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December 2015

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Company News

ProSites Voted #1 in Dental Website Design and Services – 2015 Townie Choice Awards

We cheered when we heard the news! Thank you Townies, for voting ProSites #1 in dental website design and services in the 2015 Townie Choice Awards.

Hosted by Dentaltown Magazine, the Townie Choice Awards are where thousands of dentists vote on their favorite products and services across a wide range of categories. 

“For over a decade, Townies have voted on the most comprehensive list of peer-recommended products and services in dentistry. Winners have become recognized as the most reliable and reputable in dentistry,” stated Howard Farran, DDS, Founder and CEO of Dentaltown. 

To read the full press release, please click here

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Practice Marketing

5 Marketing New Year’s Resolutions Your Practice Should Make

Every year around this time people think about New Year’s Resolutions. Then they wonder how long they can keep them. There’s a reason comedians tell jokes about breaking their resolutions before they’ve even been made. According to Statistic Brain, around 45% of Americans make resolutions. Only about 8% successfully achieve them (statistic brain). This year we’ve got five resolutions we think you’ll want to make and keep. 

1. I will update my practice’s website. While this is an ongoing process with adding new content, photos and links, this is not what we are talking about. There is one big aspect of your website that needs an overhaul – mobility. Today, more web visitors come from mobile devices than desktop. If your website isn’t optimized for a mobile experience, you are losing a significant amount of prospective patients and potential revenue. If your site is already “mobile friendly” – awesome! Now, it’s time to optimize. Make sure your pages and content is fully-compatible across platforms. Your website should offer the best possible user experience no matter how a visitor arrives. A good experience paired with updated quality content will help you turn visitors to your site into loyal patients. 

2. I will audit my SEO strategy. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the most cost-effective marketing avenue for bringing new patients into your practice. I have said it before and I will probably say it again. It’s that important. If the millions of daily internet searches from laptops, desktops, and the ever-growing segment of mobile devices can’t find you, you will lose potential patients. Your practice should have an SEO strategy that tests keywords, metadata and tactics based on changes in your rankings. What steps are you taking and what are you doing to keep up with changes in search engine algorithms? Auditing your SEO strategy takes a look at everything your practice is currently doing and everything it should do to reach your goals. An audit can also help you pinpoint the gaps in your strategy and avoid costly mistakes.

3. I will investigate pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. While there is no such thing as a quick fix or magic tonic that makes patients appear at your doorstep, PPC ads might be the closest thing. It’s not that they’re magic, but they do allow you to get results very quickly. The ability to create ads, pinpoint targets and evolve the campaign as results come in is what makes PPC ads a valuable tool in your practice’s marketing toolbox. It is especially good for small businesses working with conservative budgets. A good plan coupled with sound research helps you generate immediate traffic to your website. Assuming you have updated your website for a user-friendly experience, your practice should be able to capture visitor information and help you convert them into patients. 

4. I will build my brand on social media. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are all about connecting with your community. Sometimes you will be connecting with people who are already your patients. Sometimes it will be potential patients. What matters is that you represent your brand truthfully and in an engaging way. What your community sees on Facebook is what they will expect to see in your office. Begin the New Year by reviewing what your practice has been doing on Facebook and other social media channels. See what has been working and what has not. Eliminate whatever doesn’t represent your practice the way it should. Then thin about ways to engage your community better. Ask more questions and consider the answers. Post images, memes and articles that can be easily shared with others. If you have a good photo, ask your community to supply captions and monitor the engagements well.

5. I will get more online reviews. Positive online reviews are always good for business. Local business searches are a resource for people in your area. It used to be that people would ask coworkers or friends who their dentist is. Today, people ask everyone in their social media circles. Then they conduct internet searches. Assuming you have audited your SEO, your dental practice should begin moving up in search rankings. But searchers look beyond your website to see what else they can find. Reviews are always of interest. Put a sign or poster in your office that encourages patients to write a review for your practice. Then monitor review sites for both positive and negative reviews. Responding and addressing both types of reviews helps build your brand identity and encourages loyalty in your patients.

Can you keep these resolutions? Sure you can. You are a smart and savvy dentist. However mistakes can set your marketing back, possibly erase your website from searches or even cause negative reviews to surface. 

