What Makes You So Special? 4 Tips on How to Answer that Question.

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Untitled design (5)Everyone thinks they are special (including me). We all know we are better than our competitors. But when our patients ask us why, it is often a hard question to answer with certainty. Even though we may know what makes us better, it not always easy to communicate that to a patient.

In the increasingly competitive market of dentistry, it is more important than ever to STAND OUT. If potential patients see your marketing and think you are no different than the other dentists out there, why should they pick up the phone and call you? Here are some tips on how to STAND OUT.

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A Huge, Untapped Source for New Patients. Right There in Your Office!

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Today we’d like to talk about a source of new patient referrals that is often overlooked in a dental practice.  Referrals from your team members.

open for businessI am not talking about the friends and family referrals that you might get from your receptionist or your assistant (that you feel obligated to offer at a discount), but a calculated and measurable plan to increase the number of patients that come to you through this channel of people.

Have you ever considered that your team can be a walking billboard for your business when they are out on their lunch break or just running errands on the weekend?  Why not encourage them to engage with potential new patients when they are out and about?

It is real simple to do. It requires not much more than a handful of Care to Share cards and maybe a clever, well-designed t-shirt branded with your logo that encourages potential patients to ask your team members, “Hey, where is that dental office?”  (According to OSHA, they should not be wearing those scrubs out of the office anyway!)

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5 Other Places Where Your Practice Needs to Be Online: Having a Website is Not Enough!

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Total Online Presence. Does that sound familiar? It does if you are a client of Practice Treatment Plan. Our clients often hear us say, “It is not enough to just have a website to market your practice online! It requires a Total Online Presence.” Total Online Presence is a system of connected links, listings and content pages that raise your online profile for search engines.

Here are 5 other places where you need to be online:

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Two Great TED Talks That Will Help You Be a Better Practice Owner (and a Better Leader)

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ted4When you own your own practice you are not just a doctor, but also a business owner, an entrepreneur and a leader. But what makes a person a great leader?  Are leaders born or are they made? Famed marketing and management guru Simon Sinek discusses these topics in two short Ted Talks (links below). As the leader of your practice we hope that they might inspire you lead your team and grow your practice to new heights! Both of these talks can also be listened to in your car if you want to make the most of your commute! They are shorter than 20 minutes.

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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.

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.

Google Search

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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: Google Search
dental marketing new patientsWhen people think of digital marketing there is one word that comes to mind over and over again…Google.  So much of the success of your online marketing campaign is centered on how Google treats your website.  As I have mentioned in past blog posts, Google’s purpose and mission is to provide reliable content based on the search terms plugged in by its users.  Providing useful content is the number one rule of showing up on the first page of the organic search results…the more relevant your content, the better your placement over time.
There was one major change that Google made just a few months ago that has drastically altered how your website shows up in those search results. It is called the “3-Pack”.
The search experience on Google used to look like this: First, a potential patient would enter a popular search term into Google like, “dentist near me”. At the top of the results page, the patient would see:
  • Two to three ads (indicated by the word “Ad” written in yellow). These are known as “Adwords” or Pay-per-click” (PPC) ads.
  • Next the user would see a map to the right, and seven local map listings to the left (known as the 7-Pack).
  • Then, below that the user would see the “organic” search results.
Now, if your website popped up in the 7-Pack that was fantastic! Even if you were number 4 or 5 on that list that was a pretty sweet spot to hold on your way to the top.  However, as Google likes to do, they shook things up and now only the top THREE spots are displayed in the search results… and thus, the 3-Pack was born.  If your website was listed as number 4, 5, 6 or 7 you no longer even show up in the results on the first page. Ouch.
Why would Google do this?  According to a Google Spokesperson quoted in an article on Searchengineland.com, “We are constantly exploring the best way to bring a better search experience to our users. This update provides people with more relevant information, including photos, reviews and prices, for searches that have multiple results for a given location.”
There is also some buzz that Google is trending away from an “organic” search result model and toward paid ads. This is something we have been telling our clients for years. We figured it out because we realized that Google is a big company that likes to make money (and really, don’t we all?). Of course they want more businesses using their Pay-Per-Click model, in which they receive direct compensation for sending people to your website.
So, what does it all mean? 
It is really very simple. If you are in a competitive area with more than three competitors, then you need to utilize Pay-Per-Click to get people to your healthcare website!
Practice Treatment Plan currently manages 40+ successful pay-per-click management campaigns for our clients. Pay-per-click has traditionally been one of our highest return on investment activities for our clients. Let us help you explore this channel if you are not doing so today. Just email me at ben@practicetreatmentplan.com to get started.
Practice Success,

 

Benjamin Suggs

New Patient Marketing Strategist

Practice Treatment Plan, Inc.

Your Practice’s Most Valuable Asset

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Welcome to the Practice Treatment Plan’s Weekly New Patient Marketing Tips! This week we will be talking about selling dental practices and the most important asset of your practice when you are looking to sell…your patient base!
Most Practice Transition Consultants will tell you that a dental practice’s most valuable asset is its roster of patients. After all, when you are buying a dental practice, you are buying future cash flows. And there is nothing that cash flow is more closely tied to than active patients.
So how do you keep your patient base strong and growing?
  • You need to ATTRACT new patients. What you need: A strong, ROI driven marketing plan, a referral program, the right brand messaging, a online reputation strategy and advanced dental technology.
  • You need to ENGAGE your new and existing patients. What you need: A well thought out patient experience plan, a modern and patient-friendly office, and a friendly, patient-focused team.
  • You need to RETAIN existing patients. What you need: Patient recall systems, make-goods for bad service, and an internal marketing plan.
  • You need to MAINTAIN an active preventive medicine / hygiene program. We have worked with doctors over the years who have tried to focus too much on attracting patients who need higher fee services (think implants), instead of focusing on preventive / hygiene patients. But a buyer is not interested in the big case work you did last year. They will be interested in those patients that will provide them big case work in the future.
Without securing a steady income stream through new patients (and converting them to loyal patients) your practice can be the most beautiful in town but it won’t be worth much on the market when it’s time to sell. So if you are thinking about selling in the future, then your focus right now should be on NEW PATIENTS!

Practice Success,

Benjamin Suggs

New Patient Marketing Strategist

Practice Treatment Plan, Inc.