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dental marketing

There are 26 letters in the alphabet – which are really working for your practice?

Feeling a little exhausted? We understand – when you’re handling your website’s upkeep, it’s a nonstop fight for relevance. While larger practices and companies have more extensive teams that can handle to-the-minute publishing, those of us on a smaller scale found ourselves struggling to get out regular blog posts.

There’s some good news ahead: new content doesn’t necessarily have to be unprecedented. In fact, there’s already awesome content lurking on your website – and it’s ready to be repurposed. This not only saves you time and energy, but actually boosts your search engine rankings.

Whether you’ve already got a content well to draw from, or are interested in moving your content production in a more valuable direction, we’ve got some tips for making your text really count.

Need some help with the writing process? Get in touch with Doctor Web Solution for some dental marketing expertise, and copywriting resources.

The Secret to Simple Content Marketing

If you’ve done some research into the modern marketing world, you’ve no doubt come across the term “content marketing.” Your target audience values excellent content over empty ads and flashy promises. By creating articles and images that educate, entertain, and inform your (current and prospective) patients, you show them that you care about their business.

Content marketing is especially important for healthcare professionals. You never want to appear desperate for new patients, because those individuals will wonder whether the care you offer is flawed in some way. It’s a catch-22 – how do you gain the new patients that you want without showing that your practice needs more business?

That’s where content marketing comes in. Create how-to’s, guides, before and after collections, and other engaging pieces to show that you care about adding to your site viewer’s lives and health – whether or not they follow through and schedule.

Digging For Content Treasure in Your Website

So, you get it – content’s important. Now, how do you find the time to keep creating? Fortunately, the content that’s already working for you has quite a lifespan. With a little tweaking and retouching, you can actually republish old posts and have them garner further attention. This practice not only saves you from having to sit down and churn out new blog posts, but has some added benefits:

  • Older content is already ranking – When you publish a new page or post, it doesn’t show up in Google’s results immediately. It takes time for search engines to index the page, and further time for the posts to rise up the ranks. Why not take advantage of the valuable age of your old posts, and simply refurbish them?
  • It’s a chance to update and improve past posts – Time changes things. Some of your posts may no longer be relevant, whether it’s due to a service or technology that’s grown outdated or a conscious shift your practice has made. Take this opportunity to make that content speak to your practice’s current landscape.

Recycling Old Content That’s Already Working For You

“Content” is a purposefully vague term, because it can mean so many different things. Any unique media that you create will ultimately serve your practice. Taking photos of your office, creating before and after image pairs, writing guides to oral health, and sharing treatment options are all valid routes to content creation.

Wondering which pages of your website are performing the best? Google Analytics has the answers. If you’d like to learn more about engaging with this process, get in touch with our team. We’re here to bridge the gap between you and your website.

SEO for dentistsGoogle just released yet another update to its algorithm – and it immediately impacted thousands upon thousands of businesses. How can you be sure that your SEO is evergreen? The key lies within the bigger picture.

SEO can seem overly concerned with the micro level – editing the title and heading tags of pages until they seem perfect, tweaking URLs to bring in the most clicks, building citations in the best directories, and choosing the most valuable links with the right anchor text. While these things have been important in the past, the SEO landscape is changing. Today, we need to focus on the thing that has remained a priority throughout Google’s algorithm juggling: content.

Awesome, relevant content not only benefits you in the moment, but acts as an ongoing boon for your practice’s website. And with Google’s new focus on the searcher’s location, it’s become one of the most prominent factors in determining the order of search results. There’s absolutely nothing we can do to change the weight Google places on location – so we need to make sure our sites speak to those places, and look good while doing so.

SEO continues to be complicated. But putting in a little extra site work today will reap rewards in the months to come.

Algorithm-Proof SEO Tactics

Just to clarify: Google isn’t the only search engine out there. Many of your patients may use Yahoo or Bing instead, and these engines have different qualifiers for which sites show up at the top of the rankings. But we’re focusing on Google because it’s the number one method by which current and prospective patients try to find a healthcare professional.

In order to appeal to the Google gods, you can always count on the following:

  • Frequent publishing – Showing that your website remains active is one simple way to stay relevant in Google’s (and other search engine’s) eyes. Google values domain age, but it also respects new content being added to established sites. By creating new site pages and posts, you show that you’re keeping your website up with the times, and continuing to work toward improving user experience.
  • Patient-specific content – In order to find the patients you’re looking for, you’ll need to consider their demographics. Who might want dental implants? Who could be interested in porcelain veneers? Decide on the services you want to promote, and the locations you think may want them. Then create content that incorporates both those factors. One of the simplest ways to achieve this is with:
  • Local landing pages – A local landing page snares patients in specific cities looking for specific services. The page is structured to appeal to a certain area, and mentions local factors to draw in the right patients. These pages double as fresh content, and can be quite valuable in your marketing efforts.

