Complete Guide To Google’s 9 Major Algorithm Updates

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Google launches an update to its algorithm nearly every day. Most of the time these updates are merely minor adjustments but on occasion, can seriously impact search results. This article is designed to help you make sense of Google’s most important algorithms as well as some SEO advice for each one.

Panda

First Launched on February 24, 2011

Risk of Penalty: Duplicate content, plagiarized or thin content sections, spammy content, keyword stuffing and/or hidden links in copy.

What is Panda?: Panda works by assigning an organic quality score to each page on your website; this quality score is used to rank best results for SERPs (search engine results pages).
When Panda first initially launched, it acted as more of a filter rather than part of Google’s ranking algorithm. However, in January 2016, Panda was officially merged into Google’s core algorithm. Currently, Panda updates occur more often with both penalties and recoveries happening more quickly.  Google has openly announced that it considers Panda as one of its top two ranking algorithms.

What to Do: Ensure that your content is useful, relevant and unique to your practice. Check your website regularly for content duplication, thin content and keyword stuffing. To do that, you can use a free site crawler, such as siteliner.com or Copyscape to check for plagiarism.

 

Penguin

First Launched on April 24, 2012

Penalty Risk: Spammy, deceptive links that are considered manipulative in nature, keyword stuffed hyperlink text, a large accumulation of low-quality external links from, or to, a particular website.

What is Penguin?: Google Penguin’s main purpose is to downrank websites that use links considered manipulative. Penguin has been part of Google’s core algorithm since late 2016, and unlike Panda, it works in real time. Penguin, along with Panda are considered the two most important ranking factors.

What to Do: Monitor your link profile’s growth and run regular audits with a backlink checker. If you accumulate a large profile of poor or spammy links, make sure to submit a disavow request to Google so as to reduce your risk of a Penguin penalty.   When making changes to your own website, ensure that when content is moved or updated you 301 redirect URLs to their corresponding pages.  This goes for broken links such as 404 response codes as well.

Hummingbird

First Launched on August 22, 2013

Penalty Risk: Keyword stuffing and/or low-quality content

What is Hummingbird? The purpose of the Hummingbird algorithm is to better interpret search queries by providing results that match searcher intent. While exact match keywords are important, Hummingbird allows a certain page to rank for a search query even if the word typed into the search doesn’t contain the same words the user entered. This is achieved with the help of natural language processing that relies on latent semantic indexing, co-occurring terms and synonyms.

What to Do: Do you research. Use tools such as Google Keyword Planner and keywordtool.io. You can also look at the autofill queries when typing in a certain keyword or the blue suggestive links at the bottom of search to gain ideas about similar search suggestions for your specific keywords.

Pigeon

First Launched on July 24, 2014

Penalty Risk: Poor Onpage and Offpage SEO

What is Pigeon: Pigeon affects search queries in which the user’s location is deemed more relevant. The update further connected the local algorithm with Google’s core algorithm, incorporating traditional SEO factors into local search results. This gives priority to local businesses who utilize best SEO practices.

What to Do: Invest effort into on- and off-page SEO. Work with a company or research best practices for technical, on-page and off-page SEO to ensure that your website is optimized for highest ranking results.

 

Mobile Friendly (Mobilegeddon)

First Launched on April 21, 2015

Risk of Penalty: Poor user experience on mobile devices. Lack of mobile-friendly or responsive web design.

What is the Mobile Friendly Algorithm: Google’s Mobile Update, which was coined “Mobilegeddon”, gives preference to mobile-friendly websites for mobile search, while pages not optimized for mobile are filtered out from the SERPs (search engine results page) or severely punished in rankings.

What to Do: First test your site with Google’s mobile-friendly tool. Google’s mobile-friendly test allows users to see which aspects of your page’s mobile version need to be improved. You can then work with a qualified web design company to ensure your site is mobile friendly and responsive.

