The Need for Mobile Speed

Last April, Google announced the ‘mobile-friendly’ algorithm update that rewarded mobile-friendly pages with boosted rankings, while pushing down non-mobile friendly sites until they get on the mobile train! One of the things that did not affect the new mobile friendly update was page speed… until now.

At the June 2016 Search Marketing Summit in Sydney, Australia, Webmaster Trends Analyst for Google, Gary Illyes confirmed that page speed will be one of the newest updates to the mobile-friendly algorithm. Jennifer Slegg asked Gary when we should expect the update to happen and he said it would happen within months – This makes now the best time to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. If you currently have someone hosting your website and are unsure your site is mobile-friendly, you’ll want to reach out and ask about your mobile-compatibility now or you can test your website here. If your website is not mobile-friendly, it’s highly recommended to update it or find a company that can, so your site is not pushed down Google’s search results when prospective customers are looking for your products or services.

Do you ever go to a website and wonder why it’s so slow? You get angry at your internet provider or Wi-Fi, even your trusty computer. But it’s very possible the cause isn’t on your side. It could be as simple and innocuous as the images on the website. Websites that look great often have images that boost its visual appeal. All those gorgeous, high definition images can decrease the performance and load time. For your own site, there are several ways to test your image speeds and overall page speed. After running tests, you’ll likely identify several issues that you can address to optimize your website speed, such as getting rid of images that aren’t that important and making sure image sizes are large enough for clarity but small enough for speed. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, your web designers should be able to help you with it.

This new update just shows how the little things (like page speed) are important to keep your rankings going strong, especially for a mobile site. There are so many businesses that provide similar services and products, especially local ones that only have desktop compatible websites because they do not realize the importance of mobile-friendly sites to get ahead of the competition. Google has been trying to let us know how important it is to update your website but not until recently did they reveal that 1/3 of mobile searches are local based. That is a huge number when you think about how many people are trying to find surrounding local businesses via their mobile devices. If updates like this aren’t taken seriously, it can seriously hurt a businesses and lose potential customers. Finding the right company to aid in making your site mobile-compatible is essential to keep your business growing with every change that comes your way.

7 Key Factors Doctors Should Be Tracking (but don’t)

With everyone hoping that this year will be a better year than last year – even if last year was a great year for you – it’s important that you base your measurement of success on the right factors.

If you want to get a clear idea of how well your practice is doing, here are seven key factors you should be tracking. This will not only help you see how you are doing, it will help you identify the best opportunities to make big leaps in profit.

#1: Number of new patients each month

The first thing you need to measure is the number of new patients you are bringing in every month. This is crucial because you always need to be feeding the funnel with new patients. Your patient base is one of your most valuable assets and the key to your success is a steady flow of patients coming in your door then staying and building a relationship with your practice.

One of the major benefits of bringing in new patents is that you’ll find the people who are newer to your patient base are going to be more responsive to your offers.  If someone has been with your practice for ten years and you’ve never sent them a patient newsletter or asked for a referral – even though they’ve been a good patient who comes in every six months – they’re not likely to respond to your new offers.

On the other hand, someone who joined your practice more recently – after you started sending out newsletters – has always been asked for referrals and is more likely to respond.

So, the new blood in your practice is very, very important. While it’s important to put a lot of effort into marketing to existing patients, you need to keep getting new blood into your practice.

The first key to measure is how many new patients are you are bringing in a month and what’s your goal?

#2: Cost of acquiring a new patient

The second thing you need to know is what it costs you to acquire that new patient. This is also called cost of acquisition. Acquiring a client/patient is usually viewed as an expense but you need to shift your thinking to start seeing that new patient as an asset to you.

A lot of people look for the cheapest way to acquire new patients. But this is not the best place to be cheap. The way you dominate a market is to be able to spend more than your competition on acquiring patients. It might cost $50 or $150 to acquire a new patient. But if that patient is worth $500.00 in the first six months or $1,500 in the first year, what is that person worth to you?

If you count how many referrals they send to you and how much they spend with you on their own or their family’s care, they could easily be worth between $3,000 and $5,500 in a three to five year period.

Sometimes the value is higher and other times lower. But where else in the world can you spend $50 to $150 on acquiring an asset that can bring you back $500 to $1,500 in less than a year?

