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Aug 2015

Facebook Updates and Opportunities to Expand Reach

Facebook’s most recent algorithm update is another step in the direction of better understanding how users interact with the platform, while continuously assessing user preferences.

The update is intended to improve user experiences by considerably reducing the reach of organic posts that appear too promotional in users’ News Feeds. After surveying hundreds of thousands of users, Facebook determined these traits as too promotional:

  • Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

What does this mean for the healthcare industry?

Meaning depends on how healthcare focused organizations view audiences and  what they intend to accomplish through a defined Facebook marketing strategy. Consider these points:

A range of healthcare organizations are playing an ever increasing role in the proactive health and well-being of the communities they serve, which requires a great deal of trust from a wide range of audiences. This trust lies in how they help sustain overall well-being and then care for both routine and complex healthcare, if needed. Based on system capabilities, clinical staff or support personnel expertise and brand promise of the organization, these strengths will win customer loyalty and increase lifetime value.

A significant part of that trust comes from real world personal experiences and interactions – more and more often communicated across social media in real time. Be sure as you set high standards to engage your communities, apply the same principles to engage your social media audiences.

While important to highlight short term classes and events, remember that true long term engagement is what will drive long term success.

Be a Community, Not a Broadcast Channel

Winning the trust and subsequent power of word-of-mouth doesn’t come from aggressively pushing a barrage of sales tactics into users’ News Feeds, nor does it come from one-sided conversations about what your organization can offer. Instead, users want to be part of an engaged community of support, through:

  • Informational and engaging content
  • Insightful articles and content
  • Short, concise messaging with a related photo

This type of engagement can better capture users’ attention and inspire them to share it amongst their network, which serves to expand your brand’s reach and influence. Sharing proactive health topics and resources can be an untapped, yet exceptionally strong, point of differentiation. One of our clients, Piedmont Healthcare, shows incredible reach with custom content through their Living Better communications. AVID Design built a dynamic category presentation of topics for easier search and share. This ease of sharing on social media provides an opportunity to serve communities beyond geographic boundaries for the improved health and wellness of a much more global community.

AVID Design offers full-scale written and visual communication services for hospitals and healthcare systems, including Content Management Systems, SharePointWeb DesignSEO and PPC, Content Development and AssessmentOnline VideoAnalytics and Measurementand more. 

Justin Small | Digital Marketing Specialist | AVID Design

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Aug 2011

4 Quick Tips on Finding Good Link Prospects

Finding link prospects for your hospital or healthcare system’s Website may be a tricky task if you let it be.  Links are essential to improve search engine ranking and to help bring visitors to your site.

Quick tips on link building prospects.

Quick tips on finding good link building prospects.

Here are 4 quick tips to follow and questions to ask yourself when seeking link prospects:

Relevancy: Is the site you’re looking at relevant to hospitals, healthcare and/or the medical industry?

Frequency: Is the site updated with fresh content frequently or is the content stale and old?

Online Presence: Does the site have an online presence? Do they have good inbound links? Has the site been around a few years?

Policies: Is the site easy to contact? Do they publish resources? Do they invite guests to contribute?

Here are some links to check out on how to find good link prospects:

How to Find and Identify High-Value Link Opportunities

13 Ways to Assess a Link Prospect

Lisa M. Rickard | Web Content Specialist/Writer/Editor | AVID Design

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Jul 2011

Learn It, Know It, Live It – 7 Link Building Strategies For Your Hospital

I recently sat in on a Wordtracker link building Webinar where it reiterated what I already knew about link building, as well as taught me a thing or two about the strategies one, such as hospitals and healthcare systems, can take in order to build links.

In the wise words of Brad Hamilton to Jeff Spicoli and company, "Learn it, know it, live it!"

In case you’re not familiar with Wordtracker, it’s an excellent tool that we use at AVID Design for much of our keyword research. They also have a link building tool and a strategizing tool that focuses on keyword niches.

Benefits of Link Building

Links have many benefits to your Website. They often:

• Improve page ranking

• Position you as a leader and can even function as a “vote” for anchor text on your site.

• Offer competition. The more quality links you obtain, the harder your organization will be to compete with.

Link Building Strategies for Hospitals and Healthcare Systems

There are several different strategies your hospital or healthcare systems can take to build links, among them:

Blogs: blogs are very diverse and easy to get links to and from, plus there is a plethora of them out there. Examples include patient blogs or health-related blogs

News/Media: direct links from press releases or articles can be picked up by several sites, like local newspapers, etc.

Social Media: It’s not just a fad, it’s a business/marketing tool and many hospitals and healthcare systems are embracing it.  Check us out on: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, StumbleUpon,

Job Sites: portals that publicize medical jobs. These sites often have links to featured employers, such as mdjobsite.com and medhunters.com.

Directories: be wary of “link farms,” and aim for top directories with human editors.

Trusted Sites: education sites, such as medical schools, or organization and government-run sites

Business Sites: medical trade associations

Some good sites to check out on link building:

101 Ways to Build Link Popularity

The Professional Guide to Link Building: Section II: Professional Link Building Strategies

10 Most Effective Link building Strategies

Lisa M. Rickard | Web Content Specialist/Writer/Editor | AVID Design

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Apr 2010

How to Get Google Sitelinks for Your Hospital’s Website

Before we get into this, first Google your hospital’s name. Hopefully, you are at the tippity-top of the search engine results page—otherwise known as a SERP. (If not, contact us immediately because you’ve got major SEO problems if Google doesn’t think you are the most relevant, important or popular Website on the subject that is your hospital!)

