Adrian’s Articles

Dental Websites for Generation Dumb

Monday 13th September 2010

Is the Internet making us all dumber?

Supposedly the Internet has changed the way our brains work, reducing our ability to think critically and to concentrate for sustained periods of time. Increasingly now, the theory is (because of the Internet) we tend to quickly ‘skim’ information and we have become more superficial, less able to concentrate on detail. The argument is that if you neglect the more ‘focused’ ways of thinking, these pathways will gradually disappear.

But as human beings, we naturally crave new information. We always want to know more, even if that means setting aside something quite important, to find it out. Social networking sites, ever-changing websites, e-mails, tweets and blogs all feed this ‘habit’. A pleasure producing chemical called ‘Dopamine’ is released when we find new pieces of information. Therefore we basically crave online interruptions.

Naturally, to be able to ‘harness’ this growing need is important for your dental websites and dental marketing effort. So offer your patients information to process that is new and interesting. Have an updated and relevant dental website, showing fresh weekly information, special offers, video testimonials, news, blogs etc.

Make people feel that if they don’t visit your site, they may be missing out. They are spending, on average, 45% of their time, looking at various types of media. Much of that time is spent looking at trivia. So make the information on your dental website of real relevance and interest. Then watch the results!

Dental Focus Web Design provides empowerment training for blogs so that you know exactly what weekly updates to make. You need to increase your credibility week on week. You need to know exactly what attracts weekly patient enquiries. Be empowered by the Masters!

adrian-blogAdrian Adler is “the Wizard” at Dental Focus Web Design.

Remember to subscribe to our blog by e-mail so you can get our latest dental marketing ideas and tips immediately – the Internet Marketing Secrets of “WOW websites that find you and convert you!”

If you would like some free advice, Email Us or call 020 7183 8388.

Behavioural Marketing & Google Analytics

Saturday 4th September 2010

How do men and women behave on your dental website?

Men and women of course, have different behaviours. Men tend to be concrete thinkers that like to consummate and complete what they set out to do, they like powerful imagery (and sounds) as reinforcement to written information. At Dental Focus Web Design, we encourage our dentist clients to show before and after photographs to give visual evidence of clinical experience and expertise. Women are different biologically, psychologically and socially. They tend to prefer written (or verbal) communication, which leads to deeper processing of information and better recall. We recommend video testimonials to show emotional evidence of your patient’s new smile and outcome; greater confidence and happiness.

How do your patients react to your dental website?

Knowing and understanding your patient base will make your dental marketing more successful. Surveys and questionnaires are very useful in getting inside your customer’s head. Existing patients can and should be your most valuable resource when it comes to figuring out what new patients want on your dental website.

Behavioural Marketing is the targeting of website visitors based on their observed previous behaviour, applying ‘recency’ and ‘frequency’ to consumer data.

‘Recency’ = how recently your website visitor has performed an action

‘Frequency’ = how often your website visitor has performed an action

Changing behaviour is really difficult to do. So it’s much smarter to adapt your dental marketing and dental websites to existing behaviours in a way that gets the patient to think about the dental services on offer. ‘Social media’ isn’t inherently new behaviour; it is simply a new technology that facilitates existing behaviour.

We can also measure and analyse behaviour using website statistics such as Google Analytics.

Adrian the Wizard’s “Top 7 Google Analytics”:

1. Visitors > Overview > Absolute Unique Visitors

– how many people visited your dental website compared to last month?

2. Visitors > Overview > Average Pageviews

– how many pages did people look at compared to last month?

3. Visitors > Overview > Time on Site

– how many minutes did people spend on your dental website compared to last month?

4. Visitors > Overview > Bounce Rate

– what percentage left your dental website immediately compared to last month?

…Is this bounce rate expected or do you need to change your content?

5. Traffic Sources > Keywords

– which keyphrases were used to find your dental website on Google, Yahoo and Bing?

6. Content > Top Content

which pages were the most popular?

7. Content > Top Exit Pages

which pages made most people leave your dental website?

