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Avvo Offers Doctors Strategies for Building a Core Presence on the Web

Avvo urges doctors to establish a "Core Web Presence"
when marketing online to better reach prospective patients
and more effectively grow their practice

Seattle, WA - February 8, 2011 - Avvo (www.avvo.com), the world's largest online directory for doctors and lawyers that provides free rankings for 90% of the working physicians in the U.S., is offering doctors some salient advice when it comes to managing their professional record and reputation on the Internet. Since physicians have little to no extra time to attend to the marketing aspects of their career, Avvo urges doctors who are interested in participating online to - at minimum - establish a strategic "Core Web Presence" that will help them to better reach prospective patients and more effectively grow their practice.

According to Mark Britton, Avvo's founder and CEO, this strategy is absolutely essential for doctors if they wish to proactively "tell their story." The establishment of a Core Web Presence includes creating an *interactive* website, blog or directory profile that serves as an online calling card for doctors on the Internet, and then using three to five social media tools (e.g., Avvo, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) to push the physician's target audience to the Core Web Presence on a consistent basis.

The Core Web Presence is the place where physicians should spend the majority of their online marketing time and dollars. It is where prospective patients, other doctors, hospital leaders, the research community, and even the media can obtain updated news about the doctor, possibly see some videos of him or her in action, or read articles, whitepapers or Q&As authored by the physician. A Core Web Presence must be sufficiently dynamic and interactive so that a doctor's patients, colleagues and other key audiences can be directed there repeatedly.

"There are hundreds of websites and Web tools where physicians can have an online presence - but you can't be everywhere all at once," explains Britton. "The effective strategy is to establish a Core Web Presence coupled with a tight handful of social media outlets where your target market - maybe it is prospective patients, maybe its other doctors - resides. Those social media outlets are the biggest mixer, meeting or conference you can attend. So go join them and be a good community participant, but consistently push your target audience back to your Core Web Presence."

Britton, who prior to founding Avvo was the number two executive at the immensely successful Expedia, is no novice when it comes to building a reliable online offering. He cautions doctors regularly to make savvy decisions when selecting a directory as their Core Web Presence or even as a satellite to that core presence, as many are unnecessarily costly and inaccurate. Avvo is a FREE service (for both doctors and their patients) that delivers a sophisticated, responsible and market-leading ranking methodology - and which has been the de facto gold standard for collecting and managing online peer reviews. With ratings and profiles (ranging from 1 for "extreme caution" to 10 for "superb") covering 90% of licensed doctors in the U.S., Avvo helps patients whether they are simply researching a medical issue or doctor, need personalized advice, or actually need to choose the right licensed professional.

Avvo profiles include the editorial Avvo Rating, as well as patient reviews, peer reviews and disciplinary records. Avvo also offers a free Question and Answer forum, where patients can ask questions and receive certified answers from certified doctors. Avvo Health Guides are free research tools, written as how-to articles by real doctors covering everyday healthcare issues. "The use of a Core Web Presence - let's say a blog, coupled with Avvo, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn - offers doctors a great cocktail for enhancing visibility," adds Britton. "Maybe you would like more patients; maybe you would like to be invited to speak at more conferences; maybe you would like press coverage for your latest white paper. Whatever the case, each of these sites allows users to post extensive content that can refer back to their Core Web Presence."

In addition to the obvious marketing and reputational benefits of this strategy, a strong Core Web Presence is also important for enhancing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - the more that doctors and their community targets point back to that Core Web Presence, the more prominently the physician's name, specialty and practice name will rank in online searches, which is key to ensuring repetitive exposure.

More information and tools for physicians interested in establishing an initial Web presence can be found online at http://www.avvo.com. The Avvo Team is also always available to speak with entrepreneurial doctors and marketing directors who are developing (or redeveloping) an online strategy, either over the phone, in-person or as a conference speaker.

About Avvo
Avvo is the largest and only free website that empowers consumers to handle their medical and legal matters with confidence. Avvo offers free ratings and profiles for 90% of practicing lawyers and 90% of licensed MDs in the U.S. This includes the editorial Avvo Rating, patient and client reviews and peer endorsements as well as experience, background information, industry achievements and disciplinary records. Avvo also offers a free Question and Answer forum, where consumers can ask questions and receive certified answers from certified doctors and lawyers. Additionally, Avvo Legal Guides and Avvo Health Guides are free research tools, written as how-to articles covering everyday issues authored by certified lawyers and doctors. Founded in early 2006 and launched in 2007, Avvo is privately held, with funding from private investors, Benchmark Capital, Ignition Partners and DAG Ventures. For more information, visit http://www.avvo.com.