Do You Have a Marketing Problem?

July 31, 2020 Paul Henny DDS

Seth Godin recently asked, “What are the symptoms of a marketing problem?” and continued… 

We have a ‘marketing problem’ when: 

  • There are people who would benefit from your work who aren’t engaging with you. 
  • There’s a change you seek to make in the culture, but it’s not happening. 
  • You’re having difficulty persuading other people of your point of view. 
  • The service or product you make isn’t resonating with those you seek to serve. 
  • You’re fighting in a race to the bottom, and it’s wearing you out. 

If you have a marketing problem, how much time are you spending working on a marketing solution? …You can’t solve your marketing problem tomorrow by simply repeating what you did yesterday. 

At the Root of Your Problem

Broaden your thinking and consider what is at the root of why you aren’t doing more of the dentistry you want to do and building a larger base of patients you enjoy. There are two primary reasons why dentists fail at meeting their desired practice goals: 

  1. They’re not very good at delivering on the promise, and therefore aren’t getting very many internal referrals and excellent digital reviews. (Marketing doesn’t solve this. Other things do. This isn’t really a marketing problem, is it?) 
  2. They are not well known in their community for being the genuinely caring and “honest” type of dentist that patients crave most. And they are not well known for being the perfect fit to compassionately and predictably solve complex oral health problems to significantly improve quality of life.  (Marketing can help solve this, but how?) 

Resolving Your Problem

Most dentists naturally focus on developing their skills and then struggle in the shadows with an amazing skill set that few people seem to appreciate. How do you best approach resolving issue #2? That depends on what it is that you’re trying to achieve. What is your purpose? And what are the principles and philosophy that stands behind that purpose? Because it’s your principles and philosophy that you need to be promoting and projecting out into the public sphere, not just the flash…not just the “how to”…and certainly not the doctor dancing around the office and bragging about how great he or she is.  

Patients need to be genuinely impressed and more than satisfied so they spread high praise in your community. You and your entire care team need to give them things to talk aboutwhat it is different about your approach….the relationship they have with you…the experience they have in your office…how well they are informed…the excellent results they enjoy…  

Clearly speak about your principles and philosophy in mindful, emotionally intelligent conversations with patients. Clearly write about your principles and philosophy of practice on your website. Listen and read “well” what patients say about you. What do they love? This is significant content for your website, blog and other external marketing.  

It comes down to: What is it that you can do that is deeply significant to your target audience, and how can you best convey that information and feeling to them on a consistent enough basis that they want your care?  

The foundational, solid relationship you build with them using highly attuned emotional skills will support treatment acceptance congruent with what they value and congruent with what you explain is in their best interest to meet their oral health and smile objectives. 

That’s what marketing is about, and it is both an internal and external process that must be constantly fine-tuned and consistently evolving within yourself, within your interactions, and within your messaging inside and outside of your practice walls. 

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Paul Henny DDS

Dr. Paul Henny maintains an esthetically-focused restorative practice in Roanoke, Virginia. Additionally, he has been a national speaker in dentistry, a visiting faculty member of the Pankey Institute, and visiting lecturer at the Jefferson College or Health Sciences. Dr. Henny has been a member of the Roanoke Valley Dental Society, The Academy of General Dentistry, The American College of Oral Implantology, The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantology. He is Past President and co-founder of the Robert F. Barkley Dental Study Club.

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Who Tells Your Story?

April 22, 2019 Paul Henny DDS

Lin-Manuel Miranda concludes his iconic musical Hamilton with a piece titled, “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story.” The song causes the audience to reflect on why certain people in history are remembered, while others are forgotten. It draws them in and includes them in the drama to discover personal meaning through the experience.

L.D. Pankey knew and told his story. Others told it too.

One of my favorite quotes from Peter Drucker is, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself… The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.” When I first read Drucker, is was a true “a-ha” moment for me; it completely shifted my paradigm about marketing while simultaneously connecting it to L.D. Pankey.

The light came on. L.D. Pankey was one of the greatest marketers in the history of dentistry. And he achieved it by first knowing who he was, and then clearly and consistently communicating it to the world. In other words, he was very good at telling his story, and it was through that narrative that others learned, grew, and our entire profession benefited.

Clarify your story to tell it well.