RankBrain

First Launched on October 26, 2015

Risk of Penalty: A mix of everything. Shallow or thin content, poor linking, bad user experience metrics such as bounce rates or time on site.

What is RankBrain: RankBrain is a machine learning system that is able to understand the meaning behind specific searches, and serve the best search results in response to those queries. Recently Google announced RankBrain the third most important ranking factor, behind Panda and Penguin. While RankBrain still remains somewhat of a mystery, the consensus is that it is highly intelligent AI software that identifies relevance features for web pages ranking for a given query, which is basically query-specific ranking factors.

What to Do: Ensure that your website has quality links, provides a good user experience and is chalked full of useful and relevant content. For more insights, you can look at the over 200 SEO rankings that are believed to be processed by RankBrain.

Possum

First Launched on September 1, 2016

Penalty Risk: Increased Local Competiton, Filtered from Local Search.

What is Possum?: The Possum algorithm made it so that local results varied more frequently depending on a users location: For example, the closer you are to a business’s address, the more likely you are to see it among local results.
The Possum algorithm also resulted in greater variety among results ranking for very similar queries, like “dentist San Diego” and “dentist near me.”

What to Do: Expand your keywords, copy and meta descriptions to target local variations. Local businesses now, more than ever, need to be targeting more keywords than they used by targeting a set of keywords for each page.

Fred

First Launched on March 8, 2017

Penalty Risk: Thin, affiliate-heavy or ad-centered content

What is Fred?: Fred targets websites that violate Google’s webmaster guidelines. The primary websites that were affected were blogs with low-quality posts that appear to be created mostly for the purpose of generating ad revenue.

How to adjust: Start by reviewing Google Search Quality Guidelines and avoid the use of thin content. If you do show ads, make sure that they appear in a relevant and/or appropriate manner. In a nutshell, don’t try to trick Google into thinking your page is about something when it really is a gateway page full of affiliate links and ads. There are a lot of publishers that make money off advertising, which is fine as long as it is not in a deceptive or manipulative way.

Hawk

First Launched on August 22, 2017

Penalty Risk: Competition in close proximity to your target location.

What is Hawk? Hawk is an expansion on the 2016 Possum update that ensured local results were more closely related to the area in which the user was searching. Prior to Hawk, local businesses may have been filtered due to the fact that a more prominent competitor was down the street. Now, more listings appear on local search based on where the user runs a query.

What to Do: Ensure that your practice has a Google Business Page and that your NAP (name, address, phone number) is consistent across all mediums: Website, Google Business, Citations, and Social Media.

 

 

References:

8 major Google algorithm updates, explained. (2017, September 18).

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Fortune Management Guest Blog – Retention: The Difference Between a Million-Dollar Practice and One That Can’t Pay the Bills

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By Marissa Nicholson / Executive Coach at Fortune Management 

I have been in the dental field for more than 20 years. I have lived my life as a hygiene assistant, EDDA, manager, regional trainer, territory manager, and a dental consultant. I have been on teams of six and lead teams of 1,000. With all I have seen and learned in this field I love so dearly, retention remains one of the biggest issues in practices all over the country. How is it we can give someone a crown in one day and we can’t figure out how to keep the patients we have so carefully and painstakingly attracted to our office?

The answer? Control. Simply put, the more control we have over the patient visit, the more comfortable they are. Comfortable people refer others, accept treatment, and pay their bills. So how do we create control without being controlling? Systems. Systems are what take us from average to extraordinary. They are also what keeps our staff members from feeling like they are surviving every day to feeling like they are arriving every day!

So why doesn’t every office have strong systems in place?

The truth is, as a dentist, you are so busy being the CEO and the main production source that knowing exactly what metrics to focus on is often lost. If there is any advice I can drive home, it is that what you give attention and power to will thrive.

That being said, retention is a wonderful place to devote your time. Often I have dentists tell me all they need is “X” amount of new patients a month. The truth is, if those new patients aren’t being retained, they do you no good.

Take a step back and look at how your patients are being escorted through your practice.

