Social Networking, Will You Marry Me? Get Engaged!

It’s about getting engaged. Getting involved. Participating. I want to encourage you to become active in the discussion at The Business Book Club with ModMark on Facebook. In October, we’re reading and discussing UnMarketing by Scott Stratten, but you’re welcome to join the discussion even if you don’t read the book.

Today’s post is a question: Is “posting” the same as “engaging” in social networking? I say no. I say, to engage, you have to respond, not just post updates about yourself. Automatic multi-network updates seems like a new type of spam, to me… Thoughts?

At The Business Book Club by ModMark, you can post your own favorite titles, leave book reviews, share insight and opinions on business, or just browse everyone else’s comments. We’ll talk about dental websites, dental blogs, dental marketing, and general business issues that affect dentists. Let me make this quite clear: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO READ THE BOOKS TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION. Come on over and jump in. Jill and I look forward to seeing you there!

Two Months and Modern Dental Practice Marketing Clients are On Page One of Google

Yesterday we talked about backlinks for your dental website. Today, I want to explain how a dental blog will – yes WILL – improve your Google rankings. There’s no question of whether it will happen. Unless you have the number-one spot for all the keywords you want to be found for, a dental blog will help.

The blog itself may not be on top of the SERPs (search engine results pages), but it could be. The blog will, however, improve your custom dental website’s rankings.

Three examples from this morning’s searches:

  • Google “cosmetic dentist Chicago,” and our client’s dental website comes up on page one. Her website, which we did not build and do not host, didn’t have this ranking until we began writing frequent, search engine optimized dental blog posts that point to the client’s custom website.
  • Google “stop snoring Livonia,” and our client’s blog on dental sleep medicine comes up number one in the SERPs.
  • Google “Dallas cosmetic dentist” or “Dallas laser dentist,” and an MDPM client’s main dental website, again not a website we built, comes up on page one. The backlinks from the blog we did build and do maintain help boost the main dental website’s placement in SERPs.
  • Google “general dentist broken arrow,” and another MDPM client appears on page one.
  • Let’s do one more. Google “dental blog writing,” and Modern Dental Practice Management is number one. We’ve been in business for just over two months, and our domain name is only three months old.*

So here’s the 411 on why it works:

  • Google loves news (ie: blogs)
  • Google loves original content
  • Google loves backlinks

We just give Google what it loves.

And why isn’t every dental website company in the world doing the same thing? Excellent question! I worked for another custom dental website company for four years as the copy director, so I know the answer. (more…)

Building Strong Link Campaigns for Dental Websites & Blogs

Yes, links to your website from other relevant websites are great for search engine optimization. Google plays favorites, and if lots of links point to your website, you’re in the proud crowd for sure. In fact, Google Pagerank is a scoring system in which you earn points (up to 10) for the quality of your backlinks. Google analyzes sites for Pagerank every quarter.

Links from your site to other sites aren’t nearly as appealing. They’re not bad, but what you really want is links pointing to your site.

Reciprocal link exchanges are okay, but not as good as one-way link exchanges. So, if you ask another dentist to link swap with you, the best practice would be to do something like this:

How do you get links? Well, you have to network a bit. That’s just part of it.

Dental practices attract local, not nationwide traffic, for the most part. Sure, you may have patients who fly in from Canada, England, and Timbuktu because your service is the best on the planet, but most of your patients are probably within 20 miles of your office.

Get local links by requesting an exchange with other local businesses, from doctors and spas to chiropractors and fitness centers. You can even include links to your barber and mechanic, if you want, but the best SEO value will come from linking with businesses who have similar services. (In this case, health, wellness, and beauty services.)

Get dental links by requesting an exchange with doctors, sleep labs, specialists, and dental labs you work with. You can also link with dentists from other geographic locations – i.e., non-competitors.

So how do you “request” a link exchange? If you can’t meet in person, the best method is to pick up the phone and call. Talk to the business owner one-on-one, businessman/woman to businessman/woman. Personal connection is always the best bet. (more…)

The Social Network

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJCSRxzPfXI]

You don’t need me to tell you the plot line of this movie.  Everyone knows The Social Network is the story of an arrogant Harvard nerd who invents Facebook and become a billionaire.

But what you might not know is that this movie is really a classic tale about friendship, betrayal, class struggle, power, money and revenge, with a little unrequited love thrown in for good measure.  The plot unfolds at a pace comparable to the best action movies, using words instead of explosions to keep it moving.

What truly sets this movie apart is its dialogue.  Yes, I said dialogue.   In a story about technology taking us to new heights of social interaction it is still the spoken word that makes this movie stand out.   All the characters have distinct personalities and their own style of speaking, making each scene a jousting match with words.  In meeting these characters you will find some you love and many others you will love to hate.

Whether or not you are interested in the story about the birth of Facebook is irrelevant to your enjoyment of this movie.  The Social Network’s timeless theme of social conflict, candid view into mans human nature and some of the quickest, wittiest dialogue in decades, will be enough to draw you into the story.   The fact that the events took place in recent history and affect our culture is just a bonus.  It may even give you a new perspective on social media.

One last thing – be sure to get your popcorn and take your seat before the trailers are done.  You will not want to miss the first 2 minutes and 14 seconds of the opening scene!



Best Practices for Using Photos on Dental Websites, Blogs, and Facebook

Let’s talk about dental website pictures for a sec. Someone (no doubt an artist) once said, A picture’s worth a thousand words. Well, the writers of the world (including yours truly) and search engine spiders disagree. However, I have to give pictures their props… People really like to look at pictures, diagrams, photos. So here are my professional recommendations regarding photos dentists should use in online marketing.

Website – To maximize the personality of your practice on the web, use real photos of your real practice, real team, and real patients.

