Updated 26 May 2020
As dentists, many people fear you. As many as 75% of adults report some level of fear of the dentist's chair. But is that the only thing keeping them from booking a dental appointment at your surgery?
When people were asked to think about the last time they searched for health and medical information 77% said that they began at a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
If they find you, will their fear of dentists be eliminated?
Will they be delighted to have found you as their friendly local dentist?
Are there positive reviews about your dental office online?
Can they find you on search engines at all?
If your answer to any of these questions is 'no' do not fret. There’s a lot you can do to make your dental practice more searchable and accessible online, and more appealing to your target patients.
Give your Online Marketing some teeth!
In the old traditional marketing age, flyers, brochures, billboard and coupons were the most popular means of promoting a product or a business.However, since the birth of the Internet and other technologies, these methods were eclipsed by digital marketing.
With more people than ever searching for services online, many businesses have decided to respond by exploring online marketing.
All marketing methods have the same objectives: establish a brand image and get customers. But which of these two can help your dental business the most?
Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing
When it comes to marketing your services, is going digital an imperative in this day and age?
Many local businesses, including dental offices, still rely on conventional marketing methods to attract customers. They give out flyers and place ads around their area, hoping that people will remember these materials will when they need their services.
But is this enough?
Nowadays, when potential patients realise they have a dental issue, they look for a solution online. And to win them as a patient you will have to appear in their search results as a friendly and accessible local solution.
Here are a few figures for you to sink your teeth into. A survey found that of 74% of adults who use the internet:
- 80% have looked online for information about health topics, such as specific diseases or treatments;
- 34% have read someone else’s comments or experience about health or medical issues on an online news group, website, or blog;
- And 25% have watched an online video about health or medical issues.
Furthermore, 52% of smartphone owners seek information on health and health-related services through their phones.
Traditional marketing like brochures and flyers can still help, but with more and more people searching online when they need a medical professional, it's essential to build an online presence for your dental practice.
Make your dental marketing bite with these tips
The reality is that search engines and local directories have taken the place of the Yellow Pages. As a dental practitioner one of your top priorities should be investing in modern, relevant marketing strategies.
Here are seven major online marketing tips to maximise your efforts:
1. Have a Great Dental Website
Your website is where your online marketing efforts should start. Usually, potential clients will have a quick look at your website before considering your services and if they find your site boring or outdated, chances are they’ll quickly navigate away from it. When websites are designed well, clients can easily get the information they are looking for.
To guarantee your website’s efficiency and accessibility, be sure to include the following:
- Access to your contact information as well as directions to your surgery
- Details and pricing of your services
- Links to your blog and social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)
- A section where customers can place and read reviews about your services
- Your website must be mobile-friendly, employing responsive web design architecture
2. Learn the Basics of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Here are some other tips that can help your website achieve better rankings:
- Provide useful and fresh content like articles, videos, infographics, reviews, etc.
- Integrate promos into your content
- Optimise your URLs, titles, descriptions, alt texts
- Improve your website’s loading time
- Register your website with Google and Bing webmaster tools
Here are some ways your local visibility can be boosted:
- Publish your promos on local listings and directories
- Bolt on your SEO and Social Media to your Local Buzz strategy
4. Utilise the Power of Social Media
A strong presence on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms is essential nowadays, since most of your current and potential clients are probably active social media users.
What should you do to keep up with this growing trend? How can you use social media to market your services? Here are some quick pointers:
- Include testimonials and reviews from past customers
- Have a regular discussion about good dental practices
- Include a quick link back to your website and blog
- Share engaging photos (like pictures of happy clients, quotes, etc.)
- Post announcements of special offers
5. Online Reputation Management (ORM)
In the digital era, nothing is protecting you from criticism. Such is the case for dentists, whose practices can be hit by negative online reviews once in a while. Do you know how powerful online reviews can be? According to research 52% of those who searched online for referred businesses looked for reviews or ratings. A separate study also showed that 80% of consumers can change their purchase decision after reading a negative review.