That’s a 7 to 10 times return on investment within a 12 month period. You can’t get that anywhere else.  So, when you’re in the growth mode, you should be investing as much as you can in growing your existing practice. Once you know the cost of acquisition, you understand how much money you’ll need to get to your new patient goal.

Then, as we’ll cover in a moment, when you start bumping up the referrals, the cost of acquisition gets cut in half.  To start measuring your cost of acquisition, simply total your marketing expenses over the last month or three months. Then just divide that figure by the number of new patients.

So, if you brought in 50 new patients and spent $1,000, that’s 1,000 divided by 50 or just $20 per new patient. If that’s your cost of acquisition, you can be a lot more aggressive on a referral rewards program or sending out offers to your existing patient base. You could be a lot more aggressive with some other strategies.  $20 per new patient is low, and I would suggest you’re either not marketing aggressively enough or you’ve got a great referral program going on.

As well as looking at the average cost of acquiring a patient, you should look at cost of acquisition by source. You need to know if it costs more via direct mail or the internet so you want to know the cost for each method.

#3: Referral Ratio

Many doctors say they’re getting a lot of referrals but often they don’t know exactly how many or they’ll say they’re getting about 10 a month, for example.  Now, 10 a month might sound great to some and it might not be great to others so you need to figure it out from your own perspective.

If you’ve got 1,000 active patients and you’re getting 5 referrals a month, you’re looking at 60 referrals a year from an active patient base of 1,000.

That’s a 6% referral ratio. That’s not very good but can easily be improved. For example, here are some quick ideas that you can apply right away for improving the referral ratio.

  • Have a ‘Care to Share’ program in your office.
  • Send out a patient newsletter monthly.
  • Hold at least one patient appreciation event a year.

So, start by measuring your referral ratio. If you’re at 6% now, set a goal with the team to get to 15% or 20%. You’ll notice that new patient flow and cost of acquisition get affected positively by what we do with the referral ratio.

#4: Conversion Ratio

Your conversion ratio is the proportion of the patients who come in that accept treatment. If it’s 50%, for example, that suggests your new patient experience is not working properly.

Your system should identify the problem for the patient, agitate the problem and then your team should adequately educate the patient so that you just wrap up the presentation and see how the patient wants to proceed. If case presentation is done properly, 80 to 90% of patients should be accepting some kind of treatment.

When you present cases using the terms ‘mandatory’, ‘elective’ and ‘cosmetic’, patients can start moving forward without needing to have the whole $5,000 case up front.

#5: Sale-to-cash Cycle

The next key factor you need to track is your “sale to cash cycle.” When you are doing a lot of marketing, you can be hitting your acquisition goals but the problem is that your overall cost of acquisition is going way up. Even if it’s only $50 to acquire a patient, if you double the amount of new patients, you could be spending an extra $6,000 a month acquiring new patients.

So clearly you need to know your referral ratio and your conversion ratio.  But you also need to know your sale to cash cycle. This is the amount of time it takes between that person coming in as a new patient and you having positive cash flow in the bank.

If you’re spending $12,000 in marketing and its taking 60 days to get that money in your bank account, you go negative $12,000.  If you do that two months in a row, you are negative $24,000. Then, what happens if it’s a 90 day cycle? What if it’s one of those cycles where you have a really bad conversion ratio and low case acceptance?

You’re left hoping that in six months you’re going to have enough money in the bank. So you need to look at how much money you are putting in the bank after six months with every new patient who walks through your door.

For example, in July of every year, pull up all the clients you received in January. Have someone open up every person’s file and find out how much treatment was planned and how much cash was actually paid. Then just create it as an Excel sheet with name, cash and treatment plan. You can do the same in January for new patients from the previous July.

This tells you how much money is actually in the bank account based on what was planned. Many business owners inflate these numbers unless they are actually holding themselves accountable.

#6: Percentage of Patients Keeping Six-Month Appointment

Another important metric is the number of patients keeping their six month (or 12 month) appointment. This is important as it will show you the reality of how patients are responding to you. It’s about accountability. It measures how well you’re doing at the front desk and how you’re doing at getting patients back in.