At Dental Focus Web Design, all our dental websites include Google Analytics to ensure you can measure the behaviour of your website visitors and your dental marketing success.

adrian-blogAdrian Adler is “the Wizard” at Dental Focus Web Design.

Remember to subscribe to our blog by e-mail so you can get our latest dental marketing ideas and tips immediately – the Internet Marketing Secrets of “WOW websites that find you and convert you!”

If you would like some free advice, Email Us or call 020 7183 8388.

Your Dental Website Address

Tuesday 17th August 2010

Everyday, thousands of co.uk domain names are registered on a first-come-first-served basis. Your domain name (e.g. harleystreetsmileclinic.co.uk) will be used for your dental website address (e.g. www.harleystreetsmileclinic.co.uk) and email address (e.g. email @harleystreetsmileclinic.co.uk)

The sooner you secure your domain name, the better. If you don’t act quickly, firstly, you will miss an opportunity to get the exact web address you want. Chances are that your domain name is already taken and you will now need to consider alternatives. Secondly, domain name age is one of the 200 over ranking factors in Google’s algorithm, albeit a relatively light weighted factor. More importantly, the sooner you launch and establish a relevant dental website, the older your credibility and relationship with Google, which helps your rankings.

Your website address is your online location, like the postal address of your dental practice. Choosing the right domain name is important to your online dental marketing. When finding a domain name you should consider using words that you wish to be associated with; your practice name is an obvious choice. If Google rankings for your location are your priority, then you should select a domain name with the location keywords.

Keep your domain name short so that your website and email address is short to make it easy to say, spell and remember. You also want to fit your web address into tight advertising spaces (e.g. signage or newspaper advert) and make it both visible and readable from a distance.

A co.uk domain name tells everyone that your dental practice website is UK based. Indeed, in research, 72% of respondents in this country said they would prefer to visit a .uk web site above any other.

Google.co.uk results are different to Google.com (worldwide), Google.ie (Ireland) or any other country. Google deems UK websites to be more relevant for its Google.co.uk search results and thus ranks UK dental web sites higher. Over 80% of all UK searches take place on Google.co.uk so it is very important to indicate to Google that you’re a UK dental website. In fact, if your priority is to rank at the top of Google.co.uk, and you don’t already have an established dental practice website, then you should use a co.uk web address in order to gain quicker rankings.

Remember not to use the “specialist” keyword unless you are sure the General Dental Council (GDC) will approve. Also be careful not to knowingly infringe an existing trademark name when registering your domain name because the law can easily view your act in bad faith and you will lose that web address to the trademark owner just as easily as you secured it. It’s important not to waste your time and money, especially valuable Google rankings, on a domain name you will later lose.

There’s no point in dentists buying hundreds of domain names and spending a fortune on renewing them. You only need one web address per dental website. We usually recommend co.uk as the main one to promote but we also secure .com to simply protect your intellectual property.

At Dental Focus Web Design, we help dentists choose and secure their dental website addresses everyday. It’s the first decision that you need to get right to ensure your online dental marketing is a success.

adrian-blogAdrian Adler is “the Wizard” at Dental Focus Web Design.

Remember to subscribe to our blog by e-mail so you can get our latest dental marketing ideas and tips immediately – the Internet Marketing Secrets of “WOW websites that find you and convert you!”

If you would like some free advice, Email Us or call 020 7183 8388.

Dental Website Templates – Aesthetics

Saturday 24th April 2010
dental website templates

Photo by andrewarchy. CC BY 2.0.

The word “aesthetics” is derived from the Greek word “aisthanesthai” which means perception. Much debate and discussion has occurred over the centuries about the central questions of aesthetics.

Aesthetics is based on ‘perception’, which is the process of attaining awareness of sensory information. The oldest quantitative law in psychology quantifies the relationship between the intensity of physical stimuli and their perceptual effect. This is very relevant to new technology, the internet and websites. For example; how effective and what messages does your dental website (a piece of visual stimulus) give? The process of perception alters what people see. When people view something with a preconceived idea about it, they tend to see their preconceived idea, whether they are there to see or not. This problem stems from the fact that humans are unable to understand new information without the inherent bias of their previous knowledge. The human mind will usually try to reach for something that it already recognizes, when confronted with something new and not easily comprehended.

