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August 2017

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Search Marketing

PPC for Dentists – How to Define Your Budget

Many dentists (and other small businesses) are trying pay-per-click (PPC) more and more. It’s a great way to reach a targeted audience, and you only pay when someone clicks your ad. Plus, it’s a quick way to get noticed on page 1 of search results. If you’re considering PPC as part of your marketing mix, you’ll soon come to ask “how much should my dental practice spend on PPC?”

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Search Marketing

Dental Marketing Trends: Checking In

It seems like just a few weeks ago we were penning our New Year’s resolutions and vowing to eat less processed food, but here we are soaking up the last of summer – hot dog in hand. Before year-end lists dominate the headlines, we thought we would take a moment to dust off our Magic 8 Ball and check-in to see how some of the Top Trends and Recommendations for Dentistry & Marketing in 2017 are tracking.

1. Trust of authority and experts is decreasing. When we asked our Magic 8 Ball if this was still a thing, “Signs point to yes” quickly appeared in its foggy little window. While the prevalence of unsubstantiated news stories is disturbing on its own, it also results in a decrease in general trust of authority and experts which has a different set of ramifications. A great example of this is how the Associated Press article titled, Medical Benefits of Dental Floss Unproven quickly transformed into an anti-floss movement promulgated by headlines such as, Dentists Forgot to Study Flossing For a Century, Recommended It Anyway (published by website, Ars Technica). Now, if that were actually true, we would be all for a full-on dental floss boycott. Of course, that’s not exactly accurate but in the frenzy of Shares and Likes who can be bothered to fact check?

What does this mean for you? While we don’t recommend burning your dental school letters to show the masses you’re not one of those out-of-touch experts, we do suggest demonstrating that you care what patients think. Aside from requesting feedback through satisfaction surveys, try social listening on your practice’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Once you understand what’s on patients’ minds you’ll be able to address concerns and focus on topics of interest – both of which will help to carve out your niche as an expert who can be trusted.

2. Belief in crowds and social networking is increasing. Is this trend still going strong? The Magic 8 Ball says “Without a doubt”. Despite the influx of documented “fake news,” we just can’t stop ourselves from passing along salacious headlines. After all, who has the time to read an entire article? It’s much easier to take your Facebook friend’s word for it – besides, they probably verified it anyway.

What does this mean to you? As belief in crowds and social networking continues to increase, it’s more important than ever for dental practices to find a way to insert themselves into the conversation. This means that having a social media presence isn’t enough; you need to participate. Don’t worry, this isn’t as daunting as it might sound. Simply responding to comments on your practice’s social media pages helps to set you apart and makes users feel like you’re one of their social network friends, and not just another dental clinic.

A great way to expand your social footprint is to provide incentives for your patients to share information online about your practice. Depending on your patient base, this might include raffles or giveaways for Liking your page or referring a friend. Whichever method you choose, the first step is to make sure patients know you’re there. Use your patient newsletter, waiting room signage, and website to announce your social media presence and encourage patients to connect online.

3. Everything is going mobile. Do we even need to consult our trusty Magic 8 Ball for this one? The fact that a Magic 8 Ball app exists should be a good indicator (insert winking emoji here). This trend is one that shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, 80% of adult Internet users own a smartphone, and 25% of them can’t remember the last time it wasn’t next to them.

What does this mean for you? This is one trend that’s pretty cut and dry. You need a mobile website – full stop. Without it, you run the risk of alienating over 50% of the prospective patients that visit your website from a mobile device. We don’t think you need to consult the Magic 8 Ball to see if that’s a risk you should take.

4. Video content is becoming necessary to engage your audience. The Magic 8 Ball’s take on this trend? Outlook good. The move towards video content is indisputable; we’ll let you decide if our insatiable appetite for the screen (4x as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it) is rooted in Netflix or the Disney Junior app.

What does this mean for you? Just as having a Facebook page is no longer enough (remember, participation is key), having a website alone doesn’t guarantee visitor engagement. Video is a great way to raise the bar. Try creating a library of how-to videos that address common concerns (i.e. the fruit of your social listening labor), such as “How to help my child manage braces”. Plus, video has been shown to keep visitors on your site longer, with the average time spent on a website jumping from 42 seconds to 350 seconds when video was present.

