If you’re buying a dental practice, you may have questions about its value where the marketing is concerned. You want to be sure that you get as much value as you can from the purchase, and that value should extend into its marketing. If you mishandle the marketing transition, you could experience a huge dip in production almost immediately after the close of the sale.
Cautionary Tales of Practice Sales and Marketing Gone Wrong
Buying a dental practice is stressful. Your gut tells you that you need to jump into the dentistry and practice management changes that are obvious responsibilities. Sometimes the marketing takes a back seat. It’s not fair that you, the dentist, are asked to handle the most complex of all marketing tasks: a brand transition.
We have helped many dentists navigate these challenges, but sometimes, we are called in after the fact and find an unsettling scenario. After the close of the sale, the old marketing vendor is given notice that they are no longer needed- seen as an added expense. The brand name for the practice changed, and the website is either offline or sent to the equivalent of a “coming soon” sign because the existing website promotes the old doctor and practice name. The result is a crash in online visibility.
When marketing is not factored into the purchase of a dental office, new patient flow comes to a screeching halt. Often, the new doctor assumes that it’s because the old doctor was so well respected and that it will take time to achieve the same name recognition. They fail to realize the new doctor’s name is not the problem, nor was the old doctor’s name recognition the source of success. The old marketing had momentum online and it was summarily scrapped when the practice ownership changed hands. That caused the crash in new patient flow.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We have helped many dentists identify the valuable parts of online marketing, how to safely transition those to the new owner, and how to modify them in light of a change in the practice name.
Marketing: Whose Domain Is It?
When you are evaluating a practice that is for sale be sure you are buying the rights to the following marketing assets:
- the existing practice name
- the logo for the practice name
- the website
- the photography generated by the practice
- the domain name
- all online profiles that were created for the practiceーincluding the usernames and passwords for those profiles
Even if you hate the practice name, or if it’s the old doctor’s name, you need the right to use it during the transition. Whether the website is gorgeous or hideous, whether the domain name is generic or branded, you need the rights to both of them so that you can manage the transition from the old to the new. If you are unable to use either the website or the domain name from the practice, you’ll lose traction with Google.
If you don’t have ownership of the domain name from the old practice, you will be forced to launch a new website with zero momentum behind it. This means that online visibility will be slow to come and more expensive to achieve. You should weigh this into the evaluation of the practice if at all possible.
You shouldn’t have to deal with this on your own. Call us and we can help you evaluate the current practice domain, the website design, content, and programming, and put together a list of things that you need to know if you move forward with the purchase of the office. Schedule a consult today.
Success Following the Purchase of Your New Office
We have helped many dentists navigate the purchase of a new office. We help them preserve the momentum of the online marketing with some key decision making and technical execution. We helped one doctor who purchased a dental office in a rural area. They were weighing whether or not to keep the practice name or to use a new name. We evaluated the domain name and talked with the doctor about what was important to him. After careful consideration, they decided to keep the practice name but redesign the logo to fit the feel of the brand they wanted to pivot to, compromising in the interest of continuity. The results were phenomenal.
The above graph from Google Analytics shows the dramatic increase in traffic that the website experience after we took over. We launched a new website, carefully preserving the domain name and website structure. Where pages changed, we helped Google understand what happened through coding and communications with Google’s webmaster interface. The new website had improved content and SEO that was able to pick up where the old practice’s momentum left off. A year later, the practice saw consistent placement on searches where they were previously winning at the time of the sale. This means that they did not lose any footing with Google.
They are also thrilled to have achieved added visibility with higher rankings on some of these searches and in keyword searches where the practice had previously been absent. None of this would have been possible if the marketing had been completely reset.
Your Story May Be Different
Every dental practice transition has its quirks. You need help in identifying what could be a deal-breaker versus a challenge that could have an acceptable workaround. With any practice transition, the online marketing will require updates and the changes can cause a temporary change in online visibility. The long term impacts of those changes are what you have to manage. Mitigate the dangers and capitalize on the opportunities by contacting us today for a consultation.
We’ve been working with dentists for more than a decade and can help you maximize the value you get from your new dental practice and feel confident in your marketing plan. Schedule a consultation today or call us now at (970) 672-1212.