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Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 03:52 by NancyRausman

As much as we speak to Practices about verifying all their business listings out there, it often seems to be a task that is put on their back burner and rarely completed. What these well-meaning ODs don’t understand is that claiming your businesses' online listings is an essential part of establishing and controlling your online presence.

Claiming and verifying an online business listing is critical for a few reasons. 

Why claim your business listings?

Each time you claim and verify a business listing, you create a ‘citation’ for your practice. This is Google speak for ‘a mention of your business name and address on a webpage’. This is not the same as a link; it’s a mere mention of your business name and address. A citation can come from a variety of sources such as a local business directory (Google, Yelp, Craigslist), online yellow pages, or a local chamber of commerce.

Citations are key components to SEO as they are an integral part of the ranking algorithms used by Google and Bing. Citations help the search engines by adding a degree of authenticity to the information you have provided on your website, allowing them to better understand and categorize your business. Therefore, the more citations your practice has from well-established and trusted portals the greater the impact on your online visibility and rankings on the search engines.

The more online listings that are claimed and verified, the better it is for SEO.

Do you know what your practice looks like online?

If the answer to that question is “I don’t know”, I would be worried. Your Practice is listed on a number of business portals whether you know it or not and you want to be sure that the information is accurate. Further, patients and customers will leave reviews of your business, good and bad, and that discussion can either go on with you or without you. The only way to take control of your listings and make sure they represent your Practice the way you want them to, is by verifying your business with each listing, then editing the list to match your business. You may not be able to eliminate negative reviews, but you can respond to them and show potential patients that your customers’ opinions are important to you.

Yes, claiming your Practice on the many business indexes that exist can take time and requires a bit of patience, but it is worth the trouble. If you want to limit it to the most important sites, here is a good list of places to start:

Top 10 List of Citations (in order of importance):

  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • Bing
  • Yelp
  • Express Update
  • Acxiom
  • Localeze
  • Foursquare
  • YP
  • Citygrid

If you are an EyeCarePro ODLingo or ODLite client, or you’re paying for online marketing services, most of the work is likely already done for you. You just have to take the final steps to follow through with the verification instructions you are sent. In our next digital tip, we will discuss more about the process of actually verifying citations to make sure your efforts are making the biggest impact possible.

Still can’t make this a priority? We are here to help. Contact Daniel at Daniel@eyecarepro.net or phone (412) 532-6542

 

Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 17:38 by admin

Learn more about EyeCarePro’s newest service, ODPPC!
EyeCarePro’s Local ODPPC will give your Practice the ability to target consumers in your city or neighborhood that are actively looking for your products, unique services/specialty or seeking eye exams. Our PPC experts will set everything up you need for success while you and your staff concentrate on giving great care to your new patients it brings in! Find out more about ODPPC here,

Learn the basics about pay-per-click here, View a few of our landing page designs here,

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Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 02:56 by NancyRausman

5 Lessons to Protect Your Practice from Losing its Domain Name

A critical oversight by one of our clients nearly cost them their website domain. Don’t let this happen to you. Here is the story of what happened and five important lessons your practice can learn from it...
 
This Practice contacted us after as soon as their domain, website and email were all down. After some investigation, our Support Team determined what had happened...and it was not pretty. It turned out that the Practice had registered their domain two years earlier with GoDaddy under the email address of an employee who no longer works at the Practice. When the domain came up for renewal, GoDaddy sent expiry notices to the email address they had on file, but since the email hadn’t been forwarded to anybody else, they never received the notices. The domain expired and after 30 days, the domain was offered to the public for sale.
 
Now here is where this situation turned unpleasant. There are unscrupulous companies that troll for recently expired domain names that they purchase. This particular company then forwarded the domain to a landing page with distinctly inappropriate content designed to ensure that the Practice would really want to buy the domain back … and then they inflated the cost of the domain, a lot.
 
With our Support Team’s help, the Practice applied to purchase the domain back through a buy-back program facilitated through GoDaddy for which they negotiate a price for the domain and also retain a service commission.
 
Our Support Team worked with the Practice to start the buy-back process and helped them to update all the settings at GoDaddy to ensure that the contact information was correct. We also activated a feature that requires GoDaddy to call the office when a renewal is not completed successfully. Ultimately, the Practice was able to purchase their domain back but at a very high cost.
 
According to Sue Quinn, EyeCarePro’s customer support manager, “Often clients come to us with complicated domain and website arrangements that put them in a bind. Part of our mission is to educate clients about potential issues so they can be informed and prevent such situations from causing a lot of aggravation and financial loss.”
 
We've also seen cases where Practices hire a small company or a one-person show, and that company registers the domain. When the Practice parts ways with the small company or the company goes bust, the Practice can't get its domain back, either because it's being held hostage, or because nobody responds to email anymore. It's very hard to manage such a situation.
 
5 invaluable lessons that can help you protect your domain name:

1.  When you register your domain name, use the Practice owner's email address.

2.  Forward the email of anyone who leaves to somebody else who is still there.

3.  Don't let staff use personal email addresses that you can't have access to after they leave. 

4.  Make sure the Practice owner or a reputable company manages your domain.

5.  Activate the feature that requires GoDaddy or your domain registrar, to call your office when a renewal is not completed successfully.

