resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.