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The Big Marketing Secret: Generating more profit by focusing on existing patients instead of chasing new patients.

You have likely heard the old adage, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”  It’s better to value and appreciate what you already have. It’s cheaper, too. A lot of dental practices have no idea what their cost-per-patient acquisition is.  Have you calculated your costs for every new butt in your chair?

More Time Not More Money

Dentists, and a lot of marketers for that matter, almost completely ignore the profit potential sitting idle within their existing patient base.  If you’ve read any of my blogs, you’ve likely heard me promoting the idea that dentists and their teams need to spend more time on their marketing, not more money.

You don’t have to discount dentistry or constantly chase higher new patient numbers.  The truth is, there is likely a mountain of profitability right where you are.

The Power of Storytelling In Your Marketing

It all starts with storytelling.  You have a story. Your practice has a story.  Your patients have a story. Dentistry is unique in that there is a high-level of intimacy between you and your patients, plus a pretty universal anxiety/fear attached to your relationship.  Understanding and expressing empathy is a great starting point for building a valuable connection.

Maximizing your patient experience is where I always recommend dentists start. Are you packing as much into your schedule as humanly possible?  What do you think that is doing to your patient experience? Could case acceptance increase if you or a member of the hygiene team spent a little more time chairside?  I don’t mean to play Devil’s advocate, but I always encourage practices to think about the experience, start to finish, as honestly as possible.

Next, all elements of the brand need to be reviewed and synergized.  Your website, social media, SEO strategy, and reviews and testimonials all need to work together to promote integrity, trust, professionalism, cleanliness, etc.  Consumers put a lot of emphasis on the experience of others even after a referral from a trusted friend or family member.  Analyzing, optimizing and executing a cohesive marketing and branding strategy is no easy feat.  

I know many, if not all of you, are already actively asking for reviews.  What are you doing with those reviews after you have them? Are you just leaving them on Google or Facebook?  Are you posting them on social media, along with photos and video of other happy patients?  You need to be.  Your existing patients wield the most power of persuasion for potential new patients.  Not stock photography models.

Your Dental Practice Sales Approach

Aside from just reviews and a strong social media following, you should review your sales process.  What happens once a patient confirms their appointment?  Stop chasing sales after the appointment.  Sell in the lead-up time to the appointment.  

Over the years, I’ve had the honor of spending time with Revenuewell founder, Alex Nudel.  Alex is a huge proponent for preemptive selling to patients once they confirm their appointment.  It really works and it can change the profitability of your practice.

All you need to do is send a quick video message promoting products and services, like whitening for example, on the front end of hygiene visits.  Most people want white teeth. Give them the option to add it before their visit.  They can know and adjust their schedule for the added time during the appointment

Most people say “no” chairside because:

  • They don’t feel connected to you.  You haven’t gained their trust.
  • They haven’t been presented financing options beforehand.
  • They don’t fully understand the value of the treatment
  • They simply don’t have time. 

Spend a little extra time and send this information and their options ahead of the appointment.  Use video!  It’s powerful and will get much more engagement than standard text. 

You’ll be surprised how many people say yes!

Conclusion

I’m not saying new patients aren’t important.  They are. However, focusing on existing patients will always provide tremendous upside for the practice.  With a little extra time and care you will connect and build a bond that promotes loyalty and case-acceptance.  Each member of your tribe will likely promote you to their family and friends, leave you great reviews, engage with you on social media, and stay with you for the long-term.

Start marketing products and services in the lead-up to appointments, not after the fact.  Understand that patients are busy and need to “pencil you in”, to their lives, too. Maybe they would love to accept professional whitening after a cleaning, they can’t because they didn’t plan the extra time.  This is a silly reason to lose revenue. Give options for treatment and products before. Shoot quick videos and add them to your confirmation, reminder and reactivation email sequences. Have your team text or call. You have options!

This marketing approach is slower.  It’s not flashy or sexy. It will take more time and effort.  But the ROI is there. Understanding human behavior and maximizing the relationship with each patient can and does lead to strong, steady growth.  

Look at your patient experience and overall marketing presence.  Give it an honest review. You can chat with a Dental Marketing Expert on our homepage anytime, too.  Stop by today for a risk-free, zero-obligation audit of your existing website and SEO strategy.

You can email me at sean@growpracticegrow.com for more information or call 913.214.8502.    

How to Use Other People’s Content to Get More Website Traffic

Getting more traffic to your dental practice website, blog, and/or social media channels is a want of every dentist.  In the modern digital age, it’s harmful not to have a strong online presence. Sadly, there is no “silver bullet” for increasing traffic.    

Your content strategy and approach need to be FSCP.  Focused. Strategic. Consistent. Patient.  Those are the ingredients to success. I see practices that are doing a good job initially, but after a couple of weeks they abandon their strategy because it didn’t “do anything”.  You have to commit and persevere in content marketing. There is a lot of noise out there and it will take time to cut through.

In this blog, I am going to show you a quick, easy way to get more traffic without spending more money.  Who doesn’t love that?

