Dr. David Hall is from Mesa Arizona. He practiced for many years in Iowa, where, in 1990, he became accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. In 1991, he published landmark research that demonstrated that the then prevalent practice of etching teeth prior to bleaching was unnecessary. In 1994, be became the first Public Relations chair of the AACD and later directed a bylaws reform that helped create the current structure of that organization.
In 1995 he launched one of the first cosmetic dentistry websites, which led, in 2006, to other dentists beginning to ask him for help with their websites. In 2009, he relocated to Mesa, Arizona, where he created the dental website company, Infinity Dental Web. His company has distinguished itself as being a leader in search engine optimization and in bringing principles of neuromarketing into dentistry. It is acknowledged by many as being the quality design leader of dental website companies and has become the official marketing partner of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
AUDIO-DUwHF #1102 David A. Hall, DDS
VIDEO-DUwHF #1102 David A. Hall, DDS
Howard: It is just a huge honor for me to ad the podcast interviewing Dr. David Hall right here in my own backyard I'm in Phoenix he's in Mesa, Mesa is the next city over. He practiced for many years in Iowa where in 1990 he became accredited with the American Academy of cosmetic dentistry in 1991 he published landmark research that demonstrated that the then prevalent practice of etching teeth prior to bleaching was unnecessary. In 1994 he became the first Public Relation share of the American Academy of cosmetic dentistry and later directed a bylaws reform that helped create the current structure that organization. Who was the guy who started I'm the AACD in Wisconsin?
David: Jack Cameron
Howard: Jack Cameron and his son is?
Howard: Chris Cameron I love that guy he's been on the show, I love jack is he still alive?
Howard: When did he pass?
David: He passed 19 years ago
Howard: Oh my gosh. In 1995 Dr. David Hall launched one of the first cosmetic dentistry websites which led in 2006 to other dentists beginning to ask him for help with their websites. In 2009 he relocated to Mesa Arizona where he created the dental website company www.infinitydentalweb.com His company has distinguished itself as being a leader in search engine optimization and in bringing principles of neural marketing into dentistry. It is acknowledged by many as being the quality design leader dental website companies has become the official marketing partner of the American Academy of cosmetic dentistry. Thank you so much for coming over to my house this weekend. Sorry I got in a lectured at Megagen all weekend and so I got in late last night so sorry if I go bright-eyed and bushy-tailed but I've been trying to get you over on this show for a long time thank you so much for coming. What is neuromarketing?
David: Neuro marketing is marketing to the subconscious that's manipulating the subconscious mind get them to buy your product or if you're a dentist to come to you.
Howard: So understanding how a human is biologically wired in your playing playing into how they're wired.
David: Yeah yeah and they study it by putting electrodes on your head you know and figuring out what's going on underneath the surface that you may not even realize.
Howard: and we have a big up when I got my MBA ASU there was a, who's the guy that wrote the book
David: Are you're thinking of Cialdini
Howard: Yeah Cialdini what was his first name?
David: What was his first name?
Howard: What was the book influence?
David: Influence yeah yeah the
David: The psychology of persuasion
Howard: Persuasion yeah and he just came out with a new book every time he lives right around the corner and he is I think he is wife is good with Dr. Tom Madden's wife Sharon but every time I've got him on the show he's on...
David: Robert is his first name right.
Howard: Yeah so are you a big fan of his?
David: Yeah uh-huh I mean he has some of that I mean my big biggest influence in this subconscious marketing as Douglas Van Praet
Howard: and where's he out of?
David: Oh gosh I don't know but he wrote this book my mind is good a little freeze here anyway it's all about subconscious marketing dang it I've read the book three times but he's the guy that did this famous Superbowl commercial with a little kid playing Darth Vader anyway he's just he's very extensively.
Howard: So what can you explain about neural marketing and dentistry?
David: Well let me explain with an illustration, we had a client they wanted to put a little box on his website to collect email addresses and then remark it to those people because they didn't make an appointment and try to talk them into making an appointment and we said you know we don't think that's such a great idea but he really wanted to try it so I said okay let's run a study let's put that little box on your homepage in the corner put it up take it down put it up alternate months for a better part of a year let's see what it does and it's interesting he apparently wasn't annoying to people because it didn't increase the bounce rate of his website but it decreased the calls the months it was up he had 30% fewer calls he'd get about a hundred calls a month yeah fewer calls when that was on the website.
Howard: When what was on the website?
David: A box asking for simply asking for an email address would you like more information
Howard: I hate that
David: or whatever you know what you like but what it does is it sends a signal it's a subconscious signal that hey you really need new patience or hey I think you care more about the money than you care more about than you care about me and it's not a conscious level it's an unconscious level and just fewer people were calling so.
Howard: and what where do you think that comes from on the human psychology of a homo sapien that's 200 you know perhaps 2 million years old?
David: Well we have a lot of built-in fears about dentistry I mean we've heard stories about you know while our friend went to this dentist I mean you bring it up I brought it up in social circles and somebody always has a story, yeah I went to this dentist and he said I had ten cavities and then I didn't know when I went to this other guy went to the dental school and they checked it I said no you don't have 10 cavities. So they're scared that you're gonna prescribe something that they don't meet or that you're gonna tell them they need a full mouth reconstruction and they don't need it or you're just you know they're not sure they can trust you. So this trust is a really big issue so we want to construct a website that creates a first impression that hey Dr. Smith is a trustworthy dentist you know you can call you're safe here I don't I think they're gonna hurt him you know.
Howard: Well I think it's so imperative because it's selling the invisible. When I buy an iPhone I know what it is yeah I don't need to ask you about an iPhone when I go to Walgreens to get my readers I put them on I look right there I buy bottled water I know it is but when my engine light comes on and I grew up with five sisters playing Barbie dolls I mean I don't know anything about an engine so when I go into the mechanic I go across the street to gorilla keys minute 20 years we always joke and tease he's been over here and he's like yeah we have the same business because when I tell them I need a new alternator and you tell me I have four cavities it's all based on trust because
David: Yeah you need three crowns and you know bone loss really yeah no symptoms I didn't know anything was wrong so they've really got a trust that dentist.
Howard: So can a website convey trust?
