Dear Physician, Reclaim Your Name from the Doctor Ratings Websites

Frustrated-Physician

If you’re a doctor and you want more patients, then you need to rank better in Google search engine result pages. To do so, you’ll need to compete against your peers for keyword terms related to your specialty and your city (e.g., psychiatrist, Atlanta). But you’re also going to need to compete against doctor ratings websites like Healthgrades, Yelp, Vitals and UCompareHealth to rank better for your own name.

That’s right, most doctors nowadays rank lower for their own name than do websites like healthgrades.com, vitals.com, yelp.com and ucomparehealth.com.

Dear physician, if you doubt me, take a moment to search your own name and degree in Google. Heck, search my brother’s name (Rohit Khanna, MD). He doesn’t rank for his own name in Google until result 3 (Rohit, you really need to let me fix that problem for you).

So what do you do? How do you get your name to rank higher in Google than doctor ratings websites? Follow these tips and you’ll see your website move up one or even two results in less than two weeks.

How Doctors Can Win the Search Engine War against Doctor Ratings Websites

1. Stop pointing fingers.

Online doctor ratings websites are run by good people who are just trying to make a living in a competitive marketplace. I know this because I led all digital marketing for DrScore.com, the first online doctor ratings website. The higher a doctor ratings website can rank for your name (and the name of the 900,000 other doctors in the United States) the more advertising revenue it can generate. These people mean you no personal harm and are not in a campaign to personally own your name rank in Google; they are only interested in generally ranking for all doctors in the United States.

2. Build your anchor.

On your website’s home page, ensure your name and degree are displayed in the page title, first paragraph of content, at least two headings and one link. Your home page should be your strongest ranking page and if your name is prominently and repeatedly included in the content and code for this page, you’ll push your way up a notch or two in the search engine results.

3. Praise yourself.

Build a doctor profile page on your website that is entirely devoted to you. Make sure that the URL of that page is as follows: http://www.yoursitename/yourfirstname-yourlastname-yourdegree/. The page title should be your full name and degree and, if there’s room, your city and specialty as well. Add a photo of you as well.

4. Publish or perish.

Create fresh content on your website. Write original blog posts or simply comment on links to online stories related to your medical specialty and publish those comments on your blog. This helps build your authority and, in turn, your overall website ranking. But make sure your content isn’t simply fluff. Make it meaningful so that the people who do click those links read your writing and don’t click away and to a doctor ratings website.

5. Take back your website.

Google wants to recognize you as the greatest authority for all topics related to your name. You just need to tell it to do so. Do this by taking ownership of your website. Follow these simple directions to create and submit your website’s XML sitemap to Google Webmasters tools.

Need help doing any of these five steps? Produce Creative, my digital strategy firm, helps small medical practices increase website traffic and convert that traffic to leads for new patients. Email me at [email protected] to get started. I’d love to hear from you.

Vishal Khanna, MPH, MFA, is a digital marketing strategist based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He works with brands of all sizes to generate new business through strategic online initiatives. Awarded the Content Marketer of the Year award at the 2015 Content Marketing World, he partners with brands worldwide to develop online initiatives that deliver results.

3 Lessons Learned about Content Marketing from Noir Fiction the Summer after Allen Ginsberg’s Death

CMArticle

In the summer of 1997 on the campus of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, located behind the University of Colorado’s practice football fields, a handful of graduate students listened to the noir writer Will Christopher Baer read from his new short story.

Baer described his scene: a young man just out from a three-year prison sentence walks into a room and flashes back to years before, the scene of an overdose. We see in the flashback only a single pale foot in a dead dangle off the side of the bathtub.

We were all enamored with Baer and his stark minimalist style. A recent graduate from our writing program, he looked like he just got a haircut at an asylum and his story was the most present writing we had ever heard. He was so deep in the zeitgeist and we literary junkies wanted the same thing.

This was the year of Allen Ginsberg’s death – Ginsberg co-founded our writing program with Anne Waldman and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche – and we were all caught up in a strange alchemy stirred up by the old man’s passing. A reluctant Baer – a storytelling outcast like the rest of us – held the light at the head and we followed.

