2013: From Hollywood to Your Dental Chair
Across the globe, 2013 was a year of happenings. Catholics have a new, hip pope, and he’s People Magazine’s Man of the Year. A son, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, was born to royal celebrities across the pond.
Here in the states, the children of our celebrities were making news, as well. The son of the Growing Pains dad (Alan Thicke, son Robin Thicke) was the pop star king of the year. Furthermore, the daughter of the “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” guy (Billy Ray Cyrus, daughter Miley Cyrus) was dressed as a risque toy mouse, riding a wrecking ball, on the MTV Video Music Awards.
Obamacare and its faulty technology have caused quite a hullabaloo in Washington DC, as well. More recently, Icemageddon rolled across the US, leaving many cities frozen in time for days. We also lost a great leader and visionary in Nelson Mandela this month. Since 2013 was the 13th year of the new millennium, maybe we should have predicted a little bad luck… but all in all, we survived.
While nostalgia and gossip are quite entertaining, instead of focusing on the deranged, damaged, and depressing events of the last year, I want focus on business — and my business is marketing. I have been in marketing for two decades, and I’ve been a dental and SEO copywriter for nearly a decade. The highlights of 2013 that impact my clients, and me, professionally revolve around Google, Bing, and search engine optimization changes, for the most part. In 2013, Google rolled out its last Panda update, then Hummingbird, another update. There’s more focus on natural writing and organic SEO, as well as social mentions and public reviews of businesses. Bing grabbed a good portion of the search market by focusing on airlines and schools.
Now let’s talk about you – your dental practice, your marketing, and your success in 2013. Despite economic ups and downs, did your practice grow, remain steadfast, or falter in the past 12 months? Have your new patient numbers increased? If you aren’t tracking new patients and their source, start recording this vital information right now. Only through accurate data can we determine whether our marketing efforts are gainful or wasteful.
Whatever your numbers were in 2013, 2014 holds hope for improvement. January opens a clean calendar, a clean slate, and the potential for greater success — or a clean break, if you’re transitioning out of practice into retirement. At any phase of a dental practice’s life, marketing is essential, and today, there is one primary venue for marketing a business: the Internet.
2014: Marketing Must Dos for SEO Success
1. Original content is still king, and you should update your website with about 10 new pages every 6 to 12 months, or a few pages each month if you’re in a very competitive market.
2. You must have a blog, and it must be associated with Google Authorship.
3. You must post original, keyword-focused, natural-sounding blogs three times per week.
4. You should have a reputation management page on your website to make leaving a review easy for patients.
5. You must have positive online reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and other sites.
6. If you have negative online reviews, you must call loyal patients and request that they leave a positive review for you. The rule of thumb is, for every negative review, you need 5 positive reviews.
7. You must have a Facebook page, and you should ask your patients to share your posts.
8. Your website and blog must have Google Webmaster Tools, and you should assess any crawl errors immediately.
9. Your website and blog must have Google Analytics, and you should assess the data periodically.
10. You should get rid of your answering machine/service during office hours, and a human should answer the phone with a smile.
11. You should check and return emails daily.
12. You should track new patient numbers and how new patients learn about you.
13. You or your assistant should make follow-up calls, personally, to patients you’ve treated.
14. You should get involved with your community, either by volunteering or donating.
Today: Partner with Experts
If you are going to run a successful practice, seeing many new patients each month, you cannot oversee all of your dental marketing. Online marketing requires staying on top of the ever-changing trends of Google, coding, and content management. The experts at MDPM Consulting are here to help you succeed in the coming year, and beyond. We understand search engine optimization and have a staff of trained dental copywriters to produce original, clinically accurate dental content so that you can succeed online. For a complimentary website analysis and proposal, call us today at 972-781-8861 or email [email protected]
Happy New Year!
COO at MDPM Consulting