Even if a medical practice has a great web site, it’s pointless if no one can find it. To ensure that your medical web site has great search engine visibility, it’s essential to plan a medical marketing campaign that includes an effective SEO strategy. SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, consists of optimizing web sites through link building, content creation, and on-site optimization techniques so they rank better on the search engines.
According to statistics, approximately eight million Americans search for medical information online each day. To ensure that even a small portion of those eight million people make it to your medical web site, you need to increase your site’s search engine visibility with SEO. In order to develop an effective search engine optimization strategy for your medical marketing campaign, work with an Internet marketing entity, like BAC Medical Marketing, that specializes in the healthcare field. Medical SEO poses unique requirements that only expert marketing specialists can fulfill.
SEO primarily starts with keyword research. To start, medical practices can list relevant keywords related to their specialization, treatments, services, geographical area, and diseases and conditions treated. After brainstorming a broad range of relevant terms, you can use web-based keyword research tools to determine specifically what relevant words and phrases your potential patients are actually searching for online. You can target as many keywords as pages that your website has. In general, it’s effective to optimize each page for one to two primary keywords. You can also use several other related terms on each page.
Another important and effective way to bring traffic to your web site is through link building. Search engines judge the importance, authority, and relevancy of your web site based on the number of other web sites that link to your site. The more relevant the web sites are that link to you, the stronger those links are considered. In the early days of medical SEO, it was not uncommon for SEO companies to buy links and submit web sites to various directories in order to generate links. However, as search engines continue to evolve, they increasingly devalue directory links. They have gone as far as to blacklist web sites that pay for links.
In order to generate legitimate links for your web site, your best bet is to focus on a content marketing strategy. People are attracted to great content, so if you build great content throughout your site and on your blog, you’re bound to attract links eventually. However, content marketing is not a “build it and they will come” strategy. You have to write great content and then market it like crazy in order to spread the word. One great way to build links organically is through social media marketing. So, once you create a blog and web site content, you can market your content via social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Another way to accumulate links is through contacting other web sites in your field and asking them if they would post your link. You can ask big bloggers and webmasters in your field for links politely by telling them how much your content would benefit their readers. You can also ask bloggers to exchange links with you, but this practice is generally frowned upon in the blogosphere. Another way to get good links is by researching your competitors’ back links and finding out if you can get back links from the same sites.
It’s important to update your web site regularly in order to attract links and traffic. Furthermore, search engines tend to value web sites that are updated frequently. Keyword research should also be something that you make a constant effort to do to ensure that your site is optimized for the latest keywords in your niche. Keywords may also change depending on the season, so make sure you create content with seasonal trends in mind.
To ensure that search engines can crawl and index your site properly, you have to use on-site optimization techniques. Some basics of on-site optimization include create a site map, alt tags, header tags, and internal anchor text links that contain target keywords. Another important aspect of on-site optimization is content creation. Your site must be content-rich in order to rank better on search engines. Hire a qualified search engine optimization entity to help you optimize your medical practice’s web site for target terms. Furthermore, make sure that your site is designed with SEO in mind. For example, avoid creating a site purely with Flash, because Flash web sites are very difficult to optimize.
An effective medical SEO strategy requires constant care and effort. Hire experienced medical marketing specialists to help you achieve and retain high search engine rankings. Search engine algorithms are constantly shifting, so it’s more important than ever to invest in an ongoing SEO strategy.
The following article is reprinted with the permission of Quest Protein Bars, a member of the BAC Medical Marketing affiliate program.
Do you remember the famous line from the Incredible Hulk – “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”? Well that’s how I feel when the topic of artificial sweeteners comes up. Why does it make me angry (and I’m talking about “turning green and ripping through my favorite pair of jeans” angry)? It makes me angry because people have come to believe that “natural” sweeteners – AKA sugar, are better for you than artificial sweeteners. The truth is, of course, that the opposite is true. Some of the most popular artificial sweeteners are MUCH better for you than sugar.
Since I know that I’m fighting a violent tide of public opinion on this one, let me lay out my argument.
First and foremost, even if one day some artificial sweeteners are shown to have negative effects in some people, it will be nothing compared to the enormous evidence that already exists all around us that “natural” sweeteners are wreaking havoc with people’s health and physiques. It’s like someone living in Chernobyl worrying about the dangers of air pollution. When you’re drenched in nuclear fallout and dying of radiation poisoning, smog probably isn’t your biggest concern.
With that in mind, let us first attack the problem of perception. I’m not so worried about artificial sweeteners bad rap (though I think they have one – and undeservedly so), I’m much more concerned about natural sweeteners’ positive reputation.
