Google Reviews

In today’s day and age, most consumers try to determine the reputation of local business, including eye care practitioners, by consulting and reading online reviews.  Google links your clients and prospects with nearby businesses, local restaurants and services and even helps them plan itineraries and events. When consumers want to connect with local health care providers, it’s not much different. Google is usually the logical first choice.

When clients want to plug into other users’ experiences, Google Reviews gives insight on how a practice might compare to another. As such, Google Reviews is, without a doubt, one of the biggest contributors in helping the average web user make a quick decision on which health care providers, including optical stores and optometric services, best suite their needs.

Google Reviews also allows users to write reviews on a business’s Google listing. Since these reviews are posted publicly, potential customers rely heavily on the experiences others have had and are willing to share.

Here are 6 key reasons why, as a practice owner, you will need to set up Google Reviews to boost your overall growth and reputation.

1. Accessibility
You’ve probably been in a situation where a quick search on Google and a glance at the Reviews section gave weight to your decision-making process. There have been times where I have decided against going to a nearby restaurant because the reviews on Google were mixed or unfavourable. Getting to this conclusion with just a quick search on my phone has also proven to be handy.  ECPs are no exception to these entrenched behaviours.

2. Getting your clients to trust you
Last year, my cat fell ill and required an emergency visit to a veterinary clinic. His usual vet was away on holiday and he required immediate treatment. My cat is a pretty big deal, so I knew it was imperative that I find a reliable service that would be worth the cost and provide him with top-notch care. A survey of the Google Reviews left on each of my city’s vet clinic pages led me to a well-reviewed veterinarian that got him the treatment he needed (and made his owner pretty happy, too).

According to BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey, 86 percent of customers check local reviews before consulting a local business. Furthermore, consumers are said to read an average of 10 online reviews before they feel like they are able to trust a business.

3. Negative feedback helps you grow
Nobody likes negative feedback when it first comes in, but it can be just as important as your positive reviews. Negative reviews are an extremely useful tool in pinpointing what you can do to make your services and online reputation better. Bad feedback can also help you track the growth of your practice and target opportunities for improvement. Who better to help you do that than your customers? Your customers might highlight the shortcomings that you may not be noticing.

4. Reviews offer another opportunity to connect with your patients
Your patients love to be heard and Google Reviews gives you a chance to thank them personally for their patronage. Since you can reply to a review, you can further showcase your exemplary service by coupling their review with an expression of gratitude. Also, Google Reviews provides the opportunity to address negative feedback. Perhaps, by replying to a negative comment, you’ll have the chance to turn a patient’s negative experience around and gain back their loyalty.

5. There are SEO benefits, too
Google Reviews also helps your practice rank higher in search results. The higher your review quantity, the higher the likelihood is that your business will land on the front page of local search results. Positive reviews will, of course, trigger more clicks through to your site and, in turn, increase your traffic. Depending on your content and calls to action, this can help you get a higher conversion rate. This also heightens your potential for ROI and increased revenue.

In all, setting up Google Reviews for your business is a quick, effective and efficient method that is completely cost-free. You will develop brand trust with your customers and leverage your ranking in Google search results.

Should you need any further help with understanding Google Reviews or building your web strategy, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

is the VP, client relations for OneLocal, based in Toronto.

As marketing budgets decrease for clinic owners, the opportunity to acquire new customers online is increasing, as that is where all potential clients are. Ever since the pandemic started, OneLocal has been working closely with clinic owners to recommend a marketing strategy that will not only sustain them through the pandemic but won’t break the bank. Get a free consultation here:


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With the economy reopening, one of the biggest questions for clinics looking to ramp up their business again is: how do I keep my customers and employees safe? And how can I get my revenue back to what it was pre-COVID? With safety being top of mind for customers now, clinic owners can remove fears entirely with physical distancing measures and hygienic practices, while simultaneously attracting new customers and boosting revenue.

