Mobile-Geddon: Did Your Practice Survive?

by Naomi Cooper April 28, 2015

Mobile-Geddon: Did Your Practice Survive?The online world braced for impact last week as Google changed its algorithm in a major way. With a big nod towards the rising influence of mobile, as of last Tuesday, websites that are mobile-friendly will now begin appearing higher in search rankings.

With growing numbers of users accessing the Internet from smartphones and tablets, the need for a mobile-friendly website is more important than ever. 62% of smartphone owners have used their device to look up health information within the past year, so if you haven’t updated your dental practice website recently, you might begin to notice a drop in your website traffic.

What is a mobile website? It is a site that loads properly and is user-friendly across all devices: computers, smartphones and tablets. This is best accomplished through responsive web design, which also happens to be Google’s preferred method.  If you’ve ever tried to access a website from your phone only to have the text appear too small to read or experience the frustration of the website taking forever to load, chances are good that you were trying to view a website that had not yet made the switch to mobile.

If you are not sure if your website is mobile-friendly, check out this handy tool from Google: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/. Simply type in the URL of your website and in seconds Google will tell you whether your site meets their mobile criteria.

What can you do if your website is not mobile-friendly? Contact your trusted web designer to find out what needs to be done in order to update the website according to Google’s rules.

Mobile-geddon doesn’t have to mean the end of the world for your dental practice website. Make sure your site is up to date with the current design technology in order to keep your practice information at your patients’ fingertips!


Dental Practice Marketing: 9 Content Ideas for Social Media

by Naomi Cooper September 24, 2014

Dental Practice Marketing: 9 Content Ideas for Social MediaAre you thinking about getting started on a social media plan for your practice? Or maybe you’ve been posting for a while now but feel like your updates are getting a bit stale? Whether you are a beginner or you’ve been participating for years, it can be difficult to keep coming up with ideas of what to post.

Here are 9 types of content that work well on social media:

  1. Links to Articles: Posts about the practice, the doctor, the team, the community, or oral health in general always work well.
  2. Photos: Pictures of the practice, of the doctor and/or team, patient “before and after” shots, team events, or continuing education opportunities. Note: photos require a signed release, so be sure you have written permission from everyone in the picture before posting.
  3. Videos: Shoot videos on a smartphone of an office tour, a welcome greeting from the doctor and staff, patient testimonials, or even the doctor answering patient FAQs. Similar to photos, videos also require a signed release, so again, be sure to have written permission before posting.
  4. Facts & Figures: Consider relevant quotes, statistics, news headlines that you think would be of interest to your community.
  5. Seasonal: The various holidays and seasons are perfect opportunities to share holiday wishes, fun factoids about the holiday/season, or give a piece of dental advice to fit a specific time of year.
  6. Contests and Polls: Great for increasing engagement with your social media audience, you can set up polls just for fun, or offer a prize.
  7. Giving Back: If you happen to be a part of a local group, you can post messages about the cause or link to the cause’s website. Or, if you know of a patient who is very involved, you could ask them about posting their story.
  8. Lifestyle: Social media posts don’t only have to be about dentistry. Varying your posts with healthy recipes, useful technology tips, dental jokes, or info about local community events can keep everyone interested.
  9. Promotional: Social media is a terrific way of spreading news updates about the practice, special offers, info on new procedures, and referral rewards promotions.

No matter what you post, the most important thing to consider is your patients’ perspective! Avoid using overly technical language or posting articles only of interest to fellow dentists. Find out what gets your patients excited about dentistry – personal updates about team members, photos and videos are always a hit. At the end of the day, a clear focus on engagement with your audience – your patients and prospective patients – is the way to go with social media.


Dental Practice Websites: Committing to SEO in 2014

by Naomi Cooper January 5, 2014

Dental Practice Websites: Committing to SEO in 2014Online marketing has indelibly changed the way dentists market their practices. If you haven’t been keeping up with the latest strategies, 2014 is the perfect time to jump on board.

Take your dental practice website, for example. If it has been a few years since it was last updated, it is very likely that modern SEO (search engine optimization) tactics are not in play, making it more difficult for prospective patients to find your website.

As it has been said, the only constant in the world is change, and Google is no exception. There have been several significant updates to its search algorithms in just the past 12 months, and unless you are a full-time SEO specialist, it can be difficult to stay on top of.

For more details on these updates, you can read this article from Yahoo Business outlining the latest regarding Google’s updates, specifically named Hummingbird, Panda  & Penguin.

At the end if the day, when Google makes changes to the way the search engine ranks results, it affects not just big corporations, but all businesses trying to reach new customers. With the changes that have been implemented, you could be wasting money on ineffective and outdated SEO strategies.

