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November 2018

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Patient Relationship

The Importance of Timely and Relevant Patient Communications

Regardless of your industry or profession, effective communication is critical in all facets of running a business. As a dentist, communication is key to:

  • Ensuring staff is trained properly
  • Providing exceptional service to patients
  • Explaining post-appointment instructions
  • Sharing treatment plan options and recommendations to patients
  • Building strong, ongoing relationships with patients

One of the toughest things to do as a dentist is plan ahead to create strong and meaningful marketing messages and communications that will resonate with patients throughout the year. However, the more timely and relevant your messages, the greater your response rates will be.

Because we know you’re busy, we at ProSites did the heavy lifting for you and created a patient communications calendar that your practice can utilize throughout the year. In this 12-month calendar, you’ll receive:

  • A complete list of dental-specific and national holidays each month
  • Advice and ideas on what to promote to patients each month to deliver timely, relevant, and effective communications throughout the year
  • Three pre-written social media post ideas each month (36 total!) to copy and paste to engage with patients and their networks each month

Click here to get your complementary patient communications calendar today!

 

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Social Media

22 Questions on Social Media for Dentists, Answered

Last month, we held a webinar tutorial on how dentists can maximize their practice’s presence across today’s top social media channels. During this presentation, we received an abundance of great questions which we’ve answered below!

  1. Do we need a personal account on Twitter to open a professional page as well?

Twitter does not differentiate pages for businesses vs. people the way Facebook does, so on Twitter, you only need one account which should be branded and named after your practice.

  1. What if you created a Facebook Business Page but didn’t link to your personal page? Can you combine the two? Also, how do you get your name off unverified pages?

Unfortunately, if you create a Facebook Business Page for your practice but didn’t link it to your personal Facebook profile, it’s possible Facebook will delete the page.

To get your name off unverified pages, first search for your practice name on Facebook. If you find a page that matches your practice, follow these steps to claim the page first. During these steps, you’ll have the opportunity to combine the existing page with any page you already have access to from your personal page. Repeat this process for any unverified pages you find until you combine every page to ensure you don’t have any unverified pages with your name on Facebook.

  1. How do I get my business name to be on top of Google search?

There are a few ways to get noticed toward the top of Google search results – you can do so via paid ads (PPC), organic listings (requires dental search engine optimization), and optimizing your Google My Business profile.

Read this to learn what you can do to optimize your Google My Business (GMB) profile to get noticed within the “map” section of search results. And, call us to learn more about dental pay-per-click and search engine optimization solutions at (888) 932-3644 or download the whitepaper to get a high-level overview of what’s involved with dental pay-per-click advertising.

  1. Can you put a link to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram profiles on your email signature?

Absolutely! In fact, we encourage you to do this. You can include a simple line that explains the benefit of following your practice with links to each respective page (e.g. Get oral hygiene tips and offers by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!)

  1. What are some good programs for creating logos and content for posts (like cartoons)?

There are many sites available, but one that we love is www.Canva.com. It’s a great (and free!) tool that allows you to create logos and content without any professional design experience.

  1. How do you send a link in an email to have a patient “Like” your Facebook Business Page directly?

We recommend going to your Facebook Business Page to get the full URL. Then, in the body of your email, you can simply ask the patient to “Like our practice on Facebook, herewhere you hyperlink the text “here” to the actual URL.

You can do this by right-clicking the word “here” and clicking “add link” – simply paste your Facebook URL into this section.

  1. Does the personal page connected to the Facebook Business Page have to be active? Meaning, can you have an incomplete personal page, photo, etc., and yet have the Business page filled out?

It is OK to have an inactive personal profile while having an active Facebook Business Page for your practice. Because the two are separate from one another, having an incomplete personal profile will not negatively impact the performance of your Facebook Business Page. That said, if you do have an active personal profile, you can use this as another tool to drive more traffic and “Likes” to ask people to share the word about your page.

  1. Can I “Like” other dental-associated Facebook Business Pages from my practice’s Facebook Business Page?

Yes, you can “Like” other Facebook Business Pages from your practice’s Facebook Business Page, however this content will not appear in your personal newsfeed (there is a separate newsfeed for Facebook Business Pages). This means you’ll miss out on content from the page that you “Liked” if you’re on your personal profile. A best practice is to “Like” other Facebook Business Pages from your personal profile so you don’t miss out.

