Dental Marketing Ideas and Strategies to get more patients
January 20, 2019
If you have a dental practice all on your own, you’re expected to have at least 20 new patients per month in order for your practice to flourish.
While you might be thinking that this is still doable, in reality, this would be very difficult to achieve through old-fashioned marketing practices.
Take it from other dentists who have gone on this journey before you. Dental specialists report that there has been a surge in the number of incoming patients once they had gone online.
This makes perfect sense. Nowadays, 97% of consumers go on the internet to find information about local services. That’s almost everyone.
If that isn’t enough motivation to have an online presence, 73% of them use Google or other search engines to find local dentists. Most of their attention is focused on online reviews.
So, in essence, your dental practice is still going to gain attention through word of mouth, only virtually.
Convinced? We hope so. Business owners (dental practitioners included) have to keep up with the times if they want to make it in their respective industries.
Don’t know how to get started? Well, you’re in luck. Below, we’ve listed some marketing tactics you can utilize to get more patients and grow your practice.
The 10 most effective online marketing practices for dental clinics
1. MAKE FULL USE OF YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS ACCOUNT
This is arguably the easiest thing that you can do on this list, so we’ll start here. While this is objectively uncomplicated, you can expect to gain a lot of benefits from this.
Just by putting in all the necessary information on your GMB page, you can instantly start attracting a wider audience.
How? Well, if a user searches for a keyword that is related to your field, a box will pop up right above the first organic search engine page results and below a window of a preview of Google Maps. The box contains up to five local listings that are in close proximity to the user.
This is called a local pack and this gets around 44% of clicks from Google users. You can get your practice to appear in this local pack just by having and filling in your GMB page. Pretty simple.
If you don’t have one yet, we recommend that you sign up for one right away. To get the most out of it, you have to make sure you include the following pieces of information. This is where Google will put information for the local pack.
Your main contact numbers
A brief description of your business
Your business hours
Where it is located
The categories of your business (dentist, orthodontist etc.)
Reviews from past patients
2. SPRUCE UP YOUR WEBSITE
Your website is going to be the online representation of your practice, so you have to make sure that you put it in the best light.
The modern consumer is quick to judge. If a person sees that your site is poorly optimized and riddled with problems, you can’t expect that person to stay and be curious about the services that you offer.
It would be hard to trust a business that can’t be bothered to do something as simple as putting up a decent website.
According to half of all consumers, a website’s layout and navigability is the main determining factor that they use to judge a business’ credibility and authority.
How quickly do they come to this judgment? .05 seconds. A super quick scan is all it takes.
Aside from a clean and beautiful layout with the user’s experience in mind as it’s being constructed, there are a couple of features that your site should have to increase the chances of your potential patients of staying.
The option to book an appointment online
The option to pay their bill online
The option to have their prescriptions renewed online
An efficient way to communicate with their dental healthcare providers like a chat box or a contact page with a message field
Profile pages for each dentist so that the user may be able to see their credentials and qualifications
High quality videos of glowing testimonials and intro videos detailing company facts
High quality content about good dental practices
But how do you get patients to be on your site in the first place? Here are some things to consider:
It has to be optimized for mobile devices
82% of internet users would rather use a mobile device rather than a desktop setup when searching for a local health facility, while 62% will use it to research health information.
Your website should be able to handle this. If it isn’t fully optimized for smaller screens, it will be a lot harder to navigate, maybe even impossible.
If you don’t take the time to optimize your website, some buttons might be hidden or unclickable. Some of the text might be unreadable. In short, it will look like a mess.
It has to have a great loading speed
If your site doesn’t load in three seconds, the average user will not wait around any longer. You have to make sure your loading speed falls within that window.
It has to be secure
Naturally, since you’re going to be dealing with medical transactions, sensitive information is going to be passed from patient to doctor.
You have to make sure that your site is capable of holding this kind of information. In addition to that, it has to be regularly checked for spam and viruses.
Its content must be optimized for SEO
The main way to make your website more visible for search engines is to code it as such. We’ll get to this more as this goes on.
3. CONSIDER MAKING A DENTAL BLOG
Having a blog that is linked to your site will gain you a lot of traffic. As experts, we can attest to this.
Nowadays, people have the tendency to self-diagnose. They just Google their medical queries and find answers themselves. It doesn’t even have to be as severe as that. Most people just have a lot of questions in general.
Having a blog is the perfect way to answer some of these questions and to gain people’s trust. Letting them know how knowledgeable and credible your practice is will make them more confident should they decide to consider giving your office a visit.
