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June 2016

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Search Marketing

Online Dental Marketing Advice with Dr. Tippins

It’s great to read about what you should be doing to market your dental practice, but listening to advice from your peers is even better.

In our latest podcast, Dr. Tippins tells us what he’s observed over the last few decades as the world of dental marketing has evolved. He covers the importance of having an online presence, the value of search engine optimization (SEO), and tips on how to monitor your competition.

Listen to his full interview with our VP of Products, Keith Washington, below. A full transcript has been provided below for you as well. Special thanks to Dr. Tippins and Urbandale Family Dentistry for taking the time to talk to us!

 

If you’d like to learn more about marketing your practice visit our dental marketing resources page for free whitepaper downloads and on-demand webinars on SEO, website design and social media.

 

 

Full Transcript:

Keith: Welcome to this edition of the ProSites podcast. I’m Keith Washington, VP of products here at ProSites. And I’m here today with Dr. Thomas Tippins. Dr. Tippins has a dental practice in the heartland of America – in Iowa. And he has agreed to spend a few minutes with us today to talk about online marketing for the dental practice and give us some tips about online marketing in the dental practice. Welcome Dr. Tippins.

Dr. Tippins: Hi, Keith. Thanks.

Keith: Thanks for joining us. So first, why don’t we just start simply- tell us about your practice – a little bit about you and your practice.

Dr. Tippins: Well, Urbandale Family Dentistry – It’s located in Urbandale, Iowa. It’s a population of about 43,000. And we have two dentists on staff and then 9 team members. And we specialize in general dentistry but my associate, Dr. Miller, she also does some oral surgery, endodontics and Invisalign.

Keith: Well that’s great. It sounds like you have a really good, booming practice. And you’ve been in practice for how long?

Dr. Tippins: Uh, approximately 38 years.

Keith: Well that’s great. So this is really good for us to talk about because you have seen, personally, the transition. First from dentists really not doing marketing to dentists doing marketing really traditionally – offline marketing we call it today – and now the trend to move to marketing your practice online to the Internet. So tell me your thoughts on online marketing.

Dr. Tippins: I think online marketing – it’s 99% of everything. It’s very important. Many of the prospective patients are young and middle aged. And they’re using the internet for their searches. I mean, I haven’t used a phonebook in over 7 years.

Keith: Right, ha.

Dr. Tippins: A few weeks ago, my office manager was checking the Urbandale Family Dentistry telephone book ad and she noticed the paid ad we had was missing. So, long story short the office manager called and cancelled the paid ad for ever and received a full refund. And we kept the free listing but, you know, no one ever tells us at Urbandale Family Dentistry that they found us, uh, on the phonebook. Never.

Keith: That’s a great point. Even though most of us still have a phonebook, I guess, you know, it’s continuing to decline. So, what are you doing to currently market your practice?

Dr. Tippins: I do a lot of SEO – search engine optimization. And my SEO goal is to make Google happy. And to keep up with the changes they make all the time.

Keith: Right.

Dr. Tippins: And it’s important in the SEO rankings to have good, fresh content for the patients and Google. And I use the secondary business directories like Manta and Vitals – they’re free. And I also participate in the social networks like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest. And even Google+. Google+ is dying a slow death but I still use it because Google owns it and Google also owns YouTube so Urbandale Family Dentistry has a YouTube channel with over a 100 dental videos on it.

Keith: Wow.

Dr. Tippins: And as of today it has 118. And I do social media and have fresh, new content for one reason only, and that’s to help boost my rankings on the first page of Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Keith: That’s great! So that’s exciting to have all of that but what about results? Are you seeing any results from these efforts?

Dr. Tippins: Um, a lot of results. I mean, before I had the ProSites website I wasn’t even on the first page of Google. I was still using a phonebook. And, now after having the ProSites dental website for a few years when you search for “dentist in Urbandale” I’m usually number one organic – first page Google. And number 1 on the three-pack local map.

Keith: That’s great and what about actual patients coming into your office? Do feel like the marketing efforts that you are doing online actually bring patients not just to see your website but actually come into your office?

Dr. Tippins: Yeah, I’ve been getting a lot more patients since I’ve risen on Google. Now I’m usually number 1 – we usually average about 30 new patients a month now.

Keith: Wow, that’s great. That’s really good, you sound like you’re certainly a big fan of online marketing. Maybe you could tell us, you know, do you have any tips that you share? Really the bulk of this – really the whole basis of this podcast is “hear from dentists like you with tips that may help other dentists.” Do you have anything you’d like to share on marketing a practice?

Dr. Tippins: I would look at your competitors are doing. There’s websites out there to help you with that. I use seomastering.com and ahrefs.com. SEO is very important so you need to read up on it and you need to just do whatever Google recommends you to do. Or, you could have ProSites do it all for you.

Keith: Oh that’s very nice. Yeah, go ahead, sorry.

Dr. Tippins: My first website was terrible. It was built by my computer guy and he knew nothing about SEO. And after I started with ProSites, I slowly started to creep up on the Google rankings. And now I’m ranked number 1 organic, number 1 on the local map when you search for “dentist in Urbandale.”

