A not-for-profit organization needs the right marketing

ByKevinD

A not-for-profit organization needs the right marketing

Digital marketingWhy do “do-gooders” sometimes fail to do well?  If you are involved in a not-for-profit organization, a local charity, church organization, a 501c3 or other service organization, good intensions alone are not enough to fulfill your mission. Not-for-profits may not have the same business aims that commercial enterprises have, but they surely have the same marketing problems. The principals and rules that apply to professional practices, service providers and for-profit businesses also apply to non-profit organizations.

It is not enough to merely have a webpage or a cheap web design. The page must be an integrated part of the non-profit’s branding strategy, mobile device friendly and there must be good web design with adequate search engine optimization services. Axiom knows that not-for-profit organizations like churches, charities, NGOs or social services operate on limited budgets. Often, there is not room in those budgets for an on-staff web professional to provide a SEO strategy or professional SEO services like SEO link building. But without those services, the non-profit is at a significant disadvantage.

Potential volunteers and contributors, as well as the people who need your services, will be less likely to locate or even be aware of your organization. Today, the ‘net,’ the ‘web’ and mobile marketing are the keys to a non-profit’s success, just as they are for giant companies. Take a look at this webpage designed by Axiom to highlight the Halifax Humane Society’s contribution to the East Central Florida community, then click on  INTERNET MARKETING FOR NON-PROFITS to see how Axiom Administrative Services can help your non-profit.

Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Axiom Administrative Services has the professional skill needed to get your web presence the ranking it deserves. Our non-profit marketing team can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with local SEO services to build your branding strategy. Please visit Axiom’s not-for-profit services page by clicking this LINK or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

A ‘Trial Balloon’

SurgeonMedical practice is always striving to improve patient care. New drugs, therapies and medical devices come onto the market each year, requiring good doctors to constantly study and update themselves. Medical practice in a bariatric clinic or in the field of weight loss surgery is no exception.

The gastric balloon (or ‘intragastric balloon’) is the most recent addition to treatment options for patients who struggle with weight loss issues. Technically, the gastric balloon is a “non-surgical” treatment; it does not involve making incisions of any size, although the procedure is performed while the patient is under a mild anesthetic.

The gastric balloon is attached to a thin tube (a catheter) which the doctor uses to guide the device down the throat and into the stomach.  Next an instrument called an endoscope is used to allow the physician to watch carefully as the balloon is filled with saline solution. The procedure itself usually takes less than an hour and, because it involved the use of some anesthetic, is followed by a closely monitored recovery period of about two hours.  After the recovery period, most patients return home that day.

Using a new approach, the gastric balloon attempts to accomplish what the lap band procedure intended: to reduce the amount of food the stomach can hold without surgically altering the digestive tract. Patients feel full sooner, eat less and lose weight as a result. Studies indicate that as much as 30% of excess body weight may be lost in six months. Like the gastric lap band, it is reversible. In fact, the normal course is to remove the balloon after six months or less. Removal involves no surgical incisions; it is done using an endoscope. Following balloon removal, the stomach will return to its normal ability to hold food.

The most reliable estimates are that about 2.7% of the 216,000 total bariatric surgery procedures done in 2016 were balloons. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery tracks this statistic, even though the balloon is not technically bariatric surgery. It is a medical procedure intended to produce the same outcome: loss of excess weight.

Patients should know that, by itself, the gastric balloon will not cause weight loss. While the balloon is inserted, the person will feel full after eating less, giving them a grace period in which to alter their eating habits without feeling the hunger pangs and cravings that can wreck diets. However, this benefit is temporary, as the balloon tends to deteriorate over time and must be removed.  The six month loss of excess weight (up to 30%) is small compared to the 60 to 80% of excess weight loss expected from a gastric bypass.  To a person who carries 100 pounds of excess weight, this translates to a 30 to 50 pound difference.

Right now, medical insurance companies are not routinely covering the balloon procedure, which costs an average of $8100 in the United States.  Insurance carriers are waiting to see if the balloon procedure produces long term medical cost savings, and how they compare to gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery. Both the gastric sleeve and the gastric bypass have demonstrated a long-term reduction of medical expenses as well as a lowered risk from obesity-related disease.

