Facebook Live Video – How to Work Less & Earn More – Dental Technicians Business Program#1

I’ve just run the first in a series of Facebook live events aimed specifically at helping dental technicians work less and earn more, in this first video I go through the four key business areas of performance that need to be addressed in order to have a successful business:

  1. Finances
  2. Business Processes
  3. People
  4. Customers

In case you missed it or would like to watch it again I’ve embedded it in this blog post.(Please skip to 5 min in for the video to start)

To join me on my next Facebook live event where we will be talking about finances and how to make more money, please Visit my Facebook events page.

Backwards Marketing – Buying NOT Selling!

[WARNING: This is a long post with a lot of actionable content]

We all hate being sold to, that’s a given, the problem is that marketing can often seem like just a selling avenue.  It’s not, and it shouldn’t be.

If your advertising campaigns simply say ” Come and see us, we are brilliant and can help” then it’s just annoying, boring, lazy and actually pretty ineffective.

Having a marketing system which works magnetically to attract people at a time that is right for them, without being annoying, aggressive or shouting about it is far more powerful… And that style of marketing is backwards marketing,  also known as pull marketing or inbound marketing.

In this video  I walk you through the principle of backwards marketing,  why it is so effective, how to use it and how you can set it up for as little as $19 per month using Aweber.

RESULT

Using this system, in conjunction with good Search Engine Optimisation, I’m regularly seeing some clients attract 50 -75 new patients per month and collect 16 Facebook reviews. All automated!

You will probably want to have pen and paper ready so you can make notes…

An overview of how backwards dental marketing works

The basic principle is that we need to understand where a person is in their purchasing decision, not everyone that visits your website will be ready to request an appointment… They may be in information gathering mode:

Patients in information gathering mode

These patients may want to know more about their problem such as replacing missing teeth or straightening crooked teeth or they indeed may want to know more about specific treatments such as dental implants or Invisalign.. The principle behind backwards marketing is that the patient has already identified that they have an issue which they wish to have resolved, what we have to do is to stand out, be noticed and provide a useful and relevant informatonn that the patient requires.

We do this using a free download from the website, simply ask for the patient’s name and e-mail address so that you can e-mail them a detailed report helping them understand more  about either their problem and/or the various treatment options.

 

How to set this up

Do this by creating a list within Aweber and call it ‘free guides’, set your automated e-mail responses to go out at ever increasing intervals (I use the Fibonacci series of numbers with e-mails going out at increasing number of days as 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 etc), these e-mails should answer those patients queries and should address topics such as:

  • How much does this treatment cost?
  • How will I know if I’m suitable for this treatment?
  • How comfortable is this treatment?
  • Where can I go to find out more information about treatment?
  • What are the links between this treatment and overall dental health?
  • What type of benefits could I get from this treatment?

In these automated e-mail responses  we are not trying to sell any treatment, we are simply handing out useful, free and relevant dental health advice to that patient.

However, within each e-mail we should gently guide the patient towards the next stage in their buying process…

Patients wanting to take the next small and simple step

Once patients have found out all of the information they need about either their problem, treatment or indeed a service provider they may then be ready to move onto the next step which is to come in and see you. HOWEVER at the early stages but may need some incentive or motivation from you to do this.Free consultation

Discount voucher

A discount voucher works equally well

This is where free consultations coming, this may or may not be  clinical (that is a whole other blog post) I’m simply looking at this from a marketing perspective, free consultations or even a voucher for a refund of the initial assessment fee has the effect of lowering risk and increasing trust for the patient.

When we lower risk patients that are wavering in their decision are more likely to take action and request an appointment.

The discount voucher works equally well in this regards, in this instance, notice how we are using five-star reviews to increase social proof at the point the patient is looking to make a decision.

How to set this up

Create another list in aweber And call it ‘free consultation’ or ‘refund of initial assessment’. Your automated e-mail responses can simply be thanking the patient for requesting an appointment and sending them a voucher entitling them to this free consultation or refund of initial assessment… At this stage it’s important to note but  the primary motivation for doing this is to collect the patient’s details whilst they are online, thereby ensuring that we have the ability to continue to engage with that patient (if they wish to) over an extended period of time.

This gives your website very valuable ‘longevity’.

Important. You should now go into the list settings in Aweber  and click on automation. Create a new rule which automates unsubscribing from the free guides list when a patient requests a free consultation or refund of initial assessment.

Creating this automation rule will stop the patient from receiving the prospecting e-mails that they had when they were simply looking for more information, this ensures the e-mails the patient receives relevant to their particular point in their new patient journey.

Patients that have been in to see you

Create a third list in Aweber and call it ‘patients’. as new patients come to the practice collect the e-mail address and name and ask them for permission to send them the very occasional dental health informational update,  ensure you keep their details safe and secure.

Upload those e-mail addresses into Aweber using the import function.  When Aweber asks, type into the box that you have permission to send these patients the occasional e-mail.

Now create a new automation rule as before, this time removing patients from the free consultation/voucher list  AND the free guide list. This will ensure that as patients come into the practice they stop receiving any prospecting e-mails from you.

aweber automation rules

Create your auto follow up… This is the real genius!

