ALERT! 5 Things You Need to Know About the Recent Google Changes

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Welcome to Practice Treatment Plan’s Bi-weekly New Patient Marketing Tips! Delivered to you every two weeks.
ALERT! 5 Things You Need to Know About the Recent Google Changes
At the end of February Google made some big changes to how they display search results. They removed Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertisements from the right hand side of the results page, and added a fourth Pay-Per-Click ad at the top of the search results. You are probably asking yourself… what does that even mean??? You will have to take our word for it, IT IS IMPORTANT FOR ANY DOCTOR OR DENTIST THAT USES THE INTERNET TO GET NEW PATIENTS! Here are 5 things you need to know:
dental pay-per-clickThis change further diminishes the value of traditional, organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you are paying an SEO company lots of cash each month to get you to the top of the organic search results, you should know that the value of that service is somewhat diminished. Why? Because the first organic search position (the coveted #1 spot when someone searches for your service) is now “below the fold”. “Below the fold” means that someone now has to scroll down to see the result.
You better have a mobile friendly website. How is that relevant? The reason Google made this change is simple: more people conduct searches on Google each month on a mobile device than do a desktop or laptop computer. The Pay-Per-Click ads never did show up on the right side on mobile devices, so Google made the change to align the desktop/laptop experience with the mobile experience. If your website is not delivering a good mobile experience, then you are offending more than half of the people that search for dentistry each month online.
If you are using Google Pay-Per-Click today, you need to make sure your results are in the top 4. Being in the number 5 or 6 position now means your ads are pretty much invisible. After position 4, your ads fall to the very bottom of the results, at the very bottom of the page. Make sure you are bidding aggressively to be in the first four spots.
If you are using Google Pay-per-click today, make sure you are using ad extensions. Now that you are going to be bidding more aggressively to be in one of those top 4 positions, make sure you are effectively using ad extensions (one of the benefits of showing up at the top). Location, sitelinks, callouts, etc. These are all good ways to get additional attention to your ads.
If you are not using Pay-Per-Click as part of your marketing plan, YOU SHOULD BE! This change only reinforces what we have been telling our medical and dental clients for years now. Google is trying to push more businesses to their Pay-Per-Click platform by making it harder to succeed through traditional Search Engine Optimization (SEO). They would rather you paid them to get new business rather than pay an SEO company.
Have you tried Pay-Per-Click as a marketing strategy? Call us and we can help. PPC marketing is generally the highest ROI (return on investment) channel that we use for our clients. It does not cost much to get started, and clients can see results in the first few weeks of the campaign.
If you would like to learn more about our Pay-Per-Click service contact us at 888-412-8820 or visit http://practicetreatmentplan.com/.
Practice Success,

Benjamin Suggs

New Patient Marketing Strategist

Practice Treatment Plan, Inc.

4 Things You Need to Know About Your Practice Real Estate (and how it can help you get more New Patients)

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Welcome to Practice Treatment Plan’s Bi-weekly New Patient Marketing Tips! Delivered to you every two weeks.
Today’s Topic: 4 Things You Need to Know About Your Practice Real Estate (and how it can help you get more New Patients)
Today we are thrilled to welcome a guest on New Patient Marketing Tips! We have invited our friends at Crown Tenant Advisors to share some of their unique dental / medical real estate knowledge in an Q and A format. Enjoy!
Q: We know that the location of a practice can positively or negatively affect their ability to get new patients into the office. Can you tell us some of the criteria you look for when helping a medical or dental office find a great location?
Logo.CrownTenant.2012A: The first step in the process is to understand the type of practice that the provider is opening.  Are convenience and visibility important to the practice’s success, such as an urgent care practice?  If so, perhaps a retail location would be ideal.  Medical office buildings are great options for providers seeking a full service lease option and to be around other medical offices for possible referral sources.  It just depends on the type of practice.   We use 2 different data sets to narrow down a location.  The first data set analyzes the demographics of an area to ensure the practice could be successful in that area.  For example, understanding there are a growing numbers of families and children in an area is ideal for a pediatric practice.  Secondly, we develop a competition and referral source map.  We identify the competition and referral sources in a prospective area and place on a map to easily identify areas.   This allows the provider additional data points to make a decision as we analyze a prospective areas.
Q: We have had several clients who were able to engage your company to renegotiate their lease and free up more money to put towards their marketing budget. When is a good time for a practice that is leasing their space to contact you to discuss a possible renegotiation?
A: 12-18 months from lease expiration is the ideal time to begin discussions on restructuring a lease.   It is very important to hire a commercial real estate broker who specializes in healthcare to leverage the market and generate cost savings and cost avoidance.   Time is the biggest leverage in the negotiation process so we need as much time to understand the practice’s needs and determine the best course of action for restructuring of the lease.  At Crown Tenant Advisors, we perform a complimentary lease review to identify the critical points that will need to be addressed in a lease restructure.
Q: What are some of the biggest mistakes that you see doctors making when searching for real estate?
A: We all make mistakes.  But there are 2 big mistakes that we see providers make that could cost themselves a lot of money.  First, the belief that if they hire a real estate broker it will cost them more money, so they try to do it themselves by directly working with the Landlord.  This is a myth.  Your broker’s job is to get the best possible terms for the project by leveraging the market knowledge they possess.  Landlords and owners have factored commissions in lease rates and purchase prices.  Your broker will take a portion of that commission.  When a Tenant’s broker is not utilized often the Landlord’s broker will take a larger portion of that commission.
The second mistake we see is when providers call listing real estate brokers off of signs.  They will unknowingly give away critical pieces of information that can harm the negotiation process.  It is best for your broker to handle these conversations so that sensitive information is not divulged.
Q: Several of our clients have used your company to find an already built-out space (second generation space) that was perfect for opening a second or third location. How should doctors go about looking for one of these locations?
A: Previously built-out spaces can be a great option for practices in terms of saving some capital expenditures.  Keep in mind that often, built-out spaces still need a lot of work to bring them up to date and out of the 1990s.  A qualified commercial real estate broker who specializes in healthcare should be able to help identify these locations due to their specific market knowledge relative to the healthcare market.  At Crown Tenant Advisors we keep a data base of identified second generation spaces in good locations.
Q: If any of our readers have questions, what is the best way to contact Crown Tenant Advisors?
A: We are happy to provide a complimentary lease review to any of your readers to identify if there are ways to generate some cost savings or cost avoidance.   Please contact Amanda Riepe at Crown Tenant Advisors at 770-649-8036 or email at amanda@crowntenantadvisors.com to get further details.
Practice Success,