In a nutshell, here are some important things to understand if you are considering the gastric balloon as a weight loss option. The gastric balloon-

  • Is a relatively low risk, safe outpatient procedure.
  • May result in shedding up to 30% of excess weight, but this is less than expected with gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery.
  • Gives the patient a grace period in which to learn good eating habits without feeling hunger or cravings.
  • Is a reversible procedure that does not permanently alter the digestive tract? However, this means that the amount of food the stomach can hold returns to normal after balloon removal.
  • The long-term outcomes are not yet in. We do not know yet how the results of gastric balloons will affect diseases like diabetes and other weight related medical problems.
  • The bottom line cost of the balloon is lower than for weight loss surgeries like gastric sleeve surgery or the gastric bypass. However, the cost of bariatric surgery is frequently covered by medical insurance, while the balloon is not.

Both the balloon and weight loss surgery procedures like the gastric sleeve or gastric bypass may be medically appropriate options for some patients. Only a careful evaluation by qualified professionals can determine which is best for a given patient. If you have any question about the areas included in general surgery, especially bariatric surgery, please contact our office. You may use Contact Dr Birkedal or phone us at (386) 231-3530. Our offices, located in Daytona, New Smyrna and Palm Coast are all part of the Florida Hospital Network.

ByKevinD

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day to all from Axiom Administrative Services.

ByKevinD

What is ‘Net Neutrality?’

Net NeutralityRecently, you may have heard or read about an issue called “Net Neutrality.” This is one of those political or policy issues that can directly affect web designers, as well as the small business and professional people who use the internet for business purposes. That means just about all of them.

Net Neutrality is (or was) a set of regulations enforced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that required internet service providers (ISPs) to give equal treatment to all traffic going to or from any user. Internet service providers were not permitted to give or sell faster transmission service to websites or content producers that could afford to pay higher rates. This had been the policy under both the Bush and the Obama administrations; it meant that Joe’s Hardware Store was guaranteed internet access equal to that enjoyed by Lowes Home Improvement or Home Depot.

In December, the FCC approved a plan to end the Net Neutrality protections. Theoretically, this means that ISPs like Verizon or AT&T could give preferential treatment to big dollar customers. It is important to understand that no such thing has happened as yet and ISPs claim that they have no plans to do so. Free market economists claim that we will all be better off if ISPs are free to give whatever treatment they want to users. If the end user does not like it, they are free to go to another provider.

They point out that, more and more, the internet is a highway for services like Netflix, Amazon Prime or traditional broadcast networks like CBS to stream entertainment. This live or on-demand streaming is estimated to consume 80% or more of the internet’s data capacity in just a few years. ISPs claim that the added income from premium users will help them build the added capacity they are going to need. Public interest groups, consumer rights organizations and some internet giants like Google are opposed to doing away with Net Neutrality.

There are some arguments on both sides. Right now there is a movement in Congress to reverse the FCC ruling by law, making Net Neutrality a legal requirement, not simply a regulatory rule as it was before December. For internet marketers, there is nothing to be done now except to make your feelings known to your representatives in Congress. This possibility also means that the services of an internet marketing agency like Axiom are more important than ever. Whether Net Neutrality is restored by law or not, the day when cheap web design could do the job has passed.

If your professional practice or small business is struggling to find digital marketing solutions or branding strategies that work, it is time to call Axiom. Your business or non-profit requires more than a cheap web design and an amateur branding strategy. More than an internet marketing agency, Axiom Administrative Services has the professional skill and SEO techniques needed to get your web presence the ranking it deserves. Axiom can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with local SEO services to build your branding strategy. Please visit Axiom’s small business services pageor call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines

Google searchDid you know that you can get a copy of the “secret” Quality Evaluator Guidelines used by Google? This information manual was kept from the public for years until Google decided that it was in its own best interest to release it. Presumably, this will help web designers conform better to Google guidelines and give an open source of information about what Google considers to be the best practices of webpage design and content creation.

All you need do is to use your browser and enter the query, “Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines – Google.” This will direct you to a 160-page PDF document that Google’s human evaluators study. Of course, much of Google’s ranking system is based on non-human, automated algorithms that check things like sitemaps, page titles or meta tags. Still, reading the document (if you have time for 160 pages) will give some insight into Google’s page ranking system, especially some “Don’t Do This” warnings.

One of the important factors considered is the page’s uniqueness and originality. Copying or “scraping” content from another website will lower the ranking of a webpage. Here is a quote lifted from Google’s July 27, 2017 General Guidelines –

7.4.5 Copied Main Content – Every page needs MC (Main Content). One way to create MC with no time, effort, or expertise is to copy it from another source. Why does the page exist? What value does the page have for users? Why should users look at the page with copied content instead of the original source?”

Obviously original, useful content helps your page ranking. All of this is fine to know, but if you are a busy professional, service provider or business owner, you probably do not have time to read a 160-page quality assessment manual or to create quality material for your website. Axiom can give you professional help on both counts.

