Dr. Howard Farran and Jeff Gladnick of Great Dental Websites dive into social media and websites.
Howard Speaks Audio Podcast #14 with Jeff Gladnick
Howard Speaks Video Podcast #14 with Jeff Gladnick
About Jeff Gladnick:
Jeff Gladnick comes from a family of seven Dentists. He worked as a software engineer in the San Francisco bay area before being sucked back into dentistry to develop a software to manage dental websites, which became the company GreatDentalWebsites.com. GDW has since grown to 20 staff and over 200 Dentists - almost entirely as a result of Townies deciding to use GDW for their website and marketing needs and referring other Townies. Jeff has started several companies over the years, and even has a US patent for a ski chairlift improvement. He has a degree in electrical and computer engineering. Jeff lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife, two children, and their two cats. He plays golf, loves skiing, and soccer.
Podcast Transcription (Download Here):
Howard Farran: We are going to have fun today. We have got a very intelligent Townie. He has been a big time Townie for the last six years. You have probably seen his posts. He has got over 1,500 posts. Pretty much all of his customers are Townies. It is Jeff Gladnick, who is the owner of greatdentalwebsites.com. And for an old guy like me, I am 52. Hell, when I was your age, Jeff, there wasn’t even such thing as a website or an Internet. I can sort of remember checking out for the first time in 1998 with this AOL dialup and they gave you like, three numbers, and they would all be busy. You would spend more time trying to get the call to go through then you would end up spending on the website. I remember getting through the first time and doing a search for dentists and nothing came up in 1998. Who knows, I probably did the search wrong. But hey, Jeff, so the average dentist, you know, they get out of school at 25 or 28 years old, they retire at 65 to 70. But 45 to 50 is the top of the demographic mountain. And the bottom line is, when I went to dental school, when I got out I had never seen a computer. I had never used a computer. You know, back in the rage when I got out of school, I was controversial because I took out an ad in 1987 in the yellow pages and several of my dentist friends and local dental conventions sat there…
Jeff Gladnick: I heard about that.
Howard Farran: And said, “Don’t you think that is crazy? Don’t you think you are cheapening the profession?” And now no one even uses the phonebook, I mean except for a door stop or a bookshelf or whatever. I just picked mine up the other day and walked it directly to the trash can and just threw it away.
Jeff Gladnick: Yep.
Howard Farran: I can’t tell you if I recycled it or not, because one is blue and one is green and I don’t know which one is which. I am just kidding. But Jeff, so instead of focusing on, you know, the kids that just graduated from dental school last year and are your age, why don’t we try to aim this talk today about old guys like me and a lot of dentists that are my age say they have got a website.
Jeff Gladnick: Are they listening to the podcasts?
Howard Farran: They actually are, because we are making it so easy on DentalTown.
Jeff Gladnick: Good.
Howard Farran: With the DentalTown app, if all that you know how to do is download the DentalTown app you can hear it.
Jeff Gladnick: Good.
Howard Farran: So tell us, you come from a family of seven dentists that are in your family. So you cut your teeth on money from dentistry. So tell us why you started Great Dental Websites, what is your unique selling proposition? What do dentists need to know about their website? And talk about things like SEO and all of that stuff.
Jeff Gladnick: So the way, I never really intended to become a dentist. That was one of the few careers that was obvious to me even as a little child. You know, sitting around the Thanksgiving table looking at my uncles and aunts and my dad and my grandfather all discussing the business of dentistry. I would just sit there and kind of absorb it. And I knew there were firefighters and there were policemen and there were dentists and those were the three careers I was aware of. So I was very tech savvy my entire life. I built a laser for my seventh grade science fair project. I was just doing little things like that. I ran a bulletin board when I was like in fifth or sixth grade, probably back when you were first discovering the Internet. So I kind of focused on computer engineering and software engineering and that is what I did my degree in. And after that, I did what everybody does. You move to Silicon Valley in San Francisco and you work for a startup. And I did that for about five or six years. And around about the halfway point of that, my dad called me and he basically wanted me to update his website that I had made him when I was an undergrad for free. We had a nice deal, he did all of my dental work forever and I took care of his website and that deal continues to this day. But my uncles got wind of this and they wanted in on the deal, too. All of the software jobs I kept getting were in concept management systems, so publishing systems for huge companies there handling millions of visitors a day, Adobe, Dun and Bradstreet, Hoover’s, companies like that. And I knew how to make software where you could use the same bit of code for multiple different sites, that is what we did at D&B. And so I decided to apply this to dentistry. So my goal was to just have one website for all of my family members. It would be different content, but the same software and the same look. They rejected the look, but the software idea made sense and we kept going and they referred friends. And by the time I was done, we probably had ten or fifteen customers and it was a side business. And then I found DentalTown. And I can’t remember the name of the guy, because you know, the business was founded with like $1,000 in a bank account. We didn’t have any money for advertising or trade shows or anything like that. And I inquired about putting an ad on DentalTown and I was like, “Well, we can’t afford that.” And the guy who I spoke to, I think his name was Lonnie or something. He was like, “Well, just go on the forums and be useful.” So that is what I did. And I was immediately accused by somebody of being a scammer and kind of like tarred and feathered by that guy, but thankfully other people believed in me and we had a couple of customers. And after their projects were successful they vouched for us and then it started to snowball. And today I think we have about 210, 220 Townie customers out of 250. And it is almost our entire business has been built from DentalTown users and their referrals. A very efficient way of marketing. It certainly took a lot of time and answering a lot of questions, so it certainly wasn’t easy and it was a little bit of hard work, but we have got the sales conversations are so much easier talking to Townies. They are much more educated. They know that they are talking about already. They understand the value of our services, as opposed to just kind of random calls that we get from people who search for us online. So we have really appreciated the Townie community and that is kind of how we got to where we are today. We have about 20 staff now. We are based out of Denver. We just moved to a new 2,000 square foot office, so we are expanding. So it has been a good ride.
Howard Farran: Well, you know, we only manage three things, people, time and money. And what you basically just said instead of doing it the easy way, just handing money to advertise and putting a banner ad on a website, instead of using money, you used your time. And I think Townies love that. I mean, you look at, there are 150,000 dentists in the United States. Most of them at 5 o’clock have had enough, they want to go home and have a beer and watch ESPN and check out. So who are these people that at night go log on to DentalTown for hours? They are the cream of the crop that are just going for it. I mean, they want to improve, they want to do everything faster, easier, higher in quality, lower in cost, be more successful and all of that stuff. And when you sit there and take your time to post your thoughts and be transparent with what you do, you build their trust so then you build their respect, then they love you and then they become your customers.
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, that has been my experience. We still get emails. I get emails from patients on my phone, not patients, clients at ten or eleven o’clock at night. Some guys are quite obsessed.
Howard Farran: Yeah, and the small companies can do that, because the big companies, they are no longer fast and nimble. If one of their people wants to make a post, they have got to run it through the legal department and the lawyers have 49 reasons of why you can’t do this and that. I mean, it is just crazy. And the guys like you, I call it guerilla marketing. You are lean, you are mean. You have got more time than money. You go in there and you are completely honest and you are on the witness stand. I mean, there is a reason why they didn’t but OJ on the witness stand. I notice in dentistry, people will tell you a sales pitch when they are with you one-on-one in your dental office or they pull you to the side at a convention. And then I will sit there and say, “Well, how about I just write down this whole conversation and post it on DentalTown.” “Oh my God, no,” because they don’t want to be cross-examined. They don’t realize what they just told you could be completely picked apart if you put that up in front of 180,000 Townies. I mean, yeah.