Howard: because what you said is by asking for their email right out of the gate that decreases trust and you said by thirty percent.
David: Thirty percent fewer calls.
Howard: Whenever I go to I'm shocked at how many of the major newspapers like even the Arizona Republic their website is AZ Central and when you go to their website it's all like ask me emails and all these pop-up ads and all I can't imagine how many stories I'm really interested in reading and I go to their website and after the ten thing pops up I just X out, you know. So you're saying asking for email decrease 30 percent. So how can a website convey trust on selling the invisible?
David: Well the branding on the website needs to match the branding of the dentist it can't be too busy. If a dentist is selling you know advertising himself as a cosmetic dentist the website has to look expensive or lacks credibility so or if there is phrasing on the website like call now you know or Dr. Smith is a graduate of the prestigious you know no just be matter of fact. So that's what we try to do just be down-to-earth matter of fact be you know you wouldn't what we tell our writers is put yourself in a situation where you're the dentist you're going to a cocktail party and someone comes up to the cocktail party to you at the cocktail party and says well what do you do, you don't say hey I'm the most wonderful that you know the absolute best dentist you know in Mesa Arizona no you're not gonna say that but you might say well I got a lot of people that say I'm really good you know or you are you that good I've heard people say you're that good well people say that but you'll be modest about it that's the tone that needs to be on the website.
Howard: Now is this have anything to do with your modest roots from Iowa does this translate to Beverly Hills in Manhattan in Miami or is this an Iowa thing?
David: I don't know if its Iowa but it kind of goes back my feelings about this go back to my dental practice and I like to tell the story...
Howard: In Iowa?
Howard: and what city in Iowa?
David: Cedar Rapids
Howard: Cedar Rapids I went to Creighton University and I had a love affair with council bluffs because at the time Nebraska you can drink till you're 21 and Iowa was 18. So I really felt like a zebra because on Friday nights we used to have to cross the river and we go to Iowa and we drink and play and all that stuff but then the bars all closed at 1 and then gazillion cars would across that bridge there'd be like two cops on each side it was just like alligators sitting in a creek and you're all zebras you know that anybody they pull over is busted you know that everybody's been drinking and dancing and so you just went through there and when the lights flickers on like oh my god I'm gonna be the car behind you or whatever but uh so Thank You Iowa for having an 18 year old is this a teen in Iowa or did they raise it?
David: I don't know.
Howard: but anyway so you graduated and another thing I
David: Oh but anyway the idea of the trust I'll tell you the story because when I started practice I was one of the last guys to just launch out on his own you know right at the hit of the recession there in 1979 which hit in 1980...
Howard: Yes so let's talk about that just for a second I want to interrupt you but in 1980 interest rates were 21% unemployment and inflation was double-digit and so when these people talk about the economy they cite that was that the worst you ever seen it?
David: I think so, yeah.
Howard: So yeah so then when I get out school in 87 I got out of May of 87 October's black Monday okay it crashes the bounce right back and then there was March of 2000 the internet bubble cross and then there was Lehman's Day which was September 2009 or 2008?
Howard: 8, 10 years ago so when everybody talks about doom and gloom when I'm 56 I've lived through four crashes senior high school senior dental school, 2000, 2009 so all that doom and gloom stuff is just crazy I mean yeah the economy is two steps forward one step back when it crashes well it'll be back. So don't get all doom and gloom about it.
David: Yeah but anyway so here I am I've got all these debts and I've got a patient they need you know whatever you know say they need three crowns and I'm trying to be as honest as I can and really need these three crowns and most of them are accepting my treatment plan recommendations but enough or not accepting it that it bugs me then later in my practice I got busy and I had the same patient maybe needs three crowns and I tell them that they need three crowns but there's something different going on in my mind and that is you know I'm really busy you know I'm I get tired just looking at you thinking you need all this dental work but I'm given the same treatment plan presentation. I'm saying you know you need three crowns you need bridge whatever and one day it dawned on me that I had almost 100% treatment plan acceptance rate and I tried to think you know what happened and I realized that what happened was that I didn't feel needy anymore whether you do this or not you know patient that's up to you I'm telling you what you need if you don't want it actually that's fine with me and while I wasn't saying anything different people were picking that up through nonverbal whatever body language and just the trust and I realized that it was the trust that they had and whatever tone of voice I had that got them to accept the treatment plan and so when I got in you know I've always been fascinated with the marketing when I got into this I thought you know these dentists they don't appreciate that how much the trust matters.
Howard: It's everything
Howard: So you're saying when the page when you weren't feeling needy you sold more
David: Right yeah
Howard: So they feel like you're selling they repel.
David: That's it
Howard: and if they feel like you're informing and you're lucky to be here and you don't care if you take it or not they buy
David: Yeah and that's what this Douglas Van Praet in his book he calls it this yes...
Howard: You just remember it yeah it's called the books called the BS alarm?
David: No no that's one of his chapters
Howard: Okay so it's Douglas what
David: Van Praet
Howard: Okay unconscious branding neuroscience can empower and inspire marketing yes where's where's he out of?
David: I'm not sure he's
Howard: Redondo Beach California and so tell us about your journey with it with him.
David: Well that's one of the principles is that BS alarm when you act needy when you when there's some disconnect in what you're saying when you start bragging people you know it sends up the alarms subconsciously people may not realize it but...
Howard: and his a books on Amazon is unconscious branding
Howard: So talk more about unconscious branding.
David: Well that's one of the principles is that that's one of the biggest ones the trust. Another is the power of association, you know and he cites this guy that back when margarine was first developed you know was white and it wasn't selling and this camping his name right off but this marketing genius came and said you know you got to make the margarine yellow you know you're not as making the correct associations. So you've got to be careful you know what you associate with you know and then let's see what are some of the other principles just cultivating emotion realizing that the reason they're coming to you is because they like you it's an unconscious process whether or not they like you and you have to create this likable image. The first impression is really important, so a lot of people a lot of dentists they'll put a lot of money into their reception room thinking you know I want to create a great first impression yeah guess what you know your websites the first impression.
