Marketing Tag Archive

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Dentists: Here’s Why You Need To Be On Google Plus

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A few days ago, a dentist contacted me wanting to know about this “google plus thing”, and how they can leverage it to attract new patients. As a consultant, I have spoken to dozens of dentists, that are beyond frustrated of what to do online to attract new patients. Google has thrown another curve at them with Google Plus Local. I’ll explain what you can do, so read on.

If you haven’t noticed, when you type in your location and dentist, you’ll typically seeing a group of listings that are normally below the ads near the top of the first page. This is called the 7-pack, and if your practice is not in this area, you may be dead in the water in the near future.

I know what you’re thinking. “Another online marketing strategy I have to figure out or hire a dental marketing company to”.

Unfortunately, google owns the game, and with google+ they are integrating organic search, paid and now local listings all on the first page. With more people reading online reviews, and checking the location of dental practices, they are making their decision quicker because of these listings.

Google+ Profile & Business Listing

There are 2 things you are going to want to do to optimize for best results. Create your Google+ profile, which is similar to your facebook profile. This is not a business page, it’s your profile page.

Then you’ll want to create and link up your google+ local listing.

The key here is to completely fill out your listing. Make sure to use all the exact information that is on your website (company name, address and phone number).

Also make sure your office hours, as well as any special offers you have are listed in there. The more complete your listing is, the better your chances are to getting in that 7-pack.

Get Reviews

Now you want to build out your reviews. This is a tough goal to accomplish as google terms of service states you cannot solicit reviews, but when you have a happy patient in your office, you can ask them if they wouldn’t mind posting their comments on google+ Local.

The only negative is the hoops your patient has to go through to even leave a review. They first have to have a google+ profile. If they don’t, which most people don’t, they have to create a profile, then they can go to your G+ Local page and leave the review.

As a dental marketing consultant, this is a big frustration of mine with google. It makes it extremely difficult for my dental clients to extract reviews from their patients.

Moving Forward

In the near future, google will be combining many of these platforms, and “handcuffing” local businesses to play their game, so if you want to attract new patients from the Internet, it’s one game you must play.

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Google SEO and You

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If you are reading this blog you are (by definition) aware of the power of the Internet to spread information. The Internet has fundamentally changed how people seek and find information, which in turn has destroyed the old ways of business communication like printed magazines and yellow pages ads.

Actually there are two things which have created this amazing change. The ability of the Internet to gather store and present vast amounts of information at very (that should be very very) low cost and the invention of Google to allow us to find and filter that information.

Getting your message, your name, your brand to the top of Google is now far more important than any traditional marketing device. Recognizing this companies have sprung up like dandelions to provide SEO or Search Engine Optimization to help you get to the top of the Google results.

As a small business person, a dentist, is it worthwhile for you to invest big bucks in SEO? The answer is the ever popular…it depends.

It depends on your location, the type of practice you have and how you are growing the practice. Every practice needs to have basic SEO in place but not every practice will be well served by spending thousands a month for SEO.

Here are some keys to understanding and investing in SEO;

  • Nobody has a secret method they can use to guarantee you will be on top of Google.
  • There is very little difference in results for companies ranking from one to five on Google. You do not have to be first.
  • Using “black hat” techniques to fool Google will likely get you bumped way down in the rankings.

Get help here.

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Is Your Dental Website Getting Results?

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I’m amazed at the hundreds of dental websites I have looked at that are difficult to navigate, make me work to take action, and are basically wasting air space on the Internet.

If you have a website already, I want you to really take a look at its EVERY page, and ask yourself this question. “What’s the goal of this page, and am I making it easy for visitors to take action”.

When you take this approach to your dental website, you’ll have an awakening. You’ll soon realize there is a ton of room for improvement, which is a good thing, as it means with some changes you’ll get more responses.

What’s Your Main Goal

If you’re like all the dental clients I work with, you want your phone ringing correct? If so, does your website make it easy for a visitor to contact your office?

You may think it is, but I’ll bet you it’s not. You see…most of the dental sites I review do not have a prominent phone number. And worse off, many pages don’t have it at all! This makes your dental site a complete waste!

With any marketing, you are paying to get more patients, and that is the same goal of your dental website.

The Second Goal Is…

When someone is looking for a dentist, they want to know how to contact you (phone number), and where are you located (address and map).

With that in mind, you MUST have a map on your dental website! There’s no negotiating on this one! If you don’t make it easy for visitor to see where you’re located, you’re dead in the water. Toast!

I would say of all the dental websites I review, 80% of them do not have a map.

If you don’t, I want you to contact your webmaster right now and get a map put on your homepage ASAP! Don’t put this off! Get it up there and you’ll see a boost in the number of phone calls you get.