If we are to thrive in this rapidly-changing marketplace, our own compelling story must be known. Our story must be told by ourselves, by our care team, by our patients, and others. It’s ultimately up to us who will tell our story and what they will say. So, how do we go about telling our story? First, we must clarify our philosophy and vision to the point that they are “in our tissues” … to the point that we can’t NOT talk about them. Put your story out there with enthusiasm. The rest will follow.

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Understanding that “form follows function” is critical for knowing how to blend what looks good with what predictably functions well. E3 is the phase of your Essentials journey in which…

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Paul Henny DDS

Dr. Paul Henny maintains an esthetically-focused restorative practice in Roanoke, Virginia. Additionally, he has been a national speaker in dentistry, a visiting faculty member of the Pankey Institute, and visiting lecturer at the Jefferson College or Health Sciences. Dr. Henny has been a member of the Roanoke Valley Dental Society, The Academy of General Dentistry, The American College of Oral Implantology, The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantology. He is Past President and co-founder of the Robert F. Barkley Dental Study Club.

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Local SEO Domination for Dentists

November 15, 2018 Daniel Balaze

In my last post on SEO and Google, we talked about the first two steps to get found online by the people who need you most – those in your community. We went over the age, authority, and quality of your website. Not to mention the importance of staking your claim in all of the directories.

At this point, you’ve got a secure, responsive website and hundreds of citations of extremely consistent NAP data. Now what?

With the first two steps completed, search engines need proof that you exist and that you’re worth recommending to their users. How does this happen?

Local SEO Domination in Dentistry

Step 3: Social Engagement and Reviews

Consistency in social media is key. If you’re never going to tweet, don’t get a twitter account. You need to be active where your patients are active. For most of us, that’s going to be Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Yelp.

Pediatric and orthodontic offices should strongly consider putting content out on Musical.ly and Snapchat.  Twitter and LinkedIn are wonderful for connecting with other professionals. Participate in conversations on social media and search engines will know you’re a real live business.

They don’t, however, have any idea how good you are until you get reviews. Again, consistency is key. Don’t get too hung up on volume.

A consistent stream of reviews, as little as one per week, will do better than a brief campaign that produces the same end volume in a month’s time and quits. Native reviews direct to sites like Google, Yelp, etc. have more weight than those acquired by aggregation software like DemandForce, SolutionReach, or RateABiz.

Also, because of geo-location enabled devices, you can look forward to reviews written away from the office being ranked higher. Ask for them consistently, especially when a patient offers a compliment, and you will see results.

Step 4: Go Forth and Create!

The last step is simple but probably the hardest. Be active!

Build your library of content, whether it’s in the form of blog posts, podcasts, or vlogs. Steady streams of updates send the signal that you are a living breathing organization that deserves to be noticed and recommended.

Always keep the subject focused on what benefits your patients experience. I like to divide my content in equal parts – personal interests, professional interests, office updates, industry updates, and local news. This simple post I wrote in 2017 on conservative dental therapies gets as many views as our “about us” page.

Now go and share with the world how awesome you are and crush the competition while doing it!

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Daniel Balaze

Proud to be an alumnus of both the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Cleveland Institute of Music, I was fortunate to perform in many of the great venues in the Greater Cleveland Area. Both as an orchestral bass player, as well as in jazz ensembles and musical theater productions. These days, I focus on creating occlusal and esthetic harmonies. After earning my dental degree from the Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine, I completed the entire curriculum at the L.D. Pankey Institue, and earned the honor of Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry. Currently a Restorative Dentist in Laguna Niguel, California, I am grateful to be practicing alongside my mentor and friend, Dr. Bill Gregg. Click here to learn more about ethical marketing in dentistry.

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Google and SEO for Dentists

November 13, 2018 Daniel Balaze

Gone are the days of feeling good that everyone in your community can find you because you paid a single fee for an ad in the yellow pages.  

Today, you need your dental practice to be visible when people in your area are looking for services like yours. More and more people are using their phones and computers to do this.

The most important change is location specific search results. Your future new patients are looking for a dentist on their mobile devices using Google as their search engine. And – based on where they are physically located at that time, Google will provide the best, most trusted results for their query. That’s right – you will get different results from the exact same search phrase depending on your location.

By understanding these facts, you as a small business owner can leverage your uniqueness in a powerful way. All it takes is four simple steps:

SEO Optimization and Google in Dentistry

Step 1: First and Foremost – Your Website

The first step in improving your local SEO [search engine optimization] has to do with the age, authority, and quality of your website. The longer your website is active, the more trustworthy you become.