Benjamin Suggs

New Patient Marketing Strategist

Practice Treatment Plan, Inc.

Top 5 Most Popular Objections to Using Call Tracking in Medical / Dental Practices

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Welcome to Practice Treatment Plan’s Bi-weekly New Patient Marketing Tips!

Today’s Topic: Top 5 Most Popular Objections to Using Call Tracking in Medical / Dental Practices

Tracking your practice’s incoming, new patient phone calls is a vital piece of your marketing plan. This is accomplished very easily by placing a unique call tracking number on all of your marketing channels (website, direct mail, billboards, etc.) so that you can track how many new patient calls each of them is bringing to your practice. If you are not tracking where these calls are coming from it is like throwing your marketing dollars into the wind.

call trackingCall tracking serves a number of important purposes such as:

  • Identifies which marketing channels are giving you the best return on your investment.
  • Provides you with call recordings and detailed reports on how well your front office team is converting new patient calls into new patients in the dental chair.
  • Gives actionable feedback to your front desk so they can improve their conversion rates and bring more new patients into your practice.
  • Lets you know how many calls are being missed and the peak call times in your practice so you can make sure there is enough phone coverage at those times (reducing missed calls).

100% of the time call tracking has helped our clients get more new patients. 100% of the time!

That statement should be enough to convince any doctor that it would be worth implementing a call tracking system for at least a few months. But we still hear objections from doctors. Below are the Top 5 Most Popular Objections to Call Tracking:

My front office team won’t like having their calls recorded. Most customer service departments record their phone calls for quality assurance (and that is exactly the line of work your front office team is in…customer service!). The receptionist is on the “front lines” of your practice. He or she is vital to the success of your business. It is imperative that you know how successfully they are converting new patient calls into actual new patients. Our clients wisely use our daily or monthly call tracking reports as a very effective training tool to teach the front office team how to more effectively convert prospects into patients. The best way to get your team on board with call tracking is to make them excited about being such an integral part of the success of your practice. Give them incentives for converting a certain percentage of new patient calls into new patients in your practice every month!

It’s too expensive. Can your practice afford to miss 40 patient calls every month? That is the average number of calls practices like yours are missing! If you had a way to get those potential new patients back on the phone within minutes so that you could appoint them, how much could your production dollars increase annually? Or, if you could determine your peak calling times allowing you to make some minor scheduling changes to ensure that there was always enough phone coverage at those times, would that information benefit your bottom line? You bet it would! I already know what you are thinking, “We don’t miss that many calls every month.” Are you sure? I bet you would be shocked to learn the truth. Call tracking pays for itself many times over with the number of new patients it helps bring in.

We don’t need call tracking, we have caller ID. Great! If you have caller ID can I assume you are always calling potential new patients back promptly? Probably not. Usually only the callers that leave voicemails get callbacks. Less than 30% of potential new patients leave a voicemail. They will just go to the next doctor on the list, so by the time you do call them back, they may have already appointed with another dentist. Call tracking gives you a systematic approach, through immediate text & email alerts, to ensure missed calls are called back promptly. Most importantly, it provides data to develop a strategy to reduce missed calls overall.

Won’t having a tracking number on my website hurt my SEO? You can use a call tracking system that utilizes dynamic number insertion. What that means is that when a search engine (like Google or Bing) “crawls” your website they will see your real practice number. But when a human (potential new patient) arrives at your website, they will see the call tracking number.

The only people that we aren’t appointing have an insurance we are not in-network with or they have Medicare, which we don’t accept. I bet you would be surprised to find out that a big percentage of potential new patients are qualified and motivated to make an appointment at your practice but for some reason, they don’t. When this happens it is often because your front office team does not know how to “lead” the caller on the path to an appointment. Through call tracking your team will learn better ways of interacting on the phone with new prospects and converting them into loyal patients of your practice.

Call tracking ensures that your marketing dollars are put their their highest and best use. If you would like to learn more about our call tracking service contact us at 888-412-8820 or visit www.opportunitytrack.com.

Practice Success,

Benjamin Suggs
New Patient Marketing Strategist
Practice Treatment Plan, Inc.