When the patients have been in to see you you should create auto follow up message which simply says we would like to ask you a quick question, would you recommend us to your friends and family… Yes or no.

collecting reviews

Create two new pages in your website:

  • YES – If patients click the yes button from the reviews e-mail direct them to this page. This page should thank them for being willing to give you a review and create links to your Facebook page and Google plus page
  • NO – If patients clicked the no button from the reviews e-mail, direct them to this page. This page should be an apology page and should have a feedback form enabling patients to give you feedback on why they are not happy to give you a review.
if YES is clicked

if YES is clicked – the social media icons link to the relevant site

 OR

if NO is clicked

if NO is clicked

Summary of backwards dental marketing

If you set this up as I have suggested you will now have an automated e-mail system which will gently help the patient find out more information, provide them with information, offer them an incentive to request an appointment and then when they’ve been to see you gently ask for a review and guide them to the most appropriate place in order to leave that review.

The system works 24 hours a day.

The system never sleeps.

You can now go back to doing what you do best…

If you’d like an audit of your own dental website marketing, please visit my website audit page.

The link to Aweber in this post is an affiliate link from which I make a small commission. I used Aweber for years before I became an affiliate partner. 

live chat on a dental website, why it works!

20121108_105013Do you use a live chat facility on your website? In my opinion, you should… And here’s why…And also how …(especially as you can set this up for free!).

In a service based industry such as dentistry it can often be very difficult for a patient to evaluate your services, one of the key ways they do this is by your RESPONSIVENESS. [SERVQUAL Parasuraman et al 1988].

Logic would suggest that if a patient wants to contact you they will phone or e-mail however, this is not always the case. Having run live chat for the past few months on the websites of 15 dental practices I can report that:

  • Patients often ask questions relating to the practice location/address (one would think that they could simply look at a map).
  • Patients want to request an appointment  but feel more reassured when they do this live with someone via chat.
  • Patients want to know the price of various dental treatments, even though they are clearly displayed on the website.
  • Patients just find a live chat  more comforting than sending an e-mail as they know that the message has been answered immediately.

Having a live chat facility engenders a considerable amount of trust towards your practice and reduces risk, I strongly suggest you set this facility up.

Setting up live chat

Setting up live chat comes in three simple stages:

  1. Create a free account on tawk.to
  2. Design your chat widget
  3. Add the widget code to your website or send to your designers

Stay signed in to Tawk.to and you will receive live chat as they come in from the website

That’s it!

It really is that simple, there is even an Android and iPhone app.

Go give it a try, it’s free!

And yes, I appreciate that it might be difficult to manage this front of house… So if you’d like to run a website chat facility on your own dental practice website, give me a call/email and we can talk about managing this for you at very little cost.

Examples of REAL LIFE conversations

Here follows a couple real life transcripts, notice how often the patient is asking about prices, if one just simply answered with the price the conversation will probably be over, engaging the patient in conversation helps them understand your services and engenders trust.

The interesting thing is that this patient was asking about prices and yet was on the fees page  of the practice website when they initiated the chat.

  • [16:36]                XXXXXXXX: Name : XXXXXXXX
  • [16:36] Mark – Patient Support has joined the conversation
  • [16:36] Mark – Patient Support: hi XXXXXXXX, how may I help?
  • [16:37] XXXXXXXX: Hello, ow much are incognito braces roughly?
  • [16:37] Mark – Patient Support: I need a little bit more information… What is it that appeals to you about incognito braces?
  • [16:38] XXXXXXXX: Im 22 and last couple years top and bottom teeth have become over crouded and gone out of shape and im too old to wear traditionall braces
  • [16:41] Mark – Patient Support: okay, I see, that is very helpful to know. There are actually a few options which might be able to help, invisible braces could also work and possibly dental bonding or veneers on only a few teeth. This could bring the price down dramatically. I’m not able to discuss full pricing on this chat facility as every price is bespoke for each patient as we like to treat each individual in a tailored way. I can arrange for a free consultation, with no obligation if you would like one?
  • [16:43] XXXXXXXX: So your saying instead of braces it could be possible to target individual teeth? And where abouts in XXXXXX are you based?
  • [16:44] Mark – Patient Support: yes, it is often possible to target individual teeth, without actually seeing you it’s impossible to say whether this is an option though 🙂 this is our full address XXXXXX
  • XXXXXX
  • [16:44] XXXXXXXX: Do you offer finance?
  • [16:44] Mark – Patient Support: yes, we are able to arrange finance 🙂
  • [16:45] XXXXXXXX: Could you book me an appointment? Please
  • [16:45] Mark – Patient Support: certainly, I just need some information from you, your phone and e-mail address
  • [16:46] XXXXXXXX: XXXXXXXX@live.co.uk. 075 XXXXXX
  • [16:48] Mark – Patient Support: brilliant, thank you, is there a best day and time for you to be seen?
  • [16:49] XXXXXXXX: I usually work shifts so im tuesdays or thursdays
  • [16:49] Mark – Patient Support: is there any time of day that works better for you?
  • [16:50] XXXXXXXX: Early as possible please.
  • [16:51] Mark – Patient Support: okay, wonderful thank you so much. I have sent all of your details through to the reception team who are now checking their appointment diary, they will be in contact with you very shortly. Is there anything else I can help you with today?
  • [16:51] XXXXXXXX: No thank you, you’ve been very helfull.
  • [16:52] Mark – Patient Support: wonderful, have a good afternoon/evening
  • [16:52] Mark – Patient Support has left the conversation

In this following example it could be argued that the patient could simply pick up the phone, however  as you can see patients often like to chat with someone live via the website.

