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Dental Practices: Making your Marketing Matter

Creating a solid digital marketing strategy can be a daunting task for most dental practitioners. Yet, the success of your practice can depend on it. The great news is that there are many tactics you can implement to up your game. These strategies can allow you to “test the waters” and provide a glimpse of expected ROI without investing too much time or money upfront. All they require is a will to learn and a solid understanding of your practice. With dedication and a plan for the future, these strategies can help you fill your waiting room and increase your revenue.

Updating your Dental Practice’s Website

Updating your website is one of the most important things you can do to improve your digital marketing strategy because any additional strategy you employ will lead back to your website. If you want to draw patients in with pay-per-click ads, organic search listings or any other tactic, give them a website that can impress them and set the right expectation. Start with a great search engine optimization (SEO) plan to ensure that patients who are searching for your specialty can find you. Also, take a look at the analytics of your website and learn what they mean. Is there a way you can improve the look or navigation of your website to make it easier to browse? Websites leave lasting impressions and a few updates can greatly impact the amount of people who see it, and those who choose to receive care from you.

Consider Adding a Blog

Adding a blog to your website can greatly help your organic search rank by directly contributing to your SEO. These are also wonderful additions to any website because it gives you a place to voice your views and expertise on the field of dentistry, inform and educate visitors about common procedures that your practice provides, and it also provides a space where you can discuss local events and goings-on to connect with your community. Blogs help you add important local keywords to your practice, and are easy to setup and use.

Paid Search

A common and effective strategy for growing your digital presence, increasing page views, and converting those views into actual patients is paid search. You’ve likely heard of paid search before, in fact you may be participating in some form of it right now. The easy explanation of this tactic is that you pay a search engine to display your ad in the sponsored section of their page. When searchers are looking for something relevant to your ad, it will display and when it is clicked you pay the search engine. If deployed correctly, this strategy can be one of the most cost effective ads you place. Before you go throwing money at Google Adwords however, it is important to understand how your ad will rank depending on its quality score, and the amount you are able to bid. Take some time to research how to create an effective ad, and see how paid search can help you grow your practice’s reach online.

Local Search

This may be one of the most important strategies a private dental practice can implement because you will be able to see an immediate effect in your neighborhood – which is exactly where you wish to make an impact. There are a few ways you can beef up your local presence online. The first is making sure that your website is locally optimized. You can do this by making sure you list your location multiple times on your website, not just on the contact page. Pro Tip: Include a NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) in the HTML text of the header and/or footer of every website page. You can also make sure that all your social media activity (Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, Google+ etc.) reflects where you are. You can also look to build citations in directories with companies like Yext or My Business Listing Manager. These types of sites ensure that your location information is listed in digital directories across the web enabling your patients to find you with ease.

Social Media and Reviews

In the past, word-of-mouth was the most important thing going for a dental practice. This still holds true today except it has grown exponentially. A great way to promote your practice and draw in new patients is to get great reviews. A Local Consumer Review Survey found that 52 percent of consumers say that positive reviews drive their decision to patron a business. Further, 76 percent of consumers regularly use online reviews to decide which business to go to. This is great news for private dental practices because it is in your power to create happy and satisfied patients. You can then ask these patients to contribute a review to your Facebook, or other review sites. Happy patients love to write reviews about their great experiences, so be active on your social media channels and encourage the interaction. You can also create a dedicated spot on your own website to house reviews. This will make it easy for your patients to interact with your website, and will also provide potential patients with a place to learn more about your practice from other patients they trust.

If you are looking for ways to attract more patients to your dental practice there are many things you can do. Digital marketing enables you to test out many different strategies and see which one best meets your needs and complies with your budget. While all of these strategies are easy to use once implemented, it is important to mention that they will all take a fair amount of understanding and dedication to implement successfully. By learning what you need most out of your marketing strategy you can best choose the path to take, and make sure that you do your best to attract the patients you desire.