3 Red Flags of a Blackhat SEO Agency

By: Melody Gandy-Bohr

You know that feeling you get from a suspicious offer — you don’t know exactly what it is, but something about it just doesn’t add up. As a small business owner, you’ve developed a sixth sense when it comes to protecting your practice, and you should trust your gut.

A good quality SEO agency can help you reach your goals by using legitimate Search Engine Optimization strategies instead of Blackhat tactics that try to trick search engines into ranking your website higher. While the gains promised by these companies seem incredible, if they’re being achieved through shady practices, it will be your website, and your practice, that feels the sting of Google’s retribution. Here are three red flags to look out for when choosing your SEO agency.

Guaranteed Results

There are new SEO best practices and search engine updates every day. SEO isn’t a fixed marketing strategy, and results cannot be guaranteed. If your SEO agency guarantees 1st page organic (natural and unpaid) rankings for your practice on Google, this should be a huge red flag. Either the agency knows that it can’t deliver on those results and is just after your money, or they are employing Blackhat SEO strategies such as link farming to get those results.

In the latter scenario, your 1st page ranking will only be temporary once Google discovers that your site is violating their terms. Your practice website will be penalized and possibly blacklisted from the search engine — a serious consequence that is difficult to recover from. The only true way to ‘guarantee’ first page results is to pay Google for first page Google Adwords PPC ads. Organic SEO rankings take time and work to achieve, and there is never a guarantee of how Google’s algorithm will rank your site.

They’re Keeping Their SEO Strategy a Secret


Although it is constantly developing, you can learn SEO if you have the time. If an agency won’t explain their SEO strategies to you, it’s probably because they are dishonest. Any reputable agency will gladly go into lengthy detail on how they optimize your site for better rankings. Blackhat agencies will be less than willing to explain their strategy, particularly if it includes no-no tactics like keyword stuffing, invisible text and gateway pages. If the agency can’t be forthcoming about their policies, how can you trust them with your practice’s SEO?

No Reporting

Analyzing data and sharing it with clients is a common practice for all reputable SEO agencies. Only by looking at a detailed report of your website’s progress will you be able to gauge how your current strategy is performing. Before signing up with an agency, make sure to ask what kind of analytics reporting they provide. If they flat out refuse to provide you with reports, do yourself a favor and, run, don’t walk, away from them. It’s your practice, and you have the right to view and access your website’s analytics.

The Price is Too Good to Be True

Obviously you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on SEO when there are many affordable options available. But as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. If the price seems too good to be true, do some digging to make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting. Quality SEO requires detailed planning and a significant amount of time analyzing metrics and adjusting data. Don’t expect that kind of work for a dirt cheap price —  in fact it is a telling sign if an agency values its services far below the competition. If they don’t value their SEO service, neither should you.

As you do with all of your practice decisions, listen to your gut. It’s usually right! There are numerous SEO agencies available, and that number grows every day. Don’t settle for an agency that sets off Blackhat warning bells. Make sure that your agency is completely transparent with you on their SEO strategy, before your practice – and your pocketbook – suffer the consequences.

Signs It’s Time to Update Your Website

By: Melody Gandy-Bohr

Your website is your first impression in the minds of many modern patients, and you may never get another opportunity to show them the excellence of your practice. You only have a tiny window of time to convince them to stay — half of online users spend less than 15 seconds on a website. An old, outdated site can cause users to navigate away before they even get a chance to look at your services. Don’t risk losing potential patients. Instead, keep an eye out for these signs that it’s time for updated functionality and a new look.

Your Website Isn’t Responsive

According to Google, more searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries, including the US. Mobile search is dominating the Internet, and if your website isn’t properly optimized, you are losing out on a large portion of your target audience. A website that doesn’t render well on a mobile device will cause a bad user experience for visitors and damage your practice’s SEO goals. If you haven’t already, upgrade your site to a mobile-responsive design to encourage site visitors to stick around.

It Takes Forever to Load


A slow-loading website can be annoying, especially to a generation accustomed to the instant gratification that the Internet provides. This will greatly increase your bounce rate, or the percent of visitors who leave your website almost immediately, and create a negative user experience. However, your site speed could also be affecting your website ranking. Among the many factors that define its ranking algorithm, Google takes site speed into consideration. This is just one small part of Google’s algorithm, but since it can be easily fixed with an updated website, there’s no reason to hurt your own rankings by letting it go.

Your Analytics Are Terrible

The numbers don’t lie; if your website data is showing that visitors are leaving your website without engaging, an update is needed. Usually this means that your outdated content or aesthetics aren’t meeting your users’ needs. A website that isn’t converting visitors into patients is not doing its job. Take a look at your website analytics and consider an upgrade to improve conversion rates.

You Can’t Remember the Last Time You Updated

There’s no shame in being a little neglectful of your website. As a practice owner, it can be challenging to find time in your busy day to spend on your online marketing strategy. If it’s been a few years since you’ve touched your website, it’s long overdo for an update. Website design trends and SEO techniques change often, which can leave your website far behind the competition. Your practice has probably changed as well. Whether you have new staff members, services, or an additional location, you’ll no doubt have plenty to add if you want to keep your patients up to speed.

How to Build and Maintain Your Practice’s Online Reputation

By: Melody Gandy-Bohr

In a society where 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations, reputation is everything. Your practice’s success is directly tied to its online reputation. If a potential patient reads a favorable review, their trust in your practice grows, though a negative review could turn them away. Maintaining a positive reputation can be a source of anxiety for many practices, but with the right strategy, it doesn’t have to be. Follow these tips to successfully build and improve your practice’s online reputation.

