May 2014: 5 things practices do to sabotage their Internet marketing strategies

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The 5 things practices do to sabotage their Internet marketing strategies

In today’s digital world, attracting new patients to your practice means being found on the Internet. At this point, most practices have purchased nice-looking websites, and many have invested in Internet marketing strategies such as SEO. However, some of these same practices have undermined their efforts by taking shortcuts or missteps that irritate Google or hurt their website conversion.

Here are five things that are sure to sabotage your Internet marketing strategy.

1. Plagiarizing

We all grew up being taught that plagiarizing was wrong, but somewhere along the way it seems that some of us forgot. Copying content from other websites and placing it on yours is plagiarism, plain and simple. Not only does it risk putting you in legal jeopardy, it also makes you look just like everyone else and provokes the ire of Google and other search engines.

If you want potential patients and the search engines to view your website as a unique resource, your content must be unique. And if you have the same content as everyone else, you won’t come across as unique; canned content = canned surgeon or dentist.

If a significant percentage of your website content is copied, Google may penalize you. Some practices have even had their websites de-indexed by the search engines.

2. Duplicate Websites

As with plagiarizing, placing the same content on multiple websites, even when you own all of the sites and content, puts you at risk of being penalized by Google. The search giant could penalize both the original site and the duplicate website.

3. Lack of Contact Info

Some web designers are so concerned with the look and integrity of your website design that they lose sight of the forest for the trees. A good design doesn’t do you much good if people don’t know how to contact your practice, so make sure your designer places a contact form or your contact information above the fold on every page. You only have a few seconds to capture the attention of website visitors and convert them to patients, so it is crucial that this information, particularly your phone number, be prominently displayed.

4. Cheap Links

In the past, purchasing links to your website was potentially beneficial, but these days it’s a terrible idea. Nowadays purchased links are always viewed as “low quality” in the eyes of Google and other search engines. Google now determines the value it places on links on the reputability and applicability of the source from which they derive. For example, links to your website from a site that also has links to advertisements for pantyhose or cell phones will not be valued highly. What you want is legitimate links from reputable sources in your industry, not links from link farms featuring everything from plastic surgeons to pantyhose.

Put another way, links to your website are similar to word-of-mouth recommendations. The value of a recommendation depends on who is recommending you. If the recommendation comes from someone who is well respected in your field, it’s valuable. If it comes from a website that also links out to sites focusing on home improvement or fashion design, it is of limited value and potentially detrimental.

5. Missing Value Proposition

Some practice websites fail to convey what’s in it for the potential patient — in other words, how the patient will benefit from the practice’s services. While it may seem obvious to you, people viewing your website for the first time don’t know why they should choose your practice. So, make sure that the imagery and text on your homepage focus on the results they can expect. Use short, concise tag lines like “Stunning Results,” “A Beautiful New You” and, of course, “Schedule a FREE Consultation.” Also convey what makes your services better, and make sure that your contact information is front and center!

To learn more about what you can do to avoid sabotaging your Internet marketing strategy — and what you can do to make it shine — contact Ceatus today.

Ask the experts

Q Are backlinks still important to my Google rankings?

A Yes. However, Google is much more selective about which links it will value and can (does) penalize sites that have improper backlinks. To learn more, refer to the article at the top of this newsletter.

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Events: Maximize Your Internet Strategy

Come by the Ceatus booth for a FREE website evaluation!

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!

Vegas Cosmetic Surgery

Bellagio, Las Vegas
June 18-22
Booth 206

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Join Ceatus Media Group at the upcoming Vegas Cosmetic Surgery conference. Ceatus CEO David Evans, PhD, will be giving a total of three presentations, so don’t miss out!

Choice Words: Pay Per Click Ads Can Be an Important Part of Your SEO Strategy
Saturday, June 21

Are You (P)interested Yet? Hot New Media and Sharing Web Sites
Saturday, June 21

ROI 101: Are You Getting Enough Bang for Your Online Buck?
Sunday, June 22

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CEATUS Internet Marketing Tip of the Month

Find Out How Well You Rank for Your Name

How? Do a Google search for derivations of your name and practice name (e.g., Dr. John Smith, John Smith MD, John Smith MD New York, Aesthetic Images, LASIK Institute of New Jersey, Cosmetic Center of New York, etc.).

What if your website doesn’t rank #1 for these search terms? You have a serious issue with your website SEO campaign. On average, 80% of new patients come from patient referrals, and it is well documented that the first thing they do is search online for you by name and/or practice name. If they don’t find you for these critical search terms, your greatest and most reliable source of patient growth is in jeopardy. It is imperative that you take advantage of your online word-of-mouth real estate.

Side Note: Since you’re already on Google, you might as well review what others are saying about you. Check Bing and Yahoo as well.

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All for One. One for All.

5 great ways to support our troops on Memorial Day

Here are five ways you can honor our current troops as well as those who have perished in the line of duty this Memorial Day:

1. Thank a veteran in person, on Twitter, or via Facebook.

Tip: You can also send a “Thank You” card to a Wounded Warrior via Facebook.

2. Place an American flag or flowers on the gravestone of a veteran.

Here is a site that lists the military cemeteries in your area.

3. Send a letter to a soldier with the website A Million Thanks.

This site helps you compose and mail letters, make a donation, help fund the education of a service-person’s child or simply share photo.

4. Visit a military museum, memorial, or historic site.

Here is a list of some of the historical sites in your state.

5. Attend a Memorial Day parade.

Don’t forget to thank those that have served and are currently serving.

To those remembered, veterans and those currently serving: Thank you for the sacrifice you continue to make every day on our behalf.

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