Selling Dental Products through Traditional Channels vs. Selling Online

There are two ways by which consumers purchase the dental products they need. The first is through traditional channels such as going to bricks and mortar shops while the other and the most recent one is through online stores. Although the latter offer a number of distinct advantages over traditional retail shops, there remain certain advantages for consumers when shopping for dental products at traditional stores. Let’s take a closer look at each one in the succeeding sections.

Selling Dental Products through Conventional Channels

This mode of selling dental products include the use of a physical store as aforementioned along with other traditional marketing schemes such as sending out flyers, posting ads in public places, hiring sales men/ladies, giving out catalogs, making cold phone calls, among others. These may seem pretty much outdated but they still deliver results.

In spite of what you’ve read or heard ad infinitum about traditional dental retailers, they actually have a head start over their online rivals. They in fact possess retail assets that online dental stores need to build on from scratch. First they have stock and storage which are basics aspects of retailing. Online retailers need to establish relationships with suppliers and find, create or rent storage space. Next, traditional dental retailers have earned credibility and have established a customer base which onliners need to work hard to achieve.

Other advantage of traditional dental retailers is that customers can walk right through the shop, search for and try the products they need. This is possibly the one thing that online store owners cannot compete with regardless of how well their websites have been designed and set up. Another point to consider is that consumers shopping online must wait to receive the products they bought. Traditional dental retailers have a clear advantage in this aspect as well. Clients are able to inspect the items, decide if the goods are exactly what they want and purchase them instantly.

In light of all these, there is no denying that dental shops are not that many and their number even dwindled over the years. The common practice these days is to simply browse through product catalogs then call the supplier to place an order. We have to recognize that such traditional channels of selling dental products are still viable and they are likely to stay. However, we can’t simply dismiss the fact that people are increasingly turning to the Internet for their daily transactions.

Selling Dental Products through an E-commerce Website

Having outlined the advantages of conventional brick and mortar shops, let us now consider why online stores are currently on the rise.

There is no denying the fact that the Internet has touched and revolutionized the way we go about our daily lives. Several years back, the thought of being able to shop using your computer even in your pyjamas and right at the comfort of your home would have sounded like an outlandish idea. But thanks to the rapid advancements of the 21st century, virtually everything is possible these days.

The dental industry is not to be left behind as dentists, dental laboratories and dental suppliers have leveraged the power of the Internet to market their products and services. Many have set up e-commerce sites since these provide new means for dental retailers and consumers to connect and conduct business. These sites are way cheaper to set up than physical stores; they are available and able to operate 24/7 which means they can work for you even as you sleep! You don’t have to maintain a physical store and hire receptionists just to welcome customers or answer the phone. Online stores have taken sales and marketing to a whole new level…they never close for the night, even on weekends, so everyone can shop during their free time and whenever they feel the need to.

Online stores have access to the global marketplace. The Internet covers practically the whole world, and it is now possible to make sales to any person so long as he/she is connected to the Internet. Even small dental retailers can sell their products globally using e-commerce. This somehow levels the playing field and allows startups to expand and grow. Another thing working for online stores is speed as electronic communications allow users to send and receive messages across the globe almost instantaneously, thereby facilitating and speeding up transactions.

With the fast-pace lifestyle and hectic schedules that most people lead nowadays, anything that saves precious time is a boon. This is precisely what online stores provide to consumers. When you shop for dental products online, you’ll only spend a minute to connect to the Internet, another minute to access the website of your preferred store, and perhaps ten to fifteen minutes to choose the products you wish to purchase, and an extra five minutes to fill in the payment details and get a copy of your receipt. That’s it! It will only take you about half an hour to obtain the items you need.

Some will argue that calling and ordering on the phone is faster, assuming that you know what you want. But online orders are actually faster if you have already ordered before and if you are scouring through a wide range of products. This is in contrast to printed product catalogs which can be a pain, especially when you need to search through hundreds of pages just to find a product or two. Moreover, online shopping allows you to avoid traffic, parking problems, long queues, as well as the disappointment of driving all the way to the shop only to discover that the item you need is out of stock.