What can you do to spare your dental office the effects of bad reviews? How can you maintain the good reputation of your surgery? Here are a few tips:
- Look for in-depth reports detailing where you stand against your competition and what actions you need to take for your ORM campaign
- Publish genuine consumer reviews only on relevant websites
- Optimise your social media accounts
- If you don’t have a blog yet, set up one and start posting content that can push down negative reviews about your services
6. Make use of PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising
When you need traffic, PPC advertising is a great way to get it. In a nutshell, PPC is pretty simple: Search engines have features that allow businesses to buy ad placements in their search results. These listings appear above, below and alongside organic, non-paid results.
If someone clicks on your listing, they will be redirected to your website and you, in turn, will be charged the amount you bid. These ads can be a bit expensive but if you’re looking for immediate results PPC advertising can offer a guaranteed solution.
Aside from appearing directly on a search engine’s results pages, you can also run ads through Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
7. Tracking, Analytics and Reporting
Making sure your website looks good is one thing; knowing if you’re actually getting traffic is another. You need to have a traffic and analytics system that does the following:
- Allows you to see the total traffic your website is getting, including the breakdown of data from organic, referral, direct, paid and social sources
- Allows you to analyse which of your campaigns are working or not
- Allows you to know if visitors are engaged in your content or if they leave right away
- Alerts you if there are crawl issues on your website
- Allows you to know how often your web page appears in a search query and how many times it has been visited, as well as its average ranking
- Automatically detects every new search query or keyword that your web page shows up for in search engines
We know you need to focus on doing what you do best - maintaining the overall oral health of your patients. Studying online marketing tips and strategies on your own can be very time consuming and unfamiliar. That’s why we're here. We can help you in all of areas of online marketing – it’s what we do best!
Let's look at the Dental Industry Data
People are looking online more for health services and resources, and they will obviously go for the ones that are most visible to them when they search. It’s important to remember to not just cater to a portion of potential patients as people from all walks of life are constantly looking for help with their oral hygiene every day.
Here are some demographic dental marketing stats to consider:
As you can see, large numbers of people look online for their medical queries, including dental issues, and most will follow up their online search with a medical professional.
And with eight out of ten people start looking for dental assistance through search engines why not be more visible to them and show you can help?
If you don’t have a proper website just yet, you can always put yourself in local directories like Yelp. You also want to get in the good graces of potential patients, so you need to generate buzz. As directories also work as aggregators of reviews made by different people who go to a business or service, leaving a good impression on patients will, in turn, result in good reviews.
Think for a moment not as a dentist but as patient browsing online. When you see different dental services to choose from, are you likely to choose the one that offers cheap services but has three star reviews, or the slightly pricier clinic but with glowing five star reviews? This is the importance of pushing positive reviews on these sites.
As we noted above, 52% of those looking for health information online did so through a smartphone. Why is this significant? Many websites are properly designed and laid out for desktops and laptops, but do not have a corresponding mobile version to them.
Your website cannot fail to appeal to half of potential patients just because it is not properly formatted for their preferred device. If you want your dental practice to be known online you need to have a desktop-friendly and a mobile-friendly website in order for people to quickly get the information they need about your practice and services.
We can help!
Now it’s possible that you might not have an entirely mobile compatible site, a local directory listing with good reviews or even a properly managed website that will appear in search engine results pages. However, there’s no need to worry like you have a bad cavity.
There’s a lot that you can do to expand your reach online and make your surgery visible to people when they search for dental care or oral hygiene. Here at Whitehat we offer services that will help build your reputation, establish your social media presence, let local directories know who you are, and raise your ranking in search engines.
If you’re ready to make your online presence as solid as enamel, fill out a form today or call us for an appointment.
- Local Buzz
- Responsive Web Design
- Online Reputation Management
- Social Media Optimisation
- Pay Per Click Management and Remarketing
- Website Audit
- Brand and Content Optimisation
- And much, much, more
So let us give you a drill down of our services. Allow us to extract all the information we need to help provide our wisdom for your online marketing. Fill out the form or call us now at 020 8834 4795 and make an appointment - we'll make you smile.
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