Your Real New Patient Acquisition Costs – Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth?
Like most businesses, you’re likely looking to increase sales and client base. Unlike most businesses, you have something that everyone needs: good dental care. With competition at an all time high, it’s important that your dental practice is set apart from the competition. This is the only way to keep your business growing is to execute a solid marketing plan that gives you a clear idea of what it costs to acquire new patients.
This number, known as cost per acquisition, is what it costs to get a person to take a specific action. This might include clicking a link, submitting a form, or making a purchase. Your marketing might look fabulous, but if your cost per acquisition is exorbitant, then it isn’t doing its job (which is to get you patients at an affordable price).
Here’s how you can make sure your cost per acquisition is as low as possible.
Online marketing is an all encompassing term used to cover any technique, tool, or strategy that gets a business’ name out online. Unlike traditional outbound marketing (TV commercials, radio spots, magazine ads), online marketing focuses on getting your message in front of a very targeted audience, as opposed to a wide audience that may or may not be interested. One of the many benefits of online marketing is that your ads can be targeted to specific demographics and you can get detailed information on who interacted with your advertisements. These analytics allow you to fine tune your marketing over time.
A well thought out online marketing strategy will get you the most patients possible at an affordable rate. A campaign, however, should be made up of multiple facets, not just one tactic. The best strategies combine PPC, SEO, and online reviews.
PPC – Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Pay-per-click advertising is a form of online advertising offered by individual websites, as well as search engines like Bing and Google. PPC is a way to pay for visitors to come to your website. It differs from organic traffic in that organic traffic is considered “free” (excluding the cost of creating content and strategy). One of the best things about PPC is that it offers businesses the advantage of instant gratification. From the moment you publish an ad it starts running (once approved).
Additionally, PPC allows you to drive traffic to your dental website that might be trying to get to a competitor’s site. This is because when creating PPC ads you have the opportunity to bid on keywords you might not actually rank for (like a competitor’s name). Pay-per-click advertising offers clear information about who clicked your ads and how much each click costs you. As a result, you will know exactly what it costs to acquire each patient through this method.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is the process of creating a high-quality website that answers questions your target audience is seeking answers to. SEO is an incredibly powerful and affordable way to get new patients, however, we like to think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. This is because increasing your rankings on search engines like Bing and Google take time.
Local search is a large component of SEO for dental practices. This is because your target audience is people in your area, not those located nationwide. Additionally, with the majority of people owning mobile devices, it’s important that your practice optimize its local listings to come up once a person performs a search from their mobile device or desktop.
Online reviews are a crucial part of attracting new patients. The best thing about online reviews is that they leverage your existing patients to gain new patients. But getting online reviews isn’t easy. In fact, it’s one part of an entire reputation management program.
The first part to garnering additional reviews is to create a system that makes it easy for existing patients to provide those reviews. You might do this by following up with an email that includes links to your Facebook page and Google business listing, both places that have proven to get practices the most bang for their buck and visibility. You can also train your front office staff to remind patients to review your business if they’re satisfied. Read more about getting more online reviews here.
Once you have a program in place for getting reviews, it’s important that you have a process in place for responding to those reviews. Whether a review is positive or negative, it’s important that you acknowledge it in a transparent and compassionate way. As you engage with reviews, those reading them will see who you are as a practice and use that information to determine whether you’re someone they want to do business with or not.