First, the words we choose have a TREMENDOUS impact on people’s perception of an issue. Don’t believe me, just ask a politician. The biggest problem with sugar is that it’s considered “natural”. And by just about anyone’s standards, natural connotes something good. But what the hell does “natural” mean, anyway? If you ask the FDA they’re going to stare at you blankly like a spastic 4 year old. Why? Because they have no definition for natural. They have no definition for natural whatsoever. So all claims that something is natural is happening without any sort of FDA approval. No biggie though, right? We all have a common-sense feeling for what is natural, Don’t we? If you look it up in the dictionary, natural means something occurring in nature. And I think that you could get most people to buy off on that notion.
Here’s the problem – occurring in nature doesn’t automatically mean it’s a good thing. Venomous snakes occur in nature. As do black widow spiders, writhing maggots and screaming babies. And Cyanide – the HIGHLY toxic poison – occurs in nature too (it’s found in peach pits and apple seeds to name a few sources). But I wouldn’t advise eating any.
So, as you can see, simply being “natural” and occurring in nature shouldn’t be enough to automatically place something in the healthy column in people’s minds. But nonetheless, in public perception, if you say something is natural people automatically assume that it’s good for you. But just as a “natural” piece of wood can be used to club a baby seal to death, “natural” sweeteners, with their MASSIVE metabolic effects, will club you to death from the inside just the same.
To make matters even worse, many so-called “natural” sweeteners are actually carefully engineered, NEVER found in nature, get their calories 100% from carbs (read my post on how carbs are toxic – despite what you may have heard) and are loaded with fructose – the substance that is sometimes called the “Satan Sugar.” Fructose’s moniker as the “Satan Sugar” is an important one, as fructose is a MAJOR component in virtually all natural sweeteners. Why is it called the “Satan Sugar?” Simply put, because fructose has been convincingly linked to obesity, gout AND fatty liver disease. (But don’t take my word for it – You can read more about fructose’s relationship with gout from the brilliant Gary Taubes here: www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog) (You can read more about Fatty Liver Disease and fructose from the equally brilliant Michael Eades, M.D. here: http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/low-carb-diets/pay-no-attention-to-that-man-behind-the-curtain/)
Essentially, fructose will make you fatter than other sugars and it is almost certainly the cause of more negative health effects than any other sugar. When researchers want to make lab animals insulin resistant, they feed them high amounts of fructose.
This subject is so important that I’m writing a blog posting that will deal with this lone issue but in the meantime, here is an article in the New York Times that will back up what I’m saying about fructose: www.nytimes.com/does-fructose-make-you-fatter/
Suffice it to say that MINIMIZING fructose in your life will be a good thing for both your health and your waistline.
By way of example, let’s actually look at some of the more popular natural sweeteners. Agave syrup is up to 92% fructose. High fructose corn syrup is usually 55% fructose, but can go up to 90%. Plain old sugar is 50% fructose. Honey is around 55% fructose. And all of these “Satan Sugar” delivery devices are considered “natural” sweeteners – once again highlighting the fact that simply being “natural” does not make you healthy.
So, now the question becomes, if “natural” sweeteners aren’t good for you, are they at least better for you than “artificial” sweeteners? The answer is no. Not in my opinion.
If good health and a lean body are our goals, we certainly don’t want to increase our consumption of fructose as it negatively impacts both one’s health and one’s ability to get lean. Nutrasweet (Aspartame), Splenda (Sucralose) and Saccharin (all considered “artificial” sweeteners) on the other hand, have not been linked in any way beyond suspicion with any significant health problems, and are MUCH less metabolically active. Additionally, they are all many times sweeter than sugar (Sucralose is 600x sweeter for example) so they have effectively zero calories because they’re used in such tiny amounts.
One thing I need to point out is that most people think of the blue, yellow and pink single serving packets when you mention artificial sweeteners but that’s not 100% true. The packets contain a mix of a tiny amount of artificial sweetener mixed with a much larger amount of maltodextrin (a carb made from corn). It takes so little artificial sweetener to impart a sweet taste that manufacturers have to add maltodextrin to give the product enough “body”. Otherwise you’d open the packet, pour the contents into your drink and you wouldn’t see anything come out except for perhaps a tiny bit of dust.
What this means is that when people use those little packets, they aren’t really using 100% artificial sweeteners but rather a mix (with 99.9% of the calories coming from the maltodextrin). Those carb calories add up quickly so I always recommend that people use the 100% pure artificial sweeteners. They can be mixed with water or you can use the dry powder depending upon what you’re using it for.
Either way though, with or without the maltodextrin, if you want to stay leaner and healthier, there is no question that so called “artificial” sweeteners are superior to “natural” sweeteners. Still not convinced? Let’s boil the argument down to a simple comparison.