  • [09:54] V14: Hello, I recently moved to the area (and away from my family dentist!) and I am not the best patient… but I think it is about time to quit being a coward and get a new dentist.
  • [09:55] Mark – Patient Support has joined the conversation
  • [09:55] Mark – Patient Support: hi there, welcome on chat, may I take your name please?
  • [09:55] V14: XXXXXXX
  • [09:56] Mark – Patient Support: XXXXXXX, we can certainly help with this, whereabouts do you live?
  • [09:56] V14: XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX
  • [09:57] Mark – Patient Support: OK, you are just around the corner from us, would you like me to arrange an initial consultation for you?
  • [09:58] V14: Yes please
  • [09:58] Mark – Patient Support: please may I take a phone number and e-mail address for you
  • [09:58] V14: XXXXXXX – XXXXXXX @me.com
  • [09:58] Mark – Patient Support: is there a better day and time for you to come?
  • [10:00] V14: On my way home would be appreciated… maybe a 17:00 appointment on any weekday but Wednesday?
  • [10:00] Mark – Patient Support: okay, one quick question, how did you hear about us?
  • [10:01] V14: I walk passed your surgery each day!
  • [10:01] Mark – Patient Support: lovely, thank you, XXXXXXX. I have passed all of your information on to our reception team, I don’t have full access to the appointment book at my location, they will contact you directly. Is there anything else I can help you with today?
  • [10:02] V14: No thanks! G’bye
  • [10:02] Mark – Patient Support: thank you, have a good day
  • [10:02] Mark – Patient Support has left the conversation

Separating Facebook into Professional Friends and Real-life Friends – How to do it and why you Should

Problem

You have lots of friends on Facebook, some of them real-life friends and some of them Facebook only friends.  You may recognise some of these issues:

  • You log into Facebook to relax during some downtime after work, all you see are work related posts from work related ‘friends’.
  • Patients are asking you to be friends  and you don’t really know what to do or how to handle it.
  • You are constantly aware that when you do a business status update that your personal friends and family see these updates and you are worried that you might be annoying them. They could stop following you and not see your posts, but then they won’t see your family related posts either!
  • You want to make more personal updates on Facebook but don’t really want some of your business associates, that you don’t really know, seeing them.
  • You want to balance work and home life and find that Facebook is a mixed blur of the two and that the balance is becoming compromised.
  • You are aware that there are three personas under which you may interact on Facebook and don’t know how to manage this-
    • 1) As a real-life person Interacting with real life friends and family e.g. Joe Blogs
    • 2) As a business person interacting with patients, the media or other local businesses e.g. Dr Joe Blogs
    • 3) As your business on Facebook interacting as a group of dental professionals with patients e.g. Joe Blogs Dental Practice Ltd
  • You want to check in to various restaurants and places of interest, but because you don’t really know who these people are that our friends you are worried that these so-called friends may find out you are not at home! A possible security breach.

I’m sure there are many solutions to this problem, but if you are a friend of mine on Facebook (either personal or business) then you may know that I have just been through the process of separating out friends I actually know and friends I only know on Facebook.

There are some massive benefits, other than solving the problems above, to separating out your Facebook account the way that I described below, follow my process and then see what other surprising benefits I’ve uncovered.

Oh, and not everyone might take kindly to being removed as a personal friend, one of mine didn’t (Which actually proved my point that they weren’t proper friends in the first place)… I’ve blanked out the name but check out the message they sent me towards the end of this post!

Separating real-life friends from business friends on Facebook

Step 1 – Decide on the Criteria

If you’re going to separate out real-life friends from business trends decide what the criteria for this separation is going to be. Is your personal Facebook account going to only be for personal friends and family? Or,  are you going to include people that you have met in person but may also be linked to business and work?

What I did

I decided that anyone that I have personally met and been introduced to is allowed to be a personal friend of my personal account on Facebook. In the past I allowed anyone that sent me a friend request on Facebook to become a friend, I therefore had many people as friends whom I had never actually met and didn’t really know as a real person..

My criteria was therefore, if I have looked the person in the eye in real life (and like them) then that person can be a personal friend on my personal account on Facebook.

If someone is a friend on Facebook  and I have not looked them in the eye then chances are they are a business acquaintance.

Step 2 – Create a Public Figure

Artist, band or public figureGo to the page creation section on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/ and click on ” artist, band or public figure”,  follow Facebook’s instructions and create your personal persona e.g. Dr Joe Blogs.

What I did

I actually had an older business page called “Mark Oborn Ltd”, This was a local business page on Facebook, I simply changed it to a public figure.

The public figure page I created uses the name @markobornprofessional https://www.facebook.com/markobornprofessional You could set your public figure up as @DrJoeBloggs or @JoeBloggsProfessional.