Create Good Content

What do patients look for when they’re searching for a healthcare practice? For starters, a professional website that is mobile-friendly. Visitors to your website are likely to look you up on their smartphone, so make sure your website renders properly on mobile devices.

Next, make sure that your website features relevant content that is both informative and grabs the visitor’s attention. If your website doesn’t convince the visitor that your practice is what they’re looking for, they will quickly click away. It’s crucial to your online reputation that your website leaves a great first impression.

Now that you’ve made a good impression, how do you keep visitors coming back? Whether it’s regular updates to your website or to your integrated blog, generate new content on a frequent basis. Not only does this give visitors a reason to keep checking out your website, this increases engagement, which in turn increases the likelihood that those visitors will convert into patients. An improved online reputation and more patients through your door? That’s a win-win.

Post, Tweet and Share

When it comes to spreading the word about your practice, it’s not about who you know, it’s about who knows you. Your followers on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can improve your online reputation for you. Engaging with followers on social media helps promote your practice to a wider audience. Every like, comment or share from your followers will be seen by their followers in turn. Share your blog posts or new offers with followers. You’ll be surprised at the positive response from this effortless form of marketing.

Don’t forget to check back in regularly and update your social media accounts consistently. Building a strong following on social media doesn’t mean just setting up a business page. You need to engage with your followers to keep them talking about your practice. Remember, the only thing worse than having an unfavorable reputation is not having a reputation at all.


Respond to All Reviews – Not Just the Nice Ones

In an ideal world, all of your practice’s online reviews would be positive. No one wants to receive an unfavorable review, but they’re bound to happen. What matters most is how you respond.

A kind, thoughtful response shows that your practice values its patients, and prospective patients who read it will take notice. The best possible outcome of a negative review is that the reviewer is so appreciative of your response, they update their review to be more favorable.

Responding to a positive review is equally important. Positive reviews can be contagious! When a patient leaves a glowing review of your practice and you respond with a genuine ‘thank you’, another patient may moved to leave a review of their own. Before you know it, your practice’s online reputation has dramatically increased – and all it took was a ‘thank you.’

Your Online Reputation Matters

The number of consumers searching for doctors online is on the rise, so your practice’s online reputation matters more than ever. Your practice needs a strong online reputation to compete with competitors. Like Rome, your online reputation won’t be built in a day. But if you put in the necessary work on a consistent basis, you’ll get there! Engage with patients online, respond to reviews in a timely manner and, it can’t be stressed enough, be consistent.

No time for reputation management? Let Officite take it off of your plate, so you can get back to running your practice. Talk to an Officite Web Presence Advisor today to learn how we can boost your practice’s online reputation.

Emojis and Live Video: What’s Trending in Social Media

By: Melody Gandy-Bohr

The power of social media cannot be disputed! It’s the gift that keeps on giving, and it’s evolving all the time. It’s now more important than ever that your practice has a stellar social media presence to connect with patients, but it can be hard to keep track of the changes in social, from the rise of video to the ever-changing Facebook Business Pages.

A fully-formed social media presence can be the difference between a patient choosing your practice or your competitor’s practice. It’s important to stay on top of the latest trends to keep your pages from appearing outdated.

Twitter Emojis

Emojis are more than just smiley faces, they’re a marketing tool — according to Twitter, at least. The social networking service recently announced it was rolling out emoji targeting, which will let advertisers target users that tweet emojis. This means if a user tweets, retweets, likes or replies to a tweet that includes the grin emoji, it could trigger an ad for a dentist.

As strange as it may seem, emojis have quickly become a popular way to communicate, with more than 110 billion emojis used in tweets since 2014. That’s a lot of winky faces!

How Emojis Can Benefit Your Practice

If your patients have smartphones and thumbs, chances are they have used emojis at some point in their lives. Using emojis in your social media posts will show your patients that your healthcare practice is a little more outgoing and fun than your competitors. Choosing between a dull practice and a cheerful one is a no-brainer right? Emojis can help potential patients relate with your social media profile, connect with your practice’s website and bring more patients into your office.

Live Video Streaming


Twitter and Facebook, the top two social media titans, are making waves with live video streaming. While video marketing has been on the rise for some time now, the introduction of Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live is changing the way users view content. On average, people are watching about 5 hours and 31 minutes of video on digital devices every day! In a world where instant gratification is the new normal, users are demanding content as it’s happening. In a move to promote their newest feature, Facebook ranks live videos higher in user’s news feeds.

What Does Live Video Streaming Mean for Your Practice?

A recent survey shows that 44% of polled businesses lived streamed one or more videos in the last year, with 20% planning to live stream in the next year. In order to compete with other practices in your field, you need to adopt live videos as a part of your marketing strategy. They allow you to engage with users in real-time and get immediate results. Host a Q & A event or showcase your expertise on a given topic. This helps increase patient engagement and lets your posts populate higher on user’s feeds. You will also have a  greater chance of converting likes and comments into real-life patients.

Times They Are a Trendin’

Your healthcare practice’s social media profiles definitely affect your online presence. Staying abreast of the changing trends is a must in the online marketing world. Whether or not you choose to embrace these trends can make a difference in your practice’s patient growth. The only thing worse than being late to the game, is not showing up at all. Don’t risk falling behind your competitors, Officite’s social media marketing specialists are here to ensure your practice’s profiles never goes out of style!