Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Save Searches on Twitter

Welcome to this week’s social media tip. Today I want you to show you how to save searches on Twitter.

1. Go to the Search tab 

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2. Enter your search into the search box.

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3. At the top of your results page, tap the three dots icon  and then tap Save. 

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4.Next time you tap the search box, a pop-up menu will display your Saved searches.

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5. To remove a search: Tap on delete saved search.ad759305-df08-40b2-a190-eea658880b6b

 Note: You may have up to 25 saved searches per account.

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

Digital Health Checkup: 10 Signs It’s Time To Redesign Your Medical Practice Website

When was the last time you took a close look at your medical practice website?

Websites are meant to be living entities that grow along with your business. A website is not a “set it and forget it” type of investment.  Just like fashion, technology changes with the times. What once looked fresh and modern may now look old and outdated, giving your patients the impression that your practice is the same.

Why a website matters to your medical practice

In the online world, your website is a virtual office location and the face of your practice. It acts as the initial “touchpoint” for potential patients. It showcases who you are and what you do. A Facebook page is no substitute for a website (particularly given the current difficulties Facebook users face in terms of privacy and trust).

A well-designed website can:

  • Boost your online reputation
  • Increase search engine visibility
  • Attract new patients

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression

Your website has seven seconds to make an impression and your patients are making snap judgments based on what they see and read. Research Gate reports 94 percent of people are more apt to trust websites that boast good designs. Gaining trust is particularly important for medical practices, and you could lose it in a single glance with an outdated site.

In this post, I will take you through 10 signs to watch for to determine if it’s time to get your website upgraded or redesigned.

Take some time this week to look at your website with fresh eyes and ask yourself the following questions.

1. How does your website stack up against your competitors?

If your competitors’ websites are more streamlined, functional and fresher than yours, they may be drawing in more patients with a stronger online presence.  Make a list of their sites and critically evaluate them in terms of look, design, and functionality. Do they include a blog? Helpful checklists? Pre-registration forms patients can fill out to save time before their appointment? An online appointment system? Screenshot the design features you think work well and think about how you might incorporate them into your website. Look also at what your competitor might be missing. Do you have a key differentiator that sets you apart from the competition? Highlight that difference on your website.

2. Can visitors easily find what they are looking for when they visit your site?

When visitors land on your medical practice website, they’re typically looking for something specific.  You may be surprised to learn that research has revealed that easy navigation and accessibility are more important to patients than reputability.

Users should be able to use your website intuitively. Put yourself in the shoes of your visitors and ask yourself how easy it is to find key information on your site. How many clicks does a visitor have to make to get to the information they are looking for?

Think about the information someone is searching for when they visit your site—and make it easy for them to find it. If your site contains a lot of information (as some hospital websites do) consider creating separate landing pages for specific conditions.

Google has changed considerably over the years. The search engine giant constantly updates its algorithms to ensure users are provided with the best possible results. Each and every update that Google has made has been geared towards providing more user-focused and user-friendly results – Search Engine Watch

Here are some details your patients are likely looking for on your website.

  • A location map.  If there is a link to Google Maps, be sure it’s working. This section is one of the most used aspects of any website.
  • The services you provide — list any specialties here
  • A list of doctors and  nurse practitioners
  • The insurance plans you accept
  • Opening hours, plus emergency/after-hours contact details

Optional: Consider adding software which facilitates online scheduling of appointments.

3. Does your medical website communicate value?

Is your website nothing more than a glorified brochure? To attract patients to your website, you should be prepared to add more value in the form of information. Identify the most frequently asked questions in your practice and create blogs, videos, and FAQs for your website to answer those questions.

4. How well is your website performing?

The most common mistake I encounter when I work with clients, is they have no idea if their website is even attracting any visitors.  Unless you regularly track your website performance, you will have no idea whether it’s producing results or not.

Use a tool like Google Analytics to monitor your site’s performance. Has it declined over time? Are there fewer people coming to your site? Do they stick around or “bounce” off your site too quickly? Bounce rate is a contributor to your site’s search rankings, and it refers to the amount of time someone is on your site before “bouncing” off to another site. If you have a lot of people who look and quickly click away, it tells search engines you don’t have useful information on your site.

In order to increase conversions, you’ll need to have a clear and visible call to action (CTA) on your website.

5. Is your website design mobile responsive?

Mobile first-indexing is now fully underway and there’s no excuse for having a website that is not optimized for use across all platforms in 2018.  Most people aren’t looking at your website on a desktop or laptop anymore. They are looking at it on a phone or tablet.  It is projected that by 2020 there will be 2.87 billion smartphone users.

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Recent studies show 52% of smartphone users gather health-related information on their phones, ranging from information around a specific medical procedure to diet and nutrition best practices. 

Having a mobile-responsive site (ie one that automatically changes its layout and placements of certain menus and buttons automatically) is important because firstly, over half of patients search online for health information on their smartphone, and secondly, Google now gives ranking priority to those sites that are mobile friendly.  In fact, Google has stated that it will penalize websites that aren’t mobile-responsive, so if your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you’ll likely lose out significantly in the organic search rankings.  To check if your site’s design is responsive, enter its URL into this Google tool.

