Has Your Website Undergone a Health Check-Up?

In this day and age, maintaining a good website is crucial for a dental clinic’s success. However, many practices fall behind on the upkeep of their page, causing them to miss out on some unearned profits. It only takes users around 8 seconds to form an opinion about your practice based website. It is imperative that dentists stay on top of updating their website, making sure it attains long-term viewers (around 2-3 minutes in this case), and includes other basic principles that every website should contain.

Most practices get a website set-up and tend to neglect it in the background for years

Just because a dental clinic has a website, it definitely does not mean that it is beneficial or driving in any traffic. The site should reflect what a practice offers as well as their personality. People want to easily see services, address, and contact information so they can easily book an appointment.

Not sure of what to post or how much time to spend on the site? Getting your initial site setup should take the most time, next the main concern should be updating and maintaining. This is not time consuming and if someone knows what your clinic wants to post about, it can be easily done.

Can you keep up in today’s environment?

Are you able to track the ROI of your practice’s website? Your return on investment from your website is a key performance indicator on how effective your site is. One way to do this is by checking the amount of times your profile has been viewed, and what they do once they are inside your web page. This is valuable because it shows how easy (or hard) it is for would-be patients to use the information from the site.

Can you easily communicate through your website? Just having a website is not enough anymore, practices have to communicate effectively so that it is easy for any potential patient to access important information at any given time. This 24/7 communication opens the door to new patients that would be hard to reach without one.

Can you easily make changes to your site? You shouldn’t have to reach out to your website company to add simple items like blogs or bios, nor should you have to pay for simple changes. If you aren’t able to login to a site yourself, you need to consider switching to an easy to use platform.

Does your website keep up with the changes to the industry, both dental and internet marketing? Although a dental clinic might have had the best website in 2015, 2019 has quite different internet practices and trends that would make the 2015 website seem extremely out of date. First off, keeping up with the times will help with your ranking on a search page. Search engines regularly do updates and keep track of new and updated sites that deserve the top spots. Secondly, of course every practice wants to maintain a good image for their patients by presenting how they are flexible and compatible to change. Not only will it retain loyal patients, it will attract new ones with an eye for the contemporary practices they’re looking for.

Like a routine check-up, you should be reviewing the performance of your website

Are you able to check Google Analytics to see how people are finding sites? Tracking a website over time can give a practice some vital information on how it has been performing. For example, you notice that after you have changed some features, you have retained less traffic or received fewer clicks on calls to action. In this case, the analytics are telling you that those changes may not have been the right decision, and that you need to rethink the approach. In a situation where you notice that your traffic has slowly been declining over time, that tells you that your website is probably out of date, and needs to be updated.

Does your website work on different devices? With the popularity of mobile devices, chances are a good amount of a businesses potential patients will be searching on their phone, especially in mobile-centric Australia. Because of this, making sure that a website is compatible with a computer, a tablet, and a mobile will help conversion rates. Users on their mobile won’t have to mess around with zooming in and out and attempting to access different parts of the web page. Instead, it’s already laid out for them to search through just as they would on a laptop.

According to Google’s “think insights” on mobile, if a user is frustrated with the formatting of a website, or doesn’t see the content they want immediately, there is a 61% chance that they will leave immediately. On the other hand, if they have a positive experience with a mobile site there is a 67% chance that they will buy the good or service presented. It will only prove productive for a practice to make sure their website is congruent with any device.

Wrapping it up

Practices need to maintain their website to make it easier for patients. Not only does the website have to be compatible across all platforms, but the site needs constant attention to keep up with competition and your patient’s needs.

If you’re looking for a free website audit or to learn more about how we can help your practice improve your online presence, please give us a call today!

What is SEO, Anyway?

Many business owners with a website may have heard about SEO, and that’s it’s a great option to gain visibility for your site. This sentiment is very true, but it’s still important to make sure your clinic knows what SEO is and how it works before your team decides to add SEO to your marketing plan.

SEO Defined

SEO stands for “search engine optimisation,” and it affects how both businesses and users find businesses online. What SEO means to you depends on who you are in the process of locating a business:

  • For digital marketers, SEO is the process of getting traffic to a website through organic tactics, building prominent business citations, and staying up-to-date with Google algorithmic changes.
  • For businesses, it’s the art of guiding users who are searching for certain goods or services to what products and services you offer on your website.
  • For the user, it’s simply the experience of searching for information and the ease of finding a website that matches what you are looking for.