A recent survey of over 1000 consumers was conducted by OneLocal and results indicated that 63% of people said they felt unsafe sitting in a waiting room with other people. What this necessitates is letting customers in one at a time. Significant costs are added to the business from having to spend salary on staff checking in clients manually and ensuring that everyone is kept safe.

In the same survey OneLocal conducted, 89% of people said they prefer checking in over their phones versus having to stay in a waiting room. So by sending out check-in forms via text message, clinic owners are able to eliminate the physical waiting room and efficiently take in customers, without having dedicated staff to manually manage how people check-in.




LocalVisits manages the check-in and payment process digitally, so face-to-face contact is minimized and customers can come to your business efficiently.


The check-in link contains customizable Surveys that can screen users for COVID-19 symptoms and can even be tailored to your health forms. When it’s safe to do so, you can let your customers know when to come in without having to clutter waiting rooms.








Lastly, the software sends a text message to handle the whole payment process, so that instead of using a point-of-sale system which comes into frequent physical contact with staff, everyone is kept physically distant during this part of the process.






The whole process is managed simply in a virtual waiting room, so the staff knows where customers are in their journey, whether it’s checking-in, booking an appointment, or collecting payment. Staff can monitor cancellations and send check-in links when the clinic is ready to take in new customers.

After you leveraged physical distancing software to ensure everyone is kept safe, the next step is to make your safety processes visible to customers. There are a handful of marketing strategies that you can pursue, but it really boils down to gearing your online presence towards safety. You can add to your homepage exactly what physical distancing practices you are using during your processes. Use keywords like “safest work practices in Toronto”  and “COVID safe clinic in Toronto” to help you rank on Google when people look for the safest clinic in your area.

Last but not least, when the payment link is sent out, you can send automated Google review requests with reputation management software. Right after the payment, the customer experience is top of mind so if you’ve done your job right, the chance of them leaving a positive review is higher then ever. Automated software like LocalReviews can prime users on their experience and ask for testimonials via the same text messaging system. When new customers search for a clinic in your area, they will see testimonials from customers who can attest to your safety measures and overall good experience.

About OneLocal

OneLocal helps thousands of small businesses across North America get more customers with a series of best-in-class and affordable marketing automation tools. As part of an effort to help restart the economy, OneLocal is currently offering many of their tools for a fraction of the price and creating new tools to help clinic owners operate more efficiently. They are a Toronto-based tech company that has been around for over 5 years and is backed by the same company that backs Airbnb.


Matthew Carnevale is the VP, client relations for OneLocal, based in Toronto.

With safety now being top of mind for clinic owners, employees, and patients, it is important that you provide an experience that makes your customers feel safe. Find out how OneLocal has been helping clinic owners implement digital check-in, contactless payment, and virtual waiting rooms through LocalVisits by filling out this form:


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At the February 2020 Transitions Academy in Orlando FL, social media expert, Davitha Ghiassi, Executive VP Social & Integration served up “10 Trends Through a 2020 Lens” and offered advice to the eye care professionals and business professionals assembled.

Here are the top ten trends to watch for in 2020.