Howard: Digital, virtual yeah so again we sell the invisible if I had to ask you know when I got out of school in 87 the big boogeyman was a capitation Dentistry and all the dentist thought all the indemnity insurance was gonna switch to capitation and they're gonna get $10 but by the way it would have worked the insurance companies said look instead of the dentist being incentivize new crowns and root canals and be clean we just want to give them the fun and then have him manage the patient pool and they thought if we took the incentives out of diagnosing treatment plan you would just do what's best for the patient and I thought it was a great idea but what did the insurance company do, the average fee collected from the the the company's going to the insurance companies and they pay out the reimbursements was about $20 a month per head per patient. So they rolled out this we're gonna change the incentives and have the risk go to the dentist so now the dentist can have the risk but they put the capitation ten dollars a month and I called every one of those capitation why as I said well you keep talking about this great theory which could be really really cool and should really be just explored but you just cut the reimbursement in half so it got to about 8% of the market and then it died in fact there was a guy around the corner for me who was a dentist who started one of those capitation plans and then sold it to a bigger plan for like ten million dollars and totally cashed out. So but now the boogeyman is DSOs and this state obviously you know has a lot of the big DSOs that have you know over a hundred locations and the 31 years I've been here I just keep hearing the same thing the reason in patients come here is cuz they went in there they were getting this huge treatment plan and or they went back and every time they go back there's a different dentist and the different dentist thing is a trust issue and I was having dinner with one of my friends the other day and his daughter was there and she was like seven months pregnant and she had been going to the hospital with the OBGYN and then at her seventh month the OBGYN was no longer at that hospital and she was literally in tears. These relationships with doctors that they're all based on trust how can a dental office and a dental website convey more trust? I think employee turnover has got to slow down hmm I mean you can't have a different at different dentists and from hygienists every time someone comes in they just lose trust.
David: Yeah well it has and the website needs to accurately brand the practice you know I spent a lot of time on the phone with every new client that we have and we try to drill down into what makes you unique I mean we just launched the website I'm not going to use a name.
Howard: Oh it's dentistry uncensored use the name.
David: Anyway a guy in Hoffman Estates you know what Hoffman Estates Illinois very upscale suburb of Chicago. He's got reviews you know that they say he's rude you know whatever okay so we're charged with marketing this practice well a lot of times we like to put warm fuzzies on there you know well he did missions to Dominican Republic where he fixed teeth you know and he spends a day a year you know doing dentistry for the disadvantaged he volunteers this whatever you know we put stuff on there so people can see well this is a really caring dentist. Well you know I mean he's rude so what are we gonna do well we just have to accurately brand him. We talked to my figure out well it turns out you know he's been to panky and Dawson and he's highly respected by his peers he knows what he's doing so we create a branding on the website that accurately pegs him as a lot of expertise but we leave out all the warm fuzzies because we don't want to lead people you know into that bring them in thinking oh I've got this warm fuzzy friendly dentist you know and then they get there and discover the harsh realities that hes...
Howard: What percent of dentists our egomaniacs like that were I mean really I mean there's..
David: Not very many you know we're
Howard: Dentists, physicians, lawyers some of them are just paralyzed by their there egos. I mean there you go big houses big Mercedes initials after last name and they're just jerks I'm what person Dennis you think you're like that what were you saying
David: Oh I don't know let's see well let me look at our client and let's say you know maybe maybe you know somewhere between five, ten percent.
Howard: That's all you think it is five to ten percent?
David: Well I don't know maybe we're not seeing them I'm just looking at our clients okay let me go back let me go back to Cedar Rapids you know.
Howard: Just don't be that person because if you act like that and you have the big house and you have the Mercedes I mean I tell dentists all time a very small penis is very expensive because if you have a very small penis you got to get the big house you got to get the big Mercedes and you gotta act like a jerk your whole life just be humble. I think building relationship I think humility goes a long way I'm probably the humblest dentist you'll ever meet. I mean
David: Well let's look at your website okay so we're gonna talk about websites you know what's Howard's website like?
Howard: So tell me...
David: I liked it
Howard: You did like it?
David: Yeah it's down to earth
Howard: We programed it ourselves, it's just a Microsoft what is it Microsoft Word or no
David: Yeah it's not pretentious you know I mean you're branded as to me you're branded as the kind of dentist I would go to you're not super expensive you know you're gonna take care of me and my family needs whatever and you know in a straightforward manner.
Howard: and I was humble I didn't put on there that nine years in a row I was the chippendale winner of all Arizona nine years now I didn't put that on there you know just down there but so you do websites infinity dental websites infinitydentalweb.com How much do you charge for a custom website?
David: If it's a custom we do some web sites that aren't customize the content is always custom that's a fundamentally you know we always look lost every content so we'll go if they want a template design you know they can get by with about thirty five hundred dollars.
Howard: Very low cost
David: but if they want you know if they want to be branded as you know great cosmetic dentists you I can make you beautiful you know I can take care of your complex problems whatever and it's gonna be fairly aggressive in marketing you know the initial design and everything is probably gonna cost about twenty thousand.
Howard: Twenty thousand. So I want to be self I wouldn't be a selfish bastard back to my website, what did you would you do anything I mean do you think it needs improved or it's today's dental .com go to www.todayddental.com and like and share cuz that helps.
David: It could be made to look you know more modern.
Howard: So what would you do just so you think I should improve my website?
Howard: We'll do a case study on that go by today's dental and tell my office manager Dawn whos been with me 20 years or go left and go to dentaltown and tell Lori she's the president of the company and but if you were gonna write an article or do online CE course how could a website like mine be better?
David: Yeah well I'd have to I mean I didn't scour your website so I have to be looking at it directly tell you for sure but that was my general impression had a very nice tone to it but you know the design makes it could be nicer and more modern-looking.
Howard: and what was mine made on, word or word press was it WordPress?
David: I don't know I didn't check that.
Howard: Yeah I mean we just did our own custom.
Howard: Yeah WordPress
David: Anyway but it's interesting what you're saying about dentists and they're just you know they're interested in the clinical stuff that's what got me started in this business. What happened was I started my own website to market my own practice.
Howard: and what year was that?
David: That was 95
Howard: 95 and we started dentaltown
David: That was three years before google.
Howard: Oh you were 1995 and Google in 1998
Howard: and dentaltown was 1998 it's still the most proud thing I am I mean I beat Facebook I mean Facebook was 2004 weren't they?
