Table of Contents
- Marketing For Dentists: Essential Components Of Digital Dental Marketing
- 1. Build A Dental Website That Is Modern and Technically Proficient
- 2. Leverage Dental SEO Tactics To Rank Higher On Google Maps
- 3. Take Advantage Of Social Media Platforms With Engaging Content
- 4. Add A Blog To Your Website and Start Blogging
- 5. Acquire More Google Reviews Than Any Other Practice In Your Area
- Implementing All Four Strategies Into A Comprehensive Marketing Campaign
- Need Help? We’ve Got Marketing For Dentists Covered
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How can a dentist get more customers?
- Do dentists need marketing?
- How much does the average dentist spend on marketing?
- How do you do dental digital marketing?
- What marketing tools are used in dentistry?
- How can I grow my dental business?
- Why is marketing important for dentists?
- What is dental marketing?
- How do I market my practice on social media?
- How do I advertise a new dental practice?
- How can a dental practice increase sales?
- 10 Brilliant Marketing Ideas for Orthodontic Practices
- 3 Fun Dental Marketing Ideas During October
- 21 Essential HIPAA Dental Questions You Were Afraid To Ask
Marketing For Dentists: Essential Components Of Digital Dental Marketing
Attracting new patients and being found online is super competitive in today’s digital world. It’s not only just attracting any type of patient, we all want to attract patients for big cases and our most valuable services, which is not a simple task!
Digital marketing for dentists requires time that most dental practices can’t spare. To save as much time as possible, the person in charge of your dental marketing needs to understand the digital marketing landscape and how the practice digital assets work together to create a cohesive digital marketing strategy.
Dental social media tactics have changed significantly in the past several years, especially with privacy issues related to Facebook advertising. The dental SEO strategies that your dental marketing company implemented last year may need some serious tweaking. Reputation management and campaigns on how to get more Google reviews should be a part of every dental practice’s digital campaign.
If a practice is needing to increase new patient flow, should digital dental marketing be part of their overall strategy. According to some of the most valuable brands on the planet, the answer is yes.
Continue reading if you’re interested in improving your dental marketing campaign.
1. Build A Dental Website That Is Modern and Technically Proficient
Approximately 20% of all dentists don’t have a website. Seriously! That was a stat I found in early last year. Hopefully since then the dentists that didn’t have a site have come to the light.
A modern, comprehensive website is the cornerstone of any great dental practice’s digital marketing. First impressions matter tremendously, and if your dental website design looks like it came from the stone age, you are definitely going to have a big problem building trust in visitors to your site.
A website carries a level of transference about your dental skill. Transference is a psychological phenomenon where feelings about one thing transfer or are redirected to something else. If your website is sketchy, is it possible that they transfer that feeling to their belief of your dental skill?
Trust must be build with patients and your website design is one way to help build that trust.
Beyond aesthetics, a dental website should be organized and function technically well, which improves visitor experience and translates to higher rankings and conversions.
A website gives you a place to host content, offers information on your services, and then goes on to send the right signals to Google for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. Having information for your practice on your site, coupled with custom copywriting and keywords, increases the chances your practice pops up when people search for specific dental services.
Consider the following when redesigning or upgrading your website:
- Custom design and photography
- Videos, more videos, and more videos
- Blog posts that feature the team and dentist
- Current ‘Meet the Dentist’ and ‘Meet the Team’ profiles
- Live Chat
- Integrated social media feeds
- Virtual consultation integration
- Online scheduling
- Mobile optimization
- Display of 5 star reviews
Check The Technical Aspects Of Your Dental Website
The technical aspects of a dental website are often overlooked, but not by Google.
Google wants the consumer experience to be flawless. If your website loads slowly, has bad links, is not secure, or mobile optimized you’ll be punished with lower rankings in the search engines. Grade your website to see if it’s technically proficient.
All great marketing for dentists campaigns require that the technical aspects of a dental website are up to snuff.
In today’s fast-paced world, website visitors have zero patience. If a page loads too slowly, visitors bounce. Your bounce rate impacts search rankings positively or negatively. First impressions count, and unfortunately, being sluggish is not a good one. You only have three seconds for a page to load before 40% of your potential patients click the back button.
Security is a no-brainer in healthcare. If your website isn’t secure, you expose the practice and the clients to a significant future headache. Being fully secure is also a requirement for HIPAA especially if you have online forms and payments through your website.
