With data protection and online privacy continuing to play a role in world news and U.S. politics, more and more small businesses are looking at site encryption. But when you’ve already been running a WordPress site without an SSL certificate, how do you switch over without missteps?
As with many WordPress updates, there are going to be some hiccups along the way. But that doesn’t mean you should skip SSL. Getting your site more secure is an important step for any business – and https:// may even become a ranking factor for search engines in the future (Google’s hinted at this for years and now marks non-https sites that collect sensitive information as “Unsafe” in Google Chrome). And human visitors appreciate https, too – browsers show an indication of site security in the left hand corner of the URL address bar, and getting a green lock is always preferable to a grey or red one.
At Doctor Web Solution, we host all our clients’ sites on WP Engine. This server is WordPress-specific and already makes a big difference in improving site security by blocking unsafe plugins and automatically updating WordPress versions – we haven’t had a single hack since we made the migration to this server. And adding SSL certificates helps keep WP Engine websites as secure as possible – a top priority for any hosting provider.
With WP Engine, adding an SSL certificate is free and relatively simple. As of October 2016, SSL certificates are free to add through Let’s Encrypt and available to all WP Engine installs. You simply add a certificate to each of your installations and then configure the settings. If you have any issues with redirect loops or broken plugins, open up their chat support for help.
When updating our sites, the most common obstacle we ran into was issues with older slider plugins not being SSL-compatible. This was usually because they continued serving http:// versions of photos over https:// – rendering the images broken. If you’re looking for plugin alternatives, shoot a us a quick note and we can discuss more about updating your current theme.
Now that you have your certificates set up, it’s time to make sure that your site is serving content properly. What does this mean? Now that you’re serving visitors pages over https://, you need to make sure that images, iframes and other elements within those pages are also being served over https://. This usually means updating the html – and you don’t have to go through and do this by hand. Plugins like SSL Insecure Content Fixer help you identify and fix insecure html so that you don’t get the dreaded broken lock on your browser address bar.
Now that you’re serving traffic over https://, your Search Console and Google Analytics tracking should follow suit (if you’re not tracking traffic and conversions via Google tools, just send us a quick email and we can help you get set up). Updating these settings will ensure you’re still correctly recording traffic and not missing out on https:// activity.
Complete these steps in Search Console:
Next, complete these steps in Google Analytics:
And with that, you’re on your way to a more secure website & happier site visitors.
How do you get patients back in your office for their next exam? More importantly, how do you show them available treatments that they might be interested in trying? Selling to your patients is a delicate business, and your staff has an in-office approach that informs and educates them. But backing that up with digital efforts is never a bad idea.
If your practice has never tried email marketing, now is the time to start. We’ve put together a beginner’s guide below – and if you’re looking for expert guidance, just get in touch to discuss your practice’s needs. There are many approaches to take when emailing your patient list – make sure yours is effective.
Never email just for the sake of emailing. Make sure that there’s a clear message you’re sharing with your email list – and that each email has something unique to offer. The last thing you want is to be written off as a spammer or damage your reputation with your patients. It’s a great idea to do a little thinking and planning before you initiate your first campaign. Identify your goals, and plan out each email so that they build interest in the service you’re promoting.
Kissmetrics has a great article on planning your email marketing mindset – check it out for more detailed guidance.
When someone receives an email, they have to be given the option to unsubscribe. Their email server also gives them the option to report the message as spam. If you get too many spam complaints, your email marketing platform could forbid you from sending to that list any longer. This screws up your campaigns and can lead to larger problems with your email marketing.
There are a few ways to make sure you’re only emailing people who are interested in receiving messages from your business. One, you can use an opt-in form. This is a form on your website or in your office that asks for the user’s information. It should have a clear message about the types of emails they will receive, and how often. This helps establish appropriate expectations from the start.
If you use an existing client list that you import into your email platform, you can follow up your first email with an extra opt-in email. This will also help ensure that your messages end up in the primary inbox, as opposed to Gmail’s Promotions tab or the spam folder.
Countless emails languish away in inboxes without ever being opened. Many recipients will delete your email without opening it, or just leave the messages and not interact with them in any way. How do you combat this? With a killer subject line.
