Can Templates Solve Your Problems?

Posted by barbarahales

Starting out in any field is much easier when there are templates to fall back on.  Think of residents doing surgery for the first year.  They know how to execute the surgery and the operation was a success, but now that it's over, it's dictation time for the chart- not to be looked at lightly.  As a physician, you know that there will be a lot of eyes looking at the dictation in the future...additional healthcare providers, hospitals, insurance companies and possible lawyers looking to see if any results in healing can be tied back to what you did in the OR.  Templates that go through the surgery with you is a big help and a bigger relief.

So, it is with providing content for your website, your email newsletters and your blogs.

Check out the following posting from Litmus.

 Templates Are Lifesavers To Non-Coders

I know, I know, it's on my list: I don't know how to code. Not even a little bit. So I was understandably nervous to log in to our coding editor, since it's a little intimidating—if I messed something up by accident, how would I fix it?

Um, what?

Um, what?

Enter: the template. Litmus has a great selection of free templates you can download, and like most email marketers, we use templates to send our weekly newsletters. Doing so keeps our branding, message, and content consistent and expected.

Not needing to code everything definitely helped the process along. Even for those who can code, having the design ready to go can significantly streamline the process. That doesn't leave you off the hook—you still have to test—but I was able to draft and test this email in a matter of hours, instead of going through a 5-day coding bootcamp before even touching Litmus Builder.

 Details, Details, Details

Log onto Litmus and check it out.  They may have a template just for you!
Let me know if this was a help for you.  Contact me at:

Nancy Grace and Murder

Posted by barbarahales

Barbara Hales, M.D. and Nancy Grace

The following is taken from the HLN TV website which she so graciously relayed to us today.

Nancy Grace is television’s only justice themed/interview/debate show, designed for viewers interested in breaking crime news. Grace challenges guests on the most high profile legal issues by drawing her perspective as a former violent crimes prosecutor, a crime victim herself and tireless advocate for victim’s rights.

An outspoken, tireless advocate for victims’ rights and one of television's most respected legal analysts, Nancy Grace is the powerful force behind HLN’s top-rated program, Nancy Grace. The tragic murder of her then-fiancé, Keith Griffin, led Grace to drop her studies in Shakespearean literature and pursue a career fighting crime. A Law Review graduate of Mercer Law School, Nancy attained her LLM in constitutional and criminal law from New York University. Grace went on to teach at Georgia State university, working nights volunteering at a battered women's shelter. Grace, serving 10 years as a special prosecutor for the Atlanta Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in inner city Atlanta, specializing in violent crime, today works with multiple organizations to fight crime, especially crimes on children.

Supporting Nancy Grace is also supporting her cause- National Association of Missing and exploited children which she so fervently and tirelessly works for.

Murder in the Courthouse: A Hailey Dean Mystery

Hailey Dean is in trouble again—and this time it could be deadly!

Hailey Dean, the prosecutor who never lost a case, heads to Savannah as an expert witness on the sensational Julie Love-Adams murder trial, but she soon finds herself embroiled in a mystery . . . and an unexpected love affair.

At the baggage claim, Hailey is greeted by the handsome Lieutenant Chase Billings. On their way to her hotel, they hear an APB for a murder that has just been committed. When they race to the scene, they find Alton Turner, a courthouse sheriff known for being as neat as a pin. Only he’s a hot mess now, lying sprawled in a pool of blood, severed in half by a garage door.

Hailey, never one to mind her own business, jump-starts Turner’s murder investigation while juggling the Julie Love trial. The timing of the trial and murder could be a coincidence, but everyone knows there is no such thing as coincidence in criminal law!

Next, Elle Odom, a gorgeous court clerk, is poisoned at the courthouse cafeteria coffee bar. Then, the police tech who helps find Elle’s missing handbag (stuffed with her life-saving Epi-pen) turns into alligator bait at an amusement park ... and that’s just the beginning.

With Lt. Billings falling hard for Hailey, she digs deeper to find a killer with a very mysterious agenda . . . knowing full well the next murder victim may very well be herself.

It's crime sleuth Hailey Dean at her best!

Get it at Amazon in either hard copy or kindle version.  Not only is it a good read but you will also be helping out her cause of National


I strongly recommend that you do yourself (and her caues) a favor and purchase this book today!

