Meet Your Future Patients
New statistics indicate growth of Internet-based referrals
It’s no news that the Internet is playing an increasingly important role in our lives. It should come as little surprise, then, that patients are going online to locate doctors and other local businesses. New statistics from the Pew Research Center note this trend and show that a key cohort of elective surgery patients is the same age group using the Internet to find local businesses. Can your practice afford to ignore this trend?
The statistics, released by Pew’s Internet & American Life Project last month, show that a majority (52%) of consumers who recently sought information about local businesses (other than bars and restaurants) rely mostly on the Internet. Just 29% now rely on printed materials such as newspapers, and even fewer rely on other sources such as local TV, local radio and word-of-mouth. In other words, a shift is occurring away from traditional sources, including patient referrals, in favor of the Internet.
To look inside the numbers is to peer into the future. For example, those between the ages of 18 and 40 were more likely to seek information using the Internet. This age group also accounts for a significant portion of the elective procedures performed in the United States. In 2010, more than 40 percent of the cosmetic procedures were performed on patients in this age range, according to the latest statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). As this tech-savvy group grows older, it is unlikely that they will abandon the Internet. As for the younger generations, they already rely on the Internet for just about everything. And last but not least, it is important to note that there is a growing trend toward Internet search in the older age groups as well. The importance of a robust online presence has never been clearer.
Pew’s statistics uncovered several other useful kernels of information. For instance, while many Internet users rely on search engines when looking for a local business, approximately a third rely on specialty websites. So, it is vital that your practice have visibility not only on the search engines, but also on educational sites devoted to your specialty.
All of this highlights how important your Internet marketing program is to the current health of your practice — not to mention its future success! Contact Ceatus today to learn how we can help you maximize your Internet presence.
The Holidays are over! Do you ever feel like you need a vacation from your vacation? Look no further! Here are 9 getaways to get your year started right.
Whether you like to bundle up by a fire surrounded by snow covered slopes or enjoy sipping on a cocktail while soaking in the sun, we have the ideal destination for you.
Looking to get away from the snow and cold this winter? Our top 5 warm weather destinations:
1. Miami Beach, Florida
While Miami is a fun destination just about any time of the year, winter is the ideal time to visit. The temperatures are perfect and the nightlife outrageous. Shop at Lincoln Road Mall or check out the Bass Museum of Art. Those looking to soak up some sun can enjoy the daytime people-watching on South Beach. If you’re a foodie, don’t forget the Food Network’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival, which is held at the end of February each year.
2. Las Vegas, Nevada
Looking to escape family, the cold, and the holidays? Head to the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas, where the lights flash year-round, the daytime temperatures won’t have your teeth chattering, and everything stays open, no matter who’s celebrating what. Some of the headliners will be on break, so take advantage of the other shows, including Cirque du Soleil, the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, and the Blue Man Group. Looking to relax? Contact any of the resort concierges and enjoy a massage.
3. Key West, Florida
Enjoy warm weather and frozen daiquiris in the Florida Keys, the ideal winter getaway. Key West provides mellow afternoons and energetic evenings. Kick back on the beach or try snorkeling and scuba diving. For the more adventurous, visit one of the dolphin preserves and swim with dolphins and sea lions.
4. Cancun, Mexico
With flights from all the major cities, Cancun is ideal when you want to enjoy a tropical destination on the cheap (during the winter months). Activities abound for all types of travelers, with zip-lines and various water sports for the adventurous, Mayan ruins and stalactite caves for the history buff, and beaches, golf and shopping for those who just want to kick back and relax. And with some of the world’s best bars, clubs and restaurants, visitors to Cancun are sure to enjoy the nightlife.
5. Bangkok, Thailand
As the political, economic, cultural, culinary, and spiritual capital of Thailand, Bangkok boasts both old-world charm and modern convenience. Bangkok is home to more than 10 million inhabitants. There are a variety of attractions to enjoy in Bangkok, including exotic temples, modern shopping malls, and Thailand’s Grand Palace — arguably the premier Bangkok sightseeing attraction.
For a taste of winter paradise, we suggest heading to one of these 4 frosty getaways:
6. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
During the colder months, we tend to head to tropical locales, but there is something to be said for visiting the chillier destinations. The main advantage, aside from off-season rates, is that you will practically have the place to yourself. Cape Cod is ideal for off-season travelling, boasting 15 distinct towns with as many unique activities. Relax at a local bed-and-breakfast or bundle up and explore the deserted beaches and uninterrupted scenic vistas. During the evenings, enjoy some of the best oysters in the U.S. while cozying up to the locals.
7. New York, New York
While the idea of hailing a cab in frigid temperatures may not sound overly appealing, the seemingly endless attractions of New York City are worth the hassle. Again, take advantage of the low fares on flights, buses (from other east coast cities) and hotels. New York holds the title for one of America’s most culturally diverse cities due to its abundance of museums, theatre and musical theatre, food and history. In the city that never sleeps, visitors are guaranteed a memorable trip.
