In this episode, Mark and Howie answer some questions we’ve been receiving about dental marketing. For example, how do I get my associate to take insurance when I don’t? What’s the deal with duplicate content? When should I redo my dental clinic website?




Podcast Highlights:

  • Preventing dentistry becoming a commodity
  • How to get my associate to take insurance… when I don’t!
  • Insurance steps and attention to detail
  • What if you have separate offices?
  • Duplicate content – really as bad as you think?
  • Who got penalized? No one!
  • Updating your dental practice website
  • Keeping up to date
  • How much should hosting really cost?

Podcast Transcription:

Hello, and welcome once again to the Dental Marketing Mastery series. This podcast is brought to you by and New Patients Incorporated. I’m Howie Horrocks, the Founder of New Patients Incorporated, along with me once again, as my friend and partner and the President of New Patients Incorporated, Mark Dilatush.

Howie: Well, hello, everybody. Welcome once again to our podcast. We’re coming into you live. No, we’re not we’re recording this, aren’t we? Mark?

Mark: We are. But we’re live currently.

Howie: Oh, yeah. Currently,

Mark: So you didn’t complete? Yes.

Howie: Anyway, I thought we might take a look at you know, we’ll call it the mailbag, even though it’s not the snail mail bag. We get questions all the time, right.

Mark: Yeah, yeah.

Howie: content, you know.

Mark: Yeah, they come from the dental marketing mastery forum, on Facebook, that we have. Dental town through email, and even the phone, people ask us questions all the time. And a lot of times they’re generated, the questions are actually generated from these podcasts or they’re generated from if you go on to our dental clinic website under education. The books we’ve written that are available for download, or we have, we have a video education series on our website, under education as well.

So these questions come in, they come in all the time, basically, which is awesome. Now, Howie, and I spend a great deal of time and energy, you know, and money actually informing not only our clients, but people who are not our clients and may never be our clients, which it’s still really important to both of us that dentistry is promoted properly. Right? Not? It’s really important for us that it’s not reduced down to a commodity, that

Howie: Yeah, like, like another refrigerator or something. Right.

Mark: Right.

Howie: They want we want to elevate the public’s perception of dentistry, which ultimately benefits everyone in in the dentist community because it raises the dental IQ.

Mark: Exactly. And it does work. We’re kind of proof that it does work. So we get questions, we get all kinds of questions from very different places. And one of the questions one of the questions was, okay, I’m a, I’m a solo GP. Got my practices busy. This actually, this question came from a client practices doing well, like 50s, let’s say 52 ish, 55 ish, some we’re in there. And if I do another two surface composite, I’m going to stab somebody with a pencil. I want to do some more fun dentistry. And but I’m going to bring in an associate. But I currently don’t take insurance plans, but in order to make my my associate busy, I want to start taking some insurance plans. But I, but I don’t I don’t I the owner of the practice, don’t want to have to participate.

Howie: Yeah, that’s a very good question.

Mark: Right? And we get that question. Quite a bit, we get, actually marketing plans come in, and we, you know, you’ll see it all the time that dentists, they’ll say, I’ve been in practice for 20, 25 years, it’s time for me to start doing the fun dentistry and I’m having an associate do the bread and butter stuff. And they almost always say, Can I can I put my associate on these insurance plans?

Well, here are the main considerations to doing that. I’m not going to be the one who says you can’t do it. Okay, I’m going to be the one. Because it’s not my job. And I’m not an attorney, and I’m not your CPA. But I will point you to two places, the first place I will point you is how the contract with the insurance company reads? Is it by location? Or is it by provider? That’s the first place that you should go and look.

The second place you should go is the IRS website and read very carefully. The qualifications under IRS regulations on what qualifies to be a 1099 versus an employee. So really, what you’re dealing with here is you’re dealing with two different higher authorities, I guess I’ll say is some insurance companies are going to require every dentist in the address to participate? In other words, you can’t separate yourself out. So that takes those insurance plans off the table immediately. There are some insurance plans who may say, Well, you know, only the employees of that dental business at that facility, have to participate in our plan. So you say well, okay, I can just get a 1099 going on employees. So I’ll just get a 1099 associate,

Howie: independent contractor, right,

Mark: only an independent contractor which is, which is where you run into IRS regs and problems there because hardly any associates under 1099 or independent contractors actually qualify to be independent contractors. Now, I’m not saying that you can’t do it. I’m saying that you go into it with your eyes wide open so that you know what the risks are to doing it. if you so choose. That’s all I’m not making a judgment. Okay.