  1. What are the best social media platforms for reaching patients?

For dentists, we recommend having a presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Google+. Facebook has a large reach and wide-range of users, plus your profile can be used to showcase reviews, share educational articles, photos, and videos.

Instagram is great for dental practices because it provides more information about your practice, visually. You can showcase before and after photos, your office, team members, and more.

Google+ is important because optimizing your profile can help you get noticed toward the top of search results. By gaining more reviews, having a complete profile, and showcasing key information about your practice, you can easily drive more traffic to your website.

  1. How important is it to include hashtags on your posts on each platform?

It will not make or break the success of your page, but it is a good practice and habit to form. You don’t need to go overboard with 50 hashtags per post, but it is recommended to use a few hashtags that pertain to the topic of your post for maximum visibility (e.g. #chicagodentist #oralhealthtips #cosmeticdentistry).

  1. We have two Facebook Business Pages per office. Is it better for us to merge the two since its only one doctor in practice? We have two websites as well.

It’s best to have to have one Facebook Business Page per location. If you have two pages per one office location, then you will want to combine the pages with same address.

The reason for this is because Facebook is one of the top directories that Google considers when triangulating name-address-phone number data, which can help with your website’s local search rankings. By creating two pages for each practice location, you can potentially increase  your website rankings as well.

  1. Can you connect Instagram with Facebook?

Yes! You can link your accounts so when you post a photo to Instagram, you can also have it shared to your Facebook Business Page.

  1. Where on Facebook can I find which posts have the most likes?

Within your Facebook Business Page, in the navigation bar, you’ll see a row of options where you should click Insights.

Here, you will find analytics with information on the performance of your content and pages. On the left-hand column of the page, you’ll find an option to click “Posts” to see which ones have the most likes, comments, and clicks. Use this information to understand which types of content your audience prefers most and post more of it!

  1. How do you suggest getting followers if you are just starting a new Facebook Business Page not connected to your personal profile?

The first step would be to send an email to all of your patients letting them know you’re on Facebook and requesting they “Like” your new Facebook Business Page (with a link as well). Let them know what they can expect from doing this gesture – will they get weekly tips? Special discounts? Educational articles? Let them know what’s in it for them, and they’ll surely like your page!

You can also include signage in your office and add a sentence to your signature lines via email. Train staff to tell patients about your practice’s new social media presence before they leave your office.

  1. Is there any way you can have a Facebook Business Page without merging with your personal profile?

To control a Facebook Business Page, you must get to it through a personal profile. Although they are completely separate profiles, for added privacy, you can make sure on your personal profile to keep post privacy limited to “only me” or “only friends” so the public doesn’t see it, or use an incomplete personal profile to manage your business page.

  1. Can you also explain the “boosted” post and what that exactly does? Is it worth the money?

Boosted posts are ones that you apply money to, in order to increase the audience it reaches. It’s one of the simplest ways to advertise on Facebook. Boosted posts are different than Facebook ads because they are not created in Ads Manager and don’t have all of the same customization features.

Try testing a small amount of money first to see if it helps your page get more likes. If it does, try a bit more budget until you feel you’ve reached your goals.

  1. As Instagram wants pictures of a certain size/parameter, how do you manage posting to both Facebook, Instagram and Twitter?

Instagram will allow photos of different ratios to post but using a square is still considered best practice. Facebook and Twitter are more flexible, but using a square image across all platforms allows you to post simultaneously to all platforms while ensuring your content shows well on each network. Try using www.Canva.com to create square images or the crop feature on your phone.

  1. Do my other coworkers have to know my personal passwords to log-in to the practice’s Facebook Business Page?

No. You can simply name other coworkers as an “Admin” on your Facebook Business Page so they can log-in to Facebook under their own personal profile. You can also set different controls to distinguish how much an individual is able to control or edit the page.

Want to learn more about marketing your practice on social media? Click here to listen to the full social media tutorial where you’ll learn how to create strong social media profiles and pages for your dental practice on today’s top networks.

Marketing your dental practice on social media can be time consuming and tricky. Learn how ProSites handles it all for you and call us at (888) 932-3644 for a free demo.

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Search Marketing

The Importance of Google My Business for Dental Practices

If you’re not familiar, Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that helps local businesses, such as your dental practice, appear when customers search for your practice or practices like yours on Google search. On your GMB page, you can add pertinent information so potential patients can learn more about your practice. These include: a link to your website, hours of operation, address, phone number, photos, and more.