These can range from simple to more complicated topics that address questions like, “What kind of toothbrush should I use?” or “How do I know if I have weak gums and what do I do about it?”
Sounds like a good idea, right? Here are the kind of topics you should expound on. Have your dentists write about these to share their expertise.
Pay attention to trends and always give your give your two cents
Every once in a while, certain fads will come up will gain a lot of buzz on the internet. For example, in the case of teeth whitening, everyone has been raving about activated charcoal.
Everyone is interested to know whether or not it truly is effective or if it’s safe to use. Your practice can be there to save the day and clear things up once and for all.
Sometimes, it’s not hard to fall into a pit of repetitive articles that don’t answer any questions. A blog written by experts should be the solution to that.
Offer valuable advice to promote dental health
Health and wellness is a big topic on the internet. People always want to learn information on how to keep their bodies in tiptop shape. Oral care is no exception. As you probably already know, that goes beyond than just brushing and flossing.
It goes over to bone health, hence topics on proper diets and regimens would also be helpful.
Clear up false assumptions and health myths
As we mentioned before, people have the tendency to self-diagnose these days. This is can be very dangerous because this sort of thing should be left to the professionals. But some people wouldn’t even consider going to the dentist even if they need to just because they’re not in pain.
You, dentists, could write stories about specific cases and presents stats that would make people more aware of what symptoms they might be ignoring.
This would also be a good chance to debunk dental myths like “the harder you brush, the cleaner your teeth will get,” and so on.
4. PERFORM SEO ON YOUR BLOG POSTS AND WEBSITE PAGES
Search engine optimization is the process of increasing your visibility on search engines by loading your content with optimized keywords. This is why some websites are ranked higher than others on search engine results pages (SERPs).
How your website can get on the rankings depends on a complex algorithm. Google keeps track of the elements that go into these algorithms by something called “spiders.” These “spiders” scour websites to look for specific keywords.
This how a user who would type in keywords you’ve used on your site would find you. Honestly, we’d need a whole other post to get into the technicalities of this. But here are some basic things you should consider doing to maximize your SEO efforts:
Include images with alt-tags
Use a dental scheme throughout your entire website
Only use quality content that is relevant and not deceptive
A good presence on online social media platforms
Leave as many backlinks on other reputable sites
5. HAVE SHAREABLE CONTENT TO BE DISPERSED ON SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Almost everyone expects any company to have some sort of online presence through social media outlets. This is especially true for younger generations. Aside from the main company website, this is the other way that people will get to know about you.
Here are the reasons why having shareable content is so important:
Good quality content drives people to action
About half of your customers would appreciate having content from you that is available to share because they would want to share their experience with others.
It makes the whole process of sharing a lot easier if the content is already there and ready to go.
In other words, this is a good way your patients can do some of your advertising for you. That’s a good idea if we’re ever heard of one.
If other people see how happy your patients were with the services you provided, you’re more likely to snag more patients that way.
This lets people know who you are
Having shareable content is a great way to get your story out there. People are more likely to be drawn to stories rather than plain facts. For example, if you create a video detailing the origins of your practice and what you believe in, this is more likely to attract people, as opposed to just publishing a brief overview of your timeline like, “2006 – our practice opened” etc.
If you have certain advocacies like offering free dental services for underprivileged neighborhoods, this is the perfect way to showcase that.
This establishes an online community around your practice
People are more likely to trust a company if they are available and consistently present. Unfailingly posting good quality content lets your audience know that you’re serious about sharing useful information. It shows that you care.
And in a field such as dentistry, this goes a long way.
This lets your patients in on the experience
69% of online users share content with others because this makes them feel more connected to the world. It’s all about creating an experience for your patients outside of your office. This also lets them feel that they’re taken care of even after they’ve left your dentist’s chair.
This increases people’s brand awareness
Or in this case, awareness of your practice. If your patients are always satisfied after leaving your office, it’s only natural that they would want their friends and family to experience this as well.
With the why out of the way, let’s get into the what. What should you be posting about on social media?
Infographics are condensed pieces of information presented visually. This is one of the best ways keep people engaged (the other one being video content).
You can hire a team of creatives to do make these for you or you can make them yourself using free, easy tools like Canva.
Good quality video content
You want these videos to be well-produced, not just videos recorded on a smartphone with absolutely no editing. They have to look professional and it’s best to keep them short.
The kind of videos you should be making are testimonials from past satisfied patients sharing their experience or conferences your dentists might have recently attended to show that they are keeping up with dental innovations.
As a reminder for deals or benefits that your patients may not be taking advantage of
Transparency in a business goes a long way. By telling your patients that they could be benefiting a lot more if they were only aware of it would let them know that you’re not just after their money and you want them to get their money’s worth.