Changing domains is a big deal and if you choose a new one, you are essentially starting a new business and developing a new reputation at that point. You can increase the authority of your website by publishing compelling content on a consistent basis.

Make certain your website is usable across all devices and platforms and make sure it is secure. Google’s Chrome browser often won’t display websites without a security certificate.  Do you think their search engine would rank secure sites higher than those that aren’t secure?

Step 2: Claim Your Name

The next step in building trust online is claiming your profiles. The latest recommendation is that you use your email associated with your domain when you do this. Most directories are going to ask for your NAP [Name Address Phone] and website data, your business category, a short description, a more lengthy description, business hours, amenities, accessibility, payment methods, and photos.

My advice is to compile this information first, so that the process is as simple as copy and paste. It is vital that everything is formatted identically within the NAP data across all the directories. Lastly, start with the biggest directories first – Google+, Facebook, MapQuest, Acxiom, Yelp, etc. The smaller directories are carrying less weight than they used to.

In the next post, I’ll talk about the last two steps to local SEO domination.

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Daniel Balaze

Proud to be an alumnus of both the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Cleveland Institute of Music, I was fortunate to perform in many of the great venues in the Greater Cleveland Area. Both as an orchestral bass player, as well as in jazz ensembles and musical theater productions. These days, I focus on creating occlusal and esthetic harmonies. After earning my dental degree from the Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine, I completed the entire curriculum at the L.D. Pankey Institue, and earned the honor of Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry. Currently a Restorative Dentist in Laguna Niguel, California, I am grateful to be practicing alongside my mentor and friend, Dr. Bill Gregg. Click here to learn more about ethical marketing in dentistry.

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Actionable Dental Tips to Thrive in 2018: Part 2

May 16, 2018 Gary Takacs

Growth should be the primary goal of every dental practice. No matter how well things are going, planning for and promoting growth ensures that any setbacks do not completely derail you. Growth is also valuable because it keeps your practice lively with new patient energy and ensures your team stays engaged.

In Part 1 of this series, I discussed my first two tips for 2018 that encouraged developing a marketing plan and increasing whitening services. Keep reading for my final two pieces of advice:

Thrive in 2018: Patient Education and Experience

Use Digital Photos for Patient Education

Take the following series of six digital photos on all new patients:

  1. Natural smile
  2. Close up retracted view
  3. Upper occlusal view
  4. Lower occlusal view
  5. Left buccal corridor
  6. Right buccal corridor

Load the photos onto an iPad or tablet for patient viewing. This will convert the process from passive to active for the patient. Be prepared to hear two frequent comments from patients: (1) “Wow, I have never seen my teeth like this before!” and (2) “Yuck!”

Provide a Remarkable New Patient Experience

The first visit to your practice should be an awesome experience that helps new patients become more interested in their oral health. Take some time with your team and design a new patient experience that is more ideal.

Consider beginning with a simple office tour that shows the patient some services that are available. Include a new patient interview where a team member takes the time to get to know your patient and understand their ‘dental story.’ Make it a ‘wow’ experience where patients leave saying, “I have never been treated so thoroughly before!”

The four tips presented in Part 1 and 2 of this series are an excellent way to develop a thriving practice in 2018 and beyond.

As you begin to implement these recommendations, think of the following axiom: To achieve what you have never achieved, you must do what you have never done. Here’s to your success!

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Gary Takacs

Gary Takacs’ passion is helping dentists develop their ideal practice. Specializing in the ‘business of dentistry’, his unique, in-depth knowledge of the components of a successful practice has helped thousands of dental offices thrive in today’s challenging business environment. Gary’s seminars, highly acclaimed audio and videotape programs, and his in-office consulting services have helped many dentists develop a more profitable and enjoyable practice. A familiar presence on the dental lecture circuit, Gary frequently addresses dentists and team members at national dental meetings, regional seminars, and study club meetings here in the United States and internationally as well. His seminars are designed for the doctor and the entire dental team and are recognized for being both highly educational and entertaining. Attendees often comment that they learned more than they ever imagined and that Gary’s seminar was the most fun they have ever had at a dental meeting!! Gary is a member of the faculty for Essentials 3 at The Pankey Institute. Although Gary is not a dentist, he owns a dental practice in partnership with Dr. Paul Nielson. His practice is called LifeSmiles Dental Care and this practice serves as a learning and teaching laboratory for Gary to ‘test’ concepts that he can apply in his teaching.

