Procrastination: How It Can Damage Your Business

Posted on by Neil Sanderson

GDPR For Dentists - Marketing Your Practice

GDPR for dentistsThere has been a lot of panic over the last few weeks about GDPR for dentists. You will no doubt have been bombarded with emails asking you to "opt in" again in order for them to continue to communicate with you.

At Dental Marketing Expert, we have also been inundated with requests for information about the new GDPR regulations and how it affects you and your business.

I have done a great deal of research on the subject over the last few months and whilst GDPR is the biggest shake up of how data is managed, it is not anywhere as draconian as everyone seems to think.

GDPR for dentists and indeed the general public  is bringing some common sense to the area of privacy and how data held about you is managed. This is not before time and should be welcomed by the vast majority of companies that hold data on you.

In this blog I'm not going to cover how your store your patients data in this article as (a) I am not an expert and (b) your practice management system supplier should be helping you with this.

We will instead concentrating on the marketing side of things and what it means for you when you communicate with your patients and prospective patients.

Legitimate Interest

There are two areas of GDPR for dentists regarding communicating with customers/patients and prospective customers/patients, they are "consent" and "legitimate interest".

All the emails you have been receiving of late asking you to "opt-in" are about consent. If you ask someone to "opt-in" again and they don't you effectively can't contact them again.

The problem with this approach is that a large number of the emails you send people will never arrive. A large amount will go directly into their spam folder. Most of it will be ignored and by and large the only people who will reply to you will be those who don't want to hear from you again.

Taking this route is effectively commercial suicide and should be avoided.

"Legitimate Interest" is as it sounds. For instance if you have a list of patients it is reasonable for you to continue to communicate with them because they are your patients. Legitimate Interest is not only aimed at the recipient of the information but also the organisation sending the information out.

Equally if you have a contact form on your website that prospective patients fill in to contact you, it is in both yours and their legitimate interest for you to contact them.

So in conclusion regarding GDPR for dentists. Do you need to contact all your patients and prospective patients and ask for their permission to contact them? The answer is no. So long as the information you send people is proportionate, reasonable and is in both yours and their legitimate interest.

Here are some links you can follow for more information.

DMA – The Legal Basis for Legitimate Interests

https://dma.org.uk/article/dma-insight-the-legal-base-for-legitimate-interests

DMA – The Legal Basis for Consent

https://dma.org.uk/article/dma-insight-the-legal-base-for-consent

ICO Guidance on consent

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/lawful-basis-for-processing/consent/

ICO Guidance on legitimate interest

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/lawful-basis-for-processing/legitimate-interests/

If you would like more information about GDPR and how it affects you as a dentist. Or information on building your dental practice. Call me on 01767 626 398. Email me at sales@dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk. Visit my website at www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk.

 

 

Posted on by Neil Sanderson

Dentist Marketing How To Make It Work For You

dentist marketingDentist Marketing in the United Kingdom is now highly competitive. In order to succeed you need to be on the top of your game. Or you have to find a dental marketing agency that knows how to maximise your return on investment.

Your website is the centre of your dentist marketing world. You need to get this right before you embark on any other forms of digital dentist marketing.

 

Headlines

The most important parts of your dental website is the headline that people first see. It is crucial for dentist marketing to have this present.

Just think what you look for when you are surfing the web. If you search for "dentist in your area". You should expect to see something that makes you want to visit that practice.

The biggest mistake that the majority of dentists make is to be lead by the website developer. They usually advocate a sliding graphic at the top of the home page. this is the worst thing you can do. It means little or nothing to the visitor of the site.

Think about when you first look at a newspaper or magazine. You look for the headline, dentist marketing is no different. Your website needs to reflect this.

Video

The second most important element of your website is video. Again most dentists are lulled into putting a promotional video from one of their suppliers on the site e.g. Invisalign or someone. Whilst there is nothing wrong with these videos they say nothing about the practice.

Good dentist marketing sells the benefits of the practice not the brand names of your suppliers. Many dentist websites have links to their suppliers websites, this is marketing suicide.

You've spent a great deal of time and money building a website and then getting traffic to it and what do you do? You send them to someone else's website. This is dentist marketing in reverse.

These are just two tips for getting your dentist marketing strategy right, there are many more.

