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

Is your dental practice verified_

Is Your Dental Practice A Verified Local Business on Facebook?

Is your dental practice a verified local business on Facebook?  If you have a Facebook business page you ought to be ensuring that it carries the Facebook verified checkmark, this  ensures that your local patients find the right and authentic account for your practice, rather than an out of date business page or one that has been set up by accident in the past (or even maliciously by someone else).

Kirsten Bury,  A Facebook product marketing manager for pages told Marketing Land recently that verified pages will show up higher in Facebook search results.

“At scale there will inevitably be duplicates and multiple entries for the same business,” said Bury, noting that there are 45 million business Pages on Facebook. “So this is one way businesses can make it easier for people to make sure that they are finding and communicating with the right Page.”

 Verified local business page on FacebookYou can tell if your page has been verified or not as it will have a little grey tick next to the page name… No tick? Then your page is not verified which may be perceived as a non-authentic account.

At the moment it is only possible to verify a local business, in other words if you have chosen categories of your business page such as a brand, product, cause or community then you will not immediately have access to verify your account.

When creating your account you need to choose local business or place in order to have the facility to verify. Create a page on Facebook

How to verify your Facebook page

To verify your page by phone:

  1. Click Settings at the top of your Page.
  2. From General, click Page Verification.
  3. Click Verify this Page, then click Get Started.
  4. Enter a publicly listed phone number for your business, your country and language.
  5. Click Call Me Now to allow Facebook to call you with a verification code. verified by calling

To verify with documents

Sometimes practices find that their reception desks are very busy places with multiple people answering the phone, if you think verification by phone may be a little difficult then you simply click the ‘verify this page with documents instead’ link.

You will then be prompted to upload documents.

 Verify page with documentsThe verification process is actually very simple and doesn’t take too long to complete. Verification by phone can lead to almost instant verification whereas verification by documents can take a couple of weeks.

More info here on social media marketing for dentists.

Hope that helps,
Mark Oborn
Mark

 

How to track and monitor Google adwords so that you spend less!

downloadI am very often confronted by dental practices in a daze as to how much they are spending on Pay per Click (PPC) campaigns on both Google and Facebook, common questions include:

  • How can I spend less?
  • How do I know if what I’m spending is the right amount?
  • How do I know if it is worth spending anything at all?

I’m the first to admit that I am not a PPC specialist, if practices want complex campaigns then I will refer them on, however, what I am particularly interested in is monitoring and tracking everything that happens online. This is one of the reasons I love online marketing, it becomes far more trackable which means it can be far more focused.

This information about PPC is going to be spread over two blog posts, each of these posts will give you something specific to do, if you take action you will find that you can begin to spend less on this most costly of pursuits!

The Golden Rule of PPC

The golden rule of spending less on PPC is tracking. The next golden rule, after you have dealt with tracking is tracking. Once you finally have tracking in place, you can then move on to tracking even more. Get the picture?

In other words, I track… and I do that in three specific ways:

  • Source
  • Medium
  • Campaign

The first assumption I need to make is that you have a Google analytics account created on your website, this will show you where people have come from, what they have done and how long they spend on the site. Google analytics is a vital factor in tracking your PPC. If you don’t have Google analytics on your website you need to do that now.

Tracking PPC Source

Your PPC source will be Facebook, Google, Bing and the like. If you track the source of your campaign you will be able to see in Google analytics which one of these sources is working best, you will be able to see if Facebook, Google or Bing are sending traffic, what they do and how long they spend on the site.

Tracking the source is very simple, simply add ?utm_source=Facebook to the end of your web address when either Facebook or Google asks you which webpage you want to direct traffic to e.g. www.yourwebsite.com?utm_source=Facebook I will come onto where this will appear in Google analytics later.

Tracking PPC Medium

Clearly, people may visit your website from Facebook in a variety of ways, they may have just clicked on a link that someone put their, or visited your website via your Facebook page. In order to track the PPC element of a Facebook visit, you need to add ?utm_medium=PPC to the end of your website address.

We are now tracking two elements, the source of the web visitor and the medium, so your web address that your place in your advert will now look like this www.yourwebsite.com?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=PPC

Tracking the campaign

We now know that someone visited your website from Facebook, via a PPC advert… But which campaign? Adding additional information in the format above helps us as follows.