There are so many different directions you can go with your email subject. Overall, remember that you’re trying to convince recipients to open the email. You can take any of these approaches:
…and so many more.
These campaigns increase in difficulty – if you’re looking for help implementing one, let us know.
Looking for guidance for your email campaigns? Get in touch today!
Feel like your ads are adrift in a digital sea, no lifeboat in sight? Let’s make sure they’re getting found by the people you’re hoping to target in the first place. Google AdWords is changing all the time, and offering up more and more options for small businesses looking to build detailed audiences for their ads. Between location, language, income, general interests, and so much more, there’s a way to target the leads you want, not just hope your ad comes up in front of someone likely to click through.
Below, we’ve put together a quick guide for dentists hoping to up their pay-per-click game. Whether you’re advertising on Google, Facebook, the Display Network, or somewhere else, take another look at your ads and see where improvements might be possible. Feeling a little lost in the great PPC advertising ocean? We’re here to help – reach out today to learn more about what we could offer your ad efforts.
Google AdWords and Facebook are the most popular advertising networks for healthcare professionals. We’ve broken down simple ways to adjust ad settings for each one – Google instructions are below, and check back in a couple weeks for Facebook guidance. The two interfaces work very differently – if you need help setting up your initial account, check out this AdWords guide and this Facebook guide.
From within the All Campaigns view, click the Settings tab. In this view, you can see the broader settings for all of your ad campaigns. This is useful if you’re making larger changes that will affect all campaigns. You can check this view to see how all your campaigns are currently set in terms of
If you’re trying to make changes in this view and getting confused, click through to the campaign you’d like to adjust. Some settings, like Budget, can be adjusted in this global view, but most need to be edited within the Settings tab for a particular campaign.
Once you’ve clicked through to a campaign, you can get really granular. This is where you’re able to set targeting by income and interests – explore these options when setting your location targeting. Click through each of the Locations, Ad Schedule, and Devices tabs at the top of the Settings window to access all your options. This is also where you’ll set a tracking template to add parameters to URLs and use a call tracking system or other advanced tracking options.
Negative keywords can seem a little complicated. How is it that you’re setting a group of terms that you don’t want your ads to come up for? Well, it all comes down to similar phrases that don’t actually apply to your services. For example, if you provide porcelain Lumineers, you don’t want to come up for searches for “Lumineers band,” where searchers are actually looking for the popular music group. This is also a great way to disqualify leads before they make it to your website, such as those looking for “free dental work.”
It’s easier to set negative keywords once you’ve been running ads for a month or two. You can check the keywords by clicking the Keywords tab in the main menu, and clicking Keywords again in the sub-menu (you’ll notice that Negative Keywords is right next to it – we’ll get to that in a second.
Here, you can browse the keyword phrases that have triggered your ads. By checking the number of clicks against conversions, and using some common sense, you can figure out which keywords aren’t a good match for your practice.
Once you have a list ready, click through to the Negative Keywords menu and add the keywords. You can do this at the ad group level or campaign level, depending on how specific your keywords and ad groups are.
Ready to implement these tips but not sure where to begin? Get in touch for expert PPC guidance!
With 2016 reigning large as the year of indecipherable algorithm updates, it was almost refreshing to hear about its clearly delineated “intrusive interstitials” penalty. In August of 2016, Google announced that it would begin rolling this out in early 2017. The guidelines were fairly clear (at least at first glance) – mobile site designs with obnoxious pop-ups or overlays that interfered with the user experience would experience penalties.
Now that we’re past the update rollout, we’re left wondering: what happened, exactly? The uncertainty comes from the lack of penalties faced by even sites with problematic pop-ups. Webmasters are reporting little to no impact on rankings, no matter the state of their interstitials. So is it time to learn back and relax? Not quite.
As always with SEO, we want to be proactive. Learning more about what kind of design practices Google is trying to dissuade (and why they’re cracking down on pop-ups) is a perfect intermediary activity while we wait for the full effects to take hold. Read on for what this could mean for your dental website.
Pop-ups are useful for many different reasons – announcing flash sales or other ecommerce opportunities, presenting visitors with a newsletter or eBook signup, or providing livechat support. But the ways in which each website provides this content can vary wildly. There’s an unbelievable difference behind a respectful pop-up that can be easily closed, and one that blocks out all navigation and refuses to budge until you’ve promised it your firstborn child.
