Keep It Fresh: Your Dental Website

You’ve long since established a website for your dental practice, and it does everything you need it to do. It introduces you to potential patients, showcases your skills and the procedures you offer, has your location and contact information, and has a blog and social media component.

You’re good to go, right?

Yes – and no.

desktop_01bYour site does what it needs to do, but is it producing results? Is it generating interest in your practice? Is that interest, measured by site traffic, bringing in new patients?

If the answer to either of these questions is no (or “I don’t know”), then it may be time to upgrade your site.

There are certain things that visitors expect from your website. Its appearance should be up-to-date. It should be easy to navigate. And perhaps most important, it should be mobile-friendly.

  • Appearance. Your site doesn’t need to be ground-breaking or trend-setting, but it should be modern. To put it plainly, if it looks old or outdated, visitors will assume that it is. An up-to-date appearance will gain their confidence.
  • Easy to navigate. Visitors should be able to see, at a glance, how they can find the information they seek. You’ve got a grace period of about five seconds. If visitors are unable to figure out where they need to go in that brief period, they’re going to lose interest and leave.
  • phone_01Mobile-friendly. People visit websites using everything from desktop computers to smart phones. As we have stressed before on this blog, the trend toward mobile is growing steadily, so your dental practice site has to look good and function properly on mobile devices. (It’s a strategy called mobile first.) If you haven’t designed your site for mobile devices, put that at very the top of your to-do list.

Content

Your website may meet all the above criteria. But is its content effective? If your site isn’t generating enough interest in your practice – too few leads, in marketing terms – improving its content with rewritten copy is often enough to correct that. In particular, better calls to action can address this issue. Get visitors to ask a question or make an appointment.

search_01Are you giving it fresh content on a regular basis? This is a must. Search engines love fresh content. Fresh content, like a regularly updated blog, attracts them. Your site will be crawled and indexed more frequently, which helps to improve your search ranking.

Search engines may love fresh content, but your website, at least ostensibly, is meant for users. And guess what? Users love new content, too. It keeps them coming back. And the more they come back, the more likely they are to convert from site visitors to new patients, and the more likely they are to recommend your site – and your practice – to friends and family.

None of this is easy, but you don’t have to figure it all out yourself. ProspectaMarketing is an Internet marketing firm that helps dental practices reach their audience. We use the tools of Internet search marketing to reach key prospects looking for what your practice has to offer. Our unique and thorough approach provides visibility, financial accountability, and ongoing refinement and improvement. You can find out more by contacting Lane Anderson toll-free at 1-877-322-4440 Ext 101, by email using the form on our Contact Us page, or online at ProspectaMarketing.com.

Sunset: Google Ending Google+

Google is pulling the plug on its Google+ social networking site. Citing what it called significant challenges to maintaining it, the company announced it will phase out Google+ over a ten month period, beginning immediately.

google+_new_logo_01“While our engineering teams have put a lot of effort and dedication into building Google+ over the years, it has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps,” Google said in an October 8th statement. “The consumer version of Google+ currently has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds.”

The phase-out is expected to be completed by August 2019.

google-my-business-logoProspectaMarketing, a firm specializing in marketing dental practices on the Internet, has not managed Google+ pages in several years. Instead we actively manage Google My Business accounts for our clients, so that patients can more easily find their practices on the Internet. Google+ links remain on some client websites, but we are removing them.

Google’s announcement came on the heels of a reported security breach affecting up to half a million Google+ accounts. Although it just became public knowledge, Google discovered the breach early this year.

securityGoogle attributes the breach to a software glitch, and said it gave unauthorized third-party access to users’ private profile data, including names and email addresses.That unauthorized access lasted from 2015 until March 2018, when it was discovered and corrected, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal also reported that Google chose not to make the security breach public, “in part because of fears that doing so would draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage.”

Google launched Google+ in 2011 in an effort to make inroads in the expanding social networking market. “We aren’t trying to replace what’s currently available,” a company spokesman said at the time. “We just want to introduce a new way to connect online with the people that matter to you.” Though it underwent several changes, Google+ never really caught on, and is viewed by many as a major flop.

ProspectaMarketing helps dental practices reach their audience. We use the tools of Internet search marketing to reach key prospects looking for what your practice has to offer. Our unique and thorough approach provides visibility, financial accountability, and ongoing refinement and improvement. You can find out more by contacting Lane Anderson toll-free at 1-877-322-4440 Ext 101, by email using the form on our Contact Us page, or online at ProspectaMarketing.com.

