Monthly Archives

February 2018

Home / February 2018
""/
Practice Marketing

6 Ways Dental Practices Can Stand Out in a Cluttered Inbox

Chances are your dental practice communicates with some – if not the majority of – patients via email. Whether it’s appointment reminders, post-visit recaps, or a simple follow-up note – standing out in a cluttered email inbox is key to communicating with patients effectively.

Seeing that the average person receives over 120 emails a day, your message has a lot of competition. Use these tips below to ensure patients take notice to your dental practice’s emails:

  1. Make your subject line count. If your subject line doesn’t make sense or doesn’t catch attention, it could easily be deleted. Or worse, marked as SPAM and never seen. Make sure your subject lines are personable, concise, and accurate to what is included in the body of the email.

Subject lines work best when you keep it under 50 characters and avoid words like “FREE” so you aren’t marked as SPAM.

– Try sending emails at odd times. With “inbox zero” being the new goal, sometimes people will ignore an email truly because they are just too busy to ready yours. By sending an email at night or during the weekend, this may catch a patient’s attention. Test different email send days and times and track to see which has best response rates.

  1. Choose your words carefully. Content is everywhere, and people don’t have time to read everything that lands n their inbox. People are constantly rushing and need a concise email. There’s definitely a need for personality and a lot of need-to-know information but try to keep emails under 100 words and link out to other important information if they must find out more.
  1. Make the call-to-action clear. Make sure your email starts and ends with what you want your readers to do. Do you need them to complete a form and send it back? Do you want them to schedule a meeting with your firm? Whatever the action item is, make sure it’s clear and simply stated. Most people don’t read the full email – they skim the text – so ensure your call-to-action stands out from the body of the text by using a button or bold text to set it apart.
  1. Be mobile-friendly. Over half of all emails are read on a mobile device. Make sure your HTML emails are optimized for a mobile viewing experience, to ensure that patients don’t need to pinch and zoom to simply read your email. Otherwise, you chance being ignored or deleted.
  1. AB Test and measure success. Learn about your audience by testing the message, send times, calls-to-action, and subject lines. Make sure to define what you are testing and what success looks like so you can successfully track your efforts and make smarter marketing decisions for your practice.

Email marketing is here to stay – so it’s important that your dental practice utilizes this medium effectively. Find out how ProSites can help you stand out in a cluttered inbox with automated patient communication email reminders via PracticeMojo. Call (888) 932-3644 to learn more.

""/
Practice Marketing

What to Look For in a Dental Web Design Company

Like most big decisions, choosing a website company for your dental practice can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time.  Your website is the foundation of your online presence, so selecting the right dental website company is key. To help you get started with the selection process, we’ve outlined three critical components to address up front.

Expertise – This is foundational. Remember, there’s a reason beauty schools offer free haircuts (let’s just say these budding professionals are still mastering their craft).  While we’re not against giving people a chance, we are strongly suggesting not to roll the dice on an unknown entity when it comes to your dental website.

Your dental website company should have deep knowledge of both marketing and the dental industry itself. Dentistry isn’t e-commerce. You’re not selling widgets. You don’t treat clients; you treat patients – and this requires a different approach.

Design Capabilities – Contrary to popular belief, there’s more to website design than aesthetics. Effective websites employ a combination of art and science to deliver an ideal user experience. For optimum performance, define the types of designs you like while also identifying the goals of your website – is it to attract new patients? Focus on educating existing patients? Appear higher in search results? Note – this should be one of the first questions a potential provider asks, as it will guide the entire process.

Once your goals are defined, what’s next? Is it ok to use a website template? Should you invest in a custom site? The answer often depends on who you talk to, but for most dental practices, the sweet spot is somewhere in between. When designing a dental website, most dentists want a degree of custom personalization (i.e. ability to use their logo, photos of the team, etc.) but don’t necessarily need a website built from the ground up. Be wary of companies that try to make it sound like a 100% custom site is the only way to go, as they may just be trying to upsell you.

Content – It’s easy to get lost in the razzle dazzle of website design – from color palettes and font libraries to layout selections, button options, and more. The key is to not get so sidetracked in choosing images and color schemes that you neglect the actual dental website content.

A dental-specific website company gives you ultimate advantage in this area. Unless you have time to write web copy (which is an art of its own), it’s helpful to choose a company that provides both design and content. In addition to custom dental content, which is written specifically for your website, companies may also offer a library of pre-written core content that can be modified to reflect your practice’s personality and align with your offerings. The main benefit of core content is that it helps you save time and money – enabling you to build your online presence in days instead of weeks.

