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"You have turned my life around"
 

I am 87 years old, with a problem of the prostate gland. Before I met Dr. Baum, I went to the bathroom every 30-60 minutes. After Dr. Baum's treatment on my prostate, I go only 5 times per day and only 1 time at night! You turned my life around. I am so very grateful!

-Sidney Daigle


I want to thank you for your due diligence. You saved my life. I highly recommend you!

-Dwight Bastian


Thank you Dr. Baum! Because of you I'm back in the "rodeo"!

-Gerald Wallace

 


Search Engine Savvy Doctors, Start Your Engines Energize Your Practice-Use Search Engines

Every owner or developer of a web site dreams of attracting visitors from far away lands and places. Anyone who has discussed marketing on the Internet has heard those apocryphal stories about receiving patients who first learned about their practice from their web page and then passed dozens and even hundreds of urologists on their way to your office. Is this a fairy tale or can it really happen? The answer is yes and you can do it, if you know about search engines. This article will describe the purpose of search engines and how to use them to increase the traffic to your site.

In this day and age, a growing number of patients have turned to the Internet to provide resources on topics from newspaper articles to toys and clothes, and now, even medical care. But you have already created an extensive website that promotes you and your practice. You must be keeping up with the times (even if you hired your daughter's best friend to make your website)! So you're all set, right? Wrong! After all, how can anyone who doesn't already know about you find your impressive site? Enter the world of search engines, of course.

Now how do you, a physician of the 2000's, with a medical background of the pre-Internet days, keep up with this growing trend of technological marketing? No one taught you about search engines in medical school! But it's easy to learn to do yourself if you are technologically inclined or have someone in your office do it for you.

Search engines will allow you to bring in visitors who are interested in what your website has to offer. Search engine traffic is "qualified traffic". The visitors to your site have shown a need for your urologic services and now you need to provide them a reason to make an appointment with your office. With an informative and engaging website, you can certainly attract new patients to your practice.

In order to attract patients to your website, you must design your website around certain keywords. It is these keywords that patients will use to find your site. Consider the words that you would like to use to target people to your services and then develop your content around these words. For my website, my keywords may be urologist, Viagra, New Orleans, impotence, erectile dysfunction, prostate and cancer. These are the most common words I feel patients will search for when trying to seek my medical attention.

After you have determined the keywords that best suit you and your practice, set up the pages for your submission with Meta Tags. Meta Tags are the single most important method of getting your Web site recognized. You should never submit your Web pages to a search engine before inserting Meta Tags on every page. Meta Tags are found in the "" section of the HTML document, usually right after the "Title" tag. For the do-it-yourselfers, consider looking at another medical Web site and look at their source code which contains their Meta Tags. You can easily do this by right-clicking on the page and selecting View Source. I suggest printing these pages and then studying the Meta Tags the other sites used for their Web sites.

When looking for a specific product, service, or information, you type in a word or words into the search engine that coincide with what you wish to locate. The computer will then bring up lists of articles or websites that best correspond with your request. The keywords you have chosen will allow the contents of your page to match the searches entered by users. If you create a good, relevant match, your site will appear at the top of the search engine and increase the chances of attracting visitors to your Web site. Designing your page content to use key words that you want users to identify you and your practice will improve your chances of ranking high in the search engine results.

Usually, the search engine will also supply the visitor with a short description of the articles that match the keywords they are seeking. The short description will draw them into one specific article or site over the other articles and sites listed.

Without a description tag, the engine may create it's own description using the first few words of text found on the page which will probably not be the most enticing description to draw people into your website. For example if this were the first article on my web page the engine might use the words "Every owner or developer" which will not be very effective in locating the best visitors to my page. You will draw users into you site if you have a description tag that stands out in the search engine results.

The title of your article also is important in creating attention to your Web site. You must be certain that the title you use includes some important key words that get your site recognized. The title also helps determine ranking and you want to use as many keywords as possible. If your article is about treatment for prostate cancer you want to be as specific as possible. For example, the title "Management of Urologic Malignancies" will not be as effective as "Prostate Cancer Treatment With Surgery or Radiation."

You will have the most success with search engines if you submit your site to all of the most popular search engines. Many search engines supply results to each other. This cross-pollination of results will help you get listed in many engines, but you must make sure you submit your site to all of the most commonly used engines. The most important and frequently visited search engines and their addresses include (in no particular order) Yahoo, AltaVista, Google, Excite, Lycos, Open Directory Project, HotBot, and LookSmart.

In order to submit to a search engine, you must log on to that particular engine and find their submit page. This page will provide the directions for submission requirements. This is shown as a link called "Add URL," usually found at the bottom of the main page. For directories, the "Add URL" link is usually located in the category that is most relevant to submission. When submitting to directories you need to find the most appropriate category to the site you're submitting and add it there. For example. If you want to submit an article on treatment of prostate cancer with brachytherapy to Open Directory Project directory , (http://.dmoz.org ), you would submit to the following category: Health: Cancer: Prostate: Treatment: and Brachytherapy. The submission would be http://dmoz.org/Health/Cancer/Treatment/Brachytherapy. Finally, click on the Add URL link found on the category page.

This can easily be a do-it-yourself project if you already have a website and some time to submit your site to the search engines. There are several Meta Tag generators that will assist in the automation of your search engine creation. One of the easiest to use is Webmaster Techniques Website (www.webmastertechniques.com). However, if you do not have the time, or still do not feel comfortable doing this yourself, you can easily hire someone like a college student who majors in computer sciences as heshe has grown up with computers and is probably familiar with creating a website and the search engine submission process. They are usually happy to earn a little extra money and would appreciate the experience.

This is usually not an expensive undertaking. In fact, only a few engines charge anything for their services. Yahoo! Business Express and LookSmart Express Listings charge a nominal fee. GoTo.com has a bidding process for the top positions where you bid the amount you are willing to pay per visit to your site and then you are charged accordingly. However, other than GoTo.com, other search engines are completely free, except for the time you invest and perhaps the expense of hired help. Nonetheless, when you consider these small expenses and compare them to the potential benefits of the patients you may never have attracted, the net profits are tremendous!

Urologists do not need to accept the label as "technologically challenged" and use it as an excuse to keep their practice constrained by the fear of the Internet. Instead, embrace the awesome possibilities of Internet marketing and watch your practice explode with new recognition and new patients.