3 Essential Dental Marketing Strategies
As a dentist, you are almost certainly facing fierce competition in your local market in the area of attracting and acquiring new patients. What is your strategy to give your dental practice better online visibility, and to make it more attractive to potential patients? In 2016, you need to craft an ironclad Internet marketing plan that gives your practice a distinctive edge over your competition. To fully utilize the Internet as a repeatable client marketing and acquisition platform for your office, you have to rapidly draw attention, build credibility, and then convince potential dental patients you are the best person to meet their oral health needs. As a starting point, it is critical that you implement the following three strategies.
Start With An Attractive Professionally Designed Website
Take a moment and consider how quickly you build an impression of a person when you meet them face-to-face. Your website is the face of your dental practice on the Internet. Within seconds of arriving, visitors to your site form an opinion about your practice based on what they do or do not see.
To engage potential patients and keep them impressed you should make sure your site has:
- A clean, professional, and visually attractive design
- A responsive design. meaning that it automatically resizes based on the device (phone, tablet, or desktop) used to view it
- Good hosting and optimized content to make for fast load times
- A logical and easy to navigate structure that makes it easy to use
- Unique, compelling content that answers your visitors’ questions
Please keep in mind that it is 2016! If your site looks dated, is not intuitive to use, or doesn’t perform well potential patients will bounce and try one of your competitors.
Drive Traffic To Your Site With Effective SEO & SEM Campaigns
It makes no difference how impressive your dental practice website is if no one ever sees it. The primary goal is to target people in your practice coverage area who are actively looking for the dental services you offer to find and visit your site. That will give you the first shot at winning them as a patient. The way to do that is to leverage the power of Google and the other search engines. There are 2 primary search strategies that your dental practice should be pursuing: search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is a strategy that makes your website and the content on it favorable to the search engines. This gives your dental practice increased exposure in the organic (free) search results for search keywords and phrases that are relevant to your dental practice and the treatments you provide for your patients. The goal is to rank as high in the search engine result pages (SERPS) as possible so that your site is easier for potential patients to find. This tactic is both time and labor intensive, and is a constantly changing field. But the positive results of more traffic to your site make it worth the effort. Keep in mind, SEO needs to be looked at as a long-term strategy. As part of that, you will need unique, high-quality content, a mobile friendly website, accurate online citations for your practice, and online reviews from previous patients.
SEO is only part of the game plan. It is crucial to match your SEO efforts with a SEM campaign (also called paid search, or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising). Paid search advertisements are the ad listings that show up at the top and bottom of the Google results pages. The upside of paid search ads are that your dental practice’s website receives immediate exposure right at the top of the search results, even if your site doesn’t rank their organically. SEM is an immediate traffic source that targets searchers using specific keywords and geographical targeting. This allows you to ensure that the right potential patients see your ads.
Keep Existing And Potential Clients Engaged Via Social Media
There are other places online besides your website where you can engage with patients and potential patients to keep them thinking about your office. These include popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, SnapChat, and YouTube. The goal is to meet people where they regularly spend time online, and provide them with valuable information, resources, and entertaining content. In doing this you build connections with potential patients, ensure your dental practice stays present in their minds, and cement your position as the authority on dental issues in your area.
In 2016, your potential clients are consuming media all over the Internet, usually on their mobile phones. They are also using the Internet to discover and research attorneys like you. Use the right online strategies to reach and connect with these potential clients or risk losing those opportunities to your competitors!
Want to know more? Start with a free comprehensive dental website audit.