MOBILE OPTIMIZED DESIGN
More people use mobile devices to search online than searches on a desktop. Web design that is mobile optimized is a must.
Searching through a website that is not correctly set up for mobile is frustrating and will drive patients away. And with Google’s mobile first index implemented, you’d better make sure your site is mobile-optimized otherwise you’ll be punished with lower rankings.
CODED PROPERLY FOR SEO
The most successful dental practice websites are correctly built and coded for SEO. SEO is a digital marketing strategy that helps Google read and rank your website for the search phrases (keywords) that are most valuable to your practice.
Getting into SEO is close to opening pandora’s box. It’s feels like a never ending graduate mathematics class where the basic rules of math change willy nilly. Well, maybe not that bad, but close.
But don’t let me scare you from moving forward with and SEO strategy. SEO is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to be found by patients who have their pocket books out. To learn more about dental SEO read SEO dental industry articles and follow SEO online publications.
2. Leverage Dental SEO Tactics To Rank Higher On Google Maps
A Google Business Profile (GBP) is required for local dental online marketing. A GBP listing is what shows up in the Google maps section of SERP’s. When you rank higher and in a wider radius on Google maps, local potential patients will find you on the front page of Google.
Your practice GBP is free to set up. If you’ve never accessed your GBP profile you can learn how to with this dental SEO training video.
When looking for a local dentist on Google, a map location is generated with all the nearby dentists.
Most information a new patient needs is listed in the Google listing, such as an address, business hours, phone number, website, reviews, average review rating, main service, etc., making it easier for the person searching to find answers and become your newest patient.
+90 percent of worldwide searches are on Google. An optimized Google Business Profile is a huge new patient opportunity that most dentists are not aware of.
How To Optimize Your Google Business Profile?
When a potential patient searches for a dentist online, they’ll get the Google Map 3-Pack in the search result. The Google Map 3-ack are the top three listings on the Google map.
It’s a big deal to be listed in the Google Map 3-Pack. Our own dental marketing case studies have shown that it can double and sometimes triple your new patient phone calls.
Optimization of your GBP will help it to rank higher in the search engine and also at a wider radius. What this means is that your GBP will show up for patients searching further and further away from your practice address. Essentially you’ll be out-ranking practices that are located closer to the person searching.
I created a marketing video explaining how this happens. Check it out here.
What Happens If You Don’t Optimize Your GMB Listing?
You’re going to get your lunch eaten by your competition.
Patients will search for a dentist near them and even if you’re the closest practice from where they are searching, you won’t be on the first page of search results. It’s true. Your practice could be just down the street from patient who is searching “emergency dentist near me” and practices that are actually further away will show up higher in the map.
It’s not that your practice listing isn’t there, it’s just buried deep in the results.
Thousands of consumer online search studies have shown that more than 90% of people choose a result on the first page on SERPs. The practices listed on the first page are the ones that get the lion’s share of new patient phone calls.
DIGITAL DENTAL MARKETING TRAINING VIDEO
Recently we recorded a dental marketing video that will help walk a dental marketing manager through some of the most important marketing strategies. You can watch that educational marketing video here.
3. Take Advantage Of Social Media Platforms With Engaging Content
All digital dental marketing campaigns should include setting up and maintaining active social media accounts. Social media helps your practice stay in ongoing contact with current and potential patients in your community.
Social Media Improves Local Awareness
If you learn how to produce good content that gets lots of engagement, you’ll find over time that it will become one of the most valuable aspects of your dental marketing plan.
Leveraging social media tools doesn’t require big budgets like traditional advertising or online paid advertising. However, it does require some time and training to understand how to create effective and engaging content.
The best place to go for social media ideas is to subscribe to My Social Practice’s blog. We are constantly coming up with super-cool ideas that you and your team can easily do.
Which Social Media Tools Should A Dental Practice Use?
After helping thousands of practices runs effective social media campaigns we’ve learned that it’s important to use the right tools, but more important to create the best types of content.
LEVERAGE INSTAGRAM IN SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNS
Instagram is owned by Facebook but was built as a mobile photo sharing app. Over the years it has added tons of functionality, to the point that it’s one of the best ways to advertise and market a dental practice.
The mean age demographic of Instagram is younger than Facebook. So if you’re trying to reach mothers with small children, Instagram fits that demographic.
Instagram also has a unique marketing opportunity with influencers. Instagram influencers are people who have followers that trust their opinion about brands and products.
