Posts Tagged ‘Dentist Websites’

Creative Thinking

Tuesday 15th April 2014

Dental Focus design web sites for dental practices. To design, we think ‘creatively’, not ‘subjectively’. Thinking creatively is not “thinking outside he box”, but instead “thinking from firmly within the box”. We need to know the objectives, the relevant imagery, your treatments, the practice’s “Point of Difference” etc, before starting to design. Designers (many assume), can be tortured, cynical, self-conscious souls. But we are not really.

Nevertheless, here for some light relief, are the top ten common mistakes supposedly made by designers (I can relate to these, being the ex-Creative Director of a Design consultancy). These points can be worth applying to any thought process that you are about to undertake.

1. Flogging a dead horse

Sometimes when a client rejects an idea we go back one too many times trying to persuade them otherwise. Learning to tear up your own ideas and come back again with a better one is a right of passage for any great designer. And trust me, I’ve learned this the hard way.

2. Killing a great idea too early

Of course, it works the other way too. If it’s a good thought, let others know and don’t be afraid to fight your corner. Sometimes tweaking, rather than binning, works wonders. We’d have lost so many design classics to the wastepaper basket had it not been for the bravery and tenacity of good designers with a bee in their bonnet.

3. Underestimating yourself

Designers are an insecure breed. This can lead to a lack of confidence when starting a new brief, presenting work or even when selling yourself to a potential employer. But the trick is to learn to love the fear – after all, if it wasn’t so scary, would it be so rewarding? It’s worth embracing your anxieties and the adrenaline rush that creativity provides. Turn nerves into pure nerve and you’ll be surprised at the effect.

4. Bad spelling

A letterform is a beautiful thing to a creative. We don’t write letters, we draw them. So often we’re so focused on the way they look that we neglect to make sure that they’re in the right order, at the despair of every copywriter we work with (not to mention the eagle-eyed client). Just don’t forget that good design can be completely demolished by poor spelling. Get friendly with your dictionary, or failing that find a decent proof-reader.

5. Using a favourite typeface too often

Isn’t it better when a typeface is used because it’s right for a particular brief, not just because we like it?

6. Being precious about awards

Ah, the glory of standing up there, award in hand, eyes ablaze at the prospect of an evening spent drunkenly dancing whilst grinning from ear to ear. But for every victor, there’s a grumpy designer at the back of the auditorium lamenting his loss to anyone who’ll listen. Design awards aren’t the be-all and end-all. There will always be an element of subjectivity in judging design work. The fact is, if a project is the best that you could have made it then you should feel proud to have it in your portfolio – silverware or no. And you’d only leave the award in the taxi on the way home anyway.

7. Missing talent

I’ve interviewed graduates in the past and offered them a placement only to see them get snapped up by another consultancy in a permanent role. When you wholeheartedly believe in someone, you will never regret employing them. (And always, always hire people better than yourself).

8. Getting overly emotionally involved in a pitch

When we win, it’s sheer joy. When we lose – deepest despair. If only we could pitch without exposing ourselves to potential agony. But then would that take the fun out of pitching?

9. Shelf-stacking

OK – so this is one for the packaging designers. We often find ourselves standing in supermarkets, rearranging shelves or displays, making our designs look neat and tidy – drawing confused glances from our fellow shoppers. Some would call this a mistake, I call it good marketing practice.

10. Trying to ‘Apple-Z’ real life

This keyboard shortcut is now so ingrained in our brains that when we accidentally knock over a glass of water we try to ‘undo’ real life. Note to self: keep the keyboard shortcuts to the keyboard, and always have some kitchen-paper handy.

11. Designing inappropriate leaving/birthday cards

When a brief isn’t real, it’s all too tempting to cross the line. Rumour has it that designers have lost their jobs over such things. Leading to more leaving cards, and yet more opportunities for offence. Be careful, and get yourself to the nearest Paperchase if needs be.

12. Poor numeracy skills

Hmm, yes, you’ll have noticed the deliberate mistake here. Ten design mistakes? Well, I’ve never been able to restrain myself from throwing more ideas into the mix. Which leads me onto number 13… no, sorry, I’ll stop there. But in all seriousness, mistakes are what make us human, perhaps even what makes us creative. So maybe we should be less self-deprecating, and a little more accepting of our foibles – after all, don’t we creatives take enough of a beating? So my advice is this; go forth, make mistakes, fail, come back the next day, learn. But whatever you do, do use spell-check along the way.

 

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

Remember to subscribe to our E-Newsletter.

If you have any questions or need help, email us or call 020 7183 8388.

https://www.dental-focus.com/

SEO Blogging for Dentists

Thursday 7th November 2013

I often get clients asking me how they can write blogs for SEO and what they should be doing. To address this, this month’s article is about SEO Blogging.

Google is a big fan of blogging and loves fresh content on your website. When Google sees you adding content on a regular basis, it sees you as a frequent advocator of your topic. And when Google sees people visiting your articles and spending time viewing them, it can tell Google you’re an influential advocator. If you get a big enough following, Google will consider you as the go-to person your visitor’s location (for local SEO).

Blog articles tend to be read and stored in Google’s memory faster than web pages. With the new Hummingbird update, they’ve become even more important as good articles directly answer search queries. Suffice to say, I could write an article on the benefits of blogging alone. But today I want to discuss how Dentists can blog.

