World Domination Summit Recap – The Designed Life

world domination summit recap

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of everyday life and lose track of whats important. There is always something to work on, and someone that needs your attention. But if we never focus on our own long term goals we’re constantly stressed out and worn down.

The World Domination Summit is the perfect cure for the stressed out and overworked. Each year over 2500 entrepreneurs, bloggers, and digital nomads meet in Portland, Oregon to help change the world. Everyone is happy to help and inspire one another, and it is a great way to meet like minded individuals.

This was my first year attending WDS and it was amazing. I met so many interesting people and had a lot of great conversations. As a way to give back to the WDS community I’ve decided to compile as much useful information about the conference as possible.

Table of Contents

Highlights and Quotes
Speaker and WDS Resources
World Domination Summit Recap

Highlights and Quotes

There were so many noteworthy and inspiring moments at WDS. To best capture these moments I have created and compiled the following images. Feel free to use any of the images I created. Some images are from other people, ask them before using them.
I-always-wondered-why-somebody-didnt-do-something-about-that-then-I-realized-I-am-somebody

your-life-is-a-gift-design-it-michael-hyatt

great-people-do-things-before-they-are-ready-amy-poehler

you-can-do-anything-you-want-david-allen-quote

leap-and-the-net-will-appear-john-burroughs

the-only-way-to-move-through-fear-jaddah-sellner-quote

i-get-up-every-morning-e-b-white

its-easier-to-act-your-way-aj-jacobs-quote

my-body-is-not-a-democracy
“My Body is Not a Democracy” Photo Credit Teafly

Speaker and WDS Resources

AJ Jacobs

A.J. Jacobs is an author, journalist, lecturer and human guinea pig. He has written four New York Times bestsellers that combine memoir, science, humor and a dash of self-help.

Jadah Sellner

I’m Jadah, and I help you change the world with your big idea by showing you how to combine the power of strategic, authentic marketing with a soul-changing tribe so that you can have a business and life that is truly aligned. The community you build, the people you serve, and the dreams you make… matter.

Gavin Aung Than

Gavin Aung Than is a freelance cartoonist based in Melbourne, Australia. After working in the corporate graphic design industry for 8 years he quit his unfulfilling job at the end of 2011 to focus on his true passion, drawing cartoons. Gavin launched Zen Pencils at the start of 2012, a cartoon blog which adapts inspirational quotes into comic stories, and hasn’t looked back since.

Sarah Lewis

Bestselling author and art historian, Sarah Lewis has served on President Barack Obama’s Arts Policy Committee, been selected for Oprah’s “Power List,” and is a faculty member at Yale University, School of Art in the MFA program. In the fall of 2014, she will be at Harvard University as a Du Bois Fellow.

Michael Hyatt

I am the author of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (Thomas Nelson). It is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller. Recently, Forbes magazine named me one of the “Top 10 Online Marketing Experts To Follow In 2014.”

Saki Mafundikwa

Saki Mafundikwa is a maverick visionary who left a successful design career in New York to return to his native Zimbabwe and open that country’s first school of graphic design and new media. Mafundikwa is the author of Afrikan Alphabets, a comprehensive review of African writing systems. He has participated in exhibitions and workshops around the world, contributed to a variety of publications and lectured about the globalization of design and the African aesthetic.

John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and best selling author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine, and The Referral Engine. He is the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing System and Duct Tape Marketing Consulting Network that trains and licenses small business marketing consultants around the world. He frequently consults with small and mid-sized businesses helping them create marketing plans and organized marketing systems that smooth the way for steady growth.

Scott Berkun

Scott Berkun is the bestselling author of Making Things Happen, The Myths of Innovation, Confessions of a Public Speaker, and The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com & The Future of Work. His work as a speaker and writer have appeared on CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Wired Magazine, Forbes, The Economist, and other media.

Dee Williams

Dee Williams is the co-owner of Portland Alternative Dwellings where she leads workshops focused on tiny houses, green building, and community design. She’s the author of a how-to e-book, Go House Go, and her memoir, The Big Tiny (Blue Rider, Penguin/Random House) was just released in April 2014.

John Francis

John Francis is known the wold over as the Planetwalker, and is the author of Planetwalker: 17-Years of Silence, 22-Years of Walking, and The Ragged Edge of Silence: Finding Peace in a Noisy World, published by the National Geographic Society.

John began his environmental work in 1971, when he witnessed a tanker collision and oil spill in San Francisco Bay. He gave up the use of motorized vehicles and began to walk, because he felt partly responsible for the mess that washed up on the shore.

