Posted on August 1, 2009

How SEO Companies Mess Up Great Ophthalmology and LASIK Website Designs

One of the most under-rated components of an eye care website these days is the actual design. Nowadays, you have the yellow pages saying they do optimization and search engine marketing. You also have paid search companies not using the word SEO correctly and just doing simple SEM. We thought it was complicated when LASIK directories were saying that was SEO. If you are practice ophthalmology administrator or LASIK eye surgery coordinator how do you really even know what SEO is? You have many other issues to deal with throughout the day other than marketing and even Internet marketing. How do you start to make sense of all of this?

The ophthalmology website breakdown: MY LASIK website story

Many ophthalmology practices start out with very nice websites. Then the tinkering begins and certain elements of the medical website design and programming get delegated to so called experts or gurus. The main issue in the breakdown process starts here. An SEO expert begins do his SEO “magic”. In the process nice graphics and wow factor design aspects get tossed aside because that is not of the concern of the SEO person. The SEO person has been challenged to get the practice on the first page for Dallas LASIK and this is what matters the most. After littering the homepage with useless keyword text and links we have something the expert calls SEO. The website starts to climb up the latter and gets on the page one. Naturally, the practice is thrilled and is excited to be on page one. The traffic increases and things are looking good. All of a sudden the practice is disappointed that the leads have not gone up. They assumed that because the SEO company got them on page one they would get many leads. After reviewing the website they learned that they design quality has gone down, their bounce rate has gone up and there is nothing exciting or compelling about their website. What now….

The sad reality is most LASIK and ophthalmology websites actually sit in this state right now. So what can practices do to fix this problem?

Internet marketing actually has a lot in common with traditional marketing. Things like consistency and brand identity were developed and nurtured over the years because they work. Some LASIK marketing companies might say branding is impossible but guess what…. We have brands and they do very well! I must say that Vance Thompson Vision in Sioux Falls South Dakota is one of these practices that have beat the odds and actually created a brand that people know in 4 states. They have the complete picture well under control and at the heart of their success is consistency of message, advertising, style, wow factor, and an overall experience to remember.

When you mix in too many elements to the website design, Internet marketing and LASIK consulting you get BUSY SOUP. When everyone has a say in the matter you get a tiny aspect of that person’s opinion. Because humans are logically polite, people feel it is fair to include everyone. But does this make the best website design and get more leads? I find this situation to be very familiar in other forms of art and music. In art and music, a democracy does not always guarantee brilliance. Sometimes the focus of ONE artist can shine above a mix or soup of artistic ideas. In music, I can think of many examples that highlight this point. The 1990’s rock band, Smashing Pumpkins, were completely dominated by songwriter Billy Corgan. This is a widely known fact if you know anything about the band. The point here is that they made it BIG. They had hit songs and achieved credibility amongst musicians and art critics all over. They actually worked on the vision of Billy Corgan because it was right, it was focused, and it rocked…He did not ask for contributions, he did not open his doors to take advice on the matter. He simply followed a vision and was rewarded for that approach. Guess what happened to the bands that made soup during theses days? You never even found them…or heard of them or had any opportunity to know them. If there was a speck of brilliance, the soup overpowered it.

When seeking the methodology for winning at LASIK Internet marketing at the heart of the matter is FOCUS and CONSISTENCY with great design. Of course there are many things that need attention like LASIK website content, and call to action and other marketing things but all this is a mute point if the website looks old or bad.

LASIK web marketing things to avoid

  1. Hiring an SEO company that cannot work with your design team. First of all getting one company to handle the whole project typically works best and there are many good companies doing this already!
  2. Thinking that poorly designed call to action will help. If the call to action created looks bad guess what. It ruins the CONSISTENCY and affects the whole psychological approach of the design.
  3. Letting a Yellow Pages company do SEO. Most yellow pages companies consider SEO to be giving you some links. I find this personally insulting but I need to remind myself that this is ignorance at work. Although we all know links are important and should be a part of everyone’s work on the website.
  4. Hiring a family member to design your website unless it is Bill Gates or Steve Jobs and friends. If getting leads and having a beautiful website could mean the difference in many surgeries keep this project on the professional level. I have seen many people aggravated, hurt and money lost due to decisions to grant website design to family members. It is simply not worth the damage that can be done.
  5. Responding to SEO spam email companies. Trusting spam is a waste of time. Emails coming from people claiming to do SEO are typically a bad idea.

Please feel free to submit any opinions, counter arguments or general comments. Commentary provided by Michael Dobkowski of Glacial Multimedia Inc.