Are your dental blogs optimized?

When your website is in place — custom-made, branded, and easy to navigate — it is time to jumpstart your search engine optimization (SEO) with content creation. Blogging is a free or low-cost way to garner more website traffic, which translates into more foot traffic for your practice. 

Search engine giant Google processes more than 63,000 search queries a second, according to SearchEngineLand. How does your business compete and get as close to the top of search results as possible?

Many marketing companies would have you believe that there is some secret process behind writing optimized blog content. As an experienced dental marketer, I can tell you that when you stress over it and overthink the process, you miss opportunities. Follow some of the best SEO practices we use at my agency, Identity Dental Marketing. 

How to Choose Dental Blog Post Ideas

Your blog’s intent is to inform and educate your intended audience, so go with what you know. It should be easy to write posts about each of your services. Relevant blog topics for a general dentist might include dental implants, the technology you use and how it benefits patients, and types of teeth whitening. 

How to Use Keywords in Blog Posts

Don’t miss an opportunity to seed your content with relevant keywords, but don’t get hung up on following some SEO formula that might become outdated quickly. Google makes hundreds of algorithm updates each year. 

There is an art to balancing the needs of search engines with the needs of the human audience. As long as your topic is relevant, keyword integration should be organic. Never “stuff” keywords into your content. To save time and stress, let Identity Dental Marketing help you choose the best keywords and SEO strategy.

What is the Best Blog Post Length?

When writing blog posts, 400 to 600 words is ideal, but no fewer. That length allows Google bots, which skim copy just as you would, to get the gist of the post quickly and decide if it is relevant to your topic. The more relevant and information-rich the content, the higher Google will value it. 

Keep Your Writing Intentional

Narrow down your topic and laser-focus your writing accordingly. Do not take three sentences and stretch them out into 400 words with fluffy phrasing and irrelevant asides. Think clear, concise, correct, and complete. If you need to do additional research, use authoritative quotations, or gather expert data to make your point and hit your mark, go for it. 

Use Headings to Your Benefit

Headers within the copy help break your content up into manageable chunks and organize topics for greater readability. H1, H2, H3s and other headers also present a great opportunity to integrate keywords in a way that search engines notice.  

Optimize Blog Images

Photos do more than grab readers’ attention; it is important to write tags that contain your important keywords. Image descriptions, which describe what the image shows, can also contain keywords. 

While choosing keywords for your dental blog is not as esoteric as some marketers would have you believe, there is an art to employing SEO strategy correctly in your content.   Identity Dental Marketing is a full-service dental digital marketing agency that provides blogging as part of its SEO services. We’re focused on providing measurable results in the form of more new patients for your practice. To learn more about our proven strategies, set up a complimentary marketing planning session at identitydental.com/grace.

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Optimizing Your Facebook Audience

How to Target Your Ideal Facebook Ads Audience

The Facebook ads dashboard makes it possible to narrow down potential audiences by broad demographic information, such as gender, age range, interests, and location. What it can’t tell you is whether you have targeted the right audience for your service. 

As the owner of a dental marketing agency, I help clients develop effective, targeted ads and pinpoint precise demographics. Here are my top tips for aligning your Facebook marketing strategy and target audience with your business goals.

Fine-Tune Your Ad to Your Audience

For each ad, even within a single campaign, it is vital to target a specific audience. Let’s say you are a dentist adding sleep medicine to your services. You create a Facebook ad that shows an anxious-looking woman in bed with a pillow over her head as her husband snores, mouth agape, next to her. Are you going to show that ad to men and women? Or just women? What will the message be? Which age range should you target, and does your ad image or video match? 

Don’t Make Your Audience Too Broad

You want to zero in on as many people in your target audience as possible but be mindful of broadening the audience too much. If you are a dental consultant and searching for relevant audience interests to target, the American Dental Association might seem a logical choice; but if you do your research, you’ll find many dental patients follow the ADA. That means some 30 to 40 percent of your target audience will be irrelevant and your marketing dollars will be wasted. Your ad might even generate negative comments from people who were targeted unintentionally.  

In addition to identifying the most relevant demographic information, make good use of exclusion audiences so you don’t keep targeting existing followers. 

Use Pixels for Targeting

Facebook pixel codes ensure your ads are seen by people most likely to connect with you. This analytics tool helps you improve ad conversion rate and realize a better return on investment. One effective way to choose relevant audiences is to use your pixel code and integrate your Google Ads traffic to your Facebook ads traffic. Anyone who goes to your website from highly relevant search terms on Google will also see your Facebook ads.

