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!


New ADA Resource: The Practical Guide to Internet Marketing

by Naomi Cooper January 7, 2015

internet marketingThe American Dental Association has just announced the publication of their new book, The ADA Practical Guide to Internet Marketing. It’s a comprehensive resource filled with valuable information on all things related to online marketing. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to author two chapters in the book, and am excited to share a few excerpts here with you.

I was first asked to share tips on how to build a solid marketing foundation for the dental practice.

If you’ve tried marketing before and it didn’t work, it is well worth it to give it another shot.
 The marketing industry as a whole has gotten much more scientific in recent years. Dentists
 no longer have to cross their fingers and hope for the best. There is an abundance of tracking mechanisms designed to provide real-time data, so that dentists can make educated marketing decisions. If something isn’t effective, you’ll know very quickly and can change gears, saving you time and money. Plus, there are countless numbers of tools available to dentists now that didn’t exist just a few short years ago. If you’ve been hesitant about marketing your practice, now is the time to jump back in

I also was asked to write on the topic of SEO, or search engine optimization. SEO is one of the most important online strategies yet many dentists are not completely familiar with the concept.

The one universal truth of SEO is that content is king; to improve your rankings, both website visitors and search engines must perceive that you are a subject matter expert based on the depth, specificity and freshness of your website’s content. In the words of Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz.com and a preeminent SEO expert: “Best way to sell something: don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect and trust of those who might buy.”

With 10 total chapters, the ADA turned to several industry leaders for insights into everything from content creation, social media, blogging and even covering the legal considerations for digital marketing. The book is sure to become a trusted resource for dentists and their teams. Click on the image above to learn more about it and find out how to order a copy for your practice!


6 Questions to Analyze Your Dental Practice Website

by Naomi Cooper August 6, 2014

6 Questions to Analyze Your Dental Practice WebsiteAccording to Google, 97% of all consumers search for local businesses online. It’s important for dental practice owners to make sure their website is easily found when local patients are researching the practice online.

The dental practice website can be a powerful marketing tool; however it cannot be a static one. That is, the practice website needs to be constantly evolving along with the world of online marketing. Keeping up with the latest online marketing trends will ensure that the website keeps your practice at the top of the search engine listings.

I recently came across a very helpful article from the marketing experts at MarketingProfs, titled “Is Your Website Dead or Just Sleeping?”. In the article they outline 6 important elements to energize your website. Here is a quick summary:

1. Is it usable? – A website needs to be easy for users, and search engines, to navigate.

2. Is it responsive? – Traditional website design does not always function properly when viewed on smartphones and tablets. Make sure your website incorporates responsive design so that all patients see the best version of your website, regardless of the device they are using.

3. Is it focused? – Your website should be more about giving your patients the information they are looking for, and less about flashy design. Streamlining your website will actually make it more usable and can decrease load times.

4. Is it sociable? – A great dental practice website is engaging to patients. Pictures and video of the dentists and staff help welcome new patients into the practice. And linking the website to social media profiles and online review sites make it easy for patients to share your content and get a full, rounded picture of the practice.

5. Is it direct? – You should have a clear call to action all across your website, along with having your phone number and email address easy to find. Make it easy for patients to get in touch with you.

6. Is it fast? – People are impatient these days. In fact, 40% of people will abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Work with your website design team to streamline your website.

If it has been a few years since your website was designed, it may be well worth it to contact your web designer to see if any improvements could be made.  How important do you feel your website is to the success of your dental practice?


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?


Making the Case for a Modern Dental Marketing Strategy

by Naomi Cooper May 27, 2014

Making the Case for a Modern Dental Marketing StrategyHere on the blog and in conversations with my dentist clients, I talk frequently about the importance of a modern dental marketing plan and the role it can play in reaching new patients and building loyalty with patients of record.

A modern dental marketing strategy includes:

– updating the practice website

utilizing SEO tactics and e-communication tools

– engaging in social media

– gathering online patient testimonials

Sesame Communications, a dental industry leader in digital marketing solutions, recently conducted a national survey of dental care providers to find out what digital marketing efforts they feel are critical to the success of their overall marketing strategy, and the results have just been released.  Click here to see the full report, but here are a few highlights:

  • 82% of dental care providers surveyed state their website is important to practice success
  • 85.5% believe automated patient reminders are important to practice success
  • 96.9% regard their rankings on Healthgrades.com as important to the practice
  • 65.7% consider SEO important to their practice success

These are strong statistics indicating the growing importance of updating a traditional marketing plan by adding in modern tools.

Do you agree with the findings? What have you done to modernize your dental marketing strategy? Share your experiences below!


5 Steps to a Modern Dental Marketing Plan

by Naomi Cooper April 16, 2014

5 Steps to a Modern Dental Marketing PlanRecent data suggests that Americans are becoming increasingly reliant on the Internet when making purchasing decisions, and that includes finding a dentist.

There are countless ways of updating your dental marketing plan with modern tactics, and it can understandably be overwhelming when trying to figure out where to start. Don’t worry – you don’t have to do everything all at once. Incremental steps can make it easier to implement while keeping your budget in check.

Here are 5 ways to an increasingly modern dental marketing plan:

  1. Updating your practice website – Your website = the foundation of your online strategy.
  2. Playing the SEO gameIncrease your online visibility by making sure your website appears at or near the top of search engine results.
  3. Building social media profiles – Connect with your patients online by engaging on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and/or YouTube.
  4. Gathering patient testimonials – Ensure that potential patients get a positive first impression when they are researching your practice online.
  5. Blogging – Share the latest practice news and address frequently asked questions in order to stay in touch with patients year-round.

Taking the initiative now to update your marketing will keep you ahead of your competition as well as saving you from playing catch up later on.

Don’t forget – you don’t have to do this all on your own. Dental industry experts like Sesame Communcations and My Social Practice can help guide you in the right direction. And especially when it comes to website design and SEO, outsourcing is often your best bet. Updates to the search engine algorithms are frequent and can be confusing. Leave it to the professionals and get back to focusing on your main responsibility – your patients!