If you’re looking for a way to grow your dental practice, we’ve put together an in-depth guide to help you learn everything you need to know about digital marketing for dentists, including:
- Why digital marketing is the most effective way to market a dental practice
- What services healthcare marketing professionals offer
- How to reach new patients, stay connected to old ones, and use spread the word about your practice
- How an effective digital marketing strategy will increase your online presence and expand your practice
- Why it’s important to nurture your leads and track your website data
In the past, dentists relied primarily on word-of-mouth marketing, but in 2020, the vast majority of your target audience is online. Whether you’re opening up a new office or are looking to expand your current practice, it’s important to understand why digital marketing is the way to attract and retain your patients.
Table of Contents
- Why Do Dentists Need To Hire a Digital Marketing Company?
- What Services Do Dental Marketing Companies Provide?
- Reach New Patients and Build an Online Community
- Improving Your Online Presence: Digital Marketing Strategies for Dentists
- Tracking Data, Generating Leads, and Providing Real Results
- Getting an ROI on Long-Term Marketing Strategies for Dentists
Why Do Dentists Need To Hire a Digital Marketing Company?
If you practice dentistry, marketing is crucial if you want your practice to succeed. After all, there are dentists everywhere, so how do you make your practice stand out above the competition? How do you bring in new patients and retain existing ones?
The answer is simple, but not easy to do.
You use a variety of online marketing methods, like creating a user-friendly website, managing social media accounts, sending out email newsletters, and search engine optimization (SEO). When dentists hire a digital marketing company, they don’t have to worry about a thing. Instead, they let the experts use these strategies to grow their online presence and gain an edge over their competitors.
There’s a lot that goes into dentistry. You’re not only serving your patients, but you’re making sure the entire practice runs smoothly. You’re taking care of scheduling, insurance, billing, your staff, and more. As a result, many dentists don’t have the time or resources to come up with an effective marketing strategy.
That’s where a healthcare marketing company comes in. When you choose Stodzy for your dental patient marketing needs, we’ll pinpoint exactly what needs to be done to support the future growth of your business and come up with a real solution that drives real results.
What Services Do Healthcare Marketing Companies Provide?
Digital marketing for dentists is like an iceberg: the naked eye doesn’t see everything it is composed of. Of course, you see social media posts, your inbox notifies you when you get a newsletter, and you can tell when a website has posted a new blog. But that’s not all.
There’s a lot more that goes into marketing a dental practice effectively, including:
- Search engine optimization
- Lead generation
- Call tracking
- Website design
- Email marketing
- Local dentistry marketing
- Detailed reporting
All of these tactics work together to provide a marketing strategy that will grow your dental practice and keep the phones ringing.
Reach New Patients and Build an Online Community
There are many different strategies dentists can use to market their practice. Typically, using a variety of methods produces the most effective results.
As a dentist, you offer a particular service, so it’s important to understand exactly which demographic you should be targeting. For example, children and teenagers wouldn’t be your target audience, because they aren’t the ones making the dental appointments. Furthermore, you don’t want to waste money advertising to people who live in California when your practice is in Arizona.
Instead, you want to target people in your area who may be interested in the dental services that you offer. Not only do you want people to recognize your practice, but you want them to view you as a reliable medical resource so they make an appointment. Lastly, you want to stay connected with these patients and keep them coming back.
But how exactly do you reach new patients and build a community?
Connecting to Patients Through Social Media
As a dentist, you work directly with your patients, so you need to show up where your potential patients are taking in a lot of information about their communities and begin building relationships with them. This means taking advantage of social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.
Although many people look to Google when trying to find a new dentist, many people will visit a practice’s social media after looking at their website. Optimizing your social media accounts helps build trust by giving potential patients a better understanding of what your practice does, who the dentists are, and what you specialize in. Not only that, but they’ll begin looking to you as a resource and gain respect for your dedication to the community.
You may be wondering, “do people really want to follow a dentist on social media?”
