Case Study: Harris Dermatology – Online Marketing

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Case Study: Harris Dermatology – Online Marketing

Harris Dermatology offers skin cancer treatment, Fort Myers Dermatology and Naples Dermatology, Located in Lee and Collier Counties.

Document Number: 30038
Client Contact Name: Kim Munn
Title: Marketing
Date of service: 2005 to present


The information in this document number 30038 is proprietary to Harris Dermatology. This information is not intended for reproduction, copy or any form of distribution. The information is intellectual property that is not intended to be viewed or talked about to any competing practice that offers dermatology in Southwest Florida. All rights are reserved and all information in this document belongs strictly to Internet Marketing Logic, Inc.

Case Study:
Harris Dermatology – Online Marketing

Harris Dermatology came to me understanding that they wanted to be the first Dermatology practice to brand themselves online. They want to brand for “Skin Cancer” as well as “Dermatology in Southwest Florida” and Florida terms.


In November of 2005, I sat down with Kim Munn (Marketing Director for Harris) and went over what I do specifically as an SEO and how I go about working on a solid online marketing  strategy. Kim listened. As with most clients, I spend a great deal of time working with them to make sure they understand what I am offering. This is very important particularly in Kim’s case, because she needs to communicate for me to others in their practice.

As always we took the time to observe what our local competitors were doing online. We also copied and archived all competitors websites and looked at our competing website’s source code to see what their key words were.

Even with the heavy concentration of Skin Cancer Doctors in Florida, we were able to find several holes in the market that were left open by the competition. Below is a list of key phrases that are heavily searched with little to no competition.

  1. Florida Skin Cancer Specialists
  2. Florida Skin Cancer
  3. Southwest Florida Skin Cancer Doctors
  4. South Florida Skin Cancer Specialists
  5. Fl Skin Cancer Doctors
  6. Florida Skin Cancer Doctors

I always look for these key word gems. These are key word phrases that are the product of someone not completing their key word research and they are there for the taking.


As you would expect, the competition is heavy when you try to break into this online market. Dermatology is a much-researched field. I suspect that it is more searched than others because it falls in the field of plastic surgery or surface surgery. I call any elective and vanity operation “surface surgery”. A large percentage of the public will go online and look for the best doctor to make their decision to book a consultation only after viewing the doctors work and read about the doctors credibility. I have also found that another searched area in surface surgery is “Botched surgeries” or searches in the referred doctors name to see if there are pending law suits. This is becoming bigger and bigger. I now make it a practice to optimize the doctors bio page so it will always out rank any current or future slander.

Another problem that will need to be overcome is the invasion of rogue websites that try to move into our top positions. It is important for us to be aware of our clients online market share so we are not replaced with a competitor overnight. Understand that this happens. Competitors will get a taste of online market share and want a big piece of the pie. I have to always optimize better and maintain my clients rankings, this is why I charge a monthly fee, and it is a monthly challenge to maintain rankings.


This case study is very important because it outlines optimizing a third party dynamic platform called “MedFusion” It is a template website that focuses on medical based modules like online registration and calendar appointments. Very cool but next too impossible to optimize. I started the process by working with the med fusion IT people to create a firewall free set of landing pages that could be optimized much like any traditional landing pages. I assumed everything would be hunky-dory but it really was not. I had a hard time getting a crawler to the site and when a crawler was at the site, it never read the full content. My local ranking suffered while the Florida based key words held their ground.

Here is a list of items we will need to work on:

  1. A great linking program to medical verticals
  2. Direct Mail program to invite patients to the new website
  3. Write strategic Source code
  4. Index to all main directories
  5. Include a comprehensive Yellow Page Index program
  6. In addition to the Medfusion pages, I will eventually add a gateway program to the strategy. (I will explain later)


My plan of attack was basic but strong. I decided after three months to add an additional set of landing pages geared to the local markets. I found it necessary to make the program stronger by having HTML pages located outside the dynamics of the MedFusion server. I call this program a “Gateway Program” A Gateway program is a set of pages that only direct a prospect to the main site. It is a gateway in the essence of the word. A gateway program looks just like the main site and the person that gets to a gateway page will never really know they are on a gateway page. The page is heavy in HTML content both front and back. It’s directive is to hunt and gather. Hunt the searchers and gather them to the main MedFusion website. The name of this doctor will be searched heavily and because of all the medical affiliate links, they all point to his main URL. Therefore, we will also need to include the main URL in the online marketing program. That will be my strongest strategy. I also have asked the client for additional funds for a keyword buying program. This again will help our cause by adding more direct links to our landing pages. I feel that after I have all the SEO, Linking and referral verticals set up, we will be hard to beat.


The results were very bad and very unacceptable for the first four months of the program. My client expected as much. Because I sold the program to expect the worst. I always under sell and over deliver. I tell my clients never to expect good rankings for the first six months of the program. That gives me six months to get my shit together. Sometimes it even takes longer than that, depending on the competition.

After I launched new site content on the MedFusion pages, fixed some verification codes, and adjusted a few phrasings, I was satisfied with my results but still not satisfied with the local rankings. It was at this point that I added the Gateway program. To my astonishment, I got the site in a position that made the phone start to ring and made the client very happy. Now with proven results and ranking reports that looked great, my confidence level with the client remains outstanding.
Today, rankings are strong and I get referral business all the time from Harris.

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