If you’ve ever binged a show on a streaming platform, you’ve likely seen more than one commercial for a company offering attractive websites for small businesses or individuals. They tout the simplicity of the process, and the slick final result. However, these are template websites. At MDPM Dental Marketing, our team does not offer templates, but instead creates custom options for our small business clients that provide a number of benefits, including better search engine optimization for popular sites like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Why should you consider a custom option for your dental practice? Well, we have a number of reasons!
Category: Web Marketing
The final months of the year (and the decade) are here, and it is important for you to think seriously about what your goals for 2020 should be. Before the new year begins, you should be clear on what you hope to accomplish, and have a marketing strategy in place to make sure that your efforts are successful. Do you plan on opening a new franchise location, and begin serving new patients in a new community? Are you planning to bring in new dental experts to work with you? To make the most of significant changes and developments, we can help you map out a marketing strategy that ensures people know what you are doing, and are excited to visit your practice. Even if you plan on returning to the goals you set in 2019, we can help you update your strategy so that you continue seeing growth, and avoid problems that arise because of local competition. For our current clients, we are ready to meet and discuss the right approach to marketing in the new year. We can also provide a FREE analysis to any practice interested in working with us for the first time! Read More
In a typical day, you can meet with patients who bring many different smile and oral health concerns to your practice. When we build websites for our clients, we can make sure the different services they offer are represented with informative pages, and that our website content highlights the range of care available to patients. With that said, a client may want to put more effort towards promoting a specific focus. One of our clients, Dr. Stewart, has enjoyed SEO success from a general website for his office. However, he wanted to make sure he was reaching people in his area who were seeking help with issues regarding snoring and sleep apnea. In this situation, we were able to help by creating a microsite to reach people who struggled with these problems. If you are preparing to offer a new service or focus at your practice, or if you want to increase awareness for a particular approach to dental care, we can help you concentrate your marketing with your own microsite! Read More
Seasonal marketing efforts can be effective at stimulating patient interest at a time when your practice might have fewer appointments scheduled. It can also help you make sure a promotion is widely seen, so that it can have the desired effect of helping you promote yourself. You can safely assume that when it comes to an effective seasonal marketing strategy, timing can be critical. As part of our commitment to help you maintain better SEO through smart website management, we can provide support for your seasonal marketing! That can mean spreading the word on your website and social media platforms about ongoing patient specials, but it can also mean making sure that important information is shared at the right time. As part of our commitment to online marketing, we can provide end-of-year updates for your patients about the importance of using dental benefits that expire at the end of the year. In fact, we can even produce a special insurance reminder packet you can rely on to make this information clear, and readily available to people who come to your practice. Read More
Every Friday, we like to showcase the beautiful and effective work that we do for our clients. Whether we’ve recently built their brand new site, or rebuilt/redesigned their previous one, we are always excited when a client’s website goes live!
One of the many things that set us apart from the competition is how closely we work and collaborate with our clients when building their online presences. After all, as a virtual extension of your practice, your website IS your practice in the online world. This week, we are proud to feature Dr. Arjang Naminik and the new site for Woodland Hills Dental Arts in Woodland Hills, CA. Read More
According to a recent poll, 70% of Americans believe the economy is still in a recession. Dental practices nationwide report decreases in production, most notably in the number of new patients. Clients come to us with concerns about losing patients to rival practices, but dentistry in a recession isn’t always about competition among dentists. As patients tighten their purse strings, you’re far more likely to find yourself competing against rent, groceries, and debt. The solution? Internal marketing.
What Is Internal Marketing?
Internal marketing capitalizes on two of your most valuable assets, your staff and your current patients. Its main objectives are:
- Retain existing patients
- Increase per-patient value
- Generate referrals
Basically, it’s your dental practice’s calm in the storm, a marketing function that focuses on aspects over which you have a good degree of control. You can’t change the economy, you can’t change minimum wage, and you can’t give every patient a job. What you can give them is information, kindness, value, and dental health solutions.
A Satisfied Patient Is a Loyal Patient
On what factors do consumers base their buying decisions? If we’re talking about tangible goods, the answer is usually price. Dentistry, on the other hand, is a service. A practice that caters primarily to insured patients cannot effectively compete on the basis of price alone. All things being equal, a patient with dental coverage will pay the same copay at your practice that he will at the office up the street. It’s up to your team to create a patient experience that goes above and beyond the typical dental experience. Consider developing your practice’s personal signature, something your patients can look forward to. For example, we have a client who offers scented neck wraps, and another who eases patients’ anxiety with guided imagery and chairside meditation. There’s little margin for error here, which explains why so many practices are now investing in staff development and training. The economy will improve, and your patients will know exactly who to call when the time comes.
Convert More Patients With Stellar Case Presentations
When money is tight, patients reassess their ideas of what constitutes an elective procedure. For a financially secure patient, preventive and restorative dentistry are non-negotiable. Unfortunately, stability isn’t par for the course these days. Dentists are finding that many patients think of preventive as the new elective. In other words, if it isn’t causing excruciating pain, it’s elective. Practices nationwide report a larger number of fix-it and single-tooth treatments, many for patients who disappear forever after—no checkups, no professional cleanings. Nothing.
Money talks, but value explains. During your case presentation, a cash-strapped patient will focus primarily on the price tag. It’s up to you to present the value of the proposed solution in terms of their health. Touch on the basics of the procedure, but spend more time communicating the nature of the problem and the benefits of the treatment. Because money matters are now the crux of many patients’ healthcare spending decisions, your patient will be more protective of his finances. If a patient perceives that you are selling a solution for a problem that he doesn’t really have, you can be certain that he won’t return under more favorable economic conditions.