I know how some people feel about Instagram influencers, keep reading. When it comes to dental social media marketing, we’re not talking about influencers with millions of followers. Influencers that big have followers scattered across the world.
Dental practices do extremely well with micro-influencers. These are people on Instagram with less than 10,000 followers. When you look at where followers of micro-influencers are located you’ll find that a much larger percentage are located in your community. And, that is what you want.
USE FACEBOOK IN YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING CAMPAIGN
Even though Facebook seems ancient in the social media world, it isn’t going away. If anything, it’s evolving.
You can’t forget that Facebook has more people using the software than any other social media platform. If you’re trying to reach your local audience, Facebook needs to be part of your marketing plan.
One of the benefits of Facebook is the direct messaging function. There should be someone on your team that mans the direct messages from Facebook. Direct messaging is nearly as important as your practice telephone. If you don’t have a team member to do this you should seriously consider hiring someone to do it for you.
Humanizing your practice can help your patients feel closer to you and your staff. This creates feelings of trustworthiness, kind of like being part of a family. And isn't the ultimate goal to have a large dental family?
IF YOU HAVEN’T STARTED, GET ON TIKTOK TODAY!
TikTok has taken the social media world by storm. It’s grown faster than any other social media application and it doesn’t look to be slowing down.
If you haven’t been on TikTok I’m encouraging you to do so. But, before you get started make sure to get an accountability coach. A person who will take your phone away when you’ve crossed the way-too-much-TikTok-for-today-line.
Once you’re on TikTok follow some of the dental TikTok mavens. When you see how other dentists are using TikTok to grow their practices you’ll get ideas about how to implement it into your own digital marketing campaign.
4. Add A Blog To Your Website and Start Blogging
I just heard the air leave the room.
I know that you’ve probably heard this from other dental marketing experts and you still haven’t started. Do you know how I know you haven’t? Because no one, I mean no one has the time to write blog posts. Unfortunately for those of you who hate writing or simply don’t have the time, you should invest in copywriting.
New custom articles are one of the most important digital marketing strategies. That goes for everyone, not just dentists.
New content will feed your website, help your blog to be found by search engines, be the basis for all your email marketing, improve your dental SEO exponentially, and helps you to refine your practice mission and purpose.
One of the best ways to start a blog for a dental practice is to write posts that answer your patients most frequently asked questions. Second in line to that idea is to write posts that highlight your team members and your most valuable patients, especially patients with great stories.
But before you begin randomly blogging, you’ll want to do proper research. Marketing for dentists with a blog includes identifying your target audience, which includes geographical and service related items. Once identified you’ll want to include these in your posts to help optimize the blog posts for search engines.
DON’T HAVE THE TIME, GET SOME HELP WITH BLOGGING
A dental marketing agency will have the marketing for dentists expertise and experience to speed up blog content creation for an effective campaign. It’s typical for a dental marketing team to have at least one professional copywriter on staff. Here at My Social Practice we currently have 4 professional copywriters.
When making a decision on hiring a copywriter make sure that you get a sample of their work. You’ll want to make sure that the tone and quality of their writing fits within your dental practice brand.
5. Acquire More Google Reviews Than Any Other Practice In Your Area
This is #5 on the list but it doesn’t mean it’s less valuable.
If there was only one dental digital marketing strategy to focus on, this is what you want to do. Google reviews have become increasingly important to local search over the years. There is one main reasons for this.
GOOGLE REVIEWS ARE ATTACHED TO YOUR GBP AND SHOW UP IN SEARCH
This example helps describe what I mean.
A dentist just spent $20,000 on a print mail campaign, or a billboard, or a television ad, or professional photography, or a website, it doesn’t really matter what marketing initiative it is; and where’s the first place that someone who has seen the advertising going to go?
To Google where the potential patient checks out the practice’s Google review profile. If the review profile is not great there is a fairly high chance that the $20,000 marketing campaign will be undermined by the review profile.
For those practices out there that have not been working on acquiring 5 star Google reviews, your review profile is likely destroying all your marketing initiatives, including referral programs.
Google reviews have the unique ability to improve or destroy most marketing campaigns. If you’re going to do one thing start by getting more Google reviews.
Implementing All Four Strategies Into A Comprehensive Marketing Campaign
When it comes to promoting, advertising, and building a brand, social media, great website development, digital marketing for dentists strategies, together with SEO are life changers. Digital marketing for dentists is very inexpensive compared to traditional marketing and way more effective at building any business, including a dental practice.