  • How is your phone being answered?
    • Is there a pleasant, knowledgeable staff member answering your phones?
    • Does your office have a new patient intake form that helps create a relationship?
    • Have you made your vision clear to all staff members of how you want your patients to be treated?
  • How are we scheduling?
    • Is staff being mindful as to where the patient is scheduled?
    • Have we trained all admin staff to read our schedule so they are giving the visit enough time to ensure no wait times?
    • Do our new patients see Hygiene first or are they filtered through the doctor’s schedule?
  • Are we saving spots for key appointments in our schedule to ensure a quick conversion rate?
    • If we want 40 new patients a month, we need to save 40 new patient spots.
    • Do you have big production spots saved in the restorative schedule to ensure you are hitting goal?
    • Are you planning your day or is it happening to you?
  • How are patients greeted?
    • Is your team standing to greet the new patient as they arrive?
    • Are we making them aware where the bathroom, snacks and/or coffee are in our practice?
    • Is the back staff approaching the new patient and introducing themselves and their role as they bring them back?
    • Are we making sure we let the patient know where to put their purse, coat or other belongings as they are seated?
    • Is your team explaining every step as the patient is walked through the patient experience?
    • Are we making sure to check on the patient’s comfort throughout each appointment?
  • How are they enrolled in our Hygiene program?
    • Do you have a clear hygiene protocol?
    • Are we saving SRP and Perio Maintenance spots in our schedule?
    • Are we booking out at least two PM appointments?
    • Is there a protocol in place to take Intra oral photos on all new patients?
  • What does the exam/diagnosis process look like?
    • Are you calling out the treatment in dental terms to a hygienist or assistant?
    • Are you then sitting with the patient up to discuss their needs in layman’s terms?
    • Are you taking time to ask what is most important to the patient?
    • Are you going into an exam in the last five or 10 minutes of the hygiene appointment?
    • Are you going in with at least 20 minutes to spare to ensure your financial coordinator has time to prepare a strong treatment plan?
  • How are we handling the patient hand-off to the front desk?
    • Are we walking the patient up with the route slip and treatment plan at the same time?
    • Are we truly passing off the patient and treatment in a way that creates urgency?
    • Are we stating needs to the front office and giving them the time and information they need to complete the patient appointment?
  • What does the financial arrangement and scheduling of treatment look like?
    • Do you have a staff member that is comfortable with finances that is in charge of this system?
    • Are we fully trained on all third-party financing that we offer?
    • Do we have a strong follow-up system in place?

We have to over-communicate with our patients and control their visit so they feel comfortable. A comfortable patient will overlook when the lab case isn’t back on time, or when the estimate doesn’t match the EOB. Most importantly, they will refer others that will trust you as well. If you don’t have strong systems in place for controlling each step of a patient’s experience, I urge you to look closely at them. I truly believe that the difference between the million-dollar-plus practice and the practice that is barely paying the bills is the systems that are in place to control and provide a WOW patient experience. You too can have a well-run practice that feels like a well-oiled machine. Your key to getting there is control through systems.

The Top 3 Questions We Hear Most Often

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Since the launch of Big Buzz over 10 years ago, we have worked with hundreds of dental practices nationwide. Over the past 10 years, the questions we hear most often have remained consistent.

How do I set a specific, quantifiable goal?

The initial need for marketing is generally to increase new patient traffic. Often, it extends beyond that, to hire an associate, grow a specific side of the practice, expand to a second location, etc. At the heart of it all, though, is one uniform, underlying goal: new patient traffic needs a consistent, sustainable boost. In setting this goal, we find it most effective to picture the end result and work backwards. When you are reaching your goal, what will you be able to accomplish that you currently can not? When you are reaching your goal, what will that allow you to do in your personal or professional life? Now, in comparison to current new patient traffic, how many new patients will you need to see per month to make that vision a reality?

Why isn’t my current marketing, or marketing-to-date, working?

