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Looking to maximize your existing website? One of the best overviews of what social media means for those in the medical field is written by Dr. Luks, who serves on the external advisory board of Mayo Clinic’s Center of Social Media.
Dr. Luks has delved into the mechanics and potential of website design and content. He’s got a very impressive website to show for it.
Reasons vary for developing a plan for your Internet presence, and Dr. Luks tackles an important one head-on.
“You have seen thousands of patients,” he writes. “It took you years to develop your reputation. In today’s fast-paced digital world that reputation can evaporate in a moment.”
To the end, Dr. Luks says the best approach is to “drive positive, accurate content” to counteract negative comments that will arise on sites such as Health Grades, Vitals, and Yelp. Stay on top of comments with a “Google Alert” that allows you to track daily what has been said about you or your practice.
Managing your online reputation also is driven by search engine results. “If you do not have an online presence and your website does not produce or offer content, which ranks well utilizing Google’s algorithms, then your ability to drive down, or drown out any negative reviews is non-existent,” Dr. Luks says.
With an active web 2.0 compliant website, you can push any negative matches to the second page in a Google search. Statistics show that vastly fewer viewers will go to the second or third pages in a search.
Dr. Luks also finds adding a blog to your existing site, or simply using a blogging platform such as Blogger, Posterous or WordPress, will allow you to share more with your patients. He endorses WordPress as “very user-friendly, vibrant, easy to customize platform that most web developers utilize today.
“Not only that,” he continues, “you need absolutely no programming knowledge to be able to edit existing text, add posts, videos, pictures, or testimonials — and perform a fair amount of search engine optimization on your own.”
To aid with customized content, set up a Google Reader account. By defining a set of search terms, Google can deliver a list of articles that can be shared on your website.
Another great website I found is beyondthesite.org. Authors Charity Mason and Rachel Ankersen offer easy-to-read advice on website construction, like having someone “test-drive” your site and checking browsers to ensure your site is loading.
Another important nugget concerns “calls to action” portals, whether it be a “contact us” or “make an appointment” button. If your site collects names and phone numbers, ensure the information is acted on and know where it’s stored, Ms. Mason says. “Continue to build this relationship, whether you plan to keep them informed by e-newsletters or by calling campaigns. Don’t lose momentum with the conversions you have worked so hard to build.”
Next month, we’ll tackle what pitfalls to avoid in a social media strategy.
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A tradition of working for the dental profession. The Chicago Dental Society was organized in 1864 and incorporated in 1878. The objective of the Chicago Dental Society is to encourage the improvement of the health of the public, to promote the art and science of dentistry and to represent the intrest of the members of the profession and the public that it serves.
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