Set aside 30 minutes each week to vastly improve your online ranking
Jonathan Albert, psychotherapist and author of Be Fearless; Change Your Life in 28 Days, says the number one reason people fail to keep a New Year’s resolution is because their goal is not specific enough. That makes sense to me.
If you say, “I’m going to lose ten pounds in 2022,” the chances are slim that it will happen. But if you say, “I am going to lose ten pounds in 2022 by replacing sodas with water, limiting dessert to one night a week, and lose one pound a month between January and November,” there is a MUCH higher chance it happens. As the author says, “It’s easier to drop out or walk away when you set goals or resolutions that are vague. When it’s really detailed and specific, it’s harder to walk away from it.”
So to help you improve your online presence and find new patients online, I’m recommending three very specific, quick (30 minutes a week), and easy resolutions.
Resolution #1: Add Something New to Your Website Once a Week
In last month’s issue of North Texas Dentistry magazine, I explained that despite what you might think about Google, its business model is founded on giving you the best search results possible. Here’s a quiz:
If I search “best dentists near me” how does Google know who the best dentist near me is?
A. Google, oops sorry, meta, has infiltrated our lives and is all-knowing
B. Their algorithm can search the entire web and juggle knives while riding a pony
C. Google has no stinking clue who the best dentist near me is
D. None of the above
The answer is C; Google has no stinking clue who the ‘best dentist’ near me is. You tell them.
You tell them by making sure your site is fresher, faster, and has more authority than the other dentists’ sites ‘near me.’ Or you don’t do that, and Google determines you’re not the ‘best dentist’ near me. It’s in your hands, literally at your fingertips. It’s consistently adding fresh, ORIGINAL content to your site (cutting and pasting others’ content does not work, and Google sees it as a poke in the eye and it hurts your search rank).
It’s fairly easy to get started:
Take an hour and make a list of things about your practice, your community, your staff, your office, your on-going training and education, additional equipment, and/or services you might add in 2022.
Block 30 minutes on your calendar every Friday (or whenever your office time is).
Transfer the list from STEP 1 on to actual dates on the calendar.
Jan. 7—Post 2022 office hours or holiday schedule
Jan. 14—Post something about insurance changes
Jan. 21—Post what you learned at educational conference (with a link to it)
You get the idea. It’s the difference between “I’m gonna lose ten pounds in 2022,” and “I am going to lose ten pounds in 2022 by replacing my sodas with water, limiting dessert to one night a week, and lose one pound. a month between January and November.”
You’ll have moved from “I’m going to get more new patients from my website in 2022” to the specific plan above.
If you don’t have the time, desire, or skills to do this, but still want the end result of more patients coming to you from your website, find a partner to do it (hint, hint; word on the street is Bullseye Media is pretty darn good at it).
Resolution #2: Add Something New to Facebook Once a Week
Rinse and repeat the exercise above, except schedule a meeting with your staff at the end of each month (over lunch or in a regular staff meeting) and brainstorm for the upcoming month. What holidays, special occasions, community events are upcoming in the next month? What new things do you have at the practice (changes in staff, the office, equipment), ongoing training, etc.?
Transfer that list to the same calendar above and have someone on your staff make the posts weekly (that YOU approve!!). What might be appropriate to your humorous, 30-something staff member might not be appropriate for grandma, so always see the post first.
Same as your website updates: if you don’t have the time, desire, or skills on staff to do this, find a partner to do it (you’ll find this shocking, but Bullseye Media is pretty darn good at that, too).
Resolution #3: Add One New Patient Review Per Week and Respond to All Reviews
Why is this critical? To learn how consumers rely on reviews there is some data on our website, but the larger point here is that it ties back to Resolution #1. Google considers reviews new, original content on your site. So your patients are helping tell Google you’re the ‘best dentist’ in the area. If you’re not currently ‘fussing’ with reviews, please re-think that. Today’s consumers demand seeing fresh reviews and so does google. *Just respond in a HIPPA compliant way.*
You probably didn’t see this plot twist coming, but use the same process above (block time on your calendar weekly to respond to reviews). If your Practice Management System (PMS) supports automation review requests, look into that. Our clients saw an average of 63% jump in the number of reviews when integrating the review requests with their PMS.
I am elated about 2022. Fingers crossed, the pandemic is fully behind us and we can move on to our new-normal. If you also believe 2022 has great potential, make these three resolutions and begin seeing more new patients making appointments from your website.