’ reputation.

Know What Others Are Saying
Start your trek by learning your clinic’s current reputation. How can you know whether to improve it or who to send service-related emails to if you don’t even know what type of reputation your company already has? Become aware of what is being said about your clinic and in what areas you need to improve in. Set up Google alerts for your medical web design so you can be aware for every new occurrence that pops up!

Have An Active Online Presence!
You many be wondering how your personal presence can help protect your clinic’s reputation, but rather than having a standing medical institution with no identifiable chief figure in charge, having you, the person of authority, will give your potential patients the satisfaction of knowing its credibility. So whether it is via blogging, participating in health-facility related forums or even through starting your own fan page on Facebook, your clinic’s active online presence will give your medical practice a positive image. Optimize your website with medical/health related keywords using SEO (the more concise, the better) so it can generate more hits, highlight your clinic’s unique and patient-friendly features compared to the hundred other health facilities in your area and if necessary, consult from websites that provide help to protect and improve your online reputation.

Remember, you want your company to be placed among the top service-related hits on popular search-engines such as Yahoo and Google. Our medical doctor SEO service can help with achieving top ranking for your medical website and online presence.

Utilize Social Networking
twitter-facebookNowadays, consumers utilize social-networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and even review-only websites to review their experiences and opinions on the services they were provided. This provides a gateway for direct communication between patient and provider. Realistically, you can’t please everyone. So every now and then, a patient may leave a less than pleased review for your medical practice. But what should you do as the figure in authority? Don’t ignore it! Respond to your patient as kindly and as respectfully as possible; keep in mind that you’re trying to uphold a positive image. Ignoring the message on any social media will definitely not go unnoticed and it would reflect badly towards your clinic. By keeping a method of communication open between your practice and the patients, you will only be benefiting your clinic’s online reputation.

Promote Patient Reviews
Don’t be afraid of getting less than stellar reviews. Reviews in general will increase interest in your medical practice. The more overall reviews you get, the more it would be represented as a well-known health-facility. Promoting patient reviews is the best way to keep your information fresh and accurate. Newer reviews may let your former patients know about your improved services, steering them towards your company once again. Do surveys and include links to your business profiles in newsletters to promote and generate new customer reviews. You can also have a link to Facebook, Twitter, or Yelp on your medical website design – so that patients can easily find more information about your practice and leave reviews.

In essence, your online web reputation depends on you being proactive and providing services interactively via your online presence to generate more traffic for your clinic. It is important that you should also keep in mind that following these steps diligently will not automatically grant your clinic the top spot on Google. Rather, it is merely a step forward for you and your online reputation.

Please feel free to contact Physician Designs to see how we can help with your online reputation.