Yes – as long as the content you’re providing is valuable, engaging, and helps people improve their dental hygiene. When a user follows you on a social media platform, they are able to interact with you and get reminders from you year-round. More importantly, when you share great content and take the time to develop your brand on social media, you will build a following that will share your posts and recommend friends and family to your page.
Building a following on social media is important – but it isn’t everything. If the bulk of your followers live several hours away from your practice, your social media efforts aren’t going to generate many leads. Instead, social media marketing for dentists needs to target local individuals who can actually benefit from the services you offer.
Our social media management team is able to target specific audiences that are more likely to convert into new patients. By investing time and efforts into developing an ideal messaging campaign and staying active on social media, we’ll be able to generate new leads, bring patients through the doors, and help you stay connected to the community that you serve.
Email Marketing Campaigns for Dentists
Social media marketing is great for building your brand and getting the word out about your practice. But how do you keep in touch with current patients while reaching new ones? How do you keep your audience updated and ensure that the phone keeps ringing?
The answer is email marketing campaigns.
Email is a trusted and secure form of communication that dentists can use in multiple ways. Once you have the email address of a potential patient, you can send them newsletters, special offers, or even general dental advice. The goal is to create customized content that interests your audience, provides them with reasons why your dental practice is the best, and keeps them well-informed about promotions, specials, and dental hygiene.
Most importantly, your regular email newsletters should contain a call-to-action (CTA). Whether you’re offering a promotion or an incentive, this CTA should encourage readers to either visit your website for more information or call your office to schedule an appointment.
Lastly, whether you have a patient who needs to follow a specific treatment regimen or you need to notify someone who is overdue for a cleaning, a simple email can be the reminder people need to visit your office.
Setting Up Appointment Reminders
Growing your dental practice is about more than just attracting new patients and building an online community. It’s also about maintaining quality relationships with your existing patients. The whole point of bringing in new leads is to keep those patients coming back, right?
Data collected by Sikka Software looked at nearly 13,000 dental practices in the United States and found that approximately 80% of patients are returning or existing patients. That means the majority of your income comes from retaining patients. If you keep new patients coming in the door but are unable to retain them, you’re losing them to the competition. So, how do you make sure patients keep coming in for their appointments?
You set up appointment reminders.
Whether you send reminder messages via email, text message, postcard, or phone call, the easiest way to do this is by using marketing automation. Marketing automation services can be set up to send regular appointment reminders to existing patients or reminder messages to patients who haven’t visited your office in a while.
Whether someone is overdue for a routine cleaning or has an upcoming appointment, reminders are the best way to directly re-engage patients and make sure they continue to visit your practice.
Improving Your Online Presence: Digital Marketing Strategies for Dentists
Every dentist needs a marketing strategy that works. The days of advertising on the radio and passing out flyers are over. Digital marketing helps you bring in new patients – without which, your practice wouldn’t be able to flourish.
In a technology-driven society, the best way to succeed in dentistry and beat your competition is to improve and continue to enhance your online presence. After all, most people go to Google or other online search engines when looking for a medical provider that they need. If people can’t find your practice, they’re not going to call. If your website has a bad user experience, the competition will win.
A 2019 survey of 1,500 Americans looked at how people choose a dentist when searching on Google. Four of the most common responses that determined how a person picked their dentist online are:
- The dentist with the best reviews
- The closest practice
- The top-ranking practice in the search results
- The best-looking website
Investing in digital marketing can help dentists achieve all of these results.
So, what strategies should dentists use in their digital marketing strategy? Let’s take a look at a few.
Building a User-Friendly Dental Website
Think about the last time you ran a Google search for a service that you needed. Did you call the company right away? Or, did you take a minute to check out their website? If you’re like most, you looked at their website and obtained some information from it. Then, while checking out the website, you developed a first impression of the business based on what you saw.