Getting More Traffic to Your Dental Practice’s Website

Let’s face it, sharing curated content is much easier than creating content.  Start by thinking about how you, your friends, and family use the internet. You read and share articles, right?  We all do (and we spend WAY too much time doing it).

I want to introduce you to Snip.ly.

Snip.ly is an incredible tool that allows you to use content curation to drive traffic to your website.  What’s better? It’s free!

Every time you share an article, on any social network, you will share the Snip.ly link versus the original link.  The Snip.ly version appears the same as the original, only it includes a call to action at the bottom of the page.  This allows the reader to go straight to your website or landing page.  See below:

You can always include credit to the article’s source.  It is a great way to build relationships with influencers and engage their audience, but it is not required.

Get started with Snip.ly

Here is an easy, step-by-step guide to get going.

  • Go to snip.ly and sign up for a free account.  Yes, you just type “snip.ly” into your browser.
  • You will need to create a practice account with an email.
  • Setup your brand profile.  You are going to want to upload your logo and decide on where you want to drive traffic.  

I would advise you have a dedicated page to send traffic to. Do not just drop them on your home page.  Send them to your Contact page or to a landing page for the service you are promoting (whitening, Invisalign, CEREC, etc.).

  • Once your brand profile is set up, find an article you want to share.
  • Copy/Paste the URL of the article into Snip.ly.
  • A box will appear where you will customize your CTA.  Choose what you want to readers to see as a message, customize your CTA button, and input the URL of where you want your web traffic to go.
  • Click “Create” and you will see the new URL you’ve just created.  It will be shorter and should start with http://snip.ly/.

That’s it!  You just created your first snip!  Copy the Snip.ly URL and head over to your social media accounts and start sharing using the new link.

*Additional Dental Marketing Tip – Install the Snip.ly Chrome extension.  It will make snipping much easier! Any time you come across a great article, you can immediately “snip” that content in your browser.

Powerful Content Marketing

There are various levels of Snip.ly pricing.  As stated, the free version allows up to 1,000 clicks per month.  Paid versions give more customization options for logos, buttons, etc.  It’s fully customizable! Create multiple CTA’s for various services, different seasonal drive times, different types of content, or for more than one office location.

Every Snip.ly account includes some really helpful analytics and tracking information, too.  Your dashboard will give you data such as the number of snips you’ve created, clicks, average time on your pages, etc.  This is powerful for your dental practice as it allows you to gauge what content worked and what did not work in generating traffic. 

Tracking your marketing ROI shouldn’t just be about money.  You need to spend and track your time intentionally, too. Stop wasting valuable time on things that aren’t working.

 

Conclusion

Snip.ly is powerful and awesome.  It will allow you to use influencer content to drive traffic to your website.  It allows you to share relevant, engaging content with your audience and continue to build those important relationships that keep your brand strong and your patients referring.  

If you want to build strong relationships and get your patient referral network running like a well-oiled machine, we are here to help!  Chat with us anytime at GrowPracitceGrow.com.

I would love to hear about your experience with Snip.ly and how it helps boost your website traffic!  Email me with questions, thoughts, or comments at sean@growpracticegrow.com.  

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ADA Compliance: Is Your Dental Website Putting You at Risk?

Let’s talk about the Federal Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).  The ADA became law in 1990. It’s a civil rights law aimed at stopping discrimination of those with disabilities in all areas of their public life.  The law requires some businesses to make certain accommodations. Yes, this includes accessibility at a physical location for service animals, wheelchairs, and the use of braille.  This compliance also reaches into the digital world.  ADA compliance is necessary for your dental practice website.

A Real Issue for Dentists

You may have heard about several dentists near Austin, Texas, who received official letters because their websites were not compliant.  Yes, it does happen. Your dental practice is vulnerable to legal action if your website does not comply with the ADA. Talk about a stressful situation that could cost thousands and thousands of dollars!

This is a serious and dangerous situation for you as a business owner.  It’s important to remember that the 50 million or so Americans who live with disabilities, including our great veterans, still have teeth and require (and deserve) an incredible patient experience.  An accessible website ensures anyone who is deaf, blind, or suffering from other physical impairment can still engage your website in a meaningful way.

This blog will provide some guidelines for your practice so you can be more inclusive and show that you’ve made a good faith effort to comply.

*I would encourage you to speak with a disability lawyer if you have any specific legal concerns.  This post is not legally binding, nor is it legal advice. Per J. Craig Busey, ADA general counsel, it is advised that dentists check with their respective state dental society for a white paper about the issue of ADA compliance.*

How to Get Started

Here is some ugly truth… Just because you hired a web designer or marketing company to create your website does not mean it is ADA compliant.  Dental practices can be susceptible to lawsuits. Your practice is, unfortunately, a prime target as you typically have high collections but not the deep corporate pockets to fight your case over the long haul.

While the guidelines of ADA compliance aren’t fully set in stone, under Title III of the ADA, healthcare professionals and businesses that provide a “place of public accommodation”, need to be ADA compliant.  A dental practice will, most likely, fall into these categories.