Elise Blaha Cripe

Elise Blaha Cripe is a blogger, crafter and goal setter in San Diego, California. She has been sharing thoughts and DIY projects on her Internet corner since 2005 and running an online shop of handmade goods since 2008. To stay motivated and push herself creatively, Elise sets lofty year-long craft challenges and documents her progress and lessons learned online. Her most recent (ad)venture, MAKE29, is 12 handmade items, released monthly and produced and sold in editions of 290 or 29.

World Domination Summit Recap

I’ve been to many conferences and events that were informative and worthwhile. But WDS is the only conference that has inspired me to take action and make the world a better place.

The conference had presentations from world travelers, best-selling authors, online marketers, and entrepreneurs. And even with such a diverse group of speakers there were many similar messages.

One of the messages that resonated with me the most was from Michael Hyatt. His presentation focused on the two types of people we usually see in the world – people that are drifting in life, and people that are driven in life.

People that drift through life usually put in the minimum amount of effort. They don’t plan for their future, and don’t take any risks. People that are driven in life are the exact opposite. They are busy all the time, and are usually proud of it. They work extra hours, and put money or prestige above everything else.

Michael argues that these people take the easy road. They let other people make big decisions for them, and they ignore key areas of their life. Their unconscious approach to life usually leads to stress and disappointment.

But there is another way to live. Michael calls this third way “the designed life”. To have a designed life you need to make your decisions using the following three questions.

  1. How do I want to be remembered?
  2. What is important to me?
  3. What single brave decision do I need to make today?

By keeping the following three questions in mind you can make sure you never get lost in all of the small day-to-day tasks, and instead focus on what is most important to you.

Since WDS ended I’ve been following Michael’s advice by living the designed life. Whenever I want to skip a workout or watch TV I think about what is important to me, and how I want to remembered. Keeping these two questions in mind has helped me make the right decisions. This change in outlook hasn’t made a drastic change in my life overnight, but but that isn’t what I’m looking for. These small changes add up over time, building on itself until it finally is something life-changing.

I’m excited to see how these small changes will make a difference in my life. I’ve been writing my goals and achievements down so that I can reflect on them at any time. I can’t wait to see everything I accomplish from now until WDS 2015.

Is WDS Worth Going To?

I recommend any entrepreneur, blogger, or digital nomad that wants to change the world to attend the World Domination Summit. You won’t find a better group of like-minded people. You can find more information for WDS 2015 by visiting their World Domination Summit website.

Google Changed How You Appear in Search Results – What You Need to Know

New Meta Titles

Over the past few months, Google has been testing a new design for both organic search results and paid results (a.k.a. Google Adwords). This change affects how people see your website in search results, and how many people visit your website.

Google owns approximately 80% of the medical search market, so this change has the potential to have a significant impact on your practice.

What’s Changed

While there isn’t an official statement explaining the purpose of this redesign, the reason is pretty apparent. Search results are larger and easier to read, paid ads are easier to notice, and search results are now consistent on smartphones, tablets, and computers. Let’s break down each of these changes

Easier to Read

Perhaps the most noticeable change is the removal of underlines on every link. In the past people needed the visual indication that text was clickable by underlining the link. Now that Google is so widely used the removal of underline makes the search results appear a lot cleaner, without reducing the accessibility and usability of search results.

Improved Google Adwords Results

Google Adwords results used to use an off-orange box to indicate which search results were paid ads, and which were organic search results. With this color choice people were not always aware that the top results were paid ads, and would click on them. But over time people have realized that the links in the off-orange box were paid search results.

Now with new ad format the general public will click on paid ads without any knowledge that it is an ad. This should temporarily boost the performance of paid ads.

Not Everything is Better

Meta Title Example
Overall the changes to Google’s search results are excellent and long overdue. But there is one drawback to the improved search results – Meta Titles. Meta titles are short descriptions for a search result.

With the increase in font size, the length of your meta titles will need to decrease to properly appear in the search results. The maximum length of a meta title used to be approximately 70 characters, but with the increased font size it will be approximately 60 characters. Any meta titles that are over approximately 60 characters will be truncated, and can be difficult for patients to read.

Update Your Meta Titles

Because of this change we highly recommend updating the meta titles for your most important pages on your website. If you are using WordPress just open the page that you want to update, and change the meta title in the box below.

How to Handle Negative Reviews of Your Practice

negative review

A good reputation is vital to gaining new patients and beating your competitors. If patients see an overwhelming amount of negative reviews for your practice they will assume the reviews are accurate and choose one of your competitors.