For example, do you have a local SEO strategy? Are you prioritizing producing video for your website and YouTube channel? Do you have an on site blog that you contribute original content to on a regular basis? And if you’re still depending on a backlink strategy, you should know that Google is now more focused on social media engagement than links.

If you’re not sure what tactics your website relies on for SEO, don’t fret. Dentists should not feel as though they are responsible for executing SEO tactics themselves — as always, I strongly recommend outsourcing! Work with trusted professionals like Sesame Communications or WPromote and keep your online strategies — including SEO — functioning most effectively!


Google+ Shared Endorsements: The Latest Update and What You Need to Know

by Naomi Cooper October 28, 2013

Google+ Shared Endorsements: The Latest Update and What You Need to KnowEarlier this month, Google announced they are rolling out what are called “Shared Endorsements” on the Google+ site. If you haven’t yet read about this new feature, or if you don’t understand how this will impact your dental practice Google+ page, keep reading.

Anytime a user +1’s a page, this activity is stored within Google which they, in turn, will be using in advertising. For example say you +1, or endorse, a new local restaurant on Google+, your name and photo can now be used in an online ad for that restaurant whether or not you are aware.

The new Shared Endorsements feature (slated to start November 11th) allows users to control whether or not their activity is used in Google’s advertising. If you are not comfortable with your name and photo being used to endorse another business, you can easily “opt-out”.

For more information on Shared Endorsements, and what this latest Google update means for your dental practice profile, check out this informative Hubspot blog.


Quality, Not Quantity, Is the Key To Success in Social Media

by Naomi Cooper May 27, 2013

Quality, Not Quantity, Is the Key To Success in Social MediaThere are endless ways to participate in social media: various sites, videos, comments, sharing, blogging…the list goes on and on. For dentists, and business owners in general, who are looking to get started in social media, the sheer volume of the opportunities to engage can be overwhelming.

There is no need to get frustrated before even starting. Participating in social media is all about connecting with your patients, friends and colleagues. For example, it is better to regularly engage on Facebook (for instance) a few times every week, than to sporadically post random information on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube. Find one or two sites that are most comfortable for you, and that you know your patients are also engaged in, and start there. As your comfort level increases, you can start to branch out to more sites.

Varying your content will also help to increase the quality of your activity. This will help to keep your content fresh and engaging. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Sharing links to trade-related articles
  • Posting a thoughtful comment on others’ posts
  • Uploading a video to YouTube the brief video could offer a tour around your office, or an update on the latest technology in the office
  • Commenting every blog that you read
  • Posting photos
  • Responding to patients’ feedback when shared online

And one more aspect of Quality as it relates to social media would be Consistency. Posting one article every few weeks is not going to build your audience. Create a social media calendar for your office, and continually engage on a regular basis. Your audience will start to know when to expect to see your information, and you will be building credibility along the way.

Getting started in social media can seem daunting at first. By putting a little thought into your strategy, and creating a plan of action, you will be on your way in no time at all.

Have you integrated a social media marketing plan for your practice? What were some of your initial successes? Do you have any advice for those looking to get started? Please share your ideas below.


Dental Marketing News: The New Google Updates

by Naomi Cooper May 21, 2013

Dental Marketing News: The New Google UpdatesThings are busy at Google. Last week the people behind the most popular search engine announced updates to their algorithm, as well as a total redesign for their social media site, Google+. Here is a very brief breakdown of the Google news and what it means for dentists.

Google Algorithm Updates

Google announced they will begin “rewarding” sites they deem to be a subject matter authority, with the reward being a higher ranking in the search results. Exactly how a website is determined to be a subject matter expert is measured by the number of clicks a website gets, the freshness of the content — even localization seems to be factored in. Why does this matter to dental practices? Now is the perfect time for dentists to commit to improving their online presence. Dentists have the opportunity to become the dental expert within their local area. Adding an on-siteblog to the practice website and broadcasting blog posts across social media profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest can help to increase online reach while improving the website’s SEO at the same time.


Google’s social media component has gotten a major overhaul. The newsfeed has been streamlined and photos are predominantly featured…a seeming influence of Pinterest. Dentists should build upon the redesign by adding more photos and videos to their Google+ profiles, including pictures of the dentist, the team, shots of the practice, a welcome video and videos about common procedures. (Be sure to get a photo/video release signed by anyone appearing in any of the images or videos!) For more info on the new Google+, check out this blog from the online marketing experts at Qnary.

These are just 2 of the many updates Google has implemented recently. While always evolving, it’s safe to say Google and it’s components (search, Google+, Google+ Local and YouTube to name a few) continue to be a dominant force in the online marketing landscape today.