Monday, July 10, 2017

Marketing Solutions For Top Veterinary Practices

After more than 30 years of specializing in the Orthodontic market, Solutions By Design is excited to enter into the veterinary field. In 2016 we partnered with some of the top local veterinarians to create a product that would be useful and beneficial to veterinarians in the exam room and the reception area. Not only was our goal to create a useful and necessary tool for doctors and staff, but our trusted veterinarian consultants wanted a product that would educate their clients and enhance their visit. As a result, our current versions of Montage Interactive were born. 

Montage Interactive comes in many different hardware configurations, and the software is made up of custom widgets that can be tailored to your practice needs. Through various widgets, Montage Interactive can be used in clinical case presentations (which can then be printed or emailed), as a patient education tool, to advertise products and promotions, for entertainment, and as a marketing and social media hub.

In addition to Montage Interactive, Solutions By Design can also help your practice with other veterinary marketing needs. We specialize in custom responsive website design, SEO, and social media. Technology is always evolving and it is important that your website reflects those changes as well. When choosing a veterinarian, pet owners will go through a process of gathering information such as asking for recommendations and stopping in for pre-appointment visits. If a pet owner is looking online for a veterinarian in your area and not finding your practice through an online search or not finding the information they are looking for, then your website is not serving its purpose. Since most potential leads are generated from online searches, you want to be sure that your practice is listed first in search results. This is where SEO and strategic social media marketing come into play. Social media and SEO are in a tactical relationship with each other. How so? They are both strategies that focus on creating an appealing identity that will increase visitors. Having a strong plan for each of these will benefit the other. 

As technology evolves, so should your website and marketing techniques. Researching SEO techniques and trying to keep up with the ever-changing trends of social media can be an overwhelming task that most hospital staff don’t have time for; however, no marketing need is too large or small for our highly trained and experienced staff. At Solutions By Design, we can help you help you reach your goals and increase your search engine optimization. Visit our website or give us a call for more information. 800-888-4084.

Myths & Facts About SEO

Every day businesses across the country are flooded with telemarketing calls from various website and SEO companies. You’ve probably received a few of these calls in the recent past. Almost all of them claim to have discovered “serious issues” with your website that “affects SEO and rankings.” Of course, they will be happy to email over their report and if you sign up with them they will “fix” these "serious" issues.

The reports they send to you often appear troubling. “Issues” are dramatically described and highlighted, leading you to believe that your current SEO efforts, if you have any, are not working properly or inefficient. If you have an SEO company on retainer, you will begin to question their methods and expertise; and your doubts are what these companies are counting on.

If you look closely at these reports, many of them contain “issues” that are simply SEO myths that have persisted for a long time. Many of the “issues” have absolutely NO EFFECT on rankings, or at one time used to be factors but are no longer regarded as important. We will explain a few of these myths below in order to educate you on the tactics employed by less-than-reputable companies.

Myth: Your site must be submitted to hundreds of search engines and directory listings to get noticed.
Fact: Search engines will always find your website if at least one other website links to it. Submitting your website to “hundreds” of online directories and search engines is a waste of time, and in some cases, may hurt your rankings if your site is linked from questionable sources.

Myth: Having META tags will help your rankings.
Fact: The vast majority of search engines ignore META keyword, description, author, and robots tags, for obvious reasons. These tags have been abused in the past by webmasters looking to “game the system.” Search engines have ignored them for years.

Myth: You must have hundreds of “inbound links” to rank high.
Fact: Search engines place more importance on the quality of the inbound links rather than the quantity. Having a few inbound links from highly recognized and respected sources are much better than having numerous links from low-quality sources.

Myth: Your site must have a high "PageRank" in order to rank higher in the search results.
Fact: PageRank is just one factor Google uses in figuring out how to rank pages. A site with a low PageRank will show up higher in the search results if Google thinks it's more relevant.

Myth: Proper SEO will give your site permanent top rankings.
Fact: There is no such thing as permanent rankings. Search engine algorithms change all the time and rankings fluctuate as a result. New websites are constantly appearing, challenging the existing websites for rankings. Even the smallest tweak to the contents of your website may have a dramatic effect on rankings. As we’ve seen all too clearly here at Solutions by Design, customer reviews have a serious impact on local rankings.

Myth: You must have your targeted keywords in the IMG ALT tag and a link’s Title tag.
Fact: Like the META tags, these have been greatly abused in the past and search engines largely ignore them. It’s best just to place an exact description of the image or link into these tags to help the search engines identify them.

Myth: It’s important for your rankings to update your home page frequently.
Fact: Unless your home page is a blog with daily posts, static content containing your targeted keywords is just fine. There are plenty of “stale” sites with top rankings.

Myth: H1 tags are a crucial part of SEO and rankings.
Fact: There is little correlation between H1 tags and rankings. H1 tags play an important role and should be used primarily for accessibility and usability, but they have little effect on rankings.

Myth: Your site must have a specific “keyword density” in order to rank high.
Fact: As long as your site contains your targeted keywords in an easy-to-read and engaging format, search engines will be able to identify and index it. Trying to achieve an arbitrary keyword density percentage is both a waste of time and a pain for your customers to read.

There are many more myths that SEO companies still try to peddle in order to get your business, and it’s important for you to do your research and consult with people you trust before signing on with them. If they try to make the case for one of these SEO myths then they are not the company for you. If you have any questions or concerns about a company that is contacting you about these myths, feel free to give Solutions by Design a call and ask for our SEO department. Call 800-888-4084.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Implement User-Generated Content Into Your Content Strategy

With the ever-changing algorithms of the digital world, it’s important for your social media strategy to include content that meets the needs of your SEO as well as engages with your consumer. We understand not everyone has a generous budget to put towards boosting posts or pay for ads on Facebook, but with the organic reach declining it’s time to add fuel to the fire. One way to do this is by implementing UGC, user-generated content, into your content strategy.

What is User-Generated Content? UGC is short for user-generated content; this is any form of digital content created by consumers and shared publicly online.

Sharing your brand’s story through UGC will give your content strategy more authenticity and it will be more engaging for your followers. Here are just a few more reasons you need to start implementing UGC:

Consumers are creating content and posting it online; use it and source it.

Everyone struggles with creating social media content, so leverage UGC to add variety to your content strategy and change it up.

With UGC, you won’t have to spend money on hiring photographers or using stock photos.

This content is coming from friends or strangers within the community, making it more authentic, real and believable.

UGC drives 6.9X higher news feed engagement on than brand-generated content.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are popular social platforms that operate almost entirely on user-generated content. Be sure to start asking your consumers for UGC by putting a call to action on marketing materials, using hashtags, or promoting UGC with contests and giveaways. Once you do this, find the UGC by searching the hashtag or location and get permission from the user to share it. Repurpose this content on your website, social media, ads, blogs, etc.

UGC is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your brand and increase engagement and loyalty with consumers. Reference these tips and you should be able to revive your social media content strategy and reach.

Do you need help with your social media marketing? Contact Solutions by Design and ask about our social media services. Visit our website or call 800-888-4084.