David: Oh yeah
Howard: I mean when I saw the internet when saw the internet for the first time going back to 1998 when Google came out because it took one year to get up dentaltown that's how long it took the program they said there were five C's and it was some content commercials like banner ads connectivity to all your devices community and commerce and all the new dental websites they all went after commerce it was all you know and some of them got up to like twenty million dollars of venture capital like Dental Exchange and net three everybody who's gonna be the Amazon selling supplies but I was a selfish dentist III didn't want to sell you supplies I want to talk to you I wanted to post a picture and say David Hall what would you do and so when I saw that I found Kent Scott he's still my developer 20 years later nice again let's make a little dental town where I can post an x-ray and a photo of a tooth and asked someone else what's going on or let's say I perfect a root canal what would you do all I selfishly wanted to do was talk to another dentist. So I went the community when when twenty other companies many of them private equity venture capital upwards of twenty one dollars they all went bust because I just wanted to talk to another dentist. I thought that was the cool that that's what I wanted.
David: Yeah that's great but anyway so I started this website to market my practice
Howard: In 95
David: In 95
Howard: Talk about a pioneer
David: and I got it ranked like are you put in cosmetic dentist on Google anywhere in the country I'd come up on the first page.
Howard: Oh my god
David: and so I started I had this colleague that he worked around the corner for me in Cedar Rapids and she had moved to Chicago she'd remarried moved to Chicago I'm talking to her on the phone and Karen Blair and she says Dave you know what I'm just opening my practice here in Naperville you know what I need, I need a website why don't you do my website and it kind of caught me off guard and I didn't give her an answer right then but I called back the next week is it you know I think that'd be fun let me do that. I got her ranked number one for everything in Naperville, Naperville cosmetic dentists used and she'd been to LVI you know it was big cosmetic dentistry Naperville Invisalign Naperville white fillings hey that was that was fun there's 150 dentists and April I beat them all so I let the word out I'm accredited with the American Academy of cosmetic dentistry. So I let the word out to some of my friends around the country say hey if you need help with your website I can help you know Archelle was one of them came to me and I had three others
Howard: Right up the street in Phoenix, Phoenix?
David: Yeah Paradise Valley.
Howard: Oh he's in paradise not Phoenix
Howard: Was his practice in Phoenix?
David: Yeah North 32nd street
Howard: He got so rich he lives in Paradise Valley. Archelle I know you're retired I know you don't practice dentistry anymore but I want you to come on the show and tell all these young kids everything, you used to be the president of the AACD.
Howard: and Phoenix had another one the first woman president.
David: Yes so I get these dentists asking me for help with their websites and I'm thinking four of them and I think you know I gotta figure out what I'm gonna charge these people. So I call around to dental website companies and I just get this feeling like they don't understand the dentist you know they want me to take bigger part they're asking me how big a website I want I'm thinking hey you know if I'm a dentist I don't know the answer to these questions how big a website to are I don't know you tell me how big of a website I need. So that's what drove me into this I think they don't understand the dentist I know the dentistry I could just take over this website run it for them monitor it for them and you get back into the operatory and you do your composites and your veneers and your implants and whatever you want to do and I'll take care of your marketing for you and that's kind of the philosophy we started with, we just monitored for you we don't want you to have to worry about it.
Howard: and was when when did you start them infinity websites?
David: Well that said that was oh six when Karen Blair talked to me.
Howard: So your website is www.infinitydentalweb.com you have a low-cost template for 3,500
David: With custom content.
Howard: and then a high cost 20,000
David: Up to 20,000 yeah and beyond that there's other stuff that people can do
Howard: Like what?
David: Local search they can do with social media they can you know do paid advertising you know.
Howard: So you know if I type in phoenix dentist a million websites come out but how important it is it to be on the first page on iphone like on the first page of an iphone how many will it show if i put Ahwatukee dentists?
David: Yeah maybe about three.
Howard: Three so how important is it to be that three?
David: Well it's not as important as it used to be, we're finding that patients are getting more sophisticated you know back in the old days back when I did my website and when I got my first clients it was really big to be number one because it'd be number one people click on your website yeah I'm gonna go there now they're starting to look around you know what I'm gonna check several websites. So they're checking like three to five dentists out before they make an appointment so we're not stressing so much you need to be number one but you need to be that above the fold you know on the top three is it's perfect you know if not that in the top five so you're found they're they're checking reviews two-thirds of them are looking at your website and saying well yeah I want to make an appointment you know what let me check the reviews first we're getting data we have a way of collecting this data so we know who's checking reviews and who's not checking reviews and this is increased over the past four years four years ago was like 40% of them are checking reviews, now it's up to two-thirds check out the Facebook page let's see if I feel comfortable here so it's more important right branding.
Howard: I'm putting dentist near me and the first one that comes up to this Dr. David Ross I grew up in Kansas with you when we went to UMKC together we practiced cross street from each other for 30 years and he died two years ago.
David: and he's coming up?
Howard: and he's number one, a passed away dentist is number one. There's a lot of people in the press talking about like one of my favorite business gurus professor Scott Galloway teaches business in New York Stern School of Business Management NYU school Stern business management and he talks about the all the time about the abuses of Facebook Google and Amazon and there's horrendous deals but it he talks more and more that it used to be when we when the internet was new that when Google came out 95 that a search engine they were really trying to show you through Google's whole claim to fame was the backlink what that meant is there were many many search engines yeah before Google came out.
David: Yeah there were about 10 different ones.
Howard: and what were they?
David: AltaVista, Yahoo, Hotbot, oh gosh...
Howard: Alta Vista, Yahoo which turned down buying Google for 1 billion dollars and then like a couple years later they offered him I think what 5 billion and Google said no 9 and yahoo turned it down and now you all he's worth like almost a trillion dollars but what Yahoo did what Google did the just one simply stupid idea that they did is everybody was trying to index the internet and Google was indexing people who had a link to another website.