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, I mean, our sales pitch and the content on our website is basically summaries and improvements upon my posts on DentalTown. That is kind of how, I don’t even like to call it a sales pitch, but how that was developed. Just kind of listening to whatever. There is not really magic to sales, and I do a lot of that now, even though I really don’t like to think of myself as a salesman. It makes me feel slightly icky, especially as an engineer. That is kind of beaten into you. But it is just listening to the problems, answering things, you know, correctly, being extremely honest and ethical. A lot of our competitors see dentists as big bags of money and I have never, ever thought of them that way. I have just thought of them as people like my dad or my Uncle Dan or Uncle Joe or Aunt Cathy or my brother and his new wife Liz now. Now we have another dentist from Liz.
Howard Farran: He married a dentist?
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, he married a dentist.
Howard Farran: Do you know that when dentists marry dentists, they fall into the lowest divorce category?
Jeff Gladnick: Really?
Howard Farran: Yeah, if two physicians, dentists or lawyers marry each other, their divorce rate is about 11%.
Jeff Gladnick: What if they work in the same practice?
Howard Farran: You know, some people, if they have got a strong office manager and they don’t butt heads. But they have the lowest divorce rate. I think it is because they are both highly educated, so they are both intelligent and they know there is a hell of a lot of money at stake and they just figure it out. But you know, it is funny, because I get requests from these big huge companies all of the time for market research. And they just want me to write a check easy for the answer. And I think to myself, you know on DentalTown, on every thread you can create your own poll.
Jeff Gladnick: Oh, I do that all of the time. Not the polls, but informally, what do you think about this, we are thinking about doing it.
Howard Farran: But there is actually a poll, so you can’t see everybody who has voted. So you can go in and start any thread. You can post a video, you can post an x-ray, you can post a picture, you can start a poll. And I tell these owners, “Well, why don’t you just go ask the Townies if they want your dental product from you red or blue or thick or thin or bigger or smaller or whatever they want.” And they don’t want to engage. And I think what social media, and you still see it in social media advertising where they build a website where they still want it to be like a radio advertisement or a broadcast TV commercial or a flyer. They still don’t want to do engagement. Even when they start a Facebook page for their dental office. You go back there and you scroll back the last 12 months. They didn’t even make a comment on anyone’s reply. They didn’t, you know, like anybody’s comment. They just thought, Oh well, I will the Facebook thing and then I will get a bunch of new patients. But that, the old days, I mean I can still remember when the paperboy rode his bike by the house. He just threw the paper at us. It was like, that was the end of his relationship with us.
Jeff Gladnick: Now we don’t even get the paper.
Howard Farran: Yeah, and those days are gone because the consumer doesn’t want anything thrown at them. They want engagement. They want to be connected. And the other thing I think guys like you, it would be interesting to find out, are more of your clients from the rural than the big city?
Jeff Gladnick: It is pretty diversified. We have clients in middle of nowhere where there is maybe one dentist if that. And the conversation with them when I look up their site, I just talked to a dentist the other day. They had gotten a huge quote for SEO and we are like, “Uh, if you want to roll the dice here, I think we don’t have to spend a lot of money. There is one other guy in town, he has a cookie cutter, canned content site. All we need to do is the bare minimum here and if we are a little patient, we can probably save a lot of money.”
Howard Farran: Okay, I am going to take you out right there. So what is the bare minimum on a website? Let’s start with the basics. Why does a dentist need a website?
Jeff Gladnick: Well, I mean, everybody searches for almost all products and services online. And not everybody, but even my grandmother has a VoIP line, uses Skype, searches for things online, and she is 87. There are not a lot of people in the market who don’t use online at all. And even if somebody hears about you on TV, there is a really good chance they are going to go online and research you. And we use tracking numbers and tracking domains to verify that anyway. We know that happens with some of our customers. So you have to have some kind of presence online. There are varying theories on how much you need. I like to see dentists have at least custom content for their site. Either they wrote it or they wrote us the rough draft, ideally, and then we can clean up the grammar and the spelling and that sort of thing. Most of the time we will do a long interview that is like 15 or 20 minutes with one of our copywriters and we want to know what do they do differently. Do they consider themselves, say, a dental spa? Something that would make my dad bristle. If I told him he should rebrand as a spa, that would offend him. But it works extremely well for a lot of our customers. And they want to present that image. So the copywriting has to be authentic and unique. You can do that if you have somebody who is a professional. The more the dentist is involved in the practice and that process, I think the better it turns out. I like for dentists to have custom media and pictures on their sites. I really like to see examples of their work, their before and after cases. Not only can we usually rank those for specific terms of somebody is looking for, if you type in veneers for Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, for example, one of our clients who is a Townie, Dr. Keller and his partner Dr. Leciejewski, they have the first three spots and the first two are before and after cases that they posted. There are lots of opportunities when you post content like that, video testimonials. Anything you can do to make your practice different, because seven years ago you could have just bought any old dental website and you were the guy who it came up with when someone looked for a dentist in your area. You were the person with a website. But that just isn’t good enough anymore. Now almost everybody has a website and you have to stand out. So custom content, we would like to have a custom design. We can kind of use a stock one as a filler, as a temporary measure in the meantime, but it should be customized and we want the dentist and their practice to become involved and become involved on a regular basis to show examples of their work, examples of their patient testimonials, things like that and to implement a review process and to get their patients involved in promoting them online. That engagement part is very important, especially on Facebook. I have seen plenty of practices just kind of throw canned content at the wall on Facebook and it really doesn’t get anywhere. But we have a couple of customers that have done a phenomenal job marketing their practices on Facebook and it actually produces patients for them because they engage patients, they post unique content of their patients, of their staff doing things, interacting with the community, contests. I can go down a litany of things that they have done with that.
Howard Farran: But I will go to a dentist, you know, I am in front of 100 dentists every week lecturing somewhere and I will say to a dentist, “Do you have a Facebook page?” And they will say, “Yeah.” And I will say, “Well, you have got a cellphone in your hand. Show me your Facebook app and hit it and let me see your page.” And it is like, “What, what what?” They can’t even find their own page. And then some of these people will have companies doing their social media for them. And they can’t even post on their own page.
Jeff Gladnick: I don’t like that. I am okay with companies kind of creating a baseline of content, like you know, a couple of posts or memes a week. But what we really like the dentist to do is either take it on themselves and post content, or deputize one of their staff that has been with the practice for a while and they trust, and you should review it. But to give them the mandate to post unique content of the practice. We have one customer, Dr. Wade Kiefer in Fayetteville, Arkansas. If you just Google Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Howard Farran: That is where my sister lives.