  1. Short-lived rich media content is boomingBorn on SnapChat in 2011, limited view time content has been highjacked by all social platforms. Instagram Stories leads the way, with 64% indicating they became interested in a service or product after viewing it on Instagram Stories.
  2. Vanity metrics will vanishLow level engagement metrics e.g. “Likes” and  “viewers” will be replaced by more meaningful measures of content experience and conversion. Look for “Dwell Time” and other social experience metrics to matter more in the future.
  3. Social platforms are growing a social conscience Voluntarily or, more likely by government edicts, social platforms will need to appease the societal ills they enable.  Privacy protection, screen/life balance and cyber bullying and hate speech are among the areas that will be addressed through hiding likes, setting scrolling curfews, and banning political ads.
  4. Social commerce comes of age
    Social media has become a natural driver of brand awareness, discovery and conversion. Instagram is capturing teenagers eyes and B2B leads are dominated by LinkedIn.
  5. Multilogue messaging overtakes mainstream SM
    Brands leverage the ‘Social Learning’ feature in Groups to offer bespoke, branded educational content and courses to their community. Many to many group apps like Twitter Chats and Facebook Groups, spark more meaningful conversations versus eliciting engagement through comments on content.
  6. Pay to play is here to stay
    Digital media ad spending has now surpassed tradition media spending. In order to achieve relevant reach and real results, advertisers will have to open their wallets. Even if  you are not spending money on ad space, your competitors most likely are.
  7. Rethinking influencer marketing
    90% of business decision-makers research opinions from peers and industry experts. While there is a strong belief that online Ambassadorships are effective, proving the ROI has been a challenge.
  8. Artificial intelligence will rule the day
    AI, machine learning and cognitive computing are not just evolving but advancing the way in which people and marketers curate, create and communicate. Cognitive computing will affirm accuracy, increase efficiency and enhance experiences.
  9. The sands of search are shifting
    While SEO has always providing constantly moving goalposts, the 2020 focus will be towards on-page content that is trustworthy, authoritative of high in quality. Quality over quantity is the message.
  10. Distinction between consumers and businesses is blurred
    The lines between B2B and B2C are blurring. The strict delineation of personal and business is fading away. Marketers are adapting approaches focused on specific individuals’ needs. Think P2P (People 2 People) instead of separate domains of “consumers” and “businesses”.


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In today’s world, every optometric practice needs to have a website. While there was a time a health care practitioner could hang out a single or put an ad in the phone book and patients would find them, that has changed. Now we rely on online searches to find a business or health care provider.

In Canada, there is a 60/40 for online searches for a business. 60% of people who do a search online have a specific business name in mind before they even search (via word of mouth, a returning client, etc.). 40% of people have a need for a business or service and do not have a name in mind. They don’t even know you exist.

For that 40% of customers who don’t know you, you should be laser-focused on two things:

  1. Getting your business found where and when they’re looking, and creating ads that entice them to engage with your business.
  2. Post. Click. Conversion.These are the results that let you know how effectively you have engaged your intended audience.

For the first point, Google Adwords and Facebook ads are the most effective. These are the ads that will pop up and be displayed to the consumer when what they are searching for matches the ad and the key words you have created and paid for.

Post Click Conversion is the measure of how well your website explains what you will do for them. It evaluates how well the information on your website is meeting the needs and interest of the audience reading it.

The trick is to try displaying information in different ways in order to find what will resonate with your audience. Ask questions of your audience and encourage them to contact you. Put your phone number, contact form, and email address everywhere. Then use the results of your post click conversion analytics to evaluate what is working and what is not. If you have pages of medical information that no one is clicking into, maybe this information is irrelevant on your website. Conversely, if you find that your patients are spending a great deal of time reviewing the brand names that you carry, you may want to consider adding more information to that page.

If you truly own the responsibility of finding out what happens when people visit your website, you will have a lot more success marketing your business.


With 15+ years of marketing experience, owner of Addison Marketing Solutions and co-founder of Canada’s newest marketing agency option for Optometrists, Eric Harbottle knows what it takes to succeed in a robust and confusion digital world.

Coming from a strong background working and consulting with some of Canada’s largest marketing agencies to offering SMB solutions at the ground level with his boutique agency, Eric is able to understand the needs of every level of client with unique optimism and an experienced view as a business owner himself targeting KPI’s and goals to help every client achieve success.


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Coffee shops, grocery stores and other refresh locations update their physical locations every 3-5 years. There is a very good reason for this.  The changes indicate to their patrons that they are staying current and relevant. As humans, we are also very curious about anything new. We are compelled to investigate and see what the latest trends are.

In fact, your virtual presence also needs attention and updating. Your website is often the first time that a new patient interacts with your practice and you want to make sure that it reflects the experience that the patient will encounter if they were coming into the physical office.

Every business has a different strategy, look & feel and personality. It is important that the website reflects all of that so that the patient can be sure that it is the right fit for their needs.

