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Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
November, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 11
The Three Basics of Search Engine Optimization for Massage Therapists
By Daniel Ruscigno
Once upon a time, potential clients turned to the phone book to find new healthcare practitioners. They would sift through the pages to find an office close to them and call to book an appointment.In today's world, their strategy has changed. Instead, clients first turn to Google and search online for healthcare practitioners near them. Because of this, every practice with a website should make search-engine optimization (SEO) a priority in their online growth strategy.
What is the goal of SEO?
The goal of SEO is to increase the amount of visitors that your website gets from people doing searches on Google. More website visitors translates to more new clients and more appointments.
For example, if you are a massage therapist in Chicago and someone searches on Google for "massage therapists in Chicago," you will get the most website visits if you are the first result listed on the search results page. Below are basic steps to start your journey to the top of the search results.
Step 1: Choose Key Phrases
When the client types their search into Google, the words they use are called "keywords" or "key phrases." The first step in SEO is to choose the key phrases that are relevant to your business and that will appear in the Google search results.
Tip 1: Think like your client. The most important part of choosing a keyword is thinking about what your potential client is going to search for. Remember, it's what they type that determines what will show up in the search results. For a massage therapist, a client may search for "massage therapists," "deep-tissue massage," "hot stone massage," etc. They probably won't be searching for "Jane Smith, LMT." Choose key phrases/words that are likely to be searched.
Tip 2: Be location-specific when choosing your key phrases. This is because key phrases as broad as "massage therapist" are going to have competition from massage therapists across the country. The more competition there is for a key phrase, the harder it is get your website on the first page of the search results. Instead, be specific based on your location with key phrases like, "massage therapist in Chicago." These types of key phrases will have less competition, and because they are location-specific, it's likely the visitors you get from the search results will be from potential new clients in your neighborhood.
Tip 3: Choose a different key phrase for each page of your website. Each of your web pages should have their own dedicated key phrase. This gives you more opportunities to appear in the search results. For example, a massage therapist in Chicago could choose the key phrase "massage therapist in Chicago" for her home page. On the page where she talks about the hot stone massage that she offers, she could choose the key phrase, "hot stone massage in Chicago."
It's important that the key phrase you choose is relevant to the page you are choosing it for.
Step 2: Where to Put Key Phrases
Once you've chosen your key phrases for each page, you need to put them into action. The way to do this is to put them into three key spots on each web page. This part of SEO is slightly technical, so you may want to recruit the help of the person that made your website.
Spot #1 – Title tag. The title tag is the official title of the page and appears as the blue link shown in the Google search results. It is the most important place for your key phrase, as the title tag is a mini executive summary that tells Google what your web page is about.
Spot #2 – Header tag. The header tag is the large text at the top of your website. It clearly defines the web page's purpose and theme to your website visitor. Because it is usually near the top of the page and in larger text, Google translates this as being important information that defines what your web page is about.
Spot #3 - Body of the page. While the previous two are the most important, it's also helpful to have your keyword one more time on that page, casually mentioned in your descriptive paragraph. This offers Google some extra validation that your key phrase is relevant to your web page.
Step 3 – Rising to the Top
Steps 1 and 2 are the basic steps to optimize your website to be read by Google. The third step is all about moving your way to the top of the search results. The way Google does this is like an election. Each website gets "votes" and the website with the most "votes" is the #1 search result.
In Google's case, "votes" equals links. So the final step is getting as many people to link to your website as possible. For example, you may get links from industry association websites, referring practitioners or in web articles written by you or about you. This is an ongoing process and it can take several weeks to see the results of your hard work. It's important to stick with it and slowly see your website rise up Google's search results.
Bonus: 3 Important SEO Tips
First, always use text for your keywords. Google can't read images well, so make sure your keywords are actually text, not pictures/graphics. Second, don't use Flash. Like images, Google can't easily read Flash, so it is best to avoid using it. It should also be noted that iPhones and iPads don't support flash, so a website visitor from one of these devices will just see a blank page. And third, don't overdo it with key phrases. If Google sees a key phrase on your website an unreasonable number of times, it will hurt your chances of being on the first page of the search results.
Daniel Ruscigno is the co-founder of ClinicSense (previously PatientCal). ClinicSense offers practice management software that helps with scheduling, soap notes, billing, electronic insurance claims and more. For more information, visit www.ClinicSense.com.
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