This is where bespoke dental website design can be so effective, by providing visual, powerful stimuli that will reassure and help the site visitor. Dental website templates will not help you break through barriers and stand out. Without new, understandable information, a patient will just see their old, ideas of what a ‘dentist’ is, with all their existing preconceptions (possibly misconceptions).

How is your dental website template perceived by the viewing audience (that is assuming you have one)?

Aesthetics are very relevant to dentistry. The World Aesthetic Congress (WAC) is coming up in June and is held every year for ‘aesthetic dentistry’, which improves the appearance of patients (through dental and other cosmetic treatments, etc). Your website may need the equivalent of a ‘smile makeover’, in order to send out the right message to achieve your dental marketing aims.

adrian-blogAdrian Adler is “the Wizardat Dental Focus Web Design.

Remember to subscribe to our blog by e-mail so you can get our latest dental practice marketing plan immediately – the Internet Marketing Secrets of “WOW websites that find you and convert you!”

If you would like some free advice on how to replace your old dentist website template so you can enter the dental website awardsEmail Us or call 020 7183 8388.

Dental Design & Marketing that “Feels Good”

Monday 29th March 2010
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Photo by Victor Bezrukov. CC BY 2.0.

Dentists need to move away from ‘procedure-oriented’ dental marketing, and find new, unique ways to win patients.

Yes the dentist may offer Restorative Work, Implants, Cosmetics, Dentures, Whitening, etc. and good work too, but dentists mustn’t become too obsessed with these procedures. The “marketing” and “emotional connection” stuff matters too, in fact “emotional branding” is the new buzz word in marketing.

First a dentist needs to develop empathy with patients. A complete understanding of the psychological state of mind of patients (who will sense this). Most dentists of course, strongly believe that the services they provide will help people solve dental problems or enhance the quality of patients’ look, teeth, confidence, etc. and they are right. But almost everyone outside of the dental profession pays little attention to dental health issues until they are forced to do so.

In dental marketing, you should always find ways to win the confidence of patients before they accept treatments. A website communicates a mood, an ambiance. It has ethereal values and can form an empathetic connection with patients. With design, colours, information, it can have a ‘tone of voice’. It beats walking up to someone and bragging about how good you are.

So do not sell procedures. Instead, present patients with a ‘feel good’ website. That way, you let the patient choose and accept the service and the solution.

adrian-blogAdrian Adler is “the Wizardat Dental Focus Web Design.

Remember to subscribe to our blog by e-mail so you can get all our dental marketing ideas immediately – the Internet Marketing Secrets of “WOW websites that find you and convert you!”

If you would like some free advice, Email Us or call 020 7183 8388.

Dental Websites Must Breathe

Wednesday 10th March 2010
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Photo by BruceTurner. CC BY 2.0.

A dental website is a functional, ‘living and breathing’ marketing tool. The world and the web is always changing, advancing and moving forward.

Dental websites can help potential patients develop ‘trust’ and ‘confidence’, without even meeting the dentist. The dental clinic is marketing 24/7 through a website. If a practice environment and its technology look outdated, patients will lose confidence in their dentists and start to ‘shop around’. Similarly, if a dental practice website looks outdated, visitors will lose trust and move on.

Visitors will not enjoy a web site that is out of date – their attention and interest is key in converting them into patient leads. Returning website visitors will be impressed when they notice new content and activity. A website needs to be a true and current reflection of a dental practice. It should emphasize all the dentist’s strengths in a positive and enticing way. That is why we encourage our clients to play a very active role in maintaining and growing their website content i.e. fees, special offers, team updates, treatments and testimonials.

Changes to your website are also necessary for improving Google search engine rankings. Google ranks websites based on relevancy for today. What’s deemed relevant for today may not be the same next week or next month. Thus, you need to signal to Google that your website is up-to-date by regular changes to your website.

Growing your  website pages using a blog publishing platform puts you in control!

adrian-blogAdrian Adler is “the Wizardat Dental Focus Web Design.

