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Optical Professionals Are Embracing The Web

Each month, CLICK provides ECPs and optical retailers with the tools they need to build their presence online and grow connections with their patients. The latest in a series of popular e-newsletters from Vision Monday, CLICK is a monthly briefing designed specifically to provide practice insights and ideas about the latest Web site features, tools and Web-based applications.

Catch up on CLICK! Explore the complete 2009 archives of CLICK at Tried something new on your Web site or have you launched a special social media campaign? Tell us about it and we'll consider it for an upcoming feature in CLICK.
—The Editors

in focus

A Rockville, Md. OD Carves Out A Unique Social Media Reputation

ROCKVILLE, Md.—Alan N. Glazier, OD, FAAO, founder and CEO of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care in this D.C. suburb, has been in practice 17 years. Starting with himself and one employee, his practice is now one of the larger regionals in the area, with 4 ODs and more than 15 full-time staff, focusing on full-service primary and secondary care optometry with a large optical dispensary.

But Glazier tells CLICK he has “always had fun with the marketing aspect” of things, and from the start of the practice’s first Web site, which he named in 1995, he has developed one of the most effective social media presences in the vision category.

A patient, one of the chief social media experts for Network Solutions, a major player in the category, encouraged Glazier to explore the coming revolution in this facet of the Web. “We always prided ourselves in being ahead of the technology curve, so we got into the game early, when I coded and wrote our first site myself,” Glazier tells CLICK. “Since then, our involvement has really expanded, with my own involvement in Facebook and LinkedIn showing me that these were interesting tools for us to use. We created a Facebook page for our business and have learned that this is something you use to enhance your reputation and improve your ranking in the search engines—today, if you Google ‘optometrist in Rockville,’ we come out at the top. And today, we are active with blogs, Facebook, Twitter and a range of things which have really transformed our reputation. We’re at the point now where I’ve cut my print marketing budget by 80 percent but our patient base is growing strongly.”

Among Glazier’s learnings, “With Facebook, you can’t just promote yourself, just saying ‘we’re having a trunk show or here’s a special on frames.’ It’s really about trust. That builds a reputation, connects followers to you and engages them and new followers and possibly new patients.”

One of Glazier’s innovations is on Facebook, what he’s called The Eyehealth Information Network. For every 100 followers on Facebook, he gives away a free eye exam to someone in need. “It’s a small micro model of a different way to provide eye care. We’ve gotten 1,000 members in a year—from all over the country—and have just posted the first video of a person to whom we’re given the first eye exam. We’re building a network, I blog regularly and we use Twitter to further this.”

Glazier explains, “I don’t want to look like I’m ‘marketing’ my practice, but it’s about building a professional face, an expertise that people will learn from and respect.” One of Glazier’s newest Twitter tactics is a “hashtag” he created called #badvisioondecision.

“Every day in practice, every doctor encounters a patient who is doing something that’s not good, and the OD gives advice. An example would be sharing your eyeliner or mascara, a #badvision decision. Having a LASIK enhancement if your eyes feel dry, a #badvisiondecision. I tweet every day, get a lot of response to this and it brings my practice up in relevance, particularly on searches.”

“Right now,” Glazier points out, “Google looks at you in terms of how much fresh content you put out there and what you link to. Do others look to you as an expert? Do they link to you as they talk about something? And going forward, good content is going to be the key, since recommendations will come into play based on that. The takeaway is that social media is good when it’s used properly, in the way the community uses it.”

Glazier's Twitter handle is EyeInfo. His blog is The Facebook pages are Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care in addition to The Eyehealth Network.

solutions Issues Starter Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Is Your Site Ranking High Enough on Google?

SAN DIEGO—Eye care practitioners who have practice Web sites may find it challenging to rank high in the list of webpage results generated by Google and other search engines. Now they can learn how to optimize their websites for better search engine rankings using a new guide from is a one-stop, independent resource providing consumers with hundreds of pages of trustworthy, up-to-date information about vision correction and eye health. The site has been online for ten years and served more than nine million visitors in 2009.

Search engine optimization (SEO), or strategically using webpage elements for better search engine rankings, is one key to building an online presence. Ultimately this can help generate new patients for practices. Prospective patients who search for local terms, such as “eye doctor San Diego,” will be more likely to find a practice website if it ranks well in search engines for those terms.

The Starter Guide to Search Engine Optimization discusses practical techniques for optimizing optometric websites for key terms. In a nutshell, the guide explains the basics of SEO and demonstrates how doctors or their webmasters can improve their sites’ rankings. Other tips include how to rank well in Google Local Business results, which practices without websites can utilize as well.

The guide is a complimentary service from, which features hundreds of articles with page-one Google rankings for popular terms including “contact lenses,” “eyeglasses” and “eye diseases.” To download the SEO guide, register for the directory or learn more about, please visit

Other free services for ECPs from include a website hit counter and listings in the site’s Eye Care Practitioner Directory, used by an average of 7,000 people each month.


cool tools

Silhouette’s Interactive ‘Virtual Mirror’ Creates First Mobile iPhone App

Silhouette, a world leader in rimless eyewear, is making it easy for iPhone users worldwide to try on rimless ophthalmic and sunglass styles, anytime and anywhere. With the introduction of its Virtual Mirror for the iPhone, Silhouette is the first eyewear brand to introduce a mobile phone application. The new, interactive tool allows consumers to try on a nearly unlimited selection of Silhouette style, lens shape and color options, all with the click of a few buttons.

In 2009, Silhouette became the first eyewear brand to offer consumers the Virtual Mirror consulting tool, then exclusively available on and designed with the Silhouette philosophy that “the best frame for eyewear is always the face of the wearer.”

“We’re excited to meet the needs of busy consumers while providing them with individual opportunities to create customized pieces for their eyewear wardrobe,” said Diana Cauwels, Silhouette U.S. brand manager. “Once wearers have had an initial opportunity to select their eyewear using the Silhouette Virtual Mirror for the iPhone, they can visit their specialty optical retailer for a professional fitting for the tangible frames.”

The Silhouette Virtual Mirror app can be downloaded for free at or at the App Store. Once installed, users upload a photo and step-by-step instructions help guide them through the application. The “recipe” is for users to simply shake the iPhone and the next model will appear. Silhouette Virtual Mirror users can easily send the final image of their customized eyewear to themselves and others. Facebook and Twitter users can also check out Silhouette’s Facebook page and Twitter feed for the latest news and information and share their experiences with other Silhouette fans.

sites to see

What’s a widget? It’s a small application that runs on your desktop or in a web page. Widgets enrich your desktop or web pages with functionality, useful information and a lot of fun! Widgipedia is loaded with quirky ideas for your professional site or blog. Featured are descriptions, illustrations and code for everything from unique clocks and timers with different themes and gadgets that can brighten your Web site, your Facebook page—or your day. There are fun games, quick Q&A’s, and the site is searchable by topic (try “health” or “fashion” or “hobbies”) and offers its own blog, tutorials and tons of into. Some is no charge, others require a sign-up.


Established in 1957, Chase’s Calendar of Events is an authoritative reference on special events, worldwide holidays and festivals, civic observances, historic anniversaries, famous birthdays and much more. Now owned by McGraw-Hill, you can learn about Chase’s Calendar on this site. More than 12,000 items make up each year's book edition. Want to celebrate a fun holiday every day? Keep track of celebrity or historical figures’ birthdays? Chase’s has many uses as a tool which can enliven your Web site and your own promotional calendar.