So if and when you decide to update/redesign your dental website, don’t go for pretty, go for functional. Make it easy for people to call you and find out where you’re located. Do this and your practice with prosper.

I hope this article has opened your eyes to what your website should accomplish.

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10 Tips To Grow Your Dental Practice

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Most dentists I talk to have a strong desire to grow their dental practice. Many have even hired so-called SEO guru’s, website designers, local ranking experts, and consultants, but with very little success.

With the competitive landscape for most business niches, dental is no different. You can’t have a piece meal marketing approach. You must have a strategy (plan) that is all-encompassing, covering all facets of both online and offline marketing, that work cohesively together, to get more new patients.

Below are what I consider the top 10 critical marketing elements you must have in place and work on consistently to grow your practice and be the leader in your locale.

1. Lead Generating Website

Notice how I didn’t just say website, I said “lead-generating” website. There’s a big difference. Of the hundreds of dental websites I’ve reviewed, I can only count a handful that are truly designed to attract new dental patients.
Unfortunately, web designers are not marketing experts. They are building their portfolio to attract more design or creative customers, not businesses that truly need leads. Unless they have a internet marketing background, it’s not wise to spend the $3,000-$10,000 on a website that does not convert.

2. Dental Blog

This could be part of number 1 above, but I am making it a separate category, as it is a crucial piece of your marketing pie. You see…a blog allows you to produce and publish valuable content that both your visitors, and the search engines love.

This will result in higher search engine rankings, and a perceived leader (authority) in your special niche of dentistry, whether it be veneers, invisalign, braces, implants or any other high transaction value cosmetic procedure.

3. Video Marketing

Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world, and more people are choosing to search and watch videos as opposed to reading text. This, as a dentist, gives you a huge opportunity to implement a video marketing strategy that will position you as the expert, making the decision to hire your much easier.

The only problem I see is many dentists who have a youtube channel, but have not optimized it, or any of the videos to get more eyeballs. This ends up being a waste of time and money. Allotting a budget to have a video marketing company or consultant come in and do this for you is a wise business decision.

4. Reputation Marketing

This is an area that is exploding online. More and more people are making their buying decisions on social reviews. You’ve seen these before. You do a search, and google shows local business listings.

Right in the listing, you’ll see a link to reviews. This is where people go immediately to read about the business. Are there any reviews at all? Are they positive or negative.

There is an entirely separate service for cleaning up bad reviews, and gaining new ones. As time goes on, businesses are going to be investing large amounts of money into their online reputation.

5. Local Listings And SEO

More and more people are searching for local services. If you don’t have a google+ local page that is optimized with images, videos and offers, your competitors are going to easily outrank you and get all the phone calls.
Focusing on local seo and business listings is a wise decision of both your time and money. If you’re not found when your potential patient is looking for you, you lose!

6. Mobile Marketing

Take a look around you. Everyone is buried in their mobile phone. Texting, talking, skyping, you name it! Mobile marketing is exploding! Did you know that over 60% of local searches are done on the cell phone. Next year that number is expected to grow to 80%; and the following year (2014) it is said, mobile search is going to exceed desktop search.

With those types of numbers, you better “get mobile”.

Again, there is a specific marketing approach that you must take if you want your mobile marketing investment to pay off.

7. Email Marketing

They say “the money is in the list”, and I tend to agree.

It’s standard now to get patient email addresses, but what most dentists are missing is getting the email addresses of their website visitors. This is a massive lost opportunity that I would say 90% or more of the online dental websites are missing out on.

There is a specific strategy to maximize this approach. It can be a time consuming, time-sucking method, and one that I would recommend most dental practices hire out to the professionals who have experience in this.

8. SMS Text Marketing

Above we already mentioned mobile marketing, and text messaging is a close second. In fact, many marketing professionals would say text messaging goes in the same category as mobile marketing, but I beg to differ.
There are companies now that only offer SMS marketing. You may or may not need a separate company to achieve the results you’re looking for, but just imagine the ability to send appointment reminders for example. Very powerful stuff!

9. Facebook

We all know how big facebook is. Over 1 billion active users! If you do not have a Facebook marketing strategy, you are losing out on a huge potential goldmine of prospective patients.

This is another area I’ve seen with hundreds of dental practices who are doing it all wrong. There are so many strategies you can implement just with Facebook, that it would take 5-10 hours per week just for this.

10. Social Media

Social media is evolving all the time! With Twitter, Pinterest and now Instagram your demographic (teens) are there. They are tweeting to their friends. They are uploading to Instagram. Pinterest is the fastest growing social network in the world, and it is a fantastic opportunity for you to pin your before and after pics, as well as any other event you have going on in your practice.

But…the key to all this is to optimize what you’re doing for the best SEO results. If you don’t, you’re wasting time (and money) doing it, as you won’t see results.

