Marketing Essentials for Dentists
Marketing principals are the same regardless of field, right? Well, when speaking of dental marketing there are considerations beyond those involved in regular medical marketing. This is in part because of the sheer number of dentists available in any given area. Dental and medical marketing ideas must draw on the ways that the individual practitioner and their practice stand out from the competition. Many dentists view their work as a service they provide out of their love for the craft. Remembering your dental practice is a business can inspire you to stay on top of your online game to ensure your business thrives.
Update your website
If your website was built using Flash or still incorporates blinking banners to capture attention, you are either missing a significant number of clients (since Flash is incompatible with iOS) or driving them away. It may seem superficial, but when your dental website design looks out of date, visitors will wonder if you are keeping up with current best practices in patient care. Make sure you update images to reflect current staff and facilities. Usability issues will also betray your website’s age. People may not know what to look for to determine how user-friendly a site is, but they certainly know when one is not performing as it should. Websites with outdated code upload slowly, which tends to cause a higher bounce rate.
SEO and Algorithm Changes
Start off with a rock-solid content marketing strategy that includes adding high-quality content that is relevant to visitors. Once the content is ready, put Google to work by analyzing buyer intent phrases and creating the links to these longer phrases. People use the internet differently now, especially when using the voice option on their smartphones. Google has adapted to meet the needs of users. A buyer intent phrase may look like, “female pediatric dentist Winchester.” Since people type in specific phrases while looking for dentists, they expect the best answers to show up after they hit enter. If your website does not land on the first page of a local Google search, most people will never find you. Building these links is essential to your dental website design. Once they find you, superior content that provides them with clear solutions leads visitors to take action.
Ditch the Cookie Cutter Content
Superior content seems to answer questions patients didn’t know they had. It is unique in its presentation, yet gives visitors the information they are looking for when they perform a search. Google’s algorithm does not give you credit for the amount of available content on your website if the content is clearly canned content purchased from content mills. Bots crawl your site and either reward you with higher search rankings for unique content, or they penalize you for duplicate content. Current algorithms have a way of knowing if your content is satisfying visitors. If your website provides worthy content, it will shine above the competition in your local area.
Accept the Need For an Online Presence
Ten years ago, you could still kind of get away with not having a website. Technology advances, and the way people use technology today mean you must have an online presence to compete. In fact, dental and medical website design is expected to be responsive, so it is accessible on smaller mobile devices like smartphones. Prospective patients often do their searches on the go. They want quick results that are easy to pull up and browse. If your name pops up in a search but only provides a phone number and address, today’s tech-savvy user will choose the listing with a website or social media link that provides them with immediate results.
Harness the Power of Social Media
So, now you have a great website, what’s next? Harness the power of social media. People connect through various social media platforms, so it is important to tap into this viable resource. Think of social media as the “word of mouth” advertising from yesteryear. Facebook and Twitter give satisfied patients a way to “like” and share your brand with others in their network. Make sure your social media pages provide enough juicy tidbits of relevant content so that people will return for more.
Google+ takes it a step further by providing patients a place to leave reviews without the need to create an account or login like at popular review sites. Positive reviews are essential to building up your online reputation. Social media sites tend to make you visible and put you on the map, but they are not necessarily huge lead-generators. Referral programs add the human factor to an online presence.
Let Happy Patients Work for You With a Referral Program
Not only should it be expected that dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants perform at the top of their game at all times, but all members of your team provide vital services. A successful practice works as a team to build the practice up from the inside out. Practices who adopt referral programs grow faster than competitors who rely on things like direct mail marketing or print ads.
Referrals are mini-endorsements given for free by happy patients. Think of the number of leads that could be generated as patients refer you to their friends and social media contacts. It’s not a bad idea to offer incentives to patients who are willing to write online reviews. Talk to your current patients to see what would entice them to participate. Choose a program and give it time to grow before making changes.
Nurture Your Leads
Dental and medical marketing ideas should generate leads that ultimately result in conversions. Not all leads are ready to click that call to action button to schedule an appointment yet. First-time visitors may be those potential leads who are just becoming aware of the fact they need dental care. Use analytics to determine how visitors are using content and exploring your website. Do you give visitors enough valuable content for them to return for more as they consider which dental provider to choose? Nurture leads by providing answers to their unasked questions and establishing yourself as a credible authority. Building trust in your expertise can help convert your leads into patients.
Put an Email Drip Campaign in Place
Dental marketing campaigns should still include older-school tactics like email drip campaigns. Sending emails is cost-effective and makes patients feel important. It is not necessary for all of the emails to include a sales-pitch to be effective. Yes, free offers and discounted services can bring in some people who were reluctant to take the step without added motivation. Birthdays and holidays give you an opportunity to reach out in a positive manner, and it reminds them you are there when needed.
Optimized360 offers dental and medical website design services that work beautifully with top-notch dental marketing strategies which lead visitors from the first Google search through your doors as happy patients.