Another huge advantage of e-commerce sites over traditional dental retailers is that they can offer products at much lower prices. Traditional retailers typically incur more expenses in order to cover the cost of their utilities, rent and staff. E-commerce sites conduct transactions electronically, often with the help of less workers. Moreover, most online dental stores make use of drop shipping services to further lower expenses. This way, the store owner no longer needs to purchase any inventory. Instead, every time an order is placed by customers, the products are shipped directly by the distributor. All these factors enable online store owners to offer lower prices than conventional dental retailers.

Conclusion

Traditional channels of selling dental products still have distinct advantages working for them but it is quite evident that online stores and e-commerce sites are increasingly gaining popularity and becoming the preferred option among consumers. Additionally, in spite of the advantages offered by traditional stores, they can’t compete with the functionality of online search engines, the cheaper online prices and the availability afforded by ecommerce. In the near future, it is quite likely that practically everything that can be purchased at retail stores can also be bought online with ease and comfort on top of being competitively priced.

Build Your Dental ecommerce Website in 8 steps, 2h and for $15.65.

There are two types of websites: Static and Dynamic. Static sites are usually perfect to showcase a company, an individual or a product. Their contents are fixed and should be maintained though a website builder. Dynamic sites share the same base used to make static pages but with 2 major extras, a coding language that allows content calculations and a database from where informations will be stored and pulled.

In this article we will only focus on dynamic websites.

In the past, HTML was the traditional way for creating websites, but now there are several useful platforms that can be used to build dynamic websites such as Joomla, Yola, Squarespace, Jigsy, Weebly, SnapPages,  among several others. It is actually just a matter of preference. The aforementioned platforms are easy-to-use and very affordable, some are even free and you don’t have to be a web guru or learn complex codes to create a great-looking site.

wordpress logo

Another excellent platform which I deliberately left out is WordPress. We will discuss this along with some useful plug ins that you can use to make a presentable website, whether for your personal use or for your business. Aside from being simple and free, WordPress has several other distinct advantages:

  1. It is FREE
  2. It is well-supported so it’s easy to find help and tutorials online
  3. There are hundreds of free themes available
  4. It is easy to customize
  5. Readers can subscribe easily because it has an RSS Feed

Note that we are talking about WordPress.org or the self-hosted variant of WordPress on a personal web hosting account. Don’t confuse it with WordPress.com though this one is an excellent free-hosted blogging platform mainly used by hobby or personal bloggers. It’s cool but it has certain limitations if you intend to have a dental website or launch an online business.

Step-by-Step Procedure

First you need to register a domain name. register.com . $8.15/yr

Second you need to rent some webspace on a remote server. We recommend mddhosting.$7.50/mo

Third you have your own domain name and some space on a server, you need to connect both in order for your hosting provider to get the traffic sent from your site’s address. You will have to copy/past your DNS provided by your hosting company to your domain registrar.

This tutorial will tell you how to set this up: help.register.com

After those 3 first steps are made, you have now a website with your own domain.

Congratulation !

Dental website screenshot

Now what ?

You have your address and space to host your site but you don’t have pages to display yet, so if you rented space from MDDHosting, go to your cpanel (the link will be given in the email sent from your new hosting provider) and go to Softaculous Apps Installer, click wordpress and follow the steps to install wordpress. If your hosting companies do not have cpanel or Softaculous installed and you will have to use a FTP connection though a software like cyberduck and follow this tutorial ghiis.com/blog/wordpress/how-to-install-wordpress-using-ftp/.

Great, your site is online for only $15.65, you can now start to customize it !

Templates and Plug Ins

Any dynamic site has 2 parts: the site that each and everyone with an internet connection can see and an admin area also called CMS for «content management system» or administration panel. To log to your CMS, enter your new website address like «www._your_website_address_.com/wp-admin» there you’ll find the dashboard, media, links and other handy features.

Now you have to choose between having a site displaying informations about your company, products and services only or if you want to create an ecommerce online store to sell your products online.  In both case you will have to choose a theme that fits your company style but in case you want to have your own online store, you will need to buy a theme compatible with the «ecommerce» wordpress plugin.

For free themes go here: wordpress.org/extend/themes

For ecommerce themes select one here: themeforest.net

 

themeforest thumbnails

All themes have a tutorial to install and customize it but varies from one them to an other so we can’t describe this process here.

