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Digital Marketing for Dentists
Digital Marketing for Dentists
Crawford and O'Brien is a digital marketing boutique geared towards converting clicks into long-term clients.

Six Strategies to Avoid the “50K” Mistake Most Dentists Are Making Right Now!

Six Strategies to Avoid the “50K” Mistake Most Dentists Are Making Right Now!

6/24/2015 6:02:34 AM   |   Comments: 1   |   Views: 475
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Online marketing is nothing new, but how much do you really know about modern marketing strategies? The tactics used today are leaps and bounds beyond what was happening five years ago. So, because you don’t know it all, you decided to pay an SEO company to do the work for you, but in the end, you were locked into a contract and unsatisfied with the results. Here are the hot new digital marketing strategies Crawford and O’Brien uses to help dentists double their new patients.

1.  Website Optimization

Double leads without doubling traffic by optimizing the tools you already have. More than 50 percent of traffic to your site is from mobile devices. So for traffic, you should think about people pulling out their phones and searching from their mobile devices. If you want to capitalize on those leads then you need to have a responsive website optimized for mobile to help make a good first impression for your office across all devices. Here are a few things you need.

Your Website User Experience Checklist

When a prospective patient lands on your site, here is what they should find:

1. Responsive design. This approach crafts sites for optimal viewing and interaction that includes easy reading and navigation with minimal resizing, panning and scrolling. It will change perfectly for every device your viewers are using without slowing down. If your site is not responsive, Google will drop you in the search results.

2. A click to call. This makes it especially easy for viewers on their mobile phones to clink the number and immediately phone your office without having to copy and paste or manually key in your number.

3. NAP information in the header. Your name, address and phone information (NAP) needs to be readily accessible on every page of your site but especially in the header so your viewers can always see it.

4. Google maps embed. Adding a map to your web page is easy, helps boost SEO values, and makes it even easier for new patients to find you online and in person.

5. Call to action. This could be a request to call you, leave a review or fill out a new patient form. What really matters is you make it extremely clear what you would like your user to do next and make it as easy as possible.

6. Social proof. Including logos or names of associations immediately boosts your credibility. This has a huge amount of influence, especially for decision-making processes.

Some other things people look at and want to click on from your home page include:

  • Insurance

  • Smile gallery

  • About us

  • Contact us

  • Testimonials

Pop Ups: the Secret to Doubling Leads Without Doubling Traffic

When a viewer scrolls 80 percent down the page it shows they are engaged. Which is why, on the Crawford and O’Brien website, we put in a pop-up in this area. “Claim your free consultation worth $99.” If they click on it another window opens and they are asked to enter their name, email and phone number for coupon. This strategy resulted in 20+ leads per month and 126+ new leads in six months. We doubled the clients’ leads by simply adding a pop-up and capturing more engagement. Don’t spend more money on traffic, when you can optimize what you currently have.

Building the Perfect Sidebar

On your website you need to make sure patients can quickly and easily find what they want. This is where the sidebar can really help. A well designed site has a sidebar that includes:

  • Contact us form

  • Embedded patient reviews

  • Facebook like box

  • Google+ box

2. Conversion Tracking

You only have seven minutes to close a lead. This is why it is so valuable to know what is going on in the office when leads do come in and not knowing could cost you more than $50,000 per year! So, do you know what is happening on the phones in your office every day? Here are some surprising and frightening trends you might not know. These results are based on a case study of 12,617 Test Calls made in 2012.

  • 35 percent are never answered and go to voice mail

  • 5.7 percent staff members only asked for the caller’s name

  • 4.2 percent staff made an attempt to schedule an appointment

  • 3.5 percent staff asked for the patients contact information

  • 1.4 percent staff tried to convert the patient

With dynamic call tracking Crawford and O’Brien can listen to the recording of every call that comes in the office and know exactly what goes on over the phone. The conversion tracking strategy involves:

1. Dynamically swapping out numbers. Say there are five people on your site at the same time. They all came from different sources (Google Ads, Facebook, Yelp, etc.) Each of these potential clients would see a different number on your website based on the source.

2. Tracking the keywords people search on Google before they call. As well as their name and phone number.

3. Receiving text message alerts. You get a message every time your staff misses a call.

4. Call recordings. To know exactly what happens when people call in, listen to conversations, increase quality assurance and increase new patients.

3. Social Media

So many people see social media as a waste of time. The reality is social media sites give you new opportunities to network, bring credibility to your practice, connect with your current patients on a more personal level, generate new leads and convert them to new patients. The top social media platforms include:

  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • Instagram

  • LinkedIn

  • Pinterest

  • Google+

The best times to post are usually between 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and the best day is Wednesday at 3 p.m. The fastest growing demographic growing on social media is ages 55+. For most dentists, this is your target market and why social media can be a valuable marketing resource.

The Best Strategy is to Just Commit

You do not need to waste time building a profile on every site and then just posting once a year on each one. Instead, you have to know how to do it right:

  • Focus on one or two platforms and post regularly.

  • Use to syndicate posts to google+

  • Host contests and giveaways

  • Upload video testimonials

  • Stay consistent

  • Native Ads (ex: ads in Facebook news feed)

  • Include calls to action


These are the three components of any campaign marketing in general and how influential they are on the success of your campaign:

  • 70 percent list of your target audience

  • 20 percent good offer

  • 10 percent copy or words you use in your campaign

Facebook is so amazing because you can target women ages 30-60 who like wine, have 2 kids, divorced, drive a BMW, are likely to have dental insurance, and live within 10 miles of your office. You can target people based on email, so imagine how powerful it would be if you uploaded your patient database.