Your dental website is important because it is the first impression people have of your practice. It should load quickly, look professional, stick to a color scheme, and be well-organized with an easy-to-use navigation bar. People should be able to find the information they need from your website quickly and effortlessly. If their experience is interrupted by 404 errors, poor load speed, or overwhelming pop-ups, they are more likely to exit out of your page and look elsewhere.
However, if your website is easy to use, loads quickly, and provides your audience with thorough and useful information, they’ll be more likely to spend more time on your website and end up giving you a call.
If you don’t have a user-friendly website, the rest of your dental patient marketing efforts won’t live up to their full capabilities. Although there are many services out there that let you try to build your own website, a full-service digital marketing agency will provide dentists with a custom-designed medical website that functions in-line with Google’s on-site SEO guidelines.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is at the foundation of any effective digital marketing strategy. When people are looking for a particular service, most turn to Google to run a quick search. If someone searches for a service related to dentistry, brands that have put time and energy into SEO will earn more visits to their website.
There are hundreds of factors that go into healthcare SEO and all of them are considered by search engines to determine the trustworthiness and relevance of a website. By enacting an effective SEO strategy, your website will be more visible to prospective patients. Here are some specific SEO tasks that are particularly useful when marketing a dental practice.
On-site SEO is the detailed process in which you optimize your dental practice’s website by creating useful content, developing service pages, and optimizing your pages so they show up in location-based search results.
For example, dentists offer a variety of services, so your website should have pages dedicated to explaining each service. If you offer teeth whitening in Boca Raton, you need to optimize a page on your website so that when people search for “teeth whitening services in Boca Raton,” they find your website and content outlining what they can expect from your teeth whitening services.
Ultimately, the goal of on-site SEO is to make it easy for users and search engines to understand the purpose of a webpage. We do this by using relevant and in-depth content, making mobile-friendly websites, using markup data, and ensuring quick load time. Fully optimizing your website will make sure that search engines are crawling your website accurately and that you’re showing up in the search results for relevant keywords.
Content Creation for Dental Practices
Creating relevant, quality content helps your website reach people who are searching online for specific search terms. The key to content marketing is creating content that provides value and targets keywords related to your practice that people are actually searching for.
For example, posting a comprehensive guide detailing “5 Foods That Stain Your Teeth” has the potential to get a lot of traffic from people who are trying to avoid foods that make their teeth yellow. Although this content provides valuable information, it’s unlikely that many readers will actually visit your practice because of this content alone – unless you have a way to capture that user’s information and use it in an email marketing campaign.
Another thing to keep in mind when creating content for your dental practice is keyword diversity. You don’t only want your business to rank for “dentist in Boca Raton.” You want to rank for other search terms as well, like “root canals” or “dental cleanings.”
The key is to think outside of the box and develop useful service pages according to what search terms people are using to find dental services in your area. In other words, you want to think like the user. You want your business to rank for variations of keywords relevant to what your potential clients are searching.
Taking Advantage of Local SEO
If you’re a Dentist in Texas, you’re not going to bring in patients who live in Kansas. You’re going to see local patients – which is why local SEO is a crucial aspect of any dentist’s digital marketing strategy.
Let’s say you are a dentist in Dallas, Texas, you want your business to be one of the first visible search results when someone searches for keywords such as “dentist in Dallas.” Not only will focusing on local keywords help you rank for local search terms, but it will also give you an advantage when someone searches for “dentist near me” and is located near your practice.
Google My Business, also known as GMB, is perhaps one of the most important aspects of local search marketing. With the vast majority of local searches coming from mobile devices, many people search for the services they need directly using Google Maps. If you’ve taken the time to optimize your Google business listing, get 5-star reviews, and hone in on local SEO, you’re more likely to show up in the local 3-pack – which guarantees more phone calls to your practice and more potential patients.
Paid Search and PPC Advertising for Dentists
Using paid advertising to display your ad to users who search for specific keywords is a major part of many dentistry marketing strategies. Google AdWords campaigns provide a pay-per-click (PPC) platform that targets location-based keywords. This is useful in helping increase the visibility of your practice and reaching prospective patients who are searching for dentists in a particular area.
