As a businessperson, you might ask why your family practice needs an Internet marketing plan because you already have a wonderful website. How is that website working for you? Has it brought in many new patients? The thing is that while you may have a wonderful website that is full of warm fuzzies and inviting to the whole family, it isn’t any good if no one sees it. Getting you seen on the World Wide Web is what a successful online marketing plan does.
Of course, a good website design is integral to creating a successful online presence. Knowing how to design a website that is inviting to prospective patients takes an understanding of the medical field and what patients are looking for when they are looking for a new family doctor. It is imperative that your home page be inviting enough to urge a viewer to click on another button; it is also essential that clicking on that button and finding the information they are looking for is easy and hassle free.
While creating an inviting, visually appealing and easy to navigate website is paramount, what is happening behind the scenes is what brings people to the website to begin with.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO, search engine optimization, is something that we hear all the time. “Keyword,” is also a term that is bandied about a great deal. Many people believe that placing keywords throughout your website is what brings traffic to a website. Keywords are essential to letting the search engine crawlers know what your website is about. However, they are not the only thing that attracts traffic. What really attracts traffic is getting your website listed on the first page of search results after a person makes a query: getting your website seen.
Effective search engine optimization requires a deep understanding of how search engines work, and they all don’t work the same way. Although similar, each search engine has a different way of rating a website and a good programmer knows how to accommodate each one. What a good Internet marketing design does is give search engine crawlers a lot of reasons to visit and index your website.
Basically, search engines rate a website based on it relevancy to the inquiry, and then it goes on to determine which website has the most relevant content. After the paid websites, the search results will list the most relevant websites in order of relevancy.
An important part of being most relevant is having connections to other websites. Having inviting and interesting content on your website draws other websites to link to yours and you need to do the same. The more websites you are linked to (called back linking), the more “weight” or relevancy is attributed to your site.
Creating interesting, and frequent, content and adding it to your website and then connecting it
to other websites brings web crawlers to your site on a frequent basis, thus upping your rating. Blog creation is an excellent way to create content for your website. Providing a newsletter to
patients is one way of creating content, as well as offering articles on health care and wellness strategies or healthy recipes. A good Internet marketing firm such as Axiom Health Care Marketing, can provide this service for you.
As a physician, social media marketing may be one of your biggest allies. Maintaining accounts on Facebook, Twitter or similar social media outlets and linking them to your website can bring in traffic that is already interested in your family practice. Let patients know that you have a Facebook (or other social media) page and encourage them to “Like” your Facebook page and comment on the care their family receives from you. This type of word-of-mouth advertising is priceless.
Knowing about Internet marketing and marketing for health care providers is what we do at Axiom Health Care Marketing. We specialize in giving health care providers the best online marketing possible. We want you to be successful in reaching the patients that are searching for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Published by Axiom Health Care Marketing
The days of the town doctor who knows everyone and makes house calls are certainly over. Nowadays, it appears that every doctor is a specialist in something. If you have a problem that your specialist doesn’t cover, you get to go see another specialist. Many people, families in particular, don’t need a specialist for anything in particular. They just want an all-around doctor who can treat the flu everyone is sharing, give the kids their immunization shots, give dad his yearly check up, and treat mom’s arthritis – all while looking at the same doctor.
The Family Practitioner
Being a family physician, or FP, is actually a specialty of its own and requires three years of specialized medical residency training in family medicine, after already having completed medical school. The residency includes training in pediatrics, obstetrics-gynecology, internal medicine, psychiatry and geriatrics. While a family practitioner has a vast knowledge of the medical field, they become experts in problems that are common to the majority of the population.
Sometimes referred to as a general practice doctor or GP, the family practitioner takes a more holistic view of medicine. The family physician provides comprehensive health care to people of any age, any gender, any disease or part of the body. This outlook of medicine treats a patient in the framework of the community and family and emphasizes the prevention of disease and promoting good health. This specialty is rooted in the importance of family.