While each one of these resolutions can help you build a healthy growing dental practice, they each take significant time and effort. As a successful dentist you have to decide if you have the hours in your day to put towards internet marketing. If the answer is no, don’t worry. You can still achieve your New Year’s resolutions and growth goals for your dental practice. A quality internet marketing firm can tailor a marketing strategy to your dental practice’s expectations. 


To learn how ProSites can help you boost your online presence and move your search rankings in the right direction contact us at 888-932-3644. 

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Social Media

5 Questions to Ask to Choose the Right Social Media Provider for Your Practice

There are hundreds of millions of active monthly users on every social media channel, billions if you include Facebook – and you have to include Facebook. These days, no marketing plan is complete without a social media strategy. Some people in the marketing industry may even argue it is the most important aspect of your brand strategy. Many small businesses try to handle managing social media themselves. While valiant, most of the dentists I know would say their time is much more valuable when working with patients.

So how do you find the right company to help your dental practice implement a successful social media marketing plan? I just happen to have five tips on this very subject:

Question 1 –What Do They Call Themselves?

Do they call themselves a marketing company, a content marketing company, a social media marketing company, or a Internet marketing company? 

Marketing companies generally have a history in traditional marketing strategies (i.e. print and television ads). They have grown into the digital world as it has become a necessity. While they may be able to offer quality work in social media and other digital endeavors, their strengths are based in their traditional media foundations.

Content marketing companies operate by the saying, “Content is King.” This means that blogging is front and center. Blogging is a great way to build your brand’s expertise and offer quality information to your patients, but blogging alone does not generally encourage patient engagement with your practice’s website.

Social media marketing companies spend their time focused on understanding social media channels and their audiences. They often manage and monitor your practice’s posts in an effort to build a loyal community. 

Internet marketing companies take a more comprehensive approach to digital strategies. They often incorporate content development, social media management, and search engine marketing into your brand’s marketing plan. Although you may think you only need a social media campaign, an Internet marketing company is equipped to help you look at the big picture and find the best ways to reach your current and potential patients. 

Question 2 – Do They Offer Strategic Direction? 

You are the expert in your dental practice. You understand your goals and where you want to be. Internet marketing companies are the experts in creating your dental practice’s brand and getting in front of potential patients. The question you have to ask is how do they plan to do it? You want to hire a company that values your brand and your stated goals. It’s always good to find a company that will audit your current marketing before developing a strategy. Be sure to ask how often they’ll report and review the plan with you. Finally, ask your potential marketing company what they’ll do if the original strategy doesn’t work. A quality company will be able to identify when something isn’t working and find a solution that will.

Question 3 – How Will They Measure Success?

Before you hire an Internet marketing company, do your homework. Have an idea what metrics matter most for your dental practice, such as:

Reach, which measures how many people your campaign touched 

Engagement, which keeps track of how often your campaign results in likes, comments, shares, etc. 

Traffic, which measures how many visitors reach your website because of the campaign 

Conversions, which places a number to how many new patients can be attributed to your digital campaign

The company you hire should be able to work with you to define and understand your goals, and show you how they will measure if they’re meeting them. 

Question 4 – Do They Have Experience in Your Industry? 

If an agency has experience with dental practices they are more likely to understand the language of your industry and its patients. An agency with experience building online strategies for dental practices is more likely to build a successful one for you. If they haven’t worked for dental practices ask if they have experience with similar professional services. They may have tested ideas in different markets with different consumers. They likely have found pitfalls to avoid and ideas that seem to win every time. An Internet marketing company that has experience working with dental practices should rate high on your search.  

Question 5 – Do They Have Case Studies?

If you have narrowed your search down to a couple Internet marketing companies, it’s time to look at their case studies or talk to their other clients who use their services. See what kind of social and digital tactics they used, and what were the results? If the company doesn’t have case studies available, ask for a list of clients that you can contact. 

If you ask these five questions, the answers should help you find the right marketing company for your social media needs. If you are still struggling with the decision take a moment to review the digital marketing company’s website and blog. Pay attention to how user friendly it is and if they content speaks to your pain points. Spend some time on their blog reading what they have to say. This is clear insight into the mindset of the digital marketing company. The articles should give you a good idea how they feel about social media, the digital climate and how to use these marketing resources well.

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Search Marketing

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: DIY or Hire a Pro?

As a small business owner there is always something else that you have to do – always another hat to wear. It’s not enough for you to be a top-notch dentist you also have to be a business manager, IT professional and marketing guru. Or do you?