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Actionable Dental Tips to Thrive in 2018: Part 1

May 14, 2018 Gary Takacs

It’s my strong opinion that dental practices are either growing or they are in decline. A case could be made that there is a third option, staying the same, but with ever-rising overhead, staying the same is just another form of decline.  

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, I’ll share 4 specific tips that will help you thrive in 2018 and beyond.

Thrive in 2018: Marketing and Whitening

Develop a Comprehensive Marketing Plan

New patients are necessary for a growing practice. Oftentimes the difference between a good practice and a thriving practice is the volume of quality new patients.

Spend some time crafting a comprehensive marketing plan that includes internal, external, and digital marketing activities. In my own practice, our most effective internal marketing strategy is the dentist calling all new patients and any patient who receives an injection on the evening of treatment.

An effective external marketing strategy for us is making NFL-quality mouth guards for our local high school football team. Also, one very effective digital marketing strategy has been getting online patient reviews. An appropriate marketing budget for a growing practice is 4-5% of revenue.

Embrace Whitening

Growing your whitening business is a great way to attract patients. Here are 3 simple things you can do to increase the amount of whitening treatments you perform:

  1. Take a shade match at the beginning of the hygiene appointment. Then show the patient their current tooth shade on a shade guide organized chromatically from dark to light.
  2. Value-price whitening. Consider value-pricing as a means of making it more affordable and accessible for your patients. The real economic benefit is the restorative and elective treatment that results from increasing your whitening.
  3. Offer lifetime whitening. Consider offering free gel to your whitening patients, provided they keep their recommended hygiene appointments. This is a win/win strategy that patients love!

To be continued …

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Gary Takacs

Gary Takacs’ passion is helping dentists develop their ideal practice. Specializing in the ‘business of dentistry’, his unique, in-depth knowledge of the components of a successful practice has helped thousands of dental offices thrive in today’s challenging business environment. Gary’s seminars, highly acclaimed audio and videotape programs, and his in-office consulting services have helped many dentists develop a more profitable and enjoyable practice. A familiar presence on the dental lecture circuit, Gary frequently addresses dentists and team members at national dental meetings, regional seminars, and study club meetings here in the United States and internationally as well. His seminars are designed for the doctor and the entire dental team and are recognized for being both highly educational and entertaining. Attendees often comment that they learned more than they ever imagined and that Gary’s seminar was the most fun they have ever had at a dental meeting!! Gary is a member of the faculty for Essentials 3 at The Pankey Institute. Although Gary is not a dentist, he owns a dental practice in partnership with Dr. Paul Nielson. His practice is called LifeSmiles Dental Care and this practice serves as a learning and teaching laboratory for Gary to ‘test’ concepts that he can apply in his teaching.

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An Evergreen Dental Practice

April 18, 2018 Edwin "Mac" McDonald DDS

How do you make your dental practice resilient? 

In a recent article in INC magazine, venture capitalist Dave Whorton and Red Herring co-founder Chris Alden used the term ‘evergreen’ to describe the increasing number of private, profitable, market leading businesses designed to remain independent for a long, long time.

In other words, they possess abundant, healthy longevity that is grounded in their very nature. To me, that sounds exactly like the high quality, relationship-based practice each of us is attempting to create and develop all day every day in our professional lives.

Whorton and Alden identified seven very instructive characteristics of an evergreen company. I adapted them to be relative to a relationship-based dental practice. Let’s take a look.

How to Create a Relationship-Based Evergreen Dental Practice

1. Purpose

Being passionately driven by a compelling vision and mission. There is no substitute for clarity around your WHY. It is your unique story.

2. Perseverance

Having the grit to get through and past barriers. When you have a long term perspective of your practice, professional career, and life, the short term trials seem much less daunting. Those trials also occupy much less space in what you measure as important. The destination is a fixed standard. The time required to get there is a variable. I call that standard an ‘unchanging point of light.’

3. People First

The people of your world are both the reason for your work and the vehicle to make that work come to life. Surrounding yourself with the best and most talented people available to you is the most powerful accelerator to your practice development.

4. Private

Your dental practice, even with multiple dentists and a large team, is still a micro enterprise owned and operated by practicing dentists within the practice. This makes your enterprise much more agile, responsive, and tactical. It is one of the critical advantages we have over large corporate ownership.

5. Profitability

Profitability is a measure of value delivered to the patient. By building high trust relationships that essentially function as partnerships, the patient is much more likely to choose comprehensive solutions to their problems. This builds productivity and profitability.