For more information call me on 01767 626 398. Email me at sales@dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk. Visit my website www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk. Visit my Facebook page.

Posted on by Neil Sanderson

The Skill Needed For Dental Practice Marketing

dental practice marketingDental practice marketing is really no different to any other vertical industry marketing. However if you employ a marketing company that specialises in marketing dental practices at least they can talk the same language as you.

For instance Dental Marketing Expert is a dental practice marketing company exclusively. We know that when you say you want to advertise All On Four we don't have to ask you what that is. We just know.

Equally whatever type of straightening you offer, you don't have to explain to us what to do for your dental practice marketing.

Website design is one of the areas that this is most important. There are literally thousands of website design company's around the world who can build you a website. But how much time and effort do you want to devote to providing the correct content.

Dental Marketing Expert provides all the content for your website with the exception of your personal details and GDC numbers etc.

Which brings me onto another subject. Does your website developer actually know what being GDC compliant entails? Dental Marketing Expert does. All our sites are automatically GDC compliant.

Equally when providing your dental practice marketing to acquire new patients. We know which key words to use with Google Adwords and Search Engine Optimisation. Does a normal agency know which key words to use to attract new patients?

Facebook advertising is one of the most effective advertising mediums. But you need to know what ticks the boxes of the audience to attract new patients, does a traditional advertising agency know this? I would suggest not.

I have been working in and with the dental profession since 1993 and I have seen just about everything. So yes there is a difference when you are working on your dental practice marketing, look for experience.

If you are looking for help with your dental practice marketing call me on 01767 626 398. Visit my website at www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk. Email me at sales@dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk. Visit my Facebook and Twitter pages.

Posted on by Neil Sanderson

Landing Pages For Your Website

landing pageBefore we go any further I better explain just what a landing page actually is.

A landing page is where you send someone to a specific page on your website to inform them of a promotion you are running or a service you are offering, something like this Landing Page.

Usually a landing page has no tabs across the top of the page. This means that the person can't go anywhere else and has two options (1) they respond to you or (2) they leave.

Why use a landing page

Study after study have shown that the fewer choices you give people when they come to your website, the more likely they are to respond to you, this is why we use landing pages.

They are also incredibly useful for letting you know how your Google Adwords, Facebook or email advertising campaign is doing. Because the only way that people can find these pages on your site is if you send them there.

Landing pages are effectively hidden within your website. So you set up a Google Adwords campaign for let's say dental implants. Instead of sending people to your home page you send them to the landing page.

When someone calls the practice for the service in question, you know that they have called as a result of the Google advert. This is a great help when you are trying to see how your return on investment is going.

Mobile Traffic

I've said before that most people will come to your website on a mobile phone, not on a desktop computer (now in the region of 70%+). If people don't get what they want to see immediately on a mobile phone they leave.

So you make your ads work in conjunction with your landing page. This is how the process works.

  1. They type a keyword into Google e.g. dentist in (your area).
  2. Google shows your advert to them
  3. They click on the advert and arrive at your landing page
  4. Your landing page should have some sort of offer on it to encourage them to call you or contact you.

Using landing pages effectively can increase your conversion rate on Google by a factor of 200% as opposed to just sending them to your home page.

If you would like more information on how landing pages could work for you. Call me on 01767 626 398. Email me at sales@dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk. Visit my website at www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk. Go to my Facebook page. Try my Twitter page.

Posted on by Neil Sanderson

How You Can Beat Corporate Dentistry

corporate dentistryThere seems to be no let up in the rise and rise of corporate dentistry in the UK. But how can you take them on and beat them when you are a single handed practice or a small partnership?

First of all can I state that I don't have anything against corporate dentistry, I think they have a place in the market just as a single handed practice does. This article is about giving you smaller guys some help to take on the big boys.

When a corporate moves into your area, they are backed by a lot of finance, they can buy materials cheaply simply by their size. They they also have a marketing budget, they will have a marketing team driving it. So how can you possibly take on corporate dentistry and win.

Branding

One of the things that most corporates are very keen on is their brand. Whilst this may be important to them, by and large it doesn't matter a jot to the public, simply because they have never heard of most or any of the corporates.

So don't take them on trying to push your brand because (a) you won't win and (b) it's irrelavent.