Here then, in honor of that light and the writers’ path that beckoned, I offer you 3 lessons learned about content marketing from noir fiction the summer after Allen Ginsberg’s death:

1. Not every consumable needs to carry the weight of the central brand.

This road trip bingo downloadable from Warby Parker makes no large brand statement. It doesn’t even mention the company’s name! It’s just a frivolous and light-hearted giveaway that delivers tiny joys. The screenplay writer and novelist David Mamet said it best in his book on storytelling:

“The nail doesn’t have to look like a house; it is not a house. It is a nail. If the house is going to stand, the nail must do the work of a nail. To do the work of the nail, it has to look like a nail.”

Our prospects don’t always need to experience our full brand. Show a single view and let them build their own internal brand emotions.

2. Invest in stories about the smaller parts of your organization, especially in cases where those parts are not well worn by others in your area or discipline.

Noir writers are great at fleshing out backstories of minor characters that later become essential parts of the narrative. Content marketers should do the same. In this blog post, small town attorney Julie Whatley fleshes out one of her five practice areas. The post is specific, ranks high in the search engines for long-tail phrases (try ‘kernersville elder law firm for my parent’) and is about a topic made to engage a primary buyer of her elder law services – the caretaker child.

3. Be a specifist. The beauty in our stories always lies with the devil – in the details.

In Baer’s story, he chooses to focus on one small part of the overdose scene, the dangling foot. By being specific, he creates an eerie atmosphere without having to bring up the obvious – the dead girl in the bathtub.

This week, I decided to test the power of specificity. On Monday, I updated my digital footprint to prioritize the phrase ‘digital marketing specifist’. By Wednesday, I owned the first two spots in Google for that keyphrase. The ability to grab prime real estate in Google in just two days – even for a term like ‘digital marketing specifist’ that doesn’t receive natural traffic – shows that specificity can pay off.

I’d love to hear feedback from anyone who tries or has used these strategies. Hit me up at [email protected] or @bediscontent. And go buy Will Christopher Bear’s Phineas Poe Trilogy. You won’t be able to put his books down.

Produce Creative Relaunches Site for Seattle Poet Shin Yu Pai

In mid-July, Produce Creative launched the new website for Seattle poet Shin Yu Pai (www.shinyupai.com). The website features Shin Yu’s books of poetry, paper and book arts, and photography.

“Vishal and the staff of Produce Creative helped me to relaunch my professional website at a time when I was preparing for an art exhibition and needed a quick refresh. They updated my website’s look, optimizing it for mobile phones, and professionalized how the content was presented – it had not been changed in 12 years and sorely needed redesign. Vishal and his team did a beautiful job on the project, on a tight budget within a very compressed 2-week timeline. Throughout the production process, our team meetings were productive, efficient, collaborative, and geared towards creative problem solving. Hire this talent!”

– Shin Yu Pai

What Is Authentic Marketing?

“We are looking ahead, as is one of the first mandates given us as chiefs, to make sure and to make every decision that we make relate to the welfare and well-being of the seventh generation to come. What about the seventh generation? Where are you taking them? What will they have?”

– Oren Lyons, Chief of the Onondaga Nation

authentic marketing

What is authentic marketing? What does it mean to sell and be real at the same time?

Marketing as we know it is either about disrupting a normal flow to your chosen, branded tributary or positioning your brand in the way of water’s constant flow. It is about influencing the public and private dialogues of your target audiences and using your power – whether that power comes from your brand’s existing clout, your advertising budget, your clever agency or your multi-tiered, multi-targeted, multi-metro best-ever campaign – to change behavior.

Yes, your campaign is the best thing ever; it is a well-oiled and beautiful marketing machine. But to what end? And is your machine a variant of the same machines of the generations of marketers before you? Is it already a past tense strategy, a shadowy remnant of something once called consumer capitalism?

In early 2015, a St. Louis’ marketing agency helped the GMO titan Monsanto launch a major campaign to appear open and transparent to consumers through TV and digital channels. They enveloped the campaign tightly within an air of authenticity; they played a risky hand of cards in a new space between the affectation of product and the heart of introspection. It is ingenious and it is false and it is prohibitive to the future we must demand for our profession.

In marketing, which is our chosen lives, we have to take sides. We have to choose a point of view. Authentic marketing, then, is using your trade, these skills you have woven from years of experience in the trenches, to amplify your plea for the world you want to help create. And if your brand does not match that plea, then it is your brand and not your plea that should change.

Authentic marketing is believing in and fighting for your brand to be the promise you and I must offer the seventh generation to come. It is taking on the roles of agents of change and not agencies for the vain.