MGE Management Experts, Inc.

 

 

 

 

MGE’s weekly webletter, Issue 32.

How to Avoid Dental Marketing Scams

By MGE Marketing

We can all agree that having a website for your dental practice is very important, but what many dentists don’t realize is that the design and content on that site is as important as having an online presence. Unfortunately, many dental websites out there are entirely too similar, blending into the background . . . both for patients and the search engines.

How “Custom” Is Your Site?

Website templates help to speed up the design and content process of a site and are easy to use. You can usually buy website templates online for a decent price because they’re already “pre-made” and don’t require a lot of technical coding stuff to make. WordPress and Joomla even give them out for free if you sign up to use their (free) services. These templates are great for blogs (which is what they were made for in the first place), because blogs don’t require custom made content and deep optimization to attract business to your practice.

Yet I see that quite a number of web marketing companies offer custom websites for dental practices but actually use templates to produce your “custom” site. You can choose from a range of about 20-30 templates which may look different but if you really check them out, they are actually based on maybe 4 or 5 basic designs with only some color or format changes.

But say you order a particular template you like and ask the web marketing company to produce your site based on that template. I found that in many cases, they don’t even change the colors or design and the content is all copy and paste. They can do this because dental practices tend to be similar and the same copy works for most practices… they think. Not true, and you should not accept this.

When you pay thousands of dollars for a website, it should be truly customized, including unique design elements that will set your site apart from the others out there. After all, you want to be remembered by the potential clients who come across your site and the way to do that is through a unique look and content.

I was recently asked to analyze the websites of a successful dentist with practices in four different locations. Each location had its own site, but the company that produced these sites copied the content from site to site. Only the first site had unique content, and that was the only site that had some ranking. The remaining sites were invisible and, needless to say, these practices did not get any business from their websites. Yet, the web marketing company charged thousands for these sites!

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Duplicate Content: Why You Need to Avoid It

The biggest problem facing dental sites made from templates is the fact that they use the same content. This causes two issues. First, search engines like Google tend to penalize websites that publish the same content as another site, so it will hurt your ranking. You want to be in the first few results when someone types in your area plus “dentist” and that’s not going to happen if fifty other dentists have the exact same website. Chances are, your site isn’t the first, which means you’ll end up being relegated to a dusty corner of Google, where no one can find you.

The second issue is that anyone looking at two or three pages from different dental practices will instantly see that the content is identical. Chances are high they won’t choose you either.

What can you do about all this?

1. Don’t fall for the dental web marketing scam! Choose a web design company that offers truly unique website design. They should give a special feel to your website, something that represents you and your practice. The text should be unique to your practice and interesting to read. If a web design company doesn’t have a writer, hire a web design company that includes unique copy in the price tag.

2. Ensure that your site is easy to find by making sure it’s optimized for your keywords and key phrases. When the copy is custom written for you and contains keywords in strategic places, the search engines will rank you higher in the search results which means more traffic from people who are looking for a dental practice.

So take a look at your current website and check some other dental sites in your area. Compare them and find out how customized your site is. Does it have text specifically written for your practice? Is the content unique? Or do you see the same smiling ladies on many other sites? If so, you’ve fallen for the “template” website and it’s time to get your site truly customized.

At MGE Management Experts, Inc., doctors and their staff get trained on marketing their practice and learn the basics of successful promotion and marketing techniques that will help them get more new patients. With such training, you can easily see whether your website is a real marketing product or a dud, which will save you headaches and thousands of wasted dollars in the future! So I can strongly recommend you give us a call at (727) 530-4427 or visit www.mgeonline.com.

At the MGE Advanced Marketing Seminar on June 23-25, 2011, I will cover internet marketing (including all about your website and how to make social networking profitable) in more detail, as well as other new and major trends in dental marketing. For more information or to register, call Dennis at (727) 530-4277 and learn how to turn your hard-won marketing dollars into profitable returns!


MGE’s Marketing Department provides this general dental practice management advice to furnish you with suggestions of actions that have been shown to have potential to help you improve your practice. MGE may not be held liable for adverse actions resulting from your implementation of these suggestions, which are provided only as examples of topics covered by the MGE program.