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October 2013

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Website Design

7 Signs Your Website is Scaring Patients

If you find yourself asking, “Why isn’t my website generating new business?”, you’re not alone.  Many professionals find their website underperforming and can’t understand why.  In the world of online marketing, it’s important to ensure that your website isn’t scaring patients away.  You want to keep website visitors on your page as long as possible to increase their awareness and convert them into your new patients.

So is your website truly frightening?  The following are common mistakes that many businesses make with their website:

1. Digital Photo Overload – A picture is worth a thousand words, right?  Well a thousand pictures screams, “Run!”  Not only do photos slow page loading times, requiring online viewers to wait longer for your site to load, but they also distract from your website’s content.  Unless your patients are accessing an “Office Tour” or “Photo Gallery” page, they only want to see a couple quality images, combined with key information about your practice.

2. You Wrote a Novel, Eh? – Patients want to read about you and your practice; they don’t want to read pages and pages of text.  An online viewer’s ideal webpage is broken up into smaller paragraphs and maximizes the use of visual space with bulleted or numbered lists.  Give prospective patients the ability to quickly scan your page and find the information they want.

3. Lost in Navigation – It took five clicks for a patient to find your contact information.  Guess where they’re headed?… anywhere but your practice.  Confusing and overly complicated site navigation turns visitors away.  If they can’t quickly access the information they’re looking for, patients are likely to search elsewhere. 

4. It Doesn’t Get Uglier Than This – While you may have thought having a site the same yellow and green as your alma mater was a good idea, you might want to reconsider.  Poor color combinations or the use of neon pinks or bright reds cause a visitor’s eyes to strain.  If patients literally can’t stand to look at your website, they’re probably not going to search for more information about your practice.

5. Hitting the Auto-Play Button – Having video and music on your website isn’t always bad, but having it automatically play upon visiting your site can literally scare visitors.  The sound may startle them, causing them to quickly close the browser, or they may not think your music is all that great.  Bottom line: don’t force a visitor to watch or listen to something they don’t want to.  Give them the option to press “Play”.

6. Itty Bitty Font Sizes – Some patients may have excellent vision, allowing them to see your microscopic text, but the majority can’t.  If your font size is too small, visitors will turn away without even thinking about trying to decipher what your site is trying to say. 

7. Call Me, Maybe? – If your contact information is so buried in your site that visitors don’t know where to look, they probably won’t bother.  Have a clearly defined “Contact” button in an extremely visible location and let those patients start calling!

By addressing these issues, you can make your website much more appealing and increase your chances of converting online searchers into your new patients.  

To find out more ways to improve your website’s performance, contact us at 888-932-3644 for your free consultation.

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Search Marketing

Free White Paper – The ABCs of SEO

The language used within the realm of search engine optimization (SEO) is extremely confusing. And, with acronyms like CTR and PPC it’s enough to make your head spin. 

When setting out to optimize your own website, the overwhelming language makes it seem impossible. To help you get started, we’ve compiled the top SEO terms and definitions you will need to know before start optimizing your site. As you continue to read about SEO best practices, you can use this free guide to reference common industry terms.

 

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Practice Marketing

3 Creative Ways to Market Your Practice

When marketing your practice, it’s tough to stand out among the competition when everyone is using the same marketing strategies to attract patients.

If you find that your practice is in a marketing rut, check out how some of our members are engaging in exciting and innovative methods of marketing their services. Want even more dental marketing ideas? Download the free guide online marketing for dentists here.

Here are three creative members that have reimagined their marketing strategies:

1. The Concept: Give Back to the Community

The Example: Heritage Dental or check out their Facebook Page

Heritage Dental sponsored their local high school and provided sports teams with free mouth guards – a total of 150 sports guards!

The Benefit: Dr. Lind and his team promoted their practice to local prospective patients by providing them with a free service. Not only did this marketing tactic give their practice increased exposure among the high school students, their parents,   and school staff, but it also positioned their practice as a caring group of professionals by showing a genuine interest in everyone’s oral care – patient or not.

2. The Concept: Make Patient Appointments Fun

The Example: Clearwater Family Dental or check out their Facebook Page

Dr. Rodeghero’s team created fun chalkboard-esque signs that have various expressions on them, such as “We treat people not teeth” and “Cavity-free”. The signs are kept in-office and patients and staff can take photos with the chalkboards. Photos are then shared on the practice’s social networks. There are many ways to use Social Media to make engaging with your firm more fun. Put social media signs up in your waiting area and add links to your website.

The Benefit: Patients don’t always have the time to leave you an online review or testimonial, but pictures speak louder than words. Having a patient share their glowing smile alongside an “I love my dentist” sign speaks just as loudly as a great   online review. PLUS, it’s always tough coming up with content to share on your social profiles, this strategy provides you with a constant flow of content.

3. The Concept: Create a Logo for Your Practice

The Example: White and Haines Advanced Dentistry or check out their Facebook Page

Doctors White and Haines have a sleek, modern logo that is unique to their practice and is easily identifiable.