Marketing is effective and successful when it is comprehensive and consistent. If you are working with multiple vendors, cobbling together solutions from a direct mail house, an SEO firm, and the local newspaper, they are likely deploying and delivering mixed messages with incongruent strategies. If you can have one team of experts utilizing a comprehensive strategy and working together to deploy specific tactics, your marketing will be infinitely more successful; and, you won’t have to spend your precious time communicating and coordinating with multiple vendors!

Which marketing tactics will provide the quickest and healthiest ROI?

This is the most overlooked aspect of marketing. Throwing darts in the dark will not provide a healthy or sustainable return on investment. Trying the latest and greatest marketing tactic will not provide a healthy or sustainable return on investment. So, what will? Ask the people. Get in the habit of asking your patients regularly how they found you, what types of media they consume, what marketing they pay attention to, and where they look to find other healthcare practitioners. Even more granularly, deep dive with your ideal patients, those who you would love to replicate and attract in droves to your practice. In doing so, you’ll uncover exactly how, where and why they found your practice, and will be able to market directly to more potential patients just like them effectively and assuredly.

Marketing should be an investment, not an expense. Every tactic should be tracked and analyzed on a regular basis to ensure it is driving traffic, boosting awareness about your practice, and ultimately providing a return on investment. When implemented effectively, marketing will run like a well-oiled machine that is consistently bringing in new patients and those visions will become your reality.

 

What’s In It For Them? Use Your Team to Reach Your Goals

By | Blog, Uncategorized

As a dentist and business owner, you are capable of reaching your goals, whether they include attracting more new patients, increasing online reviews or growing the cosmetic side of your practice. However, it doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone. Having a strong team behind you not only allows you to focus more on dentistry, it also helps you to reach your goals in a more effective, efficient, and enjoyable manner.

Here a are three ways to do this:

1. Incentivize: Incentives can be a great way to encourage team members to work harder and stay motived. Once your team is fully motivated and engaged with the practice goals, the whole office can begin to reach its full potential. It is important to use incentives as rewards for stellar performance, not acknowledgment for status quo efforts. Together as a team come up with reachable goals that will be rewarded when met. For example, if the goal is to increase referrals each month, give the staff member who asked for the most a gift card to their favorite restaurant. When the staff feels appreciated and reaps the benefits of reaching the practice’s goals, they will work harder to achieve them.

2. Celebrate Wins: This is important no matter how big or small the win is. While it is nice to celebrate a big win, they are often only occasional. The celebration of a small win can have the same positive effect as the celebration of a big win. According to The Harvard Business Review, small wins can increase people’s engagement in the workplace and also their happiness while at work. Celebrating small wins evokes a sense of pride in an employee’s work making them want to create that feeling again by winning more. Small, but continuous steps forward by an entire organization result in larger goals being met or even exceeded.

3. Provide Feedback: Feedback lets your staff know how they are doing and allows for improvements to be made. Without feedback your staff has little to no idea how they are performing, which hinders progress towards your goals. When employees are provided with constructive feedback, the result is greater efficiency, higher functionality, and increased productivity. The staff is also happier because they have a clear picture into what they are doing correctly and what they can work to improve on. Constructive criticism is just one part of feedback though. Be sure to provide praise for actions that help the team to reach the practice goals. Reinforce those actions and you will see them multiply.

In the end, using your staff to help reach your goals will help more than just you; it will create a team that is excited, happy and motivated to work towards something bigger than themselves.

Promote Your Practice on Social Media to Gain Patients and Increase Production

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Social media marketing is becoming increasingly important within the dental industry. Millennials and the Gen-X group are looking to social media to connect with others, seek advice and research information. When looking for a local dentist, many are looking to platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook. Many dentists are unaware or unsure of how to maneuver social media sites or do not have the time or interest to put in the effort needed to see results. Below, we have outlined five ways to promote your practice on social media that are easy, quick and require minimal effort.