The takeaway: Think precision in both messaging and audience. If the audience you choose is not relevant, you are squandering your valuable marketing dollars. Identity Dental Marketing provides customized levels of social media marketing and advertising, creating precise messaging and targeting for each client. To learn more about our proven expertise, email Grace Rizza directly at grace@identitydental.com.

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Should You Name Your Business After Yourself?

If you are starting a new dental practice or business, your first step is to name it. The most obvious choice is to name it after yourself, especially if you are a solo practitioner; but it’s a good idea to slow down and contemplate Shakespeare’s timeless question, What’s in a name?  

There are pros and cons to naming your business after yourself. It depends on your situation and your goals for the business. Grace Rizza, founder and CEO of Identity Dental Marketing, says you should ask yourself three key questions to make that decision:

  • Do I plan on selling the business in the next five to ten years?
  • How do I want to expand, or do I want to expand at all?
  • What are my long term goals? 

The case against naming a business after yourself

If you have an exit strategy that is less than ten years away, it will be more challenging to create a smooth transition with your buyer if your practice bears your name. Do you want to bring on a partner or associates? If your business is eponymous, you run the risk of clients demanding to see you, the named owner, instead of one of your very capable associates. 

“You are going to create some level of roadblock for future communications and you’re not going to be able to expand as seamlessly as you would with a different business name,” says Grace.  

When should you name your business after yourself?

It can make sense to do this under certain circumstances: You are a solo practitioner who plans to work without associates for the next few decades; your expertise is your selling point; you have an extremely high profile in your community; or you want to grow your personal brand as an influencer or YouTuber.

There are no hard and fast rules for naming but be open to suggestions by a marketing expert.  

“I’m always going to tell you exactly what you need. It doesn’t mean you have to do all of it right away,” says Grace, a dental marketing advisor since 2009. “But just like when a patient comes to you and says, ‘I just want whitening,’ or, ‘I don’t need x-rays,’ you’re the expert. It’s your obligation to tell them where their opportunity lies for a healthier mouth. In the same way, it’s my obligation to tell you where the opportunity lies for a healthier business.” For an expert evaluation of your brand, website, or social media marketing, email Grace Rizza directly at grace@identitydental.com.

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How to Build an Effective Website

With the popularity of social media, it is easy to forget the importance of a strong website. However, when someone is looking for a new dentist, the first place they will look is Google; the second is their website. Like it or not, a practice will be judged on how its website looks and functions.  

For that reason, it’s important to have a website that communicates the image you desire, one that is easy to navigate, and one that consistently ranks at the top of search engines. Identity Dental Marketing uses a process that creates a completely custom dental website in about 30 days. 

Our website development process takes only about one month from conception to completion: one to two weeks to conceptualize your website and two weeks of development before it goes live.

First, we meet with you to understand who you are, the services you offer, and your goals for the website. We use a short questionnaire to outline the elements that are important to you, the search terms for which you want to be found, and the aesthetic for which you are striving. 

Next, we create a website mockup based on your questionnaire. At this point, you either give us the green light to continue with development, or work with us to further refine your vision. You will have the opportunity to review all aspects of the website from images to copy. 

We ensure that your website looks good on all devices, that it is SEO-compliant, and that the architecture makes it easy to navigate. 

Although our process is fast, it is completely customized. We believe cookie-cutter websites fail to create the type of connection that patients need to feel a connection and choose you over your competitors. To create an even more personalized experience, we can also provide custom photography and videography.

A strong website reflects who you are, communicates how you want to be known by your community, and connects with the type of patients you seek to attract. 

Do you want to create your first website or reimagine your current site? Have you been fed unrealistic expectations or worked with an underperforming dental marketing company in the past? Please meet with us. The websites we create showcase the essence of each client and capture the right audience for a better return on investment. Schedule a complimentary marketing planning session with Grace Rizza through www.identitydental.com/grace or email grace@identitydental.com.

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Hear Grace on the Deals for Dentist Podcast

Dr. Eric Block interviews Grace Rizza on Deals for Dentist Podcast. 

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How to Improve Your Social Media Marketing

More than one billion new users join social media every day, according to Hootsuite. If you are ready to ramp up your social media game, you must be intentional about it or risk getting lost in a fast-growing crowd.

By now, most practice owners know that social media is divided into organic and paid. In case you are unclear, organic uses free tools to build and engage followers; paid social refers to anything influenced by advertising dollars. 

Knowing how to work with both, and when to cross over, is an art. If you are intent on growing your practice, keep your focus on patient care and leave social media marketing to Identity Dental Marketing. We are experts in building organic and paid social following for our clients. 

Organic Social Media

Organic social media is perfect for building your brand, educating your clients and, if customized, helping clients to get to know you and your team. It is most effective when posted on a defined schedule, whether that is once a week, three times a week, or on some other cadence.

