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February 2015

Want New Patients?

Strengthening your online presence is the best way to attract them. Here are some basic strategies that many practices miss.

These days, a strong online presence is an absolute must if you want to maximize new patient acquisition – and, therefore, is vitally important to the success of your practice.

Who Needs the Internet?

You do. This is true for three reasons.

1) First, in the minds of your potential patients, prominent online visibility equates to quality of service. It does in your mind as well, if you think about it. Let’s say you’re traveling to Boston and a friend recommends an Italian restaurant there. When you arrive in Boston, you search a few terms to learn more about the restaurant, such as “Italian restaurants in Boston” or “Back Bay Italian restaurants.” If the recommended restaurant does not appear in the search results, you immediately begin to question its quality, even though, in reality, the restaurant’s Google rankings have nothing to do with its menu. This is exactly the way consumers view your practice. In other words, if you don’t have good online visibility, consumers question the quality of your services. It’s not fair, but that is the world we now live in.

NOTE: Google doesn’t care how long you have been in practice, how much training you have received or how many procedures you have performed. It only sees and cares about what is online and only evaluates what is online. In your quest to appear in the search results, remember – Google does not rank surgeons or dentists, it ranks websites. That is the bottom line. Therefore, it is important that Google likes your website. Your online image – and by extension, consumers’ impression of your practice – depends on it.

2) Secondly, consumers believe what they read online. In fact, results from PEW Research found that 73 percent of Internet users said the information they find online is accurate and trustworthy. The reality is, if a consumer finds one of your competitors’ websites before yours, your competitor can say anything about his or her expertise, procedures, or skills, and three-fourths of consumers will believe it.

3) Finally, because consumers trust the information they find online so much, they are more apt to refer their friends and family to you if you have a strong Internet presence. Even when consumers hear about you through word-of-mouth, they still go online to check you out before contacting your office. They’ll be checking out your competitors, too, so it’s important that they like what they see on your website.

We’re All Privy to the Search Engines

For better or worse, all of this depends on the search engines. According to the same PEW study, 77 percent of online healthcare seekers start their research on a search engine. Obviously, if you want to reach these people, it needs to be easy to find you on the search engine results pages.

How do you get Google to rank your website well? This, of course, is the enduring question. Hiring an experienced medical SEO firm is a good place to start.

Acquiring New Patients Online

Achieving a prominent presence on Google does you no good unless your website appeals to prospective patients. There are a few basic rules to attract the attention of patients and get them into your office.

Your Name – Shoot for No. 1 rankings. If nothing else, your website must rank No. 1 for your name and practice name, including any variations of both. This is your real estate, and you need to own it. In doing so, you can control what consumers read about you when they want to learn more about your services and search for your name or your practice name. Again, ensuring No. 1 rankings requires the services of an experienced medical SEO company.

Communicate what’s in it for the patient. Ultimately, what patients want is an enhanced lifestyle, so focus on this, not the treatment itself. To consumers, reading about the details of surgery is like watching paint dry. And descriptions of the equipment in your office are even less interesting. Instead, focus on the patient and what they will get out of receiving surgical or non-surgical treatment from your practice. Placing a picture of a piece of equipment – or of your office – on the home page of your website is a major gaffe, because prospective patients want to connect with other happy patients, not with medical equipment or office decorations. Pictures of happy patients with enhanced lifestyles are much more compelling and better convert website visitors to consultations.

Develop a good review strategy. It is imperative that you have patient reviews on your website. These days, consumers expect it. They use reviews to make important buying decisions, including healthcare decisions. According to a study by Revoo, sales can increase by as much as 18 percent when reviews are combined with product or service information. So, make sure you have a strategy for generating good reviews, and for sending patients to places online where you have good reviews. Place procedure reviews right on your site where consumers can use them to make buying decisions (e.g., place veneers reviews on your veneers page, LASIK reviews on your LASIK page or rhinoplasty reviews on your rhinoplasty page). Don’t be afraid to use reviews to sell!

To learn more about how you can acquire new patients online, contact Ceatus today.

Ask the experts

Q How do social signals impact my search engine rankings?

A It’s well-known that Facebook and Twitter will not drive hordes of track-able sales to your practice. However, this doesn’t mean your practice shouldn’t have an active social media strategy. Why? Because both Google and Bing/Yahoo use data from social sites to determine how high to rank your practice website.

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Events

Maximize Your Internet Strategy

Come by the Ceatus booth for a FREE website evaluation!

Chicago Dental Society

Chicago, Illinois
February 26-28, 2015
Booth 805

Give your Internet strategy a smile makeover. Visit the Ceatus team at Booth 805 to learn how to increase your conversion and start bringing new patients to your door!*

*Don’t forget to ask about our Ceatus SmartBanner!

Dallas Rhino Symposium

Dallas, Texas
March 6-8, 2015

Find out how to grow your practice and increase conversion from your online presence. Stop by our table to talk to a Ceatus Internet marketing expert and get a FREE Internet Strategy Review! Ceatus CEO David Evans PhD, will be giving a talk on SEM and Social Marketing. Don’t miss it!

