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December 2016

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Search Marketing

5 New Year’s Resolutions You Should Make to Grow Your Practice

Every year, around this time, people think about their New Year’s Resolutions. Then they wonder how long they can keep them. 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 grow my presence on social media and stay engaged with my followers.

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all about connecting with your community. Sometimes you will be connecting with people who are already your patients, and other times it’ll be potential new patients. What matters is that you represent your dental practice in a professional, approachable, and friendly manner.

Social media is also one of the key ways that you can gain more referrals now. Facebook is commonly used for status’s requesting recommendations on service providers from friends. If your practice is on social media, someone can reply by “tagging” your practice, making it super easy for people to instantly visit your social media page to learn more about your practice.

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 by revising analytics data available to you. Set goals as to what you would like to accomplish with your social media pages and use your analytics data to support those goals. Eliminate whatever doesn’t represent your practice the way it should by defining what “working” means to your practice. Perhaps you had more engagement on Instagram over Twitter and determined that next year your practice should prioritize your time on Instagram. Then think about ways to engage your community better. One way to do this is by asking more questions and consider the answers.

Post content that is likely to engage your audience such as images, memes (if appropriate) 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.

Want more ideas on social media marketing for your dental practice? Read this whitepaper.

2. I will increase positive reviews online.

According to a recent study, over 67% of consumers are influenced by online reviews.1Therefore, it’s more important than ever that your practice has as many reviews as possible!

Start by asking your patients during their appointment to leave a review on your website, Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp pages. It also helps to have a sign in your office that points patients to the direct link where they can leave a review. Remember, the easier it is for patients to leave you a review, the more likely that it’ll happen.

You can also write follow-up emails to patients that request them to leave a review on your website and/or other third party sites. With ProSites, your website also includes a Reputation Marketing feature, which makes it simple for patients to leave a review right on your website and then share it on other sites. Plus, you have full control over which reviews are showcased on your actual website.

Make sure to respond to any and all reviews, too! If it’s a positive review, thank them for their time and let them know how happy you are to hear about their good experience. If it is a not-so-great review, make sure to thank them for expressing their concerns, apologize if necessary, and work toward a resolution while taking it offline as quickly as possible.

3. I will have a mobile-friendly website.

As of 2014, more than 50% of online searches occur on a mobile device. In addition to providing a better experience for visitors, mobile-friendly websites are also now favorably ranked by Google, when a user searches from their smartphone.

Make sure your website loads quickly on smartphones, avoids the need to zoom in or out on text, and has thumb-friendly buttons with navigation that makes it easy to find the information someone would be looking for.

4. I will start blogging.

Blogging provides tremendous benefits for your practice. First, it’s a great way to educate current and prospective patients on the various services that you offer. It also gives you an opportunity to convey your expertise in dentistry. Whether you’re writing an article on the newest equipment that your office just got, or expressing your thoughts on a new method of dentistry, by creating a blog with meaningful, relevant, and educational content – you’re building trust among current and prospective patients.

Blogging is also one of the best things that can help your website’s search rankings. Search engines like Google love to see new content on websites. Therefore, by consistently posting new content on your blog on topics related to dentistry, it’ll help your website have more fresh content that includes key terms and phrases that will help your rankings.

5. I will experiment with search marketing techniques.

Whether your practice prefers to start with a solidified search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to help your organic rankings or wants to experiment with pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, testing is key to finding out which marketing methods work best for your practice.

While there are many differences between SEO and PPC, you will never know what works best for your practice until you try. Make it a goal to test at least one of these search marketing techniques for at least 6 months to see which one provides the greatest return for your practice.

While each one of these resolutions can help you build a healthy growing dental practice, they each take a good amount of time and effort. As a successful dentist who needs to remain focused on patients, don’t be afraid to hire a trusted marketing provider to take care of your online marketing needs. A quality internet marketing firm can tailor a marketing strategy to your dental practice’s expectations.

To learn more about marketing your practice online, call ProSites at (888) 932-3644. You may also be interested in this whitepaper which takes you through the best practices and key items to consider for each main pillar of marketing your dental practice online.

Sources:

  1. Moz: New Study: Data Reveals 67% of Consumers are Influenced by Online Reviews
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Search Marketing

What Dentists Can Learn About Marketing from 2016

If you’re on the Internet (and who isn’t?), chances are you’ve stumbled across one of the hundreds of memes that mock how *interesting* of a year 2016 has been. From Bradgelina splitting to the very intense (dare we mention it) election, 2016 has been a year of change for many.

Back in the beginning of 2016, we wrote an article that discussed the top three anticipated social media trends. As we wrap up the year, we’re taking a look back to see which took flight and where we were not-so-right.

1. We predicted that social networks would adopt new algorithms making it more difficult to reach new patients for free; thus, increasing the need for paid social media advertising. 

The verdict? 

It turns out that we were mostly right about this. Facebook introduced an update that prioritizes content differently on people’s newsfeeds depending on the source. For example, posts from friends and family members will always have priority over content that originates from sources that are not personal connections. Forbes.com predicts that this will drive content publishers and small businesses alike to use Facebook’s ads, potentially causing ad bidding to become increasingly competitive. Naturally, when there is more demand for ads, bid prices are driven up, making advertising more expensive.

Whether this becomes a reality has yet to be seen. In the meantime, if you’re advertising your dental practice on Facebook take heart in knowing that it is still a relatively inexpensive option compared to more traditional marketing methods. Especially given its targeting ability.

In the Twitter world, now your current and prospective patients will see “tweets they might have missed from accounts they engage with the most” instead of seeing tweets purely in real time. This means the more your followers engage with your practice Twitter page, the more likely they are to see it.