3 Ways to Engage Your Patients and Referrals

Posted by barbarahales


Patients and referrals are no longer satisfied with being "talked at" or "talked to".  They want to be interact with you.  Professionals who understand how to incorporate these new techniques into their practice will be much more successful in growing their practice and strengthening their brand.  Here are 3 ways to do it.

1) Virtual reality

Virtual reality promises a new level of immersion. It has been used by plastic surgeons for several years.  Patients can select the type of nose, chin or facial features they would like in cosmetic surgery and the screen shows them how they would look. The potential is expanded now and with a mere click, patients can take tours of your office, the hospital, the surgery suite.  They will be able to "live" through a surgery being done and the postoperative care so they know what to expect. There’s no better way to allow your patients to experience your brand from afar than by 360-degree virtual reality content.

2) Live streaming video

Today’s brands are expected to have a 24-hour online presence. As internet speeds get faster, video marketing has evolved into a huge niche. That shouldn’t come as any surprise considering that YouTube is now the third most popular website in the world. (You are using YouTube, aren't you?!)

Live streaming video presents the natural extension of regular video marketing because it offers ever greater opportunities, including the ability to make meaningful connections with your patients through more real-time, conversational approaches than is otherwise possible. Consider doing short videos of your office procedures or about medical devices in your office.

3) Interactive media

Interactive content has become an important marketing tool.  Successful content marketers are leveraging the potential of interactive content, such as games and quizzes, to get their target audiences meaningfully involved. Consider a presentation and having patients guess what the diagnosis is or what should be done next.

Of course, it might not suit every type of practice, but there’s no doubt that web-based games and other interactive content have become a serious business.

Evaluate the current trends in this fast-moving industry and see which ones you can implement into your digital marketing for this year.  You can breathe new life into an aging content marketing strategy by taking a fresh perspective on your content formats.

Need help with your marketing.  Give us a call at 561-325-9664 and we can discuss your needs.


Why Most Medical Practices Don’t Invest in SEO

Posted by barbarahales

Top 4 Reasons Why Most Medical Practices Don’t Invest in SEO  



Physicians still don't get that they need health marketing and content marketing.  With trying to master electronic health records and digital systems, spending more time on the computer is probably one of the last things on their to-do list. The thing is, they are settling for pages 3, 4, 5, or higher in Google’s search rankings.  In other words, they are depending on referrals from insurance companies without thought to prospective patients searching online for their new doctors.

But with the medical system reimbursement teetering on the brink of complete change after the November presidential elections, medical marketing will become more of a necessity to stand out from the competition to grow the practice. ( or watch it wither away)

Here’s the thing…


According to DMR Stats, every month, Google registers more than 100 billion search queries and over 50% of those searches come from smartphones with people likely looking for services, and that includes healthcare.  Local SEO is one of the hottest trends in marketing.   It’s also just one of many examples of how your practice could benefit from a good SEO marketing plan.

The 4 Excuses NOT to use SEO (search engine optimization of their website)


Reason #1: "My website is constructed by Yelp or the Insurance Company"

The first mistake is not having total control over the content of your website.  You are leaving content to a third party who has no vested interest in you.  If you discontinue participation in the insurance plan, your website will disappear over night.  Invest in strengthening your position in hyper-local searches by fleshing out your website, registering with online review sites and getting active on social media. Generate content that is relevant to your city, your district, your neighborhood and most importantly content that is in sync with the services that you provide.   Establish a social media presence and engage local residents directly.

Reason #2: “SEO professionals cost too much.”

Quality SEO professionals don’t work for free. However, you get what you pay for, which is why you should leave it to the professionals instead of trying to do it yourself.   Investing in SEO services can be extremely challenging  because you're not guaranteed to get tangible results.

If you select the right company (I may be a little biased on who is the best),  sound strategies will help you see results.  SEO companies will expand your website and make sure it performs optimally for your target market. They’ll create high-quality content for your various online channels. They’ll make sure you’re registered in all the local search directories, and they’ll research all the ways you might attract new patients online. And, as a result, you’re likely to see a rise in your Google search rankings.