So, if you use an AdWords campaign to display an ad for “Dentists in Dallas,” your dental practice will show up above the organic search results for that search term. You can even customize your title and description to highlight any unique services, promotions, or offers you feature.
Sounds great – right?
There are certainly advantages to using paid search. You’re guaranteed to gain visibility and likely phone calls – but paid search is a short-term investment that doesn’t always drive long-term results.
You don’t want short-term success. You want patients who keep coming back and are happy to refer their friends. You want to be successful in the long-term, which is why digital marketing for dentists shouldn’t rely solely on PPC advertising alone.
An effective online marketing strategy for dentistry practices is an art, so it’s important that you’re working with a healthcare marketing professional who can point you in the right direction.
Tracking Data, Generating Leads, and Providing Real Results
Many people who search for a medical service near them are ready to make an appointment. However, others will spend time searching for the best option and deciding whether or not they should make an appointment. These people are still researching – but you can still reach those people through content marketing and display advertising.
The problem comes when that person stops doing research and leaves your website. How do you make sure they visit your website again? More importantly, how do you ensure that your dental practice is the one they will call when they are ready to make an appointment?
This is why you need to track your website data, capture visitor’s contact information, and use it in your marketing efforts to generate leads and grow your practice.
Lead Nurturing for Dental Patient Marketing
Let’s say someone is new to a city and they’re looking for a dentist for a routine cleaning. This person finds your website, reads through your services, then continues their research. If you can capture that person’s information, like their email address, in return for a small incentive or discount to new patients, you’ve now given that person a reason you visit your business and you’ve secured a form of contact. Now, you can use your email marketing strategy to keep this user informed and interested in your dental practice.
Whether you’re generating leads from organic search, Facebook Ads, or Google Adwords, a healthcare marketing team will keep track of your potential leads, set up a marketing funnel, and nurture your potential leads for you. The only steps you have to take are scheduling the appointment and providing your patients with the best dental services possible.
Website Traffic and SEO Monitoring Tools
Keeping track of potential leads is crucial, but tracking your website’s progress and the success of your marketing efforts is important as well. In our monthly detailed reporting, we’ll help you understand the numbers, track visitor trends, and monitor what’s working and what isn’t. Like most other aspects of business development, you must understand the numbers to ensure the success of your dental patient marketing strategy.
Google Analytics and Search Console are two free online tools used for monitoring and tracking important data on your website.
Google Analytics is installed on your dental website and helps analyze the traffic that comes through. Using this data, we can see which pages are getting traffic, how long people are staying on your website, and which pages are converting into potential leads. This helps us build strategies that will increase your call volume or improve on strategies that are already gaining traction.
Search Console, on the other hand, provides more detailed information regarding the health of your practice’s website. Have you ever visited a website that took forever to load? Slow site speed is one determinant of site-health, and if your site doesn’t load quickly, it could affect your search engine rankings.
Search console helps us stay on top of other website features as well, like broken links, broken images, and load time. All of these play a role in how websites rank on various search engines, so it’s important to continually monitor these factors and keep your site functioning at optimal levels.
You put a lot of time and effort into making your dental practice succeed, so you should know exactly where your marketing efforts stand. That’s why we’ll use these tools to provide you with real-time data so you can understand the reasons behind your online strategy. Using these tools provides for better user experience and an evidence-based approach to growing your dental practice.
Getting an ROI on Long-Term Digital Marketing for Dentists
Today, most of us want instant results. We want to hire a dental practice marketing agency and see a quick return on investment. However, short-term thinking rarely cultivates long-term results. In the end, the best way to ensure the success of your dental practice is through an effective digital marketing strategy.
When you choose Stodzy to market your dental practice, you’ll receive monthly detailed reporting and periodic check-ins, so you’ll know exactly what your return on investment is. Our team is one of the most experienced in the healthcare industry and is dedicated to providing digital marketing strategies for dentists that will connect potential patients to your practice.