April 2014: Is Net Neutrality Dead?

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ISPs can now selectively choose to favor, block or slow down Internet traffic. How will this impact your practice website?

Most of us don’t pay a lot of attention to what the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is up to, but it may be time to start. An ongoing battle over net neutrality has the potential to render website videos useless.

An Internet Tug of War

About 10 years ago, the FCC enacted several regulations pertaining to “net neutrality.” These rules mandated that broadband Internet service providers (ISPs) like Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable treat all data traveling across their fiber networks equally. The end result was that companies like Amazon, Netflix and Hulu, which relay huge amounts of information and data to consumers, had to be treated equally by ISPs, regardless of the amount of bandwidth they accounted for.

However, in 2010, the ISPs united in an attempt to reverse these regulations. In January 2014 they succeeded, as the regulations were overturned. Now, ISPs can choose to favor, block or slow down Internet traffic. But this ruling is not necessarily the final word. The Open Internet Preservation Act, which seeks to reinstate the net neutrality regulations, is currently being reviewed by the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.

Exodus of the Gamers

As lawmakers in Washington continue to haggle over net neutrality, companies and medical practices that depend upon quick, equal Internet access will need to fasten their seatbelts.

Gaming companies are particularly vulnerable, because any reduction in speed has the potential to cause gamers to jump ship, with the end result being enormous revenue loss. Educational institutions are also vulnerable due to the fact that they have begun to move the majority of their classes and/or class materials online to save on distribution and printing costs — if the ISPs begin charging for bandwidth, these savings will disappear.

But will any of this affect your practice’s approach to Internet marketing? Perhaps. If the ISPs were to slow access to YouTube or begin charging for downloads, you can say goodbye to any videos you have placed on your website. Educational video libraries and surgery simulation programs that depend on quick Internet access will become useless, because consumers will stop viewing them if access is compromised during peak periods. So while no one can predict the end result of all the wrangling in Washington, it’s safe to say that complete reliance on Web applications that require quick access to broadband downloads is not a good idea.

The Right Balance

All of these changes have highlighted the importance of balanced content. Consumers rely on several mediums to learn about new subjects, including pictures, video and text. If your marketing strategy relies too much on any one medium, it could come back to haunt you.

The best way to ensure that you attract the most patients, while protecting yourself from the FCC and its enemies, is to take a balanced approach to your Internet marketing. For example, in order to strike the right balance of text and video, the pages of your website should include at least 500 words — even pages that have videos. This will ensure that consumers have timely access to more than one method of learning about your practice.

Contact one of our Internet Marketing Experts at Ceatus to find out if your website is prepared to weather the storm of these changing regulations.

Read about our Case Study of the Month

Ask the experts

Q I like to include pictures in my blog posts. Is it a problem if I copy images from other spots on the Web and use them in my posts, if I just use them in one article?

A Copying and using images that you do not own or do not have a license for is playing with fire. If you get caught by Getty or the other image companies, typically the cost is upwards of $1,000 per unlicensed image. This is also a good reason to use a qualified company to maintain your website — one that has a policy and restrictions against the use of unlicensed images.

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Events: Maximize Your Internet Strategy

Come by the Ceatus booth for a FREE website evaluation!

The Rhinoplasty Society

San Francisco Marriott Marquis
San Francisco, CA
April 24, 2014
Booth 1

Come join Ceatus Media Group and All About Facial Rejuvenation™ at The Rhinoplasty Society’s 19th annual meeting in San Francisco!

American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

Moscone Center
San Francisco, CA
April 24-29, 2014
Booth 735

Meet us in San Francisco for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery’s 47th Annual Meeting. The Aesthetic Meeting 2014 will be filled with the latest news, technologies, and trends in cosmetic surgery. Ceatus CEO David Evans, PhD, will be giving a total of three presentations, so don’t miss out!

“Strategies Online for Increased Patient Volume”
Saturday, April 26
12:45 – 1:45pm
Aesthetic Marketplace Theater

“Techniques to Achieve a Dominant Internet Presence”
Sunday, April 27
12:30 – 1:30pm
Aesthetic Marketplace Theater

“Maximizing Your Online Marketing ROI”
Monday, April 28
2:00 – 4:00pm

ASCRS/ASOA Symposium and Congress

Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
Boston, MA
April 25-29, 2014
Booth 1508

The Annual ASCRS and ASOA Symposium and Congress provides attendees with unique access to the latest techniques and technologies in ophthalmic surgery. Ceatus VP of Marketing, Tamara Evans, will be giving a presentation on how to increase your patient volume through Internet marketing. Don’t miss it!

