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Top 3 Online Challenges Demystified

by | Oct 14, 2022 | Podcast

Top 3 Online Challenges Demystified
In this episode Scott Edwards and Charles Makarewicz discuss the challenges many Australian dentists face adapting to the online patient acquisition world and what strategies give the greatest return on investment.
Podcast Transcript

Scott: I’m Scott Edwards and today I have Charles Makarewicz with me to discuss the challenges many Australian dentists face adapting to the online patient acquisition world and which strategies give the greatest return on investment.

Scott: Welcome to the show Charles.

Charles: Thanks Scott and thank you for the introduction. Good morning everyone and welcome to the show.

Scott: Firstly Charles, would you like to give our audience an insight into your background experience and the dental marketing expert story?

Charles: Yes, thanks Scott. I want to be very brief. I was born in Poland and came to Australia in 1988 with no money and no experience. I build businesses including online businesses. My online career started 10 to 12 years ago, with six years specializing in working with dentists. I had grown dental practices all over Australia from nothing to multiple successful locations. The idea is to duplicate the success of the first practice to open additional locations.

Scott: Charles, you and I have worked together for many years now. In our years of speaking with local dentists, we heard and isolated the most common online challenges they face. Perhaps the biggest shift we’ve seen is how dentists today are embracing online marketing and willingly spend their money on it, unlike five or six years ago. But they still don’t necessarily understand what they’re spending it on. Why do you think that is, Charles?

Charles: I think no one really explained to them what the most important part in building an online marketing strategy is, which is the digital assets. Building an asset is critical and a lot of dentists don’t know what they are.

Scott: Do you believe that there are key factors that dentists don’t understand or are they simply not educated in plain English?

Charles: We haven’t seen many educators in Australia. The companies which dentists approach for SEO or Web developers simply do their job. They might do reasonable work, but they don’t really explain in plain English to dentists what the digital assets are. I think this is lacking in the dental industry.

Scott: I suppose that’s part of why we’ve put this show together as a media. We’re investing into the education and explanation of the choices that dentists face.

Charles, lets talk about the merits or otherwise of each option individually. We all know Dentists need an online presence which generally starts with a website. But as we know, a simple desktop website is no longer enough. The now and future is mobile.

We’ll go much further into mobile in a future show but keeping to purely having a website, unless you have a system to drive traffic to your website, which then motivates patients to easily contact you to make an appointment. The set and forget method of online marketing is akin to having a Dental Practice with the front door locked and the lights turned off.

Charles: Yeah, that’s 100% correct. We’ve been seeing that for over six years. This has not changed. Due to lack of understanding and education, the jargon itself confuses dentists. I think it’s too much information. I’d like to see us filtering that out, presenting that in a lot simpler way, and just give them only what they actually need. I believe that 90% of information up there is irrelevant to dentists. They just need that core 10%, which does make a difference.

Scott: Charles, lets talk about the merits or otherwise of each option individually. We all know Dentists need an online presence which generally starts with a website. But as we know, a simple desktop website is no longer enough. The now and future is mobile. We’ll go much further into mobile in a future show but keeping to purely having a website, unless you have a system to drive traffic to your website, which then motivates patients to easily contact you to make an appointment. The set and forget method of online marketing is akin to having a Dental Practice with the front door locked and the lights turned off.

Charles: Absolutely, Scott. A website is the foundation of a digital asset, but it’s enough. Simply having a website is not going to serve the purpose of getting more patients. What we do is, we look at all different digital assets, combine them and deliver the results.

Charles: Now I have a little example here. Having only the website itself, can be compared to putting an ad in the local newspaper. Yes, it’s a fantastic ad and you know you’ll get bookings if someone sees it. But imagine if the newspapers are not distributed. You would never spend $5,000 on the ad would you?

Charles: Well, this is exactly the same with the website. If we build a website, and you don’t do anything else with it, no one’s going to see it. Why then would you be spending $5000 on building the website? It just makes no sense.