Google’s Relationship to SEO

Google’s mission is to be the ultimate interface of the internet, doing their best to deliver the most accurate results for the user. Depending on how you phrase your search or searches, there is almost always a website out there that is “optimised” to accommodate that search and match you with the best possible information.

This relationship with Google is what makes SEO necessary and possible. Google’s mission is to provide the most accurate user experience by best predicting the “user intent” behind each search. Simply put, Google sets and drives the standards for the web. 

Year after year, Google improves and becomes more sophisticated through algorithmic updates that are rolled out several times a year. Although we, as SEOs and users, will never know what Google’s algorithm is, Google will sometimes provide some context as to what the change pertained to, and from these changes, SEO best practices emerge and shift to accommodate them.

How SEO Works

SEO, at its core, is the implementation of various best practices and tactics to help a website rank as high on a Google Search page as it possibly can.

To achieve results that best benefit dental clinics, our SEO specialists pay close attention to how Google evolves and grows. Even though Google is ever-changing, there have been a few constants.

Websites are generally rewarded for quality design, good user experience (UX), strong reviews, original content, and no penalties against unethical tactics. As of 2018, through tried-and-true research, there are a number of accepted established major rank factors that SEOs prioritise.

Moz, a leader in SEO research, lists major rank factors as follows:

  • Business Signals: Proximity to searcher, correct business categories, keyword present in the business title, etc.
  • Link Signals: Inbound anchor text, linking domain authority, linking domain quantity, etc.
  • On-Page Signals: Presence of an accurate name, address and phone number (NAP), keywords present in titles, high domain authority, etc.
  • Citation (Business Listing) Signals: NAP consistency, the volume of business listings, citations organically created
  • Review Signals: Review quantity, review consistency, review diversity, etc.
  • Behavioural Signals: Click-through rate, mobile clicks, user activities
  • Social Signals: Engagement, user actions on social media: Review quantity, review consistency, review diversity, etc.

Learn More About SEO With Great Dental Websites

Interested in adding SEO to your clinic’s marketing plan? Give our team a call for a free website audit and marketing plan — free of charge with no hidden commitments.

5 Ways to Prioritise Marketing in 2019

2019 is just around the corner, and with 2018 wrapping up, it’s time to think about new marketing goals for your practice going into the new year.

There are a lot of marketing options out there. Where should you start?

To make it a bit easier for your dental clinic and staff, our team has compiled a list of ways you can make marketing a priority in 2019, based on marketing and success trends we’ve observed in the last year.

Managing Basic SEO

We understand SEO can seem technical and complicated, and sometimes it can be! If you don’t already have SEO services with a marketing agency or representative, here are some basic SEO tactics anyone on your staff can do!

1. Optimise Your Google My Business Listing

Your Google My Business listing is a one-stop shop for your practice. Your GMB listing includes your contact information, photos of your office, questions about your practice, reviews, and more. It’s essentially free real estate to market yourself.

Log into your GMB account and make sure all fields are filled out to provide the most information possible for potential patients. Also, start playing with the new Google Post feature to advertise any specials you may be having at the practice.

Need help getting started? You can find help with setting up your listing and other commonly asked GMB questions here.

2. Gather Reviews

Online reviews are a top-three ranking factor in the eyes of Google. Gathering reviews across Google My Business, Yelp and Facebook can help your site rank better on search engine result pages.

In addition to the SEO benefits, it’s important to know that 88% of users trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation. Online reviews in 2019 will essentially represent your online reputation. Make a point to ask your patients for a review on any or all of these platforms following their appointment.

3. Add Content to Your Site

Consistent, engaging content on your site not only gives Google more pages to index, but it also shows search engines that your site is active and consistently providing content and information to patients. This can influence rank and make your website more prominent. It’s also important to diversify your content as much as possible.

Your Monthly Content Goals for 2019:

– 1 before and after smile gallery image per cosmetic/restorative service

– 1 blog about what’s going on around the practice or general oral care advice

– 2 frequently asked questions

– 1 video testimonial

Considering a New Marketing Service

Combining marketing services is something our team recommends if your budget allows for it. This is because each marketing service creates online visibility for your practice in completely unique ways. For instance, SEO helps your site rank in organic and local searches on Google. PPC helps your clinic rank in the paid ads spots at the top of the search engine results page (or SERP, for short).

Since we already talked about SEO and ways to encourage better organic results, here are some other marketing tactics that can help accommodate your efforts:

4. Consider Paid Ads

Organic search results saw a drop in desktop and mobile click-through rates in the last three years. This isn’t because organic results don’t matter (they certainly still do) — the drop is due to how search results are laid out on the modern Google SERP. Organic results have been pushed further down on page one to allow for paid ads and local organic results to show.