When you create your public figure page make sure you include a little bit of personal information about you as well is what you do in business life. Use this in the description of the page, by way of example my description is “The professional page of Mark Oborn, online marketing consultant, coffee fiend, hat wearer and foodie.

Step 3 – Tell your personal account friends what you are doing

You then need to let your personal account friends know that you have created a new Public Figure page, do this by creating a status update NOT by sending lots of personal messages, if you send lots of personal direct messages you may find your Facebook account gets blocked for spam abuse (this is from personal experience, I sent lots of messages initially and had a notification from Facebook that I might get banned… be warned!).

What I did

My first status update was:

It’s time to sort out my Facebook account.

Using Facebook for business has changed over the years, I’ve so many ‘friends’ on Facebook that I don’t know in person, this is historical to the way Facebook was in the early days. I’m not sure I’m happy with that!

If I ‘check in’ to a place, do I really want people I don’t know being notified of that? Not really!

Do my personal friends really want to see my professional stuff? Not really! And if they do I’d rather they had a choice!

There are a few ways around this dilemma, I could set up ‘friend lists’ and show posts to only 1 set of friends, but I’ve decided on an alternative, an alternative that I will be advising clients to adopt, and if that’s my advice to them, then I better do the same thing myself.

Over the next few months, my personal Facebook account will be slowly reduced to “real life friends” only and used as a genuine personal Facebook account, rather than the current blend of personal and professional as it is now.

For current Facebook ‘friends’ that I don’t really know as a real life friend I’ve set up a Mark Oborn Professional page.

There will be cross over, but ‘real life friends’ can then chose if they want to see my ‘professional’ stuff too. I’ll welcome anyone that wants to follow my professional page without question and all posts will be public.

And so, I will be ‘unfriending’ lots of people over the coming months, this is not “I am not your friend any more”, it is simply that we’re actually professional friends and so the best way to chat, laugh and be friends with you will be via my professional profile.

That is, after all what you get to see when I’m in work mode, the Professional Mark Oborn.

The Professional Profile will simply be my usual mix of hats, beer, coffee, random rambling posts and stuff related to dentistry. I’ll NOT be using it as a marketing channel!

I hope/know you will understand 🙂

All the best,

Mark Oborn (either Personal of Professional)

https://www.facebook.com/markobornprofessional

and here is a subsequent post on my personal Facebook account:

Dear Dudes of dentistry wot is not personal friends,

Please remember this is my PERSONAL Facebook account, I don’t post about marketing, dentistry or coaching on this page, so if you’d like to see stuff from me please also ‘like’ my professional page.

I know there are a few professional people ‘following’ me on my personal profile that I don’t know in person, you’ll only see ‘public’ posts if you do this… whooosh… listen for the tumble weed as I DON’T ROUTINELY MAKE PUBLIC POSTS from my personal account… coz it’s personal, see?

If you’d like to actually chat, engage and see my daily Facebook stream (that’s what FB is all about) then please join me on my professional page by clicking ‘like’ on the link below… or if you do actually know me personally then add me as a friend and you can then see my personal posts here.

Have a GREAT day:-)

https://www.facebook.com/markobornprofessional

Step 4 – Begin the migration

This basically means clicking ‘unfriend’. Yep, it’s tough and may take a long time if you have thousands of friends, but arguably why have you got thousands of friends on Facebook? It’s impossible to have that many friends!

Also know but it’s quite possible for business acquaintances to be real life friends, for me this wasn’t about removing anyone in business from my personal account, it was about removing people that I didn’t actually know from my personal account.

What I did

There were so many people that I had as friends whom I really wanted to be friends with, influential people in business, people that could help me in business and indeed people that I could help. But I wanted to stick to the criteria set out at the beginning. If I had not looked at them in the eye in real life then they will not be personal friends on Facebook.

Okay, I didn’t rigidly stick to this, there are a few people that I’ve spent many years talking to on Facebook that I have never met. Over those years of chatting they have become virtual friends  and I value that friendship, these people  I have left as personal friends on Facebook.
Now here is a funny story…

There were a couple of people  who I believed may have been friends on Facebook and that I’d never met in person, these select few people I decided to send a personal message to (Remember not to do this too often as your account may be blocked for spam), that personal message was:

Hi ,

I hope you don’t mind my unsolicited message, I’m in the process of separating out Facebook into people I know socially and people I know professionally, as I feel I know you professionally it would make sense that we continue to chat etc via my new professional profile www.facebook.com/markobornprofessional where I will continue to post nonsense, hats, coffee, Dorset and the occasional business post on dentistry plus life and business coaching also.

Please don’t take it as an insult but I have unfriended you (that’s such an awful phrase as it is so far from the truth) from my personal ‘social’ Facebook account, I look forward to seeing you and welcoming you on to my ‘professional’ account as and when. To join me on my professional account, please visit the page and click ‘like’.

Very kindest regards indeed,

Mark

To which someone replied:

No thank you Mark. You have never responded to any comment I have made on your posts, which tells me that you are either uninterested in the opinions of others, or have your head so far up your own derriere that you never even noticed. Either way, I doubt either of us adds value to the other so goodnight and thanks for the message.