#7: Daily Production

Last but not least, you should be tracking how much each area of your practice is producing per month and per day. You SHOULD do this for general treatment. This can be a great leverage point for your practice. If this is working well, it opens up a lot of opportunities. You should also be tracking how much you are producing per hour and how much each doctor & associate in your practice is producing per hour. It’s really important for you to understand what your own time’s worth. And when you know what your other doctors (if any) are producing, you can look at what you need to do to bump their numbers up.

So, that gives you the seven key metrics you should be tracking in 2019. The key to all these metrics is that just making 5% or 10% improvements in a few of them leads to monumental overall growth in your practice. By knowing exactly what to measure and how to improve the results, you could make sure this is your best year yet.

[BREAKING] Google’s Most Recent Update “Possum” Severely Impacts All Businesses

This is the biggest and baddest update that will impact more businesses’ bottom lines than we’ve seen in almost 5 years, and the worst part is this change drives your existing and prospective clients right to your competitors!!!

For businesses, the proximity to the searcher’s location has become even more important as a ranking signal thanks to a Google algorithm update nicknamed “Possum”. With the Possum algorithm change, Google is continuing down a path it has been traveling for quite some time, which is the merging of local and organic ranking signals. This has a major impact on local businesses and how clients are finding you (even if they’re a word of mouth referral).

Google is now applying filters to reward certain businesses that are not only physically closest to searchers but that also are optimizing their location data, branding, Google reviews and content for search far better than anyone else. To understand the impact of this Google update and how it impacts your clients and how they find you, let’s look at the following scenario:

  • Before Possum: Let’s say Kelly, a resident of Austin, Texas, requires some dental work and is doing a search for dentists in the area. An area Dentist, Dentist A, that publishes location pages for dozens of dentists might dominate the local pack results — not necessarily because Dentist A optimizes its content better than anyone else, but because it is the largest Dental practice in the area and has enough online presence strength to make those pages relevant from Google’s standpoint.
  • After Possum: Kelly conducts the same search for Dentists. Instead of a single practice dominating search results, Google allocates more real estate to other practices nearby based on their location and the usual ranking signals — unless Dentists A’s content and data are so well optimized for search that they outperform other dentists by a wide margin.

What Does All This Mean For The “Local Business Owner”? BOTTOM-LINE: Greater competition with your neighbors

The physical location of the patient searching searcher is more important than it ever was before.

How to use this Google update and beat the competition

Regardless of whether you’ve been affected, now is the time to get more rigorous about how you manage your online presence, data and content as assets to make your brand more visible where people conduct “near-me” searches.

It also matters who you use to manage this for your business. In this day and age having a “web guy” or shudder to think…. a staff member attack this online quest is a fool’s errand. This online marketing world is becoming extremely complicated by the day and we’re seeing it impact business’ bottom-line. Even some of the largest companies in the online marketing space can’t keep up with the changes because of their inability to tell the truth due to the fact that it doesn’t fit their long term agenda and profits, which is unfortunately selling you marketing that doesn’t produce any results and just empty’s your bank account.

Here at Find My Company™, we have an entire engineering team dedicated to monitoring Google updates, and our clients are always protected against major Google changes because of our proprietary online marketing system.

Ask questions like:

  • Do you have multiple businesses listings on Google that violates their terms and conditions? Resulting in Google favoring your competition over you every single time (98.6% of businesses are breaking Google’s rules and have ZERO clue about it and are on the verge of losing everything)
  • Are my Google, YouTube, directory sites all branded properly to enhance the searching clients’experience so that you’re differentiated to make my brand stand out?
  • Is my deep content, such as long-form description of my business, or visual imagery, optimized properly for Google search?
  • Are you getting 10-15 “fresh” Google client/customer reviews every single month?

Here’s Why I’m Willing To Help You!

I love this industry. I’ve been helping people just like you for years. And it’s become clear after 5+ years of data analysis and testing that EVERY type of new patient no matter where they come from goes DIRECTLY through your google local listing and your Google reviews… no listing = fewer new clients… no reviews = fewer new clients.

Here’s the reason why reviews and local rankings impact EVERY form of new client attraction…whether it’s…

• Word of Mouth Referrals
• Reactivations
• Direct Mail
• TV
• Radio
• Newspaper
• Public Relations
• Billboards

In 2016 EVERY single new patient BEFORE they call your office will look up your name/company on Google. Google has become the MOST “trusted resource” when people want to know if YOU are reputable or not.

