Archive for month: July, 2014

July Investment Letter

Categories: Articles

Here we are; just past the mid-year point. The market is up over 7% year-to-date which would be good by most standards. Second quarter earnings reports are just starting to come out. It appears earnings momentum is regaining traction after a weather-affected soft first quarter.

Last year was a bonanza year even though it started with huge uncertainty. Going into 2013, there was a budget battle in D.C. and most pundits predicted anemic market returns. However, the S&P 500 returned over 30% and this caught most people off-guard. With such large returns and with a brutal winter, the first quarter of 2014 could be characterized as choppy. Bond yields plummeted and the market was pretty flat. This rally in the bond market also caught most people off-guard as the Fed’s continued reduction in quantitative easing certainly should have seen rates increase not decrease.

What these events remind me is that no matter how smart you might think you are the market has a way of proving the largest number of people wrong. I’m further reminded that the long term trend is up and that we will continue to have bumps and sometimes major bursts along the way. This is as certain as the sun coming up tomorrow. Maintaining “iron stomach-like” rationale is the number one ingredient for successful investing along with patience, faith, and discipline.

As we look out into the future, I believe the next 18 months will be good as interest rates should remain comparatively low. However, on the horizon lurks trouble. At some point, the Fed will lose control of inflation and at that point, it will have to react with rapid rate tightening. This is the event that I am keeping my eyes trained on.

In the meantime, equities are fairly reasonably valued. There is still huge pent up demand in housing and autos. Budget deficits are coming in due to increased tax revenues. Balance sheets are strong with lots of cash. Tax policy will be revisited in the next couple of years. An election cycle looms. Manufacturing seems to be turning in America.

There is a lot of work to be done – immigration, corporate tax policy, healthcare refinement, social security refinement, regulatory overhaul, etc. The good news is we don’t have the irrational exuberance and the excesses that come with such conditions. In short, I remain optimistic for the short term that the equity markets remain the place to be.

Provided by Jay W. Cohen, MPA, CPA, CFP®, of Monterey Wealth
(404-201-2284 or jay.cohen@lpl.com)

How to be Loved by Google – Maximizing your SEO Page Ranking

Categories: Articles

How to be Loved by Google – Maximizing your SEO Page Ranking

Is getting a second look from the targeted love of your life easier than getting a first look from Google for your SEO page ranking? When you’re trying to build more business, it probably is. Just as you try to figure out how to make yourself more attractive for finding a life partner – and use creative website design to look good online — you need to make your content attractive to Google, which actually plays as your “wingperson” when you’re out there attracting business.

There’s one key difference; your human wingperson is already a friend who’s ready to appreciate and tout your outstanding qualities. With Google as a wingperson, you need to make a convincing case to its search bots before it agrees to award you with high SEO page ranking in searches by your targeted customers.

SEO page ranking success depends on putting out the content Google and your prospects will love. As Todd Bowerman, an eHow contributor writes in How to Attract Googlebot, the process is not that complicated although it does constantly evolve. While there are some technical things you need to do, and creative website design still matters to the humans, content carries the day.

Here are a few tips:

  • Create new content for your website. The more content you create, the more frequently your site will be crawled. High-quality content usually wins in a battle for search ranking. So, add a blog or news page to your website and update it frequently. You’ll only need a little creative website design here because this is more about your keywords.
  • Create a photo album on a website such as Flickr or Photobucket and use it regularly to post images related to your business. Photo albums create vital back-links to your website and they also encourage the Googlebot to re-scan them when they are updated.
  • Create a YouTube channel and post videos if you have good video content.
  • Construct a strong network of back-links for your site. Back-links are links that lead to your website from another site and they are one of the most important tools for establishing search ranks. You can earn back-links by participating in link shares and buying links on popular sites, but the most effective method is to create interesting content that readers will share across the web.
  • There are few other technical steps to take to maximize your SEO page ranking, including building a Google sitemap and pinging your website and links to let the bots know you’ve made a change.

NicheLabs can help you with all of the technical details and content and tie everything together to make your creative website design more SEO-attractive. Our professional branding specialists, designers, content writers and programmers can work as a team to help you keep your marketing up to date and your search rankings high. We are a full-service agency for businesses that don’t have a CMO or VP of Marketing or that don’t have the people or time to do website design, manage SEO and digital/ direct marketing campaigns. As part of your team, we can create the channels for pushing out your content and work with you to get the information out to your targeted market.

For more tips and insights about digital marketing advancements, connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter or subscribe to our monthly newsletter to read summaries of our weekly posts.

Providing the content that Google and your targets will love can attract more business. Email us at sales@nichelabs.com, call 888.978.9254, or if you are mobile, visit us on your smartphone, and we’ll dress up your website.

Destroy Your Marketing

Categories: Articles

We have the marketing equivalent of gastric indigestion. It’s that churning upset in our gut when exceptionally effective medical practice advertising inspires qualified prospective patients to phone the provider’s office—only to be rejected at the front desk.