Mark: Your tax bill. Okay. Bringing, I’m not bringing your three square meals to jail. All right. So, um, so when we get that question during marketing plan, initial marketing plan console’s. Yeah, in theory, it sounds like you should be able to do that. But we are. Here’s what we want you to get out of this portion of today’s podcast, cross all your T’s, dot all your I’s. Listen to all the professionals in your state who will know if you can, or if you can’t, legally, contractually bringing in an associate have the associate take insurance and have you not under the same building at the same address. Now, I do know, dentists who have satellite offices.

Howie: Yeah, I was just gonna say, Yeah, what about a separate office?

Mark: Yeah, exactly, you know, separate office 5, 6, 8, 10 miles away two miles away, whatever. And they market it. And they put their associates in it. All the work that goes to the fee for service practice that the owner currently enjoys continues to go there. And all the insurance work goes to the practice that has dentists who are signed up to take their insurance plans in that location. That works. There’s nothing wrong, there’s not that you wouldn’t be the first one to try that model.

I can tell you that. Okay, so. But be careful trying to mix it all under one roof, I think you’ll run into some regulatory issues no matter which direction you look. So now the second mailbag question actually comes this one. I remember one time we did a podcast, got a feels like about 100 years ago, we did a podcast on duplicate content, because somebody was on the internet talking about, well, if I use somebody else’s content, then Google’s going to penalize me and I don’t know, take my dental license and banish me to some desert somewhere with no food and water for six months, or was some ridiculous threat like that.

I remember it coming up just before we launched dental web content, I think we launched dental web content to June’s ago. Yeah, to June, or July is ago. And so obviously, if you have something really, really good people try to blow holes in it. Right?

So you know, they said, Well, what if I do this? And what if I do that, and we basically said, it’s, it’s proven content, it works, you just changed the beginning and change the ending. So it’s not duplicate, it’s, it’s actually can’t possibly be duplicate content. And in that, in that light, and of course, I got a lot of blowback, probably from people who didn’t have the idea first to build a library of advertising content, and put it on the internet. But it’s been a year or two, and we just want to give everybody the update that it was all garbage. Okay.

Howie: We don’t know any, anybody who got penalize. Do we Mark?

Mark: No, we don’t. And honestly, the content. Look, it goes back to what Howie said, how many years ago probably when I first met Howie, he said, Look, Mark said the worst thing you can possibly do is put use a doctors money to put something on the street that nobody’s ever seen before. It’s totally untested at that point. And testing is expensive as hell.

What you want to do is you want to take the tested components of what works, and then customize it for a specific dentist. Now wrap it with their logo, wrap it with their colors, wrap it with their web URL, wrap it with whatever, just wrap it up in a different bow. But let’s make the box the same size, right? You know, the rapper can be different the boat can be different than the greeting card can be everything else can be different. Just let’s make the box the same size box, the same, you know, sturdy box, right? And so when we launched, you know, dental web content, then they say were like dodge duplicate content, Google’s gonna, you know, whatever, take your second son and make them a slave of all these bad things was going to happen to everybody.

And we’re very glad to sit here and say, now two years later, that was all crap. Okay, nobody’s got analyzed by anything. As a matter of fact, everybody’s like, they’re doing their social media and like nine seconds a week, they go on grab their stuff, we customize a form anyway. And we just deliver it and they go post and they go, they go take care of patients. So anyway, there is no, there’s no conspiracy with duplicate content. And anybody in this business would tell you, well, actually, it anybody in this business, if they’re honest, would tell you that there’s probably about three to four proven ways to discuss the benefits of, I don’t know, implants, dental implants.

Howie: Yeah, there’s only so much you can say about it.

Mark: There’s always so much you can say before the reader turns you out. Yeah, just turns you off completely. Right. And the three or four ways to say it. Unless you’re just going to butcher the English language, there’s really only three or four ways. So you know, use your use your judgment and use your own logic, and no duplicate content. Look. Well, I don’t know how many hundreds of websites we have. Wouldn’t none of our websites have the same exact content? Oh, none of them.

