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online marketing for dentists

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Responsive Design vs Mobile First – What’s the Difference?

by Naomi Cooper September 5, 2017

dental practice website design strategies

After working as a dental consultant for over a decade, I know first-hand how busy dentists are. I know that when your day is consumed with patient care and office management, there is little time left to think about things like online marketing and SEO.

However, to keep the practice doors open and the office operating, some thought needs to be given to these issues. For 99% of dentists, outsourcing website design and SEO is not only a smart decision, but the only option. And while the average dentist doesn’t need to fully understand what responsive design is or what a mobile-first strategy looks like, it is important to be aware of the basics so that you can communicate easily with your website designer.

First of all, both terms refer to how a website is designed, but they differ in the process that goes into building the site.

Responsive design – the concept of building a website to adapt to specific devices and screen sizes, typically done by designing for a desktop computer first, and then paring it down to fit tablets and mobile

The problem with this is that, today, more Google searches are done on a smartphone than on a desktop, and the growing reliance on our phones to access the internet has sparked the rise of the mobile first strategy.

Mobile first – designing a website for mobile first, think of it as starting small and then adding additional functions for larger devices

And Here’s Why It Matters…

Google has revealed that it plans, at some point in time – potentially at the end of this year, roll out their mobile-first index, which will become their primary index.

Currently, Google indexes a website based on the desktop version, but when this new roll out occurs, they will begin to do the opposite. Google will start to index the mobile version of a website to then determine where in the SERP (search engine results page) the desktop site will rank.

Long story short, any dentist who has not updated his/her website within the past 18 months or so likely owes their web designer a phone call. And for those with a new(ish) site designed within the past year and a half or so, and who knows it was built using responsive design standards, don’t panic. A responsive designed website is likely not going to hurt you or your online traffic too dramatically; just keep the mobile first strategy in mind for the next update.

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How to Take Your Online Marketing to the Next Level

by Naomi Cooper June 7, 2017

Dental Website? Check. Facebook Page? Check. All marketing duties complete? Not so fast.online marketing for dentists

For dentists looking to grow their practices, there is simply no escaping online marketing. When looking for a new dentist, patients will most likely visit your website, look you up on social media and read reviews on sites like Yelp and Healthgrades.

The question is – what impression are you giving them?

A website that isn’t properly maintained won’t appeal to modern patients. Social media isn’t effective if it isn’t used consistently. Make sure the key components of your online profile are up to date and in working order:

  • If it’s been a while since you’ve taken stock of your website, get in contact with your web designer to see what updates may be necessary.
  • If you have a Facebook page that hasn’t gotten regular attention, now’s the time to re-engage and even create a social media calendar to help keep it fresh and relevant – and of interest to patients.

For more insights into what you can do today to boost your online marketing – and discover the one component you may be overlooking! – check out my recent article in Dental Products Report.

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Secrets Revealed: 4 Simple Steps to Online Success

by Naomi Cooper March 8, 2017

Yes, you’re a dentist. But you’re also a business owner, and in that role, you are responsible to your patients and your online marketing for dentistsstaff to run a successful practice. To keep the doors open and your chairs filled, you need a strategy for attracting new patients and maintaining your existing base.

Dentists can no longer afford to ignore the power of online marketing. It helps you reach more prospective patients and keeps them engaged in between appointments. If the digital space has been a struggle for you, you’re not alone! Many dentists face the same challenges as you do, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

In my recent article published in Dental Products Report, I’m letting you in on four key secrets for simplifying and streamlining your online marketing, and they all revolve around these key components:

  • Reaching your key audience
  • Updating your office processes
  • Adopting a flexible mindset
  • Recognizing the power of outsourcing

So if you’ve been feeling more exasperated than excited about your online marketing, check out my article here. Your new patients are out there – you just need to help them find you!

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4 Ways to Keep Dental Patients Happy in the New Consumer Culture

by Naomi Cooper October 7, 2015

Happy dental patientTo paraphrase Chaucer, if “time waits for no man,” then it also stands to reason that time waits for no dental practice, either. Thanks to tech-savvy consumers and consumer rating sites like Yelp, Healthgrades and Angie’s List, patients now have a plethora of information about your practice, all just a click away.

Make sure what patients are saying online about your practice is positive, and it all starts with patient satisfaction. Since keeping consumers happy is often a game of “what have you done for me lately?”, make sure you’re continuously doing things that show patients that they’re your top priority.

Dr. Marvin W. Berlin discusses this “new consumer culture in dentistry” in great detail in the August issue of Dental Economics. Dr. Berlin dives deep into the “consumerism shift,” discussing its causes and many effects. There are many ways to successfully navigate the intersection of dentistry and today’s online world, but the following tips are at the top of the list.

  1. Be willing to do what others won’t. This may be obvious, but it is essential for your practice to try things that make you stand out from your competition online. Whether that means having a flawless, user-friendly website, shooting videos or generating chatter via social media contests, you always want to be sure that your practice is one step ahead of the rest by doing things that other practices in your area aren’t.
  1. Provide patient education. “Shopper culture,” as Dr. Berlin puts it, has given rise to more comparison shopping: consumers are always looking for the most cost-effective, time-saving option. Now that everyone has instant access to a world of information online, it’s important for your website, social media and online profiles to be a patient’s best resource for dental information. Not only should your content be informative and accurate, but it should detail the services you provide and why they’re important to short- and long-term health. Also, by utilizing online tools such as streaming video and slideshows, you can show patients exactly how you can benefit them, and not just tell them.
  1. Stay active online. Other than dispensing valuable information in a crisp, good-looking package, your website and social media pages should act as hubs for your dental community to interact. Spice up your online presence by sharing interesting articles, facts or even dental-related jokes. Simple posts like these don’t take much time and can help generate conversation and make your patients take an active interest in your practice.
  1. Provide modern accommodations. For many, a trip to the dentist’s office is considered a chore. Anything you can do to make your patients feel better about the whole experience the second they walk in the door is greatly appreciated. Providing free access to WiFi and charging stations for smartphones and tablets can go a long way toward making your patients feel at home and cared for.

With so many opportunities available to leverage technology to help grow your dental practice and keep your patients happy, there’s no excuse not to use them. Being unique, user-friendly and accessible online takes a bit of work, but it will all be worth it just to see the smiles on your patients’ faces – emoji or otherwise.

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The Secret to Attracting More Baby Boomers to Your Dental Practice

by Naomi Cooper September 21, 2015

What's your online marketing strategy?Did you know that the fastest growing demographic on social media is adults ages 55-64? While you might believe that online marketing is just for the younger population, it turns out that online tactics can be an effective method for attracting patients at or near retirement.

The first step to using social media for reaching the baby boomer population is to determine what site(s) you wish to use. Facebook is an obvious place to start, with more than half of all online adults 65 and older using the social networking site, representing almost 1/3 of all seniors.

Next, keep your profile updated with interesting content and informative posts that cater to the baby boomer population. You could write a blog with tips on preserving their smile, or post an article from an industry expert on the oral-systemic link. And it doesn’t have to be all about dentistry. Including non-industry content will help keep patients engaged while providing a well-rounded social media profile.

For more additional tips on how to use social media to reach patients of all ages, check out my recent Dental Products Report article.

Even if traditional tactics like telephone book ads are still apart of your Baby Boomer marketing plan, don’t be short sighted. After all, as the population ages, your strategy will eventually need to shift online. Getting started now will keep you ahead of the game in the coming years.

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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.