Is core content the same as duplicate content? Technically speaking, yes. Google defines duplicate content as “substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.”[1] Essentially, this means that if your site has content that matches another site, it is considered duplicate.

Will my site be penalized if it has duplicate content? Google treats duplicate content differently based on intent.[2] Yes, it’s that smart!  If duplicate content is being used to be deceptive or manipulate search engine performance, it will negatively impact your ranking. Auto-generated content is an example of such manipulation; it is comprised of paragraphs of random text that include keywords, but don’t make sense. Another example of this type of manipulation is having multiple pages dedicated to the same topic with similar copy on one website. That said, if you’re not trying to game the system you can relax. Google notes that the presence of duplicate content alone is not grounds for action on their part[3]. The takeaway is that while custom content may be necessary in certain instances, the decision should be based on your specific practice goals and not the fear of being penalized.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Dental Website Company:

Hiring a new website company is a big decision; and one that can cost a lot of time and money. Make the right choice and ask the questions below to help suss out a legitimate dental website company:

  1. What services do you offer?
    1. Today, simply having a website is not enough. In addition to having a website, your practice will likely need a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy and/or PPC and social media services. Depending on your needs, ask them what other services they provide so you can cut-down on third party companies.
  2. Can you provide examples and testimonials of your clients?
    1. Whether you’re getting a template website design or fully custom design, you’ll want to see examples of the company’s work. Testimonials and case studies are also helpful, as they allow you to see how their services have impacted other practices.
  3. Can I make updates to the website on my own?
    1. The ability to make minor edits and updates to your site is helpful, as it allows you to make changes on your own timeframe. Closed for an upcoming holiday? If you have access to an easy-to-use content management system, you can update your website in a few minutes. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a queue of other client requests. The importance of this feature really depends on your technological aptitude and how much control you want. Ask a potential provider to see their CMS and ensure it is easy-to-use.
  4. Is there a contract?
    1. Be wary of providers that require a lengthy website contract. Technology and online trends change at the speed of light, and if your provider can’t keep up, you don’t want to find yourself stuck in a contract.
  5. How can you ensure that I will stay up-to-date? Will I need to pay more for updates?
    1. Your website reflects your practice and ensuring it stays current comes down to more than convenience. A website that’s outdated in terms of appearance and/or functionality sends a message to visitors that your practice could be too.
    2. It’s also a good idea to discuss what keeping your website updated could potentially cost. Will future features be included or are they generally available for an additional fee?
  6. Will my website be mobile-friendly?
    1. Having a website that provides the same level of functionality across devices is essential because most patients will visit your site from their mobile phones. In the United States, over 70% of time spent online is done so from a mobile device[4]. If you’re website isn’t mobile-friendly, it’s likely that your turning prospective patients away every day.
  7. What is included with my monthly hosting/software and support fees?
    1. Knowing what is and is not included in your monthly fees is important. Does it include access to tech support? If so, are you limited to the number of times you can reach out each month? How about domain management (i.e. ensuring your domain registration doesn’t lapse)? Digging into the details upfront will help avoid being caught off guard later.
  8. What design options are available?
    1. The right website company should be able to fit your needs, whether through a customizable template or a completely custom website. Steer clear of any provider that approaches web design with a one size fits all attitude.
  9. Is there a way I can track results from my website?
    1. There are many ways to measure your website ROI. From visits to time-on-page, to call tracking and conversion rates, make sure you understand the tools available to ultimately track your website’s success.

 Selecting a website company is an important decision that shouldn’t be rushed. Overall, you need to be confident in a provider’s abilities and comfortable working with them. Remember, you’re not just looking for a vendor – you’re searching for a partner that can bring your dental practice to the next level.

Questions? Reach out to a ProSites Internet Marketing Advisor at (888) 932-3644 to discuss the right website and online marketing options to help you meet your practice goals.

[1] https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66359?hl=en
[2] https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2721306
[3] https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66359?hl=en
[4] https://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/
""/
Search Marketing

How Dental Practices Can Utilize Google Analytics

As a dentist, it’s important to understand what is and isn’t working when it comes to your dental practice marketing. Knowing this type of data helps you continually make improvements and learn more about your target audience.