With the recent changes to how Google ranks search results, reviews for your practice and your competitors’ practice are easier than ever to find. Review sites like Yelp, RateMD, Vitals, and Google Plus are usually one of the first results to show up when someone runs a Google search for your practice.

With reviews having a large influence on patients, and being so easy to find, it is more important than ever to manage your online reputation. But what happens when you inevitably get a negative review?

Don’t Panic

A negative review can actually be a good thing. If someone has only 5 star reviews they will seem fake, and people may ignore them. A small number of mediocre or poor reviews will actually give you more credibility, since people know that no one is perfect.

How to Respond

Negative reviews about your practice can feel like a personal attack, but it’s important to stay calm and professional. Try to think about why this patient wrote a negative review, and how things happened from their perspective.

The first step in handling a negative review properly is to publicy acknowledge that you’ve made a mistake (even if you feel that you haven’t) and sincerely apologize. Do not make elaborate excuses, or blame the patient for their poor experience. You may feel the need to explain your side of the story, but people on review sites are always going to side with the reviewer, and not the business.

After you have apologized, offer to fix the situation. If the customer was unhappy about a particular service you performed or product you sold offer to fix it free of charge. While you may lose out on the revenue of a revision procedure, you would lose out on a lot more revenue from new patients that were turned off by the negative review that you didn’t remedy.

What if You Think the Review is Fake

Sometimes you will receive reviews that seem fake and spiteful. These can come from competitors or someone trying to hurt your practice. Depending on the website they left a review on, you may be able to flag and remove the review. If you need help flagging a review please contact us and we can take care of the problem for you.

After you have flagged the review for removal we recommend writing a response. The goal with your response is to show that you care about your patients, and that the review in question is not from a person that visited your practice. You can find a template that you can use below:

Hi [person name], I am truly sorry that you had a poor experience with my practice. I take feedback very seriously, so I had my team attempt to find your information in our system. Unfortunately we have no record of someone with your name visiting our practice. If you could expand upon your review that would be very helpful for me. Please feel free to call me at my office [your office number] so that we can talk about how we can improve our service.

– Dr. [Your Name]

How to Set Up Goals in Google Analytics

goals

Goals within Google Analytics are a versatile way to measure how well your website and marketing is performing. A goal represents a completed activity on your website that you find valuable and that contributes to the success of your business. This can be a new sign up for your newsletter, or a contact form being submitted.

In most industries there are two primary goals that should be set up immediately. The first goal you should set up is for newsletter signups, so that you can track the growth of your audience and potential clients. The second goal you should set up is for contact form submissions so that you can track the amount of fresh leads you are earning.

Once these goals are setup you can then track the performance of your marketing efforts by campaign. For example you might find that Facebook advertising is driving a lot of leads, or that your Google Adwords campaign is driving a lot of visitors, but very few actual leads. With this kind of information you can make smart decisions on where to spend your time and money to best improve your practice.

How to Set Up Goals


Properly setting up goals takes less than 5 minutes, and has a huge impact on your business. Watch the video above or if you are familiar with Google Analytics you can follow the directions below.

  1. Log in to your Analytics account at http://google.com/analytics.
  2. Click on your Google Analytics profile.
  3. Click “Admin”.
  4. Click on “Goals”.
  5. Click “Create A Goal”.
  6. Click “Custom”.
  7. Click “Next Step”.
  8. Name your goal something descriptive like “Newsletter Signup” or “Contact Form Submission”. For this example we are going to track contact form submissions.
  9. Find out how your website tracks goals, to do this go to your website, and pretend you are trying to complete your goal. Fill out your contact form, and click submit.
  10. You should now be on the thank you page for your contact form. Enter your destination URL. If it is http//domain.com/thank-you, then just enter /thank-you in the Equals to field.
  11. Click on “verify goal” to verify that you set everything up properly. If your website already has contact form submissions you should see some data from the last 7 days.

How to Determine the Effectiveness of Your Marketing Campaigns

It takes at least 1 week after setting up goals in Google Analytics to have data that is useful and actionable. After you have enough data to get some valuable insights from Google Analytics you should view the following reports:

  • To determine where your visitors are coming from, and when they complete one of your goals. Click “Audience”, click “Location”, click “United States”, then click on the State you want to view.
  • To see if a particular marketing strategy is resulting in subscribers click “Acquisition” then “All Traffic Sources”. This will show you the amount of visitors, the quality of those visitors, and the amount of leads from those visitors.
  • To find out which social networks are driving the most subscribers, click “Aquisition”, click “social”, then click “Overview”.
  • To see what content leads to the most contact form submissions and newsletter signups click “Conversions”, then click “Reverse Goal Path”.