Jeff Gladnick: Oh good. He is the first guy that comes up there, he is easy to find. But I just went through his Facebook page before this, because he is a great example. But they are posting lots of volunteering pictures. They are volunteering at the local VA. They are volunteering for something. And their staff always takes pictures of it and posts it to their Facebook. Food drives, they are doing like a pet supply/pet food drive in their office. Their waiting room just has this growing pile that I see every couple of days expand and expand and expand of pet supplies. Any kind of staff related events, birthdays, anniversaries, accomplishments, awards. Any kind of training that the doctor or the staff takes is posted. Any new technology or equipment to come into the practice. We have talked about the community involvement, if they are at the local fair or in a parade or something. They are in a rural area, well kind of, they are actually into Fayetteville. But they do a lot of giveaways, iPads, Kindles. One of our clients gave away a barbeque grill around Memorial Day, gift cards. And also content from the website. We have gone to great lengths to integrate our software with Facebook and Twitter’s APIs. So whenever you add new content to your website, at least with our platform and I am sure there are plugins from other companies too, there is a little checkbox at the bottom. So if you post a before and after case or a new patient testimonial video, just check a box and it goes on to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. So that is an easy way to just kind of kill three birds with one stone. But all of those topics, that is the kind of thing you should give to whoever is going to be in charge of Facebook and tell them to go crazy.
Howard Farran: Now that is why I don’t understand it. So I will be in a seminar, I will be lecturing and here is a dentist sitting there and he has got two receptionists, two assistants and a hygienist. And he either doesn’t have a Facebook page or he is paying somebody so much a month to run his Facebook page. And I go up there and he can’t find or she can’t find the Facebook app on their cell phone. I find the page or whatever. They don’t even have administration rights to post. I scroll back over the last year, there are no comments, there are no shares, there are no likes, there is no engagement. And he is sitting there and then I will go to his four staff members, two assistants, two receptionists, a hygienist and say, “Okay, how many of you have a Facebook page?” All of their hands go up. And then I will say, “Okay, who checks their Facebook page the most?” And they will be like maybe one person every other day and then maybe two people once or twice a day. But out of five people there is a freak sitting there that checks it ten times a day. And I am like, “Well, why doesn’t she just do it?”
Jeff Gladnick: Exactly.
Howard Farran: Why doesn’t she just walk around the office and turn on her video recorder and say, “Doctor, give me 60 seconds on tooth whitening or flossing,” or whatever the heck. And then you upload that stuff and it just all becomes alive. And I think staff are, you have got to treat them like the same thing as you do your children. If you judge a fish by the ability to climb a tree, it goes its whole life thinking it is stupid when it is really, you know, a genius fish. And I sit there with my four boys. You know, you took them to all of these different sports and different activities, grabbed each one of them and they are off and one their way. And it is your job to go in there and find out, okay, here is your dental assistant. But what else could she capably amazing? Maybe she is your social media expert, maybe she is into supplies, maybe she is into cutting costs, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah. But yeah, you have really got to delegate this stuff and you have got to own it. Someone in the office has to own it.
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, and a lot of dentists have trouble delegating. A lot of dentists are perfectionists, you know, because they want their work to be perfect and they kind of want everything to be perfect, too. And that is, especially with patient testimonials and videos, I have a different opinion than some other marketing people for this. I don’t think that you have to have a professional crew come in to shoot the video. I think that is always great. And maybe for your intro video you want to do that professionally. But for patient testimonials, they need to be authentic. And some of the ones I see, it looks like they are shot in a Hollywood studio with paid actors. And the patients were coached and they did a great job, but they look too polished.
Howard Farran: Canned.
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, and everything is just glowing. I would rather somebody almost stumble over their words, their hair be a mess, look almost slightly disheveled if they have hair.
Howard Farran: How is my hair looking?
Jeff Gladnick: About as good as mine.
Howard Farran: Well you know, I have got to take you a road back. You know, being 52, I am telling you. The pictures on my iPhone are better than any professional could take when I was in high school and college at the family reunions and weddings and all of that stuff. And they videos they shot. I mean, I remember sitting around the house with dad with that little 35 mm things and the film would break. And so yeah, and reality TV has exploded. People like real, authentic stuff. It is faster, it is low cost, and it is higher in quality.
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, and the other thing is if you can get in the habit if doing it yourself, and you can do it, you are right, with an iPhone, you should get one of those like, eight dollar tripods from Amazon for an iPhone. But once you do that, you can shoot pretty good quality video on that. And then you get in the habit of doing it yourself.
Howard Farran: So you are saying just give plasma one time and you can afford a tripod for your camera?
Jeff Gladnick: There you go. I mean, you could just sell a couple of tubes of toothpaste and do that. You could find that money on the ground or in the couch cushion in your waiting room. But it is not that hard. And you have to get in the habit of doing it, because it seems like, and we talk to dentists all of the time like, well, we don’t have any before and after cases. Well, we don’t have any video testimonies. Well, we don’t have any pictures of the office. Well, you have to start. And you don’t have to do it in a day. But if you don’t, I mean the only times that I can think of where we came up short of marketing campaigns were I just looked at them and I was like, “Gosh, this was kind of a waste of money,” was when the dentist had almost no involvement. I don’t like the type of client where they just want to send is a check and then they kind of check out. And you don’t have to be totally involved, but usually I will say 15 or 20 minutes a week from somebody in the practice, anybody in the practice. Give us anybody, we will train them and we will show them exactly what to do and they can call us up as many times as they like as often as they like and we will help them.
Howard Farran: And what I tell that dentist, because dentists are highly educated, they are very smart. I mean, these boys and girls all knew math and applied math as physics and applied physics as chemistry, applied chemistry to biology and applied biology to dentistry. And when people tell me that dentists aren’t good businessmen or dentists aren’t that smart, it is like, oh no. I have been with these boys and girls for 52 years. They are wickedly smart, but they don’t like to delegate. They think if anything is going to be done right, it is done themselves. And what I like to remind dentists is that one day you are going to go from six feet above to ground to six feet below the ground and the whole planet is going to keep turning and seven billion people aren’t going to blink. So if you have to delegate 100% at death, will your dental office survive you, will your legacy? What would happen if when Ray Kroc died, McDonald’s all shut down or Sam Walton died and Wal-Mart shut down or when Edison died, you know, General Electric just folded? I mean, you have got to build an institution so that when they call your home someday and say, “Hey, where is the dentist?” and they say, “Oh, he had a cardiac arrest. He is dead in bed.” It is like, no problem. We will put an ad on DentalTown for an associate and we will be good in three days.
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, and that is a stumbling block for a lot of dentists. They want to do everything themselves. Sometimes that is the case with marketing. I know there are some dentists, especially on DentalTown like Chip Payet and Mike Barr who have learned SEO themselves and learned a lot of the online market themselves. But that, I think that for a lot of dentists, unless you really like it and you want to get into it like those two particular dentists, there is a lot better and more profitable uses of your time than learning how to do keyword research on Google and learning how to tune and optimize meta tags and title tags and H1 tags and integrate Google webmaster tools properly and SchemeIt.org settings and all of these little technical bits that you probably would be better off leaving to a company like us or somebody else who is more tech savvy. I couldn’t seat a crown to save my life, but we are good at marketing and we are good at building websites. And dentists should recognize that, too. Unless you really want to get into it as a hobby, that is a different story.