Where you can take on corporate dentistry is in your marketing. As I mentioned earlier most of them will have centralised marketing teams and they simply can't act as quickly or smartly as you can on a local level.

Don't try and out spend them with press, radio or even TV advertising because again you won't win.

Google and Facebook

The place where there is a completely even playing field is with Google Adwords and Facebook advertising. Google and Facebook don't care how big you are and you can get just as much coverage in your local area as the corporate dentistry guys can.

If you run your Google Adwords campaign correctly you can out rank just about any other practice especially corporate dentistry one's. It's highly likely that they won't have a local guy running their Google Adwords so this is where you can win and win big.

If you don't know anything about Google Adwords don't even try, call me and I'll do it for you.

The same goes with local Facebook advertising. Just as with Google you can set up your adverts which will run locally. You can change them as often as you need, knowing that the corporate dentistry guys aren't doing this on a local level.

Sell benefits

As I mentioned earlier, in dentistry branding is irrelevant, the public simply have no idea who these corporate guys are. So don't advertise your brand, you need to advertise the benefits you bring to your patients. Why patients come to you and why they stay. This is a great story and one that will win for you.

Ensure that your local website is relevant and up to date. Most of all make sure it's mobile ready.

Have headlines on it that are compelling for people to come and see the local dentist. One who lives in and is part of their community rather than a corporate based hundreds of miles away.

Put video on your site that tells your local story. Have testimonials, ideally video testimonials.

If you do all this you'll win.

But if you think you need help running your own marketing department, call me and I'll help you. You can reach me on 01767 626 398. Email me at sales@dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk. Visit my website www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk. Go to my Facebook and Twitter pages.

Posted on by Neil Sanderson

How To Use Google Adwords For Dentists

Google Adwords for dentistsI was recently called by a prospective customer who asked me to cast an eye over his Google Adwords account. Can you imaging the shock I felt when I saw that over three years he had paid Google £46,000! So is Google Adwords For Dentists a good thing?

Yes I would always recommend Google Adwords for dentists as without doubt it is the best way to advertise your services bar none. But beware you can also waste thousands of pounds just as this person had.

With the possible exception of the Yellow Pages (remember that), Google Adwords is the only advertising system whereby people come looking for you rather than you look for them.

With all other advertising you are interrupting them, whether it be press, TV, radio, Facebook, posters the list goes on.

Google Adwords for dentists or any other organisation is different. Your advert is only shown when someone enters one of your key words e.g. dentist in your town or area.

That's the power of Google Adwords for dentists however if you get it wrong (which this person had) you can quite literally throw money down the drain.

Remember The Mobile Effect

60-70% of all visitors to your website will arrive on a mobile phone. If your site isn't mobile ready its a wasted journey. This was the case for him. Thousands and thousands of people had clicked on his advert, came to his site. Only to leave again without doing anything because his site wasn't mobile ready.

Search and Display advertising

He had also mixed his search advertising (this is where people search for something and your paid for listing pops up). With display advertising (this is where your ad appears on other websites e.g. eBay or The Daily Mail).

This meant he had no idea whether his ads were working, which key words were right or wrong and he just spent thousands of wasted pounds on nothing.

So how should you use Google Adwords for dentists? Firstly don't do it yourself, get an expert to do it. This will save you potentially thousands of pounds and he/she will get you a return on investment.

If you must do it you need to test, test and test again. See what works and if it does do more of it. If it doesn't change it until you see an improvement.

Ensure that you are diligent when checking both your key words and your negative key words (negative key words are phrases and words you don't want people to search for you with).

Always have competing adverts for the same service, so you can see what is working best and keep changing them, slowly improving your click through rate.

Have separate display and search campaigns. Again you need to be able to see what is happening and what works and what doesn't.

If you really are serious about using Google Adwords for dentists call me and I will give you impartial advice. Or I can run your campaign for you for a small monthly fee.

So why don't you give me a ring on 01767 626 398. Or email me at sales@dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk. You can visit our Facebook and Twitter pages. Or visit our website at dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk

Posted on by Neil Sanderson

Social Media For Your Dental Practice

social media for your dental practiceFirst of all can I dispel one myth that many social media guru's promote when it comes to social media for your dental practice!