If you absolutely can’t afford to hire an SEO professional, then there’s plenty you can do on your own to capitalize on local search traffic. Check out how to optimize your site in "Content Copy Made Easy" which you can access through  It’s better to do something to improve your SEO strategy than nothing at all.







Reason #3: “I don't have time to keep up”

It’s definitely true that keeping up with the latest SEO trends requires a lot of work. There’s an old adage among SEO marketers that “content is king.”A good website that’s packed with relevant, valuable content – which could take the form of products, images, videos, blog posts and more – is absolutely essential for earning the best-possible page rankings. So is having a sensible site map structure with pages that have unique and logical themes.

You must also make efforts to engage others online and encourage people to link to your site. And, of course, making sure your site functions properly in all kinds of Web browsers – which now also includes mobile browsers – is extremely important.  Consider  gradual shifts over longer periods of time.

Reason #4: “I don’t know where to begin.”

You want to strengthen your website’s SEO, but you don’t even know where to start. This is common.   SEO campaigns take time to deliver their desired results.

Focus on your website. Make sure it works on desktop and mobile devices and with all kinds of Web browsers.  Then, work on your content. Each page of your website should be uniquely themed with both focused and long-tailed keywords.

Next, register your website with Google My Business and all the major online review sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List. Make a company Facebook page and, at the very least, update it weekly by sharing relevant news, trends, and special offers. Publish a blog on your website that you share on social media. The most user-friendly one is  Add this to your website so that with each post, you are adding content to the website itself.

Need Help with Marketing?

We can manage your search engine optimization (SEO).  Call 561-325-9664 and we can discuss your needs and get you going!





Take precautions!

Posted by barbarahales

While hunkering down with shutters closed, a pile of batteries and mound of bottled water, I think of those who have not evacuated and maybe should have or don't have the choice. While moving about like a troglodyte, I'm hoping that all the precautions that everyone has taken in the anticipation of "Mathew"the uninvited intruder, is enough.

The governor of Florida has informed us that we will be losing electric but it is the least inconvenience if all lives are saved. Warning systems have been well placed and given us all plenty of notice.  Kudos to those in charge.

Beach erosion is already taking place with 9 foot swells expected along the coast. Those near Port St. Lucie are lining up for sandbags to protect their property. Air b&bs are offering accommodations on the west coast of Florida for free which is a wonderful deed.  Costco suspended membership requirements to allow those who need last minute items to get them.  Challenges often bring out the best in people.  It's heartwarming to see.

My heart goes out to everyone experiencing a hardship.  Good luck to us all!

Consider Doing this to Grow Your Practice

Posted by barbarahales

As healthcare professionals, we are frequently called upon to give talks, many times without much notice for preparation.  You would think that because we present all the time, we would have the confidence to speak off-the-cuff, especially since we are so familiar with the subject matter.

We all should strongly consider to grow the medical practice and get more prospective patients.  Relax; there is a strategy to eliminate the pain of anxiety.

10 Strategic Steps

1) Know Your Crowd

Who will be in the audience when you give your talk.  Find out the demographics (age, gender, interests) from the person or company who has arranged for you to give the presentation. Doing your homework ahead of time will enable you to relate or engage them better.

2)What's your point?

Pick three points that you would like to convey for your message.


Open your talk with a story that elicits emotions, whether it be fear, hope, anger, love.  Be cautious about starting with jokes.  They can fall flat, setting a poor tone for the rest of the talk.  Worse yet, humor can be culturally or ethnically affected and what you may find funny, others may find offensive. Once you have engaged the audience, they will be more receptive to hearing your message.

4)Tell them What You are going to tell them

Inform your audience what three points you will be telling them and what you hope they will learn by listening to your talk.


Illustrate each of the three points with a story.  The story can be a personal one that people can relate to or a case study.  Think about patients you have had that have been helped by the point that you are making. If the talk is expected to take longer, simply add another story or illustration to support your point and is in sync with your message and brand.


In starting your close, summarize the key points that you have conveyed in your talk.  People remember the takeaway message. Presenting it as a problem with your points as a solution, stress the importance of these points.

