Let’s get to the point. This blog series is about making a MASSIVE change in your business. So let me tell you what I’m going to tell you in this series: How to double: 1. quality traffic to your web site 2. data capture from potential new patients (which means they deposit their email address and give you permission to keep them posted) 3. enquiries from those potential new patients (when they are ready, they contact you) 4. consultations in practice 5. your conversion of treatments planned into treatments delivered 6. your reactivation of dormant treatment plans 7. your referrals via word of mouth We begin today with 100% growth in the quality of traffic to your web site. Why? Driving QUALITY traffic to your web site is a non-negotiable FUNDAMENTAL to operating The 100% Growth System. But there is a potential trap here – a need for a better definition. THE TRAFFIC TRAP The trap is that traffic is just a commodity. You want pizza for dinner this evening? Option 1 – call Domino’s Option 2 – visit Tesco Option 3 – order a take out from your local trattoria Option 4 – buy your own ingredients and start rolling dough while the oven warms The option you take will depend on the context. Pizza on your knee watching a football game – Domino’s. Dinner with the family – Tesco. Dinner for two by candlelight – the local take-out. A kitchen party – make your own pizza and enjoy some good conversation and music over a great red wine. So what kind of traffic do you want? Imagine a pizza attraction agency – you call them and say: “I will give you £500 – bring me pizza – the more pizza the better. All my friends tell me that more pizza is good. I will judge you by the amount of pizza you can bring me.” What’s likely is that the agency will take a trip to the local cash and carry and the return with the biggest delivery of frozen pizza you have ever seen. They print a report to say that your investment of £X has produced Y pizzas, representing an ROI of £(£X)/y and wait for the pat on the back. But the pizza sucks when you cook it. It wasn’t the agency’s fault – you defined “the more pizza the better”. The trap is that you didn’t define what kind of pizza you were looking for. “I want a romantic dinner for two that is going to lead to a lifetime relationship – bring me quality pizza from the local trattoria.” It may cost less than volume but the results will be worthwhile. I’ve probably stretched that metaphor as far as a line of pizza dough – so let’s return to traffic. What kind of traffic do you want? Demographic. Location. Likely income bracket. Area of interest. It is necessary to spend time with your agency, defining exactly who you are looking for. Qualitative traffic in Dentistry is always going to be better than quantitative traffic. How to define and monitor the quality? See the golden question below. What I’m going to look at is: 1. what can be automated? 2. what has to be done by you and your team. The Automation of Attraction Search Engine Optimisation OK – we all think we know what that means but we don’t and neither do we understand what we are told. It used to be all about “meta-tags” and “key-words” – our web sites were liberally covered with them. Recently we were told that “Google have changed their algorithms” and that organic search is now about social influence, about Google Reviews (the more the merrier) and about video. We know that we have to optimise but we have no idea how that works. The good news is that the results are very visible – I type in “dental implants in my town” (or whatever treatment modality we seek) and there we are, or not, as the case may be. The optimisers are exposed and have to perform. Digital Marketing A term now used to describe Google Adwords, Pay-per-Click, Facebook advertising, Facebook re-marketing and the use of a selection of other social channels on which to advertise. There is clear evidence from our client base that Facebook is becoming an important playing field for digital marketing (I’ve written before that 42% of global Facebook users are over age 35). We are asked to “take a look at Google Analytics” and we stare at the screen or print-out, largely clueless as to what the graphs, tables and percentages are telling us. The bad news is that the results are often indecipherable unless you are an expert. Direct Marketing The term is largely used to describe print and broadcast media and can include: Business cards A-boards Welcome packs Signage Smile Checks Patient Lounge TV Local media advertising Sponsorship Local radio/TV advertising But your direct marketing provider should also be able to provide the digital equivalent of their work for you to post across your web site and social channels. The objective of SEO, digital marketing and direct marketing is to drive QUALITY traffic to your web site. So my first 100% Growth system might surprise you. Tactic #1 – hold accountability meetings face to face with your SEO, Digital and Direct Marketing providers EVERY MONTH AND PREFERABLY FACE TO FACE and ask them the golden question. Golden question? I’m not an optimiser, a digital or a direct marketer (although we employ them and have hired them over the years) and I don’t understand all the mumbo-jumbo. Here’s what I understand in a meeting with my optimiser, digital or direct marketer: “I gave you £x last month to invest in SEO, Digital Marketing and/or Direct marketing – how much quality traffic did that drive to my web site, how do you know it is quality and what is the resulting cost per visit?” Would you be amazed if I told you that every week I speak with practice owners who are throwing money in the mix but not holding their providers accountable? That the relationship with their providers used to be great but has now declined, like a tired marriage, originally romantic and seductive but evaporating over time with each party feeling indifferent and unappreciated? That feedback meetings are held infrequently, on-line or via unclear email reports? (It takes two to make a marriage – sometimes the client is too busy with other stuff to get connected to the process) It was business writer Harry Beckwith who first coined the phrase “there is no performance without accountability and no accountability without measurement”. Never has this been more true in dental practice marketing. But it’s not just about your external agencies and consultants – if you want 100% growth in quality traffic to your web site, there is an important role for your team to play. The Team Approach to Attraction There are 7 actions that your team can take to drive quality traffic to your web site: 1. encourage prospects and existing patients to submit their email addresses so that you can include them in your monthly email newsletter (about which more later) 2. encourage prospects and existing patients to connect with your social media channels – a Facebook “like”, Twitter “follow” or any other connection that suits their modus operandi 3. physically ask prospects and existing prospects to SHARE via social media your web site, newsletter and social media channels 4. make sure that your marketing material is FULL of stories about patients whose lives you have changed for the better 5. encourage selected patient video testimonials from those who are not camera-shy 6. attend local B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to community) events to network, exhibit or speak 7. ask patients to actively recommend the practice to their family, friends and colleagues In the past, the type of activities listed above were suggested as a method to drive new patients to your door. As we will discover in subsequent episodes of this series, the focus has now changed to driving people to your web site – the reasons will soon be clear – stick with me on this. Tactic #2 – lead your team in actively asking for emails, social connections, testimonials, referrals and networking invitations So my first blog post isn’t about some new secret formula of new technologies (although there will be some of that later in this series) – I’m simply asking that you get the best return from the money you invest already and from the people that you contract/employ already. Whatever the current level of quality traffic to your web site – we have to double it – NOW. To summarise: Tactic #1 – hold accountability meetings face to face with your SEO, Digital and Direct Marketing providers every month and ask them the golden question. Tactic #2 – lead your team in actively asking for emails, social connections, testimonials, referrals and networking invitations Oh – and by the way – stick with this series because I’ll be giving away some free downloads that will help you to develop your own 100% Growth plan.