Howard: So if I my website see I had a homegrown website news about the the planet Mars but I had a link on there to the NASA or Jet Propulsion Laboratory or some other website they were just indexing the backlinks and the backlinks was kind of like the internet word-of-mouth referral and when Sergey Brin from Russia and Larry Page from Wisconsin started Google and they just and that was her deal that was the only deal they really never done anything in fact if you look at their profits their profits usually their profits are about a hundred and forty percent of what they show because they lose 40 percent of their profits on all these other moonshot ideas Google Maps, Google Google everything Google Scholar all these things I've never panned out they still have almost all their revenue just from search advertising on search but what I was getting at is back in the day the search was the best search by backlinks.
David: Yeah I remember that.
Howard: Now the best search I mean even if it's not a paid ad everything they're showing you has to do with money money is the answer what's the question with the Google search is that correct or not correct?
David: I'm not sure what your saying?
Howard: I mean you were saying well if you're out there buying Google Ads you'll you're gonna show up on search.
David: Oh yeah.
Howard: and if you're not buying you ADs you're not gonna be on page one is that a fair assessment or not really?
David: Oh no you're still best off getting a unpaid getting an organic ranking there in that top 3 or 5.
Howard: but in 95 to 2005 it was all organic rankings
Howard: but doesn't money really taint the google search algorithm today?
David: Oh yeah and they're driving we just recently had this medic update and it's just people are scratching their heads trying to figure it out.
Howard: Yeah I just put dentist near me I'm in 85044 over for in my home I'm three miles from my office we're in Ahwatukee which is Phoenix, Arizona and three of the first five web sites were in Chandler Arizona. I wanna talk about the ones that said ad I'm talking about non ad supported just dentist near me why would three of the five dental offices be in Chandler Arizona in the next city probably because in the past they bought Google Ads they bought Google search something is tainting it, it doesn't seem pure and organic anymore.
David: Yeah I don't know you know that could be you know we have we're still trying to figure out you know a lot of people are trying to figure out we're on webinars and consulting with other people to figure out the impact this medic update hit...
Howard: In medical or?
David: Yeah well what Google just did a major algorithm revision and it ended up getting called the medic update because it seemed to affect particularly websites that Google we regarded as particularly important that they deliver accurate information. So health-related websites you know legal advice and things what they call your money or your life websites have just really been hit and about 5% of our clients really got hit with this you know there may be on the in the top three we have a client is on top three Google you know that bumped down to page three you know by this update you know most of our clients are doing great but yeah I mean exactly what's at the bottom of that I don't know you know I've heard people say that you know we're in the business on the front lines of this Google, I don't think I don't think Google would do that I think they know what got them there and the trustworthiness of the search.
Howard: I love your innocence, I'm a cynical bastard I mean I think what's funny because when you and I were in dental school that the big fear was George Orwell that someday the government would be spying on you and having cameras and everything that book member 1984?
David: Oh yeah.
Howard: Everything they talked about the government didn't do and then the people voluntarily did it with Amazon's Alexa with Google Voice with Facebook I mean when you sign the terms and conditions and accept Facebook and Google and Alexa I mean when you said hey Alexa played this song alexis taping all your conversations. So everything George Orwell feared the government was gonna force on you all the people end up volunteering to do and when I look at this stuff I'm that facebook and Google and and you know and I I don't have any trust for those guys anymore.
David: Yeah I share your anxiety about that yeah because I think Google is way too big I like the government to go in and say but okay you got to split off YouTube the company is too big.
Howard: Do you think Facebook do you think Mark Zuckerberg will basically do anything for profit or do you think he has a moral compass?
David: Well yeah no no I think he's profit driven but there's a...
Howard: but profit driven I mean does he have any moral compass I mean be honest this is Dentistry uncensored does he?
David: Yeah yeah very little I'm sure he's had some but not a lot.
Howard: Give me one example of a moral compass and...
David: Yeah to get to that point they've got to be
Howard: Very aggressive.
David: Profit driven. You know so because all the people that weren't that profit driven their left in the dust.
Howard: Yeah so how many dentists clients do you have?
David: We've got about 65 right now
Howard: Nice and are they mostly in Arizona?
David: Oh no
Howard: Or all over the country?
David: No we've only got a couple in Arizona.
Howard: Yeah so give your pitch why should it why should it well first of all they're commuting to work, what should be the litmus test when that dentist gets to her office. What should be what should she get on her website and check to make her know if her website is fine or if it needs updated redone?
David: Well yeah, does it at work? I mean there's we have some clients that we've talked to about this you know and they've been our clients for a while and you know they're ranked say in the top five in Google. Well we just had a client recently in the Chicago area calls up and says hey you know I'm not getting the new patients that I used to you know.
Howard: What does that mean? 5 or ten a month, what does that mean?
David: Well it depends on the practice I mean we've got some practices that they need you know 150 new patients a month you know.
Howard: 150 new patients a month?
David: Well you know they got five dentists you know whatever and then we got somebody that's got a boutique practice it says you know no if I get five to ten quality new patients a month I'm good. So but this one dentist talked to us and said okay I'm ranked I'm ranked number one for cosmetic dentists in my locality I'm not getting the calls I used to be getting the calls, I said well that is a symptoms that's like I said you got a patient that walks in your door and they say my tooth hurts when I want to drink cold water it makes it feel better then you know exactly what's wrong with that tooth you know it's got a gangrenous pulp and it needs endo I said you tell me that I'm ranked high I used to be getting these patients now I'm not getting it your websites out of date guarantee you. So you got the rankings you've got the traffic people aren't calling your website out of date. So we look at the traffic that's the way to tell they're getting adequate traffic but they're not getting the conversions.
Howard: So do you have any, do you have a consultation with them, do you have any what if one of my homies wants to talk to you?
David: Well okay this is where I depart from some of the other like I said when I started I called around they say well how big a website do you want, no we hava diagnostic phone call I will be the one to talk to him our sales director will refer them to me and I'll spend maybe half hour on the phone, I'll say okay so how many new patients are you getting you know is that the amount you want how many more do you want are you getting the kinds of patients you want what are the procedures you really want to do are you seeing those. Okay do you like to see kids do you want to do smile makeovers do you want to place implants do you do the surgery do you like seeing TMJ pain people what's your policy on emergencies, will do this diagnostic thing tell me about your fee level is compared to others in your community you know and I'll chat with them and figure out their branding and then we'll do some research on their community and then we will send them the analysis and say okay you gave us this goal you said you're getting 10 new patients a month you want to increase that to 20 and you want a higher quality patient, you want people that want comprehensive care you want people that are gonna stay with you you want some families you know bringing their kids. Okay this is what you need to do to reach your goals and this is how much it's gonna cost and we will guarantee, we'll tell you what we predict your results will be and we will guarantee that we will hit that within a year if we don't we'll do extra work for you for no extra charge. You know to learn that and we were pretty much about 90% of the time we'll hit the mark.
