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online patient reviews

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Online Marketing for Dentists: What Are Your New Year’s Resolutions?

by Naomi Cooper December 31, 2014

Online Marketing for Dentists: What Are Your New Year’s Resolutions?Hard to believe that we’ve reached the end of another year. As we reflect on 2014 and look ahead to 2015, it’s time to set goals for ourselves, both personally and professionally.

If you are looking to up your marketing game in the new year, but not sure where to get started, here are 5 possible resolutions for you to consider:

  1. Upgrade your practice website with the latest functionalities
  2. Make a focused effort to ask for more patient referrals and online reviews
  3. Build a social media calendar so that your social media profiles are always updated
  4. Create videos with your smartphone to upload to your website and social media profiles
  5. Start a blog to not only stay in contact with patients year round but also contribute to your overall SEO strategy

I wish the very best to all of my Minoa Marketing colleagues, friends and clients in the coming year. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, experience and inspiration over the past twelve months, and I look forward to continuing our relationships in 2015. Happy New Year!

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Dental Practice Marketing Audit for 2015

by Naomi Cooper December 23, 2014

Dental Practice Marketing Audit Dental practice marketing – it’s a term that encompasses a wide array of activities designed to bring new patients into the practice in hopes of achieving long-term steady practice growth.

It can be overwhelming for dentists with a resolution to implement a marketing plan in 2015, or even for those who have been marketing but are looking to tune up their existing strategy. Here are 5 areas to focus on when building an overall dental marketing plan:

  1. Branding: A dentist’s branding strategy is essentially communicating the reputation of the practice to the community. Make sure your message is on point and sending the message you want it to.
  2. Website: How long ago was the practice website updated? Does it accommodate mobile devices via responsive design? If it was designed even 2-3 years ago, it could be time for a refresh.
  3. Social Media: Do you have active profiles on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter? If so, be sure they contain current practice information and are updated with relevant content on a consistent basis. If you have been hesitating on joining the social media community, consider putting it at the top of your list of 2015 dental practice marketing goals.
  4. Patient Reviews: Sites like Yelp, Google and Healthgrades are all extremely popular with Internet users, particularly those looking for a dentist online. Make sure profiles are updated with current contact and practice information, and be sure there is a sufficient number positive patient reviews for prospective patients to see.
  5. Patient Communication: All external marketing activities rely on internal processes and communication. E-communication tactics utilize email and text messaging for routine patient communication. The entire dental team should also be well versed in asking for patient referrals and online reviews. This may not come naturally to everyone, so verbal skills training is a must.

There are countless other tactics that fall under the dental marketing umbrella, but for those looking to get started, these are five of the most important areas for consideration. And for those dentists who are looking to step up their existing marketing game, making sure these five components of the marketing plan are solid will help take their marketing to the next level in 2015.

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Online Marketing Tips for Dentists in 2015

by Naomi Cooper December 17, 2014

Online Marketing Tips for DentistsDental patients are modern, tech savvy consumers. They inevitably use the Internet when researching local dentists, and much of what they find online will determine whether or not they pick up the phone to make their first appointment.

Be sure that the information they find online about you and your dental practice is a true representation of who you are and how you and your team can help them. Focus on these 4 online elements that are crucial to building and maintaining a strong online presence:

  1. The dental practice website should be professionally designed and easy to use. The website also needs to be optimized for mobile devices, preferably using responsive design so that patients can easily access & read it whether they are on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
  2. Incorporating an on-site blog can benefit the practice in multiple ways. First, it helps with the website’s SEO, helping to make it more visible to patients. And a blog also helps maintain existing relationships with current patients in between visits.
  3. Social media profiles should be current and updated regularly.
  4. Patient review sites such as Yelp, Google My Business and Healthgrades should be claimed & completed with up-to-date practice contact information. And everyone in the practice should be asking patients to write online reviews on a daily basis.

Online marketing is just one component of a dentist’s marketing strategy – one that is guaranteed to continue growing in importance. Take action today to ensure that what patients see online is an accurate reflection of you and your practice in 2015.