Listed below are some steps you can take toward ADA compliance for your dental website:

  • Text:  Text must be changeable with regard to size and contrast mode.  Contrast adjustment makes it easier for those with visual impairment to see and read the content.
  • Audio, Images & Videos:  Add Alt tags which allow a user to hear alternative descriptors of content they may not be able to view.  Include text transcripts and subtitles for video content as well.
  • Text Only Version:  Some users will only be able to navigate your site with a keyboard interface.  Technology like screen readers needs to be able to navigate your website. Alexa and Siri, too!
  • Forms:  Any forms that are downloadable from your site need to meet ADA standards.  They must be accessible to everyone.
  • Layout:  Links, Menus, and buttons should be designed so they are clearly separate from one another and easily recognizable on your site.

ADA compliance is great for SEO as well.  The added steps and additional descriptors on various pieces of content make it easier for search engines to crawl, index and understand your website, pushing it up the organic search results and getting your site in front of more users.

Non-Compliance Woes

There are many downsides to non-compliance.  Aside from the risk of legal action, you are missing out on revenue.  Those disabled in your community still have teeth and still deserve to be cared for.  Your competitors are probably not focused on ADA compliance.  That means those disabled patients nearby can’t use their website.  Give those patients the opportunity to use yours.

Summary

We talk a lot about branding and building relationships at GPG.  This is a fantastic way to do that while also protecting your practice from real risk.  Give ALL patients the opportunity to engage and become loyal brand advocates who will refer and promote your practice.  Everyone deserves an amazing patient experience.  

We believe your website is more than just a static digital placeholder.  Every website we create at Grow Practice Grow is ADA compliant and responsive.  Nothing is canned or template. Nothing is stock. 

The best way to ensure your practice is safe is to speak to our team of Dental Marketing Experts.  Right now you can get a free, no-obligation digital marketing audit.  This free audit is an in-depth reporting of your current Website and SEO presence, presented in an easy to read A-F scaled breakdown.  

You want a beautiful, custom website that everyone can access.  You want to serve all members of your community. You want to protect your business from unnecessary legal risk.  Let us help you!

Schedule a free audit with our Dental Marketing Experts today!

 

Consult a disability lawyer with specific questions regarding the law.  Our marketing firm does not provide legal advice nor does this blog constitute as legal advice.

 

Use Facebook Messenger to Market Your Dental Practice

Have you considered using Facebook Messenger in your marketing strategy?

A retargeting strategy will go a long way in promoting your practice to site traffic and those already familiar with your brand. Using Messenger can provide even better ROI.

Facebook Messenger ads give you the ability to engage patients and potential patients without actually having to “engage”.

Here is how it works: When a prospect clicks on your ad it starts a “conversation” with your practice… No matter what kind of device your prospect is using! Cool huh?

You can use Messenger ads in a few different ways. You can:
– Promote an offer or service.
– Offer a discount on the products you sell.
– Request likes and follows on social media.

Add a warm greeting and a clickable graphic to start engaging with potential new patients in a fun, unique way! It’s a great way to get a relationship started without a phone call or the need for a visit. That means more productivity for you and your team – focusing on dentistry versus prospecting.

Messenger Ads have a lot of potential from a customer service and sales perspective… and this feature is still very much in its infant stage. By adding this to your Facebook strategy, you will be able to start telling your story, building relationships, and creating a personalized, intimate patient experience your competition won’t come close to.

3 Steps to Absolutely Own Local Search

Are you paying over $500 per month for an SEO strategy that isn’t producing new patients? As a dentist, you are a local specialty service provider. A complex and expensive SEO strategy isn’t needed to drive local new patients to your office. Even if you practice in multiple locations, local search needs to be set up, effectively, for each market. Google estimates around 73% of all, yes all, online activity are from customers looking for local businesses in their area. This is advantageous for your dental practice and should be a cornerstone of your new patient strategy. The best part… you can do this yourself. Here’s what you need to know to get new patients in your practice.

Own Your Google Business Listing

Optimize your Google Business listing.  I mean really knock it out of the park.  First, claim your listing.  Verify it.  Next, go through and thoroughly complete your Google Business Listing. This will serve two purposes:

  • One, it will help patients find you.
  • Google will rank you higher if your listing is complete versus one that is incomplete. *Make sure that you select specific categories for your business.

Own Targeted Local PPC

If your plans for your practice include global conquest, that’s great. Most likely though, your ads don’t need to be seen by everyone all over the world. By setting up targeting, your ads will only display in a certain location or set of locations as specified. We recommend a 5-mile radius around the practice location. However, in more rural/urban locations, the radius may fluctuate.

Own Call Tracking

Your practice needs a solution to track and measure phone calls. Setup a call tracking phone number for every new patient source like Facebook, Google, radio, etc. This will help you to see which sources are producing new patients and which are not. Thus, you can optimize your advertising budget to profitable channels and make your marketing dollars much more intentional. This call tracking number needs to be connected to your Google Business Listing so that AdWords will pull the number into ads through it’s “location extension” feature. This allows more phone calls to generate on local searches and improve your AdWords quality score.

Conclusion

That’s it! That’s the “secret sauce” of effective local search. Sounds easy right? Not necessarily. You can do this yourself. However, we can make it easy by providing solutions to create, implement and manage all of the above for you. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the stream of new patients.