Google’s always tinkering with its search engine algorithms, but some changes pack more of a punch than others. Last April, Google released an update that did more to bring site design into 2015 than any motivation to upgrade possibly could. Now, if you’re not mobile-friendly, your rankings are lower than your more responsive competitors. And that translates to a big loss in traffic – up to 5% of organic visitors.
Not only does Google penalize a poorly-responding site, but new visitors are far less likely to put up with a difficult to use interface. If they’re visiting on a phone or tablet and struggle to find the information they’re looking for, they’re going to restart their search and avoid your practice in the future.
Instead of worrying about how additional updates could make this traffic loss even worse, take action. With device traffic continuing to outpace desktop, there’s no reason to cling to an old design or a separate mobile site (which can also harm your rankings if it’s not set up perfectly).
Google offers a quick, simple tool that immediately tells you how it’s seeing your site pages. But that’s not super in-depth – although you can check and see if different pages are more or less responsive than one other by inputting a variety of URLs into the checker.
Even more simply, you can just click and drag the edge of your browser when visiting your site – as you make it smaller, a responsive design will adjust the element size and placement to fit with the new window size.
Depending on your CMS, you may be able to find fast, low-effort ways to improve responsiveness. Plugins, themes, and other modules need to be updated (especially on WordPress) to adhere to current design guidelines.
While some pages might look great on your cell phone, others buck responsive prompts. This might have to do with the type, size, or alignment of images, videos, and other elements you’re using within site pages. Take the time to consider what types of content are displayed on your site, and which pages might be behaving strangely. If you have your site set up in Google Webmaster Tools, you can also check their guide to which pages show errors during crawls.
Not sure how to approach a less-than-responsive design? We can help. Request a free website evaluation to learn more about getting to that happy, responsive place!
If you’ve dabbled in SEO, you’ve probably heard of “landing pages.” These are the catchy pages set as destinations for various routes of contact and leads-generators (like PPC campaigns), and they’re designed to act as the final step, where leads submit their information and become patients. Each landing page is designed to elicit responses from a certain buyer/patient profile. So, why not take them a step further and add some geo-targeting?
Local landing pages can make a difference for single-location businesses hoping to cast a wider net. If you’re surrounded by suburbs, one of the only providers in the area, or otherwise standing to benefit from drawing neighboring locations, local landing pages are a great plan. But how do you set them up, how do you choose your targets, and what results can you expect to see? Read on to learn more, or contact Doctor Web Solution to bring us into your marketing plan.
This all depends on where your office is, and the kind of competition you’re facing. Unless you’re up against a big city, the results are typically good – especially if you focus on long-tail keywords and specific suburbs or towns. By pairing common search terms (i.e. “city” and “treatment”), you provide patients seeking those out with relevant Google results.
Ready to get ranking, and build your patient base? Let’s talk local SEO.
Struggling to keep up with the changing SEO landscape? Find the tactics that work in the long-term, and you can cut out the constant scrambling
Is SEO dead? Obviously, we don’t think so – we’re still sticking around, playing our hand with the search engines. And we’re still seeing results – because we’ve grown learned how to look ahead. If you embrace the right tactics, you won’t have to constantly struggle to change your overall plan. While minor adjustments are absolutely necessary, it’s that total overhaul that you want to avoid. That means saving time, money, and energy.
Feeling a little exhausted? We understand – when you’re handling your website’s upkeep, it’s a nonstop fight for relevance. While larger practices and companies have more extensive teams that can handle to-the-minute publishing, those of us on a smaller scale found ourselves struggling to get out regular blog posts.
There’s some good news ahead: new content doesn’t necessarily have to be unprecedented. In fact, there’s already awesome content lurking on your website – and it’s ready to be repurposed. This not only saves you time and energy, but actually boosts your search engine rankings.
Whether you’ve already got a content well to draw from, or are interested in moving your content production in a more valuable direction, we’ve got some tips for making your text really count.
Need some help with the writing process? Get in touch with Doctor Web Solution for some dental marketing expertise, and copywriting resources.
If you’ve done some research into the modern marketing world, you’ve no doubt come across the term “content marketing.” Your target audience values excellent content over empty ads and flashy promises. By creating articles and images that educate, entertain, and inform your (current and prospective) patients, you show them that you care about their business.
Content marketing is especially important for healthcare professionals. You never want to appear desperate for new patients, because those individuals will wonder whether the care you offer is flawed in some way. It’s a catch-22 – how do you gain the new patients that you want without showing that your practice needs more business?