Howard: You always talk about the three emotional marketing mistakes that every professional marketer makes when marketing dentistry what are those?
David: Well when is this trust they start bragging and those are the two issues if they brag that's an emotional marketing mistake you need to sound trustworthy. If they're too eager they say call today whatever you know we're the most wonderful office in Ahwatukee you know you've got to come to us and then the third one is just inaccurate branding.
Howard: What was that first was trust what was the second?
David: Well the first two are related to trust them to mistakes one is bragging and one is being too eager.
Howard: Okay bragging and being to eager.
David: and the third one is just inaccurate branding of the website for example I'm gonna make you beautiful I do and smile makeovers but I've got a cheap website. That's a more common mistake another mistake would be you have an expensive looking website and you're scaring people away because you're you're after a middle of demographic.
Howard: What I think is the funniest is that if I analyze just my alcoholic drinking dentist friends in just Ahwatukee and like this guy is like say like literally an implant legend I mean like place 10,000 implants you go to his website you wouldn't even know it and then another one of my friends is I think he's a diplomatic AACD. I mean he's a big-time cosmetic guru you go to his website it's a cut and paste his picture of them looks like a mug shot.
David: That's an emotional marketing mistake.
Howard: All my drinking buddy friends their website has zero reflection of who they are
Howard: I mean when I'm talking to this dentist I'm just thinking oh my god I just want to talk about implants and bone grafting when I'm talking to you I just want to talk about veneers and I mean and then I go to their website and all five of them would be the same the same monkey and that's why I've always told people that you know when they talk about they want to buy a CAD CAM or a laser all these hundred thousand dollars I would say get a digital camera and start photo documenting your legendary work and put it on your website, agree or disagree?
David: Yeah absolutely if somebody's looking for a smile makeover first page they're gonna go to is the smile gallery if you don't have a good smile gallery it's not gonna work and it's and you have to get out of this idea of you know dentist to dentist they'll put up a retractor view of a smile you know and people find that repulsive you know you got to get people that if I go to the website and I'm looking for a smile maker I can identify with those people you can get me that's another one of the subconscious principles that we talked about is get people to dream get them you visualize themselves receiving the care that you are giving them. Get them to visualize having this new smile and you do that by posting pictures of people that say you know that's a person that's like me I would really like to be like that person I would like to have that beautiful smile that that person has and people make a subconscious association also this is the power of association, between beautiful and expensive.
Howard: They do make that association.
David: If it doesn't look expensive you're not gonna convince them that you're gonna make them beautiful.
Howard: and you think that's neuro linguistic or do you think it's also economic because markets are very efficient I the best examples of market price segmentation to me is a blender at Target because they literally if you go to Target or Thursday they literally have 10 different blenders and they start at 10 bucks and they go all the way to 100 and what I love about a patient markets is that the $20 blender has features that 10 doesn't the 30 has features the 22 and it goes all the way up so when a $30,000 Ford Taurus has twice as many features as a $15,000 Ford Escort. So markets so I think consumers are so used to efficient markets yeah well if you charge $1,000 for a crown and I charge 500 I would think most Americans think well yours must be the Ford Taurus and mine must be the Ford Escort yours must be the blender the shreds and dices and does everything in mine just the on/off yeah do you think that's it or no yeah do you or do you think it's a neuro linguist?
David: Well no but that's I mean that is a subconscious Association that we make you know expensive well that's deeply ingrained in us, expensive is good expensive as superior quality but you know I mean yeah and what's out of very insults
Howard: and what's funny about that is when you go to Beverly Hills and Scottsdale I mean I have a hundred examples of this where some of the highest price Scottsdale, Beverly Hills dentist their work has doesn't stand up to the average dentist in Chandler and Glendale. I mean if I look at the the best cosmetic dentistry in Phoenix for 30 years I find it in Chandler Glendale Peoria and Phoenix and Tempe and when I see cases like oh my god what the hell happened it was the biggest marketer biggest advertiser biggest guy out of Scottsdale.
Howard: Do you agree with that or disagree?
Howard: It's like they built the million dollar Taj Mahal they're the best marketing they have the highest prices but they forgot the continuing education and the credentials and just be good and then you look at these humble guys in Phoenix and the suburbs of Chandler, Tempe, Glendale, Peoria who you you know whenever I go to a local AGD mean it's the same hundred dentists every time mm-hmm in a town that's got 3,800 dentists and those are not the showboats and they do the best work but you wouldn't know it.
David: It's interesting because you know with our clients with our marketing philosophy we sometimes get those you know Showboat type dentists that come and ask us for help they are not lasting long because with us because we end up you know they want to be so pushy on their website and we just resists and then finally we have the guy in another client in the Chicago area that just gave up on us because we were trying to tone him down and he just didn't want to be torn down but anyway this idea of the expensive is good this Van Praet has an interesting study that he refers to in his book where they had wine tasting and they had this wine it was like a ten dollar a bottle of wine yeah but they gave people different samples and they said okay it was the same wine that this is a five dollar wine this is a ten dollar wine this is a 25 dollar wine and this is a $90 wine it was the same wine and if they put the price tag of 90 dollars on it people said oh no that tastes the best I like that one.
