Normally I restrict my posts to reports about new dental marketing ideas, latest web design techniques or items of a similar ilk. However, I felt it important to share with you an example of really poor practice implemented by one of the largest dental web design “specialists” who purport to be web marketing experts. I’m referring to duplicate content – the web design “no no” that Google deplores and will result in search engine penalties for unsuspecting website owners.

For those who don’t know what this means, duplicate content is fairly self-explanatory – in a nut-shell, the same web content published on different sites is absolutely contrary to good design practice and will result in your website being relegated down the search rankings whilst you sit and watch perplexed.

So what would you think if you knew that one of the “leading” dental design agencies was rolling out duplicate content to client’s sites without their knowledge? Ironically this company claims to be a search marketing expert. This is quite scary and illustrates the hype and hard-sell that surrounds a project that is oversold but under-delivered. Frankly I was flabbergasted when I stumbled across this – to my dismay I looked a little closer and found lots of examples.

Clearly I won’t publish the examples here to save any embarrassment for the poor website owners but take a look yourself – it won’t take you long. There are lots of examples of bad practice web design and search marketing out there which you might imagine result from rushed projects, “packaged” deals and production line design that adds zero value to your business.

At Dental Media we take pride in following only the best practice web design and search marketing guidelines. Our designs are truly bespoke and we don’t up-sell unnecessary add-ons that offer you nothing except a bigger cost outlay.

Please forgive me being a little bit emotional about this – I was genuinely shocked to find these examples and feel sorry for the poor website owners it will affect.

So to summarise, don’t believe the hype, carefully check what you are being told and above all seek references. Better still, join the growing migration to Dental Media for plain talk, beautiful dental website design and a better class of web marketing.

Dave

These days it is simply not sufficient to rely on a website alone for your internet marketing. Whilst a beautiful dental website will always remain at the heart of your internet strategy, it should now be supported by other web based tools designed to drive traffic to your site and also to sell your services by direct interaction. We will explore how the social media platforms, Twitter and Facebook can be used as effective traffic generators in another article but here we will concentrate on the power of YouTube and video as key marketing tools.

Before reading on, please take a look at our own promotional dental marketing video shot by our team in full HD and uploaded to YouTube. A picture paints a thousand words – a video many more!

YouTube is owned by Google and behind Facebook and Google itself is the third most visited site on the web. Sellers exhibit their services and products using small video clips which are in turn viewed by consumers researching potential purchases. This is an ideal medium for dentists to present new offers to existing and potential new clients in addition to providing relevant back-links to the main dental website.

This may seem like a daunting exercise with a high entry barrier but in reality it is quite straightforward. A simple and effective way to get up and running is to use domestic equipment to take short video clips of the dental practice and team, upload these to YouTube and then publish via your website or blog. Please contact us for free advice and we’ll be happy to walk you through it.

Alternatively, Dental Media can provide a professional video service whereby our video team will visit your practice and shoot a beautiful suite of short videos in full HD. These can be used in your website and your news blog to present your products and services in the most engaging way.

So if you’d like to engage new and existing patients with a quality, bespoke video in full HD, please contact us for more information. The power of referral is overwhelming when a quality service has been provided – we can help you present client testimonials, an overview of the dental practice services and procedures and a profile of the team all via the power of HD video.

Dental video marketing is key in 2011 and beyond – please contact us for more details and we’ll show you how.

Dental Media

Throughout 2010 Google remained the dominant search engine and it continues to grow – so much so that by the end of 2010, Google had recorded 66% of all internet searches. Bing had grown to 12%, primarily at the expense of Yahoo that had fallen away to 16%. Within the last days it has been announced that one of the lesser engines, Ask, had ceased to trade due to lost share. Google has become synonymous with the word “search” and its easy to see why our first focus should fall there when we are determining our dental web marketing strategy for 2011 and onward.

Google is a massive innovator and continually introduces new tools that we need be familiar with in our quest to top the Google search ranking. So what has Google been up to in 2010 and how do we see that progressing into 2011?

Google Instant:

A few months ago Google started to roll out new search functionality “Instant” aimed at speeding up searching by 2 – 5 seconds per average search. You will likely have experienced this when using Google – as you type, predicted search results appear in your browser ready to be clicked; you don’t even need to press “search”. Effectively you can scan results returned on-the-fly as you type. Google claims that the ranking of websites is unaffected by “Instant” which is almost certainly true. However, our statistics show that it is having a major effect on how users search and what link they ultimately click. The temptation is for a user to click a link before they had fully entered the original search term they had in mind! We have seen the (often adverse) effect of this in several web stat tools that we employ.

The conclusion here is that all on and off site SEO now needs to take account of the behaviour of Google “Instant” and how this impacts on the structure of website page titles, key word phrases etc. So as Google innovates we need to continually revisit our SEO strategy to ensure we stay in touch and hold on to those hard won top search rankings.

Google Maps and Places:

Another essential tool introduced by Google in 2009 and more recently updated is “Maps and Places” (you may recall the earlier service Google “Local”). You do not need to be a search marketing consultant to have noticed that search entries, particularly those with a place name, return a list of “local” results ahead of the usual organic listing! This is a great opportunity to get a first page ranking with relatively little effort – particularly when compared to a long and costly traditional SEO campaign.

As with all on-line marketing tools there is an optimal way to set up and use the facility – done incorrectly you can actually do more damage than good for your ranking position. So please research carefully or contact us for advice.

Just before we leave Google Maps and Places, one very important feature we need to highlight is the ability to rate an advertisers services. Whilst the number and quality of ratings that you get will not affect your ranking position it will likely have a very important effect on the way users view your listing and the likelihood that they will click through to your site. Advertisers with a number of good reviews ranking near the bottom of page one will likely receive more clicks than un-rated sites appearing higher up. Good reviews are critical to build the credibility of your services so you need to encourage this with your customers, friends and family. Ask them to drop by at Google Places, find your listing, sign-in and get you rated!

Google, Dental Marketing Video and You Tube:

This is a critical new tool which is worthy of its own article and covered in more detail separately in this blog. However, no review of the latest trends in Dental Marketing would be complete without at least a mention of the power of video for dental promotion. YouTube is owned by Google and is the largest video site on the internet – it receives the third highest number of visits behind Facebook and Google itself. You will have noticed that more and more companies are now using Google to advertise their products and services whilst consumers are using YouTube to check out what is on offer. This is an essential form of direct marketing which you simply need to be a part of.

However there is another significant benefit to posting video on YouTube that is not always realised. A properly optimised video acts as a great link source back to your main dental website, driving more visitors to your site and ultimately building your client base. Please follow the link for a more detailed article on the use of dental marketing video and YouTube.

Summary:

In summary we can see that Google continues to innovate and continues to provide useful tools that are essential for dental marketing. At Dental Media we constantly review such tools from Google and other providers and how they can be put to best use by our clients. We will present our experience of what works and what doesn’t work in concise and user friendly format so please visit us regularly and keep ahead.

You can always contact us for free advice or to discuss your dental website and marketing requirements.

Best wishes for a successful 2011

Vanessa and the Dental Media Team