  1. Take photos of your practice. When your potential new patients are looking for a dental practice, they will want to familiarize themselves with the team and the aesthetics of the office before making an appointment. Did you get some new furniture? Post it. Hire a new receptionist? Tell the world. Make sure photos of the practice show it in its true light; fast paced and full of bright, healthy smiles.
  2. Take photos of your happy patients. There is no better way to advertise than to show real photos of your success stories. Post before and after photos, or share pictures of laughing children with genuine smiles. The photos can be anything from a patient in the dental chair, to someone simply smiling with a staff member in the reception area. Be sure to get written permission to post patient photos to social media.
  3. Designate one staff member to be in charge of social media. We have found that social media activity tends to be forgotten, especially when no specific person is in charge of the practice’s social media presence. Remedy this by designating one staff member to take on social media. This person doesn’t have to be a marketing coordinator; assign the front office person or patient coordinator to take on the task of posting to social media profiles. Start by asking your staff if anyone wants to spearhead social media and go from there.
  4. Like and share. Social media promotion is about more than just posting to your page. It requires interacting with other pages, too. Be sure to like other posts on Facebook or share fun dental facts on LinkedIn. These interactions don’t have to be 100% dental oriented. Be sure that you are interacting with your following in a way that interests them and you’ll be good to go.
  5. Follow the 80/20 rule. To follow this rule, post health facts and tips, photos of happy patients, and informative dental articles 80% of the time, and promote your practice 20% of the time. For example, once every two weeks, post that you are accepting new patients, ask for referrals, or tell your following to call to inquire about your new treatment offering. Your other posts should be upbeat and informative, and published about three times a week.

Social media doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Do you need some inspiration? Check out Dr. Hall of Hall Family Dentistry’s Facebook page. He does a great job keeping his following engaged. Regularly posting on social media will keep your practice top of mind for patients, so their chances of forgetting to show up for an appointment are reduced. At the end of the day, promoting your practice on social media will attract new patients and increase revenue for you and the practice. If you find that you still need help managing your social media page and attracting new patients, call Big Buzz at 720.350.4484.

Dentists Who Make an Impact

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Dentists come to us because they want to implement a marketing strategy that helps them attract more new patients to their practice. After diving deeper into their vision and goals, we often uncover additional core motivations and desires, all of which drive these marketing needs. Most often, our dental clients want to spend more time doing what they love, practicing dentistry, and less time running the business.

When the marketing, operations and financials of a practice are buttoned up, time can be spent actually practicing dentistry, enjoying time with family and friends, and giving back to the community.

Dr. Thomas Jennings and Dr. Bradley Perrett of Pinnacle Dentistry in Colorado Springs, Colorado, believe and emanate excellence in everything they do, both inside and out of the practice. Dr. Jennings served in the US Army, providing dental work to his fellow service men and women.

Dr. James Kearney of Austin Bluffs Dental, also in Colorado Springs, runs annual drives at his practice to give back to his local community. He and his talented team are currently collecting donations for people with Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Clarke Stevens of Braces Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska, has been on several dental and healthcare related mission trips, one of his most noteworthy being a leadership seminar in Togo, West Africa in 2015.

Dr. Brett Kessler and his team at Town Center Dentistry and Orthodontics in Denver, Colorado, complete free dental work, including full mouth reconstruction, for addicts in recovery each year.

Without a comprehensive and automated marketing strategy and business plan, these dentists may not have the opportunity to let their philanthropic passions thrive.

How are you building your business so that your potential can span well beyond the dental chair? Speak with a dental marketing expert today.

Fortune Management Guest Blog: Five Things Every Dentist Needs to Know about Their Finances

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By Don Khouri // Managing Director, Fortune Northeast

The financials of your practice are one of the key business engines in your dental office. There are five components of your financials that every dentist needs to know.  As the CEO of your business, understanding your financials is critical to your overall success.