Clearly, they weren’t friends in the first place and so I was happy to see the back of them. Interestingly, I sent EXACTLY the same message to someone else who replied:

Thank you for such a lovely message, Mark and what a great idea . Thank you. It just becomes overwhelming, doesn’t it ? it is a pleasure to be your professional Facebook friend.

It just goes to show, one can never tell how people will respond to the dreaded ‘unfriend’!

Step 5 – Begin using the new profiles in different ways

I now find that when I login to my personal Facebook account I can see posts from my friends, my family and what’s going on locally. It’s become a more welcoming, chatty and friendly pace to be. Sure, I see business posts from friends, but they are real friends  and I’m interested to know what they are talking about.

My Public Figure account has personal information on it (That I’m happy to share publicly) but because it is more business oriented it gets far more reaction from the business community, it is also growing far more rapidly than my personal account, which is absolutely fine by me.

What I do

  1. Facebook pages appI post personal updates about books I’m reading, things I like doing and where I’m visiting to both accounts. Sometimes I post to my personal account, sometimes I post to my business account, it is purely random.
  2. I post business updates to my new public figure account only.
  3. I use the regular Facebook app on my phone to log into my personal account. I am then very clear when I press this button that this is personal time.
  4. I use the Facebook Pages app (Downloadable from the Google Play store or similar on Apple) on my phone to log into my public figure account (these two accounts are linked and use the same Facebook login details). I am then very clear when I press this button that I am in business mode and it is during work time.

The benefits of separating personal and business life on Facebook

  1. Facebook becomes fun again. I can keep up-to-date with my personal life, friends, family and people I know without being interrupted about or having to think about work.
  2. Facebook becomes more productive for business. I’m able to advertise my Public figure, create unique status updates recommending that people send me messages or phone me.
  3. Create out of office messages using Facebook Response Assistant. A Facebook public figure allows you to set your status as ‘away’ for 12 hours, during this time It’s possible to automate responses if someone sends a message, far better than responding to a personal direct message on a personal account in the small hours of the morning!
  4. Get insights into your Public Figure. You will now be able to see the number of people that each of your posts has reached, the number of people that like your page, where they are and how engaged they are with each post. Very useful business analytics.
  5. Add labels to any messages. This enables you to tag messages from patients or clients with useful labels, consider using  treatment tags or ‘prospect’, ‘client’ etc
  6. Create events and have them all located in one place which is easily findable on your Public Figure profile page, e.g. https://www.facebook.com/pg/markobornprofessional/events/?ref=page_internal
  7. Get reviews. You may want patients to review you as an individual dentist, this is possible with a Public Figure profile. Here’s an example
  8. Balance life and work again and remove the incessant NOISE!


With a public figure page you can still engage with other local businesses, like them and chat with them,  the only thing you can’t do is engage or interact with individual people, unless they also have a public figure page or interact with your public figure in some way e.g.  commenting on a post.

It seems to me that using a public figure is far more ‘real to life’, in life we all know that we have a personal, friendly, family persona… We also have that business persona, the face we put on when we go to work… Separating Facebook out like this is far truer to real life, more congruent with real-life and keeps the work/life balance in harmony.

If you need help, please just comment here or ping me an e-mail  from the website, I’m happy to do what I can to assist.

Yours professionally and personally,

Mark

How to Make Best Use of Your Facebook and Google Reviews

So many people are working really hard to collect as many Facebook and Google reviews as possible, but what can you do with them once you’ve got them?

Of course they look great on your Facebook and Google profiles but here are a couple of examples of how you can use them in other situations.

Encouraging more people to request an appointment

I’ve written many times about the issue of trust in dentistry; reviews add social proof to your website and this proof that you are trustworthy can increase conversion rates.

Whenever we ask someone to do something on our website, for example request an appointment, using social proof next to the ‘call to action’ can increase conversion rates.

Here’s an example of using Google reviews right next to an appointment request form.

Reviews and request an appointment

Adding value to your fees/prices page

One of the most visited pages on any dental practice website if the fees page. If all you list are just your fees without adding value then you are doing yourself a disservice. Without letting patients know what they get when they spend an amount of money is a surefire way of making yourself look expensive!

A great way to add value to the service you offer is to let your happy patients do that marketing for you. A simple way to do this is to add Facebook reviews directly to your website, Here’s an example.

screenshot-2016-09-20-15-06-17

How to add a Facebook review to your website.

Locate the reviews on your Facebook page, once you have done this click on them.

Locate the reviews on your Facebook page

Choose the review you wish to embed, then click on the little arrow top right to bring down a list of options.

Choose the review

Click on the embed option.

Click embed

Copy the code and paste this into your website on the fees page.

Embed code

You now have an interactive review on the fees page of your website which goes a significant way to reduce risk.

Advantages of using embedded reviews are:

  1. They are much harder to fake, anyone can make up a review, but not anyone can get a review from a real person on Facebook.
  2. Because people can interact with the review by commenting it demonstrates a trustworthy organisation that is open and transparent.
  3. Because there is openness and transparency the patient can see that this review is not being manipulated… unless it’s obvious that you have reviewed yourself 🙂


I’d love to know your thoughts also…

How to create an online dental marketing machine – Download your Marketing Project Planner

I recently created this Gantt chart for dental practices to utilise in order to develop their online marketing.

