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Your Website On Top of the List

If you are investing in a website, you owe it to yourself to get your ROI by optimizing your practice website for top positioning in the search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) structures your web pages so that your site will appear high on the search engine results page (SERP) every time a prospective patient makes a query.

Search engines like Google®, Yahoo!®, Bing™ or MSN®, crawl and index billions of web pages every day to return relevant data to their search patrons. And your website could have “walls” and “bumps” that prevent search engines from finding your website at all.

Only 8% of search engine users review more than the first three pages prior to clicking on a result. Don’t get buried deep or remain invisible on the web. Get professional help to have your Internet presence known.

Once your website is optimized for search engines, your practice will enjoy a level of web presence that will work to generate a steady stream of patients for you.

How Do You Do It?

Web Analysis

Get a grip on how your website is working
Are there any indexing barriers in your site architecture?
Keywords are critical. Are you using relevant keywords in the right places?
Though popularity may signify relevancy, high-traffic phrases do not always mean competitive results.

How is the competition doing for certain keywords? Sponsored links?
What is your search engine ranking in relation to competitors?
Is your site link-worthy?
Do you have valuable, original content?

On Page Optimization

Making your web page search engine-attractive
No repetitive keywords or high-density phrases but key placement of nicherelated, practice-relevant targeted keywords.
Title tags and meta descriptions unique for every page, for maximum page relevance and click-through rates. And keyword branding!
Best possible experience on user navigation – easy, intuitive and functional onsite links.
Keyword-appropriate, relevant and unique content – that quality websites will want to link to and users return for more – the key to long-term first-page ranking in search engines.
SEO coding up to par with web services validation standards, ensuring quality display and function.
Robot.txt optimization that protects confidential information in your system’s database – such as your EMR – and keeps it out of reach of search engines.

Off Page Optimization

Getting your site web-wide attention
We manually submit your website directly to top search engines, high-PageRank directories and traditional marketing channels.
We launch a link popularity campaign with related industry/practice websites and reputable domains. Quality inbound links are votes for your PageRank score, increasing link reputation and authority as an information source – leading to high placement and traffic!
We leave no medium unfarmed, we syndicate content with social networking sites, online forums and blogs, we advertise with web classifieds, and we give online press releases.

Putting you in front of your prospects anywhere, anytime
Beat the neighborhood competition for Internet visibility. Make your practice virtually “physically” visible at the same time your target user is searching for your services.

Optimizing your site with local map directories can make your practice easily findable by your local community. Google’s intuitive capabilities let you appear in the local search results with a visual guide to your practice location. Now you can target your ads to appear only to a specific location, region or town, allowing direct, fast marketing impact on your target market.

Performance Tracking
and Reporting
Track results
Consistent placement requires relentless analysis of performance indicators in your website. Success metrics help you make SEO adjustments and future marketing decisions.

Keywords, visitor profiles, appointments, sign-ups, page traffic and search engine and URL/domain referrals tracking helps you determine what are generating interest from users and capturing the attention of your target audience.

We track performance of your website from lead generation to patient conversion – helping you get the biggest bang for your marketing buck.

Practice Builders offers proven strategies developed through working with more than 15,000 clients.


Is your practice in a position to flourish when the economy returns to health? Your answer will depend on your marketing efforts during the downturn and the strategies you’ve put in place to help you grow and prosper during the recovery.

During difficult economic times, many practices are either forced to cut their marketing budgets, or do so by conscious choice. But this puts you in a difficult position because you may lose market share or have to make up the difference as the economy improves.

The important question is whether your practice will be able to prosper when the economy begins to grow again – as it ALWAYS does after a downturn. Your success will depend on your marketing tactics and strategies – what you have done during the downturn and what you have put in place to win new patients and referrers during the recovery.

Your success will depend on your timing, too. Now is the time to establish your marketing plan for recovery – brand your practice, formulate strategies and tactics, make media choices and justify your investment—so you are ready to enhance your strategic marketing plan when you have more marketing funds to invest.

Keep in mind that you will not likely be able to return to your old ways of marketing. Your patients and referral sources are much more likely to look online first for new services and providers. Today, the demand for marketing accountability and measurement is stronger than ever. The days of guessing how your marketing is doing are long gone.

The wisest course of action – particularly if you are less than web savvy – is to partner with a marketing firm that, in addition to traditional marketing, understands Internet marketing and the value of newer trends such as social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.). They can help you choose the right mix of targeted online pro¬grams to complement your traditional marketing efforts, and they offer measurability, ROI information and evidence to support their marketing choices.