Howard Farran: Right, and Chip Payet and Mike Barr are, gosh darn, they love social media and websites with a passion. But they probably spend a lot of time on it and there are a lot of dentists who are married with children and they just don’t have the time. So that is when you have got to trade some of your money to free up some of your time. But hey, I want to go to a big thing, a big important thing. All of these dentists hear of SEO. When you are in a town like Phoenix and you type in dentists, you know, I have never gone through all of the pages, but according to Google, there are like 1.3 million things that come up in 0.015 seconds. So tell me, in a town like Phoenix with 3,500 dentists in the valley, 6,000 dentists in the state, what is SEO and why do some guys make the first page and others don’t? What is the low-hanging fruit on SEO?
Jeff Gladnick: It is the long tail search terms. So, I mean for example, if you are like, I know there are some dentists who are holistic and they tell you that they want to remove the mercury amalgams and put in, you know, for health reasons. And that caters to a certain type of patients. So if you can find niches like that and you can develop content and work with your webmaster or whoever is developing the content, you can sometimes get some low-hanging fruit like that. However, if you are in a huge city like Phoenix, I would not advise to immediately call up somebody like me and say, “I want to be on the first page when somebody types Phoenix dentist.” That is not the low-hanging fruit. That is getting out a ladder and going to the top of the tree. And we don’t usually want to start there. There is probably, there are still searches by zip codes, there are searches by neighborhoods. When I lived in San Francisco, I used Yelp and I know that has a very mixed reputation and perhaps deservedly so. But everybody would use Yelp or Google and you would search by neighborhood. You wouldn’t search for a dry cleaner in San Francisco. Nobody wants to go across the city. You search for a dry cleaner in Noe Valley where I lived. So there are probably neighborhood breakdowns. In Denver, I live in a neighborhood called Washington Park. So people search for restaurants and things by the neighborhood. Those types of searches are very attainable and much less expensive and much more cost effective and you will get a return on investment a lot quicker, if you focus on things like that instead of trying to go for the whole enchilada right out of the gate.
Howard Farran: Now would you buy the URL, like your neighborhood dentist that you are talking about or would you just try to get – are you a big fan of just like one website and all of these search terms go to that or are you a fan of like, ten different URL websites for what people are searching?
Jeff Gladnick: The multiple websites doesn’t usually work as well as it used to. We used to engage in that when Google would give you a reward if you had the exact key words that somebody typed in. So my dad is in Wilmington, Delaware, but technically he is in Pike Creek. And there is also a neighboring town called Hockessin. So we bought, you know, Wilmingtoncosmeticdentist.com, Pikecreekdentist.com, Hockessendentist.com. We developed little microsites for each. But after a while, Google advised that they didn’t want people to do that. It was confusing their local search algorithm when that came out. So we stopped doing that and we always listen to exactly what Google says. We never, ever want to break the code in the Bible, so to speak.
Howard Farran: But then there are some experts that go out there and say, and I have said this before, you know there will be some consultant talking on SEO. And you are like, okay dude, if you knew how Google worked, then why don’t you go get a job for Yahoo or Bing and maybe they could get some market share. I mean percent of the market share does Google have?
Jeff Gladnick: Oh, it is like at least 70% or 80%.
Howard Farran: And how much of that market share does Microsoft, Bing or Yahoo want?
Jeff Gladnick: Well, Microsoft wants 100%.
Howard Farran: Yeah, so Microsoft wants 100% of their search business.
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, they probably have 10 at this point.
Howard Farran: So if Microsoft wants 100% of Google’s business on Bing, how does this guy lecturing know so much when Microsoft can’t even figure it out?
Jeff Gladnick: Well that is, I think, two different problems, because Bing and Yahoo and Google all want to answer questions from users. And so being able to rank a site organically and knowing the best practices, and it is not so much wizardry. We have a giant checklist of best practices that we do for every dental practice that we start up with. There are lots of niche dental directories that we will create listings for, lots of what Google calls citations, national directories that they used for some reason as a reference for their local search engine. We have to make sure all of the Google properties are properly filled out. So that whole process is very different than Microsoft’s challenge of making their searches more relevant and faster. Both of those companies want to reduce what they call web spam, and that is where it is against their best wishes for a dentist to have ten, fifteen, twenty websites, because it wouldn’t be very useful to a consumer if you got all ten, the first ten spots on Google were all Dr. Faran. Somebody is going to get it by at least the first two or three. So they want a little bit of variety and they want you to have a single home. And there are a lot of people who do what we do. I mean, there are probably 100, maybe 200 competitors that we have that are dental website, dental marketing companies. And probably 100 of them are outright frauds. And you will read about this on DentalTown from time to time and I would rather not discuss anybody by name, but there are a couple of people that usually come up. And they are just scams. They take people’s money, they charge the cards. And billing is something that is surprisingly harder to do, especially when you have a lot of moving parts and recurring billing. And we have made billing mistakes and we have always rebated things. It is just horrible to hear stories where people are just like having to sue these companies and they take them to collections and they never delivered anything in the first place. And there are a lot of other companies that try their best. SEO, I always like to say, is kind of like weightlifting. I went to the gym and few weeks ago and lifted weights and Arnold Schwarzenegger probably lifted weights an hour ago. And we could both testify in court that we are weightlifters, but he is a lot better than me, even at 60. And SEO is a lot of the same things. You have to ask and you have to evaluate companies based on their performance. Ask for references. If they can’t give you five, ten, twenty dental references, and you should search those things yourselves and they should have at least some decent placement, and you should call those dentists and ask them how much they pay, ask them how many new patients they get, ask them how satisfied they are with the communication and the reporting. That is basically how we sell our services.
Howard Farran: Well, you know the whole motto of DentalTown has never changed since 1998. The whole motto was with the Internet, no dentist should ever have to practice solo again. And I am always hearing these whiney stories from dentists and I am like, “Dude, if you just would have put that company’s name in DentalTown, you would have pulled up 20 threads telling you that this is a bad idea.”
Jeff Gladnick: I have offered discounts to customers if they posted a question about us on DentalTown publically, because it usually turns into an advertisement for us. And I have asked clients after they were done, you know, at the beginning of the process, we will give you a slight discount, but would you be willing to share your story on DentalTown? We won’t censor you in any respect, and we don’t even really enforce that, but we just ask them to. And a lot of them do. And those positive experiences, I also like to let my staff know that, because it kind of gives the right kind of motivation that this dentist has said they are going to review us after this process on DentalTown, where we get all of our customers from. So we need to make sure that we do a good job. And we do and we get a glowing review, and it just leads to more customers who read about us on DentalTown.
Howard Farran: Okay, so now we are at halftime. We are 30 minutes down, 30 minutes to go. Give them, should we go over that checklist you were talking about?
Jeff Gladnick: That is probably too much in the weeds and boring technical details. I could speak on a high level of it. It might be more interesting to dentists to talk about the things that they should do before they call somebody like us or the things that they have before they call somebody like me so the project will go smoother.
Howard Farran: Okay, so give them some meat and potatoes of what they should know.
