Clicking “Customize Portals” will show you a full list of all your IDA web portals. If you see a warning sign, that means that one or more of your portals have not been published to the internet.
The “Domain” column lists the web URL for each portal. If the site has been published, you’ll see its domain name. If it hasn’t been published yet, you’ll see the portal’s temporary URL.
The “Publish” button on the “Customize Portals” page makes a portal go live on the internet.
Before you publish, the website is hosted privately by IDA. You can view your entire site by clicking that temporary URL and review any changes you make. If you look at the URL in your web browser, you’ll see that it’s hosted on IDAwebsites.com. At this point, you can review your website, but it’s not public on the internet yet. That means that patients and search engines can’t find it.
You can make changes to your web portal at any time, but you’ll want to make the most important decisions before you publish your website.
The absolute most important things to decide are how you want to target this web portal. First, what dental market are you targeting? Second, what’s your primary city? These two pieces of information are absolutely critical for search engine optimization.
Enter your primary city on the “Geographic Markets” page. On the “Dental Markets” page, decide what kind of new patients you want to get from this portal: family dentistry, cosmetics, implants, sedation, braces, et cetera.
Once you’re satisfied with how you’re targeting your portal and ready to go live, it’s time to push the “Publish” button. It may take a minute to process, as there’s a lot going on behind the scenes!
First, IDA’s system automatically generates a domain name for your website. The system searches for the best available web address. This URL will be search engine optimized by including your dental market and geographic location.
When you publish a web portal, IDA automatically assigns it a search engine optimized domain name that will maximize the portal’s placement at the top of the search engine listings for your geographic market and areas of specialty. We handle the entire registration process, pay the initial domain name registration fee, and manage renewal – you don’t have to worry about any of it. The URLs for your portals are selected automatically, and they cannot be changed.
Next, the system sets up your brand-new web portal at that domain name and automatically notifies the search engines.
You should know that you don’t need to use your portal’s auto-generated URL as your dental practice’s primary web address! As part of your complete IDA marketing campaign, you can choose your own marketing domain name, or use a URL you already own. Many doctors choose URLs like DrBobSmiles, SmithDDS, or OakTreeDentistry. You can set this URL to automatically redirect to any one of your web portals. You can use your marketing domain name on your communications and collateral, send patients there, even set up e-mail accounts.
Under “My Account,” click “Terms of Service” for full details on IDA’s internet domain name policy. Should you leave IDA, IDA will keep ownership of all Search Engine Optimized Domain Names auto-generated by IDA. You will be able to keep your marketing domain name if you would like to maintain control of the URL you selected.
The Control Panel will let you know when your website has been completely published. Once you’ve published the site, it is totally live on the internet. It’s being indexed by Google and Yahoo right now. When patients search online, your site will now be included in the results.
After you’ve published your portal, you can continue to make changes. Add promotions, home page features, photos, and whatever else you’d like. Change your design as often as you want.
But take care when it comes to your primary dental market! Your entire portal – and its URL – are designed to target a single dental market. Changing a portal’s market focus after you’ve published it can have serious negative consequences for your internet dental marketing. The portal will lose search engine positioning, and its permanent marketing URL may no longer match its market focus.
Let’s say, for example, that you want to start targeting dental implant patients. You don’t want to just take your portal targeted at braces patients and change it to focus on implants instead… you would lose braces patients, and not get as many implant patients as you could.
Instead, you should add a new portal that targets implant patients. You can add another portal at any time just by clicking the “Add New Portal” button on the “Customize Portals” page.