Simply continue with the tracking code by adding &utm_campaign=Implants Your web address will now look like www.yourwebsite.com?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=Implants.


In the example above we are allocating the source as Facebook, the medium as PPC and a campaign as implants.

If we were to run a similar PPC campaign for dental implants on Google we would simply alter the code as follows: 

www.yourwebsite.com?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=Implants

And if we were to continue our dental implants PPC campaign onto Bing we would use the following web address for our Bing advert:

www.yourwebsite.com?utm_source=Bing&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=Implants.

Some practical examples

Let’s say you wanted to run a PPC campaign on Facebook and Google for orthodontics, you give the same budget to each of the campaigns, you now want to know which one is most effective.

You would create your adverts on Facebook and Google, in the section that asks you for the web address that you wish to direct visitors to you would type the following:

  • Facebook – www.yourwebsite.com?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=orthodontics
  • Google – www.yourwebsite.com?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=orthodontics

As you can see from the tracking code added to the website, the medium and campaign have remained the same (it is a PPC project and it is falling within your orthodontics campaign), the only thing that we have changed is the source.

Tracking in Google analytics

Now we move over to your Google analytics to see what is happening. If you open your Google analytics account and look at Acquisition > Source/medium you will now see the following appear.
Screenshot 2016-03-07 16.14.11

As you can see, we can now clearly tell the source and medium of the people have visited the website. Facebook/PPC and Adwords/PPC (Google) are now clearly visible.

Tracking campaigns.

Tracking the individual source is important, but so is tracking the overall campaign. Let’s say you are offering free consultations for orthodontics, facial aesthetics and dental implants, you may want to know which of these campaigns (regardless of where they have come from) is working best.

If you visit the campaigns section in Google analytics, this will now also be visible.

Campaign management in Google analytics

All Google analytics is doing is filtering by the various tags you have ended to the end of the website address.

It makes for a very simple way of tracking these campaigns.

Other uses for tracking

You may decide that you are going to use a new piece of social media software called “BORG”, You are going to be using the software to post links to your website in various social media accountsIf and you want to know if the software is doing its job and sending people to your website.

You’re going to be posting to Twitter and Facebook using the software and running two campaigns, one on facial aesthetics and another on orthodontics.

You would set up the tracking as follows:

First campaign on Facial aesthetics

  1. ?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=BORG&utm_campaign=facial
  2. ?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=BORG&utm_campaign=facial

Second campaign on orthodontics

  1. ?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=BORG&utm_campaign=ortho
  2. ?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=BORG&utm_campaign=ortho

You can now track overall how successful the software is by looking at the medium in your analytics ~ BORG, you can track whether Facebook or Twitter are working better for each campaign and you can see which campaign works best, either facial aesthetics or orthodontics.

It does take a little bit of time to get to grips with using this, many of the PPC platforms now include easy ways of tracking, for me, using the above technique forms an easy way of simply adding a little line of code to the end of your web address and it’s all done for you.

In the next blog post we will take a deeper look at analytics and how you can work out if people from each of these sources, mediums or campaigns has actually taken action on your website, watch out for that blog post soon.

Are you using tracking? If so, which technique you prefer?

 

Create, Curate, Syndicate and Aggregate – The Rules of Online Marketing

Image courtesy of tiramisustudio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of tiramisustudio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s funny how these things turn out sometimes, I was at a dentistry shown last year having a very interesting discussion with a colleague that runs a dental consultancy. We were talking about what I specifically did for dental practices with their communications.

Out of nowhere I simply replied “Well I, Create, Curate, Syndicate and Aggregate”

And that has now become my golden rule of online marketing… It should become yours also!

Modern search engine optimisation focuses much less on keywords we want to be found for, where we rank in Google search results or how many people visited the website. These may be important metrics but the real focus is on how many people we can help. Period!

The more people we help, the more people will talk about us. This works in real life as well as online. If more people talk about you online and share your information then more people will visit your website, Google will notice those people talking about you and give you a boost up the search results.

Let’s look at each of the Create, Curate, Syndicate and Aggregate areas individually.

Content Creation

This is where you use your experience as a dentist to create unique and individual content. It’s an opportunity to talk about what is important to you and what you value most. It’s the time where you can show what you are interested in and what you believe in and how you believe you can help people solve their dental problems.

You could consider creating content for a free download on your website (check out my free guide also), you could create blog posts (such as this one) or do micro-updates on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google plus, all designed to hand out useful, free and relevant dental health advice.