Shots Fired in the War Against Guest Blogging

Play War Scene

Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts announced today that Google has penalized “a large guest blog network”. This blog network is called “My Blog Guest” and was used for years as a way for shady SEO’s to try and rank websites higher.

One of the biggest factors for determining how highly your website ranks in search engines is the amount and quality of links it has. Because of this, services like “My Blog Guest” were created to help bloggers and internet marketers connect with website owners so that they can exchange blog posts for links. While the intent of My Blog Guest may be noble, the actual use of the service has been anything but.

I have personally used the service, and the vast majority of the blogs and blog authors on the website were extremely low quality. While I have found a few high quality websites, it was apparent to me that “My Blog Guest” was used primarily as a tool to artificially boost a website’s ranking in Google.

Early Warning Signs

Google knows that services like this exist, and they have a group of employees dedicated to penalizing and removing websites that attempt to game Google’s search rankings.

Recently this team sent out a warning to the SEO and internet marketing community with the blog post The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO. In this blog post Matt Cutts laid out the original intent of guest blogging to improve branding and relationships in the community, and how SEO’s and marketers abused the system.

The penalty of My Blog Guest is just the first of many to happen, so I recommend you talk with your agency to make sure mass guest blogging is not part of your internet marketing strategy.

What To Do Now

This strategy has been successful for far too long, so some thought it would never end. But now that Google has taken action to stop spammy guest blogging many don’t know what to do anymore. It is true that with this action by Google it will be harder to rank websites highly. But I would argue that this is a good thing. Now companies can focus less on the old-school method of SEO, and focus more on providing value to their customers.

Some Bad News

Overall the removal of spammy SEO tactics will help everyone. It will create a better search experience for consumers and it will make it easier for businesses to focus on value-based marketing instead of spammy seo-based marketing. It will however force companies to spend more time and money on marketing.

This is because using legitimate, value-based marketing tactics takes more time and effort from you the business owner, and more skill and experience from your marketing staff or marketing agency.

Work with the Best

In the past choosing a low-quality SEO and internet marketing agency meant you would get sub-par results and waste some of your money. Now choosing a low-quality agency will actually hurt you more than help you. Now more than ever it is important to choose a high-quality marketing agency.

Top tier marketing agencies like Seer Interactive and Distilled have avoided using spammy SEO tactics for years. Instead they rely upon creating real value for your customers, and reaching out to interested parties to share that value. This is what the future of SEO will focus on, so you might as well start now.

Not sure what agency is right for you? Send me a message using our Contact Form and I will personally recommend the right agency for you.

Source: Marketing Land

Your Facebook Page is About to Change, Here’s What You Need to Know

facebook business page featured

Facebook recently announced a significant change to the way a business page on Facebook appears. The redesigned pages will start with the desktop version of Facebook and slowly move to smartphone and tablet versions as well.

The redesigned pages will begin rolling out this week so you may not have the new page layout yet. In the meantime, you familiarze yourself with the new features and changes to be one step ahead of your competitors.

What Your Facebook Fans Will See

facebook business page 1
When people visit your business page they will now be greeted with a two column layout that puts your update in the right column and information about your practice in the left column. The information shown on the left column is now more prominent, and includes a map, business hours, website URLs, videos and photos.

Previously updates filled up both columns on the timeline, and would alternate posts on both the left and right sides. This look was completely different than the typical newsfeed that everyone sees when the visit Facebook. Now the layout is consistent with Facebook’s newsfeed, which will make it easier for people to read your information and updates on Facebook.

Overall the changes to Facebook pages are positive, but there are a few drawbacks. Custom tabs (i.e. custom contest widgets, contact form widgets, twitter widgets) are now moved under the “more” tab. Because custom tabs are more difficult to find a lot less people are going to see and interact with them. This means that you will need to rely more on posting engaging content and boosting exposure by using Facebook Ads.

How the Update Affects Management of Your Facebook Page

facebook page admin
No matter where you are on your page, you can easily access the most important information for your practice. You can view infomration on the ads you’re running, new likes on your page, unread notifications, and messages.

Watch Your Competitors

what to watch
In addition to easier access to important information, the new layout allows you to monitor the performance of your competition. By using the new “Pages to Watch” feature you can create a list of practices similar to your own and compare the performance of your page with their own page.

