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Have You Had a Drop in Google Reviews lately? Here’s Why…

Monday, Jul 23, 2018

Over the past few weeks, many businesses have seen a sudden drop in their total number of Google reviews and maybe even in their average star rating. While this might be alarming, rest assured that it is not a poor reflection of your practice! There is some rhyme and reason behind it and in the long run it could actually benefit your practice.

Say What!?

If you look a little closer, you will see that what is missing is any review your business received from an anonymous user. Google has taken the step to remove anonymous reviews of businesses from Google My Business in an effort to protect business owners from fake reviews. This means that any review that was left by “A Google User” should no longer be visible or counted in the overall review score or star rating.  In addition to the removal of existent anonymous reviews, from this point onward, Google has stated that anonymous reviews will no longer be permitted. Again, while in the short term, business owners may see a reduction in their review count and score, this move is designed to help the business owner in the long run.

Why? For some time there have been complaints or questions about the reliability of customer reviews, with statistics showing that a high percentage of consumers suspect that they have come across fake reviews while investigating businesses. Requiring reviewers to identify themselves adds a level of scrutiny to the review process. Nevertheless this is by no means the end of fake reviews, not to mention that Google still has a long way to go to completely do away with anonymous reviews. 

According to research by Bright Local, about 3% of reviews are anonymous and the average difference in star rating is 0.2 stars (meaning named reviewers gave 0.2 higher than anonymous reviewers). This means that the average business could see an increase in their star rating simply by eliminating these anonymous reviews.

The average star rating on your Google My Business page is important because it is a factor for your page ranking on Google and can influence your click-through rates to your website.

While many business owners have been shocked and maybe even upset to see a sudden change in their star rating or their overall number of reviews, this change is a first step to crack down on fake reviews that undermine the entire review system.  If this has happened to you, it’s merely another reason to increase your efforts to request reviews from happy customers. 

Looking to simplify the review process? Find out about our new review app! Contact me at daniel@eyecarepro.net or (412) 532-6542.

Are you serving as many children as you can? Check out our latest ebook on Paediatric Marketing

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018

Google's Mobile-First Index is LIVE

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2018

Over here in SEO world, we’ve been anticipating the launch of Google’s Mobile Index and the time has finally arrived! We’ve started to receive confirmations through the Google Search Console on behalf of many of our client website owners that their sites have been added to the mobile index.

What does this mean exactly? 

Due to the astronomical popularity of mobile search, we’ve been preaching for years that it’s essential to have a mobile optimized website - and so has Google. This is yet another major step in putting mobile into the driver’s seat when it comes to search.

It’s no longer that Google is just rewarding mobile-friendly sites with improved ranking, but now if your site is not up to par, you will be missing the boat.  According to Google, mobile-first indexing means that they will now primarily be using the mobile signals of the site, rather than the desktop signals, for indexing and ranking. Until now, the desktop version of all sites’ content were used to evaluate the search relevance to a query. Now as the majority of users are searching from mobile devices, the mobile data will become the primary source of content.  Google’s claim is that this is to assist the majority of mobile users in finding what they are looking for, as the desktop version can often cause issues for mobile searches when the content is different from the mobile site. Right now, there are two indexes, one for mobile and one for desktop, both will send out crawl bots to the website and take in data for their own index, and the mobile index will be prioritized.

So far it seems that the index has not resulted in any significant changes in ranking - your site ranking will likely be the same as it is on the desktop index. Google is merely going through sites and selecting which sites to add to the mobile-first index. Those that are added, however will likely see a small increase in mobile traffic.

Where there may be an advantage for sites that are added to the index is in cases where the competition is not in the mobile index or has not yet been added. In these cases, your site might bump up a notch or two in the mobile index, so people searching from a mobile device will find you first.  Alternatively, if your site is not in the index, you will be left out of the mobile search ranking index, which gives your competitors the edge.

Don’t worry if your mobile-optimized site has not been moved over yet. They are taking this transition slowly to ensure a smooth transition for site owners and users and they are carefully assessing the readiness of each site before moving it over.  At this point, we have yet to find a way to submit to the mobile index, or a way to force a crawl by Google so, it remains out of our hands.

If your site is mobile-friendly, there is nothing to do at this point, other than being aware that your efforts are keeping your site up to date with the trends of digital marketing. You can check whether your site is mobile-friendly here: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly.

EyeCarePro clients should be aware that all of our sites are mobile-optimized and that since we manage your Google console we will be getting the notification when it is added. If you have any questions, feel free to ask your web manager.  