1. Profit and Loss (P&L)

The best way to keep score in your practice is your Profit & Loss Statement. Some dentists may not always have a solid understanding of their profit and loss statement, but we’re here to help. Your P&L is divided into three sections: 1. Revenue (which is your patient collections), 2. expenses, and 3. net profit. Revenue minus expenses is profit (or loss if expenses are greater than profit). Make sure that your revenue matches what your practice management software is reporting for the same time period. Regarding expenses, there are six key expenses to compare to industry guidelines. You calculate the expense percentage by dividing the expense amount by collections. See table 1 for industry guidelines.  These will differ slightly from region to region and specialty to specialty.

Expense Category

Industry Guideline

Payroll (including benefits and matching taxes)

20-25%

Lab (non-CEREC)

8-12%

Dental Supplies

5-6%

Rent

5-7%

Marketing

3-4%

Office Expense

1-2%

 For net profit, the industry guideline is 35-40% and this includes the doctors paying themselves for the dentistry they produce. Net profit will be higher for some specialists. 

The other components of the financial engine consist of:

2. Third Party Financing.  We don’t recommend that dental practices act like a bank and create custom payment plans for patients (except when it comes to orthodontics). We do recommend taking advantage of third party financing options, like CareCredit, for the following reasons.  It will be easier for the patients to accept treatment with a monthly payment versus a lump sum.  The practice receives the cash up front.  There is much less administrative work of billing and following up with patients.

3. Fee Strategy.  If you have not raised your practice fees in more than one year, it is time to review them. Fortune Management recommends setting your fees above market averages for your zip code.

4. Accounts Receivable.  Measure the health of a practice’s A/R by looking at two metrics: 1. the total A/R should be less than one month of average collections, and 2. no more than 5% of that total amount should be overdue more than 90 days.

5. Financial Policy and Arrangements. Document your financial policy and have patients sign a financial arrangement for any treatment plan.

When a practice focuses on all of these components of the financial engine, it increases its likelihood of growth and success. 

 

 

Fortune Management Guest Blog: Hiring the Right People

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By Paul Gomila / Executive Coach

Hire slow, fire fast.

At Fortune Management, we believe that the only way to grow a practice is by growing the people, specifically the right people. We get questions and concerns from nearly all of our doctors about how to find, hire, and onboard the right people, or how to solve urgent issues with troublesome or difficult staff members. Building an extraordinary practice (as well as an extraordinary life) begins by surrounding yourself with people who are positive, skilled, capable, trustworthy, willing to learn, and fit the culture of your office. You can have the most state-of-the-art building and equipment, or be the most talented dentist in your area, and still struggle to have a growing practice that you love if you have a team you can’t trust.

The primary factor for building a team that can take your practice to new heights is, you guessed it, hiring the right people from the very beginning. Here are some essential first steps to take.

Step 1: Vividly imagine the person you need. You are never just hiring an assistant or a hygienist, you’re hiring a person! Who do you need that person to be? What kind of person would fit in well at the office? Should they be more serious and stern, or easy going and fun? Should they be very detail oriented, or more “big picture”? Imagine the exceptional, not just the ordinary.

Step 2: Get your team involved. You aren’t hiring someone to work with you, you’re hiring someone to work with your team. Sit down with your team and ask them the types of questions from Step 1. Make sure you’re all on the same page about who it is you’re looking for and who will be the best fit. Involving your team will ease the onboarding process for the new member and facilitate their success.

Step 3: Write a job description and post it. Once you have a clear and collective vision for your new team member, write it down in the form of a job description. Be very clear about the tasks and responsibilities the new member will take on, and the traits you’re looking for.

The Bottom Line: While there are no right or wrong answers for what type of person will work best for you and your practice, one thing we have learned from helping many clients with hiring is that it is best to hire for attitude, not experience. While there may be a few cases in which experience is a hard requirement, it is much easier and cost effective to hire someone who is trainable and positive than someone who has all the talent but is a terrible team member.

Take it slow. Even if it feels like the pressure is on, it can be catastrophic to your practice financially and emotionally to hire the wrong person. The right person, however, can make all the difference.