Google Analytics (GA) is a FREE online tool that’s easy to install on your website (especially if you’re a ProSites member) and provides quality data needed to evaluate marketing activities. Use the guide below to see all the things you can do once you install Google Analytics on your dental website.

  1. Segment website traffic by acquisition channels to learn which type of traffic is most valuable to your practice. You can use GA to find out how people arrive on your website in one of five ways: direct, referral, social, organic and paid search.
  2. Direct: the number of visitors who entered your website URL directly into the browser
  3. Referral: visits initiated from another website outside of search engines or social media sites (e.g. if your website is listed on the local chamber of commerce website)
  4. Social: visitors who came to your website directly from social media sites (e.g. Facebook or Twitter)
  5. Organic: visitors who came to your website from search engine results like Google or Yahoo
  6. Paid: visitors who came to your website from PPC campaigns (e.g. Google AdWords)

Learning how people get to your website is key and provides insights into which types of campaigns are driving the most traffic to your website. For example, if you’re spending a lot on social media marketing but aren’t seeing any social traffic, it may be a sign that you need to update your strategy. Similarly, if paid traffic is up, but organic traffic is down, it may be wise to consider search engine optimization (SEO) for better rankings.

  1. Understand and document fluctuations in website traffic with annotations. Over time, you’ll likely notice changes in your website traffic patterns. This could be due to intentional changes, like getting a new website design or investing in SEO, or something less obvious, like Google changing an algorithm that greatly impacts your rankings and organic traffic.

As you make changes to your website, online marketing strategy, or learn about new Google updates, use annotations to note these updates. This way, when you go back to analyze your traffic, you can better pinpoint reasons for the fluctuations.

  1. Identify “normal” traffic patterns by comparing date ranges. As traffic fluctuates, you can identify what is “normal” by comparing traffic over periods of time.

For example, if your website averages 100 sessions per month in Q4 of any given year, but this year you saw 50 sessions a month in the same time period, this abnormality may be a clue that something caused a change. Alternatively, if your website saw 200 sessions per month after a year of consistent marketing activities, it’s an indication that those activities are working in your favor.

  1. Use goals to understand if visitors are taking a desired action on your website. The purpose of most websites is to gain business and initiate contact from visitors. Creating goals in GA helps you understand if visitors are taking desired actions on your website, such as filling out a form for more information. Once you set-up a goal (e.g. completing a form) and a visitor takes this action, GA will trigger a goal completion which can be interpreted as a lead.

This data is helpful in understanding how effective your website is at converting visitors to new patients. You’ll learn how many times a form is completed and the percentage of traffic that takes action on your site, all while segmenting these actions by acquisition channel. A low percentage of people acting on your website may signal the need for more calls-to-action, additional content, or different offers.

  1. Access data easily and regularly by creating reports to reference and monitor your overall performance.

For example, say you want to compare traffic at the end of each month to the previous month to understand how recent traffic is trending. To create the report, select the date range you wish to analyze (current month), and then select previous period. Once you get the view you wished to see, hit save (on the tool bar) and name the report.

You will then be able to find the saved report under customization in the left hand column.

Implementing GA into your marketing toolkit is a must, as these detailed analytics will help you understand your accountant marketing ROI. As you learn more about your website and its performance, you can make smarter, more informed decisions about your practice’s overall marketing strategy and priorities.

For more information on accountant marketing, download the free guide, How to Increase Retention and Lifetime Value of Patients, by filling out the form below.

Can’t view form? Click here.

""/
Practice Marketing

How to Choose the Right SEO Provider for Your Dental Practice

Looking for a dental search engine optimization (SEO) provider can be painful. With everyone from local agencies to online marketing behemoths offering SEO, the process can be as unclear as online dating. Compound this with the added pressure of having your dental practice’s reputation on the line, and it might seem tempting to skip the hassle. Since that’s definitely not in your best interest, we’ve compiled a list of red flags and questions to make selecting the right dental SEO provider easier for your practice.

Here are the red flags and areas to keep in mind when choosing an SEO provider:

  1. Get to know them. First things first – look the company up online, visit their website and check out their social media pages. How do they come across? Do they appear professional? Trustworthy? Caution, this one is tricky because, as anyone who has ever dabbled in online dating can tell you, things are not always as they appear on the Internet. An appealing online presence is a huge component, but it can be subjective, so don’t base your selection on looks alone. It’s also important to consider how providers interact with current and prospective clients. When responding to client feedback online are they professional and courteous, or do they respond to any less-than-stellar reviews with hasty, defensive comments? If you feel uncomfortable observing how a provider communicates with people online, imagine what it would be like to be on the receiving end.
  1. What’s their MO? You’ve done some cyber-stalking, but that’s not enough. Now’s the time to dig a little deeper and, unlike the second date, playing coy isn’t advised. When considering a dental SEO provider, it’s important to know how they operate because your practice’s reputation is on the line.