An example of sitelinks, as displayed for a Google search for “Columbus Regional.”

An example of sitelinks, as displayed for a Google search for “Columbus Regional.”

Regardless of where you appear in the SERP, you will be presented with one of two types of results:

• One link to your Website’s home page (and perhaps links to other pages, scattered through the SERP)

• A series of sublinks below a link to your hospital’s home page (click here to see an example; and yes, Columbus Regional is one our clients)

Those sublinks are what Google calls “sitelinks,” and if you have them, pat yourself on the back. You should be proud of yourself and your Website because Google doesn’t just give sitelinks to just anybody. In fact, there are no tricks or techniques or anything that you can specifically do to get those links.

According to Google’s official statement about sitelinks, “We only show sitelinks for results when we think they’ll be useful to the user. If the structure of your site doesn’t allow our algorithms to find good sitelinks, or we don’t think that the sitelinks for your site are relevant for the user’s query, we won’t show them.”

Well, alrighty then.

What You Can Do to Improve Your Chances of Getting Sitelinks for Your Hospital

Being dedicated and consistent with refining SEO and ensuring that your content is extremely well-organized and relevant, are perhaps extremely obvious tips—but if you don’t have sitelinks, then perhaps it’s a sign that you should seriously consider how well your SEO and content have been (and are being) done.

Of course, that’s not a hard and fast rule. It could be that your SEO is fine, but you are deficient in the number of quality inbound links from Websites with respectable PageRanks.

Investigate how many people are linking to your Website. If you are confident that your content is optimized and relevant but you need to increase your inbound links, take a look at your social media.

Of course, if you have no social media plan to look at, it’s yet another reason why your social media needs to be given the kind of attention you’ve given your carefully developed Website.

Derek Rudnak  | Communications Specialist | AVID Design


AVID Design is an award-winning healthcare and hospital online marketing consultant. Contact us for a free estimate for developing your hospital’s SEO and social media.

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Feb 2009

Five Easy Link Building Tricks to Improve Page Ranking

Improving page ranking with link-building is not difficult...it just requires a little effort and creativity.

Improving page ranking with link building is not difficult...it just requires a little effort and creativity.

The beauty of link building is that it is a heavily weighted factor in improving search engine page ranking, and it really doesn’t require as much skill or planning as with SEO content writing. All there is to do is to get somebody to put your link on their page!

Of course, that is easier said than done. And like most techniques to increase your page ranking, it requires some creativity and ambition. However, here are five of the easier ways to get sites to add your link and get you noticed!

Link Building Tip #1: Ask!

That’s right, just ask somebody to post your link—and offer to reciprocate. This give-and-take approach is perhaps the easiest way to build links.
Whom to ask? Start with your clients. You likely know other businesses and Website owners. Educate them on the benefits of link building and see how likely they will be to cooperate!

• Warning: Be sure that you don’t link to a link farm, which is a page that’s sole purpose is to be real estate for all kinds of links. Not only might this hurt your credibility, but this can actually decrease your page ranking.

Link Building Tip #2: Spread the News!

A well-written news article or press release that contains your link can get picked up by any number of sites, including, of course, local newspapers, related trade publications, etc.

Along with publishing news on your Website, building a database of media contacts to send your news is another step in using this technique to build links.

• Warning: Beware of free or low-cost services that offer to distribute your news. There’s a reason why the more expensive newswires and PR agencies cost more!

Link Building #3: Social Networking!

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are among dozens of social networking utilities than can be part of your link-building strategy.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are among dozens of social networking utilities and websites than can be part of your link building strategy.

In case it’s not yet obvious, any place or way that encourages or invites others to share something you wrote (and contains your URL) is a valuable way to build links. Social networking is no exception.

If you aren’t a regular user of Twitter or Facebook or the dozens of other popular social networking sites and utilities, perhaps it’s time to create some accounts. Along with being a great way to network, it’s also quite fun!

• Warning:
Social networking is precisely that: social! For example, don’t exclusively send tweets (instant messages on Twitter) that only contain links to your site, blogs and other pages. Become an active and interesting member of the community and watch your popularity soar!

Link Building Tip #4: Blog!

Write a successful blog that contains your link, and it’s likely that the link will end up on another page that republished your blog.

Naturally, the trick (for lack of a better word) is to write a blog that people will not only visit, but read and share. Unfortunately, there are no easy tricks to getting solid, consistent traffic. Just write honest, relevant and keyword-rich copy, much like you would for regular SEO Website content.

• Warning: When done properly, a blog combines the best benefits of SEO and social networking. But when done incorrectly (e.g., overloaded keyword density, irrelevant content, obviously writing for link building and page ranking purposes), don’t expect much. Like with most things, you’ll get what you put into it.

Link Building Tip #5: Be Creative!

Most likely, you are an online content writer or Website designer, which means that you are also probably very creative. Use that creativity to develop your own link building techniques!

• Warning: Don’t let your creativity get the best of you. As illustrated in the previous examples, what might seem like a creative solution (e.g., link farms) could turn out to be anything but a solution. Be creative, but be smart.

Derek Rudnak | Communications Specialist | AVID Design