In most cases, Google now reserves 2-3 positions for PPC campaigns on the top of the first page, before the local 3-pack box, as well as another 1-2 positions at the bottom of that first page.

The great thing about PPC is you can start a campaign today and be on the first page of Google almost immediately, should you bid high enough on a specific search term. Each campaign can be tailored-made with a specific goal, service, and market to maximise clicks to your site and patient conversions.

In 2018, clients running a PPC campaign at Great Dental Websites saw an average 3.3% click-through rate (compared with the average in the health and medical industry , which is at 1.79%) and a 24% conversion rate (which is defined as the per cent of patient clicks that turned into bookings).

5. Get Marketing Advice with Account Management

Account managers essentially serve as your personal marketing consultant and are here to support your practice and help you build the skills to keep up with your practice’s marketing long-term.

In addition to having a go-to support line, our account managers set up monthly calls with you to discuss your campaign performance, your ongoing goals, and what you can do to improve traffic to your website.

Account management services are great for practices who want to ‘learn as they go’ when working with a marketing representative or agency.

Call Great Dental Websites to Help You Strategise for the New Year

Contact our team today if you’d like to learn more about taking on more marketing for your clinic, get a quote, or if you need any help with your Great Dental Website. We are here for you in 2019. Happy new year!

 

Facebook Reviews are Now Called ‘Recommendations’

Over the last few months, you may have noticed a change in the way reviews are submitted and rated on Facebook. In September, Facebook introduced its new review system called ‘recommendations’. Instead of rating a service between one and five stars, you are now asked to simply indicate whether or not you would recommend the business or service to other Facebook users.

Because one in three users turn to Facebook for business recommendations, it’s important to have an idea of how Facebook reviews work so you can use them to your practice’s advantage!

Reviews vs recommendations

The greatest difference with this review process is the way in which businesses are rated. Previously, patients were asked to rate the business on a scale of one to five, with one being the worst quality experience and five being the best.

With this change, though, reviewers are simply asked, “Do you recommend this business?”.

If the user marks “yes”, they are then prompted to provide more detail through a written review, just as Facebook has done in the past. There are some new features worth noting in this step, though, such as the ability to add tags and photos to provide more detail.

If the user marks, “no” (they would not recommend your practice to others), Facebook will still prompt the user to provide additional public feedback. This is important to note, as it creates a level playing field for all ratings, rather than favouring only the positive reviews. In fact, Google outlawed the tactic of favouring good reviews (only redirecting the user to a review platform if it’s a happy customer) this year. This practice is called “review gating”, and is no longer accepted online.

Regardless of if a patient loved or hated your practice, each user is now given equal access to easy reviewing. Facebook even stated that the change in the review process is to encourage constructive, honest and accurate feedback.

What this means for your practice

Despite not having the 1-5 scale, it’s important to note that practices are still awarded an average rating of their services. Facebook takes the average of the “yes (five)” and “no (one)” votes to come up with an overall score between one and five. Also, your old reviews should still available on your page and a part of your practice’s rating

Overall, your strategy for garnering reviews won’t change much. However, it’s important to note that there isn’t room for a grey area or a “so-so” experience, thus making the rating system more powerful. Now, patients either liked the practice or they didn’t. With this in mind, it’s important to ensure that every step of a patient’s clinic visit, from interacting to the front desk to the appointment itself, is a smooth and pleasant experience.

Getting More Patient Appointments with Google Posts

The primary goal of any well-planned online marketing strategy is to bring more new patients into the practice. Beyond that, ranking well in search engines such as Google will help your dental clinic gain recognition within your community. A strong Google My Business listing is part of gaining online visibility, and new features to take advantage of are rolling out near-constantly. Google Posts are an untapped resource for many dental practices that can have an impact on your web visibility, traffic and conversion rate.

Introducing Google Posts

Google Posts are short, catchy posts that incorporate an image from your website along with a link to guide traffic to your site. Google Posts are great short-term communication tools that last on your listing for seven days. If you are featuring a service or have a new patient special, this is a great way to make the community aware of what is happening in your dental clinic.

Results from Our Research

In a 2018 Great Dental Websites case study, we created a sample of fifty posts across thirteen practices. What we found was that the posts alone produced 70 extra website visits resulting in an impressive 24 extra conversions, or patient contacts.