Is Your Website Prepared for Google’s Wrath?

Despite Google’s best efforts, bad SEO is still lingering on the Web. Make sure that your site isn’t contributing to the problem. Even if you haven’t seen a drop in rankings, it’s coming – and spammy practices could lead to your site being de-indexed, at which point it won’t show up at all. Keyword stuffing, use of machine-generated content or duplicate content, hidden keywords, and building links on site copies will all bring down the hard fist of Google justice.

Since they’re so tricky, why still use keywords at all? Google doesn’t recognize them, but other search engines do. They’re a vestige of old SEO that hasn’t quite faded from the existing face of optimization.

Feeling anxious about your dental website’s on-page SEO? We’re here to help. Get in touch for some advice.

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dental marketingModern advertising has taken a gentler turn. On the one hand, ads are everywhere – from concrete expanses like buildings like buses to the omnipresent sidebars of your Facebook. But these ads are increasingly sophisticated and subtle.

Once upon a time, an ad came right out and said what it was trying to accomplish. “Buy our delicious potato chips.” Today, a sidebar ad for the same product might show a picture of a potato chip accompanied by a purposefully vague, intriguing tagline (that inspires the viewer to click it).

As we move in this direction, it becomes more important than ever to ensure that your business’ marketing is never obnoxious. Thus, getting the physical word out about your business (we’re talking mouth-to-ear, doctor to patient to patient) is a bit complicated. You want patients to be talking about your practice online and in person, but you don’t want to seem like you’re forcing them to do so.

This post details a few ways to manage your online authority – and bring in new patients through a bit of carefully-targeted work.

Patient Authority and Dental Reviews

Medical professionals bear a special kind of burden. When someone’s health is at state, they’re incredibly picky about the kind of treatment they’re looking for. And they’re especially grateful when they receive some personal advice as to which doctor could be right for them.

Patients always value their friends’ and family’s opinions and trust their recommendations more than the ones they can find online. They know that these people are for real, and they know the standards that their healthcare needs to measure up to. For this reason, we recommend that you embrace one tried-and-true method of inspiring patient-to-patient communication: social media.

When you’re active on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and other social platforms, you’re tapping into your patients’ social circles. They’re already connected with their friends on these networks. When you get even one patient to share content that you post, review your practice on the social site, or even mention you, your name and services are exposed to everyone they know. And it’s that kind of publicity that makes patients really take notice.

The Secrets to Yelp

As we mentioned, recommendations from people your prospective patients actually know are the most valuable. But that doesn’t mean that review sites like Yelp are out of the picture.

Yelp, and other sites like Google Places (which is responsible for the top-of-the-page, abbreviated listings that come up when you Google your business name) are closely tied to your online reputation. Every time someone tries to find you through a search engine, these listings come up at the top of the results. And patients are almost definitely going to check them out before they call and schedule.

It’s important to remind your existing patients that Yelp exists and that you’re on it. Once they receive great treatment, they’ll then be able to tell the rest of the world about it. At the same time, you never want to seem desperate for reviews. Try not to engage in outright solicitation. Begging for reviews not only makes you look desperate, it suggests that your online reputation is lacking.

Get ‘Em Talking, And You’ll See Results

Your current patients care about you, and they want to help you succeed. They feel loyal to you, and they’ll take pleasure in being a part of your practice’s growth. The best thing you can do is continue to provide them with superior treatment. They’ll do the talking (and typing) on their own. Just offer great treatment, and then provide online venues for your patients to follow up.

Have any other questions? Get in touch for advice.

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dental marketing

Get your patients buzzing!

Any phrase involving “buzz” should be approached with caution. This term has become a catchall for content that tends to be less valuable than it’s cracked up to be. But sometimes, a little buzz can be exactly what you want. If you get site visitors talking about you, and then have the goods to back all that talk up, you’ll find yourself sitting pretty with new patients on the schedule.

How do you strike the balance between buzzworthy and truly worthwhile? With some clever social media marketing and unique practice specials. If you’re stumped as to how you should proceed, Dr Web Solution can help. Read on for a few tips.

Setting Your Dental Practice Apart from the Pack

While being a healthcare professional wasn’t always synonymous with savvy web marketing, it is today. There are so many dentists on the Web – and they’re all fighting to end up on the first page of search engine results. Everyone (at least, almost everyone) creates a site with the aid of a professional designer. Depending on the age of the site’s design, it will fall into a certain category. And within the stratum of dentists that have a comparable level of web design, you have to do more than just create a nice homepage to make yourself memorable.