Traditional Marketing: Important Still

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

I am on my way back from Vision Expo East and I find myself browsing through the airline magazine tucked into the pocket in front of me. It was just there and I was not in a position to take out my computer, so I spent my take-off time flipping through the pages. A discount on the shuttle service I use (rrrrip). A promo on men's shirt's (rrrip). Hey, that looks like a unique gift for my wife (rrrip). Three great ideas. I realized I was the recipient of traditional marketing!

What is traditional marketing?

We often use the term traditional to give a sense of time, specifically, time honored, long lasting, and that's true for traditional marketing as well.  Traditional marketing has been around for the last 70 to 90 years and it's longevity is a testament to its value and success. Traditional marketing includes magazine ads (like the ones I fell prey to), newspaper ads, radio ads, brochures and passive materials, business cards (yes, that's marketing), in-office events and so much more. People have made a choice between either digital marketing (websites, pay-per-click ads, Facebook, etc.) or traditional marketing techniques. But here's what we know.  THERE IS NO CHOICE! The secret formula for marketing success is digital marketing AND traditional marketing. 

Why traditional marketing?

Great marketing has one very important ingredient... repetition. Great marketing has one very important ingredient... repetition. (Not a typo but an example of great marketing.) That phrase will stick with you now and if you see it a third and a fourth time, you will be sold. If you are only using digital marketing, then you limit the number of exposures to your messaging. 

Check out our ebook and learn the many, many opportunities that exist within traditional marketing (I mean A LOT!). Coordinate your traditional marketing with digital support and watch the appointments roll in.  Don't listen to the pundits who are telling you to just do digital marketing, or my favorite bit of advice, "Just do Facebook!". Sheesh!

We have a lot more tips on creating a fantastic, results-based marketing program for your practice. Check out our library of how-to ebooks. They are designed to give you all the information you need to do this yourself, but... you don't have to. The EyeCarePro team is poised on the edge of their seats waiting for your call.  We are here to let you get back to what you do so well - seeing patients. Contact me for more information at daniel@eyecarepro.net or (412) 532-6542.

Can I Delete Reviews?

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Are you haunted by old reviews, especially bad ones? Many clients turn to us asking if and how they can be deleted.  In some cases, ODs have taken over an office and want to disassociate from the reviews of the old owners. Given the importance of reviews (which you can learn more about in our recent ebook on the topic), many of our clients would do anything to wipe the slate clean. Well, unfortunately that is usually not an option (except for a special circumstance that I will discuss below), but there are effective ways to handle undesirable reviews and reduce the impact they have on your reputation.

A Case When You Can Delete Reviews 

If you are taking over a business you can delete old reviews and start fresh with proof of acquisition, but according to a response from a Google rep to one of our clients, this is not advised because it could negatively affect your SEO.  This of course is relative. While having no reviews is detrimental both to your new patient acquisition and to your SEO, having a number of bad reviews from an old practice that is no longer relevant, might do even more damage. You have to weigh out the situation based on the type of reviews and the importance and quality of your SEO.  Keep in mind that 9.8% of your visibility in local search engines is based on review signals such as the number and average rating of your reviews so a lot of great reviews can seriously help your website ranking.

The Alternative to Deleting Reviews

Perhaps the best advice when you have unwanted reviews it to drown them out with positive ones. If you have some bad comments it’s not the end of the world. Everyone has an opinion and it happens to be that dissatisfied customers are more likely to post a review than those that are happy with your services (studies show that while 35% of people review after a bad experience only 23% review after a good one).  So your job is to make a conscious effort to encourage and even outright ask your happy patients to do so.

How Many Reviews Do I Need?

The answer to this question largely depends on your local competition and where you are starting from. If your biggest competitor has 20 reviews, you want to shoot for 30. If they have 50, go for more, but it has to be reasonable.  Growing your reviews is an ongoing process that you should always be working at and it won’t happen overnight. If you are new to this, have a goal of 20 reviews and aim for a couple every month. Other practices may shoot for 5-10 reviews if. The point is that getting reviews is something you need to work at. Many happy customers just need a reminder (or two) to share their experience.

How Do I Get Reviews?

There are a lot of strategies for getting reviews, and we’ve written about this a bunch, but what’s most important is that your whole practice needs to rally around the goal. Getting reviews is a team effort.  You see a happy patient in the exam chair, ask for a review. The optician fits a happy customer, ask for a review. The office manager is scheduling a follow up visit, ask for a review. Making patients happy and asking for reviews must become part of the workflow with everyone on board.

