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14
Feb 2014

Web Optimization: A Valentine’s Tale from Your Friends at AVID

My boyfriend and I, like the rest of Atlanta, enjoyed a few work-from-home days this week through the snow storm (It turns out “Icelanta 2” wasn’t nearly as “biblical” as the weather predicted, but did keep us inside for a few days). Our kitchen table looked like a war-zone…my side of the table was filled with first drafts and client notes, his side with case files & notebooks. There were pens everywhere.

About halfway through the second day in our new “home office” he suddenly looked over his laptop at me, almost panicked.

“I…I don’t have anything planned for Thanksgiving.”

“Well,” I replied, “You’ve got a few months to think about it.”

Of course, he meant Valentine’s Day but the word switcheroo struck with me. Valentine’s Day really is very similar to Thanksgiving. We think about love in all its forms, and are thankful for those people and things around us who make life a little more pleasurable…or a little easier.

Today, one of those things was my nice office at AVID headquarters where I can stretch my legs under the entirety of my desk without hitting someone else’s feet. The other was the fresh list of new web pages on my desk, just waiting to be written.

What things do you love that make your life easier? Do you need help to make your online tasks more manageable? Whether you are stuck with writing, can’t get a handle on programming, or would just like a little facelift to refresh your website’s look, we can set you up with the perfect solution. We can even take your site mobile. Our team is full of people who love to do all the things that make your online life easier. 

Binary Valentine's Day Card

we love programming so much that even our valentine’s cards are in binary

 If you aren’t sure where to start, ask us for a free consultation or SEO assessment. It’s like giving you the answers to the test; or like someone letting my boyfriend know that I like peach colored roses and there are some on sale at the flower shop just down the street (ahem). 

We promise, no matter if you call today on Valentine’s Day or wait until Thanksgiving, you’ll fall in love with AVID. 

AVID Design offers full-scale written and visual communication services for hospitals and healthcare systems, including SharePointWeb designSEO and PPC content development and assessmentonline video and rich mediaanalytics and measurementcontent management systems and more.


Whitney Stuart | Web Content Manager | AVID Design

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29
Jan 2014

The Survivalists Guide to Content Strategy

Yesterday morning, Director of Content Meredith Rose and I were lamenting over keeping up with the basics like the AVID blog. We have been so busy, but we needed to take the time to write a blog, and we needed to focus on the task at hand!

An hour after that conversation, I left the office due to the winter storm that descended on the good citizens of our fair city…oh, and by the way – the same folks that pretty much panic with a hint of snow, much less the real deal! Six traffic-filled hours later, I was still 17 miles from home and on the verge of a panic attack. My tires aren’t that great, the heater in my car doesn’t work, and I could see the chances of sleeping in my own bed diminish with every passing police siren. Any blog-related problems were now low in my list of my priorities.

icestorm in atlanta

I’d like to say that I immediately formed a plan of action and got to work. But I didn’t. I called my dad, I screamed at the jerks driving on the shoulder trying to cut the line in traffic, and I cursed way more than a well-raised Southern girl ever should.

traffic in a state of emergency

Then my car spun out on an icy hill and I knew that it was over. The lack of a goal was not the problem. My goal was clear: I wanted to get home and sleep in my bed. But the reality was (and is) that it simply isn’t going to happen. The more I tried to force the situation to meet my needs, the more hopeless I felt. Realizing the reality of the situation was truly awful…insert tears, calls to dad and more cursing.

drive slowly with ice

Suddenly, faced with the need to have some control over the situation, I pulled over into a random office park and walked a few miles to the Target store. Since my work heels weren’t great for traveling icy terrain, I bought new hiking boots, gloves, extra socks, deodorant, a toothbrush, water, snacks and a backpack to store it all. Then I walked to the nearest hotel which was of course, out of rooms. 

Walking to Target in the snowstorm

Sometimes you just have to make a move!