The website also acts as one of your most important sales people. It is going to work for you 24 hrs per day, 365 days/year!

Now the question is, do they have the skills to sell what you do and/or offer?

Take a close and critical look at your website:

  1. Copycat – the highest form of flattery! Look at your competitions websites, see what they are doing. Find other websites in your industries in other major cities and look at what they are doing on their websites.
  2. Hire wisely. Find someone you trust in house or outsourced to be your web person. Look at their previous work and get multiple quotes!

How will you know that your updates are effective?
Conversions! Conversions are people who contact you from your website.

The TWO most important questions you want to know in regards to your website are :

  1. What is the conversion rate to contact from your website?
  2. What is your close/sold/hired/won percentage from those contact conversions?

For example :

100 people visit your website

20 Contact you via Phone/Form Submit/Email (Mix)

You are a closer and your offer and service is great, you close 10.

Your average client value to you is $700

The Answers:

  1. Website Conversion Rate : 15%  (20)
  2. Closed Sale Conversion Rate : 50% (10)

The Math:

For every 100 visitors in our example 20 contacted and 10 became closed/won business.  If it costs $5.00 per click on search to drive 100 that’s $500.00 = 10 New Clients at $700×10 = $7000.00 ROI


With 15+ years of marketing experience, owner of Addison Marketing Solutions and co-founder of Canada’s newest marketing agency option for Optometrists, Eric Harbottle knows what it takes to succeed in a robust and confusion digital world.

Coming from a strong background working and consulting with some of Canada’s largest marketing agencies to offering SMB solutions at the ground level with his boutique agency, Eric is able to understand the needs of every level of client with unique optimism and an experienced view as a business owner himself targeting KPI’s and goals to help every client achieve success.


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Website design standards? What the heck are those? Who determines them and how do they impact my practice website?

I don’t expect Optometrists to be expert web developers or coders, but there are some basic aspects of a website you need to consider when looking at your online presence. We are all consumers at heart and we all appreciate a good user experience when we travel around the web – our own practice websites should be no different.

Here are the top 7 website design aspects you need to consider for 2017.

1. Mobile:

We’ve been saying it for years now but a mobile friendly design that works across all devices is still this years number one factor. Over 65% of traffic to Optometry websites comes from mobile devices and as of March 2015, Google began actively punishing non-responsive websites moving them lower in search rankings, and positively ranking websites that are mobile friendly. To test your website use Google’s mobile testing tool.

2. SEO (Search Engine Optimization):

This helps search engines know what your website is all about, which helps your all important search ranking. Things like keywords in content, images with titles and descriptions and your proper locality information (name, address and phone number) – all are important factors to keep in mind.

3. Content Management System:

CMS’s like WordPress, Drupal etc. are powerful content publishing tools that allow you to quickly update and add content to your website without being beholden to your web designer. At the very least you should be able to add practice news or write a blog post on relevant content on your own. Google looks to see how often a website is updated and this is the easiest way to do that. If you cannot easily add content to your own website I suggest you have a serious conversation with your website designer / host.

4. Secure:

Who has access to your website? Who is responsible for the security of your website? Is it being updated frequently? Is it being backed up? Websites are being hacked and taking down all the time, you should talk to your web host to see what safeguards are in place in case disaster strikes.

5. Fast:

In 2015 it was mobile responsiveness, in 2016 it was speed and in 2017 – well get to that in a second! Speed matters, Google rewards faster sites with higher search results. According to Kissmetrics, nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds. GTmetrix has a great tool that will analyze your site. It provides you with a ton of data but one number you should pay attention to is how long the homepage takes to load, see screen shot below.


eye care website speed

6. https://

Before your eyes glaze over, 2017 is the year that Google wants the web to become more secure. Https:// provides the little green secure lock icon in the top left corner of your browser bar (in Google Chrome), see screenshot below. Google will once again reward those that make their site secure and punish those that don’t. Talk to your web host to see if they can convert your site to this new standard. A few years ago you had to pay an annual fee for this service but there are now free / opensource options available such as Let’s Encrypt 


https:// for eye care webites

7. A Clear Call To Action:

People visit your site for some pretty basic reasons such as your hours, phone number and location. Make sure these elements are easily found on each and every page of your site. Try and position a click to call or request appointment button in a prominent place. The site below has a “sticky” button that does not move as the user scrolls, making it easy to request a consultation. Click here to see it in action.