If you chose not to sell your products online, this section will give you an overview of what you can do to personalize your site. On the left-hand column of your screen, go to ‘Pages’ and then click on ‘Add New.’ Choose a catchy title for your webpage and place your content in the text box. Next, in the ‘Page Attributes’ box, pick a template. You have the option to allow or prohibit comments, just scroll down and tick or untick the allow comments box. Lastly, on the right-hand side of the screen, click on the box which says ‘Publish’.

Since we are talking about a dental website, you’ll perhaps require additional pages such as ‘Products’, ‘Services’, ‘About Us’, ‘Contact Us,’ etc. If you wish to view the list of pages that you’ve created, simply click on ‘Front Page’ and then choose which ones you wish to make static. This means that page won’t differ in terms of client responses, which is applicable to dynamic pages. To do this, go to ‘Settings’ and click on ‘Reading’ then choose ‘Static Page.’ Finally, select ‘Full Text’ and hit the ‘Save’ button. Once you have all the features set, click on ‘View Site’ so you can preview the webpages exactly as you want them.

Sell your own products

You have products nor services to sell!

You need all your product images, descriptions and prices before you start adding them to your site. After your ecommerce plugin has been installed and activated, you will have a link in your administration panel, on the left site called «products». Hit add new and fill the form.

Moreover, you will need to setup your store shipment and payment details to complete your store functionalities.

Other plug ins

WordPress also features a superb plug in architecture which enables both developers and users to customize its functionality. This will allow you to do specific tasks required by certain webpages. The moment WordPress is installed in your site, you’ll have three pre-installed plugins: Aksimet, Hello Dolly and Jetpack. These are pretty basic so it’s advisable to install some essential plugins to boost the functionality of your website.

Plugins for Enhanced Performance:

Plugins for Images and Video:

Plugins for SEO Purposes

Plugins to Generate Profit

Plugins for Social Media Networks

Recommendations

Of course it would be too easy if the above informations would be enough to start selling… after you finished the above steps, you will need to pay attention to SEO and online marketing strategies. Our blog http://hub.missintooth.com holds useful articles covering those subjects which should allow you to build traffic on your site and turn new visitors into leads.

Conclusion

Overall, WordPress is a great tool for creating professional-looking dental websites in a fast and cost-effective manner. It offers brief and easy-to-follow guides and instructions, so if you are considering creating a website but are not quite certain on how to get it done, WordPress can handle most of the hard work for you.

Basic SEO Techniques That A Website Should Use

Google LogoIn a previous post we discussed the advantages of SEO for dental websites. Such benefits include brand awareness, high conversion rates, improved client experience, cost-effectiveness and high return of investment. In this post we’ll talk about how to achieve those benefits by applying basic SEO techniques to a website. While SEO sounds complex, the truth is that it is quite simple and only requires some common sense!

Search engine optimization is a hot topic nowadays, especially following Google’s introduction of its Panda and Penguin algorithms. The former intends to rid search results of low quality and duplicate content while the latter is aimed at penalizing web pages that are spamming Google. Basically that’s what they are about and may require a separate post. For now, the focus is applying basic SEO to a website. So how do you get your website in the first or second page results of the major search engines?

Meta Tags – Title, Description and Keywords

There are companies specializing in SEO services but their rates can be pretty expensive especially for start ups and small business owners. The good news is that there are simple things that you can integrate into your website that will boost your chances of getting excellent results. First, let’s take a look at meta tags. In the source code of your website you’ll find different meta tags which include the title tag, descriptions and keyword tags. The title tag is actually not a real meta tag although it is closely related to them. It is also the most important because it plays a vital role in the indexing of your website. Search engines first check the title of a page to determine what it is all about. It is imperative to place one or two keywords in the title tag but don’t overdo it otherwise your site may look like spam. The common thing people do is to state the name of their company like  «Perfectsmile»,  «BestDentalSupply» or the specific page title like «Dr. Smith’s Blog». In general, try to keep the title tag length under 70 characters. However, recent studies showed that Google will index up to 150 characters, so as much as possible, stay within 70 and if that’s to short just don’t go over 150.