That’s where content marketing comes in. Create how-to’s, guides, before and after collections, and other engaging pieces to show that you care about adding to your site viewer’s lives and health – whether or not they follow through and schedule.
So, you get it – content’s important. Now, how do you find the time to keep creating? Fortunately, the content that’s already working for you has quite a lifespan. With a little tweaking and retouching, you can actually republish old posts and have them garner further attention. This practice not only saves you from having to sit down and churn out new blog posts, but has some added benefits:
“Content” is a purposefully vague term, because it can mean so many different things. Any unique media that you create will ultimately serve your practice. Taking photos of your office, creating before and after image pairs, writing guides to oral health, and sharing treatment options are all valid routes to content creation.
Wondering which pages of your website are performing the best? Google Analytics has the answers. If you’d like to learn more about engaging with this process, get in touch with Dr. Web Solution. We’re here to bridge the gap between you and your website.
Google just released yet another update to its algorithm – and it immediately impacted thousands upon thousands of businesses. How can you be sure that your SEO is evergreen? The key lies within the bigger picture.
SEO can seem overly concerned with the micro level – editing the title and heading tags of pages until they seem perfect, tweaking URLs to bring in the most clicks, building citations in the best directories, and choosing the most valuable links with the right anchor text. While these things have been important in the past, the SEO landscape is changing. Today, we need to focus on the thing that has remained a priority throughout Google’s algorithm juggling: content.
Awesome, relevant content not only benefits you in the moment, but acts as an ongoing boon for your practice’s website. And with Google’s new focus on the searcher’s location, it’s become one of the most prominent factors in determining the order of search results. There’s absolutely nothing we can do to change the weight Google places on location – so we need to make sure our sites speak to those places, and look good while doing so.
SEO continues to be complicated. But putting in a little extra site work today will reap rewards in the months to come.
Just to clarify: Google isn’t the only search engine out there. Many of your patients may use Yahoo or Bing instead, and these engines have different qualifiers for which sites show up at the top of the rankings. But we’re focusing on Google because it’s the number one method by which current and prospective patients try to find a healthcare professional.
In order to appeal to the Google gods, you can always count on the following:
Despite Google’s best efforts, bad SEO is still lingering on the Web. Make sure that your site isn’t contributing to the problem. Even if you haven’t seen a drop in rankings, it’s coming – and spammy practices could lead to your site being de-indexed, at which point it won’t show up at all. Keyword stuffing, use of machine-generated content or duplicate content, hidden keywords, and building links on site copies will all bring down the hard fist of Google justice.
Since they’re so tricky, why still use keywords at all? Google doesn’t recognize them, but other search engines do. They’re a vestige of old SEO that hasn’t quite faded from the existing face of optimization.
Feeling anxious about your dental website’s on-page SEO? We’re here to help. Get in touch for some advice.
Modern advertising has taken a gentler turn. On the one hand, ads are everywhere – from concrete expanses like buildings like buses to the omnipresent sidebars of your Facebook. But these ads are increasingly sophisticated and subtle.
Once upon a time, an ad came right out and said what it was trying to accomplish. “Buy our delicious potato chips.” Today, a sidebar ad for the same product might show a picture of a potato chip accompanied by a purposefully vague, intriguing tagline (that inspires the viewer to click it).
As we move in this direction, it becomes more important than ever to ensure that your business’ marketing is never obnoxious. Thus, getting the physical word out about your business (we’re talking mouth-to-ear, doctor to patient to patient) is a bit complicated. You want patients to be talking about your practice online and in person, but you don’t want to seem like you’re forcing them to do so.
This post details a few ways to manage your online authority – and bring in new patients through a bit of carefully-targeted work.
Medical professionals bear a special kind of burden. When someone’s health is at state, they’re incredibly picky about the kind of treatment they’re looking for. And they’re especially grateful when they receive some personal advice as to which doctor could be right for them.
Patients always value their friends’ and family’s opinions, and trust their recommendations more than the ones they can find online. They know that these people are for real, and they know the standards that their healthcare needs to measure up to. For this reason, we recommend that you embrace one tried-and-true method of inspiring patient-to-patient communication: social media.
When you’re active on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and other social platforms, you’re tapping into your patients’ social circles. They’re already connected with their friends on these networks. When you get even one patient to share content that you post, review your practice on the social site, or even mention you, your name and services are exposed to everyone they know. And it’s that kind of publicity that makes patients really take notice.
As we mentioned, recommendations from people your prospective patients actually know are the most valuable. But that doesn’t mean that review sites like Yelp are out of the picture.