Enable your healthcare practice to emerge from the downturn in a strong position to win new patients and referral sources. Call 800.679.1262 today and ask how the experts at Practice Builders can help you and your practice market most effectively for the recovery

For the professional beginning to promote his or her practice, mistakes are a way of life. For some, they’re a costly way. But no one can afford many mistakes in a tough economy, and now it needn’t be so; Practice Builders will share some of the biggest mistakes in practice marketing with you so you can avoid them.

Even though judgments of taste and creativity are often called for in promotion, there are some absolutes — especially absolute mistakes. So to assist you in your learning curve — and to save you time and money — here are the 12 biggest mistakes in marketing and advertising your practice. Now you’ll know how to spot them and how to avoid them.

1. Promoting at the wrong time.
On a limited budget, start your promotion just prior to your busy season and end it just prior to a seasonal fall-off. Don’t spend your money promoting during dead times unless you’ve spent sufficient money promoting during the up times. It’s always less productive and costs more money.

2. Choosing the wrong office location.
The right one is in an area with an advantageous professional to population (or company) ratio. The wrong one is selected solely on the basis of where you want to live.

2b. Choosing the wrong office location (part II).
A freestanding building almost always offers better outdoor signage opportunities than a professional building does. And signage is so crucial in attracting the public that, if done well, it can produce a third of your new patients or clients.

3. Not knowing how to handle objections.
If some professionals could hear their staff members handle an objection from a caller, they might well be distraught. Then they’d surely know they’re losing big dollars because their front desk often shoots answers from the hip. Instead: Script out sample answers for each common objection — no money, no time, no interest, no need and I’ll think it over. Results: optimal answers and many more appointments.

4. Not answering price queries correctly.
When people call to ask how much, don’t just mention the price. First, explain the unique benefits of receiving the service or product from you. Then quote the price. Without explanation, your services are just like everyone else’s, so price can be the only determinant. With it, you can charge even more.

5. Not preparing a marketing plan.
Without analyzing your competition, your objection, your budget and to whom you’re directing your promotion, you’re susceptible to two potential disasters. One — being swayed by salespeople into buying poorly designed and incorrectly targeted promotions. Two — failing to consider all important variables. Both lead you to big losses and dead ends. Instead: Construct a marketing plan first.

6. Sponsoring clubs or sports teams.
If it’s not mandatory that the players come in (or are brought in by parents) for a free service so you can meet them, then recognize your sponsorship as altruism, not practice building.

7. Promoting in school yearbooks or church bulletins.
These expenditures should come out of your charitable contributions account, not your promotional budget.

8. Putting your name in your ad’s headline.
Melvin Belli and Dr. DeBakey can put their names at the top of an ad to get it read. But rarely does a practitioner have enough public recognition to have his/her name entice a browser to read. Instead: Head the ad with strong benefits for coming to you, and keep your name and logo at the bottom.

9. Writing direct mail yourself.
Direct mail is the most difficult type of promotion to create. Why? Because it requires that specific techniques be built into a piece to stimulate immediate response. Practitioners rarely have the knowledge — or the talent. Unfortunately, most copywriters aren’t familiar with them. Instead: In direct mail, it almost always pays to hire direct mail specialists. Your response rates can jump 20 times.

10. Cutting prices first.
Prices should be the last element in your marketing formula to fiddle with. Before cutting prices, promote other aspects of your practice — experience, new services, selection, hours, convenience, etc. If all else is ineffective, then play the price game.

11. Not knowing your bottom line.
If it’s to attract new patients or clients or to retain old ones, that’s the goal. If it’s to please your colleagues (or competitors), that’s a different goal. And each one produces a different kind of promotion. If a promotion is well-done, your competitors will feel threatened, as they should. If they don’t, it’s probably not well-conceived. Knowing which goal is your true bottom line from the beginning saves you money and anguish.

12. Not coding and tracking your advertising.
Without effective tracking of which ads are producing how much in what media, you can’t stop the losers and pump up the winners. So to greatly improve ad results, insert keys into your ads — false phone extensions or individual telephone lines for each specific medium. That way, you know the source as soon as they call. Asking them where they heard about you yields 30% to 50% incorrect responses.