Jeff Gladnick: The most successful dentists who work with us, the dentists who, you know, get ten, fifteen, twenty, sometimes twenty or twenty-five new patients per month from their website, they will do a couple of things that we have kind of noticed all have in common. They are consistently creating content for their sites. They are adding before and after cases with just two or three sentences to describe the case. Our software makes it really easy to do that. And there are probably plugins for WordPress or whatever you are using that should be able to do this. But your web master should be able to give you some kind of system for you to add content like that very easily and you should be doing that probably once a week, add a new case or a video testimonial. That is another thing that we see a lot. That helps kind of convert patients who haven’t grown up going to their dad for 34 years and are a little bit apprehensive about going to the dentist at all. They are a little scared. So patient testimonial videos can help reassure a patient that is kind of on the fence that you are a good guy, especially if they look authentic, and that you will do a good job. They also, both of those pieces of content, tend to come up in searches. You will see videos come up if you look for, you know, a root canal in Gasport, New York. One of our clients in keyword queries, a video will come up with one of Dr. Kaplansky’s root canal patients.
Howard Farran: I want to stop and ask you a technical question. I have been told, and you know, by dentists so go figure. They do root canals and crowns, not SEO. But I have been told that if I sent you a text that it might be, if I said, “Hey Jeff, what are you doing this weekend?” that it might just be ten feed of ones and zeros, not really anything much to trip up a Google search engine algorithm, that I think has what, 1,500 different segments to it, the latest one?
Jeff Gladnick: They don’t really make it clear, but I mean, it used to be back lengths and content and there are tons of factors.
Howard Farran: Yeah, but if I post a photo, because you were saying that is really great to put before and after photos, that a photo would have enough ones and zeros to probably go around the Earth once. But when you sit there and take a video, and I walked up to Jeff my hygienist and said, “Hey Jeff, give them a pump job for why they should brush two minutes twice a day, floss nightly and use tongue scrapers and mouthwash,” and the hygienist gives a rah, rah, cheerleading deal a minute long, that that video would be enough ones and zeros to circle the Earth ten or fifteen times and that would trip every part of Google’s 1,500 segment search engine optimization and that if you really want to trip up SEO, it is not going to trip up SEO, it is not going to be by a sentence or a paragraph. It is going to be by a photo, good, and a video crushes it. Would you believe that is true?
Jeff Gladnick: To a certain extent, that has some truth to it. A lot of times, videos are less competitive and you will see videos if you look for specific services in a city, for dental services. You will see a video come up on the first page and a lot of times there is not really any competition, because no dentist has bothered to upload, like you said, and interview with the hygienist, or you know, here is a quick explanation. We had a dentist in Walnut Creek that just has kind of a kitschy video interview of him in front of his CEREC machine showing you a blank and explaining how it works. Nobody really bothers to record that kind of content, or very few dentists do. So you can kind of win some of those searches like that and kind of get in through the back door, because there is less competition. But the size isn’t so important. Google does like to see pictures and mixed media on sites, and if you tag it correctly, that can work very well.
Howard Farran: What does mixed media mean?
Jeff Gladnick: Well, besides text, pictures and video content. And I think patients do, too.
Howard Farran: And what did tag it right mean?
Jeff Gladnick: So when you have an image, the image should have a proper title for the file name. So instead of calling it like, smile, you should call it crown before and after case, or maybe even slip the name of your city in there if you really want to be cheeky. You can overdo that, though.
Howard Farran: Seriously, the name of the JPEG photo affects the search engine?
Jeff Gladnick: Oh yeah, I mean, it affects your searches when you are looking through your computer for a picture, doesn’t it?
Howard Farran: I mean, I did not know that, you know… I mean, usually if I take a photo and email it saved from my desktop, it is just a bunch of numbers or something. But you are saying if I changed that to, I live in Phoenix, but you are right, our neighborhood is Ahwatukee. And in Ahwatukee, if you ask anybody where you live, they always say Ahwatukee, they never say Phoenix. So if I own that photo, save that as Ahwatukee before and after cosmetic dentistry case, that that would be a better search engine optimization than the picture that is called 127GH?
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, that is a better technique. And you can overdo that, I mean, you could make a file name that was like, 200 characters long and was just like Ahwatukee, Ahwatukee dentist, Ahwatukee cosmetic dentist and it would be spammy and Google wouldn’t like that. But if you give it just the minimum amount of information, maybe the city where you are, the name of the procedure, dentist or whatever, that is fine and that can help if it is done right, or just the name of the procedure. That is useful. Be careful, because some dentists will have the name of their patient’s in there and that could be a HIPAA violation, so try to avoid that. And sometimes we will see XF data embedded in the image that has patient information in it. Our software will kill that.
Howard Farran: Can I just say my one HIPAA story?
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, go ahead. It is probably bad.
Howard Farran: Well, no. I mean, you know. So I have been around this block a few times. Like when I got out of school, the first corporate chains were starting. Orthodontic Centers of American made it to the New York Stock Exchange. There were a dozen on NASDAQ. Before I was out of school ten years, every one of them had exploded and gone, you know, done. And then nothing happened for ten years, so this is round two for me. When I got out of school, it was the big, bad OSHA man. And the OSHA man was going to come and get you and you are going to go to jail and all of the dentists lived in fear of the OSHA man. Finally I said to myself, “Who the hell is this OSHA man?” So I called Washington, D.C., got the name OSHA, found out the name of the head guy, left like 30 messages for him. Finally I am in the middle of a root canal a month later and my assistant goes, “Yeah, the Director of OSHA from Washington, D.C. is on the phone.” So I run to the phone and I said, “Hey, you know, I am a dentist and every meeting I go to everybody is scared of the OSHA man and this and that and all of these dental consultants are saying all of these different things. I am trying to get a grasp on it. I don’t want to listen to ten different consultants saying different things. I want to hear from you, what am I supposed to do?” And he goes, “Aren’t you a dentist?” And I said, “Yeah.” And he goes, “I am looking it up right now.” He goes, “In the United States of America, each year three in one thousand miners die. In the United States of America, three in every one thousand agricultural workers die. I just looked up dentistry, 0.00 workers die per year. I swear to God, if an OSHA inspector walks in there, you call me up and I will fire them from Washington, D.C.” So then that all fades away and now it is the HIPAA man. And nobody has seen the HIPAA man. We don’t know if it is a boy or a girl, short or tall, skinny or fat. There is about 20% of all earthlings who always think it is the end of the world, the sky is falling. I just don’t live in fear. I figure, you know, I just don’t care. But anyway, that was an unnecessary tangent. That probably should be edited out of the video.
Jeff Gladnick: No, it’s relevant and I hear that used as a fear tactic quite often at conferences. And you know, it is kind of what is your risk tolerance.
Howard Farran: And the other reason I don’t fear HIPAA, and generally speaking, I think our government is so incompetent they couldn’t do anything about anything. I mean, they seem to be a bunch of paralyzed, paralysis by analysis. But anyways, so back to SEO, because that is a big deal. Because there is no benefit of a website if there is no SEO to it, correct?
Jeff Gladnick: Well, there is some benefit to a website but there is a lot more if you can use it as a marketing tool.
Howard Farran: You know what I like most about websites and companies, what I love the most, is you know, _____ crazy traffic and all of that stuff. I like going to the company’s website, pushing their address and then it pulls up iPhone maps or Apple maps or whatever and then you just hit directions to there and then I have a voice activated direction to go to my physician, my chiropractor, my dentist, whatever. I actually love that feature the most.