This is doubly true on mobile. The screen you’re working with is a small one – there’s just not enough real estate there to allow for both pop-ups and navigability. This is why Google is taking this newest step in their battle to make the internet a higher-quality, user-driven experience. As the ruler of all we do (lest we make a misstep and be banished to the long-distance rankings tier), Google is working harder and harder to make websites more friendly. If the user is irritated, Google isn’t going to look fondly on that domain.
The intrusive interstitials rule doesn’t outlaw pop-ups entirely – rather, it dictates their size and their annoyingness factor. Take a look at the graphic below to see Google’s official statement on the update:
In short, as long as the pop-ups don’t detract from navigation or cover the content which the user is hoping to access, they’re ok. We’ve seen live chat providers change chat boxes from mid-screen and floating to a small ribbon at the bottom of the mobile browser.
Wondering why any healthcare professionals like yourself would be using pop-ups? In truth, live chat feature are becoming more and more popular on medical websites. This is a great way to capture leads who aren’t quite ready to fill out a contact form, but are interested in learning more about your practice. Many chat providers are fairly inexpensive and will provide basic information to the user before forwarding their inquiry and information to your front desk.
More competitive practices like med spas and cosmetic dentists can also make good use of pop-ups to provide newsletter access. Lock visitors into your email campaigns, and you have a much higher chance of re-engagement (and future business) down the road.
Whether your site design currently makes use of interstitials or not, the pros and cons are plenty. Overall, pop-ups can be a useful tool for engaging site visitors at the beginning of the buyer’s journey – just make sure those pop-ups don’t annoy them along the way.
Looking for help with your site design? Worrying that your website interface isn’t pulling in leads the way it should? Reach out today for a complimentary website evaluation. We’d love to help you move forward & take your practice to the next level!
During the holiday seasons, your opportunities for online marketing explode. But you need to plan ahead to take advantage of the opportunity. It’s not too late for a boost to December business – follow our tips below to get some new patients into the office before the new year. The best part? This won’t take a ton of effort on your office’s part – just make sure to set aside a little time this week and you’ll see the results come January 1!
Looking for a little assistance fine-tuning your practice as we head into 2017? We’d love to be a part of your marketing team – just get in touch for details on how we could power up your online presence.
Holiday Dental Marketing | Dental Marketing During the Holidays | Dental Marketing Tips
Promoting your practice can be as easy as pulling out your smartphone!
How’s your practice’s social media presence? Do you post on a regular schedule, or just when you remember to, or have you lost the password to your Facebook account? No matter your current approach, there’s probably room to improve your patient engagement. Social media might seem frivolous, but it’s become a driving force for small businesses. Many patients actually ask questions and even schedule appointments via Facebook – if they can find your office’s page. But how do you make sure you’re out in front of current and prospective patients?
Don’t get overwhelmed by the social media machine. The practices with the most engaged followings are the ones posting personalized photos and other content that relates to the individuals connected to the office – both staff and patients. While an educational, eye-catching infographic or a goofy comic can go a long way, patients want to feel a connection to your practice’s community. And that means thinking about online content during the workday.
This doesn’t have to be tedious or time-consuming. By putting some steps in place, getting valuable photos, blurbs, testimonials, and other social media (and website) gold will feel second nature.
If you’re ever looking for help with your social media, we’re here to offer expert tips. Just get in touch!
Don’t get bogged down in code – here’s what the symbols within are saying about your SEO
How strong is your website? There are so many ways to go about answering that question, so the process can feel understandably weighty. What is “strength” when it comes to a website, anyway? And where do you get started with the evaluation process? The answers to your website’s strength might seem hidden away, but there are free tools and expert tips that you can try on your own before deciding on next steps.
We’ve compiled some of the most valuable below to help you along the way. These will determine how effectively your website appeals to both search engines and users, the two audiences that determine your online success. Once you’re paying attention to both fronts, your site is firing on all cylinders. But in order to get there, you’ll need to perform a thorough analysis first.
