Improving the return on your online marketing spend

How much do you spend on your practice marketing? Every year practices across the UK will pay staggering sums of money on marketing strategies that simply don’t pay off. Take online directory sites for example. The Yellow Pages is one of the biggest names out there, but unfortunately if you pay a yearly subscription to Yell.com, you are throwing away money.

Almost every day here at Dental Focus ®, someone will call or email asking if they should renew with Yellow Pages because they’ve ‘always done it’, or because the sales rep has paid a visit and is pushing for a quick sell. However the Return On Investment (ROI) offered by companies such as Yell.com is extremely poor.

Do see for yourself if your Yell.com subscription is proving a good investment, by checking your website’s Google Analytics. Find your Traffic Sources, then click on Sources and Referrals. Here you will see how many people visit your website from other websites that link to you. Look at ‘Yell.com’ and see how many visits you received from that directory, and then compare that number to your total visits.

Chances are, the ROI will be extremely low. The reason we can say this with such certainty is that across the board, by analysing our portfolio of over 500 dental websites, we have the unique insight to be able to observe trends, and directory services such as Yell.com only account for approximately 2% of all traffic directed to our clients’ websites.

Not a good ROI, I’m sure you will agree, and it is clear then that there are many other ways you can generate similar, if not better returns to improve the number of people visiting your website.

Before exploring the many ways you can boost your online marketing, it is worthwhile pausing for a moment to consider the question, what is a practice website actually for? Hopefully you will appreciate that while your website should be attractive, enticing, informative and even educational, the aim of your website is to attract patients to your practice. That is, it should be generating leads, and prompting patients to call, email or even visit you for more information.

One of the best ways of generating leads through your practice website is by making sure your website really stands out. This means it needs to look great, the content needs to be of the highest quality, and it should also be optimised to run on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. Good quality content is absolutely key to any successful online marketing, as the language used needs to reflect your practice ‘vision’ and should include key phrases and ‘calls to action’ to prompt viewers to contact you. Content is also key for another reason: search. Search engines such as Google use a complex set of algorithms to determine how they rate a website, and one of the most important is your content. Not only should content be of the highest quality, but it should also be regularly updated and shouldn’t just be copied from a generic source. The better your content, the longer people will stay on your website, so the higher your rank will become.

Another way you can boost your online marketing efforts is through word of mouth, as well as social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Word of mouth is widely recognised as being the single most effective form of marketing, and should be exploited at every opportunity. When a patient thanks you for your treatment, never reply ‘You’re welcome’ – instead ask them to thank you by sharing your website on Facebook. That’s free advertising, and the chance to outreach to many people you might otherwise never have reached.

The secret to good online marketing then is to be really proactive in your efforts. It doesn’t even take a minute of your time to mention your website to patients, and the more patients you can persuade to at least visit your website if nothing else, the higher your practice will rank on the Google organic search ratings. The next time a potential patient in need searches for a local dentist, the more likely they will then be to find your website, and that’s another potential patient you may well be able to convert! It may sound simple, but it’s surprising just how many people fail to adopt these simple, but effective strategies, and instead waste hundreds, if not thousands on low-ROI methods such as Yell.com and others.

For even more guidance and advice on how to make your practice website really stand out ahead of the competition, make sure you enlist the services of an award-winning web design and marketing company. To make the most of your practice’s efforts, use the internet marketing services of Dental Focus ® Web Design. The experienced team at Dental Focus ® can guide and support you on the best ways to make your practice an online success.

For more information call 020 7183 8388

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