Category Archives: online marketing

How to Create a Dental Website That Works in 6 Steps

As an online marketing consultant for dentists I get to see many dental practice websites, none of which I have built myself as I don’t build websites… many of which work and many of which don’t.

As I work closely with these practices I’m able to see the conversion rates from the websites and have drawn up my top tips for ensuring that your website converts and actually does what it’s supposed to do.

You can either watch the video below or read the text in this blog post.

Don’t bother with that fancy scrolling image thing that so many practices do on the home page

I see so many dental practice websites with this scrolling image thing, what is it all about? From a user point of view the chances of anyone sitting there and waiting for the image to scroll is highly unlikely, and from a search engine optimisation point of view sometimes these images look to Google as though they are lots of images stacked on top of one another. Google could then question why are you trying to hide images?

My advice is to go with a small, relevant image all your practice logo and be done with it.

Ensure your contact us tab is top right

This seems to be where our eye is drawn to look for the contact details. A look at some of the bigger sites and you will notice the contact us type is always top right. Whilst standing out and doing things different is great, sometimes it’s good to stick with what people are expecting. So in this instance don’t try to be clever, just put your contact us type top right.

Make your telephone number selectable text so that you can click to call from mobile phones

I’ve recently been looking at statistics on websites and many of them have about 30% of the visitors viewing the site from a mobile device. The recent ” 2013 UK future in focus” ComScore report shows that it is mainly between the hours of 10 AM and 5 PM that we are using computers, outside of this time mobile devices dominate the share of page traffic on a workday.

ComScore Device Traffic

If you want to take advantage of the commuters on the train or bus on their mobile phone then having your website mobile compatible is a good idea.

Of course the best solution is a fully mobile site or at least one that has an adaptive design to different device formats. And if you want to really be making use of the mobile browsers then having a click to call friendly number on the homepage will be vital.

Use an engaging video to keep visitors on the site longer and engage with them

Having a video on your homepage is a great way to interact and engage with visitors, it also has a tendency to keep people on the page longer which will have an impact on your Google ranking, as it is an indicator that people like your site if they stay on the page for a while before bouncing back to Google for another search

Have a call to action with a signup box on the right-hand side of the page which is viewable without scrolling

By incorporating some form of direct call to action where the visitor feels as though they have achieved something and got something from your site will greatly increase conversions. If you offer a free consultation, then do this in exchange for an e-mail address.

You will of course need an e-mail marketing software to manage this and my recommendation is Aweber.

Click for more information on how to set up in Aweber e-mail marketing campaign

Create the content of your page around the four elements of why, what, how and what if

As a dentist or technical person within dentistry the chances are that you think very analytically and are interested in the detail. Not everyone thinks this way and if your webpage launches into the precise way that you deliver your service many people may not engage with it.

By starting off with ‘why’ they need to listen to what you have to say you will engage a wider range of people.

Finishing off with ‘what if’ allows your website visitor to ‘try on’ emotionally the results of solving their dental problem.

Of course this list is not totally exhaustive and there is a huge amount of scope for any designer to be able to create a fantastic looking and functioning website around these parameters. If you follow the basic six steps above you will find that your website converts better and that you end up with more patients, of course, assuming that the actual design of the site is great too.

 

 

Drivers, Passengers and Hedgehogs

In dentistry there are 3 types of dental practice – drivers, passengers and hedgehogs.

Drivers lead a business and decide where they are going. They chose the destination and make it happen, navigating the route their own way. They decide on the method of transport to get to their destination and are in total control.

Drivers use online marketing because they understand it, they get it and they make it work for them.

Passengers follow other practices, they still get to the destination but only because the drivers take them there. They don’t decide on where the destination is for their business, they simply go with the drivers as they have no other choice. They have no idea where they are going and just sit back and wait for it to happen.

Passengers use online marketing because they’ve seen the drivers doing it so figure it must be a good idea, they don’t get it so it doesn’t work for them.

Hedgehogs get squashed.

Which are you?

P.S. If you’d like a Social Media and Online Marketing Survival Kit, please click here now.