12 Ways To Get More Online Customer Reviews

I don’t usually do this, but let’s get theoretical for just a second:

Every satisfied customer of yours should bring you more customers, right? The ideal is for word-of-mouth to do all the work—for your happy customers to refer their friends and family to you, who in turn become customers.

But what if you’re not quite at that stage? No internal refer system that is set up, no follow up with existing customers that get’s them to pay, stay and refer. That’s when the next-best thing needs to happen: for every happy customer to influence potential customers.

More specifically, short of having your customers actually deliver more customers to your door, the best thing is for your current customers to sway potential ones by writing great reviews of your business.

You work your tail off to do a super job. Sure, that’s its own reward, because you get paid and your customers get what they wanted. Everybody’s happy. But is that the only reward you get? Or do you also get at least a little public recognition for every great job you and your staff do?

Without online reviews, it’s harder for people to conclude that they should pick you over your competitors. Plus without reviews you’re far less likely to outrank your competitors in Google.

The bottom line is you need to ask each and every happy customer for a online review. But how?

This is where even the smartest business owners—the ones who know how important online reviews are to potential customers—often get stuck. They’re not sure how to ask customers or how to show them what to do, so the reviews simply never happen.

Fortunately, you’ve got options. 12 of them.

I know of 13 ways you can get reviews—reviews that customers either write directly on your Google Places page (AKA “Google reviews”) or write through third-party sites (like Yelp and CitySearch).

It doesn’t matter how much time you have, or how many customers you have, or how computer-savvy they are. At least some of these methods will work for you.

Here are your 13 ways to get online reviews (not ranked in any particular order):

  1. Organic method—making sure your business is listed on as many third-party sites as possible, so that customers can find you if they feel like writing reviews spontaneously.
  2. Links or clickable images on your site—something that customers who return to your site can click on to write you reviews.
  3. Single-page handouts—a sheet of instructions you can simply hand to customers, which walks them through how to post a review.
  4. Personal email—a simple email with a polite request and a link. But for Pete’s sake, personalize it: none of that “Dear Valued Customer” garbage. You can also do this with your email signature: instead of a bunch of fluff at the bottom of your emails, have a little link to where customers can dash off a quick review.
  5. Snail-mail request/instructions—people generally pay more attention to snail-mail, especially if it’s personalized and from a business they know and like. This method is more work, but you’ll probably bat pretty well if you do it.
  6. Video—a short walk-through, for customers who you think would just rather watch a quick video than follow other types of easy instructions.
  7. Social media—in particular, Facebook. What’s nice is customers can write CitySearch reviews using their Facebook username, which makes it that much easier for them and you.
  8. QR code on a postcard—hand or send your customers a little postcard that asks them to review you by scanning a QR code with their smartphones. The QR code would just contain a link to your Google Places page, or a link to your InsiderPages listing, etc.
  9. QR code as a sticker or decal—the sticker or decal could go anywhere in your office or store, and customers could scan it with their smartphones to review you on the spot.
  10. Phone call—kinda old-fashioned, but effective with the right kind of customer.
  11. Part of a little gift that you send customers. Like a free pad of paper with your logo and phone number on it, plus a request to leave you a quick review. Or a fridge magnet. A pen might be a little too small. The gift has to be something people will actually use, keep on their desk or kitchen table, and see every day. The idea is it’s a subtle but persistent reminder.
  12. Asking your reviewers to write through a variety of sites. In other words, if you know for a fact a given customer wrote you a Yelp review, ask that person to write you an InsiderPages review, too. There are no rules against it. In fact, the review sites themselves share reviews: I’ve seen CitySearch reviews show up on Bing, Judysbook, Kudzu, MerchantCircle, Switchboard, Yahoo, YellowBot, and YP. Again, I suggest you only do this with really close, really loyal customers who don’t mind helping spread the good word.

These methods are NOT mutually exclusive, nor do you have to pick one or even just a few. You can use as many of them as you’d like. In fact, it’s best if you use a variety of them, so you get reviews on a variety of sites, and so you can determine over time what works best for you and your customers.