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Archive for the Local SEO Category

Your Website Can Help You Focus on Customer Retention

Your Website Can Help You Focus on Customer Retention

Most people view their website in terms of how it can help them attract new business.  It’s true, attracting new business is one of the major functions of your website, but you may not have considered that your website can also be used to help retain your existing customers.  Here are some ways to gear your site for that very purpose and take your veterinary office to the next level. Appointments and Reminders Simply having the ability for your clients to set their own appointments on your site, rather than having to call in can be a big win in terms of customer retention.  If they’re willing to enter their email address, you can even set up the system so that they’ll get a reminder at some set interval before the appointment.  You could even set a series of timed reminders; so for example, they’d get an email five days before the appointment, and again the day before. Frequently Asked Questions One of the things that are true of all pet owners is that they’re very interested in the health and well-being of their four legged friends.  Pay close attention to those questions, and collect the best of the bunch for posting on your website.  You can do this in a variety of ways, but the more innovative you are, the better they’ll be received.  Sure, you could just do a plain text FAQ page, but those aren’t all that engaging. A better approach would be to create some interesting

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Use a Combination of Local Strategies to Become Top Dog in Your Local Market

Use a Combination of Local Strategies to Become Top Dog in Your Local Market

When you started out in your veterinary practice, you probably give little (if any) thought to your website.  You may have even started your practice before the web even existed.  In either case, if you’re like most small business owners, you’re probably interested in, but struggling to grow your business.  You intuitively know and understand that your website should, or at least could be playing an important role in that growth, but you’re not really sure how to make that happen. That kind of “lost in the wilderness” feeling is not at all uncommon among people who don’t eat, sleep, and breathe internet marketing on a daily basis, but this article should help take some of the mystery out of the process.   First of all, understand that it is a process.  There’s no magic button you can push or single thing you can do to make your internet-based marketing strategy a success.  Rather, there are a series of components that work very well together once you have them in place.  Ultimately, it is this synergy that makes your marketing plan work and start delivering results. This list is by no means complete, but let’s does a quick overview to see what the major components of such a plan are. You’re Website If you don’t already have one, you need one.  This will be the beating heart of your local marketing campaign.  Everything you do will ultimately feed back into your website.  To make it as successful as it can

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Is Your Veterinary Office Chasing the “Right” Keywords?

Is Your Veterinary Office Chasing the "Right" Keywords?

As the owner of a veterinary practice (of any size) you no doubt know all the ins and outs of what makes your business a success.  What you may be struggling with, however, is the web-side of the equation.  It’s possible that your business doesn’t even have a website.  Almost fifty percent of small businesses don’t, even today, and of those that do, most of them were built by friends, relatives, or well- meaning family members, who have the best of intentions but may not be up on all the latest SEO practices. Oftentimes, small business websites are designed ad hoc on the thinking that some web presence is better than none at all, and that over time, you’ll be able to slowly coax your site into the shape you ultimately want it to be in.  The second part of that statement is true, but the first part is decidedly non-optimal.   It’s definitely true that your website is, and should be seen as a constant work in progress.  It’s never “done,” in the sense that you should always be looking for ways to improve both its functionality and its value to your readers and customers and future customers.  The “Ad hoc” bit though, is what can cause you no end of trouble. Understand, of course, that such a website usually won’t hurt you (though in some cases it can), what it will almost certainly do is cause you to be less effective than you otherwise would be in the

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How Strategic Partnerships Can Help You Dominate Your Local Market

How Strategic Partnerships Can Help You Dominate Your Local Market

If you want to grow your small business (and who doesn’t?), you’re no doubt always on the lookout for new and innovative ways of doing that.  Maybe when you started your local veterinary office, you were the only game in town, but over time, competition has sprung up.  Competition that’s making it increasingly more difficult for you to feel secure in your business.  You know your business model is good, you know you love the animals you see, and the people who bring them to you, but without a solid marketing plan, you worry about what the future might hold for you and your business. You’ve probably got a website, and may even have a fairly robust marketing plan in place to keep the growth coming.  One thing you may not have considered, however, is a local strategic partnership. A lot of people are terrified of “strategic partnerships” because they feel that the partnership may be viewed as unequal in some way – that one party will wind up “getting more” than the other.  That can happen, and of course, if and where it does, if you feel that you’re being treated unfairly, it’s always advisable to simply pull the plug on the arrangement.  That said, if you pick your strategic partner well and wisely, you can find yourself with a useful ally who can help you dominate your local market.  Here are just a few ideas for strategic partnerships of various sorts that might be of value to your

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Integrate Your Local Marketing Efforts for Best Results

Integrate Your Local Marketing Efforts for Best Results

Integration.  If you’re not doing it, especially as it relates to your local marketing efforts, then you’re simply not getting as much out of your marketing strategy as you could be.  Integration isn’t hard to manage, but it is critical to your long term success. It’s All about Synergy Synergy is the mathematical proof that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  Just as it can be proved mathematically, so too can it be proved in terms of enhancing the overall effectiveness of your marketing strategy.  The question then, is how to go about integrating the various components of your local marketing strategy.  Let’s take a look at some examples below. Take Content Marketing, for example.  It’s common knowledge that content marketing is a valuable, even critical plank in your overall local marketing strategy.  Even if done in total isolation from the rest of your marketing effort, you’ll see strong gains from doing it well, but you’ll note even better returns on the time and money you invest in this plank of your marketing strategy, if, in addition to “just” doing content marketing, you marry those efforts to your social media campaign strategy. How do you do that?  Primarily, there are two ways.  First, when you write a great piece of content, you make it sharable.  You accomplish that by including “like” and “share” buttons on every piece of content you produce.  This then, becomes the mechanism by which your readers, customers, and future customers can import