Family practitioners in the U.S. must be licensed and then certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and certification must be renewed periodically, generally every 7 to 10 years.
This requires a lifetime of continuing medical education and a display of medical knowledge that remains up to date. The recertification process also involves physician chart audits as an oversight to patient care.
Get the Word Out
As a family physician, you already know about all of these requirements, but your patients, and
prospective patients don’t. They are not aware of the continuing education and recertification that you complete so that you can provide them with the best of care. Being an FP requires a different skill set that some other specialties don’t require. You have a wider audience to appeal to than most physicians, as your practice treats patients from infancy through old age. You need to be able to meet the needs of all the members of a family and acquire their trust and confidence. To do this, you need to convince the decision maker to make an appointment to meet with you and this is where Internet marketing does the work.
So, what is Internet marketing? Simply put, it is the marketing of a product or service over the World Wide Web, but you probably already know that. What you might be asking though is, “What is medical marketing?” or “What is healthcare online marketing and what can it do for my practice?” What it can do is get the word out about your practice and get it in front of the people who are looking for you.
Internet marketing, when done with great success, is a fine art that takes years of experience. In the case of a medical practice, it also takes a marketing company that understands the medical community and its requirements. Your marketing firm needs to know not only about Internet marketing, it also needs to know about medical marketing.
Providing a comprehensive, and successful, marketing strategy for online marketing of a medical practice requires many aspects. Aside from knowing how to design a website, a marketing firm, such as Axiom Health Care Marketing, needs to understand how search engines work and how to achieve search engine optimization. Website design, optimal placing of keywords, blog creation, and social media marketing all play a part of a successful Internet marketing campaign.
Axiom Health Care Marketing has the experience and knowledge to successfully market your family practice on line and bring in new patients. Contact us today for a free consultation and learn how we can put you in front of those looking for you.
In Part 2 we will discuss more in depth what Internet marketing includes.
Published by Axiom Health Care Marketing
Starting things fresh is a side effect of starting a new year and if your are a business owner, it’s a good time to review your website and how it is functioning for your current needs. It may be time to get a new set of eyes and a new set of ideas from a new online marketing company like Axiom Internet Marketing. In Part 1, we covered information regarding the importance of SEO and some of its proponents, such as linking to other websites.
Keywords and Search Engine Optimization
Aside from linking, search engines look for keywords. This is what people use to search for information on the Internet and the thing that people are most familiar with using.
Generally, search engines take note of words in the page (the website as a whole) and where in the website those words are found. Most search engines index all the significant words on a page but leave out the articles “a,” “the,” and “an.” Words that occur in the title, subtitles and the Meta tags (a brief description of the article that normally shows up in search results) are noted for special consideration for later searches.
Weighing of information may involve assigning increasing values to words appearing near the top of a document, links, subheadings, Meta tags and the title of the page. Search engines use different formulas for weighing information, thus you will get different rankings from different search engines.
Other, more complicated activities take place that lead to a page’s ranking that we won’t delve into at this time.
Having relevant content (text) on your website is an important part of search engine optimization ranking. Positioning SEO, the content on your site and how it is presented will have a large impact on how your page is ranked. Titles, Meta tags and so forth, must be related to the subject of your website or they will be disregarded by web crawlers. For instance, you may place “football” in your title and Meta tags because it is a popular subject (and more likely to appear in first page search results), but if the rest of the content on your site is about brooms, the word football with be ignored. Relevant content means content that is pertinent to your business.
Content such as the information on your home page and subsequent pages are included in page rankings. However, this is not enough to move onto the first page of search results with an organic search. In addition to links and other methods, you need web crawlers to visit your site frequently, as this will make your site more important and seen as a leader in your field.
One way to keep web crawlers visiting your site is to have updated content that will draw them to your site in order to index the new content.