7)Call to Action

Make sure that you have added a clear, concise action that you want the audience to take such as:

  • Sign up for newsletter
  • Email to get copy of slides
  • Call office for appointment
  • Download my free report

8) Record Yourself

Practice your talk so that you are familiar with it.  Your talk should flow naturally and not be one where you must depend on your notes.  You want to give the perception that you know what you are talking about and that you didn't do research in order to talk about the topics you are presenting. Make a video of you talking, and view that video.  Do you need to have voice inflections in a particular spot?  Do you need to improve your eye contact?  These and many other actions can be picked up when you review the video.

9) Know your surroundings

Come early to the venue so that you are familiar with the venue where you will be giving the talk.  Get comfortable with the platform. Test the equipment.  If you need another speaker, audio equipment, screen, or podium, you will be able to make your requests before your talk so that everything works smoothly once you start the actual talk.

10) Come prepared

Make sure that you have a stack of business cards and brochures so that when the audience wants to reach you, learn more about you and make those appointments, you are making it easy for them to do so!

For more tips, sign up in the box at the top left of this page.  This way, you will not miss anything of value to you.  See you at the next post!

9 Steps to Promote Yourself as a Medical Speaker

Posted by barbarahales

Sure, as physicians we spread our message and explain medical issues all day long.  You'd think that getting up and speaking about a medical issue with a room full of prospective patients would be a no brainer.

This, however, would be a grave mistake.

In order to be a great speaker, planning is required.  The talk can convey only one main message to avoid confusion with a well-constructed beginning, middle and end.

9 Steps

  1. Hone in on only 3-4 related ideas.  Tell a story that conveys the message in a way that people can related.  Hearing stories, especially ones that evoke emotion, not only engage the listener but make the talk memorable. Long after people forget the statistics or facts, they will remember the stories that you have told.
  2. Speak in terms and words that the average person can understand.  Don't spout off "medicalese" to sound impressive.  If the audience cannot understand what you are saying, they will not only miss what you are trying to say, they will totally tune out.  Your impression will be one of a pompous, arrogant person instead of a nurturing, empathetic person who is trying to explain treatment options to the public.
  3. Leave out the acronyms.  These may be second nature to you but not everyone understands the abbreviations and acronyms that are bandied about in the health community.
  4. Don't speak in a monotone.  Relating stories to get your point across will enable you to be animated and emotional about your topic
  5. Speak loudly and don't mumble.  If people can't hear or understand, the only sound in the room will be those who are snoring in the audience.
  6. Look people in the eye.  Your viewing audience wants to feel that you are there for them and feeling what you are saying.
  7. Use hand gestures when appropriate
  8. Enable your audience to ask questions.  When they engage with you and receive solutions for the problems that they are seeking, they will want to hear you time and again or want to make an appointment with you at your office.
  9. Don't forget to include a call to action.  This is one of the most important aspects of the speech.  Examples of this would be:
  •                     Send me an email to request a copy of the slides presented at this talk.
  •                     Call my office to make an appointment
  •                     Sign up for my newsletter
  •                     If your organization needs a speaker, contact me for bookings

Sign up in the box at the top left corner of this page to get more helpful strategies.  See you at the next Post!

What’s Your Click through rate (CTR) and Why you should care!

Posted by barbarahales

Click through rates, just like keywords, metatags and links are important in garnering a higher rank for your health/medical website by search engines and is prominent in their algorithms.  It refers to the ratio of people who click a link against the total number of people who had the opportunity to do so.   Google uses CTR as an important determining factor when it calculates the “Quality Score” of a website.


To boost your organic CTR you need to use SEO tools and techniques. With the proper techniques,  your website will be ensured more online visibility and increased click through rate. Patients looking for your specific services can find you easily.

Following are some tips to increase your CTR.

  • Using relevant content to help viewers understand the flow of your website and also makes it easy for them to find what they are searching for.
  • Structured snippets
  • Make sure to have a Call to action button. This  will improve conversion rates and increase user interaction.
  • A relevant website URL with keyword incorporated is important for any website to rank high.
  • Use the right keywords. It helps connect searchers to your website and improves your visibility.
  • Use a title with relevant keywords to boost your CTR quickly.
  • Implement a  good Meta description ( concise explanations of the contents of online pages.) It should have a compelling description.
  • Sitelinks are powerful way to dominate the SERPs, increase trust and direct targeted traffic to your site’s internal pages. For acquiring site links, maintaining a clean and clear navigation is also important.