While this tools doesn’t give you everything you want to know about your competition, it does give you all the key information. You will be able to see your competitor’s total likes, new likes, and which posts were most popular.
Source: Facebook

Google Places Guidelines Updated

google places example

Google has recently updated their Google Places Quality Guidelines to clarify how you can setup and name your Practice within Google Local and Google Maps.

Now with the updated guidelines you can add a short descriptor to your business name as long as it describes either your location or something about your practice. The revised guidelines are below (I’ve changed the examples given in the final bullet to make it more clear):

  • Your title should reflect your business’s real-world title.
  • In addition to your business’s real-world title, you may include a single descriptor that helps customers locate your business or understand what your business offers.
  • Marketing taglines, phone numbers, store codes, or URLs are not valid descriptors.
  • Examples of acceptable titles with descriptors (in italics for demonstration purposes) are “Dr. Williams Plastic Surgery Downtown” or “Family Dermatology and Associates Seattle”. Examples that would not be accepted would be “#1 Seattle Dermatologist”, “Eternal Med Spa – Best Facials”, or “Dr. Brown Plastic Surgery Washington”.

If you’re looking to update your listing on Google Local and Google Maps to make it more enticing for your patients, you can find the entire quality guidelines for Google Places below,

Source: Google Places Quality Guidelines

Google’s Matt Cutts – Backlinks Still Important for High Search Rankings

matt cutts exclude links

matt cutts exclude linksBacklinks have been the largest ranking factor for websites since Google was created. Because backlinks have been such an important ranking factor, internet marketing agencies and blackhat spammers are constantly trying to game the system.

To game the system these companies would use tactics like buying links, and spamming comment forms. This has lead to many people asking “what happens if stop trying to block spammers, and just ignore backlinks altogether?”. That is the topic that Matt Cutts, Google’s Head of Web Spam discussed today.

“We don’t have a version like that that is exposed to the public, but we have run experiments like that internally, and the quality looks much, much worse,” Matt said. “It turns out backlinks, even though there’s some noise and certainly a lot of spam, for the most part are still a really really big win in terms of quality for search results.”

What this tells us is that links from other websites will ALWAYS be one of, if not the most important factor to ranking a website highly. Because of this a fair amount of your internet marketing budget should still focus on building links from high-quality, relevant websites.

Yelp Gets a Facelift – How it Affects Marketing Your Practice

new yelp design

Yelp has begun rolling out a new design that puts photos of you and your practice front and center. This is part of Yelp’s overall goal to have the most useful information easily accessible, and boost their advertising revenue.

Some of the changes affect only non-medical businesses, such as review highlights, so you can easily see the most popular dishes at a restaurant, or if a bar only sells wine. Other changes may have a direct impact on the amount of visitors and leads you receive from Yelp.

The first major change is the increased focus on photos of your practice. Both photos that you upload, and photos that your patients upload are more prominently shown in the top carousal of your practice listing on Yelp. You can see this in the image above. Photos that are added by patients in their reviews are now larger as well. You can see an example of this below.
yelp larger photo example
The second major change is in the positioning of advertisements. If you do not have an advertising contract with Yelp for your own practice, an ad for a competing practice will be shown right beneath your Yelp listing. You can see an example of this below:
yelp listing with ad
To remove this advertisement you must begin advertising with Yelp. This removes your competitors advertisment, puts your ad on their Yelp listing, and gives you a “Contact Us” button on your Yelp listing. You can see an example of this below:
yelp listing without ad

What to Do

Advertising with Yelp is becoming more and more beneficial. It gets you additional exposure to people that might not find you otherwise, and if you have positive reviews you will outshine your competitors. Be aware that the return on investment varies widely by practice. We have had some clients that have great success advertising with Yelp, and some clients that find it a waste of money. We recommend trying a Yelp advertising campaign for several months and evaluating it’s success before investing large amounts of time and money.

How Colors Affect the Conversion Rate of Your Patients

how color affects conversion

People make psychological color associations at both a conscious and unconscious level. When people see the color blue for example, a feeling of trustworthiness is evoked, while the color red evokes a feeling of strength, energy and urgency. It’s important to think about the associations patients make with color so that you can position your Practice and your brand in a positive light.

This infographic courtesy of QuickSprout breaks down the feelings and associations people have with color. If you are looking to update the identity of your Practice this infographic is an excellent start. If this leaves you with more questions than answers we recommend working with a dedicated branding and identity agency.

How Colors Affect Conversion Rate
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout