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Take the Marketing Offensive

Take the Marketing Offensive

Stage 3 Marketing: Offensive Marketing Strategy The last tip described a strategic new patient marketing approach for an established practice to create a specialty of expertise. Now we will look at the optimal strategy for the next level of practice success – a practice that is truly thriving, has already differentiated itself in the marketplace and looking to dominate the local market. The Stage 3 Practice This practice has broken through all barriers; it has been around 20 plus years, has many doctors and many locations, making upwards of $1.5-2 million in revenue.  It is operating in a larger market, in which it has already created a distinguished name for itself – which is how it got to this size in the first place. Goals of the Stage 3 Practice A practice this size has the need to generate a LOT of patients, ALL THE TIME!   In order to attract a patient-base of 10,000+ per year … sometimes even 20,000+, this practice needs to completely dominate all the local search results, for miles around.  When patients think of eyecare, they must think of this practice first.  Period. How? A stage 3 practice needs to leverage its impressive size, strength and reputation...
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Are You an Established Practice?

Are You an Established Practice?

New Patient Marketing Stage 2 – The Established Practice Our last digital tip focused on the specific new patient marketing needs of the young practice (new patients, new patients, new patients!). Today we move on to the next level of new patient marketing strategy suited for the practice that is larger, more established and generates higher income. Once a practice either breaks the 10-year barrier, adds a second doctor or a second location, or generates over $700,000 in revenue, it’s clear that something very right is happening.  The practice is successfully growing, expanding its patient base, and has technology investments, skills, specialties and experience.  This all adds up to keep existing patients coming back for more, and also serves to uniquely differentiate the practice from the nearby competition.  In short – this is an established practice. So what is the goal of new patient marketing a stage 2 established practice? Stage 2: Strategic Marketing Sure, even established practices want to bring in new patients, but most importantly, they want to bring in the right kind of new patients.  The way to do that is to tell your story.  You do it every...
How do you get new patients?

How do you get new patients?

  Let’s Redefine “Marketing”: New Patient Marketing What does ‘marketing’ really mean!?  Talk to three people and they each give you a different answer.  I Googled the definition of marketing and found an article that proudly (?) listed 72 different definitions of marketing.  Not only is that confusing, but it’s pretty scary to think that nobody even agrees on the definition, much less how to actually do marketing! Here’s a simple solution to the problem.  No practice really wants ‘marketing’ … that’s what we refer to as ‘input’, something you do.  What’s the ‘output’?  The result?  New patients!  Don’t let any marketer confuse you with input … if you don’t get the output you want, which is new patients, then the input isn’t helping you.  So, from now, we’re going to call marketing what it really is:  New Patient Marketing. All these marketing services are confusing me!  How do I choose one? When it comes to new patient marketing, the biggest challenge that a practice faces is deciding what service will meet its’ needs.  It seems like every...
How Your Website Images Sell Your Practice

How Your Website Images Sell Your Practice

Even if you don’t sell eyewear on your website, you are always “selling eyewear” on your website, and everything else related to your practice for that matter. When visitors come to your optometry website, they have eyes on their mind. They are imagining what their experience will be in your office and whether you will provide the medical care, services or optical selection they want.  Your website images will help them decide whether they will take the next step to make an appointment or drop in for a visit.   The most important images your website visitors will look for in making this decision are: ·         Pictures of your doctors and staff. ·         Pictures of your office and exam rooms. ·         Pictures of your optical (if relevant) – including your frames selection. Based on the content and the feeling these images evoke, your visitors will decide whether your practice offers the experience and products they seek, so you want to make sure they portray an accurate picture! Here are some essential qualities your images need to convert website visitors to patients and customers: ·         Relevance: Images should...
The Importance of Saying Thank You (and How to do it Through Digital Marketing)

The Importance of Saying Thank You (and How to do it Through Digital Marketing)

Thanksgiving was last week and it had me thinking about just how important it is to say thank you to your customers.  Giving your patients the recognition that they CHOSE YOU, when they could have chosen any other optometrist out there reinforces that they made the right decision. It builds trust, loyalty and goodwill and they will certainly remember it when it’s time for their next eye exam. Also, creating a culture of gratitude leads to more overall success in any business. Research shows that customers spend more, employees accomplish more and vendors are more likely to pay in a timely manner when they feel appreciated by being thanked regularly. When giving thanks be sure to: Be specific: Focus on exactly what you are thankful for. Be personal: Recognize that you are singling them out. Add value: Even a small favor will elicit an instinct of reciprocity where your patients will want to “pay you back” by spending more and returning for their optometric needs. Here are some easy ways to show gratitude using digital marketing: Create a nice thank you graphic that can be sent by email or as a postcard after a visit. Run a Facebook thank you campaign.  Publically thank patients...
This Secret Ingredient May Not Be An Ingredient At All!

This Secret Ingredient May Not Be An Ingredient At All!

    Ever hosted a big event… without a caterer?  You know exactly what you want the big event to look like and what you want your guests to eat… but beyond that, you need some real expertise to pull it all together.   Good caterers not only provide an excellent meal, but they bring their expertise to make the whole event successful.  Timing, decor, layout… they make it happen. Your Web Manager is your web marketing caterer.  Not only do we look after all the cooking, but we look after the entire event. Your monthly meeting with your Web Manager is the key to making it all happen.  So, what exactly do you need to tell your Web Manager to start bringing in new patients for your practice? Your Web Manager is your practice’s personal Marketing Chef.  He knows your likes and dislikes, your strengths and weakness and what you wish to serve to your community. Like a well planned meal, your web managers ensures all of your marketing is coordinated, timely and most of all, effective at giving your prospective patients the full flavor of what your practice has to offer. But what are the 4 guidelines you want to convey to ensure your success? What...
What’s Worse than a Bad Review?

What’s Worse than a Bad Review?

          No Reviews! I know, it’s hard to ask your patients to post reviews for your practice.  It’s uncomfortable, your front desk staff always forgets, and you’re already maxed out with information you need to provide your patients post exam.  Even more so, you’re concerned this could invite negative reviews and you certainly would rather have no reviews than bad ones. Plus you are already asking patients to review your practice on your patient communication software – you don’t want to email them again to ask them to put that same review on Google or Yelp. That is simply asking too much! Well, you are right. It probably will be too much for most people, but here is why you should ask anyway and let them decide that.  The bottom line is that 70% of people out there do some kind of online research before making a purchase or trying a new service and the SEO value of reviews is indisputable. If your prospects look on Google Local search results and see one practice has 17 mixed reviews (good and bad), and you have none, they are going to go with the one that at least has some good comments over the one they know nothing about. They will...
Are You Getting ROI from Facebook?

Are You Getting ROI from Facebook?

Is Facebook Really Worth the Effort? Hey Facebook users – I’ve got a question for you. Anybody found a good way to measure the returns of your practice’s Facebook efforts? Like so many businesses out there, we’ve been investing time, money and resources into Facebook marketing for our clients for years. We know how to get likes and engagement, but we think we are missing something. We’re measuring, but we aren’t finding website traffic as a result of this engagement. And we are asking, but we don’t hear from any practices that patients came to them because of Facebook. In other words, in pursuit of all of these likes, shares and comments, we don’t see that it is actually amounting to much in terms of practice revenue. And it seems we are onto something…In a survey conducted last April by Manta which asked small business owners for insights on their social media return on investment (ROI), 59% reported that they did not see ROI from their social media activities. Similarly, in it’s 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Social Media Examiner found that only 45% of marketers interviewed reported that their Facebook marketing is effective. Further,...
Big Changes at Google That Might Affect Your Web Traffic

Big Changes at Google That Might Affect Your Web Traffic

Will the Recent Google Update Affect Your Optometry Web Traffic? There have been a lot of changes in Google local search over the past couple of weeks. The change that is most immediately relevant for your optometry Practice is the 3-pack. Google 3-Packs Prior to this update, the first page of Google’s local search results displayed seven of the top local results along with a local area map with pins at the location of those results. This is called the 7-pack. This most recent change has turned those results into 3-packs. What does this mean? It means that any Practices that were ranking D through G (#s 4-7) in the maps are no longer on the first page in the local maps search results. They may rank organically on the first page (under these results), but not in the Local section. If this is the case for your Practice, you can expect a drop in organic traffic. Business Information Changed In addition to the fact that fewer Practices will now be included in the prominent local maps section, the business information provided in the results has changed. In these 3-packs, exact business addresses and phone numbers have been removed (street names are listed) and store hours including...
What is PowerData and Why is It Important?

