Getting to know you: Dr. Monica Urda

Dr. Monica Urda, a general dentist in Chicago, poses with her dog, Brad, at Starved Rock State Park.

Dr. Monica Urda, a general dentist in Chicago, poses with her dog, Brad, at Starved Rock State Park.

Why dentistry?

I fell into dentistry by accident. I was a sophomore in college majoring in biology working in a biochemistry lab. I randomly landed a job working for an oral surgeon. I loved it. I always thought dentistry seemed dull. However, it proved to be the perfect combination of my passion for people and the sciences.

Why are you an ADA member?

The ADA is fundamental component of our profession. With the Internet, patients have access to so much information — some correct, some incorrect. The ADA is the only voice that can cut through the noise. It’s a trusted source for most patients and providers, and it helps keep our profession a trusted one.

What was your first job? 

I was a “deck and slide attendant” at the local pool. It was extraordinarily boring. There was a toddler slide that was isolated on three sides by a tall fake rock wall.  Unfortunately, once sequestered to the usually quiet and serene toddler slide, I would doze off. I would often awake to a small, wet, cold hand shaking my arm to see if they could go down the slide.

What has been the best time of your career so far?

Right now! My office has been open for a little over a year. I am honestly in disbelief how fast it has grown and continues to grow. We work Monday-Saturday, and one Sunday a month. It may seem like a lot of hours, but it’s amazing to be able to work in and on your dream every day. I no longer take naps on the job.

When I’m not practicing, I’m:  

I am out and about exploring the city that I love! My little five-pound dog, Brad, loves to walk miles and miles all over the city.  There is so much to do in Chicago that I tend to do something different almost every week.

One fun fact about me:  

I am proficient in both the Dab and the Nae Nae.

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Eight Ways to Acquire New Patients for Your Dental Practice

No matter how successful your dental practice may be, the need to acquire new patients is essential and should never be overlooked or forgotten. Here are eight tips for acquiring new patients for your dental practice.

1. Win through your Website
Your website is your main online presence, the face you show to the digital world. If you don’t yet have a website, creating one should be your number one priority. If you do have a site, ensure it’s easy to use. Make sure the layout is clean and potential patients can easily find what they are looking for.

You might even consider getting in touch with a web design and development agency that can help you run A/B tests on your site in order to make alterations that can lead to higher conversion. This scientific approach involves making seemingly small changes to your site, for example, changing the color of a ‘free consultation’ button from red to green, to see which variation receives a higher click-through-rate. Your website should include key dental pages that focus on the procedures and care you offer, as well as your staff and locations.

2. Focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
What use is a website if no one can find you? You can make changes to your site that may impact your SEO – ie, help you rank higher on a search engine results page, such as Google. Some easy changes you can make include:

-Compressing very large images to increase page load speed
-Regularly producing new, unique content to add to your site
-Including alt text on your images

Focusing on local SEO can also be hugely beneficial to dental practices targeting a particular area. For example, if you are based in Chicago, think about creating a web page specifically on your Chicago services. This will help people searching for ‘dental practices in Chicago’ find you. This can be a great tactic for practices based in smaller suburbs and towns.

3. Value Reviews and Testimonials
Patient reviews and testimonials are a great way to build trust between your practice and a potential patient. With the internet, potential patients can easily find out what other patients are saying about your work.

Always encourage patients to write honest reviews on Yelp and Google. If you’re afraid they’ll forget, there’s no harm in following up with a reminder email a few days later. Placing patient reviews on the website is important! A testimonial page with written and visual testimonials provides an opportunity for prospective patients to connect with your current patients. It is also imperative to interact and respond to patients testimonials! Whether you say thank you or answer a question, responding to testimonials in a timely manner will bring more positive feedback and improve patient relations.

4. Always Provide Great Service
There’s no better way to promote your own brand than through providing great service and creating a warm, welcoming environment. Great customer service, kindness, and efficiency never go out of fashion when it comes to serving patients and encouraging them to pass on a good word about your practice. To encourage valuable word of mouth promotion, you could even set up a referral program.

5. Write Blog Posts, Articles, and White Papers
Creating a blog or writing articles and white papers can help you meet the need to continuously produce fresh, new online content. Writing blog posts that discuss the various services you provide, answering generic dental questions, and introducing patients to your staff and location will positively affect your SEO.

Linking your blog to other websites that support your blog topics and can provide additional information increases your outbound links and makes your site a scalable resource. Blog posts are relatively easy to produce on a regular basis, with a goal of 400+ words for SEO value. Articles and white papers should be longer and will require more time, but can help you establish your presence as an industry leader and a professional organization that others look to for guidance.

6. Use Captivating Imagery and Videography
They say that a picture paints a thousand words, so investing in great professional photography is a must for anyone looking to market their dental practice or dental implants clinic. The use of video online is also on the rise. Video testimonials should be a consideration for many in the dental field.

7. Share Your News
Celebrate your successes and share them with your community via press releases and news stories on your site. Your dental press releases can range in topics from a new dentist joining your team, to a new location opening, even an anniversary for your clinic, so don’t hesitate and be creative! Local news outlets in particular are often keen to share stories about local businesses.

8. Connect via Social Media
Ensure you have a social media presence. Most of your patients are likely to scroll through Facebook and Twitter on a regular basis. Just seeing an update from you may help them feel connected to your organization and remind them of your team. If you’ve got a news story to share, as above, share it on social too. Promote blog posts on social, feature dental facts, celebrate new employees, and share real content that will help patients connect with your team.

Social media is another great place to share your images and videos. Use one or the other with every Facebook post you make. It is imperative to have an active presence on social media. Posting two times a day can increase the number of followers you have as well as bring more activity to your website.

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The Single Fastest Way To Grow Your Dental Practice

In a world of so much noise and information overload you are probably looking for an edge to grow your practice every year. Owning a dental practice requires you to be on the lookout for new ways to grow. DSOs seem to be popping up everywhere, the costs of doing business are rising, dental insurance carriers are constantly changing the rules for your patients, mid-level providers are now apparently making dentistry look like a commodity. All of this can make you crazy and send you into a downward spiral thinking, “Where do I start?”

The post The Single Fastest Way To Grow Your Dental Practice appeared first on ACTdental.

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Filling Holes in Your Schedule

Ever struggled with keeping the schedule full? “No Kirk, we NEVER have open time. We can never fit in  all the  patients beating down our door to scnedule major restorative work. We can’t shoo them away fast enough!” Ok…that would be a truly awesome problem!  But I’m guessing  like most practices, you’ve wrestled with the […]

The post Filling Holes in Your Schedule appeared first on ACTdental.

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The one thing you need to know about CE online

ThinkstockPhotos-589429506As the summer of 2017 zips by, you’re thinking about enjoying the sun, visiting the pool, hosting barbecues and … planning your CE?

Surprisingly, the summer is the ideal time to see if you’ve taken the CE courses you need. At this time of year, your schedule is (perhaps) a bit more relaxed, and you have a chance to reflect and plan before the end of the year crunch time. So check what courses you’ve completed and what you need to complete. Then make a plan to take the courses you need before the end of the year. It will be harder to do when licensure deadlines are looming and your office is filled with patients who need to use their dental benefits before Dec. 31.

Once you know what you need, search the ADA’s extensive list of CE Online courses at adaceonline.org. All of them are 50 percent off through the end of August (just enter promo code HALFOFF when you check out). You can even purchase the courses now and take them any time before the end of the year.

Some of the most popular courses include:

Take CE planning off your plate now, and free yourself up to focus on your patients for the rest of the year.

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