“I’m paying a lot of money every month for a website & dental marketing, but NEVER seem to get any patients from it. What do I need to do about it?”
Do you feel the same way?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions that I get from specialists that are tired of paying monthly to “computer companies” for services such as, “SEO” & “key word maintenance” but NOT seeing any results. What’s the point right?
I spoke with a new private client last week. During our strategic blueprint call, he informed me that he was paying a rather popular “dental” computer company over a thousand dollars per month for search engine optimization & hosting.
What is website hosting?
Hosting is necessary for any website. By purchasing hosting, you are buying space on a server which allows your website files to be stored on that server and be accessible to your patients. Your hosting package includes necessary technical maintenance of your website server and files. Hosting is typically provided for a recurring monthly or yearly fee, so it’s an integral part of your ongoing website management. Therefore, it is important to choose your hosting wisely so that you get the best quality for the best price and avoid undesirable vendor lock-in.
Hosting with website designer – being held hostage
Many web design companies offer website hosting services. However, regardless of the hosting service your design agency is using to host your site, the ownership of that hosting account is most likely in their name, not yours or your practice’s.
This can cause a number of problems, including:
1. More money – You will likely pay higher monthly fees for hosting and technical support because agency markup is included. Try this solution to the problem instead: rather than paying to the website company, register the hosting account in your name and pay the professional service that hosts your website directly. This should help significantly lower your monthly fees. And, because the hosting provider specializes in website hosting, you can get a better quality service.
2. Control & flexibility – If you host your website with your web designer, you essentially give them the keys to your website. By doing this, now they have full control over your website, which leaves you dependent on your web designer. (Sound familiar?) You will have to scramble to recover your website if your company goes bankrupt or stops responding to your requests. Also, you will have to transfer your website – or, in some cases, build a new one – if you decide to switch web design companies.
We have a client in South Louisiana that is having this EXACT issue now. They are in the process of “regaining” control of the assets of their website so we can assist them with getting hosting set up in “their” name, thus, giving them total control over their site.
Focus on Quality
There are so many full-service dental marketing companies on the market that many specialists think it’s important that all their marketing is done in-house by one company. Many times, this type of arrangement may be perceived as the “Wal-Mart” shopping experience. Basically you’re working with a LARGE company where that spit out websites like a “mill” and you’re treated as just another customer. No personalized service given.
While there may be some advantages of one-stop marketing companies, there are also significant disadvantages that should not be overlooked.
Disadvantages of using a one-stop shop for your website
1. If you work with a couple of consultants for web, marketing, & SEO, you get to choose the best ones. If you get all this from one company, you don’t have much say in the matter. Instead, you must go with whatever employees the company has, so the quality is average. Again, you lack control in this area too.
2. When you work with a couple of consultants and don’t like one, you can replace that one consultant and still keep the other(s) you like. If you get all your services from the one stop shop, you can’t do that. For example, if your SEO is fine, but your website sucks visually and functionally, you can’t choose another web designer to try a different approach. Rather, you will have to replace your entire marketing company.
3. If the company does everything in-house, that means they have more people in the office. This means they have higher overhead expenses. These expenses are passed on to you – the client – in one way or the other.
4. Small firms or consultants may offer more flexibility and accommodation for your needs and provide a much more personalized approach than a larger company.
In contrast, I like to represent the concierge model to my private specialist clients.
The concierge model implies that the consultant works in your best interest and develops custom services that are suited to your particular needs. Such a model provides a more personalized service compared to the standardized, one-size-fits-all model offered by bigger companies with a larger customer volume.
It is also more cost-effective because you get better quality for your money, you can better control your costs, and you only pay for the services you need – and only for as long as you need them.
The end product result
As the end consumer, you shouldn’t worry much about whether your marketing people do things in-house, outsource, or partner with someone to deliver. What you should care about is the quality of the end product you receive. The key is not how they self-organize to deliver but how efficient they are.
For example, I help specialists with their online marketing strategies that suits them best. I then partner with other small firms that can handle keyword, adwords and SEO which gives the specialist more control.
To the client, we still appear as one team, and work and communication are done seamlessly and efficiently. At the same time, the client enjoys improved quality, flexibility, better quality control (by having two independent firms keep an eye on things), and overhead cost savings.
Need online marketing help?
Email me at jeff@TheAuthorityPractice.com