The description and keyword tags are the primary meta tags with regard to SEO. The description is important since it is listed in the search result. It is what users see each time your link shows up and it’s what prompts them to action, whether to click on your link or ignore it. Include a couple of relevant keywords in the description tag, but it should read like a sentence and not an obvious keyword that has been ‘stuffed’ there. Because of keyword stuffing, most search engines have started to disregard the keyword tag. It may not be as crucial as before but it’s still worth having in your source code. Keyword tags are typically comprised of eight to ten keywords or keyword phrases. Search engines actually don’t put a lot of importance on the length so there’s a bit of leeway when it comes to that.

When making your list of keywords (we recommend around 10), try to think of specific terms that people will use when searching for a website that is similar to yours. Again, don’t go overboard by using a lot of duplicates like “dental supplier” “dental suppliers” “top dental suppliers” “best dental suppliers” etc.  They all mean the same, just choose one or two variations and then move to the next keyword in your list. You can use three to four keywords per optimized page and you can easily search for the best keywords using Google’s keywords tool. Note that after spiders read the details in the ‘head’ portion of the source code, they continue to analyze site content. For clarity, electronic spiders are what search engines use to gather data about a unique website. They visit the site and copy the content which is then stored in the database of the search engine.

title tag: max 70 characters long
link: to the landing page you wish to send visitors to
description tag: max 156 characters long

 

Example of a typical google search result:
BestDentalSupply, your devoted dental supply
www.bestdentalsupply.com/page_name_with_main_keyword/
Look no further, BestDentalSupply is THE place to find all your dental products.

Good and Relevant Content

Bear in mind that spiders read in the same way that humans do, top to bottom and from one column to the next. Good and relevant content is the most crucial aspect of search engine optimization. A fundamental SEO rule is that search engine spiders can read basic text without an hitch. By giving spiders the basic text content, you provide information to search in a format that is easy for them to read. There is always a way to incorporate basic body text into a website without having to compromise its design and functionality.

The content should be kept simple and thematically focused. Spiders can get confused when you cover multiple topics on a single page. In this regard, the SEO rule is that if there is a need to discuss multiple topics on a page, it would be better to split them up and use additional pages. After all, creating new pages with unique content makes a website simpler for both spiders and live users. Another basic SEO rule is to use the most important keyword targets early when writing content. For instance, a website selling ‘dental supplies’ may use a lead sentence like, “Dental supplies by MyDentalCompany are the most affordable dental products in the market and have earned the trust of dental professionals worldwide.”

Obviously, the main target is the affordability of dental supplies from BestDentalSupply. By positioning the keyword phrases “BestDentalSupply” and “dental products” together with other keywords like “most affordable”, “trust” and “dental professionals”, the sentence is written in such a way that will help search engines find the relationship among these words and phrases. The succeeding sentences should also have keywords integrated into them. One thing to remember when writing content is to avoid keyword stuffing as this is regarded as spam by most search engines. Another essential thing to keep in mind is that the content is intended to be read by both users and search spiders. It should sound natural and must make sense. Otherwise, you have gone overboard with the use of keywords and must make the necessary adjustments.

Anchor Text and Link Building

Other important elements that cannot be left out are anchor texts and link building practices. Make sure you only use relevant keywords as anchor text in order to improve the perception of search engines about the relationship among pages and the words or phrases that you used in the link. As for link building, you want as many links pointing to your site from other relevant websites. However, stay away from link farms and suggested by some cheap companies, and submit your website to niche directories instead. In case you have a blog, you can also generate links with other blogs and related sites. It’s a give-and-take sort of thing – if you reach out and link to other site owners, you’ll most likely find them linking back to you.

Always bear in mind that simplicity is the key to optimizing your website. The main objective is to make your site easy to find and easy to read. You can achieve this by using well-written content along with relevant incoming links. Although basic SEO techniques are tedious and time consuming during the initial stages, the outcomes in terms of traffic are well worth your time and effort. Being ranked on the top search results of the major engines can be quite lucrative since your site becomes readily visible to potential customers. Finally, basic SEO techniques will also set the stage for more advanced SEO tactics if you decide to use them in the future.