Respond to Bad Reviews

The last important point that needs mentioning is that if you do get a bad review, don’t ignore it. While you don’t want to get personal, go into details or make excuses, you do want to express that you care about customer satisfaction and view this as a chance to improve. While keeping HIPAA in mind, it can help to offer to speak to the disgruntled party to rectify the situation. Other readers will see a professional response that shows good customer service as a positive sign and you never know, the unhappy client may change his mind and his review.

If you need some help upping your review game, we are here to help (we even have a new review app to assist!) Contact me at daniel@eyecarepro.net or (412) 532-6542.

Say it...Then Say it Again and Again

Wednesday, Nov 08, 2017

A wise man once said that when it comes to marketing, the key to success is repetition. In fact, this wise man (also known as Michael Pote, EyeCarePro’s COO and sales and marketing expert) says that every message you want to promote needs to be said at least six times. That’s right, I’m sorry to say it but the first five times you say something, most of your audience is not listening.

Why? Well according to the psychology of marketing, there are a number of reasons.

First of all, your audience is busy and distracted.  While you have optometry and eye care on your mind at least all of your workday, most people only think about it when they have an eye care need.  Therefore, they probably aren’t paying attention to your ad unless it is relevant, so much of your audience is missing your message completely.  

Additionally, they are being bombarded constantly with other messages that they have to filter through. So even if they do pay attention to your message, there’s a good chance that they will be distracted by something else before they are even able to follow up.

Further, even if your message is relevant, a potential patient will have to keep the message and information about your practice in mind until they are ready to act. If they don’t act immediately (which is why we need a really good Call-to-Action, right?) they may forget your name, lose your ad, delete your email or throw away your mailing even if it caught their attention at the time.  

Lastly, they may have not yet decided that you are the practitioner they choose to fulfill their eye care needs.

Clearly, your marketing message has a lot of hurdles to overcome. Repeating the same message over and over and across all marketing channels (email, social media, website, print, ads etc.) can be the answer to many of these obstacles.

Generating repetition creates familiarity with your name and your message, so you will be the recognized provider that comes to mind when that time comes that they think “eyecare”.  When you repeat it over multiple channels, you increase the chances they will see it. If the message is right, repetition, and the familiarity that it creates, can lead to trust and credibility.  

So if you are wondering why your first marketing promotion didn’t bring in as many appointments as you’d hoped, send it again, and then again and make sure that it is consistent for every potential touch point with your audience.  Eventually your message will penetrate through the noise of all the other communications vying for your audience’s attention and your persistence will pay off.

P.S. I told you repetition is the key to making yourself heard.  Why do you think I repeated myself so many times in this article ;-)"? So if you need some help being repetitive, clearly I’m an expert. Contact me at daniel@eyecarepro.net or (412) 532-6542.

Google Updates You Want to Know About

Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017

Google has recently made some exciting updates to the Google My Business Knowledge card and Maps search results that you want to know about. These updates can directly influence your business listing in Google Maps and search results, adding additional information about your practice and new ways to interact with users. 

Appointment Links

You can now put a link to book an appointment right on the local search results page. This means that wherever your Google Knowledge Card shows up in the local results, along with your name, address, phone number, hours and website url, there can be a link to your online appointment page (or any other page you set such as your contact us page).   

A quick note: The knowledge card is not generated in every search. It’s triggered by branded searches (such as a search for the practice name or doctor) or those close to a branded search (such as the address). As opposed to a standard organic search result listing, the knowledge card appears as a box on the top of the first page of the search results, that includes all of the major details of the business.  

So, what do you need to do to activate this appointment link? If your link has not appeared automatically, you can add it by signing into Google My Business. Select your listing and click the URLs section and enter the URL for the page you want to appear. Click “Apply”.  The link should go live almost instantly.  While right now this feature seems to only be available for US businesses, we assume it will reach Canada in the near future.  

If your link does appear there already it was likely automatically updated by a third party such as an online scheduling software. You cannot change or edit the information that was automatically entered through GMB, you need to contact the third-party directly.  

Google Posts

Google has now enabled Google Posts which allows you to post live updates such as sales, events, news or promotions directly on your Google knowledge card in the search results. Similar to what you would include in a Facebook post, these posts can also include images, videos, gifs and inline links so that your audience can take a direct action like booking an appointment, viewing a page on your website or contacting the office. And it all appears in your Google knowledge card listing when someone searches directly for your practice on desktop or mobile devices.  