6. Paced Growth

Focusing on long term strategies of practice growth and development creates a mindset of investment in people, technology, and skills. This creates a brand and practice culture that are unique in the marketplace with the power to attract and retain great people. These people are your team, your patients, and your interdisciplinary team of specialists and technicians.

7. Pragmatic Innovation

The best dental practices we know continually educate themselves and their patients. They employ contemporary technologies that are critical to their performance and results. They never stop seeking a better way to do what they do. In short, they lead, they innovate, and they teach others to do the same. It is a mindset and a way of life.

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Edwin "Mac" McDonald DDS

Dr. Edwin A. McDonald III received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Economics from Midwestern State University. He earned his DDS degree from the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston. Dr. McDonald has completed extensive training in dental implant dentistry through the University of Florida Center for Implant Dentistry. He has also completed extensive aesthetic dentistry training through various programs including the Seattle Institute, The Pankey Institute and Spear Education. Mac is a general dentist in Plano Texas. His practice is focused on esthetic and restorative dentistry. He is a visiting faculty member at the Pankey Institute. Mac also lectures at meetings around the country and has been very active with both the Dallas County Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. Currently, he is a student in the Naveen Jindal School of Business at the University of Texas at Dallas pursuing a graduate certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching. With Dr. Joel Small, he is co-founder of Line of Sight Coaching, dedicated to helping healthcare professionals develop leadership and coaching skills that improve the effectiveness, morale and productivity of their teams.

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Please Bring Your Smartphone: Part 1

March 16, 2018 Will Kelly DMD

It’s been a decade and a half since I hung my shingle. While setting up and decorating my first office, I printed several signs stating, ‘PLEASE POWER DOWN CELL PHONES’ and strategically placed them around the office.

Why Smartphones Work in the Dental Practice

Fast forward to today and my attitude towards mobile devices in the office has taken an about-face. We now harness the power of having them in the clinical area. Where years ago we viewed smart devices as a distraction, today I acknowledge that they are a part of who we are and how we relate. Perhaps they even store some of our Cartesian sense of self within their connections to the cloud beyond them.

I’d love to share a few tricks that use smart devices for obvious uses in documentation and communication, but more importantly, impress their magical power as a tool in behavioral development and patient assessment.

Consider this: A consult appointment has reached a critical moment. You are knee to knee and eye to eye with your patient. Your diagnosis is clear and it is the opportunity to pass ownership of the patient’s condition to them. Your eyes are connected and gleaming — then a loud siren blares from the patient’s pocket.

There are several alternative versions of how this vignette continues . . .

1.  The patient giggles with embarrassment and says, “Sorry I didn’t turn that off Doc.”  

2. The patient halts your conversation, answers the phone with unapologetic alacrity, and discusses weekend plans with the caller, index finger up, signaling “hold-on.”

3. The patient gives a meek apology, answers a call, and speaks softly with their head down. When you return from checking hygiene, they explain that their mother is in hospice care.

4. The patient lowers their eyes, returns a text message, and gives a subtle nod as if they didn’t miss a word of your conversation.

To be continued …

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Will Kelly DMD

Dr. Will Kelly attended the North Carolina State University School of Design and received a BA in Communications. He went on to spend two additional years in post baccalaureate studies in Medical Sciences at both UNC Chapel Hill and Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Kelly graduated from the top ranked UNC School of Dentistry in 2004. His good hands and clinical abilities led to his being chosen as a teaching assistant to underclassmen in operative dentistry. In addition to clinical time in the dental school, Dr. Kelly had valuable experiences working in both the Durham VA Hospital and for the Indian Health Service in Wyoming. As a child, Dr. Kelly had the opportunity to assist his father on several dental mission trips in Haiti. After completing dental school, Dr. Kelly joined his father in private practice and served on the dental staff at Gaston Family Health Services, where he maintained a position on the board of directors. At this time Dr. Kelly also began his studies in advanced dentistry at the prestigious Pankey Institute in Miami, a continuing journey of learning that has shaped his philosophy and knowledge of the complexities of high-level dentistry. Today Dr. Kelly devotes over 100 hours a year studying with colleagues and mentors who are regarded as "Masters of Dentistry".

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How to Ask for New Patient Referrals

December 30, 2017 Mark Murphy DDS

Customer equity in the dental practice is the retention of existing patients and attraction of new ones. This ensures patients can have more of the dentistry they don’t realize they need. So how do you find and retain new patients?