6 Traits of The Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy

Over the years I’ve found there are a few traits that set the successful marketing strategy apart from an unsuccessful one – and if you want to avoid failure then I suggest you read, absord, understand then do!
Trait 1 – Think Holistically
Social Media is not the ‘be all and end all’ of your online marketing, it should form part of a comprehensive online marketing strategy that includes as many marketing channels as possible.
In my opinion this should include:
  1. Google Plus
  2. Google Places
  3. Twitter
  4. Facebook
  5. YouTube
  6. Blogging
  7. Email
  8. Your Website

It may also include Facebook adverts and Google Pay Per Click (No, PPC is not dead.. only doing it wrong is dead!)
The sequence of these is important and social media only seeks to widen your sales funnel. The goal should always be to drive potential patients down the sales funnel and down the list above.

Trait 2 – Use Social Media to Drive Traffic to Your Website

Your website is an integral feature of your online marketing strategy and should include visitor data capture mechanisms (like email) and the facility to request appointments online.

You can then drive traffic to your site from social media by suggesting people book online or download information – and in return you get their email address and the ability to continually build relationships with them.

Trait 3 – Engage

The clue is in the title here, it’s SOCIAL media, not BROADCAST media, so engage, be personable, chat and help others. This will build rapport and trust and enable the local people to feel like they know you, making the decision to come to see you a logical one.

The key is a 2 way conversation, not one way. We buy from people we like, so help other to like you!

Trait 4 – Reduce Risk for Patients

Dentistry is not about shifting products. It’s about delivering a service.

Products marketing is different, as products can be evaluated before hand and returned to the supplier if you don’t like them or they don’t work as you thought. Think buying a TV for example.

Services on the other hand can’t be evaluated before hand and can’t be taken back. Think listening to a lecture.

Product marketing often requires a shop to encourage people to make a quick snap decision – buy one get one free, buy today and save ££ss, special offer today only etc etc

Services marketing often requires a provider to reduce the risk for customers, after all they can’t evaluate the service before hand (their new teeth) and can’t take them back.

So shift your marketing focus on to reducing risk for patients, NOT shifting products!

Trait 5 – Know The Answer to This Question – “WHY YOU?”

When I see a new client I always go through a full marketing audit ( I majored in marketing on my MBA) and ask this question – “WHY YOU?” – it’s amazing how many dental practices can not answer that question.

So layer in the things that are unique to you, this could include:

  • Unique products and services you offer
  • Your education
  • Your training courses
  • Your materials
  • Your gadgets
  • The way you treat patients
  • Trademarks
  • Special Techniques you use e.g. Wand, Sedation, Hypnosis etc
Then come up with a simple phrase or statement that encapsulates that and have everyone in the practice know it. 
You MUST be totally clear as to why YOU are the best in your area and be able to convey this message on Social Media
Trait 6 – Patience
I find social media is slow burn marketing and often take time to build ‘traction’. But once traction is achieved there really is no stopping it. So you do need to commit to the project and be prepared to look at it in the long term and keep going.
Gently hand out great advice, reduce risk for patients, help them like you, engage, drive them to your website, think holistically and I know it will work for you.
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So there you have it, my top 6 traits for a successful social media campaign, if you feel you’d like more guidance then why not book on my latest Social Media Kickstart Course.
James Russell – The London Smile Clinic said “Mark really knows his business! This turns social media into something really powerful – not just for playing with.”
Places are booking fast, so click here to reserve your place today.
We’ll go through everything above plus a ton more useful stuff too.
“This course will open your eyes to the inifinte possibilies regards social media marketing”
Martin Cox – Forndale Dental Clinic

The 5 Es of Online Marketing – part 1 EMOTION

Watcha,

Did you know that we buy on emotion and justify that decision with logic? Think about it for a moment now, think about your last big luxury purchase, something you bought for more than a few hundred pounds… what was the reason you bought it?

I bet it had something to do with emotion huh?

Here’s a video of how this effect works it’s way in to online marketing, using a dental practice website as an example.

Click here to watch on YouTube.

Remember to watch out for the next in the 5 Es series – EXPERIENCE.

until next time.

stay sharp,

Mark