As proof of how great you are at your job
A common way dentists do this is by showing before and after photos. We’re sure you’re familiar with these. Everyone has seen a dental flier or two with photos of people before and after getting their braces out and how beautiful their smiles are after the whole ordeal.
This is the same thing, but an online shareable version.
6. INVEST IN DENTAL VIDEO MARKETING
You’re in the perfect industry to take advantage of the effectiveness of video marketing. Not only is dental field focused on medical services, but it also dabbles in cosmetics.
This means that a large part of your work deals in visuals – how straight teeth are, how white they are etc.
But this is just aspect of that. There are a plethora of videos you could invest in that would boost your SEO efforts. Here are a few:
Videos to welcome website users
Here is an example of a great welcome video. Notice how it gives the dental practice a human side and gives the viewer an insight into what the dentist believes in.
Dentist profile videos
Finding the right dentist can be just as arduous as finding a therapist or a surgeon. This is someone that you have to be comfortable with. This is a great way to showcase your dentists and to let them show off their manner and accomplishments.
Videos of past patients giving reviews
Reviews alone have garnered 50,000 years’ worth of watch time on mobile devices. That’s how much people rely on other people’s opinions when it comes to products and services. Most of the time, they even rely on those more than the company’s advertising.
Time-lapse videos of procedures
Provided that you’ve gotten the patient’s permission, record and show off the quality of your work.
Educational dental videos
This can be an aid to your blog posts. Since most people would prefer to watch videos than reading blog posts, include videos that correspond to each blog post containing the same information to give them an option.
7. GET YOUR PRACTICE INCLUDED IN DENTAL DIRECTORIES
To narrow your potential patients’ search even further, get yourself on dental directories. They’re more likely to check out a practice if it is affiliated with a larger association, rather than it being a rogue dental website in the latter pages of search results.
8. KEEP TRACK OF THE DENTAL KEYWORDS WITH THE HIGHEST CONVERT RATE AND CREATE PAY PER CLICK ADS BASED ON THOSE
Around 44% of people say that they skip dental appointments because it’s not in the budget. You can offer a solution to this by using pay per click (PPC) ads to give out special deals and promotions.
Here is a simplified version of how PPC ads work:
You select the keywords with the highest conversion rate and you create ads based on those keywords
A user types in those keywords in a search engine
Your ads show up in front of SERPs
The user clicks on the ad and you pay a fee for this
This is a simple workaround to one of your audience’s biggest problems. By being transparent with your dental fees and making them see that they’re getting a deal out of it, they are encouraged to avail of your services.
However, PPC ads can be quite complicated. This is not in the wheelhouse of the average business owner. We recommend that you hire a team of experts like us to handle this kind of campaign for you.
9. ASK YOUR PAST PATIENTS TO LEAVE YOU A REVIEW
Reviews are your greatest asset when it comes to online marketing. We’ve mentioned before that when patients are trying to look up information about a practice, they mainly focus on the reviews left by past patients.
This makes a world of sense. You would want to base your decisions on what other people have experienced.
We think it’s also worth mentioning that for almost half of all patients, whether or not a doctor is included in their insurance network is irrelevant If that doctor gets glowing reviews.
Ask your patients to leave reviews on Google, Facebook and Yelp. You can do this by asking them in person after a dental session is finished or by sending them an email with a link to where they can review you.
If you can manage it, respond to these reviews as well. Always express your gratitude towards patients for giving you support.
10. STAY VISIBLE BY BEING IN YOUR PATIENTS’ INBOXES
Email marketing is the cheapest form of marketing there is. The best part to all of this is that it’s also very effective. 66% of internet users say that the first thing that they do when they wake up is check their email.
Think of this as an extended care service. Remind them of upcoming appointments and reminders to keep up with their oral care game.
Did you know that over 90% of adults wish they had more communication with their healthcare providers?
This is also the perfect way to update your patients on the latest dental news and deals you might be offering for a limited period of time.
Coming up with the best dental marketing strategy will make sure that your practice thrives
We’re not talking about staying afloat. We’re talking about thriving.
You might just be a marketing genius on top of your being a topnotch dentist. We don’t know. But most practices will benefit from hiring a skilled dental marketing team like us.
We assume that you already have a lot on your hands and online marketing is definitely no cakewalk. If you’re on the verge of closing up shop, not knowing what to do to improve your situation, then it might be time to let a professional marketing team handle your online affairs for you.
Contact us today and we’ll find the best solutions, so you can keep on providing patients with beautiful smiles.
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