Your domain name is an incredibly valuable asset to your Practice and deserves a few minutes of your attention to make sure your domain is safe, and in good hands. Do you know the status of your domain? It’s worth having a look. We are here to help. Contact Daniel at Daniel@eyecarepro.net or phone (412) 532-6542

 

This entry was posted in webinar and tagged Optometry website, url, domain name
Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 02:29 by NancyRausman

Facebook Likes - Useless or Essential? Two Expert Opinions

To many marketers out there, successful Facebook marketing is marked by an ever increasing number of “Likes” or fans - a successful campaign brings in Likes, and that number is the metric that really counts.  However, when you think about what these fans are doing after they like your Page, this could present a very different perspective. 

Are “Likes” Useless?

Let’s face it. The truth is that many, if not most, of the users who have Liked your Facebook Page have and never will actually engage with the content you post and many will never visit the Page. One study by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute in Australia, which looked at the fan activity of a major brand, showed that less than 1% of their fans actually interacted with their Page. While this may be an extreme case, it does illustrate the idea that quantity does not equal quality when it comes to fans! 

So is it a wasted effort to spend time and money trying to get more Likes and to use this metric as a measure of success, when you are likely not getting any real interaction from your fans? Does this number in any way translate to revenue in your pocket in the form of new patients and appointments? 

We have asked two OD social media experts for their takes on the value of the elusive “Like” metric. 

The Case for Likes

According to Dr. Justin Bazan of Park Slope Eye, who gave up his Practice website, strictly marketing through social media and Yelp, the amount of Facebook Fans, ie Likes, you have for your Business Page is extremely important and can bring in revenue. “Having a large fan base is very important for marketing purposes. Facebook has an excellent, and ever-evolving, marketing platform and a large fan base gives you great ability to create effective ad campaigns. It is rare that any eyecare Facebook page will have a legion of super engaged fans, so the real value is the marketability of the fanbase. That value will be a function of how valuable the individual fans are. One should always craft your fanbase with the ideal fan in mind.” 

Put simply, if you don’t have a strong base of fans who have Liked your Page, then you can guarantee that your Page won’t be effective because you will literally be talking to your wall. Nevertheless, Likes without engagement don’t bring much value. Dr. Bazan is a prime example of how knowing your audience and interacting with it effectively can have a direct impact on growing your Practice. 

Dr. Alan Glazier, owner of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care and author of Searchial Marketing: How Social Media Drives Search Optimization in Web 3.0, believes that while Likes are important, “Social Proof” is the more important factor to consider. He says, “The most important concept in Facebook marketing is getting your content in front of “friends of friends”.  “Social proof” is a psychology and marketing term that indicates people are more inclined to act on something they are familiar with or become familiar with through a trusted recommendation, such as that of a friend. Obtaining “social proof” for your business is the most important concept behind Facebook marketing.  When someone sees their friend “likes” something, it is a kind of testimonial that the place they Liked is legit, so they are more apt to Like it too or pay attention to it.”

Ultimately, Dr. Glazier and Dr. Bazan are both emphasizing that while Likes are necessary, engagement is the real key to success. Creating content that will get people Liking, sharing, commenting and interacting with your brand should be the goal. In addition to “Likes”, keep an eye on your engagement metrics to get a real sense of your Page influence. 

Need some help increasing “Likes” and engaging your fans? Our social media team is here to help. Contact Daniel at Daniel@eyecarepro.net or phone (412) 532-6542.  

Posted on Sunday, May 10, 2015 - 04:12 by NancyRausman

At the end of April Facebook rolled out yet another algorithm update. In general the changes put less focus on how friends are engaging on Facebook in favor of content that the user has shown an interest in.  Some marketing experts feel this could possibly win back some of the organic reach lost after Facebook’s last update - if you do your Facebook marketing right, that is. 

Here are updates that Facebook has made and how they can change the way users experience Facebook:

  1. Now able to see multiple posts from the same source: Facebook has relaxed their rules that previously prevented this from happening, now allowing more content from one page or friend to get through to the News Feed. 
  2. Posts such as photos, videos, and status updates from friends and pages that you care about (meaning you visit their pages and interact with them regularly) will be pushed up into the News Feed.  
  3. Posts about friends liking or commenting on a page's content will be given less importance and pushed down the News Feed.

When it comes down to it, these changes mean that users are more likely to see content they care about directly from friends and the pages they have liked and interact with. 

Will this affect your Facebook Page?

The answer to this depends on how large and how active your audience is. There is potential for your reach to increase due to these changes, but only with your core and active fan base. The key to this is producing timely, interesting and shareable content that engages that base. Photos, video, memes, articles and infographics are all effective types of shareable content. Putting some investment into ads or boosted posts might also be worthwhile to increase your base and make your social media marketing more effective.

 

Does your Facebook page need some love? We are here to help! Contact Daniel at Daniel@eyecarepro.net or phone (412) 532-6542.

 

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Daniel Rostenne Daniel Rostenne is a leader in the online optometric community and has made a career of creating and promoting effective web sites for optometric practices. He is a COPE educator, editor of Optometry Web, a regular speaker at eyecare events & conferences and has been widely published in Optometric e-zines. Daniel is an expert in Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Optimization, in particular as it relates to best practices for Optometrists. You can sometimes find Daniel daydreaming on Google+.

Contact Daniel: 866-886-4442 or danielr@eyecarepro.net

Nancy Rausman Nancy Rausman is the managing editor of the EyeCarePro blog and Optometry Web Newsletter. She is responsible for providing ECPs with educational content that helps them advance their practices through technology, management strategies and digital marketing.

Contact Nancy:nancy@eyecarepro.net