You Need To Chat

You’ve seen them before: you’re browsing a website and a little box pops up, asking whether you’d like to chat with a representative. And just like that, you’re able to interact with a business.

chat_01Chat features are emerging as an unbeatable way for dental practices to interact, in real time, with patients and would-be patients. Live chat applications work directly on your website, so site visitors don’t have to interrupt their browsing to ask questions. They get the answers they’re looking for. quickly and efficiently.

It’s the instantaneous nature of chat that makes it so appealing. Your site visitors don’t need to take out their cell phones to call your office. They don’t need to look at an FAQ that might not answer their question. And they don’t need to fill out any forms, which usually means leaving personal details, and then wait for you to get back  to them.

Live chat on websites isn’t all that new, but its value is increasing. Research shows that having live chat on a website is important to forty-four percent of site visitors. That number is likely to grow.

laptop_03Like any other customer support tool, live chat requires a human workforce. But chat operators are able to carrying on several patient interactions at once, by switching between windows on their computer screens. That means it takes fewer people to run the process, which in turn means reduced costs. To sweeten the deal even more, live chats don’t take the same investment in equipment and special toll-free numbers that telephone systems do.

But it’s the rapid response time that is live chat’s most compelling feature. People just don’t want to wait anymore. Research shows that taking even fifteen minutes to respond to an inquiry means losing a potential lead. They’ll go back to Google and click on the next search result.

Live chat enables you to engage with new patients faster and more directly, and in real time, than ever before. They’ll find out whether you provide a particular service or procedure, or the availability of appointments.

ProspectaMarketing specializes in marketing dental practices on the Internet, and can help your practice reach its audience. We use the tools of Internet search marketing to reach key prospects looking for what your practice has to offer. Our unique and thorough approach provides visibility, financial accountability, and ongoing refinement and improvement. You can find out more by contacting Lane Anderson toll-free at 1-877-322-4440 Ext 101, by email using the form on our Contact Us page, or online at ProspectaMarketing.com.

Lights, Smartphone, Action!

Your dental website is your most potent tool for promoting your practice: it’s where patients and would-be patients find out about you and the services you provide, and perhaps most importantly, your office hours and location.

smartphone_vid_03As we have described elsewhere, video remains the most popular type of content on the Internet, and is a huge factor in local search success. It is something you should take advantage of, and by using the smartphone you probably have in your pocket right now, you can create professional-quality videos and share them on your website.

What sort of videos, you may wonder? As a trained dentist, you can start by drawing on your own expertise. Your site visitors would love to hear your thoughts on topics in dentistry, from simple subjects like checkups, to popular procedures like teeth whitening. You might create a Q&A with questions drawn from real patients, or create a video centered on your dental team.

smartphone_vid_02What you don’t want to do, however, is share poorly-made video. They don’t have to be perfect, but by learning a few simple techniques, you can make quality, effective videos that work to your advantage.

Good lighting. This is essential. You don’t need to invest in expensive equipment, but try to always shoot in brightly lit areas. The resulting video will be crisp and clean.

Stay horizontal. Turn your phone sideways, in what the pros call “landscape” orientation. When you play back the video it will fill the screen, and give it a professional look.

Get close. Don’t be afraid to move close to your subject. (The subject might be you, so remind your videographer!) Image quality will be improved, focus will be better, and – again – your videos will have a quality, professional look.

Be steady. It’s hard to hold any camera steady, and smartphones are no exception. But shaky video detracts from the content, and looks amateur. Use a tripod or some other stabilizing device.

smartphone_vid_04_editEdit. Some people are satisfied to put “raw” video clips on their sites, and there is nothing wrong with that. But you may do multiple takes, and only one will be right. Simple editing software allows you to trim out any rough edges. There are plenty of inexpensive video editing smartphone apps.

Remember, eighty-five percent of Internet users in the United States watch videos online, and it makes up one-third of all Internet activity. By incorporating simple but informative and well-made videos on your dental practice website, you boost your chances of reaching many more potential patients.

ProspectaMarketing uses the tools of Internet search marketing to reach key prospects looking for what your practice has to offer. We bring a unique and thorough approach that provides visibility, financial accountability and ongoing refinement and improvement. You can find out more by contacting Lane Anderson toll-free at 1-877-322-4440 Ext 101, by email using the form on our Contact Us page, or online at ProspectaMarketing.com.

Your Dental Practice and Reputation Management

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As a highly trained professional, the dental services you provide should be enough to establish your reputation, and your reputation should speak for itself. In a perfect world that would be the case.

But in practice it doesn’t work that way: in today’s world, your professional reputation is largely based on your Internet image. Furthermore, there are a lot of dentists out there: nearly 200,000 as of 2017, according to the American Dental Association. That averages out to sixty-one dentists for every 100,000 people in the United States.

