Are you planning to move your dental practice? There are many steps involved, many of which you may not even be aware of. Here is helpful list of things to take care of when you move your practice, from social media, your website, and much, much more.
ARE YOU GETTING READY TO MOVE YOUR DENTAL PRACTICE TO A NEW LOCATION? What do you need to change on your website? What do you need to prepare for your online ad campaigns? There’s a lot involved in making the move go smoothly and successfully, and much of it you may not even be aware of.
How to prepare your website
WEB HOST AND DOMAIN REGISTRAR—You need to notify your website hosting company and the company you registered the domain through. Then update your account to reflect your new billing address. Otherwise, when it comes time to automatically renew your account or website, the charge will fail.
Hopefully you’ll receive an email warning you of the error. In most cases, however, your site will be taken offline until you update your account. Of course, during that downtime patients won’t be able to access your website. Any money you spend to send visitors to your site during that time (Facebook ads or Google AdWords, for example) will be wasted.
In the worst-case scenario, an unscrupulous company may be able to buy your website’s domain name out from under you.
SCOUR YOUR WEBSITE—Now let’s look at your website. The first things you need to update are your website’s footer and contact page. Next, review the rest of the website’s text to look for mentions of your old address. These may crop up on service pages or in blog posts, for example. Keep a sharp eye out for driving directions and mentions of local landmarks that need to be updated.
META DESCRIPTIONS—You do have meta descriptions for all of your site pages, right? Double check these and make sure they do not reference your old address or neighborhood.
SITE GRAPHICS—Finally, review your site’s graphical elements, especially embedded Google maps showing your old address, exterior and interior pictures of your old practice location, and any images that contain text showing an out-of-date address
Update your online profiles and accounts
FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AND SOCIAL MEDIA—Don’t waste the opportunity to turn your social media profiles into lead-generating machines. For someone looking to visit or contact your practice, there’s nothing more frustrating than finding out-of-date information, especially on a social media profile. Make sure your social media profiles, including Facebook & Twitter, include your new address, hours, and contact information.
e-NEWSLETTER—Do you send out a regular e-newsletter to your clients? In the US, the CAN-SPAM Act requires that all e-newsletters and other commercial emails include an accurate physical address. Make sure you update your MailChimp or Constant Contact account.
GOOGLE MAPS AND GOOGLE MY BUSINESS—When your practice moves, make sure Google knows about it. You’ll want the right information to show up on Google maps when patients search for your practice or are looking for a new dentist. This process involves taking and uploading a new photo of the outside of your new office, and requesting a new Google My Business mailer to verify your new address. This might take three to five business days.
GOOGLE ADWORDS—Are you using Google AdWords? In addition to updating your billing information to keep your ads running, don’t forget to update your location targeting, too. Don’t keep spending money on advertisements that send patients where your practice used to be.
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND NETWORKS—Are you a member of the Better Business Bureau, a local chamber of commerce, or a professional or trade organization? Contact all of these agencies to update your practice’s address.
Don’t let your SEO efforts go to waste
When planning your move, don’t overlook the effect it may have on your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
UPDATE YOUR DIRECTORY LISTINGS—Many dentists rely on Yelp and other directory websites to reach new patients and improve search rankings. Make sure all of these sites have your correct address and contact information on file.
UPDATE LINKS AROUND THE WEB—Effective SEO efforts include building links to trustworthy sites around the web. If you’ve invested time and money in creating these valuable links, don’t let them go to waste when your practice moves. If any sites mention your old address, contact them with your new address.
FIND NEW LINK OPPORTUNITIES IN YOUR NEW LOCATION—Your move as an opportunity to find new quality links and local directories. Neighborhood associations, local business directories, and city guides are all great places to list your practice. Ask other businesses in your new neighborhood if they know of any local websites that you might have missed.
Other marketing materials
PRINT ADS, BROCHURES, AND OFFLINE MARKETING MATERIALS—Review and update all of your print ads, brochures, and other offline marketing materials. If you run print ads, make sure you know how much lead time each publisher requires to make changes. If you leave brochures or fliers at other local businesses, make sure to collect any that contain out of date information.
BUSINESS CARDS AND EMAIL SIGNATURES—Finally, make sure to print new business cards for you and your team. Don’t forget about your email signature if it contains your practice’s address.
Moving your practice can be stressful, but with a little bit of planning you won’t lose a step when it comes to your digital marketing presence.