Charles: My advice is if you’re only doing a website, don’t do it. Don’t spend your money on it. Just try to spend the money on education, so then you can make a right decision.

Scott: Let’s discuss the path of actively engaging a Google AdWords consultant. What generally happens in that scenario, Charles?

Charles: We’ve been dealing with the Google AdWords for over six years. We have extensive experience in this area. The number one issue I find when I’m talking to new clients is this. They say, “Okay, help us. Charles, can you please help us with overall local marketing strategy?” And they say, “Well, we have still a Google AdWords provider. How can you help us with that as well?”

Charles: My first question to them is “Can I get access to your results and your reports”?” And I look at the last two, three, four months of reports. Just looking at it, you can see that a lot of them are not giving you the information you wanted to see. They is just a lot of jargon, lot of impressions, lot of visitors but no core information about the number of new patients. So what is the cost of the campaign? If you’re spending $2000 on a campaign, how many patients did you actually get? One of the ways of acquiring patients is the Google AdWords. An ad is put in place and is visible in Google, where someone clicks on it, with some of which you can click to call. That, you can track.

Charles: Google AdWords must set up goals to track the calls. That’s number one. The other way to make an appointment is using web forms. You also need to have a tracking for that. How many bookings came from calls and how many bookings came from web forms? You total that up and then you can actually work out how much it costs you to acquire a patient. Those are the questions that need to be answered by your Google AdWords provider and a lot of them don’t provide that. They just talk about garbage and that’s the biggest issue.

Scott: So engaging a Google AdWords consultant, is basically buying clicks to your website and hoping that they call you. It’s not really building an online asset though. When you turn the AdWords off, you turn the tap off and that means no more patients. AdWords, it requires constant monitoring and adjusting. You need to earn qualified clicks for your patients who need services right now.

Scott: You don’t want to be simply paying for clicks for people who are simply researching. The same as someone coming to look in your window, but not actually coming inside.

Charles: Absolutely.

Scott: And what about the dentist who simply wants to outsource their whole online world to an SEO and social media agency and in the process hand over thousands of dollars each and every month?

Charles: The biggest issue is the qualifying factor. Most of the SEO companies are generic companies — they understand online shops, how to promote eCommerce stores, how to promote national businesses. They don’t always specialize with working with dentists. And maybe they might have a few dental clients, but that’s not the speciality.

Charles: What that means to you is you overspend and don’t get appropriate results. There are critical things when working with dentists. There are certain requirements, testimonials, et cetera that generic companies don’t understand.

Charles: The other thing is, providers should have transparency -what they tell you and what they actually do. Reporting should be very clear and must include what results should be expected on the first month and so on.

Scott: Another challenge we regularly hear is how competitive the dentist industry is. With the growing corporate sector and the massive bump that’s muscling in, many dentists simply survive day to day, relying on the next phone call.

Charles: Great you have mention corporate dental. I have a case study for you, but let’s be clear on one thing first — corporate is not slowing down. Corporate wants to dominate the space and it is affecting every dentist. One of my new clients who came on board three months ago, they were ranking really well so I didn’t expect them to actually come on board. On the surface everything looked fine. They’ve been working with an SEO company for over two years and they got results. At least some results. They had a good website and ranked number one on Google Maps for the suburb and other keywords.

Charles: So I was curious, why are they calling me? The reason was they were working with a generic SEO company and they were concerned about the regulators and basically not having a focused strategy for dental, content and few other aspects.

Charles: They were 100% correct in being concerned. I looked at their website and the client has testimonials on the homepage. Well that’s definitely not something you want to have on your website, you will upset the regulators to start with. That was the first issue. Second one was the corporate opened practice right next door to them, and they were very active with a huge budget. This dentist was super concerned, so I told them, “Listen, you know you have to increase your marketing spend and you have to increase your positioning because their budget is really deep and you can’t just stand still.