Need help performing your analysis, or implementing any improvements? We’re here – just request a free website evaluation for a detailed rundown of where to get started.
Facebook is an incredible marketing tool – in the right hands. But when you’re just getting started with Facebook for business, it’s tough to know anything that’s going on, and the interface doesn’t exactly make the learning process simple. When you add in Facebook’s lack of one-on-one support (and the endless number of confusing forum questions), taking the first steps toward promoting, advertising, and managing your business feels completely overwhelming.
But you’re not alone. Doctor Web Solution has worked through common Facebook obstacles and figured out the simplest ways to get the green light on your business’ page. Read through our guide to setting up your Facebook page and personal access below, and get in touch if you need help with Facebook ads, organic posting, business optimization, or anything else in the Facebook landscape.
Getting started with Facebook is different depending on the current status of your business’ page. Check for existing page listings by searching for your business name in the search bar (click “Pages” to narrow down search results).
This confusing twist has perplexed newcomers trying to claim a page. The catch is that business pages aren’t actually Facebook accounts, whereas personal profiles are. Pages exist independent of any account – and continue to do so until someone links their personal page. So there’s no new login associated with your page. You’ll need to link it to your personal Facebook account to gain access.
If someone from your practice already has access to the business page, have them add you as a manager so that you’ll be able to act as the page and manage incoming messages and posts. This means navigating to the page, then clicking Settings -> Page Roles. On that page, they’ll be able to add the email address that you use to log into your personal Facebook, and you’ll be invited to manage the page. If you’re the one adding a new user, choose between these roles to grant them the appropriate level of access:
The most important question of all: if your business page is linked to your personal profile, how can you be sure that photo of your dog in an adorable bow tie ends up posted to your friends, not your patients and coworkers? It’s as easy as making sure that you’re posting as a page instead of acting as your profile. Whenever you post something new, look in the upper right-hand corner of the post box. There, you can choose between “Post as (Your Personal Profile)” vs. “Post as (Your Business Page).” Just pick the business page logo and there won’t be any embarrassing mishaps.
Remember: unless you’re on the business page when posting, the default poster will be your personal profile.
This is only the first step toward Facebook domination for your practice. If you’re looking to learn more about the minutiae behind social media marketing, just get in touch!
Feel like your leads are floating on the web and not leading to actual results? Help your front desk pin them down
When your website is performing and you’re pulling in leads, that’s exactly what you’ve been wanting to see from digital marketing. But how can you make sure that those leads lead to real patients coming into the office? It can be confusing to organize those details, especially if you’re operating off email alerts. We all know how quickly something can get buried in an inbox, especially if your leads email address is the same as your main office’s address.
Fortunately, things can be a whole lot simpler. By integrating an automation platform with your WordPress forms, you’ll see your leads neatly filling out a Google spreadsheet. Your front desk will be able to manage those leads directly within that spreadsheet, and adding columns to track whether the lead has been contacted, by whom, and the outcome of the conversation will keep everyone on the same page.
Setting it up is simple – all you need is a free Zapier account, a Gmail address, and access to your WordPress back end. We break down the steps below, but if you’re looking for additional guidance, just get in touch.
We started researching forms reporting automation for a client using AdWords and Facebook PPC, and pulling in great results. While we loved seeing all the leads flood in, the office’s front desk got a little panicked. How could they make sure that each lead was called or emailed, when all the forms notifications were in separate emails?
The system we put together took the stress off their shoulders. Now, Zapier automatically pulls new forms submissions from Gravity Forms within WordPress, taking leads reporting off the front desk’s list of responsibilities. Here’s how you can set it up for your WordPress site.
Run into any bumps along the way? Just get in touch for help.
Every dentist (and dental marketer) is hoping to get leads through their website. But how can you be sure that the lead in question was worth the effort? By fine-tuning your marketing efforts, you can be sure to draw in the kind of patients that fit your practice – and see them scheduling and following through, as opposed to flaking on a consult or exam.
The trick is to get inside your patients’ heads, and then make sure your website reflects exactly what they’re looking for. Help them along the funnel with intuitive user experience design, and they’re sure to connect with your staff and become a part of your practice’s community. Read on for some clues to drawing them in, and get in touch if you’d like some help integrating these tactics with your website.