Even though Labor Day is on the horizon, you still have time to catch-up with these trends. For help on how to get started, contact ProSites at (888) 932-3644 because before you know it you’ll be revising those New Year’s resolutions for 2018.

Have you read about the other top trends that we predicted? Download the whitepaper using the form below.

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Search Marketing

Common Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising Questions from Dentists

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) can be a key component of a dental practice’s online marketing strategy. In our recent webinar on PPC, we heard a lot of great questions from dentists like you.

If you’ve been considering PPC for your practice, or have a simple interest in learning more to see if it’s a right fit, we highlighted these questions here so you can get a better idea of what’s entailed.

Q: How much do clicks cost?

A: While a common question, it’s also the hardest to answer, as there are numerous factors that go into determining bids for certain keywords.

First, it’s important to understand that Google’s AdWords platform runs as an auction. Similar to how you would bid for a product on eBay, with AdWords, you tell the “seller” (Google) what you are willing to pay for the “product” (the keywords/location you want to target).

You’ll typically pay 60-80% of your bid, depending on what others bid and what the competition in the targeted location is. For example, AdWords Keyword Planner shows a suggested bid of $14.56for “dental implants” in San Jose, CA and $9.67in Omaha, NE. Since keywords and competition vary in each market, it’s important to have a somewhat flexible budget when beginning your initial campaigns.

Q: What is a typical PPC budget for a sole-practitioner?

A: As outlined above, it depends on various factors, however, we typically recommend that dentists put at least $400 per month toward AdWords. Distributed evenly throughout the month, this equates to $13 available daily for clicks. Therefore, if one click on your AdWords ad costs $6, you only have enough spend for two clicks (potential new clients) daily. Running out of budget during the day will cause AdWords to stop your ads until more budget is available the following day. This is why dentists in highly-competitive markets can easily hit their maximum daily spend, while those in less competitive areas may only reach the max once or twice a week.

While expanding your budget is one way to obtain more leads, optimizing your campaign can help you stretch your budget even further by analyzing metrics such as impressions, click-thru-rate and conversions for targeted keywords and/or locations to learn where your money is best spent and get the best return on your investment.

Q: Do I need another website set up for PPC, in addition to the website I already have?

A: No. But you should create landing pages for your PPC ads. A landing page is different than a normal web page because it is created specifically for an advertisement. When someone clicks your PPC ad about teeth whitening services, you don’t want to send them to your website homepage where they must dig for more information about this topic. Instead, you want to send them to a landing page that is specifically about teeth whitening since this is what they were interested in first. Make sure your landing pages have a strong call-to-action and help the reader understand what they should do next (e.g. fill out a form for a free consultation).

Q: How are web pages set up so that AdWords recognizes when someone want to be contacted?

A: Once a landing page is created, a form is added to the landing page. That form will then gather information submitted by a web visitor on the form so you may contact them about your services. After the web visitor submits their information, they are directed to a “Thank You” page, which should thank them for their interest and let them know what next steps are, such as how long it will be until they hear from you or someone at your firm.

Once the “Thank You” page loads, an AdWords conversion pixel (usually added by your webmaster during your campaign setup process), is triggered. This communicates to AdWords that a “conversion” has occurred. The pixel is will only be triggered if the person lands on your website through search engine advertising.

Tracking conversions from PPC advertising allows you to track your ROI on the channel. It also helps you identify where to improve content to maximize the effectiveness of your campaign. For example, AdWords will show you how many clicks your ad has received, but also how many people contact you once they visit your landing page. If you’re getting a lot of clicks, but not a lot of conversions, you may want to revisit the messaging on your webpage.

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

A: Now! PPC ads are a quick and super-targeted way to get your firm noticed by new patients. You can get PPC ads up and running within just a couple of days.

Do you still have questions? Download our whitepaper on pay-per-click by filling out the form below.

Or, let ProSites help by reaching out to one of our Internet marketing experts at (888) 932-3644.

 
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Website Design

Patient Experience: A New Competitive Battleground for Dentists

In today’s consumer-driven environment, it seems that everyone expects an “experience” and not just of the find-yourself variety (a.k.a. that gap year trip across Europe).  Perhaps it’s because busy schedules make time more valuable than ever, or that younger generations have simply become conditioned to expect more – the jury is still out on if realty TV or helicopter parents are to blame – either way the bar has been raised and patient experience is the new competitive battleground.

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