Yelp, and other sites like Google Places (which is responsible for the top-of-the-page, abbreviated listings that come up when you Google your business name) are closely tied to your online reputation. Every time someone tries to find you through a search engine, these listings come up at the top of the results. And patients are almost definitely going to check them out before they call and schedule.
It’s important to remind your existing patients that Yelp exists, and that you’re on it. Once they receive great treatment, they’ll then be able to tell the rest of the world about it. At the same time, you never want to seem desperate for reviews. Try not to engage in outright solicitation. Begging for reviews not only makes you look desperate, it suggests that your online reputation is lacking.
Your current patients care about you, and they want to help you succeed. They feel loyal to you, and they’ll take pleasure in being a part of your practice’s growth. The best thing you can do is continue to provide them with superior treatment. They’ll do the talking (and typing) on their own. Just offer great treatment, and then provide online venues for your patients to follow up.
Have any other questions? Get in touch with Dr. Web for advice.
Any phrase involving “buzz” should be approached with caution. This term has become a catchall for content that tends to be less valuable than it’s cracked up to be. But sometimes, a little buzz can be exactly what you want. If you get site visitors talking about you, and then have the goods to back all that talk up, you’ll find yourself sitting pretty with new patients on the schedule.
How do you strike the balance between buzzworthy and truly worthwhile? With some clever social media marketing and unique practice specials. If you’re stumped as to how you should proceed, Dr Web Solution can help. Read on for a few tips.
While being a healthcare professional wasn’t always synonymous with savvy web marketing, it is today. There are so many dentists on the Web – and they’re all fighting to end up on the first page of search engine results. Everyone (at least, almost everyone) creates a site with the aid of a professional designer. Depending on the age of the site’s design, it will fall into a certain category. And within the stratum of dentists that have a comparable level of web design, you have to do more than just create a nice homepage to make yourself memorable.
It’s time to take a look at your practice and decide what makes it special. Every office is unique, but it’s harder to pinpoint exactly what those exclusive characteristics are (they can be quite subtle). Is it a certain brand that you offer? Your attention to gentle care? A soothing, spa-like office environment? An experienced, dedicated staff that works to build a patient community? No matter the practice, those special aspects are there – waiting to be emphasized.
Once you’ve identified what sets you apart, it’s time to market your practice in a new way. Your marketing doesn’t have to be dull or staid, even if you have a dental or medical practice. There’s a fun side to everything. Pairing specials and treatment packages that rely on your strengths with an entertaining, easily understood format will show patients what they stand to gain from your practice, rather than the one down the street. Communicate patients that you have the specific facilities and abilities that fit their needs.
One of the easiest ways to accomplish this (admittedly difficult) task is with social media marketing. Because social media combines dissemination of information and a visual, pleasurable format, it’s an ideal tool for dental marketing. Make your services a little more thrilling by displaying and discussing them in a new way. With the aid of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and more, you’re able to quickly and easily post
Still looking for ideas? Just get in touch to start a marketing conversation!
The last time you visited a new website, what was the first thing you noticed about it? We’re betting it wasn’t the snappy text or the contact information. We’re confident in predicting that it was actually the home page’s appearance. Even if you’re visiting a site for purely practical reasons, its design makes an impact on the viewer. This extends to sites belonging to healthcare professionals. While your website deals with dentistry, we want it to be more than just a means to an end.
The thing is, design is what convinces patients to follow through and reach that end (i.e. scheduling an appointment). So while a great layout may seem like a frivolity, it should be your first concern. If your practice’s home page isn’t attractive, it’s a huge ding against you. The bounce rate will be high, and you won’t engage new patients – you’ll just lose them. Fortunately, there are a few design guidelines to follow that will help you craft a user-friendly experience. Read on for some quick tips.
Ok, we know – easier said than done. At this point in the life of the Internet, what does “modern” even mean, anyways? We’re using the term to describe the contemporary M.O. of today’s Web. You need to keep up with the design of other sites, even if they deal with a more artistic commodity or service. After all, as an aesthetic dentist, you’re dealing in a similarly visual product, even if other people don’t see it that way initially.
Because a picture is worth a thousand words, we’d rather show you modern design than tell you about it. Check out our Design Gallery to see some examples of the kind of work in which we’re invested. A few of the factors that unite our designs include:
You’re probably thinking, “Great, another vague command! Thanks for all the help.” But “active” is actually easier to define than “modern.” In this case, we mean that you should keep the site current. Continually update it with fresh images, blog posts, and content. Showcase practice specials and treatment deals. This communicates that you care about keeping up with your patients and their ever-changing needs.