Create a Home Within Your Practice for You and Your Team

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Those working in the dental industry spend a great deal of time at the office. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average adult spends over eight hours a day at the office. This means you may be spending over 2,080 hours at the practice over the course of one year. If you don’t love your office environment, that figure may be a tough pill to swallow. It is important to create a home and a family within your office, so that you, your team, and your patients feel happy and at ease while there. Patients will be able to feel that warm, welcoming energy and will in turn, be more likely to return for their appointment, accept treatment and refer others.

Connect with your staff and connect with your patients. According to Dentistry IQ, one of the top reasons that patients don’t accept treatment is because they don’t feel a connection. Create a warm, family-like culture within your office and urge your staff to not only empathize with each other, but to empathize with patients. Your patients will be able to sense this familial environment and feel more comfortable.

Plan events outside of the office. This is one of the most successful ways to bond with your team. The day-to-day activities of a dental office can be fast-paced, leaving little time to build relationships. Try planning a lunch, summer barbeque, or monthly book club. Make sure its something that isn’t related to work. At these events, ask the staff questions and encourage them to get to know one another on a personal level. According to Forbes, socializing with coworkers is essential to a more efficient workplace. Knowing coworkers on a deeper level contributes to communication, trust and overall happiness at the workplace. After all, we’re humans; we live to connect with others. 

Enhance the office space. One’s environment can have a huge impact on behavior. Create a home within your office by decorating it as such. Hang up photos of happy patients, paint the walls a fun color, and invest in comfortable, fun furniture that the entire staff has a hand in choosing. Not only will this create a cozy environment for your staff, but it will also put your patients at ease.

Reward your team. Make sure your dental staff knows how much you value their hard work. On occasion, reward them with a small bonus or a gift card. It doesn’t have to be huge, just enough to let them know that your appreciate them.

You spend so much time at work, so make sure that time is enjoyable. You, your staff and your patients will be happier for it.

Cookie Cutter Content is Hurting Your Practice Website

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Have you heard of cookie cutter content? It is website text that is derived from the same outline as many other dental websites, often including word-for-word duplicate sections. Many website and SEO companies will offer a one-size-fits-all solution, giving the same content outline or even the same exact words to many different practices. From an SEO perspective, this will ultimately be detrimental. Your content must be more than informative, it must be unique, original, and let the practice’s personality shine through. Why? Read below to find out.

  1. It can lead to poor rankings. Search engines such as Google and Yahoo do not know which website the duplicate content belonged to first, so each website may be at risk for penalization. When you publish content that is very similar in wording to another website, Google crawls your website and sees the text as duplicate content. This can put a big red bulls-eye on your website to be penalized by Google and hinder your listings.
  2. Content may be stuffed with keywords. Much of the time, we see that cookie cutter content is stuffed with keywords, which can get your website flagged by search engines and removed from listings altogether. While it is important to have keywords throughout your site, be sure the content reads easily and is not saturated with keywords. It should read as naturally as possible, as if you were conversing with a patient in your office.
  3. Potential patients may look elsewhere. If your potential patients find your website organically and it’s full of cookie cutter content, you will likely be providing them with very little unique information about you and your practice. Topics like, “Why to floss your teeth?” and “Worst foods for your teeth” are everywhere. Content topics such as these can be found anywhere and are usually monopolized by bigger corporations such as Colgate and WebMD. And while those can work well for blog inspiration, the meat of your website content should be about your specific offerings. Feature content that is unique and enticing, and that answers all of your patients’ burning questions.

Remember that cookie cutter content is not always obvious. That is, it’s not always word-for-word blogs or service descriptions. Look for similar titles, meta data, descriptions and keyword tags. Identical page outlines may also be flagged. Share your dental expertise while letting your personality, writing style, and practice culture shine through. Ask your SEO provider if your content has been used elsewhere and do your research. Take some time to write your own unique words and do some investigating on how to produce impactful and engaging content.