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October 2017

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Search Marketing

3 Dental Marketing Tactics that Should Stay Dead

We all know the story; a doctor develops a cure for cancer, but a deadly side effect of the treatment causes the brain to function at its more primitive level, the heart stops, and the patient develops a taste for humans. Next thing you know, the protagonist is flash-mobbing in a graveyard alongside zombies!

Like the doctor attempting to make the world a better place by eliminating cancer, you may find yourself wanting to improve your marketing by bringing back some classic marketing methods. However, you may find those strategies are only a husk of their former selves.

Avoid having your marketing strategy eaten alive by these scary tactics:

  1. Advertising in YellowPages – Ask anyone born before 1995 what YellowPages are and they’ll probably point you to Google. Truth is, YellowPages aren’t being seen my many. Instead, maximize visibility among potential patients with search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. SEO helps your website get found higher on search results when potential patients search for the services that you offer. The higher you rank, the more likely a visitor will find your website and click your name to see what your practice is about.
  1. TV Advertising – While traditional marketing still has its perks, TV advertising is expensive, difficult to measure, and likely won’t be seen by your target audience. Instead of wasting precious advertising dollars on ad space that potential patients likely will not see (or simply tune out), consider pay-per-click advertising; a digital marketing method that allows you to target specific audiences in various locations, set your own budget, and only pay when someone clicks your ad. Make sure your PPC campaigns direct visitors to a special landing page about your practice and its services for optimal performance and ROI.
  1. Newspaper Ads – The world is long past the point where people pick up a physical newspaper to get information. Instead of searching through ads, prospective patients rely on their social networks for recommendations because they know they’ll be able to pull from a broad audience they trust. That’s why it’s crucial for you to create and maintain an online social media presence by updating your profiles and collecting reviews that give prospective patients an inside look at your practice. Additionally, you can incentivize your existing patients with a referral program so they’re more likely to recommend you the next time their Facebook friend reaches out.

Don’t make a bad first impression or waste your marketing dollars with scary and ineffective marketing strategies. If you need help bringing your marketing strategy back to life, download the free whitepaper, The Definitive Guide to Online Marketing for Dentists by filling out the form below or call (888) 932-3644 for a free demo.

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Patient Relationship

The Value of Online Reviews for Dentists

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a patient review is worth its word count in gold – or platinum – or whatever is today’s trending precious metal. Still not sure? Let’s put it this way, 70% of dental patients said that online ratings and reviews influenced their choice of dentist.

And, in case you thought you were safe from Google, remember that online ratings and reviews also factor into your practice’s search engine rankings.  Search engines consistently tweak their ranking algorithms to return the best results possible, and this means delivering highly recommended doctors.

Further, online reviews create the perception of trustworthiness and transparency. The prevalence of social media and the increasing number of review sites available (Yelp, Angie’s List, Rate MDs, etc.), mean that your practice is conspicuous by its absence. Trust us, if prospective patients can’t find any reviews on your practice they aren’t going to think, “Wow – that dental practice is so good that not one patient felt the need to share their experience.” More likely, the train of thought will go something like this, “Why hasn’t anyone left a review on that dentist? What are they hiding?”

Understanding the power of online reviews is only half the battle; getting patients to leave them is the other half. So, how do you make that happen amidst the daily juggling required to keep your practice running? First, don’t under estimate the obvious…make the ask!

Send patients a follow-up text or email reiterating the importance of their satisfaction and asking them to share their positive experience online. Bonus points if you save the front desk staff time by using an automated patient communication system (FYI – this method also ensures consistent outreach).

Training your team to gently suggest satisfied patients share their experience is another great way to make the ask. Perhaps while booking a patient’s next appointment, your front desk staff mentions that the practice has profiles on certain online review sites, or hygienists politely close their appointments by asking patients to share their feedback online.

Strategically placed signage in your lobby is another way to plant the online review. Invite patients to share their experience, and ensure the review site URLs are listed clearly. You might be surprised at the number of loyal patients that use their time in the waiting room to post a positive review before they even sit in the chair.

Right up there with making the ask of patients, is making it easy for them. No matter how happy or loyal a patient is, if sharing feedback is a challenge they’re not going to do it. So make the process simple – incorporate review site links in follow-up texts and emails, include preferred review sites on appointment cards, and don’t overlook your own website.

Your website’s reviews page is one of the most convenient places for patients to share their experience – no membership or email account required. Just make sure to stay abreast of what’s posted on your website. ProSites’ reputation marketing feature allows you to determine which comments appear on your practice website. Patients can submit reviews, but nothing goes live on your site until you hit ‘publish’. Plus, when patients rank their experience 4+ stars, they’re automatically prompted to share their review on popular review networks such as Google+, Yelp, and Bing, which also makes you more visible to prospective patients.

In summary, online reviews influence patients’ choice of provider, lend credibility to your practice, and play a key role in determining your search engine rankings. For more information on how you can increase positive reviews, download our complimentary whitepaper How To Get Frequent Positive Reviews For Your Dental Practice: Climb to 5 Starts on Yelp, Google Maps, Facebook and More.

Have specific questions regarding how to put reviews to work for your practice? Our dental marketing experts are here to help.  Reach out to an Internet Marketing Advisor today at (888) 932-3644

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