Howard: What I can't quit I've done all those California wine tasting deals because I've lectured so many of those wineries and they you know I'm the attraction in the winery and all and what is so hilarious is by being a dentist I know that you have the most taste buds probably like birth to like 12 and by time you're our age it's like almost all your taste buds don't work anymore and that's why older people salt and pepper and Tabasco sauce and every commercial is always some white head guy it's like dude you know why your hair is white same reason your taste buds don't work. I mean if I was gonna listen to wine tasting experts it'd be a bunch of children or high school people saying oh yeah I really taste the cinnamon or the whatever the heck it is but I think it's just hilarious that they have all these dead people doing the wine tasting that you could probably put pigeon droppings in the wine and they wouldn't even be able to sense it. So yeah emotions is very very important in all the marketing stuff. So you talk you also talked a lot about how to close the sale in a treatment plan presentation I am when I stand behind dentist when I when I'm in their office I turn on the recorder they just sell sell sell sell they never close and then you leave the recorder on when you leave the room a hundred percent of the time they turn to the assistant or the hygienists and they start asking trust questions like do I really need four cavities, do I really need a root canal. So it's like the dentist didn't convey trust because as soon as he leaves the room they're asking in fact I would say the first four questions through your trust base well do you go here do you let him work on you do I really need three cavities do you bring your kids here did you know and so how do you and I always tell the dentist like look if I went to a proctologist and they said I you know you have colon cancer if he came to me and he said Howard you got it he got a thing we got to cut it out I mean I don't want to talk about it for an hour I don't want to see a bunch of pictures I don't want to scratch and smell test I'd rather him just come and say dude you have a polyp we need to take it out we need to put you to sleep cut it out you have any questions. I mean they get to the close but the dentists just sell and sell and you know and sound when they never close man every time you leave the room they turn to trust questions how do fix that?
Daiv: They activate the BS alarm. You know I read this thing but I forget what magazine it was not dentaltown but it was when these other magazines about you know marketing dentistry and is giving this big spiel about you know closing the sale and educating the patient and whatever, patients do not you know it like you said it's about trust my treatment plan presentation was very simple you know and I had a very high treatment plan acceptance rate in the 90s and I would just say you know Mrs. Smith you know you need three crowns there's suffered first molar the lower-left second molar and first molar and you need three crowns do you want to do okay you know and I don't know it's just something in my demeanor they just believe me you know but I think if I just pull up oh here's the intraoral camera you know looking here seeing there you can see these cracks bah-bah-bah you know. When I got an intraoral camera I never used it as a sales tool because I think that people get suspicious of that I used it as a diagnostic tool but I put it so that they could see it and I would be there with my hygienist and I'd say to my hygienist oh there's that crack you know I can see that on the intraoral camera I wouldn't say anything to the patient they can look up and they can see it but I think the mean and I started using that as either they're perceiving high-pressure sales you know and they're waiting to leave the room and they realized like you said they're gonna ask the hygienist do I really need this.
Howard: Yeah so how do you go from selling to close you just simply matter of fact you have a crack on your molar you need a crown did you want to do it I mean your that fasted.
David: That's all I did
Howard: Yeah and if they sense you're selling
David: Here's my treatment coordinator you know you can ask her any questions you want about the price for whatever or the scheduling or whatever and I'll leave it up to her but you know like I said when I was needy when I was thinking oh gosh you got to do this crown you know my I had a lower treatment plan acceptance rate you just got to disconnect yourself a little bit act professional and just you know expect people to trust you because but you've got to have a feeling. I think people have a radar that if you're faking it they can tell you they can tell and I think you just have to be sincere I think you have to look in your heart and say do I honestly have the best interests of my patients at heart.
Howard: So when people are talking about internet you know they always talk about SEO how do you increase SEO search engine optimization?
David: It's gotten a lot more complicated you know and there's a lot of urban legend going around well this you got to have a page that's somewhere between 250 and 500 words you know it's a lot of it's bologna. Google here's what I do when I'm doing search engine optimization, I'm thinking okay put yourself in the Google boardroom whatever and they're discussing their algorithm they are trying to deliver I mean from the very start of Google what they're trying to do is deliver the best results for the searcher.
Howard: I don't think their doing that anymore I think it's all money.
David: It might be money.
Howard: I mean I just put in dentist near me I'm on my Wifi they know where I'm at and it gave me the three of the top five choices worth that weren't didn't say AD we're in the next city over how does that happen but anyway there's 80 dentist.
David: They're trying to identify you know quality websites and whatever if the money is tainting it both well it's tainting it but still at the heart they're trying to you know deliver quality results maybe not for the very top but so our formula for SEO is just to develop a quality website that has a good user experience it has a low bounce rate believe it and generally we find out that there works.
Howard: I just want to say one thing about SEO whenever you're at a dental convention and some guy is telling you that he's humble we don't know but they're telling you how SEO works, dude Microsoft we pay you a billion dollars if you can tell them how Google works if Microsoft's Bing doesn't know oh but the guy at the Holiday Inn knows right I mean Yahoo another one you mentioned Yahoo I mean so what I try to do
David: That's a red flag that's a we teach our people if someone says I used to work for Google so I have the inside scoop on Google red flag yes.
Howard: Yeah so Yahoo and Microsoft would each pay 1 billion in unmarked bills to find out how Google's algorithm works they can't figure it out oh but the guys the holiday it knows but things I think your red flags like okay your alphabet owns Google YouTube all the Gmail so I look on dental websites they have an AOL email I don't think Google would like that I don't think they would like that. By the way when you when your name is doctor dentists at aol.com they already know you have diabetes and erectile dysfunction and probably don't trust you. I mean it once a dentist sends me an email to AOL I'm 56 I know there are at least 10 years older than me in fact the only person that sends me an AOL email nowadays is grandma. So I don't think they like you know so get a gmail account on my website I have two YouTube accounts because alphabet owns Google and YouTube and every study I seen on the market half the American market is afraid of the cost and 1/2 is afraid of the pain so I have a one-minute video from me are you afraid of the dentist and then I have a one-minute video for my office manager 20 years Dawn are you afraid of the cost and so but I think Google would probably reward someone who has a gmail address a couple of YouTube videos and and so but again nobody knows and if they say they know you better be talking in sarge a brand or Larry Page because the guy's holiday and doesn't know more than Microsoft is that fair?
David: That is very fair.
Howard: and last question because we went over, do you still believe I mean all the research I've seen is that 9 out of 10 appointments are made by women do you true or false?
David: Yeah they make their own appointments they make more appointments than the men do and then they make the appointments for the men.