Your professional practice or small business deserves more than cheap web design, and the low search engine rankings that come with it. Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Axiom Administrative Services has the professional skill and small business SEO skills needed to get your web presence the ranking it deserves.

Turn to Axiom Administrative Services  if you are struggling to find branding strategies or digital marketing solutions that work, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques that get results, or a logo design service that makes your business stand out. Our business marketing team can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with local SEO services to build your branding strategy. Please visit Axiom’s small business services page by clicking this LINK or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

Look for Branding Strategies

SEOChances are that you have seen several examples of branding strategies this week or even just today. If you have walked into a Target Store, a Walmart or a local supermarket, near the entrance there has probably been a display of merchandise packaged in a red or pinkish-red color. Of course, it’s getting close to Valentine’s Day and that color won’t let you forget it.

Beyond the Valentine’s Day display, some stores already have a section featuring emerald green hats, plates, plastic ware, beer glasses and other St. Patrick’s Day merchandise. So far as we know, April Fool’s Day does not have a branded color, but later in the year you will be seeing red, white and blue for July 4th, orange and black for Halloween and soon after, red and green for Christmas. All of these colors or color combinations have become “branded” to a particular holiday or event.

That is what branding strategies are about. Some visual, sound or other stimulus causes you to automatically think of a product, a service, a business or, in the case above, a calendar date. If you are new to internet marketing and still trying to find digital marketing solutions that work, developing one or more branding strategies is a good place to start. Axiom says “one or more branding strategies” because many or most internet marketers have more than one aspect to their business or service.

Branding strategies are essential because they quickly tell the potential customers or clients what you do and how you are different from your competition. Effective build credibility and trust, increase name recognition and even inspire employees. They can instantly bring to mind critical information that you want the customer to have: your services, your name, your location, your reputation for dependability. Your enterprise may already have a business logo, hopefully provided by a professional logo design service. Logos are central to all, so do not count on an amateur logo design service any more than you would count on cheap web design to be effective.

Effective branding strategies require several elements-

  • Define exactly what your business, service or non-profit does.
  • Define the geographic area your business or service can cover.
  • Identify your target market. “Everybody” is not a good target for most businesses. Try to identify the group of people most likely to need your products or services.
  • Get an effective Search Engine Optimization Strategy. You need at least the basic information about the local market that local SEO services Professional SEO services can be delivered by local SEO services providers like Axiom.
  • Carefully consider your business name, logo and tagline. These are ways to communicate with customers or symbolize your service or product, so use a professional logo design service.
  • Develop your website. Professional looking websites are essential to good branding strategies. Web searches, especially on mobile devices like smart phones, are the primary way people locate services, so do not go with cheap web design.
  • Well-executed branding strategies make your brand message consistent across different media. Digital marketing solutions should be combined with appropriate use of traditional marketing techniques like direct mail marketing to build name recognition and strong connections with customers.

All of this sounds like good advice, but if you are running a small business, professional practice or non-profit, branding strategies and Search Engine Optimization techniques are probably not on your “to-do” list. If you are struggling to find digital marketing solutions that work and branding strategies that make your business stand out, turn to Axiom. Your business deserves more than a cheap web design, and Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Axiom Administrative Services has the professional skill and small business SEO skills needed to get your web presence the ranking it deserves.

Our business marketing team can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with local SEO services to build your branding strategy. Please visit Axiom’s small business page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

Common Mistakes in SEO Techniques

seoProfessional SEO techniques are essential to internet branding strategies and to perfecting digital marketing solutions. Without the correct SEO techniques, the best of web designs, the finest of branding strategies or the most professional of logo design services will all be for naught. Few people will see it.

For those who have the time to pay close attention, Google is now pretty transparent about the “Do’s and Do Not’s” involved in good website design and SEO techniques. It is hard to say which issue is at the top of the list for a given set of webpages, but today one SEO technique is an absolute “Must Do.”  Your website must be mobile friendly! If it is not, it will suffer in webpage rankings. There is a simple reason for this- most web surfing is now done on mobile devices, mostly on smart phones.

Also near the top of “Must Do” SEO techniques is the uniqueness and originality of page content. Here is a quote from the 2017 Google Quality Evaluator Guidelines-

“Important: The Lowest rating is appropriate if all or almost all of the MC (main content) on the page is copied with little or no time, effort, expertise, manual curation, or added value for users. Such pages should be rated Lowest, even if the page assigns credit for the content to another source.“

– Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines March 2017

Your website should contain original, unique content that is useful or entertaining to the viewer. There is no way to get around this; a website that consists of “scraped” or plagiarized material will not rank high.