Here’s the disturbing little back-story that upset us recently. Keep in mind this is true and, unfortunately, it’s all-too common. We tell this tale for the benefit of other healthcare providers. There are valuable doctor-marketing lessons here.

A prominent and professionally respected specialist group put a healthy budget behind their medical practice marketing. The phone was ringing. Tons of calls from prospective new patients. But it wasn’t leading to many new business appointments.

It was more than simply a lack of proper training. In this case it was pure incompetence.

Based on our real-world example, here are three sure-fire ways to destroy your medical practice marketing, drive patients and cases you want into the arms of your competitor, and damage your professional reputation. (Gastric indigestion is purely a bonus.)

Number Three: Phone calls are a distraction; dispose of them quickly. Administrative and clerical help should never put new business ahead of shuffling papers, filing charts or break room gossip. Hire a high school kid to stop all that pesky ringing noise. There’s no need for training; anyone can answer a damn phone. (By the way, when is lunch? That’s at least an hour and a half of prime business hours when we can turn off the phones entirely.)

Number Two: Have no policy or procedure regarding prospective patient calls. Have no policy, that is, other than assigning no importance to these calls and doing your best to ignore them. A vigorous “no policy” approach actively supports the “no training” and “unqualified help” dynamics of Number Three (above). It’s synergistic, plus there’s more time for the holiday party committee meeting.

And NUMBER ONE: Never offer a caller an appointment. Can you imagine what chaos would follow if we actively invited callers to make an appointment? This doctor advertising stuff is bad enough…it connects with people in need who are prequalified as prospective patients. Callers are hungry for any little signal that they might be welcome as new patients. Engaging a caller in conversation, building rapport and/or offering a convenient appointment at any time during the initial phone conversation carries a high risk of (gasp) new business.

Amusing? Absurd? In fact, we routinely find these, and other, self-damaging practices draining revenue from otherwise well intended and potentially successful physician marketing efforts. But among these three, the one quick and easy step to completely undermine your medical practice marketing effort is when a prospective new patient calls and no one offers to set an appointment.

The sobering reality is that in some situations, disconnecting the office phone line and burning cash at the front desk would be less costly and less damaging. Do you really know how well your office handles new patient enquiries? If you don’t know, you might find a churning upset in our gut.

If any of this sounds familiar to you, we should talk. It’s alarming, but 90 percent of practices and healthcare organizations lose money when they answer the phone, particularly when it comes to advertising generated inquiries.

Connect with Zac to see if your friendly team… are too friendly and killing revenue.
www.linkedin.com/pub/zac-wright/37/46a/3b0/

Zac Wright
Difference Maker
(Z) 470.255.2454
(O) 888.296.9545
(F) 866.356.0279
www.newpatientmd.com
Schedule time: https://www.timetrade.com/book/24PZJ

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

Kelly Kile, Practice Manager for Complete Women’s Healthcare in Johns Creek enjoys the diverse challenges that present themselves everyday in her practice. Her goal is to make a difference in the lives of the practice’s patients by helping create an efficient and pleasant environment. She takes pride in the hours of work she put into helping create their new office space. Her efforts produced an office which provides a calm pleasant atmosphere for the patients and a good work environment for the staff.

Prior to becoming the practice manager at Complete she worked nineteen years for other practices in healthcare, having come to Complete from a large ob/gyn practice at Pill Hill. When she heard that a doctor was putting together a new ob/gyn practice and needed help she was quick to respond and has now been working for Complete Women’s Healthcare for over six and a half years.

Kelly believes that a successful practice manager must be a good listener both in terms of hearing the concerns of patients and her staff. She feels that a good practice manager is objective, being careful to collect and weigh all the facts before making decisions. According to Kelly another important task for any practice manager, particularly in the current healthcare environment, is the ability to think ahead. To begin to deal with issues that are ahead for the practice before they become critical. Kelly feels that a good practice manager sets the proper tone for the practice. “The staff feeds off the practice manager’s vibe.” Therefore she has made it one of her goals to project the right vibe. She lets her staff know that she is looking after them and that she has their back.

The inspiration for Kelly’s medical career was her stepmother who was the CEO of a hospital and later a consultant with Arthur Anderson. At Arthur Anderson she went around the country setting up new hospitals. Her best advice to Kelly was not necessarily a single piece of advice but rather the confidence she instilled in Kelly to go out and tackle her first medical job. Her stepmother continues to this day to be a source of advice to Kelly as she deals with the ever changing healthcare environment.

With a set of twins who are about to turn seven and a demanding job Kelly doesn’t have a lot of time for hobbies but she does enjoy running which is probably good training for her life as a mom and a practice manager. Her main and most special interest is spending time with her family and enjoying her kids as they grow up.

We congratulate Kelly as our Practice Manager of the Month but more importantly we thank her for the difference she makes in the lives of the patients at Complete Women’s Healthcare.

© Copyright - Healthcare Services - Website support by NicheLabs.com