Charles: I think that is also true to every dentist, that if you stand still, if you simply have a website and don’t do much marketing, the corporate will dominate your area and will steal your patients.

Scott: Charles, how can dentists allocate their online marketing budget and more importantly, what do they need to consider before they hand over their money to the next so called expert who knocks on their door?

Charles: The number one thing would be to work with someone who understands dentists and works with dentists. Someone who understands the regulators, educates and delivers measurable results. I think another important quality to look for is someone who actually shows you their performance and helps you build momentum and prove the results. That’s pretty much it.

Scott: Charles, what does Dental Marketing Expert offer which is unique to the Australian dental industry? What results can be expected when you accept a new client?

Charles: We only work with dentists. We’ve been working with dentists for over six years and we offer area exclusivity. If you’re located in Kew, we would not take additional dentist in this area if you’re working with us. We try to make it easier to get started by waving the up front cost. I know that dentists have many expenses, so we try to help out with that as well.

Charles: We work on the website as part of the assets, one of the very important assets. When we talked about websites earlier, you might think that we underestimate the value of the website. No we didn’t. What we want to impart is having a website alone is not something we recommend. But as we pick new clients, we build the best possible website first.

Charles: That is something a dentist will be reluctant to do, due to the costs. It’s not unusual to pay up to $10,000 for a website which has 50 to 60 pages. We at Dental Marketing Expert do not charge you for a website that costs us about $3500 to build and with a perceived value of about $7000.

Charles: The website is built in the first 30 days, but our work do not stop there. We continue to add relevant information on the website every month. Dentists should understand that having a page for every single treatment is very important. It makes your dental practice visible not only for one keyword such as dentist and suburb.

Charles: You’re going to be visible for every single treatment, especially your top 10 treatments. You need to have great content around your top ten treatments.

Charles: We also build an asset. We want to make sure all the steps in a marketing process are designed to build a digital asset for the client. We don’t lock anyone in long-term contracts because if we think that we’re not suitable, we part away. We got 30 days money back guarantee.

Charles: Anyone who thinks that they are not suitable to work with us or that we don’t deliver what we promised, we refund the first month and they keep all their assets. We build the websites for someone who requires a brand new website, build it in the first 30 days and they can keep that asset. We don’t take away anything.

Scott: So just to summarize again Charles, we only work with dentists and when we accept a new client, they get the exclusivity area and we don’t accept any other dentist within that catchment.

Charles: Yes.

Scott: We don’t charge a setup fee. Most agencies require a minimum three thousand dollar upfront setup fee. We don’t charge that. We build or modify your existing website to become a conversion website. One that drives new patients to call or request an appointment online. That alone is valued at over $3500 of our cost.

Scott: We create regular content for your website and your social media platforms. We build an online asset, which is yours to keep. Above all, we don’t sign any long term contracts. If anyone of our listeners would like to know more and have a chat with you Charles, what should be their next step?

Charles.: If any of our listeners here would like to know more, we’ve some great news for you. The team at Dental Marketing Expert has put together a special hard copy pack, chock full of great information and educational content, to show you How to Become and Stay the Go To Dentist in your Local Area.

You’ll get 4 things:

You’ll get The Definitive Local Marketing Guide which includes the 7 Point Marketing Domination Checklist Unique to all Enormous Success in Dentistry.

You’ll get my top selling book, Local Marketing for Australian Dentists.

You’ll get a DVD copy of one of my recent webinars, and a CD of one of my recent radio interviews.

This pack will be sent to you by Express Post, absolutely free and with no obligation.

To request your pack, simply complete your details below for immediate dispatch.

How to Become and Stay the Go to Dentist in Your Local Area Original Book


Get your copy of How to Become and Stay the "Go To" Dentist in Your Local Area (Valued at $49)

Includes a FREE copy of the popular book, “Local Marketing for Australian Dentists” and DVD – a further $29 in value!