Howie: No.

Mark: No. they’re all they’re all low, anywhere from slightly to marginally different. But so that means that the wrapping and the bow and the greeting card is all different, completely, totally dissimilar from each other. But the box is largely the same. Right?

Howie: Well, yeah, you can you keep the proven tested elements that you know, work and this. And this comes down to colors, heads, font, font sizes, and a zillion other things, right. And the those that proved to give a positive response in the public, well, you hang on to those, and then you tinker with them, and you alter them without abandoning them. So I can promise you that there are a zillion dental office websites out there that say implants replace missing teeth. Okay. That’s not duplicate to say that. That’s just the way say it. You can replace, you can replace missing teeth with dental implants.

Mark: Right.

Howie: Google is not going to jump on you.

Mark: Google is not gonna penalize you. That’s right. That’s right. Google is not going to penalize you.

Howie: All right. Well,

Howie: I think we’ve got, let’s take a break here. And then we’ll come back. And we’ll do another one of these mailbag questions.

Mark: You got it.

Howie: Don’t go away. We’ll be right back.

NPI Click:

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This is not something that new patients will avoid. They love it. They love the convenience of being able to do this. If you want to take a look at it, send us an email, Holly and I or you can actually log on to new patients saying can get this you can actually schedule an appointment to see it right from our dental clinic website. Imagine that. So do not hesitate. Take a look at this and get it integrated into your office, you will absolutely get more out of advertising every advertising dollar you spend. You’re just gonna love it.

Howie: Okay, we are back. And we are reaching into our virtual mailbag. and pulling in another question here.

Mark: It’s actually a physical mail bag. I can see it on my computer screen I can

Howie: exactly.

Mark: Well, no, that’s I guess that’s virtual. You’re right. So all right. So we get this question all the time. This is actually probably weekly. We should probably address this about every quarter or every, I don’t know, every half of the year, I guess. But we get people who most of them. Most of the inquiries are dentists who are currently angry at their current website developer. And we

Howie: all Yeah.

Mark: And we honestly, we try to figure out why. Because we don’t want to be the next person that you’re angry at. Right? So, so we have these conversations like, Well, you know, when did they build your dental practice website? And the doctor invariably will say, Yeah, no, it was quite a couple weeks ago, like 2012. Right? That’s, like five years ago, we were thinking in our head, well, that’s like five years ago. Okay, that makes sense. Well, then, why are you angry? Like, like, what the day charge you? And they say, five grand, whatever it was? Okay, well, those aren’t reasons for you to be angry at your website developer. What? You know, what else are you angry at? Well, um, I don’t know. Somebody told me. You know, it wasn’t. It wasn’t up to today’s technology. And

Howie: Yeah, they’re angry because I got to redo it.

Mark: there. Yeah, exactly. It’s kind of like getting angry at the iPhone six. The iPhone six was four versions ago, and you’re not angry at your iPhone? Stop getting angry at your damn dental clinic website. Right? Your website has to be changed out what every four or five years?

Howie: also have to change the oil in your car once in a while, too.

Mark: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And here’s why. I mean, there’s, there’s several reasons why. And then and this goes for our customers to if you’re one of our customers, and you have a five-year-old dental clinic website, we haven’t badgered you to change it out, please call me and I’ll go beat on your advisor. But I’m know you got to change out your dental clinic website every four or five years. Anyway, that’s just websites are never done. There’s new technologies that come around all the time.

Google, we got, I don’t know how many people are listening to this that remember, if I don’t know, four or five years ago, when responsive websites came into the picture, and the and the development tools for responsive websites were robust enough not to diminish the page load time. Um, everybody had to change their dental clinic website to a responsive website. I mean, it’s not just you, nobody’s picking on you. Okay. You can’t just build one website and say, Okay, I’m good for my career doesn’t work that way.

Howie, how many? How many websites have how many websites have we gone through in the last five years, for our company, I’m going to say at least, we’re on our second or third website in the last five years, I think we’re on our third, I think we’re on our third website, and the last five years for our own company. You just it, it never ends, you constantly evolve, you constantly tweak new technologies are available, our new websites going to be able to do things our current website, absolutely cannot do.

