You are probably aware that Google now gives the top three search results to it’s paid advertising e.g. pay per click or Google Adwords. This is without doubt the most effective and quickest way to get your website to the top of Google’s rankings.
However there is also a case to be made for being near the top of the rankings organically or free listings. Some people just prefer to click on the free area rather than clicking on an advert. So whilst I would always advocate using Google Adwords as your first choice, I’d like to talk a little about search engine optimisation.
Search engine optimisation is effectively trying to make your website rank towards the top of Google’s listings. You must remember that fourth place is probably the best you will ever get because of the pay per click.
But if you can get yourself to position four of five it’s certainly better than being on page two. So what do you need to do?
I’ll go through some of the other SEO tactics in later posts, but if you start to adopt these you should see your rankings improve, although this isn’t guaranteed and you are at the mercy of Google. As I said earlier, the only tried and tested way to get your site to the top of the listings is to advertise with Google.
For some time now I’ve been banging on about how your website should be mobile ready because 60% of all search is now carried out on mobile devices and you should have your website ready for these visitors.
Well things are just about the heat up even more. Google have announced major changes to their algorithms, (the industry is calling this Mobilegeddon that will do two things.
The marketing press have been full of this, Read This Article. So just what does this mean to you as a dental practice? Well basically everything. As I have mentioned on many occasions 60% of all search is not done on mobile devices. This means that if your site isn’t mobile ready, people searching for you will probably never see your site listed.
But and it’s a big but, if your site is actually found by someone who is searching for you, your listing will not have the Google mobile stamp of approval so they may well decide not to bother with your site.
This Google update is not some small thing that they will roll out as they have been doing over the last two years with most people not noticing, this is a major deal for Google, (Mobilegeddon), this is why they have been flagging this up for some time.
So what do you need to do to ensure that your website is mobile friendly and you won’t fall foul of Mobilegeddon?
In addition Google are offering you a new tool to test your website, click here to check your website and ensure that it is mobile ready, this tool is completely free and safe, it will give you all the information you need to ensure your site is mobile ready.
Incidentally Google are also checking to see if you have a mobile app too, and again if you pass this test they will rank you higher than if you don’t so you might want to think about getting yourself a mobile for the practice (we sell these too) click here to see how our Mobile App can build your practice, it’s been designed specifically for dental practices.
Things are changing in the website world, mobile websites are becoming increasingly important with Google placing an emphasis on websites having a mobile version. Users of mobile phones now expect a mobile version or an app for the business that makes their lives easier.
Over the last few years, there has been a huge growth in mobile apps, with large businesses having their own mobile app but things are now changing and evolving with smaller businesses now getting in on the act. It is now possible to have one for your dental practice. This seems a strange concept to some but there are a number of benefits that could really help your dental practice.
As we all know, everyone seems to be using their mobiles for the majority of tasks, with the average person in Britain, using their mobile for over 2 hours a day. Your patients will be no different.
The GDPUK Services team can now offer you the ability to have your own app custom built for your dental practice. Once it is built (usually takes approx 4 weeks) it will be made available on the Apple and Google Play Stores for download by your patients.
Below are five reasons an app could benefit your practice.
With the loyalty scheme built into the app, all you have to do with an app is scan a code in the practice and the patient's loyalty card is automatically marked, they can then redeem a voucher when they reach a certain number. All this is done automatically. This will be a reason your patient will keep the app on their phone, they will feel like they are getting extra value / service from visiting their dentist.
Having your own app is a great way of doing something different and innovative in your local area and will impress your patients. Having an app gives your patients a constant reminder of your presence in the community and that your practice can be seen as innovators.
Patients can message your practice directly from the app, they can request an appointment for specific items of treatment. They can also gain direct access from the app to your Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as your blog or any other social media etc.
You can push messages directly to everyone who has it. Push messaging is free and has close to a 95% read rate which when you compare to an average open rate of just 20% for an email that practices send to patients.
With a mobile app your patients can refer you directly to their friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, email or text. As we are all aware there is nothing more powerful than a personal referral for any business, for dentists personal recommendations / referrals often work brilliantly because they provide confidence to the potential new patient and also prove to your team and yourself that you are doing the right things. A number of referrals a month from the app will make the small investment in the app totally worth it.
As a digital company, we are always interested in digital innovations and improved efficiency, especially in the dental sector. One area of dentistry that this is particularly apparent, is in the booking of dental appointments online. Although this is a relatively new sector, there are a number of companies who are improving access, customer service and ease for patients.
Toothpick who are one of the leaders of this revolution, shared some amazing numbers from 2014, which they have given us permission to share. The infograph below gives a great indication of the growth of the sector, can dental practices afford to miss out on offering this service?
A few stats that caught our attention:-
We believe this sector will continue to grow over the next few years. Dentists are always looking for new ways to gain patients and offering 24hr online booking seems a great way of doing this. The general public are increasingly familiar with doing many things online, so why should booking a dental appointment be any different? The service seems to benefit all involved. The continued growth of smartphone usage, plus the introduction of dental practice apps or mobile webpages will also fuel the growth of this sector in 2015.
It will be interesting to see how this sector evolves over the next few years but our suspicion is that it will soon be an expected feature on the majority of dental practice websites, mobile sites or apps.
Please enjoy looking at the infograph and you can find some further information on Toothpick below.