What is PowerData and Why is It Important?

  Uncover Insights that Will Improve Your Online Presence and Turn Website Visitors into New Patients Measurement is best viewed against standards.  You know you are fast if you can run a 4 minute mile. You know you are tall if you are over 6’4″. Values are relative and this is also true when you are evaluating the success of your online marketing.  How successful is my online marketing compared with the best in optometry.  Only EyeCarePro because of the vast number of practices we serve, can truly answer that question.   PowerData is a unique service of EyeCarePro that matches your online marketing outcomes against 1400 optometric practices across the US and Canada. We can benchmark your data against other Practices of your size, by the number of OD’s Practices, against other Practices in your State and five additional parameters. You need not be an EyeCarePro customer to receive a monthly PowerData report.  Read more here and register to receive insights into your online marketing program like you’ve never seen before.
How PPC Advertising Can Benefit Your Practice

How PPC Advertising Can Benefit Your Practice

Google pay-per-click advertising can be one of the most effective forms of local marketing for your Practice. The basics include writing various ads, specifying who sees those and what keywords trigger those ads, and choosing how much to spend. Granted, that’s an oversimplification of the process, but here are 5 key benefits to using Google pay-per-click advertising for your Practice: 1. Set your own budget: PPC is based on a pre-set budget, so once the spending amount that you selected is reached, the ad simply stops being shown. Therefore, PPC is low risk and has a controllable spending outcome. 2. Target using the most relevant keywords: With keyword-based campaigns, your ad will attract visitors that are genuinely interested in the product or service you are trying to promote (e.g. optometrist, eye exam, eye doctor, vision therapy, etc.). 3. Target specific geographic locations and demographics: You choose the geographic and demographic populations you want to target with the ad (such as radius around your office, or city, zip code, age, gender and parental status). So you won’t be wasting your time and money advertising to individuals out of your service area; your ad will...
Here’s Why You May Have Seen a Drop in your Mobile Traffic

Here’s Why You May Have Seen a Drop in your Mobile Traffic

Something is brewing over at Google. They are keeping their lips shut tight so there isn’t a lot of information available right now, but it seems as though they are testing out a bunch of changes with their local rankings, specifically how the local search results are appearing on mobile devices. We have noticed changes in how the search results appear for local businesses on mobile as well as some traffic fluctuation for a number of our clients. Firstly, we have seen instances where Google has reduced the number of results shown on the first page of a local mobile search from 5 to 2-3 results. This could reduce the amount of visitors to sites in the 3-5 spots that are now relocated to page two of the search results. Secondly, we have noticed that in some cases Google has listed a Practice’s Google My Business Page in the results with no link to the actual Practice website. That means patients on mobile devices may be coming to you directly from your Google My Business page and not through your website. Ultimately, as long as your business page is up to date this shouldn’t affect conversions since the users are being brought to your Practice’s online property and contact information,...
Are You Really in Control of Your Practice’s Business Listings?

Are You Really in Control of Your Practice’s Business Listings?

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....
Your Money Moment: Battling Return Rates

Your Money Moment: Battling Return Rates

Looking for a way to save more money in your practice and reduce time spent in the back office? Currently the industry is seeing a 22% return rate on average which means that 22% of everything bought is shipped back to the vendor. Compare this to other industries and you would be shocked to see that many industries now accept returns only if the product is defective, was ordered incorrectly or if the product has been recalled. Vendors in our industry have started to factor return rates into their day to day operations such as decreased discounts, processing / restocking fees and even excluding you from their customer rebates. While buying in bulk to save a few dollars may seem like a good idea it can certainly cuts into your bottom line. Besides the above mentioned, think about what your practice goes through every time frame(s) are returned. Between inventory management, boxing up “old” product, cost of shipping, following up with the vendors and even having to place an order to make up for the return you will often spend in upwards of 40% or more when returning product even if you get back the exact amount you paid the vendor originally. 1. Use discretion when taking advantage...
5 Lessons to Protect Your Practice from Losing its Domain Name

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...
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