The posts show up instantly or you can schedule a time to publish as well as the duration of time you want the post to remain. You will also get user insight updates from Google on the number of people that see and interact with the post. To begin posting you need to apply to verify access to your page by filling in a form via Google and they will reply to you within a week.

Google is currently in the process of rolling this out according to location and category (it doesn’t appear that optometry practices are on the list yet) so if they have not yet gotten to you, they will put you on the waitlist.

Q&A 

Google has also enabled a beta version of a Questions & Answers section which allows viewers and business owners to ask and answer questions about your practice directly on your Google knowledge card in the Google Maps and search results.

This feature is currently only available on Android mobile devices. Business users that can access Google Maps on Android will receive a notification when a question has been posted and can post a reply. The user that posted the question will be notified when the reply is posted as well.  If the question and answer are something the business owner feels is relevant to many users he can pin it to be pushed to the top of the list of Q&As for all users to view at a quick glance. You can sign on to be a beta tester by downloading the newest version of Google Maps at  APK Mirror or Play (which also included a couple of other beta tests being done right now).

These features can be great ways to enhance your Google knowledge card, providing more information and means of engagement with your audience, directly in the search results.  Need some help implementing these features? We are here for you? Contact me at daniel@eyecarepro.net or (412) 532-6542.

Do You Blog?... Should you?

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

There are a lot of practices out there that are blogging. If you find yourself wondering “what’s the deal?” and whether you should be blogging too, here’s a little primer on the topic. 

Why Blog?

Blogging takes time but it is an incredibly valuable asset for your online presence for the following reasons, blogging:

  • Creates practice branding and recognition 
  • Brings in high quality organic traffic
  • Creates perception of expertise
  • Showcases services and products
  • Educates the public about eye health and eye care news
  • Enhances your online presence
  • Connects with your audience, building loyalty and trust

Where to Blog

You can host a blog either on your website or on a separate blog site such as Wordpress.com or blogger.com. Our recommendation is to localize your online presence by hosting your blog on your website. This keeps your online presence focused in one domain where patients can do everything they need including find out more information about your practice and schedule an appointment. This will increase traffic to your website, increasing your search ranking and bringing in new patients. You can also post your blog to your homepage and social media which can populate your site with fresh content and bring more users to your site via social media.

Alternatively, an offsite blog will require your audience to have to take another step to take action toward converting to making an appointment.

How to Blog 

Blogging takes time, so if you are going to take the plunge, it’s important to do it right as to not waste your precious time. Blogging should follow some basic rules including:

  • Length: should be between 300 and 500 words
  • Images: every blog should include an image, custom images of your office or personality are best when possible
  • URL: the URL of the post should be short and accurate
  • Formatting: content should be presented in short, easy to consume bites, such as subtitles, short paragraphs and bullet points or numbered lists to break up the text on the page. 
  • Calls to Action: every blog should include a call to action to prompt readers to take the next step such as a link to more information or to book an appointment.
  • Consistency: to be effective a new blog post should be published weekly or biweekly as much as possible. 

Don’t let the commitment of maintaining a blog deter you. I recommend setting up an editorial calendar for a few months out and a rotation among your staff members. Each member has something interesting to contribute and this will help you vary your content to create posts that will appeal to a wide range of readers.

Want a blog but don’t have the time? This is one of the services we provide our marketing clients and we even do it ourselves! In fact, that’s what you are reading right now- this is how we blog! Contact me at daniel@eyecarepro.net or (412) 532-6542.

Get Ready to Use SMS Marketing to Connect to Patients

Thursday, Jun 15, 2017

According to a study by Shift Communications, 82.1% of people surveyed reported that they open every text (SMS) message they receive. I’ve seen other statistics that claim even higher open rates - in the high 90’s. WOW! In the marketing world, those are incredibly high open rates.

So if you want to get a message out to your patients, SMS is a pretty effective way to reach them, right? Well, hold on.  Before you go blasting out text messages with all of your “important” messages, consider that in a mobile behavior report by Salesforce, 52% of those who did not opt in to receive texts from a brand say that they find them to be disruptive.  Alternatively, 91% of users who did opt in to receive texts found those messages to be somewhat or very useful.  So clearly, it would be a wise to get permission before you start sending SMS messages.

Now once you have an opt in list, how do you go about SMS marketing effectively? What kind of marketing is best to promote via text?

First of all, studies show that text message marketing is most effective when it is done in conjunction with a larger integrated marketing campaign.  This means that you are also promoting your message via other mediums such as your website, social media, and in-house channels. Designing a coordinated strategy will reinforce your message and have a bigger impact on actual appointments booked.

