Dental Practice Marketing: Jump Ahead In The Guide
Step 1 – Define Who You Are and What You Want
Step 2 – Keep Women in Mind
Step 3 – Setting Goals
Step 4 – Search Engine Optimization and Content go Hand in Hand
Step 5 – Dig Deep into SEO for Your Dental Practice
Step 6 – Leverage Paid Search for Targeted Leads
Step 7 – Search Retargeting to Make the Most of Your Traffic
Step 8 – Word of Mouth to Grow Your Practice
Step 9 – Social Media to Grow Referral Traffic
Step 10 – Cross Referrals with Other Dentists
Step 11 – Keep it Mobile Friendly
Over the last decade, digital marketing techniques along with dental practice marketing have emerged that have had a large impact over dentistry, healthcare marketing, and the process by which practices evolve, communicate, and retain clientele. For healthcare marketers, the rules of the game are ever-changing. One minute you think that Google is your best friend, and the next you may be pulling your hair out as to wondering why your site isn’t gaining momentum in traffic.
The dental world is competitive. For a practice to grow, a single dentist should be seeing 24-50 new patients per month. Most dentists are trained to fulfill dental services and don’t have time to hone in on dental marketing techniques. A successful practice must offer competitive pricing, and quality services – backed by a substantial dental marketing plan. Reading about certain ideas and strategies to execute a well-prepared plan can help your practice immensely. In the end it comes down to how well you manage your marketing tools using traditional as well as online methods.
How is your practice different? What sets you apart from other practices? What are your weaknesses? Where will your growth come from? Are there any threats you may have to defend against? These are necessary questions to ask yourself when developing a strategic plan. There may be a number of factors, however the key to gaining new patients stems from drawing on your strengths and marketing your selling points successfully.
When you are pulled in a number of different directions, marketing can fall low on your list of priorities. However, between finding new patients and catering to your established clientele, it is vital to increased traffic and new clientele.
To get you started we’ve put together a list of dental practice marketing techniques and ideas to help you and measure their effectiveness.
Define Who You Are And What You Want
If you don’t know what type of targeted audience you are bringing in, how can you be successful? What type of patients do you want to target? Are you a discounted dental office who is looking to bring in cash? Then your targeted audience may be middle-class or those who are on a fixed income.
Do you offer cosmetic surgery? Maybe your audience is upper-to-middle-class patients. If so, you’ll want to target lawyers, doctors, and high-end executives. Are you a pediatric dentist? You’ll want to target families in suburban neighborhoods with children.
Is your practice in an industrial area? Is it in a residential area? What will your business hours be? These are crucial questions you’ll want to know and ask yourself when you are in the early stages of marketing.
Keep Women in Mind
Women make more than 90% of all dental buying decisions. They will have plenty of options to choose from, however traditionally will want to make an informed decision before purchasing to ensure they are finding the best fit.
According to Marti Barletta, the world’s expert on marketing to women, she notes, “women make purchasing decisions differently in men in that they take a meandering approach.” A great dental practice marketing strategy will want to entice female household heads to gain more information about your practice and convert into scheduling an appointment.
Be realistic. It is important to set goals to measure your marketing efforts. How many patients per month do you want to gain out of these new tools? Unrealistic goals will drain you and you will lose motivation.
Once you have your audience and goals determined, you can easily hone your focus on a select number of marketing techniques:
Your Online Presence
Having an online presence in today’s world is a must have if you want to keep your business afloat. What will your potential clients see when they google you? Having a website for your practice should be the obvious starting point to grow from. Like any business, your website will be used for your address, contact information, pricing, services, and anymore information your potential customer may need to make an informed decision.