4. Pay-Per Click (PPC) Marketing

Here is a good rule of thumb: if the cost per click is more than $15 for generic keywords you want, then you shouldn’t choose the normal Google Ads because it is too high and too competitive. Instead, you should invest money in Bing and Facebook where you can generate one lead every 25 to 30 clicks. Here is an example and breakdown of the math:

  • CPC is $5

  • You spend $1000 per month for 200 clicks

  • 200/25=8 solid leads (50 percent of which convert to new patients)

  • 4x$1000=$4000 in value

  • ROI = 400 percent

Bing Ads: The Secret to Getting $2 Clicks on Search Engines

Here is a breakdown of the search engine market:

  • 67 percent Google

  • 19.5 percent Bing

  • 10.3 percent Yahoo

Bing is a great traffic source. It is still competitive and many people using this search engine are above the age of 55, which is right in your target market as a dentist. At Crawford and O’Brien, we like Bing because these PPC ads are usually 1/3 the cost of most Google Ads, and is some cases as low as 1/6.

Our Actionable Bidding Tricks

There are a number of ways you can lower your cost per click. These include:

1. Bid differently at certain times of the day

2. Bid higher for mobile

3. Bid odd numbers like $8.77. This works because if all the numbers are the same it reverts to an auction system.

4. Add negative keywords. Pick keywords you don’t want to show ads for like your competitors or Medicade patients.

5. Bid more specific.

6. Conversion tracking. Know all the numbers on who is converting for Ad Words.

Retargeting Strategy

Imagine a prospective client visits your page about braces, then bounces. They don’t stick around. Then over the next two weeks they keep seeing your ad popping up every day for braces and you end up converting this patient instead of your competitor. Retargeting allows you to show ads to people who have previously visited your website, even if they visit your website and leave. This is cool because there is Facebook retargeting, YouTube retargeting, and web retargeting. It works because when someone visits your website, a cookie is placed in their browser. Then they leave and start searching more keywords on Google. You can show them Google Ads that are different based on their search words and these are usually 1/5 the cost.

5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Basically this is the process of ranking websites higher on Google organically and naturally. Old SEO methods often included keyword stuffing, spammy backlinks and over-optimized anchor text. But now none of that works, but we are still seeing some big mistakes on many pages including duplicate content, low quality back links and over-optimized anchor text. You have to work with cloud cover, things work so naturally that it doesn’t even seem like you are doing SEO. Here are the things Google is looking for now:

1. User signals. This includes the click through rate and user experience.

2. Social. The shares you get on platforms like Google+ and Facebook.

3. Reputable backlinks. These usually involve links on other reputable sites leading back to your website, Yelp listing, YouTube video, etc.  

4. Onpage. This is making sure the technical formatting of your site is correct with proper permalinks and meta descriptions.

5. On page content. You want to publish unique, relevant content both your current patients and potential patients would value.

Google+ Reviews

Percentages for what Google is looking for to get you higher ranking results:

  • 20 percent Unique content

  • 20 percent Good links from reputable resources

  • 15 percent Social

  • 15 percent Brand searches

  • 30 percent Google+ reviews

Using Directories Like Yelp

Yelp is a great directory to list your practice on, and here are just three of the main reasons why:

  • 80 percent who use yelp intend to make a purchase

  • 60 percent percent are using mobile device

  • 100 million people on Yelp every month

However, those use Yelp Ads almost never get a good return on investment. The better strategy is to rank your Yelp listing on Google by getting five stars in the directory, getting more reviews, and building links to your listing.

Dominating YouTube

Video sells. It engages the users, keeps them on your pages longer to boost SEO values, and gives them something they can easily share. Videos are easy to rank on Goggle because Google actually owns YouTube. You can use in-office videos of you talking about a service, patient testimonials (best), whiteboard animation videos and slideshow videos. Here are the video tricks you should be doing with your videos on YouTube:

1. Geotagging. Tag your videos saying, this was shot in this location, your office address. This helps rank the video even higher on YouTube and consequently on Google.

2. Adding associated website. You can now link your website to your YouTube annotations. All you have to do is verify your website on webmaster tools.

3. Include a subscribe button. That way anyone who subscribes to your channel gets you to his or her inbox every time you upload a new video.

4. Purchase YouTube Ads. These are highly targeted by certain topics and keywords and only cost five cents per click.

Practical SEO Tips

If you want to start bossing your SEO right away, here are some actionable tips:

6. Search Box Optimization (SBO)

Is SEO Dead? No. It is, however, decreasing in the amount of traffic you would get from raking No. 1, and SBO is where some of that traffic is going. SBO is altering Google’s auto-suggested keywords so the first suggested result contains your brand keywords. More than 70 percent of viewers click on the auto-suggest. By getting your brand or your name in the suggested keywords you can get about 30 percent of the traffic.

The time to dominate the Internet is now. The cost per click is going up, but you can get the highest ROI. It is the most trackable of any marketing resources, and it is proven. But you need an SEO company you can trust.

At Crawford and O’Brien you aren’t roped into a contact. We track your results, provide case studies, and outline clear expectations. When we drive your traffic you get more calls and gain more new patients. Sign up for your free consultation today!

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