“Global Search Engine Marketing: Social Marketing and Beyond”
Saturday, March 7, 2015
5:15 PM

FFAS

Atlanta, GA
March 18-22, 2015
Booth 411

Visit the Ceatus team at Booth 411 of the FFAS Symposium to give your Internet strategy a facelift.

Also, Ceatus CEO David Evans, PhD, will be speaking on a panel discussion focusing on the importance of website design, reputation management and ROI from Internet marketing. So don’t miss it!

BEST PRACTICES FOR WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT
“Who is Watching Your Web Team? Tips to Ensure Your Web Design and SEO Team Delivers”
Friday, March 20
2:45 PM – 3:45 PM

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
“Reputation Management”
Saturday, March 21
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

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CEATUS Internet Marketing Tip of the Month

A Picture is Not Worth a Thousand Links

If your photo gallery is built so that each image is assigned a different URL, you may have a problem. Unfortunately, this is a strategy we have seen on sites previously managed by less experienced Internet marketing companies, and one that could get your site penalized by Google’s Panda algorithm. Google considers these pages “low-quality” because there is only one image and limited content. If this has happened to you, call us and we can help.

Contact us today to find out how we can help!

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And the Oscar Goes to…

According to AskMen.com these are the Top 10 Oscar-Winning Guy Movies to Watch

1. Patton

Oscar Wins: 7, including Best Picture

Patton, a biographical WWII film about the controversial US General George Patton, is one of the top war movies to add to your collection. Its music, screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola and seven Academy Awards make this film a stand-out among guy flicks.

2. Rocky

Oscar Wins: 3, including Best Picture

You have been living under a rock if you haven’t somehow heard about Rocky, quoted the movie, screamed “Adrian!!!” or worked out to the infamous training scene music. Its Rocky… enough said.

3. The Bridge on the River Kwai

Oscar Wins: 7, including Best Picture

The Bridge on the River Kwai is a fictional account of the construction of the Burma Railway in 1942. William Holden plays American Navy Commander Shears and resembles Humphrey Bogart, James Dean and Steve McQueen all in one. It doesn’t get much better than that.

4. The French Connection

Oscar Wins: 5, including Best Picture

The French Connection was the first Rated R movie to win an Oscar. The movie is loosely based on the actual French Connection drug trafficking scheme. It takes place in New York and follows two New York police officers in their attempt to intercept a drug shipment to France. How could one ever forget the film’s high-speed car chase, which is considered one of the most viscerally exciting screen moments of its day and set the stage for dozens of action sequences to follow.

5. Platoon

Oscar Wins: 4, including Best Picture

Another must-see, Platoon is often referred to as the greatest Vietnam war film ever made, along with Full Metal Jacket. The film takes place on the front lines of the Vietnam War and boasts stars like Charlie Sheen. OORAH!

6. Unforgiven

Oscar Wins: 3, including Best Picture

Set in the Old West, Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven stands apart from all other Westerns with its noir influence and brutal depiction of the harsh justice of the Wild West. We may no longer live in these times, but I’ll raise a whiskey to this one.

7. Gladiator

Oscar Wins: 5, including Best Picture

Perhaps best known for its violence and fighting sequences, Gladiator tells the story of Maximus Decimus Meridius, a loyal Roman general who is betrayed when the ambitious son of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Commodus, murders his father and seizes the throne. Reduced to a slave, Maximus rises through the ranks of the gladiatorial arena to avenge the murder of his family and his emperor. Revenge is a dish best served in the arena.

8. The Departed

Oscar Wins: 4, including Best Picture

The Big Daddy of crime thrillers, The Departed, takes place in Boston and dives into the inner workings of the Irish mob and police force. But not all is what it seems. Does somebody smell a rat? Also, what you may not know is that The Departed is a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs. The director is none other than Martin Scorsese, and the film boasts the likes of Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Mark Wahlberg.

9. Braveheart

Oscar Wins: 5, including Best Picture

FREEEDOMMM!! This is probably the most quoted and most epic of manly movies. Mel Gibson’s portrayal of the infamous William Wallace is nothing short of electrifying. There are jousting matches, gore that even makes a hardcore gore fan queasy and high amounts of testosterone to boot. I think it may even be on the “Man Card” application.

10. The Godfather

Oscar Wins: 3, including Best Picture

The Godfather may be one of the greatest films of modern times. Marlon Brando plays Vito Corleone, the aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty. Brando’s portrayal of Corleone re-energized his film career. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Al Pacino, who plays Don Vito’s son and the inheritor of his empire, The Godfather is a true classic that can be watched again and again.

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Our expertise is widely recognized and Ceatus personnel are often invited to share our knowledge and lecture specifically about digital marketing at the major meetings worldwide. Why does this matter? Our unique qualifications and experiences allow us to offer proven strategies that deliver strong search engine placement, optimal lead generation and continued growth; even as online trends shift and technologies advance. Bottom line, we know how to help you connect with more patients online. Call us today to find out how we can help you reach more patients and grow your revenue!

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Read about the topics and trends that affect your Internet Marketing Strategy. Each monthly installment of The Ceatus Chronicles includes an insightful article about the latest trends in online healthcare search and marketing as well as case studies, Q&As and more.