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5 Ways Technology Simplifies Dental Patient Engagement

by Naomi Cooper November 12, 2014

5 Ways Technology Simplifies Dental Patient EngagementThere are countless opportunities for dentists to not only reach out to existing and prospective patients, but to connect with them on an ongoing basis. In fact, patient engagement is the name of the dental marketing game today. Advancements in technology have made it easier than ever for dentists to communicate with not only their existing patient bases, but also with new patients on a year-round basis.

Many tools exist to help dentists engage with patients, but it can often be overwhelming to decide where to begin. Here are five of the top technological tools designed specifically to help improve dental patient engagement.

  1. Patient Communication Systems: E-communication (short for electronic communication) involves the use of email and text messages for routine patient communication. With e-communication systems, patient outreach, including appointment reminders, holiday greetings, birthday cards, and e-newsletters, can all be automated, saving the staff time and the dentist money.
  2. Post-Appointment Surveys: Most e-communication packages will also automatically send post-appointment surveys to patients. The dentist doesn’t have to rely on a staff member to remember to send the survey, and since it’s sent via email, it makes it much easier on the patient to complete – and more likely the patient will do so.
  3. Online Patient Reviews: Taking the surveys a step further, patient responses provide a wealth of information, and any positive feedback can be used for patient testimonials. Some e-communication systems available today automatically publish positive patient testimonials. This means testimonials will be seen by actual patients in the community who are researching local dentists.
  4. Modern Website Design: One update that has quickly become a “must-have” in a dental practice website is the incorporation of Responsive Design functionality. Instead of having a separate mobile website, Responsive Design ensures that a website will look, load, and function appropriately on any device. Remember – patients and prospective patients are not always sitting in front of a desktop computer, so it is more important than ever to have a website that reconfigures itself automatically for all types of devices.
  5. Social Media: It’s not just a passing trend. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube are invaluable in terms of ongoing patient engagement. Tweeting a photo, or posting a video to the dental practice Facebook page helps dentists stay in contact with patients year-round, while giving a meaningful first impression to any potential patients looking for a new dentist online.

For more insight into the best technological tools for dentists, check out my recent article in Inside Dentistry.

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Simple Tips for Getting More Online Dental Patient Reviews

by Naomi Cooper November 5, 2014

Simple Tips for Getting More Online Dental Patient ReviewsAccording to a 2013 1-800-Dentist.com study, 70% of respondents agreed that online reviews were just as important than a dentist’s credentials. That number increased from 53% reported in 2010. It’s clear that online patient testimonials are incredibly influential to patients looking online for a dentist.

Building a library of positive online dental patient reviews is often easier said than done. It can be uncomfortable for doctors and staff to ask patients to leave their comments, and even if you ask, it’s ultimately up to the patient to follow through.

This blog from the marketing gurus at MarketingProfs gives some very helpful and easy-to-implement ideas for making the online review process a simpler one.

Today’s patients are online, and so that means that dentists need to be too. If you are looking for more information about smart strategies for collecting online dental patient reviews, check out a couple of my previous blogs on the subject:

Dental Practice Marketing: Managing Your Online Reputation

3 Strategies for Generating Online Patient Reviews for Your Dental Practice

Protect Your Practice: The Importance of Positive Online Patient Reviews

Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Negative Online Reviews

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Google’s Newest Tool for Dentists

by Naomi Cooper July 15, 2014

Google’s Newest Tool for DentistsGoogle has introduced a new feature for business owners: Google My Business. You may have noticed a change with your existing Google Places profile. This new tool is meant to replace Google Places, and should make it much easier for local businesses to be found on Google.

Did you know that Google creates a profile for almost every business? It’s true, and even if you have never logged on to a Google platform, chances are good that there is an existing business listing for your dental practice. If you haven’t already, you need to create a Google account and claim the existing listing. Populate the listing with photos of the practice, current practice contact information, and hours of operation. This way, when patients are researching your practice online, they will be able to easily find your practice and all the necessary information they are looking for.

If you’ve previously claimed your Google Places listing, there’s not much you need to do with the new Google My Business. You’ll notice a new layout to the profile page. Simply make sure all the information is updated and correct.

For more details on the new tool, here is an overview from Google. Have you already noticed the new profile? What do you think of Google’s latest update?