Digital Marketing Strategy for the Dental Industry: Attract New Patients
Courtney Browne • April 13, 2018
In the past, dentists relied solely on referrals and reputation to build a thriving practice. Times have changed, though, and in order to succeed today, dentists must adapt by getting comfortable with digital marketing. A quality, robust digital marketing campaign is the key to attracting new dental patients and retaining the ones you already have. Take a look below at 8 must-have digital marketing practices for dentists in 2018.
1. Be Action-Oriented and Create Valuable Content
Today, potential patients are turning to the Internet for information about providers, dental conditions, and available treatment options. Creating a website and simply hoping to show up in search results isn’t enough. You need to make the most of the brief moment a person may spend on your website, landing page, or ad. Value-based content, high-quality images, informative copy, and overall functionality are all musts if you want to convert website visitors into dental patients. Content that focuses on the needs of visitors, as opposed to your credentials, will have the most impact.
It’s also important to incorporate clear calls-to-action such as “request a consultation,” “call today,” or “schedule an appointment.” Providing visitors with easy access to the information they need will encourage them to take action when they’re ready to do so.
2. Get Found More Easily with SEO & PPC
With all the competition online, especially in the dental industry, it’s imperative that businesses optimize their content for search engines (SEO) and complement that with a properly targeted pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. 90% of potential patients use online search engines to help them choose the perfect dentist. Ranking is key, and if your practice fails to rank near the top of the page, you’re losing business. The best way to increase your search engine ranking is to first audit your existing site to see how it’s currently performing. After that, you’ll need to narrow down the data, do extensive keyword research, and optimize your website. An SEO strategy takes time and attention for it to properly work. Starting a PPC campaign to accompany this strategy will allow you to cast a wide net and find new patients quickly. Together, SEO and PPC can provide you with an immediate boost in positioning and increased traffic to your website.
3. Location-Based Marketing (Local SEO)
In order to beat out nearby competitors for new patients looking for a dentist in the area, your dental practice marketing must include optimization for local searches. To get the best results, make sure you have an accurate listing across multiple online directories, use local keywords in your SEO strategy, and encourage current patients to leave positive reviews on sites such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook.
4. Optimize for Mobile
In 2016, mobile web browsing overtook desktops for the first time. Today, mobile usage continues to rise, which means that in addition to location-based marketing, you’ll need to make sure you optimize your website for the mobile user. Here are the ways in which mobile design and SEO differ from desktop:
- Mobile users have less screen space, so you’ll want to limit boxes of lengthy text.
- Design your website with easily accessible icons or buttons that make it easy for site visitors to call or request an appointment instantly.
- Mobile users respond well to video, so your website and social media pages should have relevant and engaging video content to increase views.
- Optimizing for mobile is one of the most important aspects of a successful digital marketing strategy for dentists.
5. Stay Engaged with Social Media
Social Media is a great way to give your practice an individual voice. It allows you to provide followers with up-to-date, relevant information such as tips, interesting statistics on oral health, and images of your practice and employee culture so they feel as if they know you. The key is to build a relationship with potential patients by offering complementary information. This builds brand awareness, establishes trust, and increases the likelihood that your practice will be at the forefront of their minds when they’re ready to schedule an appointment.
6. Reputation Management
The majority of prospective patients base their decision to schedule an appointment on a positive online reputation. Your online reputation is most commonly represented by reviews on Yelp, Google, and social media platforms. Although you cannot please everyone 100% of the time, monitoring your reviews regularly and promptly responding to both positive and negative ones demonstrates the value your practice places on patient satisfaction.
7. Email Marketing Campaign
Delivering content right to your patients’ inboxes allows you to provide them with complimentary educational articles on maintaining dental health, access to local health resources, seasonal promotions, and even billing information. You can also take it a step further and segment your lists by demographics in order to offer more personalized content. Email marketing is one of the building blocks of a long-lasting relationship between your patients and your dental practice.
8. Stay Human
Lastly, one of the most important aspects of any digital marketing campaign for dentists, digital or otherwise, is the ability to remain human and empathetic. If you want a larger audience to take notice of your business, you need to show you’re invested in the community. People want to give their business to companies with a conscience. Try to participate in community events and offer free or low-cost services to those who are underprivileged or underinsured. It’s beneficial to take action and highlight your commitment to the greater good. Potential patients will respond favorably.
If this sounds like a lot to handle while also running your dental practice, we can help!
At Reader Digital Agency, we understand that your specialty is dentistry, not marketing. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Our business is to help you grow your business. Give us a call at 619-483-4600, and let’s get started today.