Asking for New Patient Referrals

New patients come from a combination of invitations, referrals, and marketing. You can have much more control over internal marketing than external. This is the environment you create in your practice that incites patients to refer you to their personal networks.

You must create a safe, non-judgmental system for asking for referrals and having those important conversations in your practice. Most importantly, you must choose the right patients to ask, because some will be too difficult or unreceptive to the question. Some may also be patients that you don’t want extensive relationships with. In that case, you may thank them for offering, but make it clear you aren’t looking for new patients with a soft statement.

Asking for new patient referrals is made easy by the fact that you usually know immediately which patients will be receptive. These are the model patients who pay bills in a timely fashion, care about your suggestions, and are just generally amazing for whatever reason.

Identify potential patient ‘marketers’ in your morning huddle on a regular basis. Then pose the question to these patients in a casual, non-aggressive manner. You can be joking, vulnerable, honest, reserved … whatever tone you think will work best with that particular patient. The request should flatter them or feel good to them.

This is how you create and seize opportunities. It can also occur naturally if they compliment you, but there is no shame in being upfront about asking for referrals.

How do you handle patient referrals in your dental practice? Leave your thoughts in the comments! 

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Mark Murphy DDS

Mark is the Lead Faculty for Clinical Education at ProSomnus Sleep Technologies, Principal of Funktional Consulting, serves on the Guest Faculty at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry and is a Regular Presenter on Business Development, Practice Management and Leadership at The Pankey Institute. He has served on the Boards of Directors of The Pankey Institute, National Association of Dental Laboratories, the Identalloy Council, the Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology, St. Vincent DePaul's Dental Center and the Dental Advisor. He lectures internationally on Leadership, Practice Management, Communication, Case Acceptance, Planning, Occlusion, Sleep and TMD. He has a knack for presenting pertinent information in an entertaining manner. mtmurphydds@gmail.com

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Should You Start a Dental Practice Blog?

September 27, 2017 Pankey Gram

Cost vs. Benefit of Building an Online Presence

Blogs are all the rage for company websites and an increasing number of dental practices are using them. You may have already dipped your toe in by starting one or wondered if it’s worth it.

The answer is: Sort of.

What’s a Blog and Why Do I Need It?

A blog is simply a short or long amount of written information added regularly to a specific page on a website (this is getting pretty meta, isn’t it?). It’s a place where people write public thoughts, opinions, etc. Usually, it’s more casual than most other website copy. In the dental practice world, you might use it to explain common questions patients have in more detail, relate patient success stories, or talk about your practice values/events.

Saying you need a blog though is like saying you need a new paint job in the office. Unless the place looks like a barnyard shack and paint is peeling down entire walls, it’s hard to determine exactly how much of an effect the improvement is having.

Understanding the Pros and Cons of a Dental Practice Blog

Blogs – in marketing a business – are used mainly to improve Google ranking. A higher Google ranking for keywords related to your practice like, ‘[insert state/city] dentist,’ means you’re one of the first links a potential patient sees. They aren’t likely to look past the first page.

Your initial instinct might be to post randomly generated nonsense using ideal keywords. Unfortunately, Google is too smart to let people game the system that easily (not to mention it looks crazy next to the rest of your gorgeous website and people will actually try to read it).

Blog content has to be readable and it has to be mostly real/unique. Effective blog posts are Frankenstein monsters of actual relevant content and arbitrary computer info that helps Google do its thing (i.e. keywords interspersed a maximum and minimum % throughout, meta descriptions, titles of a certain length and structure, headings, overall blog length, and so on). There are WordPress plugins that will help you manage the latter.

Here’s the clincher. Your ranking won’t be boosted to any useful degree by posting an ideal blog once a month or once a year. For the system to work, you have to post regularly. The exact amount of times a week or month is unclear, but at least once a week is preferred.

If you don’t have the resources, time, or desire to make decent content and post it often (or have someone else do it), there isn’t much point to doing it occasionally. It’s going to be off-putting to potential and current patients browsing your website if the latest post on your blog is many months to multiple years old. It looks unprofessional and makes it seem like your practice went off the radar for a long period of time.

Basically, if you can’t hire someone for the amount of time it takes to completely paint the wall and/or don’t have the ability to finish it yourself …. well, why even start in the first place?

 

What has your experience been of incorporating a blog into your practice website? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

 

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