Creating your own unique content sets you up as a person that genuinely cares in the local area, if people like what you say they will share it which results in more people visiting your website.

Content Curation.

Curating content is about understanding what problems your patients are trying to solve and then directing them to other people’s uniquely created content. You may see articles written on news websites, columns written in online magazines or other non-competing dental practice websites.

Sharing other people’s content again shows that you genuinely care about the people in the local area. It builds trust as it demonstrates that you want to help solve their problems and that making money is not your primary concern!

Yes, dare to share content that you did not create! (That means sharing with full attribution, NOT copying to your website and claiming as your own!)

Content Syndication.

SImage courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Syndication means taking one piece of original digital content and syndicating it across various media. This is where online marketing really comes into its own. Consider this blog post, this blog post is going to be shared on:

  • My own dental marketing website.
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google plus
  • Linked in
  • 4 different e-mail databases
  • RSS feed readers

Syndication using modern technology such as Feed BurnerSocial Media Borg or Hootsuite allows you to rapidly reach the maximum number of people as quickly and simply as possible.

The more people you reach, the more likelihood there is of them sharing your unique content which drives more traffic to your website.

Content Aggregation.

This is the process by which we pull in multiple streams of information into one easy to read place. Take a look at the bottom of my website and you will see Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all if aggregated into one place.

Using software allows us to aggregate multiple streams into one, for example, you could take your original content that you have created, and aggregate it with your content that you have curated, placing all of it onto twitter.

Aggregating content from multiple places, particularly if you automate the process, allows you to keep a very active presence on the Internet.

People often comment that I always seem to be online on Facebook and Twitter… I do spend a lot of time online to be honest, but I use software to aggregate content from around the Internet, I then use software to syndicate that content which has been curated by others or created by me.

Taking time to create your own content, curate content from others, aggregate all of that content into a single stream and then syndicate it and round the Internet has become the hallmark of a successful Internet marketer, it’s also the hallmark of many of my dental practice clients.

Will it also be your hallmark of success?

 

Dental virtual reality

Virtual Reality for Dentists

As regular readers to my blog will know my focus in dental marketing is not to go out and out selling dental treatments… Rather, it is to gently inform and educate patients about their dental health by reducing risk and increasing trust.

When you demonstrate that you are a low risk choice and are trustworthy you become an easy option for a new patient to choose. Your marketing then becomes effortless and off the back of that your business succeeds and profits flow.

Everyone is looking for new ways to increase trust and reduce risk, one of the best ways is reviews from happy patients and a hot second is allowing the patients to actually see inside the practice and meet the team beforehand – you know, those funny sliding images that many dental practices have on the homepage!

Think about it now, how about if you replaced those sliding images on the homepage with an interactive tour of the practice! The patient would be able to see how much time and effort you have put in to creating a warm and friendly environment, you would immediately increase trust and reduce risk.

I’d like to introduce you to a good friend of mine, Luke Woods. Luke is a Google Certified photographer specialising in virtual tours and virtual reality, read what he has to say about how this can now be used in your dental practice.

================= Luke writes:=================

official text

“We search with words but respond to pictures”Google virtual tour facts

Hello everyone, thanks Mark for giving me the opportunity to reach out to the world of Dentistry. I have spent a couple of days conducting some research here in the UK and consulting my colleagues in Canada for qualified opinion and facts about how a Virtual Tour window into your practise can not only answer a lot of questions but calm and reassure any patient concerns to a hugely wider audience. I assume everyone knows what we talking about here? We all know Google Street View? the thing on top of a car that captures everything ready or not – grey sky or blue. Well, for 3 years there has been a program contracting established professional photographers like me to come into businesses and capture the very best of your business space for all the world to see.

Seeing is believing – click to see on Google

https://goo.gl/gkcH1i

These Virtual Showrooms are great for welcoming in clients from website to waiting room, here’s an example of a virtual tour at a dental practice.