The Benefit: Having distinctive branding makes your marketing seem familiar to prospective patients and improves brand recognition. It also increases the perceived value prospective patients see in your services, as identifiable logos build more   credibility than unfamiliar or non-existent branding.

Do you have any great marketing ideas we haven’t listed? We’d love to hear about them! Please share in the comments below. And, download the free whitepaper The Definitive Guide to Online Marketing for Dentists by filling out the form below.

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Practice Marketing

Do You Want More Positive Online Reviews?

The influence of online reviews continues to increase as consumers become more enveloped in the digital world. A reported 70% of consumers now consult online reviews before hiring a service, and 82% of consumers consider online reviews as extremely valuable. With that, not only is having online reviews important for your practice, but having positive online reviews is critical.

While knowing you need online reviews is easy to understand, knowing how to get patients to leave reviews is more complex. Many patients forget once they leave the office or are too busy to bother with submitting a review once their appointment is complete.

MyPatientReviews, a free web app, changes the game. It simplifies the process for patients to leave you a review by allowing them to scan a QR code and immediately leave you a review from their mobile device.

How It Works

You can create your free MyPatientReviews account at http://mypatientreviews.com by inputting your email address and choosing a password. Next, fill out the information for the public profile that patients will see. Be sure to include your physical address and website URL for increased optimization.

Next, you will be prompted to verify your email address to complete profile setup. 

Configure Your Profile

After verifying your email address, you will be prompted to log in. Complete your profile by clicking “Get Started” and following the prompts. 

Prompt 1: Edit your info

The information you provided when creating your profile will automatically populate. Should you want to change anything or if you noticed an error, you can edit it during this step.

Prompt 2: Add your links

Insert the web address for each of your online reviews profiles*, including Google Places, Yahoo! Local, Bing Local, Yelp, and Citysearch. Feel free to add additional review listings such as DemandForce or Angie’s List in the empty spaces provided.

*Note: only profiles added will be displayed.

Prompt 3: Pick your custom URL

Choose a URL that will give patients access to your MyPratientReviews page. We recommend choosing the same URL as your website’s address. This will make it easy for patients to remember and will remain branded to your practice.

Prompt 4: View and print your QR code

You can now preview your MyPatientReviews site and test each of the links to your review pages. If the site preview is to your liking, print your 8×10 QR code display and start collecting patient reviews!

How MyPatientReviews Helps

By prominently displaying your MyPatientReviews QR code in-practice, you can ask patients for their feedback immediately after their appointment. Instead of your patients leaving the office and forgetting to submit a review, they can use their mobile device to conveniently scan your QR code and leave you an online review instantly. Instead of asking patients to find your profiles on their own, you bring your practice profiles directly to them, increasing the likelihood they’ll leave a review.

Studies show that consumers are willing to pay up to 99% more for services with excellent ratings and 93% of consumers regularly research products and services online. Having positive online reviews can help your practice attract new patients and increase your bottom line.

Need help getting your practice started on review sites like Yelp? Ask about our Local Search Marketing services today by calling 888-932-3644.

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Practice Marketing

5 Ways QR Codes Can Benefit Your Practice

You have probably seen it before, a square-shaped barcode located on advertisements, posters, flyers, etc., and may wonder exactly what it is. Known as Quick Response (QR) codes, these square barcodes are innovative shortcuts that immediately direct patients to a specific webpage or prompt a phone call, e-mail, or text message to your practice.

QR codes are quickly growing in popularity, as they provide added simplicity and also integrate a “cool” factor within your marketing efforts. Check out some of these ideas for adding QR codes to your mobile marketing strategy.

1. Put it on your post cards. The next time you send patients a direct mail piece, such as a thank you card or recall card, add a QR code that directs them to your website or Appointment Request page. This encourages a response from your patients to follow-up and schedule their next appointment. 

2. Advertise a special offer. If you use direct mail or print advertising to showcase special offers, include a QR code that directs users to a page on your website to learn more about your special.

3. Grow your social networks. Is your practice on popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter? Send a direct mail piece that invites patients to “Follow” or “Like” your practice by scanning a QR code that immediately directs them to your social media page.

4. Drive traffic to your website. Place your QR code on business cards, to help patients easily learn more about your services and what you offer. And, if you have brochures for various services you offer, consider adding a QR code on these materials, which links to a corresponding page on your website. For example, if you have a brochure dedicated to teeth whitening services, add a QR code that links to a page on your website about teeth whitening, or a before and after page that shows teeth whitening results.

5. Generate more online reviews. Display a QR code at your front desk that links to your online review page, so when patients visit your practice they can immediately leave a review about their experience. The easier it is for patients to access your review site, the greater the chance they will leave a review immediately after their visit.

To generate a QR code, check out some of these popular sites:

Kaywa QR Code
QR Stuff

Placing QR codes on your practice’s materials will not only impress your tech-savvy patients, but you also add convenience for mobile users and can increase traffic to your website, social media pages, and reviews pages.

Has your practice started implementing QR codes? Leave a comment and let us know how you’re using them!

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