We’d love to hear from you and have a discussion – please leave a comment and rate us!

And remember to subscribe to our blog by e-mail so you can get all our dental marketing ideas immediately – the Internet Marketing Secrets of “WOW websites that find you and convert you!”

If you would like some free advice, Email Us or call 020 7183 8388.

Dental Marketing USPs

Sunday 7th March 2010
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Photo by Cameron Cassan. CC BY 2.0.

Many dentists regard marketing as a necessity and therefore not always something they need to ‘embrace’. For dental marketing to work effectively, it needs to be a ‘state of mind’, it requires a strong, consistent, long term communication of your Unique Selling Points (USPs).

To do this, one of the first things is to develop a dental website. With all the dental websites out there now, you need to stand out by communicating USPs with patients in mind. The website content should be interesting, exciting and worth knowing about.

A dental logo is not a brand. It is only a brand element. To transform your brand is not just about redesigning your logo or the ‘look’ of your website. A dental brand is about who you are and how you do things – your USPs. A patient may think that they can transform their smile, but we all know that afterwards, behind that smile is essentially the same person.

We help you develop your USPs by emphasizing your strengths i.e. the dentistry expertise, the practice, the people, the treatments and the value you are offering people. The market has become crowded with “me-too” competitors. Unless you just want to sell on ‘low price’, this is no way forward. We believe in dental marketing that enables patients to see your particular ‘point of difference’ as valid and valuable.

Always beware, of finding yourself saying the same things in the same way as other dentists. It pays dividends to talk not only about your own dental services but also about your own particular dental expertise. In other words – what makes you different? In fact, we feature on many of our dental websites a page called “Why Choose Us”. The most important USPs are about the patient experience – how will the treatment, people, environment and communication be different at your dental practice?

Remember, a website is only a reflection of you, your brand, your USPs!

adrian-blogAdrian Adler is “the Wizardat Dental Focus Web Design.

We’d love to hear from you and have a discussion – please leave a comment and rate us!

And remember to subscribe to our blog by e-mail so you can get all our dental marketing ideas immediately – the Internet Marketing Secrets of “WOW websites that find you and convert you!”

If you would like some free advice, Email Us or call 020 7183 8388.

Attention Span in Dental Marketing

Saturday 27th February 2010

dental-marketing-dental-designIn order to measure the length of anybody’s attention span in doing any activity, the type of activity undertaken will affect the result. Someone is obviously capable of a longer attention span when they are doing something that is enjoyable and/or intrinsically motivating.

Therefore if a dental website was dull and uninteresting, someone’s visit to that site is going to be a lot shorter than it would be with a well designed website. Furthermore their attention span will be further decreased if the website is found to be difficult to navigate and it is slow to download sections. Frustration certainly shortens a person’s attention span.

The web has allowed people to develop incredibly short attention spans. This is because everyone knows that there are always other sites that they can look at, with similar information. In fact, there are many different ways to find these different websites: Search Engines, Directory sites, Price Comparison sites, Social Networking sites etc – they all offer a huge amount of data on services available.

Consequently it’s now a bit like a small boy being let loose for hours in a sweet shop. With the internet too, you are spoilt for choice. Therefore if you see a site with a long, long introduction on the home page set out in a tiny type size, are you going to take the time to read it, or go somewhere else? Initially, most people are not particularly loyal and faithful when it comes to websites. But once someone finds a site that gives them the information they want, in an easy to understand way, that person will keep coming back.

A dental website design strives to achieve the main dental marketing objective: ‘conversions’. A ‘conversion’ is where people (as a result of visiting a website) actually pick up the phone to make an enquiry (or they pay a personal visit to find out more). To increase ‘conversions’ we ensure a site is as highly ranked as possible on Search Engines and then the site design itself works to ‘convert’ each site visitor into an enquiry. This is mainly achieved by lengthening the site visitor’s attention span.

adrian-blogAdrian Adler is “the Wizardat Dental Focus Web Design.

We’d love to hear from you and have a discussion – please leave a comment and rate us!