So there’s a lot of competition.

The vast majority of would-be patients make up their minds about your practice based on what they find about you on the Internet. You can influence your Internet reputation with strategies known collectively as Online Reputation Management, or ORM.

smartphone_01It begins with the information you choose to present on your website: your services in particular, but also your bio, and what you share on its blog. Your website combines with what others have said about you on review sites, message boards, and so on. Taken together, it forms your Internet reputation.

A technique called search engine optimization, or SEO, helps your practice to rank higher in search results. When it comes to search engine results, the first page is the gold standard. It’s the most important, because most users don’t go beyond it.

SEO and your Internet reputation have a direct impact on the profitability of your practice. Together they increase traffic  to your website, and in turn bring new patients to your office.

ProspectaMarketing uses the tools of Internet search marketing to reach key prospects seeking what your dental practice has to offer. We bring a unique and thorough approach that provides visibility, financial accountability and ongoing refinement and improvement. You can find out more by contacting Lane Anderson toll-free at 1-877-322-4440 Ext 101, by email using the form on our Contact Us page, or online at ProspectaMarketing.com.

Mobile First! Your Practice Website

smile_woman_09aEveryone wants to keep their teeth and gums in good working condition. When they find a dentist they like and trust, patients are likely to not just stick with that practice but to tell their family and friends, all to the benefit of that practice.

But word of mouth is no longer enough. A dental practice’s website remains its most important marketing tool. It’s important to remember that your website should not be a static thing. It’s more than just a digital business card.

smartphone_04bA new website design strategy is known as mobile first. That means a website is conceived and built with smart phones and tablets as the primary devices accessing them. Google is leading the way in this idea. The search engine giant says its algorithm will be changing to index mobile websites first. They’ll continue to index desktop sites, but the trend is clear: if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you are likely to rank lower in search results.

Another trend to pay close attention to is online chat. Did you know there by one estimate, a staggering eight and a half billion text messages are sent every day, in the United States alone? If you haven’t already, your practice can take advantage of this by sending appointment reminders and other messages via text. Chances are your patients will be expecting it.

We described in our previous post how video is more important than ever to your practice’s website. Nine out of ten users say that they have been influenced in their decision-making by the videos they’ve watched on practice websites. The lesson from this is clear.

You can keep up with these and other online dental trends with ProspectaMarketeing. , a company specializing in using the Internet to find new patients for dental practices. We bring a unique and thorough approach that provides visibility, financial accountability and ongoing refinement and improvement. You can find out more by contacting Lane Anderson toll-free at 1-877-322-4440 Ext 101, by email using the form on our Contact Us page, or online at ProspectaMarketing.com.

It’s All About the Patients: Online Marketing for Dentists

smartphone_02

A simple truth about dentistry in 2018 is that to succeed, practices must have a strong online presence. Like so much else in modern life, the Internet has revolutionized the way people find information, consumer products, and services – and that includes dentistry.

Eighty percent of American adults are active on social media. And they love their mobile devices: nearly all of those who were asked said they prefer finding information about a practice on a smart phone app, rather than use that smart phone to call to that practice.

It follows that your practice website should be mobile-friendly. Most users will leave a dentist’s site (or any other site, for that matter) if it isn’t easy to understand and use.

family_02Clearly, online marketing is a simple fact of life for modern dental practices. And it’s all about your patients: your current ones, and those you’d like make new ones.

One of the most critical things to do is make it easy to find out practice online. Your website must be user-friendly, in the sense that it is easy to navigate, and provides the information that new patients will be looking for. Examples are your services, a map showing the physical location of your practice, and downloadable patient forms.

To make your website stand out from the crowd, you should have it designed and optimized by professionals. Your expertise, after all, is dentistry, not marketing. You outsource your lab work, so you should not hesitate to outsource the marketing of your practice.

ProspectaMarketing specializes in using the Internet to find new patients for dental practices. Our unique and thorough approach provides visibility, financial accountability and ongoing refinement and improvement. To learn more, contact Lane Anderson toll-free at 1-877-322-4440 Ext 101, by email using the form on our Contact Us page, or online at ProspectaMarketing.com.

Find and Keep New Patients: Online Marketing for Dentists

senior_02aDentistry is a business, and like any other business, practices need a reliable core of existing patients and an influx of new ones. The trick is finding and attracting those new patients, especially when there are plenty of practices for people to choose from.

The best way to do this is to have an online presence. As with so much else today, most people use the Internet when they’re looking for something, whether it’s a pizza place or a dental practice.