So, the benefits are enormous for your practice to invest energy in, social media, SEO and content web marketing for dentists. Google Maps SEO helps you move up to the first search engine page on the Google map. Beyond that, there are several other benefits:
GREATER BRAND AWARENESS
When you have all four of these digital marketing for dentists strategies running on 6 cylinders you’ll stand apart from the competition. There are upwards of 200,000 practicing dentists in the U.S. alone. Branding your practice and establishing a name are essential to capturing an audience and attracting attention.
IMPROVED PATIENT AND COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS
Consistent blog posts, articles, social media, and content marketing for dentists will create a powerful dental marketing campaign. Not only will more people in your community find you online, these potential patients will have confidence in your practice because you are creating content that answers their burning questions.
You can reply to questions and concerns through social media, which humanizes your practice and brand even more. It is an excellent opportunity to show your expertise in your field, giving you more credibility and increasing your chances of being chosen.
NEW WAYS TO GROW YOUR PRACTICE
Digital marketing for dentists can open many doors for your practice and create new growth opportunities.
If you regularly post original, insightful content, you will quickly become recognized as an expert in your field. It can lead to an influx of patients and even turn into a speaking engagement, which is another excellent way to get the word out about your practice.
Need Help? We’ve Got Marketing For Dentists Covered
If you are ready to take the next step to attract new dental patients but don’t know where to begin or simply don’t have the time to get going, My Social Practice is here to help. Fill out a form to get a personalized no-obligation dental SEO summary and quote. An SEO and marketing strategy can be one of the best investments you’ll make for your dental practice. We can’t wait to get you started.
Frequently Asked Questions
Attracting new customers can be done with traditional advertising and/or digital marketing.
Examples of traditional advertising would be print mail, post cards, brochures, letters, trade shows, local events, television ads, referral programs, radio advertising, and billboards.
Examples of digital marketing are website development, Search Engine Optimization, reputation management, Google maps optimization, social media management and online paid advertising.
Both traditional and digital marketing strategies will work to find new customers.
Marketing has become essential if you want your practice to thrive and grow. The marketplace is highly competitive and patients are able to research multiple options within seconds.
Dental marketing strategies will ensure that your practice can be found via search engines, social media platforms, and in paid advertising.
It’s important to remember that being found is only half of the battle when it comes to growing a dental practice, you also need to be chosen.
In a recent survey more than 50% of dentists reported spending a minimum of $1,000 a month on marketing. Just over 20% reported spending more than $5,000 per month. 5% of those surveyed reported spending zero.
As a general rule dentists should try to maintain at least a 40% profit margin and of expenses marketing should not exceed 7% of total costs.
Dental digital marketing involves a four phase process known to expert marketers. The four phases are; Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action and the acronym that most marketers use is RICE.
First, you must reach your audience. Reaching your audience an be done with several strategies including, social media marketing, email marketing, paid advertising, SEO, and blogging.
Second, you interact with the audience. Interaction includes a well designed website, live chat support, internal website and social media channel linking, calls to action, and custom photography and video content creation.
Third, you convert your audience. Conversion involves exclusive offers, landing pages with calls to action, schedule now buttons and options, and copywriting focused on conversion.
Fourth, you engage with your audience. Engagement involves some of the action items listed above but are repeated with a focus on nurturing. These tactics include email marketing, organic social media posts that allow for personal interaction, and remarketing strategies.
Once a digital marketing campaign is created ask yourself the following questions:
- Are we reaching the correct audience?
- Are my patients interacting with my practice through the platforms in my campaign?
- Are potential patients converting to scheduled patients?
- Are we seeing any repeat business from previous patients?
Some of the most used marketing tools in dentistry are:
- Automated email systems
- Lead generation website tools like OptinMonster
- Web chat
- Text reminders
- Paid advertising
- Paid social advertising
- Display advertising
- Retargeted advertising
- Directory submission tools
- Lead pages
- Buyer persona tools like Hubspot
- Google analytics
- SEO tools like SEMRush
About the Author: Adrian Lefler is a dental marketing expert and a key member of the dental marketing team at My Social Practice. My Social Practice is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Adrian is passionate about helping dental practices grow. If you’d like to book one of the members of My Social Practice’s speaking team, you can do that HERE. Interested in learning more about the benefits of dentist SEO or our dental SEO service, please schedule a complimentary consultation. And, don’t forget to read our Google reviews.