Additionally, be sure your website is clean, easy on the eye, and easy to navigate. If your website looks 10 years old, a consumer will know and move onto another practice . Think of your website as an online business card.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Content Go Hand in Hand
Most potential patients will rely on online content to research their dental provider. Additionally, nearly 47% of people will read three to five online reviews before they make an informed decision to book an appointment. Remember, value is key. Your content will make your practice stand above the rest and in turn generate more consumers. One of the important factors in creating dental practice marketing content is personalization. This is content that should be catered to patients’ needs. Create an EBook or a research study as an incentive for free in exchange for an email address or phone number. You’re potential patient wants to better their life – more specifically their teeth, hence why value is important. These will come in handy in the long run.
Email addresses are gold. Getting a patient’s email address is a direct entrance into their live’s that you can use to help grow your business. You can start with collecting these for appointment reminders. However, the goal is to keep them reminded of you. Send out a monthly newsletter or bi-weekly newsletter. Tell them relevant things that may be of value to them.
Some ideas could be:
- Dental hygiene tips
- Personal testimonies of patients
- Involvement in the community
- Referral program invites
- Business updates
Your dental practice marketing content can be anything from starting a blog to creating online videos about your office, staff, patient testimonials, or latest dentistry practices. Currently, videos hold the most worth for content marketing and continues to be the predictor of the future. According to James McQuivey, digital marketing expert, a single minute of video content is equivalent to 1.8 million words. By 2019, video content is likely to represent more than 80% of all online traffic. In an alternate perspective, the internet will support more than 3 trillion video minutes per month by 2020, which is equal to 5 million years of video content per month, or 1 million video minutes every second? If you weren’t sold by the idea of video content for your marketing campaign, you should be now.
SEO For Dental Practice Marketing
Without search engine optimization, who will see your content? Most people think that SEO is hard to conceptualize, however, the hardest part is staying committed to utilizing the tools that will provide you with the best outcome. The basics of SEO marketing can be worth your time in learning.
Additionally, you can use SEO information to understand how your potential patients engage with your content. You can ultimately identify what generates interest and results in leads who take action. By making sure your content is SEO driven, your page will list higher in the search engines, keeping your business booming.
Drive Traffic To Your Site
When your SEO is accurate, your rank in the search query starts to rise. When your visitors like what they see, it may help your website obtain traffic over time, and in turn lead you to gain more business.
Google Business Page
Most of the time your business will be drawn from the local community. This means to effectively utilize proper dental practice marketing, you will need to get in front of people that have a close proximity. Your practice should have a Google My Business listing. This is the first step for any local business. A Google business page will give you the opportunity to be found in local map searches and will also be a place where you can collect great customer reviews – ultimately building your brand. Google relies directly on this directory to ultimately decide which listings to promote when an individual searches for a local business. Let’s take someone searching for a pediatric dentist in Boca Raton, FL. Google will pull this information from it’s local directory to determine which therapists to display first.
Also listing with Google Business can improve your chances of making into Google’s local snack-pack. Google’s snack-pack is a list of three businesses that display above the regular search results.
Additionally, listing your business with Google will allow clients to review you. Google reviews are vital. You can pick up clients just by having a couple of great reviews. Be sure to provide the best care and services possible and do everything you can to make your clients happy.
Local Organic Search
Dental practice marketing within the online search engines is also a great opportunity to build your base. Let’s imagine that someone goes to Google and searches for “dentists in Philadelphia.” The top search results for that query will provide a great deal of traffic and clients for that dentist. Good search marketing can completely change your business.
By using a tactical approach to Search Engine Optimization you can be able to generate web traffic, locally brand yourself as a top specialist, and gain public trust. If done right, and under the right circumstances, being #1 for a specific search term can keep your business booming at all times.
PPC (pay-per-click) is a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than earning them organically. There have been plenty of changes to PPC within the dental industry. If you are starting a dental practice, you can still perform effective marketing and lead generation through PPC.
Let’s be candid here. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could potentially lose a lot of money advertising on PPC. There are very specific tactics that are important to follow. If you do not follow these tactics, you could be spending money and getting absolutely no return. Let’s look at some best practices when using pay-per-click to build your business.