In recent years search engine ranking methodologies have become more stringent, but not all SEO providers have updated their practices accordingly. Black-hat SEO techniques, such as keyword stuffing and link farming, target search engines rather than a human audience, which results in a poor user experience. At first you may see a jump in your website’s ranking but, like a short-lived romance, you’ll soon learn it wasn’t worth the effort. That’s because search engines base rankings primarily on user experience, and your site will be blacklisted faster than you can say “au revoir.”

  1. Some things are too good to be true. We’ve all been there – blinded by love at first sight (or something like that) – our general discernment momentarily disabled. Don’t worry, we’re not judging! There’s an entire genre of reality TV based on the premise. Sure, it’s easy to raise an eyebrow when this season’s bachelorette, a former-model-turned-pediatric-neurosurgeon, says she’s looking for a soulmate who shares her dream of creating a haven for abandon three-legged dogs. But, potential red flags in the realm of SEO can be a bit more subtle.

Some red flags to look for include promising you Page 1 results or claiming to be Google SEO Certified.  Spoiler alert – Google does not offer certification in SEO (though companies can be Google Premier Partners) and the sheer number of algorithm changes alone (500-600 times a year) make it impossible to guarantee a first page ranking. Plus, when you consider the amount of revenue tied to Google’s algorithm, sharing how to crack the code would be the equivalent of Colonel Sanders handing out his fried chicken recipe. So remember, sometimes when things look too good to be true, it’s because they are.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Dental SEO Provider:

Knowing what to avoid is important, but so is knowing what to move towards. The questions below can help suss out a legitimate provider from the fly by night variety.

  1. What strategies will you implement to improve our rankings?
    1. Make sure the company is able to go into great detail about their plan on how they will work to get you better rankings. SEO strategies are very involved and a transparent company will have no problem explaining what they plan to do both on and off your website to improve your rankings.
  2. How do you plan to create backlinks?
    1. Backlinks are big parts of search engine rankings, but they’re difficult to obtain. Low-quality or spammy backlinks can actually hurt you in the end. Make sure their backlinks are coming from reputable companies.
  3. How often will you report on my progress, and what will that report look like?
    1. SEO companies should provide some type of benchmark data and reporting each month. You also want to see how often they share these reports with you, and how often you will have a call to check-in with them to go over results and adjustments to strategies.
  4. Can you share experience of other clients?
    1. Look for companies who can provide reviews, testimonials, and case studies from their clients to show success.
  5. Can you guarantee that we will rank #1 for a major search term?
    1. If a company says “yes” – run. No one can guarantee page 1 placement for a SEO search term.
  6. Is there a contract and what happens if we cancel early?
    1. It isn’t uncommon for SEO companies to require a contract for at least a few months, as SEO does take a lot of work before results and search ranking improvements are shown – however, it is important to go into the agreement understanding all of the rules around it to protect your dental practice.
  7. Why should we choose your company as a dental SEO provider?
    1. This is open-ended and there isn’t a “right” answer – but you do want to listen to their answer carefully. Do they intentionally make false claims or outright bash competitors? This may be a defensive signal and potential red flag. Ideally when someone answers this question, they’ll simply explain the success of their clients and how they can help your practice.

With thousands of websites launching daily, SEO has moved from the nice-to-have column to the must-have side of the board. But, that doesn’t mean you should jump into the proverbial bed with the first dental SEO provider you come across. There’s a lot on the line, and a bad judgement call up front could mean the difference between growing your practice and burying it somewhere in the black hole of search results. When looking for a dental SEO provider, take your time and keep the red flags we’ve outlined in mind. Don’t be shy about using the suggested questions above and let the answers guide your decision.

Questions? Reach out to a ProSites Internet Marketing Advisor at (888) 932-3644 to discuss how SEO can help you meet your practice goals.

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Youtube
Consent to display content from Youtube
Vimeo
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google
Spotify
Consent to display content from Spotify
Sound Cloud
Consent to display content from Sound