And a bonus tip:
13. Practice brochures that don’t sell you.
Most don’t because they contain extraneous or even negative selling points, like what to do in an emergency, a warning not to miss appointments, a requirement that you pay at once, etc. Instead: Put all the rules in an inexpensive brochure to be given to existing clients or patients. Put only convincing copy in your practice brochure.

Results from Practice Builders’ June 2009 Economic Survey are now available, and you will find some revealing information on how you and your fellow practitioners are weathering the current economy. Plus, you’ll find comparisons to our March 2009 and December, August and April 2008 surveys that show how the landscape has changed.
Among the results you’ll find are:

1. Continued decrease in practitioners reporting “No change” in their practice during the recession
2. What your colleagues and competitors are doing to handle the recession
3. What percentage are increasing their marketing to compete
4. How many of your colleagues and competitors are closing their practices

And more…





Joel Ellis


Practice Builders

Results from Practice Builders’ June 2009 Economic Survey are now available, and you will find some revealing information on how you and your fellow practitioners are weathering the current economy. Plus, you’ll find comparisons to our March 2009 and December, August and April 2008 surveys that show how the landscape has changed.
Among the results you’ll find are:
• Continued decrease in practitioners reporting “No change” in their practice during the recession
• What your colleagues and competitors are doing to handle the recession
• What percentage are increasing their marketing to compete
• How many of your colleagues and competitors are closing their practices
• And more…
See the results of Practice Builders New Economic Survey now at:

The meteoric rise of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube has created new opportunities for web-savvy marketers. But seriously, what can any of these social networking sites do for you and your healthcare practice? In order to answer that question, we must first understand how social networking sites work for the end-user. You, for example…

Since Twitter has the greatest “buzz” right now, we’ll use it as an example. Unless you have been locked in a cave for the past several months, you have, no doubt, heard the terms Twitter, tweet, tweeting and tweeple bandied about everywhere. TV news, sports and entertainment programs, radio and print media have all been telling us not only who’s tweeting whom, but what they’re saying and why it’s important for us to know about it.

How can Twitter work for you?
Twitter is basically an online community that incorporated itself in March of 2007 in San Francisco, CA. It’s a virtual “place” where people can connect, gather, stay in touch and share their thoughts and ideas about virtually anything. Though it’s called a social network, it’s already being used rather effectively as a business/professional network. Think of it as a virtual water cooler where you have 24/7 access to 15 million (and growing rapidly) potential new patients and professional referral sources – around the corner or around the world. And best of all: so far, it’s free.

Twitter, paired with special electronic sensors (which are already in final development, btw) could be used to alert doctors when a patient’s blood sugar or heart rate climbs too high. Such real-time data streams could also aid medical researchers. Doctors are already using Twitter to ask for help and share information about the latest techniques and procedures.

Twitter makes it easy for people to connect with other people. The site asks one question, “What are you doing?” Answers must be 140 characters long or less and can be sent via mobile texting, instant messaging or on the web. To begin on Twitter, you open an account as you would on any other site. Set up your username and password and once your account is open, spend some time exploring the site to see what opportunities there are for you.

Twitter, like other networking sites, works most effectively as a marketing tool when you link it back to your practice web site. Think of your website as the hub of your online marketing wheel, and Twitter as one of the spokes leading to it. Your posts on Twitter, called “tweets”, can include your web URL (address), your latest new patient offers, health tips and new service offerings. You can even tweet about openings in your daily schedule, as one med-spa we know did recently. They filled their entire schedule within a few hours of tweeting. On a long-term basis, using Twitter consistently and effectively can help drive your website up the rankings on Google.

Suppose you decide to sit and think about marketing for a while. Guess what happens?


It’s an interesting phenomenon.

Many practitioners read marketing information. But they won’t commit. The search alone seems to fulfill their emotional need to be proactive. They won’t make a decision. They don’t realize that procrastination has a HUGE financial and emotional impact for themselves, their families and their staff… this year… next year…and for the rest of their lives.

We understand that you may be uncertain about what constitutes a good investment right now. After all, real estate, the Dow Jones, banks and big automakers are all in trouble. The only thing that really makes sense in this climate is to invest in yourself and your practice. The returns will be higher, and you’ll be positioned for greater success when the economy rebounds.

You need to market now—to survive and flourish when things turn around.
If you want to take your practice to that next level, please don’t hesitate to contact me a We are, by far, the largest and most successful company of our kind and North America’s leader in healthcare practice marketing for 30 years. (In fact, if you search “leader in healthcare marketing” in Google, guess who comes up first?)