Long story, but sitting in the freezing cold hotel lobby with fellow refugees (which I’ve dubbed the “Roomless Friends Club”) gave me a chance to meet some great new people, and I fully realized just how generous Atlantans are thanks to the endless stream of offers from friends and strangers for a place to stay.

So, I’m now focused on strong game plans…before the storm, or at least early in the process before the panic sets in. What’s your game plan for approaching storms? Does your website have a content game plan? If so, when is the last time it was reviewed? My predicament could have been prevented by simply planning ahead and realizing the reality of the situation: I should have worked from home! But, once I was in that traffic situation, I would have fared much better had I accepted reality sooner and made a hotel reservation.

Sometimes great doctors don’t have the time to focus on their service-specific content or their profile information. And that’s ok! Clinical teams are so busy providing care for their patients that sometimes it is only possible to put up basic content now and focus on an expanded strategy later.

But before you start deploying parts of your content strategy game plan like SEO optimization or a PPC campaign, consider looking at the situation as a whole. Are you like me, trying to find a solution to the wrong problem? I was looking for a way home when I needed to be looking for a warm, safe place to stay the night. We can help you with an assessment that can offer a non-biased report that gives an overview of where your current site strategy is leading and opportunities you may be missing.

Give us a ring and we can show you not only how to achieve your web goals, but identify the correct goals for your needs. Plus, I have plenty of time to help: I don’t see myself leaving the floor of the Comfort Inn lobby any time soon.

AVID Design offers full-scale written and visual communication services for hospitals and healthcare systems, including SharePointWeb designSEO and PPC content development and assessmentonline video and rich mediaanalytics and measurementcontent management systems and more.


Whitney Stuart | Web Content Manager | AVID Design

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18
Jul 2011

Quick Tips on PPC Ad Writing

Being a writer, I know there are many different techniques for specific facets of writing—something many people who aren’t writers are unaware of, which makes total sense.

Quick PPC ad writing tips.

When writing for PPC (pay-per click) ads there is a certain technique and somewhat formula to it.

Firstly, it’s important to do your keyword research before you start writing a PPC ad. Much like for SEO, you must use relevant keywords in your ads.

Here are some techniques (or things) to keep in mind when writing PPC ads:

Think conversions. But be wary of high click rates which can lead to low conversions.

Organize keywords appropriately. Make them relevant to your destination page’s goals. You wouldn’t send a cancer boutique ad selling chemotherapy wigs to your gift shop or to another, unrelated service line, or even your home page.

Don’t promote value or exaggerate. For example don’t compose something like this: “the BEST value in town for cancer wigs.” Instead, use clear, concise language.

PPC ads generally consist of four lines.

o Line 1: Keyword rich title

o Line 2: Benefit statement/question

o Line 3: Feature statement or call-to-action

o Line 4: URL

After you’ve written your ads, be sure to engage in A/B testing and monitor your ads’ metrics so you can adjust and/or polish accordingly.

Did you know that AVID Design offers PPC ad writing services for hospital and healthcare systems? Contact us to learn more.


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

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12
Feb 2010

Top 3 Hospital PPC Campaign Tips

Considering the extreme competition and cost of hospital marketing—especially online hospital marketing—every advantage helps, and that includes pay per click (PPC).

In an ideal world, micromanaging your hospital’s PPC campaign—including its keyword bid rates—would be your full-time job. But in reality, you probably only have maybe a few hours a week to manage dozens of ad groups and hundreds (if not thousands) of keywords. Make the most of it with these tips.

In an ideal world, micromanaging your hospital’s PPC campaign—including its keyword bid rates—would be your full-time job. But in reality, you probably only have maybe a few hours a week to manage dozens of ad groups and hundreds (if not thousands) of keywords. Make the most of it with these tips.

Here are three essential hospital PPC tips that will quickly improve your traffic, conversion rates and ROI:

Geotarget Your Ads

As its name implies, PPC geotargeting (or location targeting, as it’s known in Google AdWords) targets your ad’s visibility to a specific geographic location.