If your website is for a local business, a clear statement of location is critical. A search query like, “Dentists in Daytona” will not rank dental offices in Port Orange as highly as those with a physical address in Daytona Beach. This is true even though residents of the two communities travel back and forth routinely without thinking much of it. Many times, professional SEO services can remedy this using technical devices like meta descriptions, page titles, alt attributes for images, etc.

You should take care to avoid broken or outdated links, to balance the distribution of H1, H2, etc. tags and to include a sitemap. Much of this will sound very obscure to a small business person, a non-profit operator or service provider. They do not have time to worry about page titles, sitemaps, image attributes, meta data or even to create original content.

If you or your organization is searching to find digital marketing solutions that work or internet branding strategies that make your business stand out, turn to Axiom Administrative Services. You need and deserve more than a cheap web design, and Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Axiom Administrative Services has the small business SEO skills needed to get your web presence the ranking it deserves. Axiom can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with local SEO services to build your branding strategy. Please visit Axiom Administrative Services or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

Digital Marketing Solutions and Branding Strategies for Medical and Dental Professionals

Young woman doctor holding a tablet pcAxiom has designed websites, branding strategies, and digital marketing solutions for all types of businesses, service providers, non-profits and professional practices. Medical and Dental practice are something of a specialty at Axiom. In fact, Axiom’s founder had decades of experience in the medical profession.

If you are engaged in a professional practice of any type, you owe it to yourself to go beyond a cheap web design and to find the best possible digital marketing solutions for your office. Websites and digital marketing solutions for medical and dental practices are special, because they can promote your practice at the same time as providing an important educational function. Take a look at this webpage: Atrial Fibrillation.

It is part of a medical practice website that provides knowledgeable, professional information about a common medical condition. At the same time, it builds trust in the professional ability, qualifications and credentials of the physicians in this practice. Importantly, this page incorporates video content explaining a complicated subject, atrial fibrillation. The future of internet branding strategies and digital marketing solutions will be heavily dependent on video content.

If you are struggling with your internet branding strategy and trying to find digital marketing solutions that work, it would pay you to turn to a professional SEO services organization. Axiom Administrative Services  has the professional digital marketing skills needed to guide your web presence to the rankings it should have. Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Our digital marketing solution and marketing teams are able to combine traditional marketing techniques like direct mail marketing  with creative web services. Please visit our home page to find out how Axiom Administrative Services can fill your digital marketing needs. You can contact Axiom Administrative Services by clicking the link or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

Video Content Marketing in 2018

video marketingAlmost everyone would guess (correctly) that Google is the biggest search engine in the world, but which service do you think is number 2? Is it Bing?

Well, according to many, the answer is YouTube. That’s right, YouTube! The number of search queries entered in YouTube is second only to those entered in Google itself. Keep two things in mind: (1) Google owns YouTube. (2) Searches done in the YouTube search box lead only to results inside of YouTube itself.  A search done in Google or Bing combs the entire web for results and will return a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) with a much broader content, including newspapers, journals, etc.

Nevertheless, the fact that so many searches are now originating from inside YouTube should tell you something: video is more essential than ever to internet success, branding strategies and to digital marketing solutions. The trend toward video content is actually accelerating as platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat incorporate video into their content. Statistics show that videos are far more likely to rank high in search results and to engage the person viewing the website.

If you are a small business operator, a professional practitioner, a service provider or even a non-profit organization, you may have felt that video content can’t be part of your branding strategy or digital marketing solutions.  That is wrong! Video is no longer a tool for big budgets only. AXIOM can create a video that will project you or your organization into front line rankings. Videos can be embedded directly into your website, linked to YouTube or even sent as emails.

AXIOM understands the needs of small businesses, professional practices and nonprofits. Take a look at this AXIOM video on Facebook and then visit the Axiom Administrative Services website to learn more. AXIOM can help you use video to manage your digital marketing solutions. More than an internet marketing agency, Axiom professionals can produce the video content you need. Please visit our HOME PAGE, click on our CONTACT LINK  or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

Happy New Year from Axiom

We wish all of our clients, your small business enterprise, professional practice or non-profit organization a safe and HAPPY NEW Year! 2018 will certainly bring changes and new challenges, but branding strategies, small business SEO and search engine optimization services will continue to be important parts of all digital marketing solutions.

Please call on the professionals at Axiom to produce those solutions. You can contact Axiom Administrative Services by clicking the link, or by calling Axiom at 800-888-6348.

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