Bottom line: These updates are proof that content is important in getting in front of your current and prospective patients on social media. These networks are increasingly watching the habits of your followers, and delivering the content they favor. The more they interact with your page, the more often they will see it.

For more help on creating a social media management strategy that incorporates the changes made in 2016, download this free guide to social media for dentists.

2. We predicted that content would remain king and search engines would reward great content with higher positioning in search results.

The verdict? 

Not so right. While it is still important to optimize your website’s content, this year we actually saw a greater emphasis on mobile and off-site (external) ranking factors.

Here are two major updates that Google made this year that may have impacted your rankings for the better – or worse.

    1. May 2016: Google’s update benefitted mobile-friendly sites, ranking those websites favorably in search results from a smartphone. Therefore, if you had a mobile-friendly dental website before May 2016, it likely impacted your search rankings for the better.
    2. September 2016: Google’s Possum update was released, impacting local listings (the list of businesses on a map in search results). Early analysis suggests local businesses that fall outside of the physical city limits are more likely to show higher in local listing rankings than before.

For example, a dentist just outside of Hollywood isn’t likely to rank in the local snack pack (set of the top three local businesses that match a search query, displayed on Google’s search engine results page) even if they are located in West Hollywood. Now, dental practices just outside of the designated city are more likely to appear in search results. This is encouraging since it has been a common pain-point for most dentists that need to expand beyond the neighborhood or city in which they are located.

3. We predicted that visual marketing would become even more important in 2016 (i.e. including photos and videos in your posts). 

The verdict? 

We were mostly right, with one slight adjustment – native video (videos uploaded directly to the social platform, instead of linking from YouTube) is surpassing images in terms of engagement.

Surprisingly enough, Facebook is closing in on YouTube as the number one source of video content. That’s likely because YouTube is so saturated that people now use it as a resource, rather than a way to kill time, making it less integrated in people’s daily lives.

While we’re not saying you should only post videos of your practice on social media, we do encourage you to think about adding video into your follower engagement strategy. As we mentioned above, the more engaged your followers are, the more likely they are to see your posts.

One way you can integrate videos is by experimenting with Facebook Live or Periscope (on Twitter). These allow you to broadcast instantly to your followers. Looking for broadcast topics? Consider:

    1. Community events
    2. Dental association shows and meetings
    3. Public speaking events
    4. Volunteer events, such as Dentists Without Borders
    5. Office celebrations

The list goes on and on. Check out these 30 ideas that dental practices can post about on social media, and adapt some of them for live broadcasting.

So there you have it – a rearview look at our 2016 predictions. Not bad, given that they were written without psychic ability or a Magic 8 Ball. With technology advancing faster than ever, we can say with certainty that you better buckle-up for 2017!

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Company News

ProSites Voted #1 in Dental Website Design 2016 Townie Choice Awards

Thank you Townies, for voting ProSites #1 in dental website design and services for the second consecutive year in the 2016 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.

This recognition is an honor and we appreciate your support. We are committed to earning your vote of confidence in the years ahead.

To read the full press release, please click here.  

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Search Marketing

Top Reason Why Your Dental Practice’s Pay-Per-click Ads Aren’t Effective

Is your dental practice running pay-per-click ads on Google AdWords?  As a refresher, pay-per-click or PPC ads run at the top of Google’s results page for specific keywords, such as “family dentistry.” While PPC ads have a number of benefits, chief among them is that you only pay when someone clicks on your actual ad.

If you’re getting the right people to look at your ad but aren’t seeing more new patients come in, it’s time to look deeper into why your ads aren’t converting.

The first step is to understand the importance of where you direct those who click on your ad. This is called a landing page. Most practices use PPC ads to direct traffic to their homepage (the main page of the website). However, this common mistake could be turning away prospective new patients and hurting your pay-per-click ad conversion.

Instead of driving prospective patients to your homepage, send them to a dedicated landing page with content that’s directly related to the ad you’re running. For example, if you’re ad highlights teeth whitening, you’ll want to take patients immediately to a page with information on this topic.

When creating a landing page, there are five must-haves to ensure a great user-experience for your prospective patients:

1. Have a clear headline and sub-headline that ties back to the ad copy: Help website visitors understand exactly where they are and what they need to do. If your ad is about cosmetic services, make sure that your landing page’s headline relates back to the ad by stating something about cosmetic services too.

2. Keep the objective streamlined: Provide clear, concise, and informative content for your visitors (prospective new patients). Help them become educated while staying on topic and not providing too much information. Your visitors should be able to quickly get the information they need while understanding exactly what you want them to do.

3. Avoid too much clutter: Having a landing page with too many visual elements (i.e. multiple videos, images, heavy text) may confuse the visitor and detract from the overall purpose of the page. Make sure that your text is clear and concise, any and all imagery supports the content, and the layout makes it easy for the eyes to flow down the page.

4. Have one main call-to-action: Whether you want prospective patients to watch a video or fill out a form to schedule an appointment, the main objective of the landing page should be very clear to the visitor.

5. Ask only for information that you truly need: On call-to-action forms, the less fields there are to fill out, the better. Try to only ask prospective patients for essential information and limit it to under five fields. Keeping required information down to the bare minimum increases  the chances of a prospective patient completing your form.

The main goal of a landing page is to provide visitors with information that meets their needs. If you are running an ad on a specific service, but send them to your website’s homepage, they likely won’t know where to find the information they want. By bringing them to a dedicated landing page about the service your ad highlights, you’re providing easy access to the information they want – which delivers a great first impression, and encourages them to contact your practice for an appointment.

For more information about effective pay-per-click campaigns, download the free whitepaper, A Dentist’s Guide to Getting More Profitable Patients with Pay-Per-Click. You can also call us at (888) 932-3644 to speak with a dedicated Internet Marketing Advisor.

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