Unless you are very lucky or happen to say the right thing at the right time, social media will not drive thousands of new patients to you! So why should you use social media for dental practice?

32 million people in the UK use Facebook. That's half the population and according to the latest statistics most of them spend around 30 minutes per day on Facebook which means that half of your patients are on this platform alone for a good portion of the day.

In addition to Facebook 15 million people use Twitter and 14 million use Instagram. So it's as simple as this you just have to be there you need social media for your dental practice.

There is no magic formula to marketing its as simple as this. The more people that know about you, the more people will use your services

Utilising social media for your dental practice is just another way to put yourself on the map. It gives you a chance to tell people what you do. It gives you the opportunity to engage with your patients and potential patients and yes it may well get you new patients too.

So just what are the do's and don'ts when it comes to social media for your dental practice?

Do's and Don'ts

Firstly don't post adverts. This is the biggest turn off for social media users. If you want to advertise use Facebook's advertising platform which is excellent and everyone knows it's an advert.

Secondly don't continually nag your readers about dental hygiene. Or what to eat and not eat. People don't like being lectured to, whether or not its in their best interest.

Your posts should be engaging, funny, always have images and should not always be about dentistry.

Don't keep the same theme, mix it about. Have different photographs on every post. Just think about what you share with your friends and relatives when you see an interesting post.

Remember social media for your dental practice is all about being social.

Ideally post as often as possible. Our social media service posts for you five days per week, which is a good number.

Always respond when someone asks a question on your social media platform.

I'm often asked this question "how can I stop people leaving negative reviews on my Facebook page"? The simple answer is you can't, but if you are really concerned about this you can turn off the review section of your Facebook page.

Search Engine Optimisation

One of the biggest and least known reasons for using social media for your dental practice is to boost your website's ranking. You should always put a link to your website on every post you create. Google will pick up on this and normally moves your website up the rankings the more social media links you have.

We post for you five days per week. If you would like to know more about our social media service, call me on 01767 626 398. Visit our website at Dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk. You can visit our Facebook or Twitter pages too. Or you can email me at sales@dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk

 

Posted on by Neil Sanderson

If Your Not On Page One Of Google You're Nowhere

page oneYou probably already know how important it is to be on page one of Google, it's pretty simple really the guys who's listings are at the top of the page get all the traffic.

Last year Google changed how it presents your listings on it's search engine on page one. First are Google Adwords (up to five of them). Then there are the Google local listings. Then the rest.

You simply have to be on page one in one of these areas or you may as well be on page 5,000 as people simply won't spend any time looking for you, especially on mobile phones and remember 60% of all the people who visit your site come to you via a mobile phone.

Google Adwords

So to guarantee you are at the top of page one you have to advertise with Google, this is called Google Adwords. Which also known as pay per click, in that each time someone clicks on your advert you pay Google a fee.

Google Local Business

You then have the Google local business listings. As you'd expect these are for local businesses and contain all the information about your practice. You can update this yourself and I would encourage you to do this.

You then have the page one organic listings.

If you are happy to pay Google to be at the top and I would also encourage you to do this, then your ad will normally be viewable at the top page one.

Search Engine Optimisation

page oneIf you don't want to pay Google you need to think about the other two options and this is where you have to deploy SEO (search engine optimisation).

Effectively this means that you optimise your Google local business listing by having as much information as possible on it and you have as many Google reviews as possible.

You will then need to continually optimise your site to keep it at the top of page one. This includes working on the site its self and also creating lots of back links to the site from around the web.

We also recommend having a strong social media presence. Now you may not be a fan of Facebook and Twitter! Google is and it will raise the profile of your website on page one if you post correctly.

All this is very time consuming and is something of a black art. I would strongly recommend you get professional help to do this as you may just create the wrong impression with Google and make things worse.

See the screen shot of a search I created which clearly shows the adverts at the top of page one, then the Google local listings, then the rest.

If you want to be on page one via the route of search engine optimisation and social media. We can help out with our SEO and Social Media services. For more information call us today on 01767 626 398. Email sales at sales@dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk. Visit our website at www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk. Visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

Posted on by Neil Sanderson

Why You Should Have Seasonal Promotions

 

Seasonal promotionsHaving a seasonal promotions is what we would call a bit of a no-brainer really when you think of it isn't it? Every year we know that the various religious festivals etc. are coming and they make a huge difference to people's buying habits.