The chart lays out various activities to be done over a 17 week period. Each week you need to take some small action towards reaching your final goal of creating an effective and efficient online marketing machine that works for your dental practice 24/7/365.

The chart takes a steady walk through social media, creating an e-mail marketing campaign, Google optimisation and ensuring your website works effectively.
Some activities have hyperlinks which take you to additional resources, either for more information or to help with third-party sites.
Many of the activities have associated comments, hover your mouse over the red triangle in the corner of the cell and the comment will be revealed. These give further information and advice on this particular activity.

This free resource is available to members of The Implant Hub (free registration) who will need to be logged in in order to download this chart.

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Tracking Your Paid Advertising (PPC)

It’s one thing to spend lots of money on paid advertising on either Google or Facebook, it’s another thing to know if these things are working or not.

Tracking is extremely important, here’s an example.

A client wanted to run an advert campaign on Facebook and Google but didn’t know which one would be more successful, they wanted to run campaigns for dental implants and orthodontics.

We set up both Google and Facebook ad campaign and directed visitors to the relevant pages on the client’s website.

Running paid advertising (PPC) in itself is just ‘presence optimisation‘, in other words getting more people to the website. What’s also important is ‘conversion optimisation’, in other words getting more people to convert… And it is this that we monitored.

The campaign monitoring is set up in two halves:

  1. The advert itself on either Facebook or Google Adwords pushes campaign data into Google analytics by using Source, Medium and Campaign tracking.
  2. Google analytics has goals set up which are triggered via these campaigns.

On the client’s website they had 3 conversion mechanisms that we were tracking:

  1. A request an appointment form, we know that a new patient appointment is £55 so we can allocate this amount each time the form is triggered.
  2. A discounted dental health check available online only, we know that this appointment is worth £25 so we can allocate this amount each time this form is triggered.
  3. A free consultation, we know that patients that book for these tend to go ahead so we allocated an arbitrary £200 each time this form was triggered.

Each time the form is filled in it bounces the user off to a ‘thank you’ page, this thank you page is then set up in Google analytics as a goal with the necessary amount allocated against it.

Because the adverts are sending through data such as ‘Facebook’ or ‘Adwords’ and ‘Implants’ or ‘Ortho’ This can then be pulled out as a Google analytics report and we can see visitor data for each of these.

Facebook versus Google PPC

 

Because Google analytics can then multiply the number of times the goal was triggered for each campaign and source we can then extrapolate the value of each and compare this to how much we have paid.

Here’s what we found for the past 30 days:

Campaign results of Facebook and Google PPC

The question now is, what would you do with these results?

Here’s a summary of how the process work.

added tracking codes to adwords cmapigns--utm_source=Adwords&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=Implants-utm_source=Adwords&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=Ortho (1)

Do you know what the most popular day and time is for patients to contact you?

Business metrics are a fundamental part of running a successful business and phone calls form part of these excellent metrics that you can gather and use.

If you know when your patients are most likely to contact you then you can alter staffing levels and holidays accordingly.

Simple analytics from a Google My Business profile can show you the time of day and day of the week most popular for phone calls.

Screenshot 2016-07-14 11.24.49

Screenshot 2016-07-14 11.26.31

The data is taken from the number of times people click on your phone call from a Google search.

Suddenly having a Google my business page not only increases click to the website, exposure to the practice but also gives you some great metrics on which to base staffing decisions.

Nice work Google.

Imagine you were a patient visiting your website, is this what you would think?

Potential new dental patients visiting your website (and indeed any of your online marketing activity) need to find it usable, in fact Google uses usability as part of its search algorithm… The more user-friendly your website is, the higher it may rank.

If you want to know how to make your dental practice website (and other online marketing channels) more usable from a patient’s perspective, read on…

Imagine you are a patient visiting your website, it’s important you put yourself in the shoes of a patient… Not wearing your own shoes as a dental professional!

Think about the mindset of the patient, think about how they would have ended up on your website, think about what they might want from your website.

The stages of buying

When someone visits one of your online marketing channels they will certainly be in one of these stages of buying:

  1. Problem recognition
  2. Information search
  3. Evaluation alternatives
  4. Purchase mode

Let’s look at each of these stages of buying and what you could do to assist your potential new patient in each stage.

Problem recognition

download (1)A person that lands on your website in this stage of the buying process will have just realised that they have a problem. They may have had someone comment on their crooked teeth, they may have just been out for a meal and got food stuck between missing teeth or may have now decided that today is the day they are going to start doing something about their dental health.

Once someone has identified that they have a problem that they will begin searching for a solution, patients in this stage of the process may be searching on Google for phrases such as:

  1. How to straighten crooked teeth
  2. Ways to replace missing teeth
  3. How to stop my gums bleeding

A person at this stage of their problem-solving/buying process may not be thinking about treatments, they may not be thinking about Invisalign, Inman aligner, dental implants or dental hygiene… they probably are not even ready to research and gather information about these alternatives, they are simply looking for a solution to their problem… So what could you do on your website?