Identity Dental Marketing offers branded and unbranded social posts as well as fully customized programs, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google My Business.

Paid Social Media

Advertising on platforms like Facebook and Instagram are highly effective ways to reach new audiences and remarket to people who have already visited your website. However, it is important to avoid images and messages that detract from the brand you want to build. Identity Dental Marketing can help you create an effective paid social program that makes the most of your investment.

 Video Social Media

It is no longer enough to rely on words and static images. Video social posts get more than 21 percent more interactions than images and nearly 19 percent more than image carousels, according to Sprout Social. If you need ideas and video tips, IDM provides video social media advertising as well as 52 weeks of video prompts you can use to build your brand in an authentic way.If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to keep your organic social media cadence going, or your social advertising has fallen flat, get in touch with Grace Rizza at Identity Dental Marketing. A complimentary marketing planning session can be the springboard for social marketing that builds audiences and converts leads. Visit www.identitydental.com/grace or email grace@identitydental.com.

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Is Your Dental Google Ad Campaign Optimized?

Google Ads has come a long way from its beginnings as AdWords in 2000. While it still functions as a way for businesses to bid for advertising in the Google search space, it has far more nuances, refinements, and robust features. As a more complex tool, it is important for you to leverage everything Google has to offer. 

Today, if you are operating a simple pay-per-click campaign or trying to wing it, you are probably losing a significant amount of money. Here are tips on how to set up a Google Ads campaign that will optimize results.

Set a Realistic Goal

How many patients do you need to grow, and what is the average cost to acquire a new patient? You must factor in the level of competition in your market to create an estimate. We can assist you with setting realistic expectations after factoring in your ad focus, offer (if applicable), ad spend, and competition.  

Optimize Your Keyword Strategy

You must know the specific search terms your audience is looking for and ascertain the demand for those terms. If you haven’t set specific search terms and utilized exact match phrases, you may be mismanaging your ad spend. 

Utilize Negative Keywords 

Negative search terms prevent Google from wasting ad spend with automatic settings, which include showing your ad for all “dental” related searches. Without setting specific keywords to avoid, Google can zip through your budget, while showing your ads to people seeking “free” or “cheap” care.  

“These little extra steps are the difference between a new patient acquisition cost of $150 and one that costs $300,” says Grace Rizza, founder and CEO of Identity Dental Marketing

Leverage Retargeting (also known as “Remarketing”) and Display Ads

By leveraging remarketing, you’ll benefit from additional exposure to relevant traffic. After a patient visits your site, they’ll see subtle, beautiful graphic ads showcasing your business on future online activity. Reaching them this way is highly cost effective, immediately builds brand recognition, and allows prospective patients to continually learn about you and your selling points. This feature can complement a PPC strategy and allow more bang for your buck on Google. 

Hire Identity Dental Marketing 

Many dentists and business owners will undertake a do-it-yourself Google Ads campaign to avoid paying a professional. Almost always, however, management fees are dwarfed by lost revenue from targeting mistakes. 

As a reputable dental marketing agency serving the dental profession since 2009, the Digital Marketing team at Identity Dental Marketing has a great deal of experience optimizing Google ad campaigns. We keep current on all Google certifications and tools, and have consistently proven results shown both in Google Analytic reports and actual new patient reports.  

Let us help you target the right audience, use effective keyword strategy, and optimize your digital marketing budget. 

Identity Dental Marketing offers transparency in ad spend, and often requires no long-term commitment. Register for your Complimentary Marketing Planning Session with Grace today. 

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The Key to Successful Dental Practice Leadership

You may have a great team, top-notch technology and a good name in the community you serve, but if you are not consistent in your business practices and in your leadership style, you are missing out on a key piece of dental practice success. Consistency is such a big component that your practice can’t be truly successful without it.

What does consistency in leadership look like? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your team know when you are available, and what your schedule looks like?
  • Do they know when to ask questions and when to wait?
  • Do they know how to find resources that will enable them to succeed in their role?

If you’ve answered yes to all these questions, you are on the right track. However, there is more to consistency in leadership than protocol. If you want to strengthen your team from the top down, you need to keep the best version of yourself front and center as much as possible.

We all have bad days; we’re human! Leaders, however, must learn to compartmentalize and put their best foot forward.

The ‘game face” is typically easy to pull off with patients, but what about staff?

“Do they know which version of you they are going to walk into on a Monday morning? Do they deal with your mood swings and your stress and your overwhelm?” asks Grace Rizza, CEO and founder of Identity Dental Marketing. “Keep in mind that whatever energy you bring to your team is going to be absorbed and amplified, and that energy is going to be shared with your patients.”