Nobody likes being told what to do, and this even extends to patients that are actively trying to find a new dentist. Bombarding them with contact forms and “CALL NOW”s won’t achieve the desired result. Instead, the design should guide patients toward the information they’re seeking, which will then convince them to take the plunge and become your patient.
It’s never too late to improve your website’s design. Whether you currently have a practice site, or are looking to build one from scratch, now is the time to take action. Consider how many potential calls you could be missing each day – simply because patients can’t find you online. There’s no way to know what you stand to gain until you put that site in place.
And it doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re interested in learning more about your site’s design possibilities, reach out for a complimentary site evaluation. We’ll help you understand where you’re at, and how to move forward. In the meantime, check out some design tips to get thinking about the changes you’d like to make.
Like many occupants of the marketing world, we were struck by a recent leaked report about the state of the New York Times. As many loyal readers were clued in to with 2011’s introduction of an online paywall, the Times has struggled to remain relevant in a landscape of immediately-available, individual-specific web content. Sites like the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed excel in this arena – but they do so with far less well-crafted content, prioritizing .gif lists and celebrity gossip that is engineered to attract clicks. In order to engage readers, your content needs to strike a fine line between the Times’ more challenging offerings, and Buzzfeed/HuffPo’s blatant pandering to the denizens of the web.
This is true for all content creators, including your own healthcare practice. Taking a measured approach to content marketing is key. Don’t just educate – entertain. Your patients, both prospective and current, will take notice, and respond positively.
Content marketing is a brainchild borne of necessity, and shaped by Google’s ever-changing SEO preferences. The choices the search engine giant makes with regard to which content and pages “matter” on the web have changed the way Internet advertising functions. Long gone are the days of pop up ads, spammy pages, and meta keyword exploitation. What matters now are well-written, appealing, and valuable pieces of content. Google appreciates creators who make the web a better place, and it boosts their websites’ rankings in response.
In short, content marketing is drawing in new clients/patients/customers with the aid of compelling content. This can mean information about your practice, newsworthy blog posts, or case studies: whatever works for you. The important part is that the content gets made, gets out there, and gets seen. We can help with all three parts of that content equation.
What patients (and search engines) really value is content that speaks to your specific practice. Getting detailed and getting personal is just more interesting than writing about vague, industry-wide topics. For this reason, it’s vital that you play a role in your website’s content creation. If you’re writing pages or blog posts yourself, pack in plenty of details about what the office is up to, recent cases, and even information about staff members. If you have a content developer, share updates on office news, specials, and unique cases. The more applicable to your practice the content, the better patients will respond.
In addition to crafting excellent content, you need to show patients that content is something they’ll benefit from consuming. These days, that means sharing on social media. This is where the “entertain” portion of content marketing often comes in. Frame the content in a way that’s going to get patients clicking on the link, and learning more about your practice. Social media is an incredible outlet for all kinds of content sharing – it doesn’t even necessarily have to be written (Facebook users often prefer educational content that’s either heavy with or contained within images).
In order to create the ideal patient experience, you’ll need to take a step back and decide exactly what it is that your patients want. It’s possible to build content that accomplishes what you want (bringing in new patients) by giving site visitors what they want (an informative but entertaining time spent on your site). Ready to unlock your practice website’s full potential? Get in touch with Doctor Web Solution for a complimentary website evaluation. We’ll help you find the best place to get started.
It can be difficult to focus on both the present and future. But if you don’t have goals in place, how can you know what to work toward? This is true in every area of life, but especially pertinent when applied to your actions on the Web. Since the Internet’s landscape is constantly evolving, you need to be aware of what’s going on today and what could come tomorrow. Your web marketing efforts need to address both of these realities.
How can you predict the future? By putting safe, smart practices in place that will pay off over time. With today’s post, we’ll address some ways to boost your website’s ROI – today and tomorrow.
Sometimes, you need to get the word out ASAP. This is especially true when you’re running a practice special or trying to promote a specific, limited-time offer. In this case, there are ways to appeal directly to patients, and to dictate the message you send. Some short-term marketing efforts include:
While of-the-moment marketing is all well and good, you absolutely must focus on caring for your long-term web presence. This means working to get your website high in the search engine rankings. The higher it is in lists of results for different keywords, the better chance you have at snagging new patients. But improving your rankings takes some solid, long-running work. It takes time for search engines to notice what your site is up to – and to respond positively.
In order to see your site through to a bright future, consider engaging in:
Curious about where to start with your marketing? Doctor Web Solution can help. Get in touch today!