Image by Salvatore Vuono freedigitalphotos.net

Image by Salvatore Vuono freedigitalphotos.net

This is where a dental blog comes in exceptionally handy. You can title blog posts around their search phrases “how to straighten crooked teeth”, within these blog posts we are simply helping the patient identify that they have a problem and that it can be solved. You may find that a patient in this stage of the buying process immediately moves into the information search phase.

We can help patients in this problem recognition stage by providing them with useful and relevant information and content, your blog is an excellent way to attract these people to the website and you can help them move into the information search phrase by offering them a free information pack.

The preferred technique is to allow them to download a free guide relating to their specific problem “All of Your Options to Replace Missing Teeth” in exchange for an e-mail address. Collecting e-mail addresses allows us to gently build a relationship with these people in the long-term as they move through the various buying stages. Information about creating an e-mail marketing campaign.

Information search

A patient in this stage of the buying process may have already identified specific treatments to help with their problem. They may be searching for:

  1. Invisalign braces in << geographical location>>
  2. Dental implants in << geographical location>>
  3. Dental hygienists in << geographical location>>

In the information search phase a patient is gathering detailed information about all of their options from both a treatment prospective and possibly a specific dentist perspective. When a patient lands on your website in the information search phase we need to offer them:

  • Relevant dental information, specific to their information search
  • An incentive to request an appointment which will help move them to the next buying phase

Relevant dental information can be provided by way of the free guide mentioned previously, always in exchange for an e-mail address. An incentive to request an appointment seems to work best if this is offered as a refund of the patient’s initial assessment. Again, offering this on the website as a download in exchange for an e-mail address works best, it allows the person to feel as though they have partially solved the problem whilst on the site as they now have a voucher entitling them to a refund of their initial assessment.

Evaluation of alternatives

At this stage of the buying process the patient will have decided that they want to straighten their crooked teeth or replace missing teeth, they may even have decided on the specific treatment they desire (clearly only a clinical assessment can verify this for sure). To allow a patient to evaluate alternative dental practices we need to:

  1. reduce risk
  2. increase trust

These are the two key deciding factors which allow a patient to decide which dentist to you attend. you can reduce risk and increase trust by demonstrating that you care for the patient above and beyond any monetary transaction, offering them a free download as already mentioned goes some way to doing this. Your active social media stream can also demonstrate that you are low risk and trustworthy alternative.

Patient testimonials on your website, especially video testimonials (as these are hardest to fake) will go some considerable way to reducing risk and increase in trust. Showing photographs of the team including your GDC registration numbers also demonstrates that you are trustworthy practice (As well as being compliant).

Offering a refund of initial assessment also reduces risk for the patient, you then have their e-mail address and can then continue to build relationships with them gently and slowly.

Purchase mode

Once the patient is in purchase mode you need to ensure that your website has the relevant calls to action in place. If you have followed this process from the beginning and allowed the patient to download some information when they were in the earlier information searching modes then we can begin to send e-mails talking about how you can help.

My recommendations to ensure patients that are ready to purchase take action are:

  1. Place a call to action on every page of your website
  2. Have a request an appointment facility on the website (this does not necessarily need to be booking an appointment)
  3. Having a website which is responsive with a ‘click to call’ phone number in case this person is visiting from a mobile phone
  4. Having an ability for a patient to make a general enquiry to the website if they have any further questions

Summary

Understanding the buying process and ensuring that you have the possibility for a patient to engage with you at each stage is critical if your marketing is to be effective. You can’t assume that everyone that lands on your website is ready to book an appointment, if they are not, what have you done to help them?

More help and advice on making your website more useable

Lowe cost dental marketing logoWebsite audit

How useable is your website and could it be improved? This comprehensive website audit will give each of the five key areas of performance a rank so that you can take action.

What’s included in the audit?

46 individual elements of a successful website will be assessed and ranked in the following key performance areas:

  • Findability
  • Usability
  • Shareability
  • Effectiveness
  • Longevity

Within each of these Key Performance Areas I will rank 46 Individual Elements, each element will be given a score.

traffic light warning

These 46 individual elements will then come together to give you an overall score for each of the key performance areas.

You can then see which area of your website needs the most attention to ensure you get the maximum return on anything you spend.

What do you do with the audit?

Once the audit has been completed you can either make the changes yourself, send them to your web designer for their opinion or contact me and I can make the changes for you as part of my Light Package – I’ll then refund your £35 audit fee.

The audit forms the basis of the overall Light service. When you ensure these five key performance areas are performing to the maximum and you have an active, engaging and effective social media stream you will find that your marketing efforts begin to work 24/7/365.

CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED FOR £35

Mark Oborn light website audit

Featured Image source hywards at freedigitalphotos.net

cheap dental marketing

Is Your Website Working in These 5 Key Performance Areas? [PART 1]

Are you looking for the quickest most cost-effective way to attract the right type of new patients in to your practice?

Perhaps you want more people to take action from your website, rather than just read it and bounce away again?

Making your website work for you is a simple way to ensure you have a marketing machine that works 24-hours a day, even whilst you are asleep and on holiday.