  • The building: Take pictures out front, from the road, with and without the team. Also, snap some good shots of the interior, the lobby and back office. I like to see close-ups of things in the office, too, like a gloved hand holding an instrument, a 45% angle shot of a vase of flowers, or your sign on your front door.
  • You: A professional picture of the doctor(s) is nice. You don’t have to wear a tie, but you can. Just dress like you do every day. People want to see the real you, not some made-up version. You might also add a family photo to use further down on your bio page.
  • The team: This includes you and your partners. Take a group photo, photos by department, and photos of each person. It’s nice if everyone is wearing the same general color scheme; nothing too flashy or bland. Be sure to take pictures of the team in action. (more…)

Great Google Results for One Chicago Dentist

Thought I’d share this testimonial from Dr. Gerilyn Alfe at Chicago Smile Spa with you. Chicago, as you can imagine, is a highly competitive marketplace for dentists — but high Google rankings are possible. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

“…great news! I think the SEO you’re doing is working.  I checked this morning and I came up on the first page for ‘Chicago Cosmetic Dentist’ and was #2 next to the map way up on the top for ‘Chicago Sleep Apnea .’  Yay and thanks!”

We share in Dr. Alfe’s excitement about great Google rankings. With the introduction of Google Places and Google Caffeine, it’s so important to claim your Google Maps listing and complete your Google Places profile. If you want to see similar success, engage in comments on your Google Places profile, and post well-optimized blogs twice a week or more. Become active on Facebook and Twitter, as well. The more traffic you drive to your websites, the better you’ll rank with Google. On your blog, be sure to include backlinks to your main website, as well.

The IHateCPAP.com blog was awarded the 2010 Top 15 Sleep Disorder Blogs award by Medical Billing and Coding, yet Dr. Alfe’s blog ranks higher on the SERP because of MDPM’s efforts on her behalf with Google Places.

Modern Dental Practice Marketing is here to help you rank high on Google! With fresh content, serious Interent engagement, and persistent involvement with online marketing, your website can move to the top. Give us a call, and let our Internet marketing experts boost your rankings and get you more new patients!

Don’t Get Stuck in the Blog Fog

Oh fog! Oh fog!
What do I see?
Nothing! Nothing!
I can’t even see me!

“Fog” by Andrew D. Robertson

The blog fog can be blinding. Whether you become immersed in blogging, and you lose sight of the rest of your marketing goals, or you can’t see where to begin with blogging, it’s easy to get lost. I want to give you some fog lights to help along the way.

In my years of blogging about dentistry and for dentists, I’ve found four stereotypes – outside of those who blog well and regularly. I hate to call anyone a stereotype. You are all special individuals, but when it comes to blogging, most of you fit into one of these profiles. Don’t be offended. Be practical.

  • I want to blog, I do. But I have no time!
  • I can write. I graduated with my doctorate, remember?
  • I’ll do it, but I have no clue what to write about.
  • I blog right now. Well, not as regularly as I used to. Actually, I need to set aside some time this week…

I want to blog, I do. But I have no time!

These dear dentists are truly swamped. They’re at that crucial edge of explosive success. The practice keeps the dentist and associates busy, and then there are CEs to attend, lectures to present, employees to train and encourage. The responsibility of blogging will tip the scales and cause more important things to slip through the cracks.(“More important” being relative.) Busy dentist, please remember: if you want to grow your practice OR your speaking business, you have to market. You need to blog.

Solution:  The good news is, MDPM copywriters have been writing blogs for dentists and industry experts for years. So you don’t have to write your blog. We can do it for you. Just give us a call, and we’ll find a blogging solution that works for your needs. (more…)

It’s Business…It’s Personal: On Blogging and Facebook

One of my favorite movies is You’ve Got Mail, and some of the dialogue that really resonates with me is when Joe (Tom Hanks) tries to explain his division of business and personal matters. You see, he’d just run Kathleen’s (Meg Ryan) independent children’s bookstore out of business…at the same time, the two were falling for each other, of course.

Joe Fox: It wasn’t… personal.
Kathleen Kelly: What is that supposed to mean? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn’t personal to you. But it was personal to me. It’s *personal* to a lot of people. And what’s so wrong with being personal, anyway?
Joe Fox: Uh, nothing.
Kathleen Kelly: Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.

When I think about it, this conversation really applies to my life, being a blogger. The reason I blog, and the reason I comment on blogs, and the reason I engage in social networking is because business is personal. You worked your haunches off to get where you are today, a dentist and the owner of your own independent practice. If a corporation infringes on your business, it’s personal to you.

Your patients feel the same way. They trust you. Your treatment, to them, is personal.

  • “Findings from this study support our hypothesis that trust in health care providers is a significant predictor of having a regular dentist and is independent of education level, income, race/ethnicity and perceived health status.” – from JADA
  • Doctors and nurses are the third most trusted professionals, just behind teachers (no. 2) and firefighters (no.1). Journalists are second on the least trusted professionals list, so I thought I should provide hard evidence for my case ;-).from Divine Caroline

It’s personal.

Why do you think blogs and social networking (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) are so popular? Because they are web platforms that facilitate personal communication, and people love “personal.” Web marketing is a tool you can use to enhance relationships with your current patients, establish personal relationships with potential patients, network on a personal level with people who have similar interests (same community, professionals, hobbies).

You may think there’s a separation between “personal” and “professional,”
and there has been a bold, black line there for years.
But times, they are a-changin’.

Use your blog to become the authoritative source on all things dental. While you’re sharing all of your expert knowledge, keep the tone and presentation personal. Just like I’m doing in this post. I started by telling you about my favorite movie. That’s personal. It tells you something about me. I like sappy romances. (more…)