This is the ideal time to get your seasonal promotions out and they can be aimed at any group or season. Some businesses do 90% of their annual turnover in the two months running up to Christmas. Most retail outlets do a third of their annual business in the four weeks before Christmas.

On a lesser scale the same can be said for Easter, Valentines, and any or all of the other faith seasons. Because you are a dentist doesn't mean you can't benefit from season promotions too.

Whitening

Whitening is a great gift for people to either have themselves or give to their loved ones. Christmas and Valentines are great times for this seasonal promotion. You can have a slogan that says something like "Guarantee A White Christmas This Year With Our Teeth Whitening Offer".

The reason that seasonal promotions are so successful is that they are topical. You know exactly when they are going to happen every year.

January Sales & Black Friday

The January sales are also a great time to have seasonal promotions. You should already be planning what you are going to offer this January in your practice.

The great thing about January sales is that you can make offers on just about everything you provide because people expect a deal in January.

Of course the new kid on the block (in the UK) are the Black Friday deals. These are offered for the last Friday in November, but most retailers carry this on for another week or so.

So why don't you have an irresistible seasonal promotion for Black Friday too, then have something similar in January.

The thing you have to do is to ensure that people know about it. You need a landing page on your website, you need to publish details on your social media pages.

Promoting your offers

Get your Google Adwords and Facebook advertising cranked up ready to start before these seasonal events. You will be amazed how much additional business you can generate by having a seasonal promotion in place and ready for these annual events.

Don't think that because you are a dentist this is vulgar or beneath you. The public are always looking for a deal and will welcome any of these type of seasonal promotions with open arms.

It's not even the particular offer you make, it's all about making sure that people know about them and publicising them accordingly. If no one knows about your offer it's pretty useless.

If you would like to know more about how Dental Marketing Expert can help you grow your dental practice. Call me on 01767 626 398. Email me at sales@dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk. Visit our website at www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk. Visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Posted on by Neil Sanderson

How Procrastination Damages Your Business

ProcrastinationI was asked to speak to a group of dental sales people the other day. I asked them what was the biggest obstacle they faced when dealing with the dental profession and to a man/woman they all agreed it was procrastination.

We all know that we struggle to make up our mind when it comes to making purchasing decisions either at home or for the practice. But I want to discuss how procrastination hurts when it comes to marketing.

Let give you an example. I have a client who we have just built a new website for. He is very happy with the website except for the Google map which is on it and Google have put his practice around 30 yards from where it should be.

Now let me explain, this practice is not on a busy high street it is in sleepy suburbia with no other dental practices around it. But he can't give us the go ahead until Google get it absolutely correct (which they may never do).

The reason this procrastination is hurting his practice is that his existing website is dreadful. It isn't mobile friendly, has out of date information on it. Hasn't had an update for years, but he won't give the go ahead on a brand new website because Google have got his map position slightly wrong.

Example Two

Let me quote you another example. I was working with an orthodontic practice last year. Our target market was other dental practices as they only take referrals. We decided on a postcard and email campaign. It took the two partners, nearly ten weeks of procrastination to agree on the artwork for the postcard.

In six month we managed to get out around four email's all because they couldn't agree on the wording. They wouldn't send anything out until everything was perfect. They then couldn't work out why the campaign wasn't a success, the answer is procrastination.

Good is good enough

I'm not saying for a minute that you should send out any old rubbish. What I am saying is "it doesn't have to be perfect". It's far better to get something out that is good rather than procrastinate for weeks or in some cases months trying to strive for perfection.

A good offer is a good offer irrelevant of what the artwork is like. People don't buy because of design, they buy because the offer is irresistible to them.

If you don't publish your offers or advertise what you can do for people how on earth do you expect them to buy anything from you.

Not publishing is probably the biggest reason why most dental practices are short of patients. In my experience most dental practices would rather complain about not having enough patients (and cash in the bank), than try and generate more by advertising or creating a new website or getting themselves on Google Adwords or sending to a leaflet drop etc. etc.

Procrastination will hurt your business, it may even end up destroying it.

If you need help marketing your practice call me on 01767 626 398 or email me at sales@dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk. Visit my website www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk or visit our Facebook page