SMS marketing is great for informing patients of a sale, an event, or even a seasonal reminder such as back to school or allergy season appointments. Since you want to be selective about how often you use text messages, it should not be used to make general announcements that don’t have an associated action point. Don’t waste your texts. Use them wisely by making sure that every message includes a way for the recipient to act, such as a link to call or access a landing page about the promotion.

SMS Frequency

As implied above, one important consideration unique to text message marketing is frequency. People generally feel SMS is a more personal touch point than say email or social media and therefore adds the risk of feeling intrusive. Further, it can be disruptive. Whereas your patients can choose when they want to check their email or social media page, a text comes in when you decide to send it. Therefore, you want to keep texting to a minimum to avoid being a nuisance.  Once a week is a safe bet for providing value to your patients without overstaying your welcome.

The Down Side

So, if text message marketing is so effective, why doesn’t everyone use it? Well, first of all, there is a cost for sending SMS’s.  If you do determine that you’d like to go ahead with this strategy, there are tools which allow you to sign up for either a monthly fee or a credit-based payment system which allow you to send bulk texts for a very reasonable cost.  

Secondly, you have to export all of your opt-in contacts into this tool which could be tedious and time consuming if you are a big practice.  Optimally, you should look for an SMS tool that is compatible with your practice management system to facilitate this process.  

In general, when done the right way, SMS marketing can create an improved relationship with your patient base, allowing them to feel connected to your practice in a valuable and meaningful way. This is especially true for the younger generations such as millennials, who are known to keep their phone close at hand at all times and regularly communicate through digital means. Knowing your patient base can help you determine the best way to effectively use text marketing for your practice communication.

Since SMS marketing can get expensive, even if you aren’t planning to include this in your marketing now, it is worthwhile to start planning ahead by getting opt-in permission (specifically for marketing, not just for appointment reminders!) for every patient that comes in through your door. This way, when you can text blast all your patients cost-effectively you will be set up to do so!

Looking for some help with your overall marketing strategy? We are here for you! Contact me at  daniel@eyecarepro.net or (412) 532-6542.

Get Personal With Event Marketing

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2017

Looking to shake things up and really engage your patients? Take your marketing off the screen (or the paper) with a live, in-person event. Think out-of-the-box - beyond trunk shows - to create an event that benefits your patients, strengthens your relationships and highlights your expertise.  Learn More >

Google Is Shaking Things Up!

Tuesday, Apr 25, 2017

Google just turned the local search world upside down. Never before has our SEO team had so much to chatter about following an update. Here’s the deal... Learn More >

Is Your Website Marketing Hurting Your Traffic?

Monday, Feb 06, 2017

A patient on a cellphone looking for your office hours clicks on your website from Google search results and upon arriving to your homepage an ad pops-up, blocking all of the content on the homepage.  While you think this is a great way to force the visitor to pay attention to your message, it can be pretty frustrating and intrusive for the patient who has different information on his agenda.

This form of interruption marketing is called an interstitial ad and Google is cracking down on this type of ad because it hurts the user experience. Consequently, this month Google rolled out an “intrusive mobile interstitial penalty” which will penalize website ranking for sites that use this tactic in order to reduce this type of intrusive advertising for mobile users. The goal of the penalty is to prevent website managers from withholding visitors easy access to the content they seek on a mobile search.

How does this penalty play out? Firstly, the penalty only applies to interstitials that appear in the direct path of a Google mobile search result that leads to specific website page.  This means that it will not affect interstitials that are implemented within your internal website navigation.  

Further, they are targeting certain types of interstitials including:

  • showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results or while they are looking through the page.
  • displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
  • using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.

Does this mean that you should outlaw the use of interstitial marketing in your practice? Well, not necessarily. Our SEO experts have been aware of the negative impact pop-up advertising can have on the user experience and SEO for some time and back in August they set up certain guidelines for using them with our clients. Their advice? Only use interstitials on a website when it is to promote an event, a sale or some promotion that is out of the ordinary and limited in time.  The interstitial should also have a purpose, like a login screen or an email capture. Sometimes, after all, you do want to get website visitor’s attention.  

Our SEO experts have also pointed out that interstitials that are in response to a legal obligation (such as for cookie usage or age verification) or banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible are not included in the penalty.

Online marketing can be complicated, but you don’t have to understand all of the nitty gritty of SEO yourself. Leave it to the experts! Contact me today at daniel@eyecarepro.net or (412) 532-6542.