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Increasing Your Video Element Ranking

Increasing Your Video Element Ranking

Increasing the page and web site rankings that include video presentations can be challenging in the overall context of SEO. Care needs to be taken in the use of videos, as crawlers can have difficulty in recognizing or evaluating video content on a web page. However, there are a number of things you can do to minimize the chances your video will be recognized as part of the content while simultaneously moving the site up in rank. General Concepts Choosing to use video as a content element on a web page requires considerable thought and planning. One of the first problems to deal with is video length. Though a search engine result may direct the visitor to a web page, getting them to sit still for a video clip may be a greater challenge than the SEO process itself. Given that videos longer than 3 minutes will cause the viewer to become disinterested, an effective SEO approach requires more than just an organic search result. Strictly A Video Search The first question to be addressed is how SEO optimized ranking fares when someone is searching strictly for video content. The title of the video is of equal or greater importance than a standard web page because the video title is going to be the deciding factor on whether the visitor deems the content is useful and relevant enough to watch. Add to this level of importance the fact that in order for the video to be searchable, it must contain

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Just How Important Are Local Listings, Anyway?

Just How Important Are Local Listings, Anyway?

It almost seems counter-intuitive. The web is a big, global marketplace, so why should you be concerned with local listings at all? The answers might surprise you. Take a look at some of these statistics: More than 60% of local searches lead to purchases. If you’re in the game, that puts money directly into your pocket and fattens your bottom line. 59% of Google searches are for local businesses, and half of all searches done on mobile devices are conducted to find local restaurants. People who conduct a search for local businesses on a mobile device are very likely (61%) to make a purchase within 24 hours. Best of all, local searches convert to sales 18% of the time, versus only 7% for non-local searches. In terms of getting the most bang for your marketing buck, local listings are where it’s at. Read the entire report here: http://www.business2community.com/online-marketing/12-stats-local-search-mobile-search-2014-01028690 If you’re still not convinced, consider the power of leveling the playing field. Big companies have deep pockets. They can afford to play the global game. Odds are good that you can’t, but here’s the reality. All business is local at the end of the day, and by focusing your efforts where your customers actually are, you can beat much larger competitors at their own game, in your local market. Best of all though, is the massive SEO power can provide to your business. This can be used in two immediate and practical ways. First, leveraging the SEO power of the most

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How to Win the SEO Game: Page Titles and Descriptions

How to Win the SEO Game: Page Titles and Descriptions

When a user enters a query into their favorite search engine, do they know where the search engine finds the hits it returns? Most users never give it another thought; they look through the results for the best fitting answer to their particular question and never wonder where the search engine dug it up. The search engine is looking for page titles and descriptions containing the keywords the user entered in the search engine’s input box. When the engine gets a hit on a page title, it looks at the description, and if it finds another hit there, it will pull up the link it found and search the returned page. The more hits, and the more references it finds to the link, the higher up in the results the page will appear. Spending time on your page title and description will move you up in the results pool. Page Title The page title you enter is not the same as the title you enter on your site. The page title is considered a Meta tag, as is the description. Once upon a time, your Meta tags were the primary way a search engine found your site. Now, the pertinent Meta tags are the page title, description, and primary keywords. A page title must be short; 55 to 60 characters in length, with 55 being the preferred number. Your page title must contain your specific key words once; if it is grammatically necessary, the page title can contain the keywords

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How to Grow Your Email List to Dominate the Local Veterinary Market

How to Grow Your Email List to Dominate the Local Veterinary Market

The money is in the list.  If you have even a passing familiarity with internet marketing, you have no doubt heard this phrase.  If you’re new to internet marketing, then you should know that that single phrase outlines the most powerful component of internet marketing.  It is such a commonly heard phrase that it’s almost a cliché.  It’s almost a cliché though, because it also happens to be true.  The bottom line is, if you’re not building and expanding your email list, you’re leaving money on the table.  Does leaving money on the table sound like a solid business strategy to you?  Of course not!  This article will show you how to build that list, and how to use it to dominate your local market. The first, necessary step of course, is to actually have a mechanism for getting the email addresses in the first place.  That should be one of the purposes of your website.  If you don’t currently have some kind of email capture box on your site, then that needs to be the very first change/improvement you make. Of course, simply having a box that enables visitors to your website to enter their email address into won’t get you very far.  If your site isn’t well-designed, easy to navigate, and filled with interesting, engaging content, no one will bother, so that’s step two.  The people who come to your site aren’t going to just hand over their email addresses to you.  They need to know that they

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Negative SEO

Negative SEO

With all the ongoing discussion of what SEO is, how to implement it, and its importance to a company’s marketing strategy and business plan, there is a dark side to SEO. The reality is that there are simply lazy people in the world who want to siphon off the efforts of other people or pollute what others have created for their own profit. This is not the brightest way to begin an article, but the less honorable among us must be shouted out. Companies spend millions of dollars trying to get their Google ranking to Page One. They realize that maybe 1 in 100 searchers will move forward to Page Two – or beyond. But like the keyword stuffing strategy of old, there are those who want to take shortcuts that mean less work for them and more for everyone else. Dropping malware on your web site and stealing the best links are two of the more insidious ways these web parasites latch on to your hard work. To minimize their effect, you need to be proactive as much as possible but also be prepared to be reactive – as quickly as possible. One of the simplest and easiest ways to keep track of nefarious activity on your web site is through the use of tools. Automated monitoring and reporting does not have to be a complex and tedious process if you have selected the right tools. The initial process of finding out what tools are best for your particular

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