Another consistent quality you want to share with patients relates to marketing. You want to put out a steady stream of community-minded and educational messages, so you become a trusted source of oral health information. One proven way to achieve this is by putting out short, weekly educational videos on social media or on YouTube via your website.

One way to torpedo efforts at achieving consistency is to start one marketing program and abandon it in favor of another before you know whether it’s really working. Some approaches take time to see results; others require some expertise that you may not have, or a multipronged approach that you do not have the time to implement. After all, patients should be your focus.

If you want strategies to implement top-down consistency, hone your marketing skills, and increase momentum with your team and practice growth, reach out to Identity Dental Marketing. Email Grace Rizza directly at grace@identitydental.com.

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What’s your score?

Having a strong website is essential to a thriving and growing practice. It helps patients find you through search easily and it clearly conveys what your practice is about. If you were to quiz yourself on your website’s effectiveness, how would you do?

  1. Is your website modern? Have you updated it in any way within the last two years? Does it look and feel up to date with an on-trend design and fresh-looking layout? If yes, give yourself two points.
  2. Is your website branded? Does your site match your brand recognition? Examine the colors and the font you use and see if they match your signage, brochures, and other elements. If they are inconsistent, it gives off a sense of cognitive dissonance among people trying to find a new dentist. If yes, give yourself two points.
  3. Are you using real photography and videography? People want to see you, your staff, and your office. An exterior shot will help them to find you. Real patients, well-photographed, along with testimonials, go a long way toward engendering trust. If yes, give yourself two points.
  4. Is your website responsive? Your patients and prospects need to be able to see your website and navigate it easily from any type of screen: mobile phone to desktop. This is what is meant by a responsive website. If yes, give yourself two points.
  5. Do you love your website? “Is it something you are proud to share? Is it something if you were a new patient seeking a dentist that it would make an amazing first impression?” asks CEO Grace Rizza. If yes, give yourself two points.
  6. Are your selling points obvious? Does your website properly telegraph your key differentiators? In other words, does it convey what is special about you and your team? Does it show or tell about the technology you use? Does your About Us show your credentials? If yes, give yourself two points.
  7. Does your website rank well on Google? This is the most important website factor. If no one can find it by searching online, why have a website at all? When people search for “dentist near me” or “Dentist in (Your Town),” you should come up in the top three Google Map positions for at least one of your top keywords. Bonus if you have a lot of 5-star reviews. Give yourself 4 points if you’re satisfied with your search engine ranking.

No matter what your score, it’s time to take a critical look at your website and decide whether it can withstand competition. If you would like to upgrade your website in any area mentioned above, Identity Dental Marketing can help. It offers a multipronged solution to a great website. Schedule a consultation with Grace Rizza today. Get started by emailing grace@identitydental.com and get the website that proudly reflects who you are and what you do.

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What You Need to Know About Branding

What You Need to Know About Branding

Many people talk about branding – What’s your brand? Does this partnership align with my brand? Is it time for a rebrand?– but what does that mean? Grace Rizza, founder and CEO of Identity Dental Marketing, is an expert on branding for dental practices and shares these tips with the Dental Peeps Network:

A brand is simply a visual identity that resonates with the intended audience. Creating one involves telegraphing what your practice is about to attract your ideal patients and set the right tone. “Think about your intended reputation,” Grace advises. “Whenever we’re building a brand, we’re actually building how people perceive you, and we want to identify this in a way that’s true to who you are.”

How do you go about creating a new brand for your dental office? When is it time to reevaluate the one you have now? First, determine whether your current brand or the brand you are envisioning rings true. Do the elements such as graphics, font, and tagline fit with what you’re about? 

Grace gives the fictional example of a mature dental practice whose tagline is “Convenient, compassionate care.” That was accurate when the practice was founded, but times have changed: Cutbacks have forced this practice to scale back personnel. It no longer has weekend appointments. It no longer accepts insurance. The phone is not answered after regular business hours. In this case, rebranding around the office’s current strengths would be wise to meet patient expectations.

Creating a brand involves far more than searching for clipart of a smiling tooth! Grace notes that there is a psychology to choosing a name, font, colors, and symbols. First, you need to understand your intended audience and know how to attract them visually. 

Primary colors and whimsical lettering may work well for a pediatric dentist, but not for a practitioner whose bread and butter is restorative work on seniors. It’s an obvious example, of course, but should get you thinking about what you want your brand to be.

Grace and her team at Identity Dental Marketing take the guesswork out of branding. They offer deep expertise in helping dental practices create unique, powerful, and effective identities. 

Want Grace to answer a question about dental marketing? Email her at grace@identitydental.com.

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