Rev up Your Practice Social Media in 2017!

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017

2016 may have been the year of so-so social media for your practice but that ends today. In 2017 you can boost your social media marketing, creating more engagement and exposure for your practice page.   

The greatest and easiest source of Facebook engagement is sitting right under your nose... your practice staff! Your staff consists of local individuals with local friends - all of whom can and should be customers.  You can use this resource to tap into this local network by making your staff the stars!  

Highlight different staff members with tags and ask them to share the posts and soon your staff stars will spread your practice name throughout their personal Facebook networks.  The best news is, this can be a very quick and easy strategy. Simply create a list of “get to know you” questions and give it to each of your staff members.  Include questions of personal interest such as, “Do you have a nickname? Where/how did you get it?  Where did you grow up? Any interesting story about your hometown or your early years?  Hobbies, pets, favorite patient story…”  You can get creative and ask leading questions that will provoke interesting or funny stories to surface.  

Once you have collected all of your staff responses create a bunch of fun, funny, entertaining  posts from the information that was collected (with explicit approval from each staff member of course). Include some pictures or videos for more engagement.  

Once approved, schedule the posts out over a few months. Create excitement amongst your staff members as they check the Facebook page to learn about the other staff members and look for their stories to be shared.  Ask all staff members to share the posts when they are included.

With a minimal amount of work, you can have engaging posts scheduled out at once for months in advance and create a fun staff engagement strategy that will spread the word about your practice.

Need some help creating and implementing an effective social media marketing strategy for 2017? Well, you’re in luck. That’s one of our areas of expertise. Contact me at daniel@eyecarepro.net or phone (412) 532-6542 and we'll get you started!

eBooks! eBooks! Get Your eBooks

Friday, Nov 11, 2016
eBooks! eBooks! Get Your eBooks > Check out our library of ebooks conveniently assembled on one site page. Download one...download them all!

What's Your Stage of Marketing Growth?

Wednesday, Nov 02, 2016
Matching your stage of growth to the right marketing services can mean the difference between Wow! and wah wah... Learn your stage of growth and what it means for your marketing.

Let's Talk Logos

Wednesday, Oct 05, 2016

Part 1: Conceptualizing Your Eye Care Logo

Designing a quality logo is an important part of marketing and branding your practice. Your logo is your visual identity representing your practice to the outside world. It is an instant representation of what your practice stands for and will come to create an association in the mind of your patients and potential customers. It is also often the first impression you will make on potential patients, so it is important to put a lot of thought behind it.

Read More >

Watch Out for “Google Partner” Scams

Monday, May 16, 2016

We have had a number of ODs ask us about solicitation calls they received from SEO companies that claim they are Google Partners and that as such, a Google employee had “joined" the call. The callers implied that because they were “in” with Google, they could have a bigger impact on SEO and Google ranking.  

This is misleading for a number of reasons and it’s a tactic that many SEO companies are using to scam businesses into using their services.

What exactly is a Google Partner company and does this make it more qualified to improve your SEO and Google rankings?

If a company claims that it is a Google Partner, this is probably true, however this status has no impact on organic search or SEO.  Google Partners are certified for Adwords ONLY, which is Google’s paid advertising platform.  That means they take the money you spend with them each month and invest a percentage of it into Google’s Pay-Per-Click advertising.

Instead of claiming they will get you number one ranking in the search engines, they promote "putting you on the 1st page." They can guarantee that because they are offering paid advertising, not actual rankings, so they can ensure you have an ad on the first page - but it is exactly that, an ad, not a search result.

When it comes to pay-per-click advertising you are limited on your potential visitors by the amount of money you spend. So if you invest say $100 and a click-on an ad costs you $5 on average per click, the most this will do is give you a boost of 20 visits per month. Normal organic rankings are unlimited and can hit in the 100-200 range or more a month. 

So if someone says they are a Google Partner, read between the lines. They are speaking strictly about Pay-Per-Click advertising on Google Adwords and not about organic search rankings.

For information about being a Google Partner see here https://support.google.com/partners/answer/3126965

Can an SEO company or Webmaster be “Google Certified”?

No. Google has stated numerous times that they do not and will not certify SEO experts, so if anyone ever claims to be “Google certified” for SEO they are misleading you.  Many search experts have requested this status but Google continually rejects it because they believe it will interfere with the search process and they do not want to accept money for certification when organic results are not based on paying Google.