Increase Sales by Selling to Your Existing Customers

Increasing business chart

This post is actually a follow up to our previous post regarding Guerilla Marketing and particularly selling to your existing customers. Just to give you a gist of that particular article, guerilla marketing has a simple rule: marketers should spend 70% of their time and efforts focusing on pleasing existing customers, 20% on bringing new leads and only 10% searching for future clients. In this post we’ll provide a deeper insight, specifically on retaining existing customers so you can increase your sales, and ultimately, your profit.

Keeping a solid customer base is essential to any business, especially with the current economic downturn and the increasingly competitive marketplace. As a business owner, whether your enterprise is small scale or a huge company, you must have learned from experience that it’s a lot easier to boost sales by consistently providing quality and value to your existing customers.

Consider this: if you do not provide good reasons for your customers to stay, it’s quite likely that your competitors will find enticing offers to reel them in and leave you for good. It is no secret that customer satisfaction and retention are the ones that effectively drive profits. This is even proven by statistics which reveal that even a five percent decrease in the rate of customer defection can boost sales by as much as 25 to 125 percent, although this depends on your particular niche. Moreover, it has been found that a 2% rise in customer retention yields a similar effect on revenue as cutting overhead costs by about 10 percent.

Figures don’t lie and they only mean that it is more difficult to acquire new customers than keeping existing customers happy and satisfied. It is much cheaper to retain existing customers and sell more products and services to them than seeking new customers that are likely good for only a single transaction. Most surveys and studies across different industries indicate that keeping an existing customer is about seven times more profitable as compared to attracting a new one. Finally, it’s more likely that old customers will buy from you than new ones.

How to Cultivate Your Customer Base

Sometimes when you acquire a new lead or make a solid contact with a promising prospect, you tend to waste time hammering back and forth about your next “perfect” follow up effort. In so doing, you actually achieve nothing and what initially appeared as an excellent lead and contact soon turned ‘cold.’ The moral lesson: Simply stay in contact. You can do it once a month, and if you opt to do it more often, make sure that you respect other people’s time.

The main point is to stay in touch even if you use some weak or lame email or phone call it’s fine for as long as you are keeping in contact. This means you are staying within the “Top-of-Mind” zone. You are just reminding your customers that you are still in business and you still have more to offer. The key is to just keep at it and do so for six months to a year, then assess the outcome of your sustained efforts. If during this period, your competitor drops the ‘communication ball,’ then you’ve won half of the battle and you’ll likely rocket blast ahead and keep the profit flowing. You know why? Simply because you exerted the effort to keep in touch…

Finally, in regard to the above, bear in mind that not everyone is your customer. So concentrate on the ones that are. Cultivate and nurture those relationships and back-end sales.


P.S. Thanks to Mac Bull for providing the original idea and inspiration for this post.

Guerilla Marketing Strategies for Dental Suppliers

Put together by Jay Conrad Levinson, guerilla marketing refers to an advertising strategy which involves the use of low-cost and unconventional methods, with the purpose of promoting a product or a service. The origin of the term can be easily tracked to guerilla warfare wherein a typical strategies are used to achieve a goal within a highly competitive setting. These days, even dental professionals – dental suppliers in particular, can take advantage of guerilla marketing strategies that rely on energy, time and imagination instead of using big promotional budget.

In most cases, guerilla marketing strategies are used by small companies to deliver their message in an impactful manner, often catching consumers off-guard. They use unconventional yet intelligent messages that resonate more effectively as compared to traditional media ads. For dental suppliers who have yet to try using some clever guerilla marketing strategies, below are some key elements to get you going:

 

Marketing Budget

Knowing who to target and for whom you need to spend your energy takes some skills. However, too many make the mistake of focusing only on finding new clients instead of giving priority to their current or previous customers.

Jay Conrad Levinson wrote, “The rule of thumb says 30% goes to prospects, 10% goes to the universe, and 60% goes to customers. Marketing works well that way.” For dental suppliers, this could mean 30% to those whom you are in contact with, 60% for clients who already bought from you and 10% to find new ones. The bottom line is that you allot a specific marketing budget that will work for you.