Leverage Existing Patients’ Connections With Referral Programs
Referral programs are a win-win solution. Your practice wins by gaining direct access to prospective patients, who receive the recommendation from someone they already know and trust. Patients win because they get an opportunity to enjoy “something for nothing,” so to speak. Making recommendations to friends takes five seconds on social media, and social media analytics make building awareness, monitoring success, and measuring engagement a no-brainer. However, referral programs are not an option in some states, which forbid remuneration for soliciting referrals. Check with Jill or myself before implementing a program.
Example 1: Each time a patient refers someone to the practice, both patients’ names are entered into a drawing for gift cards, an electric toothbrush, complimentary teeth whitening, etc.
Example 2: For every X number of new patients referred, the referring patient receives a reward or credit toward future dental work.
As always, you are welcome to contact either myself or Jill with questions about program design and social media.
New patients are hard to come by these days, but things are looking up. Internal marketing presents incredible opportunities to grow your practice at a time when most are desperately marketing to patients
About the Author: Jill Nastasia, CEO and Director of Business Development, is unsure of which type of recession is worse, economic or gingival. To learn more about our dental marketing solutions, contact Jill at 972-781-8861, or email her at email@example.com.
A Livonia dentist who’s near and dear to my heart recently asked Jill how his business Facebook page could like or recommend another business, or photo, or person, or anything. Her answer was, options are very limited. You’ll have a lot more opportunity doing these things as a human, but as a professional. Here’s my advice for MDPM dental website clients – and any dentist who wants to make his mark on Facebook.
Don’t Let College Joe Ruin Joseph Q. Doe, DDS’ Reputation
I’ve seen both sides of the spectrum: dentists who like to post shirtless beach photos of themselves on Facebook, and those who think Facebook is the devil. Both profiles, and dentists who fall in between, need to create a human, or personal, Facebook page, dedicated exclusively to professional interactions. So, if you don’t have a Facebook profile, create one under your professional name. If you do have a profile you use for personal stuff, create another one dedicated to the professional you.
What to Post as a Professional
Relevance. That’s what it’s all about. You must relate to your professional connections on a personal level. That’s what social networking is – sharing information as a human, and participating in the lives and ideas of others. Do not use your professional Facebook profile for ads and special offers about your practice. Leave those posts for your business page. Instead, share some of your tasteful family photos, discuss community events, the school district’s success, and congratulate specific patients on promotions, new babies, marriages, and anniversaries. Be real, but be professional.
Step By Step
- First, log out of Facebook. Read More
In 2012, Yelp became a publicly traded company on the US stock market, so revenue is more important than ever. Today, about 70% of Yelp’s profit comes from paid advertisements, like those the company solicits you for by phone. Your listing at Yelp is free, so what do you need to pay for? Yelp offers local advertising on search engine results pages for a business’ location. The company can also add your information to your competitors’ Yelp listing (not search engines) and remove their advertisement from your Yelp listing. In addition, the paid services can include a slide show, call to action button, and video on your Yelp listing. Packages start at $300 and go up to about $1000 per month, according to Yelp’s advertising page.
Does your dental office need Yelp’s paid service?
As of January 2013, Yelp had over 100 million visitors per month, and about a third came from mobile searches. This sounds huge, right? Well, Google was pulling in 100 billion searches per month in late 2012. In July 2013, Bing claims to have had over 19 billion searches, and Bing is second to Google in the search market, so there’s no one in between. Yelp, however, is not a search engine – it’s a review site, like CitySearch. Google has a review site, Google+ Local, and then there’s Yelp. There are also industry-related review sites, like the government-based HealthGrades.com, and paid review sites like Demandforce and Rate a Dentist. Angie’s List also comes to mind. There is no unbiased research to tell us how many people search for dentists on any particular review site, so we have to make informed decisions based on our best judgement. Enter the statistics… Read More
While MDPM Consulting does condone the use of social media in dental marketing, and we even offer an ebook on the topic, we don’t believe that social media should be the focus of a dental marketing strategy. Much like printing a brochure or running ads in a publication, social media marketing is just one element that can be integrated into a larger, full-scale dental marketing program.
If you’re interested in learning the latest about social media marketing, I recommend you subscribe to www.socialmediaexaminer.com. If you listen to the podcasts and read the blog, you’ll learn how to engage with your potential and current patients through social forums, like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Read More
As a dental marketing firm, MDPM understands the rules and regulations dentists are held to – the standards for doctors are much higher than those for professionals outside the medical industry. Recently, the ADA distributed an electronic newsletter that mentioned the requirement for dentists to have HIPAA privacy practices displayed on their websites. Are you in compliance with this federal regulation?
The Mandate for HIPAA Notice on Dentist Websites
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45 – Public Wellfare states:
(3) Specific requirements for electronic notice. (i) A covered entity that maintains a web site that provides information about the covered entity’s customer services or benefits must prominently post its notice on the web site and make the notice available electronically through the web site.
How Dentists Should Comply
Current clients of MDPM should send their HIPAA forms via fax (877-492-8838) or .pdf file (firstname.lastname@example.org), and we will immediately post your form, which will be your notice and, thus, will make your practice compliant on this issue. If you are not an MDPM client dentist, contact your current webmaster and request that your HIPAA form be posted as soon as possible. Should you run into problems, feel free to call MDPM for assistance. We are here to serve dentists with reliable, compliant dental marketing solutions.
If you do not have a HIPAA form, visit the ADA website for more information.