8. Banff, Alberta, Canada
Situated in the Canadian Rockies, this stunningly beautiful mountain community is the ideal destination for those seeking a secluded, nature-filled getaway. Choose one of the three resorts as your home base while you ski (or cross-country ski), hike or ride horses in some of the most picturesque scenery Canada has to offer. Banff plays host to the Ice Magic Festival (mid-January); a festival dedicated to the art of ice carving.
9. Geneva, Switzerland
Known as the capital of peace, Geneva is also known as the “the world’s smallest metropolis.” Experience the snow covered mountains of Chamonix, France, only an hour away. Or stay in the city and enjoy performances at the Grand Theatre and the Geneva Opera House. No trip would be complete without a trip to St. Pierre Cathedral, the Palace of the United Nations, or the International Museum of the Red Cross.
10. Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
Looking for world-renowned skiing and snowboarding? Then check out Whistler. Spend the days on the mountain with fresh powder and the evenings celebrating a special event, shopping, or enjoying the area’s renowned fine dining. The Village offers all the amenities you would expect in any large city, including fire and police stations, medical offices, grocery stores and specialty shops. Situated at the base of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, The Village provides direct access to the gondola for Blackcomb Mountain. The Village is pet-friendly, so bring your fury friends with you.
Ask the experts
Q Why doesn’t my Google Places show the correct information?
A Most likely, Google captured incorrect or outdated information from other websites online. To fix it, you must “claim” your Google Places account and obtain a login. Then log in and correct the information.
Google Tightens the Noose
Search giant’s recent changes to Google Analytics mean you now need to be visible everywhere
In 2011, Google’s algorithm changes transformed the search landscape in a dramatic fashion. The changes made thus far in 2012 portend another momentous year.
Major alterations enacted last month to Google Analytics make it much harder to conduct statistical analysis of your website traffic using the GA program. In fact, we predict that these changes will make it next to impossible for medical practices — and even smaller SEO companies — to devise reliable SEO strategies based on this data.
The issue? Google Analytics no longer provides keyword-search-related information for consumers who have logged into their Google accounts. In other words, if a consumer logs into his or her Gmail account to send an email, and then searches the Internet and finds your website while still logged in, Analytics no longer shows the keyword(s) he or she used to find your site.
The upshot is this: On your own, you will be unable to determine which keywords are sending potential patients to your website for a large number of your website visitors. Lacking this information, it is extremely difficult to devise and modify your own SEO strategy. To combat this loss of information, you now need to be visible everywhere.
The abovementioned changes apply only to organic search; keyword information for paid search programs has not been affected. However, many of the keywords of greatest value in the medical and dental industry are highly competitive and correspondingly expensive.
However, it should be noted that some other recent Analytics updates and additions are very useful, such as diagrams that show how consumers flow through your website. In addition, there are methods and programs other than Google Analytics that are useful for evaluating and modifying website SEO strategies, so all is not lost.
Stay tuned for more information on Google and your Internet strategy, and if you have any questions about how this will affect your practice, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
CEATUS Case Study of the Month
Dr. Beck Case Report
Dr. Joel Beck is a board-certified plastic surgeon whose practice is located in San Mateo, CA. Due to his excellent reputation, patients travel to his practice from a wide geographic area around San Mateo, extending from San Jose to the south and San Francisco to the north. With top-notch competition spread across this far-reaching area, Dr. Beck wanted to upgrade his Internet image to reaffirm the high quality of his practice and surgical services.
Problem: Dr. Beck already had respectable organic rankings for both the San Jose and San Francisco markets and wanted to better convert the prospective patients who visited his website. He called upon Ceatus in 2010 to help transform his current website, giving it a more modern look that encourages better patient conversion.
Solution: The new site employs a wider image in order to accommodate the modern wide display screens used by consumers and to allow more space on each page to place images and calls to action.
In addition, the new site featured:
- A strong mission statement (“Positive Changes & Honest Opinions”) was placed prominently on the site.
- Contact information, including phone number and email contact forms, was made more visible.
- Various modules on the home page were created to promote specials.
- More imagery and higher-quality photos were placed throughout the site.
- The most highly-trafficked areas of his site – the photo gallery and testimonials – were made more prominent on the home page as well as throughout the site.
- Added prominence was given to his credentials (ASAPS, ASPS, etc.) to emphasize credibility.
- In addition to the aesthetic and structural changes to the site, additional updates were made to enhance the consumer experience.
- The site navigation was completely overhauled and simplified to make it more intuitive and easier to reach every page of the site.
- Much of the content was rewritten so that it would be unique.
- Social media icons and promotions were added to boost credibility.
- A blog was added to post news about the practice.
Result: The results of the website were impressive. Although the number of visitors to the site remained high (traffic was already substantial), the traffic and conversion metrics for each visitor improved significantly. The average time on site, the bounce rate, and the number of page views all skyrocketed. Most importantly, the number of leads generated from the website increased from 2 to 5 per week to more than 12 per week.