“Internet Marketing for Practice Success in the Digital Age”
Sunday, April 27
1:00 – 2:00pm
Room 102A

California Dental Association

Anaheim Convention Center
May 15-17, 2014
Booth 235

Ceatus Media Group will be at one of the largest dental conventions in the nation. CDA Presents will bring together 28,000 dental professionals from all around the world to learn about the latest clinical and technological advancements. Join Ceatus Media Group and Consumer Guide to Dentistry® at CDA in booth 235. Speak with one of our Internet marketing experts to learn how you can bring new patients to your practice!

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CEATUS Case Study of the Month

Keeping Up with Dr. Jones
Traffic to plastic surgeon’s new website doubling

Challenge: Dr. Jones is a board certified plastic surgeon whose focus is three primary breast procedures. He wanted to brand himself and create more visibility as a breast specialist in his market and nationally.

Solution: Ceatus created a separate procedure-specific website focusing on three primary breast procedures (augmentation, lift and revision) to make it clear to the consumer that Dr. Jones has specific training, skills and experience in these areas. The site was launched in February 2013. Ceatus designed Dr. Jones’s new site to position him as one of the top breast surgeons in the country. In addition to creating an aesthetically attractive design, Ceatus paid specific attention to highlighting his augmentation, lift and revision before and after photos and real patient stories on the home page. In addition, an extensive gallery was created where Dr. Jones could display his work. The new site, which also included fresh, detailed content, was created from the ground up to be search-engine friendly.

Results: Google and other search engines quickly recognized Dr. Jones’s new site as a valuable consumer resource for breast surgery information. Now both of Dr. Jones’s sites rank well locally for breast-related search terms. When his new site was launched, the traffic to his main site was about 2,900 visitors per month. One year later, his two sites collectively receive about 4,500 visitors per month. Because Dr. Jones’s new site has branded him as a breast specialist, it supplements his main site by gaining breast-related traffic he otherwise would not receive. The aesthetic design, photos, patient stories and content, combined with the rapidly growing traffic, have added to Dr. Jones’s reputation as a leading expert on breast surgery.

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Read about our Case Study of the Month

How Bunny!

Crime Novels. Pot and Pan Throwing. Skeleton Parades. Makes the chocolate bunny and Easter basket look boring, huh? Check out these interesting Easter traditions from around the world.

Corfu, Greece: Pot-throwing

Opa! The Greeks are known to break things such as plates, hearts and the occasional Easter pot. On Holy Saturday on the Greek island of Corfu, people start the day by throwing pots, pans and other earthenware out of their windows. It is said to symbolize throwing out the old to bring in the new. Probably not one of the best days to take a stroll on the streets of Corfu.

Poland: Smingus-Dyngus

Get out your super soakers, buckets and hoses ‘cause things are about to get wet and wild! Smingus-Dyngus, the Polish tradition of throwing water on each other, is done in honor of the Polish prince Miesko, who was baptized on Easter Monday. It is mostly practiced by men but if a woman happens to get caught in the crossfire, legend says she will be married in a year.

Haux, France: World’s Largest Omelet

Norway: Crime Novels

In Norway they don’t have time for bunnies and chocolate. Instead, they go straight to the crime novels. What started in 1922 as an advertisement for a new crime novel in the Easter Sunday newspaper has evolved into a series of “Paskekrim,” or Easter thrillers, to enjoy over the Easter holiday.

Verges, Spain: Skeleton Procession

Day of the Dead has nothing on the macabre skeleton parade that takes place on Holy Thursday in Spain. Frightening skeletons parade through the streets reenacting the Lord’s passion. The parade lasts three hours and ends with the carrying of carved boxes with ashes.

New Zealand: The Great Easter Bunny Hunt

Mr. McGregor and Elmer Fudd would approve of New Zealand’s Easter bunny hunt. Over 20,000 rabbits are killed on this day, and whomever kills the most wins a prize of $NZ 3,500. “I’m sowwy, Mr. Wabbit.”

Russia: Butter Lamb

Instead of rack of lamb or lamb chops for their Easter feast, Russians dig into butter carved to look like a lamb. This tradition is based on the idea that a lamb is lucky, and is the only animal Satan can’t take the form of. Pass the bread, please.

England: Hot Cross Buns

Even with its pagan roots you will become a true believer once you bite into the soft, sweet bread that has been served on Good Friday for centuries. Some argue the cross is in honor of the pagan goddess Eostre while others believe it is a reminder of the cross of Jesus. These delightful breads are best enjoyed in the company of family and friends!

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Read about our Case Study of the Month