Send Traffic To A Landing Page
A common mistake is to send all paid traffic to the homepage. This is usually the least effective way. You want to create content-based landing pages whether that be articles, blogs, and catchy content that will have the highest likelihood of converting into a client.
Scale To Success
PPC is all about data, measurements, and adjustments. We start off slow, do some tests and adjust our campaign with real data that we have seen. We continue this process over and over again until we have build a super successful PPC campaign.
Find The Perfect Position
Being the top bid doesn’t have to be the main goal. It’s about adjusting to make sure we get the best bang for our buck. Sometimes this means floating around position 2 or 3. Additionally, it could even mean going further down on the ranks. Finding the sweet spot of our PPC advertising is what will get us the lowest cost per acquisition.
Google can place ads for certain search words such as “dentist in city.” When this happens that is Google Adwords. Within Adwords, you can do what’s called search remarketing, which only shows search ads to people who have previously visited your website. So imagine this: someone visits your website and they leave to go back to Google to look up competitors to do more research. Google Adwords will show them a different ad that you create that says, “You just visited my website. Here’s 15% off if you call right now.” That can be powerful stuff and generate a lot of traffic.
Word Of Mouth
The most powerful way to gain new patients in dental practice marketing is by existing patients. For an established dental practice, more than 70% of your new patients should come from internal patient referrals. Creating an incentive based referral program will increase your clientele and boost your traffic. If you have a customer who refers a friend, give the customer a discount or a free dental cleaning. Create your own referral-based program. Research other competitors in your market to see what kind of programs they are offering. Build off of that but don’t rip them off.
Social media is a must in today’s world. Which networks are the most beneficial for your dental practice? Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? You can hone in on your budgeting if you know what will maximize your audience and drive the most traffic to your website. Reduce your time on other social media platforms that are not bringing you an online presence. Build a fan page with locals in the area. Make sure the content is interesting and relevant. Quotes and humor usually work well, but whatever it is, try to make it something readers will want to share. When your viewers “share” your post they will be contributing it to all of their friends in the area – ultimately gaining more followers to your page.
Based on your customer base and targeted audience, you may want to utilize non-competitive partners who can boost your audience and help you bring in more clients. Additionally, make sure these cross-referrals is someone that you are comfortable sending people to as well as receiving people from, otherwise this strategy could backfire. Find a realtor in the area – they are sure to know a lot of new people. Partner with a fundraiser at an elementary school to create a local ad. This is sure to boost traffic and ultimately your business.
It is absolutely crucial in dental practice marketing that your website and online platforms are optimized for mobile browsing, otherwise you will hurt the experience of mobile viewers, causing them to seek practices that offer a better website browsing experience. Fortunately, Google provides a free online tool to assess the mobile-friendliness of your website. If you are not happy with the results, perhaps you may want to schedule a meeting with a web developer and upgrade your website to a mobile-friendly one. Additionally, it is important to remember that a mobile-responsive website can give you a significant boost in search engine rankings as well.
- Nearly 69% of digital media time is spent on mobile.
- Globally, nearly $143 billion was spent on mobile ads in 2017.
- Location-specific mobile ad spending will increase from $12.4 billion in 2016 to $32.4 billion in 2021.
With so many different aspects to consider, it can be daunting to get started on a marketing strategy. This is why it’s helpful to choose to partner with a company that can help guide you in the right direction.
At Stodzy Marketing, we can help you make transformative changes to your campaigns and multiply your patients. In order to gain a detailed plan and gain client retention from a cutthroat market we can create a comprehensive marketing plan and campaign. From personalized content to social media marketing, our innovative approach will help you acquire new leads, reach more patients, improve engagement, and ultimately grow your practice.
There are proven strategies, tactics and methods for growing your practice, but online dental practice marketing has proven to be the best investment a healthcare business can make.
Let us help you with your dental practice marketing. Fill out the contact form below.