“Artificial” Versus “Natural” Sweeteners:
Natural Sweeteners -- Artificial Sweeteners
Contain Calories -- Contain effectively zero calories
Contain carbohydrates -- Do not contain carbohydrates
Raise insulin levels significantly -- Do not significantly raise insulin levels
Cause glycation of tissues (makes proteins stick together) -- Do not cause glycation of tissues
Measurably suppress immune function -- Do not measurably suppress immune function
Cause tooth decay -- Do not cause tooth decay
I’d have to say that artificial sweeteners win it hands down. Remember, I’m not trying to convince you that artificial sweeteners are good for you, just that they are MUCH better for you than natural sweeteners.
What has been seen in person after person is that if they eat the natural sweeteners, they add fat and their health will ultimately begin to deteriorate. Let’s look at a group of people that know how to improve body composition dramatically – bodybuilders. There’s probably not a bodybuilder in the world that recommends eating any sugar in order to get leaner but the vast majority of them do use artificial sweeteners.
One goal that all of my readers share is a desire to get leaner and healthier, and “artificial” sweeteners are a tool that can be used in that pursuit.
First of all, it takes an infinitesimal amount of “artificial” sweetener to sweeten something (it’s roughly 1/600th the amount) so there is an immediate calorie savings there. Secondly, no metabolic effects AT ALL can be measured after ingesting an “artificial” sweetener. Put as little as a teaspoon of sugar in your mouth, however, and a veritable metabolic firestorm begins. It will have a direct effect on some of the most important hormones involved in determining your body fat and health (insulin and lipoprotein lipase just to name two.)
I don’t understand how anyone who thinks about it for even a second can say that artificial sweeteners are more dangerous than carb-based “natural” ones as we all know loved ones battling Diabetes.
But what about reports of adverse affects that the FDA has received about artificial sweeteners?
I don’t deny that there are lots of reports of adverse reactions to artificial sweeteners. I think it’s very important that they are continually scrutinized and never given a 100% perfect bill of health. It should be an ongoing process. A huge amount of money has been spent on artificial sweeteners, however (they are some of the most studied food additives on the planet), and yet, despite all of this, there is no conclusive evidence that they have any harmful effects. Remember that EVERY food in existence has reports of adverse effects. It’s possible that a small subset of people don’t respond well to certain artificial sweeteners even though no study has ever shown a rock solid correlation despite millions and millions of dollars being spent by companies that want to try and prove that connection.
I’m not saying that it’s completely impossible that in the future it might be determined that some people may have adverse issues with “artificial” sweeteners. Most likely, those issues will be very minor and in a very small percentage of people if there are any at all because “artificial” sweeteners are being used SO heavily in today’s world that we would have seen the negative issues arise in a big way already if they were common.
On the other hand, there is an ENORMOUS amount of evidence showing the damage that natural sweeteners are causing. Skyrocketing obesity and diabetes rates can be explained at least in part (if not for the most part) on the increased consumption of carbohydrates in the diet. Much (or perhaps most) of this comes from an increased consumption of the natural sweeteners (high fructose corn syrup, sugar, etc.) and they all produce easily measurable effects on the body.
I can hear you asking: What about studies that show people gaining weight even if they use artificial sweeteners? The answer to that is that most people, as sad as it is, are going to get fatter no matter what they do, because they don’t know enough about what foods to eat and what foods to skip. If you know what you’re doing, however, and eat a good diet and minimize carbs and sugar you can and will get leaner. And on a strict diet like that “artificial” sweeteners can be a real treat. The artificial sweeteners make it much easier to stay away from sugar (like regular soda), and that is a huge benefit for anyone attempting to get lean. There is no question that in my life, diet sodas have allowed me to reduce my calories significantly without suffering (at least without suffering as much. I never promised getting lean would be easy – just possible).
My suggestion to you is to reduce your carbohydrate consumption as much as you can. Use artificial sweeteners if they make it easier for you to still get some sweetness in your diet without any calories. Some sucralose in your coffee or iced tea will satisfy your sweet tooth and help you stay away from desserts and other sugary snacks. Just be sure to use 100% artificial sweeteners and not the packets or pourable versions which are loaded with maltodextrin.
Your abs will thank you as they claw their way out from under your beer belly.
The following article is reprinted with the permission of Quest Protein Bars, a member of the BAC Medical Marketing affiliate program.
Mankind is truly amazing. We have managed to progress on an almost continual basis for thousands of years. We’ve vanquished many terrible diseases that have plagued us for years totally eliminating polio, for example. We’ve sent a man to the moon and back and each generation has a higher standard of living than the one that came before it.
But there is one huge blind spot in our knowledge the arena of nutrition. Much of what is considered to be correct in nutrition, both by the mainstream and current scientific thinking is not only wrong but actually backwards.