Google Posts Are Fast and Simple

Google Posts only take a few minutes. We have provided some beginner tips to help you get started:

1. Choose the type of post you want to create – specials, events or news about the practice. What would you like to broadcast to your potential patients?

Posts that look like a clickable button work best. If you don’t have a graphic design platform you like to use, we recommend making a free account on Canva. To create your post:

2. Use a solid background

3. Compose in 42 point font

4. Choose or create an image that is 750×750 pixels

5. Crop the post to centre text

6. Double check with the “preview” function

7. Publish your post. Though you can choose to make multiple posts, be sure to remember that they will disappear from your knowledge panel in seven days.

Create Winning Google Posts

Studies show that Google Posts welcoming new patients to the practice have the best results. So, even if you don’t have a special or promotion, simply announcing you are accepting patients helps to draw the eye. Keep in mind, though, what works well for one dental clinic may be different than another. Do some experimentation to see what types of Google Posts speak to your community.

Do You Need Help with Google Posts?

We welcome you to get in touch with questions about Google Posts. You can also find more information online here. If you are a current SEO client with GDW, your account manager will be a great resource to help you get started creating successful Google Posts.

Why Reviews Matter

Reviews are quickly becoming one of the most influential factors in how potential customers choose your business. One important aspect to note is that not only are people using them, but search engines are also using them to impact rankings. We will talk about how people use them, how search engines use them, and how rules in Australia can affect your business ratings.

How People Use Reviews

Imagine a potential patient searching for a surgery for a check-up and clean, and they type into Google, ‘dentist near me’ and several listings appear. They will likely read some of the reviews to find the clinic that best fits their needs, and has established themselves in the community.

People want to ensure that they are choosing the dental practice that will give them the best possible service for their needs. Therefore, you need to think of reviews as part of your sales team.

Reviews are very accessible, send visitors to your site and potentially your practice. According to Forbes.com, 90 per cent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business, and 74 per cent say that positive online reviews make them trust local companies.

How Search Engines Use Reviews

Online reviews are beginning to have more and more impact on online rankings, which can affect your SEO efforts. Search engines will rank a dental surgery with more positive reviews higher on organic and local results than a dentist with very few reviews.

Another way reviews impact search engines is as Google focuses more and more on knowledge panels, users will have less reason to visit your site. All the information a potential customer needs about dental practices are right there in Google, and a prominent feature of those results is the overall rating and the reviews. To stand out amongst your competitors, there needs to be several positive reviews.

Reviews in Australia

Australia has some drawbacks when it comes to obtaining online reviews, and must follow the ACCC and AHPRA guidelines. In Australia, a  medical business should not:

  •       Solicit reviews
  •       Incentivise reviews
  •       Promote reviews on social media or a website
  •       Write reviews for competitors

The best way to get honest, favourable reviews is to do exceptional work, look after patients with compassion and they will feel compelled to write reviews based on the outstanding service they received in your dental clinic.

The Importance of Online Citations for SEO

Why Are Citations Important?

You have decided you want to start an SEO campaign and you want your dental practice to rank highly on search engines such as Google and Bing. Where do you start? One of the more important factors of SEO is building citations.

A citation is a listing on an online directory and consists of your company name, address and phone number, as well as additional information, depending on the citation. Examples of some of the more prominent citations are Google my Business, Yelp, and Facebook. There are also industry-specific citations, as well as citations specific to your region. Search engines place value on seeing your business listed consistently on several of these platforms and consider consistency when determining rankings.

Australian Citations

When you choose to do an SEO setup with Great Dental Websites, we submit your business information to the largest and most active directories to create a strong base for your ongoing campaign. Having these citations set up correctly will send strong signals to search engines and help your business rank higher. The ecosystem of Australian citations, however, is not as sophisticated as in the United States. While these citations we submit to are necessary, they may take significantly longer to appear online.

A big player in the Australian Citation game is Sensis, which controls Yellowpages and Whitepages, two of the more significant directories. Listings posted here may take several weeks or months to appear online, and they are upfront about how long their listings take to go live. Knowing that they could take a while, we still include them in our setup process due to do their importance.

Several citation directories offer paid versions that can speed up the process of a citation showing online, but we typically go with the free versions of listings when we do your SEO setup.

Good Things Take Time

Diligence pays off. Our team is working to set you up for success in your SEO endeavours and are keeping up to date with trends by using the best resources to get your business listed online correctly. With a little patience, your dental practice will be listed on the appropriate directories, and your SEO campaign should start to see consistent results, with the goal of higher rankings and traffic.