Dental virtual reality

 

In the past two years since I have been working on the Google program I have captured some truly beautiful spaces and it seems that with all industries- progress is consumer driven. People in general are becoming much more familiar with using the internet and their mobile device to not only shop but to verify and answer any doubts they may have especially before entering into a big spend. Hotels and restaurants are examples that most people have seen here in the UK but why not clinics of all kinds? A year ago it was the same in Canada and the USA and in the last 12 months a lot of practises large and small needed to show just a little more than a few flat photos or have a Hollywood Commercial – a Virtual Tour fills that gap nicely – people can view in silence at their own pace and really connect with where they will be treated – I call this the Clinical Barrier and you can be among the first to gain that valuable patient trust.
gogle-stats-number-one

For me there are several areas where I start to wonder “what it is like ?” I know if I could see the clinic I would feel a lot more at ease the first time. Knowing the layout too is a difficulty many can be helped to overcome and getting lost can be embarrassing. Right from the car park if possible to seeing the doorway on the street, knowing what the reception looks like -seeing a waiting room where we all sit waiting for that peak anxiety moment – hearing our name – all this gives us that which cannot be put into words so easily – that feeling that says – “It’s Okay”

 

Google statistics

Things are moving fast these days and I am now working with a Google team developing Virtual Reality – many Dental Surgeries have comforting features – for children, a play area or room perhaps? It’s not just the younger generations that are looking – the biggest growth group is currently 54-65 year olds and 39% of people over 55 have smart phone and can check out things for themselves quite well. For all patients there can be no better experience than to preview the very chair you will be treated in – a full 360 degree view right from the chair.

There are also Search Engine Marketing advantages that are very real not promised and rarely delivered – without going into too much detail – everyone searches on Google these days – a website is not hosted in Google – these are, helping to get you found in local and voice search fast   “As seen on TV” 🙂


I would be delighted to hear from and help all of you lovely people who have looked after my white toothey treasure all these years.

My best, Luke Woods.

=================

To find out more about having a virtual tour of your practice please contact Mark on 0845 259 1232 or email info@markoborn.comStudy on virtual tours

Buy or sell

How to Sell Your Services – REALLY?

I was recently approached by a prospective new client who said something along the lines of:

“Mark, I’m running a course for dentists in three months time… Can you help with your marketing to fill it for me?”

Now equally, this could have been any one of the many dental services on offer, or even something completely different.

I asked what they had in mind for the marketing? They responded with ‘a series of e-mails, Facebook messages, Twitter tweets and the like.’

Okay,  so essentially they want to sell their course using online marketing.

But wait.

Who do we send those e-mails to?

Who is going to see those social media messages on Facebook or Twitter?

Aha, now we get to the nitty-gritty of the problem. We either have to use an existing e-mail database or buy one, and we have to pay for messages on Facebook or Twitter as we don’t have a particularly good Facebook following.

And if we suddenly start bombarding people that have never heard of us before with marketing messages trying to sell a new course, what does that do to the amount of trust they have in us?

Marketing in this style is what gives social media and e-mail a bad name. People say they’re bombarded with messages they hate and perceive as spam… And to be honest, that’s exactly what many messages are!

An alternative way of marketing – Switching from hate to love

Hate love switch

Switching the style of marketing we use can have an enormous impact, but it’s not a quick fix and you can’t suddenly think “Hey, I want to sell a course how can we fill it?”

The secret starts months possibly years earlier than the course/service you want to ‘sell’.

Marketing isn’t something you do… It’s something you are!

Here is a simple step-by-step list of how you can go about selling a course/service with no spam and without upsetting people:

  1. Identify the problem your target audience is trying to solve. DO NOT MISS THIS OUT! What is their problem? Is it that they want more confidence? Are they looking for more time? Are they looking for more money? Are they looking for a new partner? People go about solving these problems in a huge variety of ways, from looking for a new dance class to having teeth whitening… All to solve the same problem! Once you have identified the problem that people are trying to solve you can move on.
  2. Create a social media channel focused around solving this problem.
  3. Create a free guide focused around solving this problem and put it on your website in exchange for an e-mail address.
  4. Begin handing out useful, free and relevant advice helping these people solve this unique problem. Put that advice on your social media channel and write blog posts about it.
  5. Do this consistently and continuously all of the time. It should be your raison d’être. Hand out useful, free and relevant advice which helps that person go some way to solving their problem.

Doing this increases trust and reduces risk which means that when you have a specific service to sell, such as a course, you have an engaged audience which trusts you (after all, you’ve been giving them free information for ages now) and sees you as a low risk option (after all, you been giving them free advice and asked for nothing back).