GMB results are then displayed in the Snack Pack which we explain in more detail below. Because GMB is free, you never pay for a higher placement within the snack pack.. Your ranking is based on a complex system that values the merit of your website while considering your location, the search terms used, and services or products offered.

If you’re in an urban or suburban area, it may be tough to get your practice noticed at the top of this list. That’s why we’ve outlined a few key steps below to help you work toward getting featured within the first-page of GMB listings.

The “Snack Pack”

The Google snack pack references the Google map listings that appear directly under pay-per-click (PPC) ads. These are displayed right above organic listings, making it prime real estate at the top of search results.

Though usually only the first three results are shown, many searchers will click “More Places” to get a comprehensive view of results, giving you higher visibility on Google through a popular portal with high traffic.

Having an established business listing with GMB also helps add credibility to your site which translates into higher rankings.

How to Claim your Google My Business Listing

First, you must have a Google Account for your practice. Once you have that set up, go to Google My Business where you’ll be walked through the process of setting up an account.

When setting up your GMB account, make sure the business name and address listed are consistent across your website, GMB listing, and all other online marketing platforms. This consistency adds credibility to your site and helps Google identify your practice. Having this information consistent will directly translate to higher rankings in search engine results.

In the final step, GMB will mail a verification code to your claimed practice address. Once you receive the code and enter it, you will have access to your dashboard. If you are having trouble entering your Google My Business verification code, follow these 3 easy steps from Google: https://support.google.com/business/answer/6161749?hl=en&ref_topic=4854193.

Optimize Your GMB Profile by Adding Pictures

To help prospective patients get a better idea about what to expect at your office, add photos that showcase your practice. Include both interior and exterior pictures, images of your team in the office or at team building events, and before and after photos (pending you have a patient’s permission to post).

Improve Your Online Reputation with Reviews

Good reviews are a great way to build trust among potential patients. In addition to building trust among potential patients, positive reviews build trust with Google. When a patient leaves a review on your GMB profile, it is recognized by Google as a positive signal. The positive impact that the reviews provide for your online presence depends on the amount of reviews you receive and your average star rating (1-5 scale).

Ask happy patients if they’d spare a few minutes to leave a review about your practice – and give them a link where they can easily leave one (don’t make them search for your practice on their own).

One quick way to encourage patients to leave a review on your GMB page is to post a QR code in your office that automatically links and directs patients to your GMB page.  You can print it out on a sheet of paper with a headline that says “Happy with your visit? Please leave us a kind review!” and have the QR code displayed underneath.

You can create QR code for your practice here: https://www.qr-code-generator.com/. Simply print the code and then place it in your front office for all patients to quickly scan with their phone. This will send them directly to your page to leave a review.

New Google My Business Features: Product Collections and Booking
Recently, GMB added two new features that can be utilized to further improve your listing, online presence, and overall experience for visitors on your GMB page.

  1. Product collections: This new feature helps you further showcase and draw attention to the services you offer. Through the products tab in the GMB dashboard, your practice can add information about its various services (e.g. deep cleanings, teeth whitening, dental implants, etc.). This way, viewers can get a quick, at-a-glance overview of your services before arriving to your website to learn more.
  1. Booking feature: For practices that use software supported by Google’s booking feature, patients will now be able to schedule an appointment directly from your GMB page. This feature does require that you have an account with one of Google’s scheduling providers, but it further simplifies the process of patients making an appointment with your practice. Read more about the new features in this blog about optimizing your GMB profile.

Tying it All Together
The Google Snack Pack makes it easy for searchers to see dental practices nearby, their reviews, and quick, must-know facts. By opting not to claim your GMB listing and profile, you risk having misinformation about your practice and can miss out on ranking higher on search results. But by taking just a few minutes to optimize your profile, you could have a tremendous positive impact on your practice and website traffic.

ProSites helps dental offices optimize their presence across all of today’s top online directories. To learn more about GMB and getting your practice listed on other online directories, call ProSites at (888) 932-3644.

Article written by Angie Lussier and co-authored by Andrew Casellano.

Angie is a veteran of creating digital content to build valuable business to consumer relationships. Beyond being a professional writer for ProSites, she is a photographer, a poet and a grandmother.

Andrew holds a degree in public relations and is passionate about all things Google, staying up-to-date on the latest technology, and expanding his digital footprint as a LinkedIn influencer.

 

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