Jeff Gladnick: We have a little button on the top of all of our sites, if you roam on a mobile device, that says get directions. That doesn’t display on a desktop, because you can do exactly what you said, you can go to the contact page and find the map. But in a mobile device, if someone is in a car, you don’t want them to crash on the way to get their crown taken care of. That can be useful. Same thing with the little click to call button. Those are two features that dentists should consider having in a very prominent place on their mobile site.
Howard Farran: And let’s talk that a little further. Can you give us the main differences about how you should be thinking your website verses someone viewing on a smart phone versus a desktop at work or home?
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, well you should try to bring your site up on a mobile device and see how it looks. That is kind of the first reality check.
Howard Farran: Are you still seeing where the dentist will pull it up and their desktop will have Flash pictures and photos and Apple doesn’t support Flash. Do they still not support Flash?
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, I think there is a way you can do it if you really know what you are doing and you can hack into the phone to upgrade it.
Howard Farran: I still hear of a lot of dentists that when they pull up their website on their iPhone, that it doesn’t look anything like their desktop. There are a lot of blank pictures. Is that still an issue?
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, I see that all of the time. I do video reviews or live reviews with dental clients probably five or six times a week. So I will share my screen and they will call us up on the phone and sometimes it is ad hoc if I am free. I will just take the call immediately and we will just dive in and see what is going on.
Howard Farran: Will you do that with my team?
Jeff Gladnick: We could, yeah.
Howard Farran: Okay.
Jeff Gladnick: But you know, one of the things that we do is we always check how it looks on a mobile simulator. And you know, if it is Flash, it just doesn’t load at all. As you said, Steve Jobs hated Flash. It had bad memory and CPU and battery consumption, so he banned. And Tim Cook has extended that philosophy apparently and it really doesn’t work very well on Android devices with few exceptions either. So if you have a Flash site, you are probably shutting the door on between 20 and 40%, depending on the market, of all potential patients, because that is what we gauge for mobile usage.
Howard Farran: So you are saying, okay so, you are saying 20 to 40% of a website is going to be viewed on a cell phone?
Jeff Gladnick: Whether or not you have a mobile site or not.
Howard Farran: Okay, whether or not you have a mobile site or not, 20 to 40% of the views are going to be on the smart phone?
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, that is the range that we see for our clients.
Howard Farran: Is it different urban or rural?
Jeff Gladnick: No, it can vary.
Howard Farran: Because, I mean, in Kansas they still don’t teach you evolution. Do they have iPhones in Kansas?
Jeff Gladnick: Well, that is just in the state schools.
Howard Farran: I am just kidding. Another unnecessary comment that should be edited.
Jeff Gladnick: There was a trial about that. I feel like you are trying to rope me into some kind of political argument, in which I agree with you.
Howard Farran: No, I am a comedian in my own mind. No one else thinks so.
Jeff Gladnick: I have heard that. I would like an update on that.
Howard Farran: So do you ever build a website and it works differently and is seen differently on an iPhone verses a Droid?
Jeff Gladnick: Well, I mean, sometimes the browsers render slightly differently. And you can spend a lot of money achieving what is called pixel perfect rendering and do you want it to work on old versions of Internet Explorer that haven’t really been used since 2006? And we really don’t try to do that. We feel the good point on the ROI curve is more is this going to work and look pretty much the same on every device and that is our goal. For mobile devices, we want to have brand consistency. So we want to have the same colors when the logo is appearing. You know, that kind of thing, the same content, just how Google advises you to do that. It should be responsive. And your website is responsive, I checked that before the call.
Howard Farran: Which one, are you talking about DentalTown or are you talking about Today’s Dental, my dental office?
Jeff Gladnick: Today’s Dental.
Howard Farran: So what did you think of that website? You viewed it before you came here?
Jeff Gladnick: I viewed it very briefly on, and I wanted to see just a couple of things, I wanted to make sure you guys have unique before and after cases, which you do. I wanted to make sure they were shown contextually with the content about them, which they were. The content was a little light and I would have liked to have seen video testimonials interspersed or a video interview with, you know, Dr. Faran. So that seems, and you probably have the setup to bang that out in 30 minutes. You could probably finish that after this call, just one after another. What are the benefits of doing a crown? What are the benefits of Invisalign? You know, what type of patients should get teeth whitening, whatever you want to do. But those kinds of things are very useful and that is the kind of content we love, love, to have when a dentist comes to up and says, “I have already done this. I read your post on DentalTown.”
Howard Farran: Will you shoot me your recommendations on my email, email@example.com?
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, I think I have your email. I can take care of that.
Howard Farran: Yeah, firstname.lastname@example.org and I will bang this out. And then the viewers, we want everybody who is listening to this podcast, if everybody listening to this podcast goes to Today’sDental.com, now would that increase SEO or does Google measure how many?
Jeff Gladnick: Actually yeah, they do. With that by itself wouldn’t do it, but if everyone looked for, what was the name of that city you are in?
Howard Farran: Well, I am in Phoenix, Arizona, but we call it Ahwatukee.
Jeff Gladnick: Ahwatukee. If everyone was looking, if like thousands of people kept looking for Ahwatukee dentist and they are all across the world and they keep clicking on Today’s Dental, then yeah, that is one signal Google uses, the click through rate. That, you want to be careful, because if Google got wind of that, they very rarely will apply a manual correction or a manual penalty, but that would be considered gaming it.
Howard Farran: See, I put _____ in the HIPAA and OSHA man deal. They don’t have time for some little short, fat, bald dentist in Ahwatukee.
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, it is unlikely that you are going to cross their radar. They have bigger fish to fry. They usually will go, I mean, you hear stories about them going after agencies that hire thousands upon thousands of people in third world countries to do this repetitively as a strategy.
Howard Farran: I have got to tell you, I lectured in four continents last month. And it seems like whenever I am in hotels, whether it be from Hong Kong to Rio de Janeiro, when you are talking to the hotel manager and all of that kind of stuff, they say that the hotel across the street from Rio de Janeiro hired some firm in India to just write bad reviews about them all day long every day. So then they found another company in India and now they are paying them $2,000 a month to write bad reviews about the guy across the street. And I have heard that in Hong Kong, New Delhi, Katmandu, Nepal, San Paulo. So am sitting here as a consumer thinking, “Well hell, now I don’t trust any online reviews, because I already know that I have already had five hotel managers in five different countries tell me he pays people to write bad reviews about the guy across the street.”
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, and unfortunately that is not limited just to hotels. The Wall Street Journal I think it was did a study and they found that 30% of all reviews online period were faked. There are companies and individuals that make a living writing nothing but positive or negative reviews and they are very good at it and they are making like, you know, low six figures and all they do is review products on Amazon that they have never bought, they are just lying.
Howard Farran: It was 30%?
Jeff Gladnick: I believe that was the number that was quoted. If was a surprisingly high number.
Howard Farran: Did you post that on DentalTown?
Jeff Gladnick: Somebody else did actually. Wall Street Journal Fake Reviews.