With this engaged audience, whose problems you understand and have demonstrated you are an expert in it’s a logical and simple step to suggest that they take action to solve their problem with you.

And that’s how you use e-mail and social media to sell your course or service. It takes time to build and grow, but once it does it becomes an unstoppable machine which works 24/7, the best time to start is always now…

 

Should you have a mobile or responsive website?

Okay, first of let me make it clear that I’m not a website designer. I don’t design websites and I don’t create websites but I do work on websites all day that are designed and created by other people, what I do is ensure that the maximum number of people go to them and then take action once on the site.

Deciding whether to have a mobile or responsive website is a critical decision when you’re having a new one built, it also dramatically affects my ability to optimise the site to get it found on Google and also to optimise the site to increase conversions – so you need to get the decision right.

Responsive or Mobile websites?

This is the real hot one at the moment as more and more people decide that they want to have a mobile or response website, but what is the difference?

Mobile

A mobile website is a separate website to your main one. There will be a little bit of code on the website which detects the device that is being used, if that code detects a mobile device then the user will be bounced off of your main website onto a mobile friendly one.

You effectively have two separate websites, one designed for a full screen and one designed for mobile devices.

Responsive

A responsive website on the other hand is one single website. The website detects the screen width of the device being used and responds to this width. If it detects that a widescreen is being used such as a desktop then you will see the full site with all of its navigation, if it detects that a smaller screen is being used such as a tablet or phone then the site will show relevant navigation, shrink the images and show you content in a different format.

You only have one website which is responsive and modifies itself dependent upon the device it is being viewed upon.

How to test if your website is responsive

Of course, the simplest way is to look at your website on your mobile phone. But if you want to truly test if the website is responsive, you can actually test it live and see it respond as the screen resolution changes… Here’s how.

In your web browser you need to click the “Restore Down” button in the top right-hand corner of the browser.

Restore down button

Click the button in the middle

This will then enable you to change size of the screen on your desktop. You can then grab and drag the width of the screen to make it smaller. If your website is truly responsive you should see the various elements on your website resize and then move around to fit the screen.

You should also see the menu go from the traditional desktop menu to a single button click menu suitable for a mobile phone. Here’s a little video which shows this in action.

The advantages of having a response website versus a mobile one.

The advantages are quite numerous:

  1. When you add content to your website, if your website is responsive you simply need to at least once. No matter whether your visitor is on a mobile phone, tablet or desktop your new content will look good. If you have a responsive site you need to add content twice, once to the desktop version and once to the mobile version.
  2. You suddenly have two websites to optimise. You may find that one website appears better than the other in mobile search results, if you have a single response website you only have one website to worry about.
  3. Your links may not work.You may be sending people into the middle of your website from around the web. For example, you may want to run a social media campaign on Facebook and place links to your Invisalign page. If someone clicks on this link from a mobile phone they will Land on your website, it will detect that they are on a mobile device and automatically send them to the homepage of a mobile website, not the Invisalign page that you intended, suddenly your website visitor is confused. With a responsive website, you can copy the web address from the desktop and it will work exactly the same on a mobile.
  4. Your search engine optimisation and inbound marketing may not be quite as good. Google recognises if your website is important if people are talking about it around the Internet. As those people talk about your website online they may be mentioning a specific page. You may have written some excellent information about dental implants which a patient of yours shares with their friend. If they share that page from a desktop but the friend is using a mobile, that link may not work if they are redirected to a mobile website. A responsive website uses exactly the same web address for mobile or desktop.
  5. You may keep costs down with a responsive site. If you pay for someone like me to optimise a site, get more people to it and more people converting then the fee is often lower for a responsive site. That person working their magic on your website only has one website to work on if it is responsive, if you have a mobile site also then they may need to work on two websites… Potentially doubling their fee!
  6. Your ongoing web design costs could be lower. Let’s say you take on a new treatment and want to add it to your website. If your site is responsive then you add the content once, if you have a mobile site then you need to pay your designer to add it to both websites!

In my experience of working with many websites the ones that are easiest to optimise (from both a search and conversion point of view) are responsive websites. There are so many advantages to responsive that, in my opinion, this is the way you should go if you’re looking at having a new website built.

So who would I recommend for your new responsive website?

There are plenty of people to choose from that are creating and designing websites for dentists, here is my recommendation based on the fact that I’ve worked with these guys on numerous projects and never had a problem. Listed in alphabetical order.