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OK, yes…Medical Site Solutions is all about helping the healthcare industry by providing professional websites and excellent service at an affordable price. But if you haven’t already gleaned from our social media posts, we’re also all about inspiration and motivation and leading a healthy existence. Why? Because our goal is to ALWAYS BE GROWING so that we can give MORE…BE MORE for our clients. We strive to consistently bring our very BEST to the table. You see, our mission is to practice constant strategic innovation in our products, services and delivery. We ask ourselves everyday: How can we add MORE value to our client’s practice than anyone else? And how can we do that in a real, authentic, and transparent way?
And so, last weekend leaders at Medical Site Solutions participated in a profound team building experience by travelling to San Jose, California to attend a Tony Robbins seminar. The expectations were simple: we would learn about leadership, partake in team building exercises, learn a bit about business mastery, and take away a few golden nuggets that would empower us to run the best medical website design business in the United States. What we learned, what we took away was so much more. As extraordinary as this experience was, it’s virtually impossible to describe exactly how impactful and mind blowing this event was in actuality. But imagine spending 14 to 16 hour days with over 10,000 other souls from over 50 different countries around the world, all looking to achieve a magnificent life and business. We spent the weekend building incredible relationships while gaining ridiculously effective psychological, spiritual, emotional, business and leadership insights.
How do you become a great leader? You don’t just live in the culture (or simply exist within your specialty), you CREATE the culture. You CREATE YOUR standard of excellence. Not based on what others are doing, but based on YOUR BEST capability. So let me ask you what Robbins asked us: What does YOUR BEST look like? What would YOUR best practice look like? What would YOUR best business look like? What would it FEEL like if you were the best, the most innovative, the most resourceful, in your field? How would it change your business if you offered your patients the best care, or results, or experiences? What would it feel like if YOU were the innovator, if YOU were the most current, if YOU were the undisputed top dog within your specialty in your state? How can you offer MORE to your patients than ANY OTHER health care provider in your field? How would it change your life if you had had the EXACT patients and procedures YOU WANTED?
One of the more powerful segments of the seminar focused on “The Power of Mastering Your Business” and the “X Factor.” The X Factor in business is the ability to find a way to add INTANGIBLE value—value that goes beyond what anybody can really measure. In a nutshell, it’s the ability to find a way to do more for your patients than absolutely ANYBODY else and to consistently maintain that standard…if not raise it. What is YOUR X Factor? What makes YOU stand out? How can you be more relevant and get in front of your target audience? What makes you valuable and unique from others within your medical specialty?
In the process of mastering your medical practice, there are three things to be aware of that can hold you back:
Because the thing is, Robbins taught us a very simple yet profound concept that he reiterated over and over again: Progress=Happiness. If we aren’t growing, then we’re dying. Whether it’s professionally or spiritually, with loved ones, with finances, or with business…we won’t experience the joy and fulfillment that is available to us when we are not taking focused ACTION to move forward and grow. So I challenge you to think through your life and business very carefully and honestly. Where is YOUR practice stagnant? Are there areas that need some work and how can you create lasting change for the better in those areas? Some areas may only need small incremental shifts to continue to make progress and others may need a complete overhaul. Where are you making progress in your practice and are you CELEBRATING that progress? Acknowledging your progress and achievements (both big and small) sounds so simple, but it’s something we rarely practice. Yet celebration and appreciation is critical to creating the kind of environment that is supportive, and thus successful. So I invite you to explore and imagine what YOUR best looks like. Again, not compared to others, but compared to your capabilities. Whatever your best looks like, Medical Site Solutions would be honored to be a part of your journey towards mastering your business and helping you achieve YOUR X Factor.
What is search-engine optimization (or SEO)? When you Google the definition of SEO there are a wide range of definitions. One of the more concise definitions that we found comes from Kristopher Jones’s book entitled “Search Engine Optimization: Your Visual Blueprint for Effective Internet Marketing.” And it reads like this: “Search-engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of setting up your Web site so that it ranks well for particular keywords within the organic search results of major search engines, including Google, Yahoo, and Bing.” Another online definition of SEO says that it is “a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine” (Webopedia). Anyway, you get the idea, right? SEO is essentially a marketing discipline that focuses on growing the visibility of your website in organic (aka non-paid) search engine results. SEO involves both the creative and technical elements required to drive traffic, improve rankings, and increase attention in search engines. There are soooo many aspects of SEO and (as we stated above) WHOLE BOOKS written on the subject. However, in the coming months, we’re going to do our best to extract the most relevant aspects of SEO and explain how they can be applied to your medical practice. Again, there are many factors that influence SEO such as: the words and content on each of your website pages, whether fresh content is regularly produced, the way other websites are linked to yours on the internet, etc. SEO can sometimes simply be a matter of making sure your website is structured in a manner that search engines understand.
But here’s the thing: SEO isn’t only about building a website that is search engine friendly (although that’s important). It’s also about making your medical website better for your patients as well. In fact, the two go hand in hand. When visitors type a query into a search engine box and land on YOUR website you have to ask yourself, will they be satisfied with what they find? This is the principal question that search engines try to answer billions and billions of times every day. Because remember, the search engine’s principal job and responsibility is to serve relevant results to online searchers. So ask yourself, who are your target patients? Which procedures do you want to target? What are these patients looking for on your website and make SURE your site delivers that information to them.