Keith: Well that’s very exciting I’m really happy to hear that, well, first of all from someone who’s so well-versed in online marketing and showing the importance of  – if you’re running your practice to know who you’re doing in online marketing and is it key component. I certainly appreciate and thankful that you think of ProSites as positive too. Is there anything else you’d like to add before we close?

Dr. Tippins: No, not really, Keith. I thank ProSites for being a great company and helping me get to number 1 on Google for most of my searches.

Keith: Great, thank you so much Dr. Tippins. I really appreciate you taking the time. And hopefully everyone who hears this podcast can learn a lot from Dr. Tippins’ comments on online marketing. Thank you again.

Dr. Tippins: Thanks, Keith.

To learn more about how ProSites can help you accelerate practice growth, visit our Dental Marketing page or call (888) 932-3644 to talk with an Internet Marketing Advisor.

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Company News

ProSites Partners with Benco Dental to Distribute Dental Website Design and Online Marketing Solutions

ProSites, a leading dental website design firm, and Benco Dental, a leading dental product distributor, have teamed up to provide additional convenience and cost-savings to Benco Dental clients. This new partnership gives Benco Dental clients access to premium website design and online marketing solutions from ProSites.

For over a decade, ProSites has helped dentists accelerate practice growth through innovative website design and online marketing solutions that deliver measurable results. Benco Dental is one of the most trusted names in dentistry, renowned for their commitment to providing high-quality products.

“ProSites has a proven track record for providing superior online marketing services that make it easy and affordable for dentists to grow their practices,” said Julie Radzyminski, Vice President of Business Innovation at Benco Dental. “Their knowledge of what it takes to design an effective dental website, coupled with their expertise in online search and social media marketing is unmatched. We are excited to be able to offer a comprehensive online marketing solution to our customers.”

 

To learn more, read the full press release here.

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Social Media

Running a Dental Practice Today Compared to the 80’s

Ahh the 1980’s, the days when neon was bright and Tab was best served cold. For those of you who may not remember the original dayglow trend or the sickly sweet diet cola, read on for some social media insight.

Can’t stomach another Gen-X walk down memory lane? Download ProSites’ latest white paper Running a Dental Practice in the Age of Social Media for a nostalgia-free guide to social media.

If you were running a dental practice in the 1980s, word-of-mouth advertising and the phone book would have been essential components of your marketing strategy. Now most likely found propping a door open, phone books were once a primary source of information. Fast forward a few decades and the go-to resource is the Internet. Online is where the people are – including your current and prospective patients.

Each day, the average adult spends over 90 minutes on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. What are they doing on these sites? They’re sharing everything from who they saw at the coffee shop to their experience at the dentist.  And faster than you can dial on a rotary phone, your practice’s reputation is on the World Wide Web.

Think you’ll save yourself the hassle of social media and just avoid the whole scene? Before you pop that collar, think again. If your practice isn’t on social media, you’re missing daily opportunities to reach your audience. And, like chewing gum while wearing a retainer, that’s not a wise decision.

So you understand the importance of being on social media, but where do you start? As the ugly-duckling-turned-prom-queen from a John Hughes’ movie will tell you, where you show-up is important.  Social media’s popular crowd includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn – each with its own benefits. Depending on your practice audience and online marketing strategy, any combination could work. For a deep dive into each network, including elements for success, download Running a Dental Practice in the Age of Social Media.

I’m on social media, but what do I say? If The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles taught us anything, it’s that you can’t go wrong being yourself (and the right soundtrack can break down societal divides). Social media is a way to show the personality of your practice. Do you pride yourself on delivering cosmetic dentistry in a tranquil environment? Go ahead and share photos of your spa-like atmosphere. Specialize in pediatrics? Engage parents with tips on how to get children to brush. It’s important to remember that content alone, like a single pair of scrunch socks, is only half the battle. Consistency is key to creating engagement on social media. While you don’t want to overdo it and risk spamming your followers, creating a predictable schedule is essential to building a presence.

While dental professional, and possibly 80’s aficionado, may be in your title, chances are you’re not a social media expert. The realm of social media is complex. A lot goes into successfully managing your presence on this modern-day party line. From which platforms to use, to messaging and tone, managing your practice’s social media presence can be a fulltime job. Like wearing Jams to Sunday brunch, why risk it? ProSites’ team of social media and online marketing experts knows how to consistently deliver relevant content to keep your practice in front of current and prospective patients. We keep you where your patients are, while giving you time to focus on what’s at hand. Rubik’s Cube anyone?

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Search Marketing

SEO for Dentists – Common Questions from Your Peers

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a key component in your practice’s successful online marketing strategy. But, it’s a very complex topic. We thought we’d highlight some of the most common questions below in case you too have the same questions for your dental practice’s marketing.

Q: Do hashtags (#) help?