CTA button for eye care websites


In summary, user expectations and behavior  are constantly changing. As small business owners with a web presence it is our job to keep pace with that. It doesn’t mean that you need a new website each and every year, far from it. All of the above items can be added to your existing site quite easily. I encourage you to reach out to your web designer to discuss these items and look at those which can easily be added. Back in the day, the outside of your practice was super important in attracting new patients, but your website is your new storefront and it needs the same care and attention that the outside of your practice does.

Dr Jeff Goodhew Optometrist


Dr. Jeff Goodhew, OD is co-editor in chief for Canadian Eye Care Business Review, he is also part owner of Abbey Eye Care in Oakville, ON. He has special interest in web design and digital marketing.




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Custom, search engine-optimized content is crucial to the online success of your practice. In an internet survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 72 percent of participants said that they went online for health-related information in the previous year, and 77 percent of those began their search with a search engine.[1]

These statistics highlight just how important it is to rank highly on Google’s search engine results pages. Custom content is one of the most powerful ways that you can improve your online search rankings. With this in mind, how should you optimized your website content to be favoured by search engines?

The answer to that question involves implementing several search engine optimization (SEO) best practices that satisfy Google’s complex search algorithm. Recent updates to this algorithm have made custom content an increasingly important aspect of search engine optimization to focus on.

Consider the following factors when writing SEO content for your eye care practice’s website:

  1. Quality over quantity

A search engine’s main goal is to provide users with a list of website that are most relevant to what they are searching for online. Websites that lack substantial content are commonly determined to be spam and lowered in the search rankings.

However, using unnecessary filler text just to satisfy a word length goal, or posting low-quality content in order to make a certain number of blog posts each week is poor practice. In order to provide a valuable resource to visitors to your website and improve your online search rankings, aim to post consistent, informative and relevant content to your website.

  1. Keep the content useful and informative

Search engines are designed to return search results of websites that they have decided are most relevant to the user. Therefore, your audience is the most important factor to consider when you write content for your website. Who are you writing for, and what are they looking for? A simple way to answer this question is to identify if any currently trending eye care topics apply to your practice and patient population. Once you have identified topics that your patients will find interesting, you can then decide what information would be most valuable to them.

Plus, if you are still searching for some content inspiration, a Pew Research Internet survey recently revealed that the most frequently researched topics are specific diseases and conditions, treatments or procedures, and profiles of health professionals.

  1. Keep it credible

New updates to Google and Facebook give considerable weight to credibility of content as a ranking factor. Now more than ever, the internet is rife with misinformation and articles that are deliberately meant to look credible, but are, in fact, completely false. Pay particular information to the credibility of your sources when drafting custom content, and make sure that it is entirely accurate and up-to-date.

  1. Write high quality and engaging content

As search engines learn more about how internet users make decisions, they do a better job of delivering exactly what users are looking for online. Health-seekers in particular are looking for substantive websites that offer quality advice and general answers to their health related questions. Search engines understand this and take measures to keep “click-bait” (websites that offer little value and are designed solely for getting clicks) from ranking highly on search engine results pages.

Click-bait sites are usually superfluously stuffed with keywords in order to gain favourability with search engines. It is okay to use some keywords, but try to keep the focus on quality and providing engaging information.

Wrapping up

Previously, high-quality content played only a secondary role in SEO strategy. It is now one of the main ranking factors used by search engine algorithms to judge whether or not a practice website is worthy to be displayed on the first page of results. If you lack the time to write your own content for your practice website, it is instrumental to the success of your practice to entrust a professional content writer with the task. Now is the time to start focusing on the online success of your practice.