Check how your website looks on a mobile device. If you need a magnifying glass to read it then your website is most likely not mobile responsive. You may have heard the term “mobile-friendly site” and be wondering if its the same thing. A mobile-friendly site is one where code is created that allows your website to scale to a smaller size. Mobile responsive sites, in contrast, “respond” to the size of device you are using, adjusting the website accordingly. Mobile responsive sites are greatly preferred over sites that are simply mobile-friendly.

Below are some tips from Search Engine Watch to ensure your website is mobile compatible:

  • Use a responsive website design that adapts to mobile devices or create a mobile version of your website that is properly redirected for mobile users.
  • Use Google Search Console to add and verify the mobile version of your website.
  • Make sure that all the content formats used on your mobile site can be crawled and indexed (check using the txt testing tool ).
  • Ensure that content is consistent across your mobile site and desktop site.
  • Test your page speed using PageSpeed Insights. If your page is slow, use an auditing tool to find and fix uncompressed content, page errors, and other elements slowing your website down.

Recommended Reading: What Is Mobile Responsive and Why Should You Care?

6. Is your medical website optimized for search engines?

Eight-in-ten online health seekers say they began at a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. If you want more people to find you online, you need to optimize your website through good search engine optimization practices.

SEO (the ability to optimize your site for search engines),  is a detailed and sometimes confusing process, and you may want to hire an SEO expert to do it for you. If you don’t want to hire someone, there are search engine optimization tools available to help you do your own SEO — and many of them are free. I’ve put together this list of the best free SEO tools out there to help you instantly improve your online marketing.

A Note on SEO and Redesigning Your Website

One of the biggest misconceptions among website owners is that SEO only needs to be done once.  Numerous fractions are altered during redesign including code and pages. If they are not properly handled, it can negatively impact the website’s SEO and affect the long-term growth of the site. To find how to redesign your website without affecting SEO, read this guide.

7. Does your website take time to load content and images?

How fast your website loads is critical – a good site will load in 2 seconds. Alarmingly, research shows that a single second delay in site load time can reduce your conversions by 7 percent. If your site is taking longer than that, consider that around 40% of people will leave a website if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds.

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Source: Salesforce

The faster your site, the better. Google announced back in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches too. Check your site speed: Google PageSpeed Insights. This tool gives you an overview of what aspects need improvement to boost the speed of a particular page.

Insider Tip! Optimize your images for faster loading. A lot of websites have images that are relatively large, which take a lot of time to load. Resizing your images can speed up the loading time.

Recommended Reading: Four of the Best Tools to Increase Website Speed

8. Does your site still use Flash?

There was a time when Flash was a key element of every new website, but nowadays Flash is seen an embarrassing relic of the past. It is no longer a matter of IF browsers will stop supporting Flash in the future, it is now a matter of WHEN they will do so, which means you need to take steps now if you want your site to be usable for the widest range of people in the future.

9. Have you included relevant imagery on your site?

High-resolution images are an important component of any website and require care and attention to make the best impression. Including photos of your the interior and exterior of your building, your logo, and your employees creates a welcoming and professional impression on prospective patients  Patients want a relationship with the people who will be caring for them.

If you are already using images, are they relevant to what you do? Or are you relying too heavily on generic stock images you can find in many other places on the web? These days there’s no excuse for using boring stock images. In this article, you’ll learn about my best recommendations for sourcing images you can use for free to enhance your medical marketing.

Insider Tip! Don’t forget to add relevant tags to your images. (i.e. don’t upload images as e.g. img_1234).  Image tags provide details when the images do not load, ensuring the user receives a similar UX irrespective of whether there is a picture or not.

10. Have you incorporated social media?

Not only are patients seeking health information online, they are also using social media to research health information. Ask yourself if it’s easy for visitors to share your content on social media? Have you included prominent social sharing buttons? Your average reader might never share your content unless you make it seamlessly easy to do so.

To Wrap Up

Your website is pivotal to your digital marketing strategy. And with more patients than ever searching online for you, it’s imperative that your website is optimized for them to find you.  It takes time and resources to optimize your site to deliver the best experience possible, but if you are serious about how your business performs, you need to get serious about the performance of your website too.

You might also like to read 

5 Conversion Elements Every Site Needs for Scoring High-Value Leads 

5 Ways to Create a More Engaging User Experience

10 Healthcare Website Design Tips that Deliver Patients 

40-Point Website Audit Checklist

Sign up for our mailing list to get helpful tips for growing your practice.

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Preview

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I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week.

This week’s cool tool recommendation is Preview, a super useful Instagram app.

Preview is your visual planner for Instagram. Use it to predict what your feed will look like before you post anything on Instagram.

Features at a glance

DRAG & DROP

Use the drag & drop to arrange your Instagram photos & videos. Design your own unique theme. Color coordinate. Predict how your feed will look like. Or simply plan your content in advance.