Howard Farran: Yeah, send me that link. I would love to read that. And at this time, I am going to ask all of the viewers to please write me a fake review for Today’sDental.com. Say he was the most handsome dentist you ever saw, that when you walked in the room you couldn’t tell if it was Matt Damon or Brad Pitt and he was the most tall, dark and handsome dentist and you didn’t feel a thing.
Jeff Gladnick: As long as they believe that, I think you are okay. So yeah, I mean here is a story on Market Watch, 25% of all of the reviews posted on Yelp are outright fraudulent.
Howard Farran: Now I’ve seen on DentalTown, a couple of times some dentists will get into a pissing match and start spamming each other with bad reviews. Do you see that very much?
Jeff Gladnick: I mean, yeah, I hear about that. Mostly I will hear it is a recalcitrant former employee that got fired and they will just slam the dentist online. That happens.
Howard Farran: I also hear, tell me if this is true, that we know for 25 years of data that 89% of dental appointments are made by women, and mom makes the appointment, not dad. And I am also reading that about 60% of the online review market is women read 60% of online reviews and men are only 40. Do you also read that and agree with that statistic?
Jeff Gladnick: The first statistic, I have heard similar numbers broached. I haven’t heard the second one, but that makes sense. My wife uses Groupon. And one thing that dentists should be aware of and every dentist should do, a lot of dentists when they are trying to track their referral sources or their patient sources, someone will say, “Oh, I got referred by Howard.” And they will say, “Okay.” And they will mark Howard’s chart that he referred somebody and that is it. But that is usually not the end of the story. A lot of reviews now will take place online and this is something that is, I think, phenomenally underutilized by dentists, these review or referral contests. And I can send one to you and I have posted these on DentalTown, too, and there is one on our blog. But there is one example from NextDoor.com, which every dentist should have a presence on. My wife is on there and that is how I hear about it. But people come on, they will move to the neighborhood, they will move to Denver or they will join one of her mom’s groups. If you aren’t monitoring or even sponsoring the local moms meet up groups on Facebook or on Meet Up, you are crazy. You should be involved in that. If you have kids, your wife should be involved in that, or your husband if there are dad’s groups. But people move to the area and say, “Who do you guys go to for the dentist?” And five, six, seven, eight people, sometimes twenty, will go on and say, “Well, we go to Today’s Dental. We go to Phoenix Cosmetic Dental. We go to whatever, Progressive Dental.” And somebody won that contest and then came in and said, “I got referred by Howard,” but that is not the whole story. There are twenty other people to compare to, and that is where your reviews and your website can make the difference. Because most moms are going to do a little bit of homework and they will probably at least read the reviews, unless it was reviewed by their sister or their mom or something. They will probably read your reviews, and that is where you have an opportunity, but you have to close that. You have to stand out and you have to have good reviews. And monitoring those types of meet up groups and making sure you are mentioned or you have patients that do it or friends that do it is very useful.
Howard Farran: That sounds like a great article that you should write tonight for DentalTown.
Jeff Gladnick: I am being roped into more free work here, but all of the free work I have done so far for DentalTown has had a good ROI. I would be happy to do that.
Howard Farran: So let’s go with online reviews. So on DentalTown every once in a while, you know, a dentist, they are perfectionist and nothing gets under their skin worse than when someone writes an online reviews that says, man, I am telling you. That dentist was rotten.
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, I have gotten a couple of calls like that.
Howard Farran: Yeah, so what do you do when a dentist is having a mental breakdown because he got a bad online review? What is your thinking?
Jeff Gladnick: Well, I will tell you exactly what I told my dad when he got the first negative review he had gotten in thirty years.
Howard Farran: By the way, that was me. Don’t tell him. That was me.
Jeff Gladnick: That is unfortunate.
Howard Farran: For not being able to shape you into becoming a dentist.
Jeff Gladnick: He would probably be mildly honored by that. So he got a negative review because the insurance screwed something up and then blamed his office and the patient believed the insurance. So they gave him the single star review on Google and claimed he was trying to rip them off or steal money or something. And you know, my mom handles all of this content and that kind of stuff and encouraging patients to do the reviews. So she called me up all upset. And I said, “Don’t panic. Don’t reply. Do not reply,” because the worst thing that can happen, and I have seen this and I have heard Dr. _____ 53:36 beat this drum and he is absolutely right. The worst thing that can happen is you reply and then what went from a two line negative review that might have gotten lost turns into this three paragraph diatribe against everything that you have. They are commenting about your car, about the watch that you wear, about the clothes, you know, the staff, the smell in the waiting room. Everything is criticized and previously it was just a small thing.
Howard Farran: Don’t stir shit, or it will make it stink more.
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, exactly. That is one way to put it. And you should kind of try to engage the patient first and call them. A lot of times you may be able to walk through with them and correct the mistake and they will take it down. That happens. This patient didn’t take it down, but they at least elevated it to three stars, so that was kind of a tie.
Howard Farran: What percent of them are anonymous to where you wouldn’t know who did it?
Jeff Gladnick: Not so much anymore, because Google, I think they just reversed that policy, but I think a lot of people are posting through Google Plus profiles and they are verified. And a lot of the ones that get through and don’t get filtered have real names. And even if you just have the first name last initial, you may be able to figure it out from that if it wasn’t the hotel across the street paying somebody. Oh, and that was the other thing I wanted to mention. One of the things that used to work really well for black hat SEO, which we never did, but it used to work is if you had hundred of thousands of backlinks. And that is one thing where if a dentist is purchasing SEO services and they see a higher number of we are going to make lots of links for you, just run the other way, because this company is trying to cheat and they are going to get slammed. And so now there are companies that will sell the same services that used to work, but now get penalized. Now they will sell you those services against your competitor. So you can hire, you know, somebody to make 200,000 fake backlinks against your competitor and then Google will penalize you.
Howard Farran: Okay, explain what a backlink is. Explain what you just said.
Jeff Gladnick: So if you posted on the front page of DentalTown, you know, “Great Dental Websites is a fantastic dental website company or dental marketing company,” and you had a link going to our company’s website, which would be a great idea. That would be very beneficial for us, because Google would say, “DentalTown is a huge site. It gets a lot of traffic. It has a lot of other websites linking to it. It is a legitimate authority for dental information. And if on the front page they are linking to Great Dental Websites for dental internet marketing, that must mean that Great Dental Websites is a good website to show when someone types in Dental Internet Marketing or something like that.” That is kind of the basic theory. So to apply this, if you were sneaky, you could hire some company to create Dentist Phoenix on hundreds of thousands of random websites all over the Internet and Google would find this and say, “My God, there are 100,000 websites that are linking back to Today’s Dental. This must be a very important office if someone looks for Phoenix dentist, because that is what the text is.” And that is the way the first iteration of Google search engine worked, but that quickly got gamed and Google got wind of this. And that doesn’t work at all anymore. So those are the backlinks, those thousands of links. You want to build some backlinks, you want to have links on your Facebook page, on your Twitter profile and your Google Plus Profile, on legitimate places like that. On your local dental association, if you are sponsoring a little league team and the league has a website or you are hosting an event and the newspaper is advertising that event, you know, you are doing free dental care for veterans on Veteran’s Day or something. Have links there. But if the website has absolutely nothing to do with dentistry and it is that kind of like random useless link, that is considered spam and that will backfire.