The 5 Key Performance Areas of a Dental Website

There are five key performance areas of a website, each of them need to be working in order to get the best result:

FINDABILITY

How easy is it for people and search engines to find your website? Is it search engine optimised adequately?

USABILITY

How easy is it for people to navigate your site, read the content, engage with the content and find what they want?

SHAREABILITY

The easier your website is to share the more people will do so and recommend it to others, this is the power of online referral marketing, are you making it easy?

EFFECTIIVENESS

How effective is your website at informing, educating and getting people to take action and come to the practice as a patient? Is it conversion optimised adequately?

LONGEVITY

A poor website allows people to bounce away, how good is your site at capturing attention and engaging over the longer term? Absolutely vital in the arena of relationship marketing.

Overt the next few blog posts I will be going through each of these areas individually, this time it is findability  that I will focus on.

how to make a website findableHow to make your website more FINDABLE

Meta data on your website

The simplest place to start is with the meta data on your website.  At the most basic level of optimisation you need to ensure that these elements include geographical locations and specific treatments e.g. teeth whitening London.

The specific meta data that needs to include these terms are:

  •  <title> –  This is the main browser title that will be shown when each individual web page opens, each page will more than likely have the same geographical location but have a different treatment.
  • <description> –  This is what Google will probably use to describe your website in the search results.
  • <h1,2,3> headers –  These are the headings and subheadings within the main content of your page.
  • <alt> image alternate tags –  These describe each image in a couple of words, they will be used on a website if the image is unable to be shown for any reason.

Main Body Text

You will also need to ensure that the main body text of each individual page includes words and phrases that patients will use to search, you should think about different geographical locations and also different ways that patients may phrase treatment.

Some examples of how patients may phrase different treatments, using orthodontics as an example.

  1. The cost of teeth braces
  2. invisible braces near me
  3. tooth braces at home
  4. cheap braces

If you are to be found for these various search phrases then you need to ensure that they are included on your website somewhere.

You can also use bullet points, numbered lists and bold text to highlight phrases that you want the search engines to pick out.  (Scanned through this blog post to see which words I have made bold  or used in bullet points or numbered lists)

 Other factors which ensure your website ranks highly

Links

We all know the importance of referrals for a dental practice. You know that if a patient refers  a friend to you then that is a good recommendation. Google also knows this, if someone talks about you online then Google views this as a referral or vote, in search engine optimisation speak we call this an ‘inbound link’.

The more votes/inbound links you have (people talking about you) the more likely your website is to rank highly as Google will view it as a good website. After all, it must be good as people are talking about it!

But as you know, not all referrals are good. You may have a patient that sends very bad friends to you that don’t pay or don’t respect your fees… Not all referrals are created equally and in the same respect not all votes are created equally.

Google recognises that different votes have different qualities, in summary, Google will look for:

  • Total number of inbound links (votes) –  You ideally want the maximum number of links from good quality sources. Just having quantity is not good enough, they must be quality also.
  • Links follow/no follow –  In the code of a link it is possible to tell Google not to follow the link to another website, as a human you will simply see a link, but behind that link is a little bit of code. If that code has rel=”nofollow”  then Google will disregard that vote. Many low quality websites use no follow links.
  • Link authority –  If the website that links to you has high  authority, such as the BBC or a recognised university then that link/vote will be worth more than if it comes from an unknown or less respected website. One link from the BBC could be worth 1000 links from poor quality websites.
  • Varied anchor text on links –  The anchor text on a link are the words that the link is constructed from.  If all of your links say “Dentist in London”  then it is clear to Google that this is not natural and that you are trying to fool the system. If people are genuinely talking about you then these anchor texts will be varied.

Referencing

As you will know, good quality articles and academic pieces will be well referenced. This demonstrates that you have researched your subject and also makes the page more informative if you have linked to other articles.

Each page on your website should be a source of information to answer people’s problems, part of answering their problems will be referencing back to your own website (perhaps to previous articles you have written on your blog) and to other external websites which provide useful resources.

Take a look back through this blog post, you will see that I have linked to external websites to provide information which backs up what I am saying. I have also provided links to other useful articles that I have written in previous blog posts and to useful resources within my main website.

More help and advice on making your website more findable

Lowe cost dental marketing logoWebsite audit

How well does your online marketing and website work and could it be improved? This comprehensive website audit will give each of the five key areas of performance a rank so that you can take action.

What’s included in the audit?

46 individual elements of a successful website will be assessed and ranked in the following key performance areas:

  • Findability
  • Usability
  • Shareability
  • Effectiveness
  • Longevity

Within each of these Key Performance Areas I will rank 46 Individual Elements, each element will be given a score.

traffic light warning

These 46 individual elements will then come together to give you an overall score for each of the key performance areas.

You can then see which area of your website needs the most attention to ensure you get the maximum return on anything you spend.

What do you do with the audit?

Once the audit has been completed you can either make the changes yourself, send them to your web designer for their opinion or contact me and I can make the changes for you as part of my Light Package – I’ll then refund your £35 audit fee.

The audit forms the basis of the overall Light service. When you ensure these five key performance areas are performing to the maximum and you have an active, engaging and effective social media stream you will find that your marketing efforts begin to work 24/7/365.

CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED FOR £35

Mark Oborn light website audit