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According to Avvo, the Web's Leading Online Physician Directory, the "Eyes" Have It When It Comes to Social Media and Online Marketing

Ophthalmologists Embrace the Internet More than Other Doctors as a Critical Means of Building Their Practice

Seattle, WA - May 9, 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., revealed today that when it comes to physicians embracing social media and Internet marketing tools to build their practice and attract new patients, the "eyes" clearly have it.  According to March 2011 metrics from Avvo, which tracks doctors' adoption of their site as a core social media and Web strategy, eye doctors and the broader ophthalmology community overwhelmingly have flocked to Avvo to build their online profile and update their professional credentials - more than any other physician segment. 

"Avvo is a great place for me to keep one step ahead," said Dr. Andrew Doan, a San Diego-based ophthalmologist who actively participates in the site. "My profile enables me to showcase my expertise, while answering questions in the Q&A forum provides the opportunity to connect with potential patients - all for free.  There are many websites out there with doctor listings and health information, but Avvo is absolutely one of the best.  It's an effective and easy-to-use marketing platform that all physicians should consider when establishing their online presence."

"When it comes to online marketing, eye doctors are demonstrating 20/20 foresight," said Mark Britton, founder and CEO of Avvo.com.  "Whether it is answering questions, posting Health Guides or simply buffing out their Avvo profiles, they are leading the pack in using Avvo to power their practices."

While certain medical segments have been slower to adopt Internet marketing strategies to their advantage, Avvo explains that eye doctors have been instrumental in leading the way for other specialty niches.  Eye doctors are extremely savvy in transitioning their small medical businesses to "big" businesses with a few successful strategies that have included a shift in their marketing focus.  Many ophthalmologists who previously used traditional marketing such as print ads, fliers, direct mail and telephone directory advertising, now use social media and search optimization to sell their services.  This medical niche, more than any other, is seeing how they can re-tool their marketing budgets to generate stronger ROI when it comes to patient visibility.

When using Avvo in particular as their online directory, eye doctors can reach prospective patients through multiple avenues. These include, of course, building their free directory profile - where they can update their professional credentials and where they are rated by their patients (ranging from 1 for "extreme caution" to 10 for "superb") - and also participating in other free visibility channels.  Avvo 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.

For more information on how ophthalmologists and physicians in any other vertical medical category can take advantage of online marketing tools to more effectively reach current and prospective patients, please visit www.avvo.com.