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online branding

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Dental Marketing: The Era of Social Proof and Social Search

by Naomi Cooper April 1, 2015

Dental Marketing: The Era of Social Proof and Social SearchDid you know that 61% of patients turn to online review sites before they select a doctor? This stunning statistic reinforces the need for dentists to stay on top of the practice’s online reputation today.

Accumulating positive information about the practice not only on the practice website but also on a variety of third-party websites across the Internet helps create an encouraging first impression when patients look to vet the practice online. This can include favorable online reviews and positive comments on social media profiles.

Social Proof

While having patient testimonials directly on the dental practice website is a good first step, collecting positive reviews on external sites such as Yelp, Healthgrades and AngiesList that come up in a Google search of the practice’s name can offer another layer of credibility and authenticity in the minds of prospective patients. This is why positive online reviews and commendts on third-party websites are sometimes referred to as “social proof”.

Social Search

In 2014 we saw a rise in the influence of social search. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest refined the search functionality within their sites, making it easy for users to search these sites as they would Google or Bing. The big difference between these social searches and the general online searches is that a patient can now see (for example) which dentist each of their friends go to or if there are any dentists their circle of friends specifically recommend – making social searches all the more valuable.

So how can dentists use social proof and social search to their marketing advantage? Encourage patients to share their positive experiences on consumer review sites. Remind patients to check in to the practice on Facebook whenever they come in for an appointment.

To learn more about online marketing strategies, click here to read my recent Inside Dentistry article – Social Media Strategies: What Dentists Need to Know

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8 Essential Elements of a Dental Practice Website

by Naomi Cooper February 18, 2015

8 Essential Elements of a Dental Practice WebsiteWhat does your website say about you? After all, a dentist’s website can often be the first impression a prospective patient gets of the practice. When thought of in this way, the dental practice website is a very critical component of the dental marketing plan, so it’s worth the investment to have it done right.

Best practices indicate that a website typically has a shelf life of about 36 months, so if it has been that long, or longer, since your practice website was designed, it is probably time for an update. Here are 8 elements you need to consider:

  1. Responsive Design: ensuring the website loads properly across all electronic devices (computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets)
  2. SEO: helping to boost the website’s visibility in search engine rankings
  3. Branding: keeping the logo and identity consistent online and offline
  4. Social Media Links: making it easy for patients to navigate between your website and social media profiles
  5. On-Site Blog: contributing to the SEO plan and providing dentists with another method of patient communication
  6. Photos and Video: allowing new patients to get a feel for the doctor, team and practice through bio pictures and videos from around the practice
  7. Patient Testimonials: including a few positive reviews on the website gives prospective patients a glimpse into the overall patient experience
  8. Call to Action: encouraging patients to contact the office in a manner most convenient for them – telephone, email or online appointing

If you are thinking of updating your dental practice website, or if it has been a few years since you last did so, these are a few of the must-have elements to be aware of in order to make your new online presence as effective as it can possibly be.

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Online Reviews: Find Out What Sites Your Patients Use Most 

by Naomi Cooper February 4, 2015

Online Reviews: Find Out What Sites Your Patients Use Most Creating a digital presence for your dental practice is a no brainer. Patients turn to the Internet when researching local dentists, and so it is important that your information is available online and giving patients a terrific first impression.

Online patient reviews, along with your practice website and social media, help patients learn about your practice before they make their first appointment, and are becoming increasingly important parts of their decision making process.

A recent blog from ReviewTrackers.com reports that the number of patients using online reviews to search for a doctor has jumped 68% from 2013 to 2014. The blog also says 61% of patients turn to online review sites before they select a doctor, reinforcing the importance for dentists to commit to getting more online reviews, especially if they don’t have many yet, or if it has been awhile since any reviews were posted.

With so many online review sites on the web today, it’s hard for dentists to know what sites to direct patients to. The study quoted in the ReviewTrackers blog shows that Yelp and Healthgrades are the most widely used and trusted of all the online review sites, followed by RateMDs, Vitals and ZocDoc.

Do you know what your patients are saying about your practice online? Take a proactive approach and build a collection of patient testimonials. Prospective patients are researching your practice online. Make sure what they see is an accurate and positive reflection.

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Twitter for Dentists: Update Your Profile Now!

by Naomi Cooper April 30, 2014

Twitter for Dentists: Update Your Profile Now!If you regularly use Twitter for your dental practice, you may have noticed the remarkable changes to your profile page. Twitter has been rolling out an update to user profiles, with an emphasis made on visual content. They’ve made images a huge focus of the new profile page, reflecting the current trend of visual content across the Internet. If you haven’t yet signed up for Twitter, now is as good of a time as any to jump in! Keep your profile looking its best by updating the following:

Profile & Header Photos: They have made the profile photo larger. This is the image that appears in the feed next to your tweet. The header photo is also now more prominent, spanning across the width of the page.

For dentists, the Profile & Header photos are terrific branding opportunities. If you have an icon feature within your logo, that works great for the profile photo. Twitter has made it easier than ever to upload an image for the profile by automatically resizing any image to fit within the parameters. As far as the header photo, the practice name often works best but whatever you choose, make sure to keep it consistent with your existing branding. They recommend keeping the size to 1500×500 and a maximum size of 5MB. If you are unable to resize on your own, your graphic designer (who designed your logo) should be able to assist you.

Practice Info: The changes also include a shift in the placement of the location, website address and bio. This information used to be at the top, within the old header, which often made it hard to read. It has now been moved to the left side of the page, under the profile photo. Be sure to completely fill out this information, including the brief bio section where you can describe your practice in 160 characters or less.

Pinning Your Tweets: Users can now “pin” their favorite tweets to the top of the page. So if you have a previous tweet that garnered multiple retweets, or maybe a patient tweeted a positive comment about your practice, you can now highlight these individual tweets so that they appear at the top of your page, making it easy for users to see when viewing your profile.

Overall the information is more organized, with the ability to pin top tweets as well as having all photos and images easily accessible. Some users like the new layout; others aren’t as criticizing it for its strong similarities to Facebook pages.

What do you think? Have you updated your dental practice profile to the new layout?

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Best of Minoa Marketing: Dental Practice Website Design

by Naomi Cooper December 4, 2013

Best of Minoa Marketing: Dental Practice Website DesignPatients today are looking to connect with the practice before they ever walk through the front door. A strategically designed website will properly introduce new patients to the practice, and when implemented correctly, the site can be a powerful driver of new patient flow. However, if your practice’s current website was designed even 2-3 years ago, it may be time for an update.

When you consider all that goes into website design, it can be easy to start feeling overwhelmed. Here is a round-up of Minoa Marketing blogs specifically geared to your dental practice website:

5 Tips to Optimize Your Website – A summary of the most important components that should exist on every successful dental practice website

Responsive Design – The latest and greatest in website design will ensure your website is accessible to every new and potential patient regardless if they are on a computer, smartphone or tablet device

Outsourcing: 3 Tips for Hiring the Right Vendors – Website design is best left up to the professionals, but it can be tricky finding the right vendor.

Your website is often a new patient’s first

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interaction with your practice so it needs to make the best first impression possible. Hopefully these tips here will get you started on the right – and successful – path to enhancing your online presence and stimulating practice growth.