Google offers certification for other products such as AdWords, AdSense, Analytics and Google Apps among other things, however for organic search and SEO, they do not. You can read more about this topic here:

http://searchengineland.com/google-wont-provide-seo-certifications-to-webmasters-or-seo-companies-242361

Will a Google Employee Join up with an SEO Company?

No. Google does not make partnerships with SEOs or webmasters. Google representatives only make phone calls to businesses to verify their business page and they would do this by requesting a call through your business. If your page has already been verified, they would not have a reason to request a call.

In short, when it comes to ranking on Google, there are no shortcuts. Any legitimate SEO company will have to go through all of the necessary steps to make sure your website is properly optimized and maintained. This will usually take some time, so be patient and don’t be tempted to fall into the trap of someone selling “guaranteed results”.

Questions? Contact me by email at daniel@eyecarepro.net or phone (412) 532-6542.

Introducing ODMetro! The urban ODs solution to attaining superior local visibility

Thursday, Jul 02, 2015

Doing "well" isn't enough anymore; the local marketplace is more competitive than ever. As your competition grows your online marketing strategy has to continually adapt to get ahead and stay ahead. ODMetro takes the offensive in helping your Practice to get on top and continuously outperform your local competitors in the search engines. Learn more about ODMetro here

More Patients-Per-Click…Learn more about EyeCarePro’s newest service, ODPPC!

Thursday, Jun 11, 2015

Drive more traffic to your site, attract the patients you are seeking, grow your sales and build your SEO. With ODPPC you will get customized landing pages, targeted ads and remarketing tools to continuously attract and drive new patients. Find out more about ODPPC here.

SiB2015, Optometry's Virtual Conference is now OnDemand!

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015

We would like to thank our speakers, exhibitors and registrants for participating in the third annual Seeing Is Believing Virtual Conference. If you were not able to attend the live virtual conference or just missed out on a few educational sessions this past January, you can still visit the exhibitor theater as well as attend over 20 COPE and CE courses. Course topics like, 'Building your Two Million Dollar Practice', 'Retail Strategies', 'Collagen Cross Linking' and more will be OnDemand until April 30th, 2015. So don't miss out, register here, SiB Registration: If you've already registered, you can log in to the conference here: SiB Log In

The Practice Growth Co-op, Houston, TX on February 15th, 2015

Friday, Jan 02, 2015

Join EyeCarePro, consultants and thought leaders and 8 of the industries leading suppliers at The Practice Growth Co-op in Houston for our first one-day conference dedicated to getting personal with optometry's top thought leaders and product innovators at a one-to-one, one-of-a-kind, COPE certified educational experience....

Participants will have a unique opportunity to meet one-to-one and consult with David Friedfeld, President of award winning frame supplier, ClearVision Optical; Dr. Gary Gerber, renowned industry thought-leader and Founder of The Power Practice and Dr. Charles Aldridge of Aldridge Eye Institute . They will share best industry practices and their wealth of experience, listen to your unique challenges and provide you with advice which you can take away and start using immediately to help grow your Practice.  All attendees will also get five face-to-face meetings with leading industry suppliers. Learn how cutting-edge products and services can work to build your revenue, enhance your productivity and meet your unique individual Practice needs. Register at ThePracticeGrowthCoop.com.

Registration is Open for the 3rd Annual Seeing Is Believing, SIB2015 Virtual Conference

Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014
SiB2015 Virtual Conference provides ODs and their staff with convenient access to the information they need to turn changes into an opportunity to improve their Practice! Stay out of the cold and heat up your brain power January 28th and 29th at SiB2015. Soak in the latest educational content from optometry’s brightest educators and thought leaders and watch informational videos in the new vendor theater. SiB offers education for the entire staff. ODs can attend any of 10 COPE CE courses, and another 10 non-COPE courses. Engage in live conversation over topics like: Building your Two Million Dollar Practice, Retail Strategies, Collagen Cross Linking and more. Go to www.SiB2015.com to learn more.

Join us for an EyeCarePro and ECPWebCoach Webinar: How to Grow Your Practice in 2015 with Social Media & Web Marketing

Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

December 17th, 2014 at 7:00 pm EST
What does it really take to have great online presence? This webinar will outline the 4 key components Practices will need to have in place in 2015. Webinar participants will get information, online tools and resources they need to start planning and developing an online strategy for their Practice. They'll come away with a better understanding of the importance of having a quality web presence and how to excel using these components. Register Here

Introducing our DDIY (Don't Do it Yourself) Promise

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014

You can do anything but it is hard to do everything! Avoid a DIY disaster with our DDIY Promise. Let us take care of marketing your Practice online and get ready for new patients and increased revenue! 

