Tag Archives: new patient enquiries

Is your dental practice verified_ (1)

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

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.

 

 

If it moves in marketing…measure it!

This is a guest blog post by Dee Gerish of Clear Vision Accountancy.

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When Mark offered me the chance to write a blog for his followers, I knew what my message had to be…

new enquiries via website

Something which helps to improve the results you see from your marketing. Something which it is vital for every dentist to do…

Measure your numbers!

Now as a dental business consultant working for a firm of accountants, you’d expect me to say that.

But I’m not talking about regular turnover, revenue and cost figures here. These are the obligatory numbers most accountants help you prepare and then stop.

At Clear Vision we like to help dentists go further. In fact, we unashamedly bang on about additional numbers you won’t find in your accounts: Key Performance Indicators or KPIs.

Why?

Because it’s these numbers which influence your financial results. These are the underlying numbers which drive your financials and make them better. So you see more growth and more profits. And you can better achieve your business and personal goals.

When you improve your KPI results, your financial results improve. So you can see it makes sense to focus on them, doesn’t it?

In marketing terms, KPIs include where your new patients have come from, so you can be sure what forms of marketing are working for you. Plus you can work out what return on investment you are seeing from each of your marketing activities, do more of what works and stop paying for what doesn’t (or find a better way to do it). So measure this and you can minimise your marketing budget.

Also when you know how many new patients you currently generate per month via your website, you can test and measure the results of the on-page changes you make, for example, and how well these amendments perform in compelling more of your website visitors to choose your dental practice.

You can go further and measure the results of a particular online campaign. You can do this by setting it up to be monitored in your Google Analytics data – I’ll leave Mark to tell you more about this!

So you measure to improve.

You can also measure to compare.

Ever wondered how your numbers stack up against those of other UK dentists?

From the abundance of monthly KPI results we collect from dentists across the UK, we can tell you that around 10% of UK dentists succeed in getting some 225% more new patients from their websites every month than the rest.

As a friend of Mark Oborn, you’ll welcome to order your own copy of our 2012 Dental Business KPI report to find out what these dentists are doing differently to achieve this. You’ll see this report reveals other average results for dentists too, such as average UK recall figures and other new patient data.

Have a read and remember – look after your KPIs and better results will come.

Specialist dental accountants and dental business consultants Clear Vision Accountancy help make a difference to the lives of dentists across the UK. The team has been working with dentists every week since 2001 and you can read the insights and best advice they have to share in their blog for dentists.