Evidence of that is the fact that despite billions of dollars spent in research and studies in nutrition, this generation is the first that can expect a DECLINE in both it’s health and longevity compared to the generation before it. If any other science be it aerospace, chemistry or physics started producing results that were worse than they produced in the past, people would immediately begin to question everything in an attempt to figure out where they had gone wrong.
But in nutritional “science” that doesn’t happen. Instead, nutritionists and researchers involved in the nutrition field continue to promote a diet that clearly has a lot of holes in it namely that we should be eating a diet that is mostly made up of whole grains, fruits and vegetables while minimizing our consumption of proteins and fats.
The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine published in March of 2005 that due to the increase in childhood obesity, this current generation could expect to live as much as 5 years less than their parents and with poorer health to boot. Some researchers feel that even this number is too conservative and that the impact on health and longevity will be much worse. You can read more about it here: http://www.nytimes.com/obese.html
In any case, all one has to do it go to any mall in America or just about anywhere else and take a look around. It’s clear that the only way obesity can be growing at the rate that it has is because the recommended food pyramid isn’t just a little bit off the mark it’s totally upside down.
While there are as many opinions as to why people are getting fatter as there are people, I think we can make some very good guesses as to which path will lead us away from obesity and disease and towards health, longevity and enhanced mental and physical performance.
Although not everyone will agree, I personally think it’s very clear that the two of the big three killers: Heart Disease and Diabetes both have some common roots obesity and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is when our body requires the secretion of higher and higher amounts of insulin in order to clear our bloodstream of carbohydrate. The only thing that has been consistently found among Centenarians (those who live to be over 100 years old) is the fact that they all tend to have excellent insulin sensitivity.
Keeping our bodies sensitive to insulin is very important and one of the best ways to do that is to get and or stay lean. The best way to get and or stay lean is to minimize our carbohydrate intake. That’s really not up for debate. All one has to do is look at bodybuilders the only group of people on the planet that have consistently managed to achieve SUPREMELY low levels of body fat time and time again. They all reduce carbohydrates in order to strip body fat to very low levels and they have done so since the very beginning of the sport. They’ve tried every type of approach (including some very impractical and complex ones) and reduction of carbohydrates is the thing that always produces the best results.
But in today’s world, carbs are everywhere the average American eats 50-60% of their calories from carbohydrates. They taste great and can only be avoided if someone makes a concerted effort to keep them out of their diet. The results that come from eating low carbohydrate foods are truly amazing, however, and worth the effort.
As President of BAC Medical Marketing, I want to take this opportunity to wish all of our current and future clients, and their families, a very celebratory 4th of July!
Independence Day is a national holiday marked by patriotic displays. Similar to other summer-themed events, Independence Day celebrations often take place outdoors. Independence Day is a federal holiday, so all non-essential federal institutions (like the postal service and federal courts) are closed on that day. Many politicians make it a point on this day to appear at a public event to praise the nation's heritage, laws, history, society, and people.
Families often celebrate Independence Day by hosting or attending a picnic or barbecue and take advantage of the day off and, in some years, long weekend to gather with relatives. Decorations (e.g., streamers, balloons, and clothing) are generally colored red, white, and blue, the colors of the American flag. Parades often are in the morning, while fireworks displays occur in the evening at such places as parks, fairgrounds, or town squares.
Independence Day fireworks are often accompanied by patriotic songs such as the national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner", "God Bless America", "America the Beautiful", "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", "This Land Is Your Land", "Stars and Stripes Forever", and, regionally, "Yankee Doodle" in northeastern states and "Dixie" in southern states. Some of the lyrics recall images of the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812.
Firework shows are held in many states, and many fireworks are sold for personal use or as an alternative to a public show. Safety concerns have led some states to ban fireworks or limit the sizes and types allowed. Illicit traffic transfers many fireworks from less restrictive states.
A salute of one gun for each state in the United States, called a “salute to the union,” is fired on Independence Day at noon by any capable military base.
In 2009, New York City had the largest fireworks display in the country, with over 22 tons of pyrotechnics exploded. Other major displays are in Chicago on Lake Michigan; in San Diego over Mission Bay; in Boston on the Charles River; in St. Louis on the Mississippi River; and on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. During the annual Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival, Detroit, Michigan hosts one of the world's largest fireworks displays, over the Detroit River, to celebrate Independence Day in conjunction with Windsor, Ontario's celebration of Canada Day.
While the official observance always falls on July 4th, participation levels may vary according to which day of the week the 4th falls on. If the holiday falls in the middle of the week, some fireworks displays and celebrations may take place during the weekend for convenience, again, varying by region.