 

Element of Surprise

Billboards and banner ads are expected, and they are virtually everywhere, featuring flashy colors and perhaps a catchy line which puts a smile on the face. However, they are common and certainly expected by most consumers. Guerilla marketers will take those to a whole new level by using unusual techniques to get maximum impact from limited resources. These could be in the form of PR stunts, giveaways of products to the public and in public places instead of a dental trade show. You can even use mobile digital innovations like MMS to send a picture and engage potential clients in a memorable marketing experience.

 

Creativity

When it comes to guerilla marketing, dental professionals have the world as their billboard and they are only limited by their imagination. Creativity is the key since guerilla marketing starts with an out-of-the-box concept. In order to develop targeted and effective guerilla strategies, throw all traditional practices off the window and get your creative juices flowing. The lifeblood of all successful guerilla marketing strategies is creativity because without it, consumers will only find your campaign as conventional, boring or worse… annoying!

 

More with Less

When planning guerilla campaigns, it’s very easy to become impractical. For dental suppliers with budgetary constraints, posting a massive advertisement on the outside wall of the office building may not be the wisest idea. Try to be smart, reasonable and unexpected in order to come up with a highly effective guerrilla strategy without spending too much and getting less in return. For example you could use Salvador Dali’s large mustaches to sell your next Kolinsky brush line, or say ”Our best selling silicone is recommended by Lady Gaga’s dentist!”

 

Interactivity

The idea behind interactivity isn’t a mainstay in most guerilla marketing strategies although it can bring the consumer-supplier relationship to greater heights. Being interactive allows dental suppliers to become more personalized. For instance, running a social Facebook campaign may not be expected, but it can draw much attention and hype to your brand.

 

Guerilla Marketing bookOverall, guerilla marketing strategies focus on creative and low-cost campaigns that deliver results. The major requirements have been outlined above…and in general, the yardstick for success is profit instead of sales. Moreover, emphasis is placed on keeping existing customers happy instead of acquiring new ones.

Dental Trade Shows vs. Online Dental Directories

The dental industry is one of the oldest and most resilient, having been around for centuries. It has managed to endure the test of time thanks to continuous innovations such as trade shows and online directories. Both are indispensible although each one has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a quick look and find out…

Overview of Dental Trade Shows

The appeal of dental trade shows is quite extensive as these events have a history of bringing together both customers and members of the dental industry. They have been around long before online dental directories were introduced to the market and their growth over the years is obvious as a significant number of dental professionals set up booths or gazebos to take advantage of the event and use it as an effective marketing strategy that can foster brand awareness for them.

By nature, dental trade shows are specific to the dental industry, and this benefits everyone involved, particularly the clientele which represents the industry’s key demographic. Therefore, these trade shows give participants the chance to draw the attention of prospective clients and promote their key products and services. They allow dentists, dental suppliers and dental labs to further develop relationships and professional collaborations. They also give clients the opportunity to provide positive criticism and get the assurance that the products they purchased are the best in the market.

Aside from lead generation, increasing brand awareness, and expanding client-base, dental trade shows are also excellent platforms for launching new products and services. They offer a great opportunity to advertise and promote to a wider audience, including regular clients as well as new ones. They also provide an oportunity to give away freebies, business cards, brochures and other promotional products.

There can be multiple reasons to consider participating in dental trade shows.  The benefits mentioned above are just some of them. If there is one disadvantage, it’s the fact that trade shows tend to draw curious passersby who simply cannot resist being handed something for free. A lot of casual visitors make rounds from one booth to another to grab as much promotional items as they can. As such, the participants’ products or services are not attaining their full potential.

Online Dental Directories

Online directory - alibaba.comOnline dental directories are regarded as the simplest and quickest ways to find specific products or services in an area. Since the introduction of the Internet, these directories have become the preferred choice for customers who are searching for local dental professionals in their respective localities. These directories have a distinct advantage over the traditional trade shows, yellow pages and print directory listings. Aside from having most dental professionals online, there are also useful comments, comparisons and reviews that web browsers find very useful.

Another clear advantage of online dental directories is that they allow website owners to make revisions to their listing anytime they want. This is in contrast trade shows that are usually held at least annually. This means that the advertising benefits of dental trade shows are short-term or seasonal. As for online dental directories, they are available 24/7 and 365 days a year. Moreover, the cost of maintaining one is cheaper when compared to setting up a booth and travelling to the area where a trade show will be held.