There is a reason there are expert professionals in every business industry. It’s because no one can be awesome at everything. There’s just not enough time in a day for someone to become an expert at everything. The problem is we love doing it ourselves. DIY gives of us a sense of accomplishment. Plus, we feel like we’re saving money (that’s not always the case). But before we can make a reasoned decision about doing something ourselves, we need all the facts. When it comes to Internet marketing – more specifically, PPC advertising – we have a few tips to help you make your decision to hire a pro or do it yourself.

Tip 1 – Think about your time. If you have plenty of time on your hands, running a PPC advertising campaign may not seem like a stretch for you. However, if you have a strong Internet marketing plan in place, your patient roles should be growing and your time for anything other than dentistry should be shrinking. Learning Google Adwords takes time. Keeping up with keywords and understanding analytics takes time. Building and managing a campaign takes time. While you’re smart enough to understand and create a PPC campaign, your expertise is in dentistry. A PPC campaign that takes you six months to develop measurable ROI may take an efficient expert half the time. Internet marketing experts generally have better equipment, a better understanding of consumer behavior, and experience with processes that save time.

Tip 2 – Be ready for change. This is related to tip one. An Internet marketing professional’s job is to keep up with the latest changes in the industry. Google Adwords is always changing rules, regulations and parameters. It takes time each and every day to keep up with the changes and maintain compliance within your PPC campaign. Changes mean that there are subtle aspects of PPC marketing that can mean the difference between success and failure. An internet marketing professional devotes time to understanding the changes and finding the subtleties that will lead to success, whether it’s an understanding of Dynamic Keyword Insertion or how to correct a faulty keyword match. As a DIYer you may be able to create and account and run a campaign, but can you take time away from your patients and learning about the new technologies and breakthroughs in dentistry to focus on PPC advertising?

Tip 3 – Do it right the first time. A successful PPC campaign takes quality copywriting, user-friendly landing pages and web sites, bid management, keyword tracking and campaign analysis. Buying the right tools and resources can get pricey, but making a mistake up front can be very costly. I’m sure you have your own story of a DIY project gone badly. Maybe it was a plumbing fix that was supposed to be quick and easy then flooded your bathroom. What began as an easy fix became a very costly one in tools, resources and man hours. In the world of PPC advertising, bad copywriting, confusing landing pages and poor keyword research will lead to low conversion rates and wasted money. PPC campaigns are fraught with beginner mistakes that bleed marketing budgets. Professionals can develop plans to eliminate those pitfalls and offer alternative actions when one arises.

Tip 4 – Size can make a difference. There is an economy of scale at play in Internet marketing. If you have a small annual budget of $500 or less you have to weigh whether paying a fee to an Internet marketing company is the best use of those dollars. Devoting a few hours a week to your PPC campaign may be all you can do. With a small budget your market reach and penetration will be limited, ultimately affecting your ROI. If you have an annual budget greater than $500 it’s probably a good idea to speak with a professional that knows PPC advertising. A professional can help you optimize your budget and campaign to produce maximum ROI. Internet marketing is not an exact science. There is always testing and refining needed for successful campaigns. If you make mistakes early you may run through your budget before the campaign has had enough runtime to be effective. Seasoned professionals can eliminate some trial and error through previous experience and create a more efficient strategy that can deliver over an extended period of time before budget becomes a factor.

Tip 5 – Know the Lingo. Every industry and profession has its own language. May times this language consists of a dictionary full of acronyms. Understanding the language of internet marketing, what everything means and how it fits into your campaign can help keep you from wasting your marketing budget on mistakes and accidents. Think you can handle it? What does PPC mean? That’s an easy one. How about CPM, CPC, or CPA? And how will each one affect your campaign? Do you know what the difference between impressions, views and hits are? Which one should you use for your campaign’s KPI? This is just the beginning. If you didn’t ace these questions you’re probably shouldn’t think about managing your own PPC advertising campaign.

PPC advertising can be a very effective tool in your internet marketing toolbox. A relatively small budget can produce a big ROI in a short time when the PPC campaign is in competent hands. If you think your hands fit the bill, remember that your PPC advertising campaign will take time and effort. If you decide that your dental practice is better served with you focused on dentistry, a qualified internet marketing firm should be able to tailor a PPC strategy to reach your goals.

 

To learn how ProSites can help you boost build and manage your PPC campaign contact us for a personal consultation at 888-932-3644.

 

 
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