Initially Dentists should be following these core rules:

– Article content needs to be a minimum of 350 words
– Article should contain an image
– Keyword and location (if used) should be in the title and appear in the body of the article
– The article should never be discussing more than 2 treatments ever. When 2 treatments are used they should ideally be semantically linked i.e. Ortho and Invisalign
– The core keywords should appear as high up as possible and link to the relevant treatment page to help deliver on the user’s search
– Content should be unique – absolute minimal duplication of text
– Do not overuse a keyword – max 2-3% occurrence in the article (remember to use semantically related words)
– Try to create articles to cater to 3 common types of searches

1. Informational – Patient FAQ on the treatment
2. Navigational – Article about your practice, the history, the plans, competitions etc
3. Transactional – Promote competitions the value of your services and pricing

I recommend creating a story out of a testimonial (providing you have the patients consent) to cater to one of the 3 searches.
For example:

Patient X’s success in choosing Dental Implants in Glasgow.

Dental Implants GlasgowPatient x for a number of years had suffered from missing teeth. They’d struggled with certain types of food and had to eliminate xyz from their staple diet. They had considered dental implants in Glasgow but were unsure where to go. They were concerned with finding a trusted dentist and had spent a long time considering their options. Through word of mouth they found out about Dr Philip Friel at Philip Friel Advanced Dentistry. They carried out their research online and were happy with the evidence and testimonials so they contacted Philip 3 weeks ago.

From the initial call they had a consultation booked in with Philip to discuss their Teeth replacement needs and options.

Create a story which can show that each patient is unique, their experience and story, why did they wait so long for the treatment, why did they choose you? Add a small testimonial from them. Did they travel across the globe for you? Did they experience anything above and beyond the call of duty, would they recommend you to anyone?

Use these points to create a compelling story to satisfy your potential patient’s queries and answer the questions they may be searching though Google for. I’m sure a question could be how many times can I spin a story? Well with a bit of practice, creativity and building rapport with clients, you should be able to create good SEO blog articles.

Is your website Google friendly?

Monday 7th October 2013

In this age of the internet, search is everything. Direct traffic (that is, people who type your web address into their browser) is all well and good, but it relies on patients knowing your practice exists in the first place, and not every patient will be able to remember your web address off by heart.

This is why search is so important. Whether a patient is looking specifically for your practice, or if they are looking for a practice in your area that offers the sorts of treatments you provide, it is absolutely essential that your practice website ranks highly in organic search on Google. This is because Google is the world’s most popular search engine, and so more potential patients will be using Google than any other search engine, and the fact is, if your site is optimised for Google – if it’s designed to be “Google friendly” – then it will also rank highly on other search engines as well.

Natural search

When you type in a keyword, or a string of keywords into Google, two types of search results will be displayed. The first few will be adverts. These are search results where companies or individuals have purchased “AdWords” that are tied to certain search terms, so when someone searches it, their own website appears at the top. These work on a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) basis, as advertisers only pay when a user clicks on the link.

Purchasing these Pay-Per-Click results can be useful, especially to help establish a business, but it does of course cost money, and selecting the right AdWords to buy for the best conversion rate can be a difficult task without expert advice.

After the paid-for ads at the top of any search results, will come what’s known as the “natural” search results. These are results that have been generated organically by Google, without the influence of AdWords. Though Google guards the secrets to its search algorithms closely, it is widely recognised by industry experts that general standards of “good web practice” lead to better search results. If your website is well designed, with lots of high quality, regular content that attracts visitors and tempts them to spend time on your page, then your website will rank higher up the Google ladder for search terms associated with your practice.

Content is key

There are a number of key elements to web design that you need to consider when optimising your site for the web. One of the most important is content. After all, why do people use the internet other than to find and digest content? With this in mind, it is absolutely essential that your practice website is filled with lots of well-written, useful content that is relevant to them, and is of sufficient good quality to both attract them to stay on your site, and hold their attention long enough to persuade them to contact you! Here at Dental Focus we encourage separate web pages for each treatment that you offer in order to give maximum optimisation and relevancy for treatment rankings. We also advise you to use individual copywriting on each of your web pages so Google finds unique content on your website that isn’t just copy and pasted from another location.

In the ideal world, every dental practice website would be updated regularly with interesting, new content. This is one of the main reasons many dental practices now run their own blogs. A blog will allow you to add to your website’s content on a regular basis while also demonstrating your commitment to issues surrounding oral health. With a regular and active blog, not only will your patients love your website, but Google will too!

Compatibility

Aside from the content, and of course the design, of your practice website, there are a number of other factors that need to be taken into consideration. One of the most important here, is compatibility.

With the surge in popularity of smart phones and tablet devices, more and more people are now surfing the internet on the move, and so your practice website needs to be fully compatible with these devices. If your website isn’t compatible, then visitors will be less likely to stay, and your search rating will drop.

But compatibility doesn’t just apply to the way a website appears on smart phones and tablets. If a website is poorly designed and poorly optimised for a range of different display formats and browsers, even a home computer user may be turned off from visiting your site if text and images don’t display as intended.

And another thing…

Though it may seem a fairly obvious point to make, the more activity on your website, the higher it will rank in search results. For maximum visibility you should encourage patients to visit your website and leave reviews on your Google+ Page. Make sure you install Google Analytics for the best website statistics to measure and signal activity. Social media links and feeds from Facebook, Twitter and your Blog will also keep your homepage fresh and active.

Although this may seem like a lot to remember, with a little help and support from an experienced web marketing team, your practice can soon become an online success. With an expert team such as Dental Focus ® working alongside you, you will be able to create a beautiful, bespoke website that fully reflects your practice vision, and is fully optimised for the web to attract as many visitors as possible.

For more information call 020 7183 8388, or visit www.dental-focus.com