ANALYTICS & INSIGHTS

Track your performance, see best times to post & best hashtags. Optimize your account to get the most out of it.

AMAZING FILTERS

Design your own unique and amazing feed that reflects your personality or brand. Preview comes with 12 beautiful filter packs and 73 unique filters.

REPOST

Share other Instagrammers’ photos and videos. Save them in Preview for later. Curate your feed.

PERFECT YOUR CAPTIONS

Write your captions in advance and perfect them. Use the hashtag suggestion tool. Save your hashtag groups within the app and add them to new posts at a press of a button.

HASHTAG FINDER

Search for the best Instagram hashtags to grow your account. Search by category, country, city & Instagram community.

SCHEDULE

Set a day and time for your post. See what you have scheduled for the day, week and month. When it’s time to post, Preview will send you a notification. All you have to do is send your post to Instagram and paste your caption.

Pricing

All plans come with: Drag and Drop, Unlimited Posts, Photo Editor, Hashtag Finder, Hashtag Groups Manager, Beautiful Stock Photos, and Photo, Video and Carousel posts.

Paid plans start at $7.99 per month.

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Optimise Your Social Media Profile

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. If you find yourself with some extra time on your hands, why not take the opportunity to review your social media profiles. 

Your social media profile is the first place people will find you online so it’s important you make a good first impression. Check out this video quick tip to make your social media profile shine.

 

Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Later

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week.

This week’s cool tool recommendation is Later, a scheduling and planning tool for Instagram.

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Use the app to sync photos and videos from your phone, desktop, Google Drive, or Dropbox and create a different content library for each Instagram account. And you can also search by hashtag, then save posts directly to your content library.

Pricing

You can add one account per user for free. Paid plans start at $9 per month.

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Create Graphics With Canva

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want to show you how to create great graphics with Canva. 

Canva is one of my every-day go-to tools when I am creating visuals. It’s so easy and quick to use it with a multitude of layout options, fonts, images and illustrations to choose from. And best of all it’s free! If you want more advanced features, you do also have the option to upgrade for a small fee.

Whether you want a Twitter post or Facebook profile picture, you can create them quickly using Canva’s drag and drop editor. Select from a number of pre-set designs, or create something from scratch. You can also add elements such as custom icons, fonts, charts, and illustrations.

Here’s how to use it

i. Sign up at canva.com. The sign-up process is quick and easy.

ii. Next click on “Create a design” and choose the platform for which you wish to create a visual, for example, blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Your image will be automatically resized to fit the size dimensions of each platform.

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iii. Click on “Layouts” to select a layout for your graphic. There are tons of layouts to choose from. When you find one you like, click on it and it will automatically populate the blank screen for you to work with. You can change out the design at any time by clicking into another layout template.

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iv. To add an image, select “Elements” which allows you to choose from a variety of shapes, illustrations, and photos from the royalty-free library. Note that not all images are free, some are priced at $1 each. You can also upload your own images to use.

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v. To add text, click on “Text” and simply drag and drop your heading, subheading and body text. You can also choose from some pre-designed fonts, most of which are free.

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vi. Selecting “Background” allows you to choose different background colours and textures.

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vii. When you’re happy with your design, you have the option to embed it or share it from Canva straight to a social media platform, share a link for others to see the design or edit it if you wish. You can also download it to your computer in jpeg, png, or pdf format.

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That’s it. You’re all set to create customised graphics for your marketing.

Here’s to your social media success!

 

 

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Subject Line

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I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is subject line rating tool – SubjectLine.

According to Copyblogger, on average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. Your headline is the first (perhaps only) impression you make on a prospective reader.

SubjectLine has studied and analyzed millions of headlines to see what works. Simply enter your subject or title into its online tool and get a grade (out of 100 possible points). It will tell you what works and what can help you to improve.

You might also like to read: Write Better Headlines With These 9 Winning Formulas

 

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Upload Documents To LinkedIN

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want to show you how to upload documents to share on LinkedIn.

Did you know that you can now share your presentation slides, research papers, industry reports, and more directly to LinkedIn?

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How to share a document

Click on the documents item on your desktop feed.

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Choose a document from your computer or upload one from the cloud.

 

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Give your document a name. Below I’m sharing my Speaker Sheet.

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Once you’ve uploaded your document, you can provide more information and add a relevant hashtag before you hit POST.

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Uploading documents to your feed, in a group, or on your LinkedIn page is a great way to share what you know with your community.

After you post a document, your followers can download it, embed it, and reshare it. You’ll also be able to see the analytics on how people did one of those actions.

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Have you availed of this feature yet? Do you think it’s a useful LinkedIn feature?

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Piktochart

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I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is infographic maker Piktochart . 

Infographics are great for getting your content shared but many people are put off by the thought that you have to hire a graphic designer to create them. The good news is you don’t have to be a designer nor spend a lot of money to create them. Use a tool such as Piktochart to create engaging infographics. Choose a template and then customize it with text, fonts, and colors.

Try it for yourself at https://piktochart.com

You might also like to read: How To Create A Healthcare Infographic