Howard Farran: Okay, so if a dentist has a dental website and he opens up brand new a Facebook page and a Google Plus page, which is Google’s Facebook, does that increase his SEO for his dental website?
Jeff Gladnick: Yes, to a certain extent. The Google Plus page very much will do that. If you have a lot of times in rural markets, if you Google the dentist’s name and the city, you will see seven listings and there is not a single one that has a website. If somebody just verifies their profile, adds their headshot, fills in their hours and information, it is just filling out a form and there is a little bit of tweaking and tuning that we can do, but if you are in a rural market and you just do that, you will probably win the contest right out of the gate. And we have several clients that that is all we do. If you Google Rayne, Louisiana dentists, there are two dentists there, one who hired a canned content company and they just kind of didn’t do those kinds of basics and the other one is Dr. Briese and we just did a very minimal amount of effort for him and he wins all of the search engine in Rayne because he just did the bare minimum, but that is enough.
Howard Farran: Okay, is that just because they did a Google Plus page and the patient was searching on Google?
Jeff Gladnick: Yes.
Howard Farran: But with a Facebook or a Twitter or a Pinterest page increase your SEO?
Jeff Gladnick: A little bit, yeah. The Google Plus thing, it is a single most important thing you could do for locally focused searches and for dentists, and you want local focused searches, you are probably less concerned about patients in North Dakota finding you than you are patients right down the street. So the local matters quite a bit. That should be the first thing you do after the website is up, is claim that local profile. Because you also want to be able to direct patients to leave reviews, and you should start with friends and family who are patients. You should be ethical about it. You shouldn’t, you know, just get random friends. But if your friends and family are patients, start with them and ask them personally to leave a review on your Google, Yelp, Facebook page. We always tell dentists to do that. That is the first thing we tell them to do when they are ready for that.
Howard Farran: Now what if you had the whole family over for Thanksgiving dinner and they all wrote a review from your home computer for you?
Jeff Gladnick: That is going to be a problem. Because it is going to all come from the same IP address, the same phone number you could speak of. So it is going to look a little suspicious to Google, because this is the same behavior that people trying to cheat have. They all come from the same location and they are like, “We want to believe you that this a real person, but it all came from the same place.” There are other factors that go into it, how long those people have been on Google. Because a lot of times I will hear I just had a patient create a new Google account and then they left a review, you know, five stars for the dentist. Well, that is the exact same behavior that someone who is a fraudulent user would have.
Howard Farran: Okay, what about this. You seam in an anterior crown on a women with high aesthetic needs who thought it was going to look like some bald guy wearing a fake wig. And you just crush it and she is all verklempt and she is hugging you and she just loves it. And you say, “Oh Mary, could you do me a favor? Could you write me a review?” And then she picks up her cell phone and she writes your review, but her phone picked up your free Wi-Fi.
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, don’t have her go through your Wi-Fi. If she uses 3G or 4G she is good. And I suspect, because I have noticed the searches I have done and in some cases the places that I have visited Google has suggested that I leave a review for those places and it is almost creepy. Like, how did you know I was there? They are like, 75% accurate. I will see four businesses and I have been to three. I never checked in or anything, I just searched for them or visited them, you know, with my phone that has a GPS. And so I think that having the GPS actually may be a positive ranking factor, because it proves that you were actually there. And especially if you have an Android device, which is registered with Google and they know that this is an Android device and this is registered to Jeff Gladnick and we know he is a real person, because somebody is paying the bill. We have the credit card on file and he has a Google account. It has all been verified. I think that that actually may be a slight advantage.
Howard Farran: But you said don’t go through the office Wi-Fi though.
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, don’t go through that, because that is going to go through your IP address. So they may as well be on one of your computers in the office.
Howard Farran: So then tell them to turn off their Wi-Fi.
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, turn off their Wi-Fi.
Howard Farran: Turn off their Wi-Fi and go through the phone and write a review on your website through Google Plus.
Jeff Gladnick: Yeah, and the other thing you can do, they may feel pressured if you do that, so you should kind of know them a little bit if you are going to make that kind of request. You don’t want to make a patient feel awkward, but if they are really ecstatic and enthusiastic and peppy, take a video review and then send it to them later and say, “Oh, by the way, I summed up your comments. Here they are,” your front desk could do this and just paraphrase what they said. “And if you wanted to cut and paste this online, we would really appreciate it. Here is a link to our Google profile here. Or if you are a Yelper, we would love for you to cut and paste this and put it here. And by all means, change it to whatever you would like.”
Howard Farran: Now you said through their Google profile, but we are talking a review on their website on Google, right?
Jeff Gladnick: I mean, you want to do a couple of things. You want to have video reviews uploaded to YouTube and they should be shared through your website, that is the best practice as far as we are concerned. And you want to have reviews left directly on Google Plus or Google Look or whatever they have changed the name to this week left by the patients themselves on their own devices on Google. They have to do it with their own accounts.
Howard Farran: Well hey, a couple of things, we are out of time and this is the, you know, ever since the great recession in 2008, the return on marketing has plummeted. I mean, everybody will tell you they are spending more on marketing for far less results. The Internet, smart phones, everything you are talking about is the hottest thing in dentistry. I wish you could sum up this to do list and instead of emailing it to me, post it on DentalTown for our viewers to find it. And like I say, this is such a fast emerging field, if you ever want to go another hour Jeff, I would so be honored any time.
Jeff Gladnick: Oh, the honor is mine. I could sum up in 30 seconds what dentists should do. You should find an ethical company to at least give you the platform and the tools. We have customers that have varying degrees of needs in that respect. But find an ethical company that can help you with this and then get involved with you and your staff to create unique content that sets you apart from other dentists in your area. It is not good enough anymore to have the same as everybody else. This doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. You need to get in the habit of producing content that your patients will love and you have to find somebody who can help you do that.
Howard Farran: And whenever you are on DentalTown and somebody says something bad, you know, there is the report abuse button and I can sit there and vouch that Jeff is the real deal. He has been around for six years, 1,500 posts, all of his clients are Townies, which is the most transparent, honest customer feedback you are ever going to get. So if you don’t have a guy, Jeff is your man. Jeff, thank you so much for doing this. And when the technology is moving and shaking and you want to come back and do another hour, it would be an honor. I hope you have a rockin’ hot weekend.
Jeff Gladnick: You too, Howard. I really appreciate you having me on. It looks like I owe you an article and a review of your website. I will take care of that.
Howard Farran: Yeah, and start a thread about this podcast.
Jeff Gladnick: Oh, I am happy to do that.
Howard Farran: Yeah, it will be free marketing for everybody to hear it.
Jeff Gladnick: That is the way it has worked so far. Whenever it is ready, send me a link and I will share it and then I will post the review on your website.
Howard Farran: Alright and write me a review for Today’s Dental. Say, “Hey, you are my bald brother from the same mother.”
Jeff Gladnick: If only that wouldn’t violate their terms of service, then everyone would do that.
Howard Farran: Alright, have a great day, buddy.
Jeff Gladnick: Have a good one, see you.
Howard Farran: Alright, bye. Tell your dad I said hi.
Jeff Gladnick: Will do.
Howard Farran: Okay, bye.