Online dental directories are also developing faster than ever. They are popping up all over the web as they have been proven to make it easier and more convenient for clients to find exactly what they are looking for. These directories also serve as a platform that caters to both domestic and international clients. With the help of these directories, suppliers and laboratories can list their products together with their detailed descriptions. Small dental businesses benefit a lot from online directories as they get maximum exposure with minimal expense. Companies can now register their names, address, contact numbers and detailed specifications about their products and can easily promote them.

 

In the end, both dental trade shows and online dental directories are useful to all dental professionals. Their advantages far outweigh their drawbacks. Dentists, suppliers and laboratories should simply know how to take full advantage of them so they get true value for their money.

MissinTooth New Design & New Landing Pages

In the past, we have been flooded with suppliers’ inquiries regarding the origins of the products displayed on our website. This prompted us to improve our communication with new visitors in order to address misconceptions that we are actually selling dental products and supplies. We do have a wide range of product categories with accompanying images of the dental items. However, they belong to our site’s members and are part of their catalogs.

 

NewDεsign

We are pleased to announce that MissinTooth has been given a significant makeover, including the integration of new landing pages for dental suppliers, dental labs, and dentists respectively. Now we offer the most valuable dental online marketplace where suppliers, laboratories and dental practitioners can promote their products and services. It is also worth mentioning that we have upgraded our file sharing system which now allows up to 10MB CAD/CAM files to be sent though our servers.

 

 

 

Landing

We do hope that all these innovations will help cut through the confusion and bring some semblance of clarity by enabling suppliers to use our system, create their company profile and upload their products on MissinTooth.com. This will extend their visibility while giving dentists and dental laboratories more options to choose from. If you wish to learn more about what we do and what we have to offer, click here.

 

 

 

 

We have set the bar high and have great expectations from the new features we’ve launched. We are even looking ahead of the curve as we envision MissinTooth to go more global soon. It will be available in different currencies and languages to finally rid the industry of the barriers that have previously precluded the way dental professionals interact and conduct business online. We invite you to check the site and explore the myriad of opportunities that are waiting to be discovered and are absolutely up for grabs!

An Overview of the Different Catalog Formats

Catalogs are the lifeblood of businesses that sell a wide range of products because they literally bring the entire store along with them. They are one the cheapest yet extremely effective means of marketing and they come in different formats including paper, Excel, text list, PDF and database. Each has its own strong points as well as drawbacks. In this article we will discuss them in detail so you get to know which one best suits your needs and preferences.

 

Word catalog with table

Let’s first take a look at the paper catalog. You’re likely aware of the fact that there is a growing trend to get rid of paper publications and rely almost exclusive on electronic media. Hence, many businesses that print and distribute paper catalogs are wondering what to do. Considering the fact that the entire content of the catalog is posted online, there’s no sense in investing in a paper book. Consider Amazon.com which became a multi-billion dollar company without having a single paper catalog! However, let us put things in perspective, the need for a paper catalog depends largely on your product category and how clients search for your type of product and/or services.

 

Excel dental catalogNext up is the ever-reliable spreadsheet. It’s amazing how a lot of companies and entrepreneurs still shell out for expensive database software when an Excel spreadsheet has the inherent capacity to accomplish all the important tasks and functionalities that a business requires. In fact you can learn a lot about maintaining catalogs by simply managing your personal records which in itself is an invaluable asset in any industry. By investing a little time learning the basics like adjusting row heights, column widths and images properties, you won’t have to contract local or online services to manage records on your behalf.

