A steady stream of new patients is the holy grail of most dental office’s success metrics. After all, more patients are good for business not only because you can serve more people, but also because that’s more people who can tell others about their experience with your practice.
But getting more business isn’t as easy as it sounds. Because while dentists offer a service that everyone needs, the competition out there is fierce. Whatever you’re doing, it’s likely that your competition is also doing it. The only solution is to team up with a dental marketing agency that can help you do whatever the competition is doing, but better.
Getting more patients starts with some fundamental online marketing techniques that are proven to get results.
Create a High-Quality Website
This first step to any online marketing for your dental practice is to create the best dental website possible. You want this website to serve as your online director of first impressions. The appearance of your website plays a large role in how people perceive your business. A website that is clunky and hard to navigate is one that will likely turn people away from you and toward the competition.
One of the best ways to achieve a website that works for nearly everyone visiting your website is to make sure it is a responsive website. Responsive websites look good and function well regardless of the device they are being visited from.
This means that whether a visitors is on a phone, tablet, or desktop, your website will look good and function as it needs to. Photos will align and size properly, buttons will be easy to click, and your website will do its job to get people to call the office or schedule an appointment online.
Create a Social Media Following
Whether your average patient is 20 or 50, your patients are on social media. And they want to see their dentist on there if you provide useful information to them. This means that not everything is promotional and that your social channels are used as a way to communicate transparently with your audience.
Show them your office’s unique personality. Post photos of team celebrations and shenanigans that might happen behind the scenes.
One of the most useful things about social media is the ability to post reviews. Every review posted on Google and Facebook is public. This means that your patients’ friends will see their reviews of your office. Good reviews act as an endorsement of your practice and leverage the power of peer influence to drive people to your website. Eventually, these people will organically become patients. This is an effective long-term solution. Read this article about reputation management to learn more.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Speaking of long-term solutions, search engine optimization is one of the most effective options for those seeking an online marketing strategy that truly makes a difference. This is the practice of creating quality content on your website that answers questions people are seeking answers to.
The better you answer these questions, the more likely you are to rank within the top five results on search engines like Google and Bing. Studies have shown that majority of click throughs on search engine results pages occur on the top five results. After that, you might as well be invisible. This is why it is crucial that your content be well written and appeal to your target audience.
Dental SEO campaigns can take several months before they start to see results, particularly in areas that are highly saturated. But that’s why coupling SEO with additional efforts like implementing a review acquisition strategy, is the best way to see results from your efforts (reviews are indexed and can help rank and get your name out there).
Additionally, including content on your website that people find useful and keeps them on the site is another way to see results. This is because Google and Bing look at website engagement as a part of their algorithms. They assume that the more time people spend on your site the more relevant it is to the topic. Read this article to learn about dental SEO.
PPC – Pay-Per-Click Advertising
PPC can help dental practices attract new patients almost instantly. It works similarly to SEO in that you target certain keywords, however, that’s where the similarities end. With dental PPC advertising you bid on certain keywords that you want your landing pages to show up in search results for. This is a great way to rank in the paid section of websites like Google and Bing, while you wait for your SEO to take effect.
Additionally, PPC makes it possible to rank for keywords that you might have been unable to rank for. The most common example of this is bidding for your competitor’s name. So if someone types in the name of your competitor, your ad will show up (as long as the ads have been appropriately targeted).