All of us find new things on the Internet by using search engines like Google and Bing. We enter our search terms and scroll through the results. In the case of dentistry, determining factors include the physical location of a practice, the services it provides, and the insurance it accepts.

You can influence search results with Internet marketing, a general term that is designed to put your practice before as many potential patients as possible.

laptop_03The foundation of any modern business is its website. That’s where people will find out who you are and what you have to offer them. But how do they find the site, if they’ve never heard of you? A technique called search engine optimization, or SEO, means using the words and phrases that people enter on the search engines, so that your practice ranks as high as possible in search results.

Once people find your site, you want to keep them there. You do that by providing the information they’re looking for, like whether your practice provides certain services – orthodontics, for example.

They’re likely to have general questions about dentistry, too. They view you as an expert. You can leverage that in your favor by making your site a go-to resource for dental information, with blog posts about a wide range of dental topics.

It is critical that your site is designed to look professional, be easy to use, and stocked with valuable information. If it isn’t, site visitors won’t hang around; they’ll go back to their search engine results and visit the site of one of your competitors.

ProspectaMarketing specializes in online marketing for dentistry. We use best practices to find our clients new patients. Our unique and thorough approach provides visibility, financial accountability, and ongoing refinement and improvement. To find out more, contact Lane Anderson toll-free at 1-877-322-4440 Ext 101, by email using the form on our Contact Us page, or online at ProspectaMarketing.com.

Trends in Dental Practice Marketing

laptop_02There are more than two million blog posts published every single day, according to industry observers. (Before continuing, we’d like to thank you for taking the time to find and read this one.)

Website content (like this) is a staple of marketing on the Internet, and that certainly includes dentistry. It influences not only how new patients are drawn to your practice, but how practices complete and evolve.

The rules are constantly changing. So we’re going to gaze into our crystal ball and see where dental practice marketing might be, just a year or two down the road.

Content Remains King
Providing useful information and engaging posts on your practice site has been essential for a long time. That isn’t going to change anytime soon. In fact, it is going to be more important, because there is going to be a greater need than ever to have a loyal client base that values the services you provide.

One big reason for this is, quite simply, fewer and fewer people are expected to have comprehensive dental health care. Seeing the dentist every six months may become more optional than essential. Therefore, it is critical to build that loyal client base and demonstrate that what you provide is essential.

Your Online Reputation
This follows from the previous point. Reliance on social media – to find your practice, and find out about it – is increasing, and with the steady growth of mobile devices, is easier and more important, than ever.

That means that you cannot overlook your internet reputation – the way your practice is seen online. Social media, and review sites like Yelp and Healthgrades, are how most potential new patients will form an opinion about your practice. You need to get your current patients to provide positive, and honest, feedback about their experiences with your practice.

Be Mobile
More than ever before, your practice website must be mobile device-friendly.

As we described here in February, more Internet users are choosing their Smartphones and other mobile devices over laptops and desktop computers. Before much longer, an ever-larger segment is expected to be using mobile devices almost exclusively.

Have questions or want help?
ProspectaMarketing specializes in finding new patients for dental practices using the Internet. Our unique and thorough approach provides visibility, financial accountability and ongoing refinement and improvement. To learn more, contact Lane Anderson toll-free at 1-877-322-4440 Ext 101, by email using the form on our Contact Us page, or online at ProspectaMarketing.com.

 

Reputation Management in Dentistry

smartphone_01When people search for a new dentist, they first turn to customer review websites. These sites, such as Yelp, provide the real opinions and experiences of real people. Good or bad, past patients will rate a practice based on everything from dental services provided to interactions with the office staff; even to the appearance of the office itself.

The totality of these customer reviews – what they’re saying about your practice online – represents your online reputation. One bad review can have long-lasting implications. All those interconnected customer review and social media sites can magnify a single negative review; how you react to it is critical.

Reputation Management for a dental practice takes information from your practice’s website, from social media, and from patient comments on review sites and other message boards. This data makes up your online reputation profile, which drives the reputation of your practice with a positive narrative.

smartphone_01It’s a complex strategy, with the objective of enhancing your online reputation and bringing new patients to the practice. Fortunately, there are numerous software platforms that provide reputation management. While that means yet another business expense, it has become a necessity in today’s plugged in, 24/7 online world.

Most patients will have an opinion about your dental practice, even before they have their first appointment. Properly marketing your practice is essential. Prospecta Marketing specializes in using the Internet to find new patients for dental practices. To learn about what Prospecta Marketing can do for you, call Lane Anderson toll-free at 1-877-322-4440 Ext 101, by email using the form on our Contact Us page, or online at ProspectaMarketing.com.

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