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.
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.
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.
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.