For all of you listening to this, this is. If, I guess maybe this might be a good way for you to look at it. In the old days, dentists would, they would spend a lot of money vying for position in the Yellow Pages. Which is kind of what your dental practice website is now.

It’s kind of like your yellow page listing, nobody uses the Yellow Pages, they just use your computer and they go to Google. And they search for things, instead of opening up a yellow page, it opens up a browser and you get 10 or 12. listings just like a page and the yellow page book would be and then you get to look, and you get to see what you want or don’t want and select the person who you want to, you know, handle the dental care for your family. And it’s very, it’s not that much different than the old days, it’s just electronic. Well, you used to spend 2-3000 a month on those yellow page ads, and you could only change your ad once a year.

With a website, it evolves, its dynamic, and you don’t spend anywhere near that. Not even close to that much money each year, gaining the position on in within your marketplace. For people who are looking for dental services, it doesn’t shouldn’t cost you anywhere near that for dental office website, and really good cutting edge SEO work for your organic positioning. Even you can add reviews, reputation management, and online scheduling on top of that, and it still won’t get anywhere near two or three grand a month that you used to spend, just to just to have a yellow page ad toward the front of the dentist section. So

Howie: Yeah. An additional thing to you got, you know, a bunch of savvy internet you users. And if they come across to your site, and it looks dated out of style, that sort of thing. And people can tell. That it’s an old dental office website, that that’s a detriment, that’s a definite detriment to you. So you, you know, not to mention the fact that probably three or four of the staff that that you had back then are not any longer there, they’ve been replaced, and you’ve got a whole bunch more treatments that you can deliver now that you couldn’t five years ago. So there’s all kinds of reasons that that you need to keep in mind to keep your dental office website up to date.

Mark: Yeah, and so anyway, I started this section, or this mailbag question with, you know, dentists being angry at their website developers? Well, you may, you may very well have a good reason to be angry, okay. But changing out your dental website design every four or five years shouldn’t be what you’re angry about, if you’re angry of their fees are too high. Like, what are our fees for hosting for a years, like 179 bucks, okay, you want to get angry at somebody for charging you 100 bucks a month for hosting, go ahead, get angry, okay, you deserve to be angry, because you shouldn’t be spending that much.

You want to get angry at somebody who’s SEO costs, because they’re, you know, they’re ridiculous, go ahead and get angry at that, that’s fine. But don’t get angry at a website developer because they recommend you change your website every four or five years. Because honestly, you should.

Now if you’re swapping it out, and you’re doing good, solid professional search engine optimization to your site, and you don’t see the traffic and you’re not getting conversions, and you know, then have a you know, you don’t get angry, have a conversation with them say, look, I you know, I’m sticking with your program, but I’m not really seen a lot of benefit, then maybe, you know, might be time to move to a different company. But, uh, but don’t get angry at a website company. Because they recommend what’s, what’s the right thing for you to do.

And the only reason they’re telling you this is because the technology that they can use didn’t exist four or five years ago when they built your last website. Okay, it’s very similar to an iPhone, you got to think of your website like your iPhone or your Droid, I got a Samsung six, what are they up to Samsung 10 now or nine or something? You know, I’m not, I’m just going to upgrade my phone. I mean, you know, I mean, it just is it just the way it is?

Howie’s point is good. I will also say that, you know, within the technology advances that that are made in programming and programming languages for dental office websites, new features of those websites are unveiled on and some, many of those features, specifically with dental consumers lend themselves to better traffic conversion. So, um, you know, hanging on to an older website without those technology features, or the features of the technology may actually be holding you back from another patient or two each month. So, you know, it’s not just for the sake of doing it. I never I’ve honestly never seen a website developers just like, sit there and go on want to do another website just for the sake of doing it.

Yeah, it doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t make anybody you know, have. Have more happy customers where I saw. I’m not sure you should be getting angry at someone who tells you every four or five years you should be redoing your dental office website, because really you should. So that’s the point of the last mailbag. Yeah.

Howie: Well, we’ve come to an end of another podcast. We should thank you all out there for tuning in each week. We appreciate it. And we will look forward to being with you again soon. Bye now.

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