Howard: So when I look at anthropology sociology research I mean every time a male human whether it's sapien, gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutan, things given the great apes or the monkeys, every time a man talks to another ape or monkey a woman talks to five. University of Chicago which has the most Nobel Prize in Economics showed that men speak about 1,300 words a day or less women are north of 7,000 they make 90% of all appointments and that's the underpinnings of why they're so into social online reviews. I mean I would never if I was gonna go to an Italian restaurant I would just look at the like like I was at mandolin Bay when we're looking for a restaurant me and my dentist drinking buddies from Ahwatukee we would just go the menu and look at it and then we walk across all look at another man we'd look at like three menus to decide where we're gonna none of us even had a thought of going online and looking for review but women and do you agree that women are more likely to make the appointment and more likely to look at online reviews and do you think that social confirmation of online reviews is very important?
David: Oh yeah 2/3
David: 2/3 of them we have an ongoing sampling of people making appointments with our clients and this percentage of people checking reviews has increased over the past four years from 40 percent to about two thirds yeah and so yeah yeah if you have bad reviews it's gonna kill your conversions.
Howard: This weekend every time I was talking to a dentist I'd say what's your name and you'd say oh I'm David Hall so I go to his website and then when I was talking to my goes is issues yeah that's me I'm in LA or you know God the dentists this weekend they were from Korea, Israel, Russia, Germany, and I go to their website and I'd say okay how many reviews do you have and they'd have like four and they would have 4 yeah you're a man you don't even know you don't even can I say yeah four reviews you went to first and then I'd read the first one and it was always some horrible up night he's like really I'm like dude every woman in your town is on her iPhone googling your website and the first thing she reads is this and that review was posted like two years ago why haven't you had a review in two years, does your mom hate you do your sisters hate you can't find anybody to go on your site and so how do you manage online reviews well?
David: You know this is where I differ from some other people in this marketing business because there are all these softwares where they'll you know send in text or an email encouraging reviews, I'm skeptical of that because I think you know there's review companies Yelp and Google. I think there's gonna come a time when when they're gonna try to figure out how to discount any of those reviews that are generated by these software.
Howard: Oh they know, google knows everything.
David: So I just I think the best way to get reviews is just simply ask.
David: We have a little sign that we found effective there we'll give our clients and it'll it's just it says people love us on and it'll say Facebook Google Yelp and they'll just have this little TO sign on their counter and what that does is it suggests to people hey we like reviews you know we have a good reviews if you wouldn't mind reviewing us we'd appreciate that. So my advice my clans if I were in practice right now I would be asking people just asking them personally.
Howard: They never do.
David: In the appointment you ask would you mind leaving us a review but if you're lacking that and if you're having a hard time doing that then get one of these softwares you know demandforce, smile reminder, whatever and generate an email review and afterwords ask them for a review.
Howard: Google is the smartest company in the world because like on Facebook you post like a picture of like you're you know here's me my wife having a candlelight dinner and then on Google you're like what are the five symptoms that you know you're gonna get a divorce or your wife's cheating on you you search things on Google that you wouldn't tell your mom or your spouse on Amazon you're like give me the best price on paper towels. Google is the truth serum what you post on Facebook and what you tell your mom is an eminence front by the who it's it's a put-on and Google they know everything about you and I believe Google knows about those reviews being set up. What I like to do on my interviews is I just tell my staff it's it's when they walk into a sliding glass door you know the deal with the sliding glass doors window so clean someone walks right into it whenever you hear something that you wish was on like oh my god it's gorgeous so that's when you prompt it oh my god I wish I was reading that on a Google review would you please say that on Google with your staff as opposed to I get down in the ground say Mr. Hall thank you for being patient say would you please go to Google and write us a five-star review I I don't feel comfortable doing that and he might be sitting here thinking I don't think that crown matches I thought they shot hurt I thought you were a jerk I thought your receptionist was rude I don't want to ask someone because I've been asked several times to place review by somebody. Just like when I was in Vegas they and when I go to the dinner when we went to restaurant and we the last one went it was a buffet and we decide to go to buffet and they put in there and they said to get your ticket you to tip first and the three choices were 18% 19% or 20% or none I'm 56 I've still never seen visually anybody look at a yelp review. I've never been in a situation where one of my dentist her friends or family so well let's go to Yelp and look at a review it's only been Google and it's only been girls and it's only been Google and they'll say oh yeah it's got five stars and being being a business owner I'm like what are you looking at it's always Google. I've never physically seen someone ever in my life one time use Yelp furthermore on dentaltown but now if you do a search for Yelp on downtown there's a quarter million dentists on dentaltown they posted six million times you do a search for Yelp every thread is a bitching session about Yelp and there are no threads like that about Google reviews. Why do you agree or disagree?
David: Oh yeah
Howard: So why does
David: I would refer you to my blog post the Yelp is a four-letter word.
Howard: Well if you write a blog dentaltown has the blog and when you put that blog then it could be exposed to a quarter million dentists but send me the link to your blog and then I'll share that...
David: I'll write some stuff for you.
Howard: to my Facebook and Twitter and Google and all that stuff and yeah
David: but it's basically the problem with yelp is...
Howard: when you leave you should go to dentaltown and meet the dentaltown team, meet the editor Sam I I would love to get your your blogs in there. I'm a big fan of yours I asked you to come on the show you didn't ask me right?
David: Yeah you were go through LinkedIn through...
Howard: Yeah I'm a big fan of yours.
David: Requests for information I thought that you want to be a client and then no he wants me to do a podcast.
Howard: Yeah I'm a big fan, his customers are raving fans and I had about I don't know three or four different dentists told me I should get you on the show and I know that so I went all out trying to get you and I got you through what are your staff.
David: Yeah Sarah.
Howard: Yeah Sarah, I couldn't get him so I convinced one of the staff members to get his butt to drive over to Phoenix but people in Mesa are whooty tooty they don't like to drive over to Phoenix like to drive down the 60.
David: No that was a nice Drive, little side streets that defined your house.
Howard: Well when you leave you can go to 48th and elliot you to know you can turn right go to Today's Dental and tell my office manager anything you want to do our website or you could at 40th and elliot turn left go to dentaltown and here I'll them
David: Yeah give me the names and I'll come in and act like...
Howard: but hey thank you so much for all that you've done for dentistry thank you so much for coming on the show today and talk to my homies it's been a real pleasure.
David: You bet thanks Howard, enjoyed it.