A: This handy icon helps current and prospective patients find posts on a specific topic in the social media arena (i.e. #teethwhitening). Hashtags are great for helping you distribute content on social media platforms, and are a potential source of backlinks to your practice’s site. However, hashtags don’t yet apply to search engine optimization algorithms.

Q: Is it possible to use too many keywords?

A: Keywords are great – up to a point. These relevant words can be included in titles, content headers, image alt tags (i.e. descriptors that appear in place of an image), and throughout the copy. But be careful – you know what they say about too much of a good thing.  As a best practice, if your copy sounds unnatural when read aloud you’re probably guilty of keyword stuffing. And, since search engines are about as forgiving as a waistband after Thanksgiving dinner, your page ranking will suffer.

Q: How long does it take to verify a Google Maps listing?

A: Google throws shade to the old adage, “Good thinks come to those who wait,” by confirming your Google+ listing in less than fifteen minutes. Just ensure you are physically in the office because Google will call the phone number associated with the street address to verify your account.

Q: How do I correct my Google Maps location?

A: Having the wrong location shown in Google Maps is just as bad as giving prospective patients a business card with the wrong phone number. Fortunately, it’s a pretty simple fix. Simply log into the Google dashboard and move the pin on the map to reflect the correct location. Make sure that the correct address is showing in your dashboard as well. Please note that if you are seeing an old address in Google’s search results, you’ll need to report your old location as “moved” via the edit menu in Google Maps to avoid a duplicate listing. (Learn about duplicate listings and why they’re bad for your rankings here.)

Q: When should I add SEO to my online marketing strategy?

A: Now! Search engine optimization takes time to produce results, which means starting now will set you up for success in time for busy season.

Still have questions? Download our whitepaper about Local Search and How It Affects Your Practice by filling out this form

Or reach out to one of our Internet marketing advisors at (888) 932-3644.

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Search Marketing

9 Dental Marketing Tactics to Meet Your Goals

Why do you invest in marketing your dental practice?  Perhaps it’s to acquire new patients, build revenue from existing patients, or grow your brand and professional image. Regardless of the reason, developing a solid marketing plan starts with determining your goals.

After you know your goals, you have dozens of marketing tactics to choose from.  There’s direct mail, website promotion, search engine optimization, social media, pay-per-click ads, newspaper, word-of-mouth – it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. How do you know which areas to spend the most time and money on? Which channels of advertising will help you meet your practice’s goals?

We answer all of these questions and more in our latest webinar, 9 Dental Marketing Tactics to Meet Your Goals. Now it’s available on demand, so you can watch it on your own time here.

Take 25 minutes in this webinar to learn how to:

  • Get more patients by optimizing your website.
  • Decide if online advertising is right for you.
  • Use social media to engage with patients, build your brand and improve your bottom line.

Download the webinar here to discover marketing tips that will help you achieve your practice goals.

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Website Design

Web Design Best Practices – The Don’ts

Effective web design is a bit like dating. You want to put your best foot forward, but there are so many decisions to be made. Some are obvious – parachute pants are NOT flattering – and others are more difficult – should my practice address be on every page? For detailed information on the do’s and don’ts of website design download ProSites’ latest whitepaper, 10 Best Practices for Creating Great Dental Websites.  If you’re looking for a shortcut check out the suggestions below.

Irrelevant – don’t be it. Like a waiter asking how you’d like your steak tartar, a cover image that doesn’t immediately resonate with your audience is irrelevant. If your practice is located in a metro area an image of rolling fields on your website doesn’t provide context. While lovely, it doesn’t reflect your practice or speak to your target audience.

Now’s not the time to be allusive. Unlike some potential dates, most website visitors have a pretty straight forward agenda. They want to know:

  • Location
  • Hours
  • Contact information
  • Practice expertise

Don’t bury this information on a secondary page. Make sure it’s on your home page or clearly identified in the primary navigation.

Don’t be shy. Sometimes it’s ok to be bold – this is one of those times. Highlight patient testimonials in prominent locations throughout your website. Don’t relegate them to a separate page. Patient reviews are powerful, so make it easy for visitors to see them.

But don’t be too much either. Like the guy at the bar wearing a neon sweat suit, too many aesthetics will turn visitors off. While you may feel artistic creating a website with multiple colors and fonts, chances are visitors won’t share your enthusiasm. Remember that colors should be complementary and fonts need to be easy to read.

Time is of the essence. Some experiences, like waiting for the speed dating bell to ring or a website to load, seem to slow time. While you want to engage visitors, over doing it with animation or videos has the opposite effect. Everyone is busy and 40% of visitors will leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

Not being mobile-friendly is rude. Scanning your Facebook feed during dinner may be a faux pas, but having a website that isn’t optimized for mobile viewing is worse. Aside from not being easily accessible to current and prospective patients, non-responsive sites (i.e. not adaptive to mobile device screens) rank lower in search results, making it harder for your practice to be found. Guarantee an easy user experience across devices by ensuring your website is responsive.

Website design isn’t easy; there are a lot of components that need to work well together. Download 10 Best Practices for Creating Great Dental Websites from ProSites to see if your site is on track.

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