For the majority of hospitals and clinics that typically serve specific metropolitan or regional area, geotargeting makes a world of sense—and especially if you are including your town’s name in your keyword search criteria. After all, what good is paying for somebody in Portland, Maine to click on your PPC ad if your hospital is in Portland, Oregon?

Get More From Your Landing Pages

Pick any of your hospital’s service lines or centers of excellence, and chances are extremely good that you’ve got multiple pages with content that support specific but related concepts and topics.

Yet, for some reason, many hospital PPC campaigns ignore the diversity of potential landing pages and instead have all of their PPC ads direct clickthroughs to the same page—which is usually a top-level page that delivers broad information.

Instead, think about what people that click on your ads probably want. For instance, back pain and spinal conditions: They will usually want to know about definitions, symptoms or treatments.

Most likely, you have a page (or pages) that answer those questions…at least better than your catch-all, top-level page. Instead of pointing all of those people to the same top-level page, give them what they want by having the ad direct them to a more relevant page.

Put another way: Reduce the number of clicks it takes for them to find what they want…or risk one of those clicks being a bounce or exit.

Scale Your PPC Bid Rates

In an ideal world, micromanaging your hospital’s PPC campaign—including its keyword bid rates—would be your full-time job. But in reality, you probably only have maybe a few hours a week to manage dozens of ad groups and hundreds (if not thousands) of keywords.

Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean you have to give all of your ads and keywords the same constant bid rate. One suggestion is to scale them based on the landing page strategy mentioned in the previous section.

Using that definition/symptom/treatment example, think about which of them will provide the highest volume or probability of conversions (read: new patients).

Most likely, those looking for definitions are less likely, those looking for symptoms for symptoms are more likely, and those that know enough about a condition to search for a treatment are even more likely.

For every dollar that you spend on keywords and ads that point to treatment, spend less (say, 75 cents) for symptoms and even less (start low, say, 25 cents).


Derek Rudnak | Communications Specialist | AVID Design

AVID Design specializes in online healthcare marketing, including hospital PPC campaigns.

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27
Aug 2009

Is PPC an Rx for Poor Hospital SEO?

We’ve seen this situation quite a few times: A hospital’s Website content is in desperate need of SEO, but that hospital doesn’t have the time or budget to optimize it—much less restructure the navigation, develop new content, etc.

Look closely at your SEO and landing page content before starting or refining an existing PPC campaign.

Look closely at your SEO and landing page content before starting or refining an existing PPC campaign.

What usually happens next is that a budget is hastily cobbled together for a pay per click (PPC) campaign. The results? Predictably poor.

Why? And what can be done?

PPC Amplifies What is Wrong with Your Website

Presumably, the goal of any PPC campaign is to improve conversions. But if that goal is not met, is it necessarily a problem with the PPC campaign?

Sure, a poorly designed PPC campaign will suffer, but even a carefully researched and executed campaign can produce subpar results if related landing pages don’t encourage visitors to convert. Which leads to the next point…

Good SEO Encourages Site-Wide Best Practices

As most SEO and Web content experts will tell you, best practices for content involve more than just what you read—they also involves other concepts such as metadata, usability and visual design practices that not only encourage, but simplify a visitor’s navigation of a page.

That is why a properly optimized Website is essential before embarking on a PPC campaign.

Along with having efficient and effective landing pages, an optimized Website will also likely produce better ROI and PPC results. This is because the SEO process should ideally have already organized pages and content that balances:

• what patients, customers and guests want to know, and

• what keyword research suggests are popular (and thus desired and relevant) topics and concepts your content needs to address.

AVID Design is a leader in hospital and healthcare SEO and PPC. Our no-cost SEO and PPC evaluations can get you on the path to success!


Derek Rudnak | Communications Specialist | AVID Design

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