Need help with your click through rates?  Outsource it.

New Twitter for Health- 7 Changes You Should Know About

Posted by barbarahales

Do you think that your patients and prospective patients don't use Twitter?

Dr. Oz has 3,866,400 Followers on Twitter. These are the same people that would follow you if you were interesting and active on Twitter.  Many of these would want more of you in the way of scheduling appointments to hear what you have to say.


The Doctors TV show has 371 thousand followers.  How many of these do you think you'd need?  A mere fraction would keep you busy in your practice and community for years.  The thing is, they do put in the work.  They have 11.7 thousand tweets.

Have you downloaded the Twitter app?  Having it on the phone allows you the convenience of tweeting wherever you are instead of being tied to your laptop or desktop computers.

Are you familiar with the new revamped Twitter?




7 Changes you should know about

  1. Badge of Honor: You can now get a "verified badge for your twitter site.  This means that your account has been verified and identifies the account as authentic and legitimate. The reason behind this according to Twitter is to "help more people find great, high-quality accounts to follow".  Would you like to be one of them?
  2. Seconds: Twitter allows you to upload videos for more than 140 seconds.  This will enable you to post preoperative and postoperative videos as well as the surgeries themselves or techniques that you perform.
  3. Characters: Photos, videos and surveys don't count in the 140 character restriction.  That includes @mentions in replies.
  4. Retweets: We all know that the lifespan of a tweet can be 8 seconds.  Now, you can retweet yourself.  Previously, you could only retweet other people.  Now you can add quotes, add to tweets that you have posted in the past or simply bring your old tweet to the forefront again.
  5. Easy Connections:An icon has been added in the right corner of contacts that looks like a figure with a plus sign in a rectangle.  Pressing this will enable you to connect to that contact immediately. Twitter will also suggest accounts you may want to follow, based on your interests and popular accounts in your local area.
  6. Direct messages: You can go from tweets directly into private chats by clicking on the message or via direct message button.
  7. Images: Tweets with images get many more clicks and retweets. Don't have any?  You can now search the GIF library when you are creating a tweet.  There are more than 100 million GIFs that are shared on twitter.

Get started on Twitter if you haven't done so already.  I don't mean the old way.  Become interesting and "picturesque".  Need help?  Give me a call at 516-647-3002 and we can get started!

What Content marketing can do for you, the Physician

Posted by barbarahales

People do business with those that they "know, like and trust".  It is the same for patients seeking care from physicians.  While you may not be able to know everyone in the community before that first encounter, prospective patients feel that they do know you, trust and like you.

How can that be?

Simple...through the internet.  You are active online, aren't you?  Oops...did I hit a sensitive nerve for you?

Content marketing provides an avenue for people to connect with you, get acquainted and chat with you.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, an online resource for information on all things content marketing is defined the following way:

"Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action."

Content marketing is a way to attract new patients to grow your practice and keep your current ones, not only wanting to return but also referring their friends and family to you as well by raving about you and your practice.

What Content Marketing Does For You

If getting new patients is not enough, it also enables you to:

  1. Listen-  find out what the needs and interests are of patients in the community.  Rather than simply promoting yourself, find out what patients are really interested in.  You can be that person for them. Learning about your target market gives you an advantage over your colleagues and competition in the field.
  2. Be a thought leader- Share ideas with your fans and provide solutions for them to problems they are struggling with. These thoughts you share, will be shared with others.  Going "viral"  is a dream come true for most people. It spotlights you and strengthens your brand.
  3. Drive traffic- engaging your viewers not only builds awareness and increases search engine rankings, it brings traffic to you and your website.  This is free as opposed to advertising and spending a lot in your budget.

Publishing information that is relevant to the public and interesting has the power to engage patients. It is crucial to keep in mind however, that the relevant and interesting content should be that which is in line with your services and skills.  Choose topics that you are an expert in.  This will influence their decision to select you as their physician and help encourage referrals from them as well.

Interested in learning more about this topic?  Sign up in the box at the top left corner of this screen so that you don't miss tips as them come out.  See you at the next post!