The reality is that SEO is a constant challenge for various reasons. The search engine landscape is constantly changing and evolving, and that in itself is a challenge. In addition, SEO is a continuing challenge because there are over 200 ranking factors used by Google (the proverbial “King” of search engines). Plus, gaining popularity and getting higher rankings in the search engines takes TIME. I’ll repeat that again because it’s important: SEO results do not happen overnight. We’ll talk more about that in the future, but generally, it can take anywhere from 4 to 8 months to see results. And once you start seeing those results, they compound and continue to grow over time (assuming you are consistent in your SEO efforts). Therefore, it only makes sense that the ideal time to plan, build, and implement your SEO strategy is from the start of your medical website design project.
Whether you have a brand spanking new healthcare website or have a site that needs an update, here are a few important SEO considerations to think about:
Recently we’ve come across some objections in the field in which physicians are telling us that they “DO NOT WANT any more patients.” They can barely keep up with all the business they have, they tell us. Well, kudos to you if your practice is so busy and thriving, that you have no need to market your business in any capacity. We think it’s truly awesome that you’re so busy and killin’ it!! But our question to you is this: are you getting more quantity than quality? Obviously, all of your patients are valuable and have health care needs that you are able to meet. But what if we told you that you can target for specific patients? What if we told you that you can target those patients by procedures? That in short, you can target patients who need specific procedures in which YOUR PRACTICE specializes?
And that leads us to the MICROSITE!! WOOHOO!! What’s a microsite, you ask? A microsite is a separate website that has the same branding as your main website, only it focuses primarily on one aspect, service, or procedure within your practice. For example, we recently had a large and well-known ophthalmology practice contact us about creating a microsite for their practice. They already had a main website that they had spent thousands on, but reached out to us about designing another website for them that only focused on LASIK and cataract surgery.
At Medical Site Solutions we love helping you fulfill your website goals and helping you add value to your practice. We’d love to help you design a website, whether your needs are a primary website or a microsite. And remember, if you seriously have ZERO need for more patients, but want to update your online image and reputation with a more contemporary website (that is ehemmm…mobile-friendly…meaning your current patients can actually FIND you in a search query, not to mention a much more user friendly website experience) we are MORE than happy to help you with that!! Yes, we create results-driven, SEO friendly websites, but hey…if you don’t want any additional marketing or SEO, that’s absolutely NO problem! We’re here to help you and your practice out with your website needs whatever they may be.
We all know that Google is the search engine leader of the internet, and we’ve all heard the saying, “Google it.” With more than 60% market share in the United States (and growing every year), Google is rapidly becoming the preferred search engine in other parts of the world as well. Bottom line: Google is REALLY important to your business, reputation, and marketing efforts.
In order to give you a better understanding of how Google is effecting your business RIGHT NOW, we’d like to provide some quick background. Google was cofounded by Stanford students Larry Page and Sergey Brin in the 1990’s. The underlying key to Google’s early success was that the algorithms behind this search engine were different from those that came before. Algorithms, as Google explains them, are simply computer processes and formulas that look for clues to turn questions into answers. You see, Larry and Sergey believed that web page authority and relevance could be derived algorithmically by indexing the entire website and then analyzing the connections between links, or who links to whom. While the Google algorithm is wayyy more complex than simply analyzing who links to whom, it was this process of algorithmically analyzing links that separated Google from the competition. Fast forward to 2016, and we now know that Google’s algorithms rely on over 200 unique “clues” or signals that determine the relevancy of a website (and therefore, how a site will rank in online searches). These clues determine whether your site is at the front of the classroom or at the back, and include things like: content freshness, terms on your website, your region, etc.
Ok, the Google lesson is over. Now how does all of this apply to you? Well, in recent years Google has been relentlessly pushing everyone (including medical websites) toward a more accurate and exemplary mobile-friendly experience. In fact, last year (on April 21rst, 2015 to be exact) Google released a new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that is specifically designed to give a boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results. The change was so monumental that the date this algorithm was released is referred to as “mobilepocalypse” by many. In short, Google’s latest mobile search algorithm update is either sabotaging or rewarding websites according to mobile friendliness factors. Without getting too technical and geeking out completely with Search Engine Optimization lingo, here’s why all of this is important to you: Medical and healthcare websites that are easily viewed on mobile devices will rank higher on mobile search results pages (the reward). However, a non-mobile friendly website will rank even lower than before (the sabotage). So yeah, last year’s algorithm update was a strong SEO ranking signal, with the bottom line being: Google has essentially put a “virtual mandate” on websites to put mobile users first.
While Google never gives away its algorithm details, they do publish useful information such as Mobile Optimization Guidelines for website owners and webmasters. And it’s not only about being mobile friendly, but having a website that is responsive in design. Having a “responsive” website simply means that the website is designed to smoothly provide patients with an optimal experience by automatically detecting the type of device being used (and displaying content based on that device).
The thing is, Google knows a trend when it sees it, and statistics reveal that internet access via mobile devices has soared by more than 65% in recent months. That percentage seems to be growing more and more as time passes, with mobile devices and apps accounting for approximately 60% of all digital traffic. Quick reality check: are you reading this right now on a smartphone?
Healthcare and medical website owners absolutely need to update their website with mobile-friendly changes if they currently have a non-mobile friendly website. There are changes that you can make, and companies who will provide website SEO audits (that can test for mobile friendliness). Should you choose not to have a mobile-friendly website, you can expect to be treated as a SEO straggler by Google and will be reseated at the back of the room, while you watch your competition shoot to the front.
The great news is, at Medical Site Solutions ALL of our website designs are already built to be mobile friendly and responsive! Our designs look beautiful on smartphones, tablets, and desktops. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, or have an outdated and older looking site in general, it may be time for a change. Check out our responsive designs today and let us know how we can help you achieve your goals.