And remember to subscribe to our blog by e-mail so you can get all our dental marketing ideas immediately – the Internet Marketing Secrets of “WOW websites that find you and convert you!”

If you would like some free advice, Email Us or call 020 7183 8388.

Psychology of Website Design

Sunday 21st February 2010

Happy guys and girls expressing happinessPositive psychology is a more recent branch of psychology that “studies the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive”.

We seek to adapt and utilize this for the visual communication of ‘positive values’ in our web designs for dentists, as this forms the basis of an effective dental marketing strategy. Positive psychologists seek “to find and nurture genius and talent”, in other words, to find the positive and “to maximize this, making normal life more fulfilling”.

Therefore we set out to find positive, aspirational images of places, people and situations that are relevant to Dental Care. A good web designer is taught: “Always show the benefits and the positives”.

The theories of human flourishing developed by humanistic psychologists such as Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers and Eric Fromm, have found much support from positive psychologists. How do we humanize every situation to make it accessible and achievable? This is the challenge facing the web designers at Dental Focus on a daily basis, as we communicate Dental Marketing values. I taught design once to ‘disaffected’ youths and I found Positive Psychology to be the way forward. To identify in each individual learner his strengths, the things he enjoyed and excelled at, rather than the negatives that had got him in to trouble. Design is about expression, so we express visually the ‘positives’. It worked for me with troublesome teenagers, and it certainly works with professional Dental Practices (who I find a lot less troublesome!). In fact with dental website design, we achieve some quite startling results!

Positive emotions, engagement, and higher hopes are all central to good web design and to Positive Psychology.

adrian-blogAdrian Adler is “the Wizardat Dental Focus Web Design.

We’d love to hear from you and have a discussion – please leave a comment and rate us!

And remember to subscribe to our blog by e-mail so you can get all our dental marketing ideas immediately – the Internet Marketing Secrets of “WOW websites that find you and convert you!”

If you would like some free advice, Email Us or call 020 7183 8388.

My best mate is a web designer

Sunday 21st February 2010

Water leaking from holes in bucket“My mate has offered to do my website”. We hear this a lot, and we are very pleased that the level of ‘online literacy & knowledge’ is forever increasing. This, in turn, will also mean that so is the level of the online sophistication of the ‘audience’.

Dental Marketing and web design are both highly specialized areas. That is why a proven track record is so important. To know what works and what doesn’t work. Would you have a serious medical operation done by a friend who was an inexperienced doctor ‘dabbling’ in surgery? Okay, you could rightly argue that an ineffective website is not as serious as a limb dropping off. It may not be life threatening, but are you happy to hemorrhage money from your dental practice and spurn commercial business opportunities?

It’s true that few websites are absolute disasters. But there are so many which are losing traffic, losing potential business and not attracting enough visitors. This loss of revenue just steadily mounts up.

Your core brand proposition is crucial, and has to be expressed effectively through your web design. So web design is not just about pretty pictures and technical knowledge, it’s also about marketing savvy. We first need to judge how and why your Dental Marketing objectives can be met. The brand, the content, the proposition and the design all have crucial roles to play in meeting the visitor’s expectations and requirements.

Every visitor to your website is looking for something specific and you have about 10 seconds to engage them before they might leave. So the first page that they see on your Website must work visually and functionally to draw them in.

As well as attracting attention, a website builds your credibility. This can be done through a combination of Testimonials, Smile galleries, Before and After photos, biographies etc.

At the end of the day, your website has a specific job to do: Dental Marketing. You wouldn’t ever knowingly use anything sub-standard to do any important job, would you? That would be like you borrowing a bucket with holes in it, to carry water? Please make sure your dental website is not letting you down.

adrian-blogAdrian Adler is “the Wizardat Dental Focus Web Design.

We’d love to hear from you and have a discussion – please leave a comment and rate us!

And remember to subscribe to our blog by e-mail so you can get all our dental marketing ideas immediately – the Internet Marketing Secrets of “WOW websites that find you and convert you!”

If you would like some free advice, Email Us or call 020 7183 8388.