Marketing and Practice Management
By Beryl Vaughan
→ SEO ( Search Engine Optimization )
SEO is “Seach Engine Optimization,” meaning techniques to improve the ranking of your website on a Google search page. When a potential client is looking for someone like you, SEO is tricky. The right combination of rarity of search terms and rarity of content on the site must dovetail to “rank” higher than others in your field. Learn more at Is Google God?
Because Google holds its techniques close to the chest, SEO often relies on educated guesses and educated speculation. If a client searches “forensic mental health expert” what will they see? Google often changes the rules it develops to determine ranking. This is called an algorithm. In the past, SEO mostly relied on keywords (stuffing pages with the words you think people are using to find you.) Google now dings you for this. Full-on SEO experts are usually expensive and can’t always (or ever) deliver. It’s a hard science. The single most important element to rank well with Google is how long your website has been online. Only 4% of sites newer than 2 years appear in the early pages of results (according to one source.) Therefore, “young sites” are at a disadvantage that time will improve. That doesn’t mean your newish site (or site name) can’t be found. More on Is Google God? and Breakable Rules.
→ SERP ( Search Engine Results Pages )
If your SEO isn’t working, your SERP reveals how far “down” the list on the Google results page you are appearing in a search using targeted terms.
→ More Website Lingo
Website Platform. A Platform is the software used to create the website. Examples of Platforms are WordPress (the most widely used for a business website,) Wix (mostly personal websites) or Squarespace (a module based DIY site with rigid design options that are easy to use but look like all the others.)
Hosting. For a website to be viewable online it must be “hosted.” A website hosting service is used. Think of this like working in a hospital which is under an umbrella. Kaiser for example, or Sutter-Health. The platform is the hospital–the environment in which you work, which establishes the protocol by which you practice medicine there. The hosting service is the overarching medical group which makes it possible to run the hospital in the firstplace. The website is your job description.
Hosting services can be good or awful. Good customer support separates the wheat from the chaff. GoDaddy, for example, is not as responsive to questions, or flexible about negotiating fees as, for example Siteground. Siteground answers support chats almost immediately and will stay with you as long as you need. My platform is WordPress, hosting service is Siteground and website / job description is at www.forensicexpertpro.com.*
The “Email me” button doesn’t work, internal links (references within your site that, when clicked, should go to another page on your site) don’t actually take you there. Visitors that find a site frustrating will “bounce” out and move on to the next expert. Revitalizing content on your website is more engaging than a static site because people who’ve been there before are finding something new.
→ “UI” User Interface
How’s ForensicExpertPro.com doing? You’re the user, do you find the site plays well with others? If my UI is working, you can see what you’re reading? Does the menu work? Let me know what you think. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use my contact form.
“The goal of user interface design is to produce a user interface which makes it easy (self-explanatory), efficient, and enjoyable (user-friendly) to operate a machine in the way which produces the desired result. This generally means that the operator needs to provide minimal input to achieve the desired output, and also that the machine minimizes undesired outputs to the human.” (Wikipedia)
→ “UX” User Experience
Some sites are simply “broken.” The “Email me” button doesn’t work, internal links (references within your site that, when clicked, should go to another page on your site) don’t actually take you there. Visitors that find a site frustrating will “bounce” out and move on to the next expert. Revitalizing content on your website is more engaging than a static site because people who’ve been there before are finding something new.
→ Data-Mining and Analytics
“Data-Mining” is accomplished with a gamut of available methods for gathering and analyzing data. Services like Vitals.com may have a listing for you which you did not set up or authorize. Here’s how it works: data-mining software will crawl the web accumulating info which is then populated into a website listing for the doctor. Her or his name, address, and any other publicly available data is then dropped into a premade template that shows that information. Licensing, NPI database info–any public database is a potential source. One service drops a doctor’s information into a template that always begins “Dr….is an esteemed…” If you aren’t particularly esteemed, or you’re admired and likeable but esteemed is a bit lofty, the result is a little embarrassing. In another venue, Facebook showed us the dark side of data-mining. Our every behavior became a source of profit. Post about a new car you like? Car ads will appear on your page, and so forth. AND the car manufacturer will learn your age, geographic location and other information you provided at the time you signed up for your Facebook page. That’s the dark side of data-mining. There’s a useful, not malicious version.
Data-mining is most often associated with
Analytics is also a data-gathering term. The most well-known online is Google Analytics, metrics that track the performance of your website: how many people are visiting your site and what they do once they get there. Google Analytics is a free Google feature. A code is provided to you by the Analytics site. You then place the code on your website. Later you can visit your Google Analytics dashboard and learn more about who visited your site and how they moved through the content you wrote. I rely on several analytics services, both free and paid, to learn which visitors are to be taken seriously and which not. Someone who views more than one page for at least 5 minutes is more likely to be reading what you have to say. That’s the most desirable visitor. Just like any science, data is essential to make informed decisions. For a creepy chill, check out the Digital Analytics Association Digital Analytics 2016 Industry Compensation Report at https://www.digitalanalyticsassociation.org/compensation. I note the report ends with “Our special thank you to Google for underwriting this important initiative!” Hmmm…..
→ Client Supportive
Caveat: Siteground is paying for this advertisement
*This is an advertisement. I only include it because I prefer Siteground over others but there are literally hundreds of hosting services. You may have prepaid hosting on another service, in which case it might not be cost effective to move.