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online marketing

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Dental Marketing: Top Tips for Building an Online Presence

by Naomi Cooper October 3, 2016

Dental Marketing: Top Tips for Building an Online Presence Dentists today are bombarded with sales calls promising to boost their online reputations or guaranteeing the top spot on Google.

Just as there’s no magic bullet for achieving optimal oral health, there’s no shortcuts when it comes to building a dynamic digital presence.

Check out my recent video here to find out the most important steps every dentist should take when developing an effective online strategy.

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5 Online Marketing Hacks for Dentists

by Naomi Cooper September 7, 2016

You went to dental school, not business school. You specialize in exams and extractions, not marketing and social media. So how do you even begin to build a savvy online presence for your dental practice?

Online marketing hacks for dentistsHere are 5 tips to demystify online marketing for every dentist:

  1. Perform an online audit – Google your name and then your practice name. What comes up? Take note of where in the search results your website appears, as well as bookmark any sites with incomplete or inaccurate information to go back and fix sooner rather than later.
  2. Claim online profiles – Business listings may already exist for the practice on sites like Google and Yelp without your knowledge. Be sure every online profile has up-to-date practice and contact information.
  3. Update the practice website – If you haven’t touched your practice website within the past 18 months or more, schedule an appointment with your web designer to talk about updating the site for modern convenience (responsive design, SEO functionality, user-friendliness).
  4. Actively ask for patient testimonials – It NEVER hurts to ask! In fact, asking patients to post online reviews actually helps spark word of mouth for the office.
  5. Don’t forget about social media – Build your presence on sites and apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram…and encourage patients to check in and tag the office.

To dive deeper into these strategies, and discover 5 more simple yet effective methods of improving your online marketing, check out my recent article in Dental Products Report to ensure you stay in the driver’s seat of your online reputation.

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3 Secrets for a Modern Dental Practice Website

by Naomi Cooper May 2, 2016

3 Secrets for a Modern Dental Practice WebsiteThe practice website is the most important component of any dentist’s online strategy. But with so many self-proclaimed experts in web design, it’s difficult to figure out what you must have, what to avoid and what technology needs to be incorporated.

Here are the 3 most important features every modern dental website should have to ensure it’s attractive to patients while working to build your online presence in the most effective way possible.

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Claim your dental practice’s online identity…or someone else might!

by Naomi Cooper March 14, 2016

Claim your dental practice's online identityA dentist client of mine recently decided to join Twitter and made a disturbing discovery when she attempted to create an account: someone had already created a Twitter account using her email address. Who could this imposter be? What lessons can be learned from this experience?

The fact is if dentists don’t take an active role in their social media presence, someone just might do it for them, and unfortunately it’s actually more common that you might first realize.

It is essential for dentists to monitor their personal names as well as their business names across social media platforms. Online trolls and other nefarious characters may make slight changes to your online name and create fake accounts and it is up to you to find and report these imposters.

What can you do to protect yourself? If you find that you are the victim of trolling or impersonation here are a few tips:

  1. Report trolls or impersonators to the appropriate social media company.  Keep vigilant. It may take some time to get resolved, but this is your reputation, it is worth it.
  1. Regularly search popular sites like Google, Twitter, Facebook, Yelp and LinkedIn for your name and your practice name. If something doesn’t look right or if you see a duplicate account, you may be a victim of impersonation.

TIP: If you are active on Twitter, you may want to pay special attention: According to Business Insider, trolling is mostly a Twitter issue.  “A study of 134,000 abusive social media mentions showed that 88% of them occur on Twitter. Only a tiny fraction of online abuse happens on Facebook or other social media.

  1. Build a robust online presence by blogging and collecting patient reviews. Claim profiles on sites like Google and Yelp, and maintain an active presence on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
  1. Protect your online reputation. This Forbes article suggests some simple ways to keep things positive.

And because you have enough on your to-do list already, there are companies that specialize in helping dentists manage their online reputations, Sesame Communications and My Social Practice to name a few. Outsourcing can give you peace of mind knowing that you’re putting your best digital foot forward.

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Instagram: Use This Powerful Platform to Promote Your Dental Practice

by Naomi Cooper February 15, 2016

Instagram’s popularity has skyrocketed over the past two years and it continues to soar, with online adult usage growing from 13% three years ago to 28% today. With this explosive growth, now is a great time to incorporate Instagram into your mobile marketing strategy.

Initially, Instagram was simply an app that allowed users to share photos with followers, but it has proved to be an effective marketing tool. Below are 3 ways to leverage Instagram to increase engagement and build awareness online for your practice.

  • Contests – Create photo contests. Ask patients to tag their photos with a specific hashtag to be entered into a raffle. Or have staff post photos of themselves in Halloween costumes, for example, and have patients vote for their favorite.
  • Feature Your Followers – Highlight happy patients and personalize your relationships with them by taking their pictures and featuring them in your posts. *Always be sure to get written consent before posting photos of patients online*
  • Promotions – By including promo codes in your posts you can keep your patients engaged and excited about their next visit.

The above methods are only a few of the ways to use Instagram to market your practice. As Instagram grows in popularity, you’ll be able to create an even more personal experience with your patients that’s engaging and accessible.

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Yelp: The Good, the Bad and the Reality for Dentists Today

by Naomi Cooper January 13, 2016

In 2016, Yelp will continue to be the go-to website for millions of people looking for local services and that includes dental patients. According to the company’s website, during the second quarter of 2015, the Internet giant had a monthly average of 83 million unique visitors who accessed Yelp using their mobile device. In addition, as of Q2 2015, “Yelpers” have authored over 83 million reviews. There is no denying that Yelp is a major player in the dental marketing landscape. However, it is important to know the realities of how Yelp can help – and in some cases hurt – your business.

The Good

As I mentioned in a previous blog, Yelp automatically creates profiles for all businesses, even if the business owner is unaware. It is up to the business owner to claim their profile, update it with the correct contact information, business hours, photos and description, and monitor and respond to reviews as necessary. Positive reviews by your patients can boost your Yelp rating and help improve your overall online presence. Encourage your patients to leave a review of your practice and be sure to check your Yelp profile regularly.

The Bad

Unfortunately, there can be pitfalls to Yelp for small business owners. Some business owners have accused Yelp of manipulating reviews, however, Yelp firmly denies they filter reviews based on whether a business advertises on Yelp or not. According to Yelp, the reviews posted on a business’ Yelp page are written by members of the public and then filtered by Yelp using “automated software to recommend the most helpful and reliable reviews for the Yelp community among the millions we get. The software looks at dozens of different signals, including various measures of quality, reliability, and activity on Yelp. The process has nothing to do with whether a business advertises on Yelp or not.

The Reality

The only way to earn more patient reviews is to ask your patients! When you make a concentrated effort to collect positive reviews from satisfied patients, you are able to build up a strong base of good reviews. These “prophylactic reviews” protect you from future potential negative reviews.

And it’s important to remember that Yelp is just one tool in your online marketing arsenal. Make sure you have a diverse presence online including profiles on sites like Healthgrades, Google, and Angie’s List, in addition to social media sites. Don’t depend on any one site to be your magic bullet as you work to build – and maintain – your online presence in 2016.