An excellent way of providing updated content is to create a blog for your website. Blogs/articles can be on any subject as long as it pertains to your business in some way. It should also be interesting to the reader and encourage further investigating the website. If you are a good writer and have the time, you can write your own blogs, or you can have your Internet marketing team take care of it for you.
Having a successful website needs a successful SEO company like Axiom Internet Marketing. We understand marketing online and how to design a website that includes all of the things that will bring web crawlers to your site and move it up the page rankings.
Contacting Axiom Internet Marketing can certainly be the first step in providing your website with a fresh new look for a fresh New Year. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Published by Axiom Internet Marketing
The majority of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more often referred to as Obama Care or just the Affordable Care Act, was set to go into effect on January 1, 2014. The enrollment period began on October 1, 2013 and was to end on January 1. However, due to problems with the HealthCare.gov website, the date has been extended through March 2014.
Under 26 Years of Age
The Affordable Care Act requires every American to have health insurance or risk paying a penalty, or more specifically, a ‘shared responsibility fee.’ If you haven’t reached your 26th birthday you can still remain covered by your parent’s health insurance: that is as long as they are providing at least half of your income and are claimed as a dependent on their tax returns.
If you are not claimed on someone else’s tax return and your expected income for 2014 is under $15,856, you will probably be eligible for your state’s Medicaid system, as long as your state has not opted out of participating in the expanded Medicaid program.
If you are under 26, are not a dependent and you expect to earn $15,856 to $45,960, you will be eligible for a tax credit that will help ease the pain from the cost of your insurance premium.
Independent and Under 30
If you are independent and under the age of 30, you have the option of purchasing catastrophic coverage. This kind of coverage is available only to people under 30 or those who qualify for an exemption due to economic hardship.
Catastrophic plans under ObamaCare are meant to provide coverage in the case that you suffer an accident or become seriously ill. The plan provides essential benefits only once the deductible has been met ($6,350 in 2014 for a single person). It does offer up to three visits to a primary care doctor without having a share of cost.
The premiums are very low, but the deductible is very high, while at the same time, payout limits can also be very high. If you are young and healthy, this is the least expensive coverage you can purchase. Once you reach age 30, however, you will have to choose from one of the different levels of coverage.
There are four plans to choose from: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each plan provides the same basic health care benefits. The difference is in the amount of monthly premium you want to pay and how much out-of-pocket you want to pay each time you receive services.
Different insurance companies may offer additional benefits beyond the standards that the government has set. This is one of the ways they will tempt you into going with their insurance over another one.
The different levels correspond to the amount that you pay versus what the insurance company pays. For instance, with the Bronze level, the split might be 40/60, meaning that the insurance will pay 40% of your medical expenses and you pay the other 60%.
More Information on the Individual Mandate
Since the law has come into effect, it means that everyone needs to be insured in 2014. If you do not obtain health care coverage, you will be subject to a penalty, or rather a shared cost fee. In 2014, the shared cost will be $95 each adult for each month you are not covered, and $47.50 for each child, or, 1% of your income, whichever is the highest. For this year, because of the extension, if you are covered by March 31, you will not face a penalty. Whether you pay a monthly premium or a penalty, your money will be collected. Everyone participates in one way or another.
Although it rubs some people the wrong way, the program is designed to make each person responsible for their own health care costs. This will mean that those who have been getting their health care for free (by not having any and then going to the emergency room) will have to begin to pay their part. In return, we get health insurance companies that cannot turn us down for preexisting conditions or charge more based on gender or place of residence, can’t cut off our insurance because we get sick, plus many other benefits.
At Axiom Health Care Marketing, we have a staff of professionals in business and healthcare. We work with you to create strategies to increase your company’s growth. We use the latest methods available and individualized them for your practice. We utilize SEO methods such as keyword research, extensive website analysis, content optimization, social media marketing, competitor analysis, link building and more. Contact us today to set up a consultation and learn how we can get your business moving in the right direction.
Published by Axiom Health Care Marketing