Stand Out from the Crowd: Market Your Practice

There are more than 200,000 dentists currently practicing in the United States, which averages out to about sixty dentists for every 100,000 people. Not only that, more dentists open new practices each year than retire.

dentist_29aSo there is no shortage of dentists in the U.S., and that’s good for patients. But how does your dental practice stand out in the crowd?

The answer, in a word, is marketing. Marketing your dental practice is the most effective way for you to bring new patients into your office, especially if it’s a new practice, and it has never been more important.

How do you know the best way to get your name, and your practice name, before the public? It’s a huge task. Some of the issues you’ll need to consider are:

  • Branding
  • Website development
  • Advertising
  • Digital v. print
  • Referral techniques

dentist_32aAs you begin to figure out how to market your practice there are some things you need to consider, such as the strengths and weaknesses of your practice.

  • Strengths. What is it that sets you apart from other practices? Is it particualr services you offer, or areas of specialty? Your background and experience? Your office hours?
  • Weaknesses. No practice is perfect, and it’s important to recognize any obstacles that may stand in your way. Have you had a lot of bad online reviews from disgruntled patients?

It’s also important to identify your target audience. Researchers tell us that women make, by far, most of a household’s dental decisions – more than ninety percent. Furthermore, they don’t make these decisions hastily. There is a lot of research involved, and plenty of dental practices to choose from.

With that in mind, you’ll need to give some thought to how you present yourself: everything from your logo to the appearance of your website. Things things and more combine to produce the image of your practice.

If it seems overwhelming, rest assured you don’t need to go it alone. ProspectaMarketing is an experienced Internet marketing firm that specializes in dental practices. We use all of the tools of Internet search marketing to help you reach key prospects who are 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.

Fierce Competition: Setting Your Practice Apart

The American Dental Association says that over the next fifteen years, we’ll be seeing a surge of new dentists in the United States. That means competition for patients is going to be more intense than ever, and dental practices are going to have to make an effort to stand out in a crowded field.

There are already about 200,000 dentists in the United States. Patients and would-be patients have a lot to choose from; it’s not enough to provide them with excellent services.

practice_01Your day-to-day operations already consume most of your time. So what can you do to attract new patients, and keep your current ones? Here are a few things you can do to set yourself apart from your competeition:

Highlight the services that make your practice unique.

Maybe your office is more than just nine-to-five. Do you stay open later to catch the after-work crowd? Are you open on Saturday? If you answer yes, then that information should be prominent on your website: on its homepage, on its Contact page, and wherever else it fits.

Maybe you offer urgent dental care 24/7, or specialize in orthodontics. Whatever it might be, idenitfy what makes your practice unique, and put that information front-and-center.

Put a lot of testimonials on your site.

Study after study has shown that people trust the opinion of others. That is as true of online patient reviews as it is standard word-of-mouth.

Compile as many patient testimonials as you can. You should have a page of them on your website. Not only that, you can print and frame some of them for display in your office.

patient_02In keeping with the previous point about demonstrating what is unique about your practice, at least some of the testimonials you select should include that.

Sometimes dentists don’t feel comfortable asking for reviews. You can query your patients on social media; you are likely to be pleasantly surprised at the response. You can even ask them while they’re in your waiting room. Most are going to have a smart phone with them, and can do it right then and there.

Have a good logo.

You should have a memorable, professionally-designed logo for your practice. Put it on everything: your sign, marketing supplies (those free toothbrushes you hand out), and in your office.

Logos help people remember you and your practice. Whenever they see that logo in the future, they’ll think of you.

Invest in Digital Technology

Investing in digital technology means more than having a fully-optimized website (although that is essential).

There are plenty of digital technologies available that you should take advantage of. They’ll benefit you and your patients: automated appointment reminders and scheduling tools, for example.

Keep an eye on technology, too. New tools are always becoming available. Your patients are going to be aware of them, and expect you to keep up with the times.

Of course, you have a practice to run, and you went to dental school, not business school. Professional guidance will always get you the best results. ProspectaMarketing is an Internet marketing firm specializing in helping dental practices reach their audience. We use all of the tools of Internet search marketing to help you reach key prospects who are 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.

Google Snippets and Your Dental Practice

Google snippets are short pieces of information (snippets) you sometimes see in Google search results. They’re usually shown at the top of the results page, and answer specific questions.

Most of these snippets come from pages that rank in the top ten of search results. By improving the content of your dental practice website you increase your chances of appearing in a snippet, and boosting your site’s traffic.

google_02a_tabletRight now there are three types of snippets that apply to dental practices:

  • Review snippet. This appears with a person icon. Review snippets are drawn from online reviews left by your patients.
  • Website mentions. These appear with a globe icon. The snippets appear when a service your practice offers is part of a user’s search terms.
  • Post snippet. This type is marked with an exclamation point icon. This snippet appears when a search term is found within a Google post.

We have described the importance of online reviews to your practice elsewhere on this blog. If you’d like to increase your ranking for teeth whitening, for example, you can ask your whitening patients to share their experiences. Research has shown that asking a patient for a review will give you a higher rating.

There are several ways to ask your patients to leave you a review:

  • Put a review form on your website, and let patients know about it
  • Add a review widget to your site
  • Use a review request email template
  • The direct approach – ask for reviews in person

Remember, though, that it is not ethical to offer incentives for reviews, and is also against Google policy.

For website mention snippets and post snippets, professional guidance gets you the best results. ProspectaMarketing is an Internet marketing firm specializing in helping dental practices reach their audience, including with Google snippets.

We use all of the tools of Internet search marketing to help you reach key prospects who are 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.

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

dentist_18

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.

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