 

Word catalog with tableA text list is as simple as it sounds – a mere enumeration of data that can take on different forms. It’s archaic to say the least and may work only for start-ups. Making a PDF catalog is more plausible choice as it offers a number of benefits. A huge advantage is that PDF catalogs can be viewed, retrieved and printed. It can also be installed on network computers for free and your clients can easily download it from the Internet. This is a major advantage because it enables you to share documents with anyone with no additional expenses. Another distinct advantage is that PDF catalogs can be used in different platforms. For instance a PDF catalog created using Windows can be read using another platform like Unix or Macintosh.
Database dental catalogThen there are also database catalogs which are basically the same as Excel spreadsheets which are related by a common piece of information. With regard to catalogs, the objective is to come up with a list of products and then classify them in product categories list. At the same time you can relate them by attributes such as colors, domain of applications, compatibilities, etc. The database becomes particularly useful when spreadsheets are no longer sufficient to accommodate all your information. It is more convenient to use and practical when dealing with massive volume of data. Hence, it is a good idea for dental suppliers to start by making such product lists in tables and then export them into Word, PDF, HTML, XML, Database or whatever format they want. Then later, they won’t have to extend their list and will only need to add, edit or delete though the database.

 

 

Which is the best catalog format ?

Overall, Excel and database are ideal when dealing with massive lists because they are easy to search in. As for text only formats such as PDF, the benefits can be negated by the fact that it can be problematic when exporting documents to managing systems. Moreover, you may have noticed that catalogs are increasingly becoming table-based in either Excel or database because of their convenience and functionality. It may be safe to argue that there is really no perfect solution and it is perhaps a smart idea to have your main catalog in Excel and sync it with an online database. This will allow clients to make searches and the catalog can be exported for printing or converted to PDF if you wish to send it through email.

 


Recommended software list

Word processors

PDF Creators and readers

Spreadsheets processors 

offline database processors

Free online dental products catalogues

Advantages of SEO for Dental Sites

For the uninitiated, SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. It refers to a specialized process that renders a website or a web page more visible to the major search engines the likes of Google, Yahoo and Bing. In essence, SEO makes a website ‘search engine friendly’ and drives more traffic to it. As a rule, a website receives more visitors if it is ranked higher on the search results page and if it appears more often in the search results list.

Having said that, the question is, “What distinct advantages does SEO bring to dental sites?” Well, just like any other business or industry, the realm of dentistry involves the acquisition of new clients, whether you’re a dentist or a supplier of dental products. Expanding your patient/client base is of paramount importance and creating targeted leads is one of the most crucial factors in achieving this. SEO can provide such targeted leads along with a number of benefits that cannot be accomplished using other means of online or traditional marketing campaigns.

In this post I will discuss the advantages of SEO and why dental sites cannot afford NOT to optimize.  Read on…

  • Brand AwarenessWhen your targeted keyword lands on the first page of search engines, you will definitely increase brand awareness as well as recall. It has been found that aside from referrals from family and friends, patients find and contact dentists through online searches. Statistics also reveal that roughly 85 percent of website visitors come by means of online search queries. However, majority of them only view the first two or three pages of search results. This explains precisely why positioning is very important.
  • Higher Conversion Rates. Web traffic through SEO has been proven to have far better and higher conversion rate than any other traffic generation techniques. People using organic listings are the ones who are actively searching for a dentist in their location. Hence, the moment they view your website, it is quite likely that they will make contact and become actual clients. SEO experts also claim that increasing the conversion rate of your website by as little as 1 % will drastically boost the number of new clients that you can acquire on a monthly basis.
  • Improved Client Experience. This aspect can be achieved by providing quality and reader-friendly content within your site. With a few keystrokes and mouse clicks, visitors can view the products and/or services that you are offering along with their corresponding costs. You can also include newsletters, payment options, sitemap, etc. Just make sure the tags are well-optimized.
  • Practical and Cost-Effective. SEO is cheap when you compare it with other online marketing techniques. It is also more effective in drawing clients and keeping them for good. In addition, you no longer have to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for Yellow Page listings, ads space in local newspapers and even pay-per-click advertisements. Simply put, SEO is advertising at its finest…one that pays for itself in the long run.
  • High Return of Investment. ROI is an excellent determinant as to whether your marketing strategy is working or not. Driving organic or ‘unpaid’ traffic only requires a small investment yet you get to enjoy long-term results. Studies have proven time and again that SEO generates one of the highest ROIs among all online marketing strategies. With a relatively small cash-out, your website becomes readily visible to a wider audience.

Overall, SEO offers dentists and dental suppliers a web-based advertising platform that delivers new clients for a minimal expense. At the end of the day, you get the much-needed visibility in search engines and a site that converts visitors into clients, thereby increasing revenue and your bottom line.

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