Find out how the SEO experts at iMatrix can provide professionally written content designed to drive more potential patients to your practice website and convert them into treating patients by calling 877.596.7585 or visiting us online at




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In order to stand out from competitors and build a strong patient base, it is essential that eye care practices build a solid online presence. However, practices that serve a specialty population, such as sports vision, vision therapy, low vision, or pediatrics, should take a slightly different online marketing approach than a general eye care provider. Here are three tips your specialty practice can use to build a better online presence and stand out in your niche:

  1. Think Like Your Target Audience

When developing an effective online marketing strategy, it is crucial that you understand your audience and how it differs from those seeking general eye care information. The first thing to consider is why your patients are seeking an eye care specialist. Often, the motivation to find specialist care is a recommendation made by a teacher, coach, or another general eye care professional. The second consideration is whether your marketing is targeting the patient themselves, their care givers, or other professionals that could serve as a referral source. Typically, you will find there is one audience segment that is most prevalent and your marketing content plan should be tailored to speak to the needs and wants of that group.  For instance, a vision therapist’s website would probably address the concerns of parents while offering education on symptoms and therapies, while a low vision office’s website might be geared toward patients and include more information on corrective devices.

  1. Create High-Quality, Specific Content

In many ways, content is the foundation for online success. Search engines and online users alike love original content. High-quality content tailored to your audience helps educate your prospective patients, positions you as an expert in your specialty field, and organically boosts your online rankings. When developing a content strategy, make sure your content is easy to understand, and most importantly, that you are offering enough topic-specific information to highlight your practice expertise. For example, in addition to the standard office information pages, the website of a sports vision specialist might have custom pages detailing the difference between a general eye care provider and a sports vision provider; the skills sports vision can improve; the variety of testing modalities typically used, and therapies and technologies one might encounter at the office. The sports vision emphasis could also be carried through to the website’s images, special offers, and blog content.

A social media best practices guideline suggests 80 percent of what you post should be sharable, interesting, and not self-serving; the other 20 percent can be about you – or your business (think special offers, announcements, photos). The purpose of this ratio is to diversify your social media content in order to better engage with followers. It also encourages you to look to outside sources for shareable content.  Using the 80/20 rule, the majority of your social media content should be shared from other online authority sources that align with your specialty.  While you probably do not want to share content from a competitor, you can look to organizations, journals, university studies, product demo videos, inspirational or funny memes, and statistics to source content that keeps your social media pages active, interesting, and in-tune with your niche offerings.

  1. Optimize Your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Strategy

PPC advertising is a fast-acting marketing tool that brings in impressive results. It specifically targets only local and interested patients who are looking for a specialty practice such as yours online. However, since there is a cost-per-click (CPC) that comes out of your budget each time an online user clicks on your ad, it’s important that each lead is promising.

In order to drive down CPC, consider including specific, long-tail keywords as opposed to solely bidding on generic, short keywords that already have heavy competition among general and specialty practices alike. For instance, the phrase, “where can I find a pediatric eye doctor” or “kids eye doctor open now near me” captures searches with specific, conversational queries. While you can still bid on general keyword terms such as “pediatric eye doctor” and “Greenfield Park kid’s eye doctor,” by including long-tail keywords, you are able to capture the market on those specific keywords at a lower CPC.

When it comes to developing a strong online presence for your specialty practice, one must consider who the website is trying to attract and design the content and ads to appeal to that group. Taking the time to research your audience, craft compelling and original content, and optimize your advertising efforts will help boost your website’s visibility and attract more, new patients.



Content Specialist with iMatrix

Amanda Navarrete is a content specialist with iMatrix, the leader in vision care website and marketing solutions. For a free, one-on-one website consultation with an iMatrix Internet marketing expert and to get a special Optik reader promotion, call 877.596.7585 or visit



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