These 10 tips (strategies) I’ve listed would take easily 40 hours or more a week if implemented completely. That is why you should consider a marketing firm, or consultant to do it, as we are the professionals, and can get you a better ROI than if you had a staff member “try it”.

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Marketing Sleep Medicine For Your Dental Practice?


Like anything else, when you start a new adventure, planning the journey is key. If you’re traveling across country and are looking to get to your destination quickly and efficiently you wouldn’t leave home without a road map. The same rules apply in marketing. Strategic marketing planning is crucial. In a world of rapid multi-tasking and multi-service offerings, not many of us have time and resources to waste on arbitrary marketing efforts and aimless, costly campaigns.

Demographic consideration also plays a significant role in the development and execution of dental marketing. Take the time up front to understand and realize your demographic area and needs. For example, a market in New York City is very different from one in Sarasota, Florida or Pontiac, Illinois. What works in one area may not be effective in another area. Be open and receptive to what communication methods are most effective within your area and demographics.

A marketing roadmap approach we found successful as a base for strategic planning in dental marketing is structured into four simple categories: Inside the Practice, Outside the Practice, Online, and Offline. Within Each of these levels, various marketing tactics can be implemented and done so simultaneously among the categories. The combination of layering and targeting all of these levels is essential in maximizing marketing efforts and campaigns. Here are some additional tips, in conjunction with marketing efforts, found within each of the four categories.

INSIDE THE PRACTICE

Get your staff involved, as they are the lifeline of your practice! Specifically, in practicing sleep medicine, staff members need to understand the severity of health issues that may occur with untreated Obstructed Sleep Apnea and realize they have the power to help people live better lives and even help potentially save patients’ lives.

As we all know, knowledge is power. If you teach your staff to have passion for the subject matter, it will become apparent to patients that you are not just selling oral appliances. Your patients will immediately recognize and appreciate the staff’s genuineness. At this stage, it is a good idea to acquire screening forms and marketing collateral, such as brochures, posters, awareness stickers, etc., to help the Staff engage with patients inside the practice. Keep in mind that it is more important to empower the staff on an emotional level, than it is mandating a full understanding and exact medical terminology. Ask the staff to keep the conversations with patients brief but engaged. The dentist should provide the details about available oral appliance therapy in a consultation appointment.

OUTSIDE THE PRACTICE

Remember to not only focus marketing efforts to patients but to also consider fostering relationships with local physicians for referrals. Timing for engaging with physicians is important as it is best to have a few cases under your belt and feel confident on the process. At this level, implementing direct marketing campaigns, hosting physician study club lunches, newsletters, press releases, blogs, etc., are all good marketing strategies. My personal favorite is to set up an evening with your local library to host a discussion for the public about the dangers of untreated sleep apnea and CPAP alternatives. This seems to be s a win-win scenario in which the public receives information on a concerning Health issue, the dentist is recognized as an advocate on the subject by the community and local physicians, and often times new patients are secured all at the same time.

ONLINE

Having your own separate sleep website that is optimized for Google’s search engine is great but could be very time consuming and costly. Splash pages are also good but pay close attention to your cost per click and analytics of the campaign as this could quickly drain your marketing funds. For a faster, more efficient way to be found online, try associating your dental sleep practice with a large Sleep Website that already ranks well in Google. I would suggest trying and searching on Google for your target keywords such as, “CPAP alternatives” Or “curing sleep apnea”, etc., and see who pops up on the first page.

Social media has also opened up a large marketing window. Online communication through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin can all be utilized to help spread the awareness of the dangers of the untreated sleep apnea and CPAP alternatives. Always keep the information current so your content is always fresh.

OFFLINE

Consider television, radio and print advertising. Look into local sponsorship opportunities, such as health fairs and other community favorite events. Think about collaborative marketing and teaming up with other local businesses such as florists, restaurants, coffee shops, etc., where you offer special promotions To each others clients. Becoming invested in the community through advertisement, sponsorship programs, collaborative efforts, and lecturing opportunities offers many local promotional benefits.

In each of the four categories assess the value of the marketing opportunity and build your plan accordingly. Promote yourself and your practice through becoming an advocate within your area. Employ several marketing strategies within all the categories. Lean on available resources. Be smart about your time and marketing efforts and roadmap your plan to success.

Good luck on your sleep medicine journey!
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Written by Elias Kalantzis for Sleep Group Solutions.
Sleep Group Solutions offers comprehensive dental continuing education courses focusing on the dental treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Our two day seminars are designed to teach dental and medical professionals proper protocols for identifying, diagnosing and treating this life threatening condition. SGS offers a complete suite of products to fit the needs of sleep physicians, ENT’s, primary care physicians and dentists. If you have patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or are non-compliant with CPAP therapy you have come to the right place. See course schedule at Net32.com/Sleep Group Solutions

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