The Fun Side of Dental Marketing

It’s time to take a look at your practice and decide what makes it special. Every office is unique, but it’s harder to pinpoint exactly what those exclusive characteristics are (they can be quite subtle). Is it a certain brand that you offer? Your attention to gentle care? A soothing, spa-like office environment? An experienced, dedicated staff that works to build a patient community? No matter the practice, those special aspects are there – waiting to be emphasized.

Once you’ve identified what sets you apart, it’s time to market your practice in a new way. Your marketing doesn’t have to be dull or staid, even if you have a dental or medical practice. There’s a fun side to everything. Pairing specials and treatment packages that rely on your strengths with an entertaining, easily understood format will show patients what they stand to gain from your practice, rather than the one down the street. Communicate patients that you have the specific facilities and abilities that fit their needs.

Social Media is Your Best Friend

One of the easiest ways to accomplish this (admittedly difficult) task is with social media marketing. Because social media combines dissemination of information and a visual, pleasurable format, it’s an ideal tool for dental marketing. Make your services a little more thrilling by displaying and discussing them in a new way. With the aid of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and more, you’re able to quickly and easily post

  • Specials – If you don’t regularly run practice specials, it’s time to start. People respond to limited-time and package offers.
  • Ads – Social media advertising is easier than ever, and can be targeted to specific demographics.
  • Before & Afters – Why not show off examples of your work? They’re guaranteed to wow patients.
  • Jokes/cartoons – People appreciate seeing some levity on social media – it’s actually what most are looking for during their Facebook or Twitter visits (a little break from the workday).
  • Educational facts – Use social media to educate your patients and they’ll remember you for your helpful tips.
  • Photos and tidbits about the office and its staff – Take advantage of the visual format to get current and prospective patients more familiar with your practice.

Still looking for ideas? Just get in touch to start a marketing conversation!

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dental web design

Pop! goes the web design

The last time you visited a new website, what was the first thing you noticed about it? We’re betting it wasn’t the snappy text or the contact information. We’re confident in predicting that it was actually the home page’s appearance. Even if you’re visiting a site for purely practical reasons, its design makes an impact on the viewer. This extends to sites belonging to healthcare professionals. While your website deals with dentistry, we want it to be more than just a means to an end.

The thing is, design is what convinces patients to follow through and reach that end (i.e. scheduling an appointment). So while a great layout may seem like a frivolity, it should be your first concern. If your practice’s home page isn’t attractive, it’s a huge ding against you. The bounce rate will be high, and you won’t engage new patients – you’ll just lose them. Fortunately, there are a few design guidelines to follow that will help you craft a user-friendly experience. Read on for some quick tips.

Stay Modern with Your Site Design

Ok, we know – easier said than done. At this point in the life of the Internet, what does “modern” even mean, anyway? We’re using the term to describe the contemporary M.O. of today’s Web. You need to keep up with the design of other sites, even if they deal with a more artistic commodity or service. After all, as an aesthetic dentist, you’re dealing in a similarly visual product, even if other people don’t see it that way initially.

Because a picture is worth a thousand words, we’d rather show you modern design than tell you about it. Check out our Design Gallery to see some examples of the kind of work in which we’re invested. A few of the factors that unite our designs include:

  • Streamlined layout
  • Emphasis on images
  • Appealing color schemes tailored to the user experience
  • Clear, easily accessed contact forms
  • Vertical design that draws in the eye
  • Visual, prominent representations of the practice and its staff

Keep Your Website Active

You’re probably thinking, “Great, another vague command! Thanks for all the help.” But “active” is actually easier to define than “modern.” In this case, we mean that you should keep the site current. Continually update it with fresh images, blog posts, and content. Showcase practice specials and treatment deals. This communicates that you care about keeping up with your patients and their ever-changing needs.

Let the Web Design Guide Patient Conversion

Nobody likes being told what to do, and this even extends to patients that are actively trying to find a new dentist. Bombarding them with contact forms and “CALL NOW”s won’t achieve the desired result. Instead, the design should guide patients toward the information they’re seeking, which will then convince them to take the plunge and become your patient.

It’s never too late to improve your website’s design. Whether you currently have a practice site, or are looking to build one from scratch, now is the time to take action. Consider how many potential calls you could be missing each day – simply because patients can’t find you online. There’s no way to know what you stand to gain until you put that site in place.

And it doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re interested in learning more about your site’s design possibilities, reach out for a complimentary site evaluation. We’ll help you understand where you’re at, and how to move forward. In the meantime, check out some design tips to get thinking about the changes you’d like to make.