EyeCarePro joins forces with PERC and IVA

Friday, Oct 03, 2014

We are excited to announce that EyeCarePro has been selected to provide online marketing services to the over 1600 California-based members of The Professional Eyecare Resources Co-Operative and Infinity Vision Alliance. Read more...

Don't Miss out on CEiB OnDemand!

Monday, Sep 01, 2014

The 2014 CEing is Believing Virtual Conference and Exhibition was a huge success. Don't forget that until October 31st you can catch up on anything you missed by logging in to view all COPE CE credits in the CEiB OnDemand system.

A Great CEiB Thank You!

Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014

Over 900 registered users, over 1000 CE Sessions attended in the first week ... and over 1000 booth visits!

We would like to thank the optometric community for their collaboration as we connected once again on an exciting virtual conference platform over four information-packed days for the CEing is Believing Virtual Conference and Exhibition. We extend our gratitude to all of those that contributed to CEiB; our Speakers, Exhibitors and Supporters and to our Attendees that helped make this conference a huge success.

CEiB On Demand is now live! Registrants can log in on the CEiB homepage: http://www.ceib2014.com/ or if you would like to take advantage of the full conference and have not registered you can register here: https://www.vconferenceonline.com/event/regeventecp.aspx?ID=1051

Supersize Your Social Media

Friday, Jul 25, 2014

Looking for ideas to create more unique and interactive posts? Need to grow your social community? EyeCarePro has added a free, new feature [in addition to our social media campaigns] developed especially for our Web Marketing customers.

Introducing Social Sabina Says! Sabina Fonseca, our social media extraordinaire is here to provide tips and post ideas to help build a loyal social following. Throughout each month, Sabina will send each client six timely, engaging and fun post ideas to enhance their Facebook page. If you are interested in this feature or would like to learn more about web marketing programs, email Jason, jason@eyecarepro.net

CE the Big Picture

Friday, May 16, 2014

Did you know that over the past year more than 6504 online CE Credits were taken at our virtual conferences?  If you think you have seen it all. . . get ready to CE some more. . . view our Virtual Conferences infographic.  

CEiB, Optometry's Virtual COPE Conference & Exhibition Returns for a Second Year on July 16th

Friday, May 16, 2014

CEiB, CEing Is Believing brings quality CE courses and live access to industry innovators and thought leaders to your computer over four information-packed days: July 16 – 17th and 21 – 22nd.  Receive 30% Off Passes when you register May 17th through May 31st.  This year registration for the Exhibition Hall is Free for all ECPs.

CEing is Believing is dedicated to providing high quality continuing education and COPE approved courses with a focus on the clinical side of Optometric Practice in a convenient and affordable, virtual setting.  Starting on Wednesday, July 16th and Thursday, July 17th, sessions will run from 2 PM EDT to 7 PM EDT and then resume on Monday, July 21st and Tuesday, July 22nd from 10 AM EDT to 3 PM EDT. For more information about CEiB2014 visit the website at http://www.ceib2014.com/

SiB, Optometry's Virtual Conference is Now ON DEMAND!

Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014
If you missed out on the SiB conference, registration is still open to attend the event OnDemand! Video OnDemand is available inside SiB: sessions can be accessed through the Sessions Lobby once you enter the event.
 
Take advantage of our selection of 11 COPE Online CE credits, insightful courses on Practice Management, and more.

Learn, Connect, Grow

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014

Hurry! SiB, Optometry's Virtual Conference kicks off on Wed. Jan 29th. Register Now so you won't miss this opportunity to connect with colleagues, learn from industry thought leaders and grow your Practice.

Be part of the revolution as the optometric industry joins together, January 29th and 30th, to spread knowledge and partnership in advancing eye care through a convenient, practical and affordable conferencing platform.

At SIB, you get all of the benefits of an in-person conference:
• Interactive sessions with top industry educators
• Live exhibition hall to learn about and discuss the latest innovations in eye care
• Live chat in the session rooms with speakers and other attendees
• Supplier promotions and more
…for a fraction of the cost and no time away from the office. Click here to learn more.

 

New Call Tracking Service!

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014

New Call Tracking Service! Introducing EyeCarePro's new technology must-have for your website. See in real time how many calls are generated from your site, who is calling, the location of the calls, and if the phone call generated a new patient. It's HIPAA compliant and takes only seconds to learn. Free when you sign up for ODLingo or ODLite. (Learn More).