Dental practice marketing strategies

by Michael Talburt on October 1, 2018
whitehat

 

Let’s face it. Many people fear you. Seventy five (75%) percent of adults experience some degree of dental fear, from mild to severe. Five to ten percent have dental phobia who avoid dental care at all costs. What is it with dentists?

When people were asked to think about the last time they searched for health and medical information, as well as doctors or other health professionals…

Seventy-seven percent (77%) said that they began at a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo.

If they find you, is their fear of dentists eliminated? Will they be delighted to have found you as their friendly local dentist?

Man shopping online for a dentist

Can they find you on search engines at all?

And here’s something more for you to sink your teeth into:

Fifty-two percent (52%) of smartphone owners gather health information, as well as information about health-related services, on their phones. Is your website mobile-friendly?

A survey finds that 74% of adults who use the internet:

Are there positive reviews about your dental office online?

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 most of all, appealing to your target patients. You can engage more people in social media and make them like you.

You can build and expand your own brand. We can help you with that.

We provide:

  • Responsive Web Design
  • SEO
  • Local Buzz
  • Online Reputation Management
  • Social Media Optimisation
  • Pay Per Click Management and Remarketing
  • Website Audit
  • Brand and Content Optimisation
  • And much, much, more.

Put some Teeth into your Online Marketing

In the traditional marketing age, flyers, brochures, billboard and coupons used to be 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 the rapid growth of people using the internet and the change in their behaviour when looking for services, many businesses have decided to explore online marketing.

Both methods have the same objectives: establish a brand image and get customers. Which of these two can help your dental business the most?

Man looking for dentist with binoculars

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 today, 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 who read these materials will remember them when they need their services.

Portrait of smiling co-workers standing in a line in dental clinic

Is this enough?

According to a study, Seventy-two (72%) of internet users say they looked online for health information within the past year. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of these people say they began at a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo to look for information. Eighty percent (80%) have looked online for information on health topics, such as specific diseases or treatments. Thirty-four percent (34%) have read about someone else’s experiences with their health or medical issues in an online newsgroup, website, or blog. And twenty-five percent (25%) have watched an online video about health or medical issues.

Referencehttps://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/areas-of-interest/public-health/adult-dental-health-survey 

These numbers are growing steadily year after year.

Nowadays, when potential patients realise they have a dental issue, they will look for a solution online. They will have to find you as their friendly and accessible local solution.

In contrast, when you distribute traditional marketing materials like flyers and brochures, you “hope” that someone will remember and call you or visit you when they have finally acquired a dental issue.

Traditional marketing still helps, but with changes in consumer behaviour, now is the best time to integrate online marketing into your dental practice.

Why? Simply put, online marketing can help your dental office be searchable and more visible to people who are actively searching for and considering a dentist right when they need one.

Vintage sign with giant tooth hanging in front of dentist's office

Make your dental marketing bite with these tips

The reality of the situation is that search engines and local directories have taken the place of the Yellow Pages. As a dental practitioner, it is your responsibility to ensure you invest the majority of your energy into new marketing strategies that can benefit your business.

Here are six 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 and outdated, chances are, they’ll quickly navigate away from it. When websites are designed well, clients can acquire the information they are looking for without much trouble. That’s a plus for you and your office!

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 clinic
  • Details and pricing of your services
  • Links to your blog and social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)
  • A corner where customers can place and read reviews about your services
  • Your website must be mobile-friendly, employing a responsive web design architecture
    1. Learn the Basics of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). You’ve probably heard a lot about search engine optimisation practices such as optimising keywords, or publishing relevant, useful and fresh content. But are you aware that there’s more behind your website that can help too? Things like headers, alt texts and meta descriptions can help search engine crawlers rank your websites higher in search results.

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
    1. Invest in Local Visibility. Did you know that search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! offer local listings for businesses? By listing your dental office with these search engines, you increase the possibility of being visible to people looking online for dentists within their area and coming across yours. There are other local directories and internet yellow pages such as Yelp, City Search, SuperPages, and many more.

Support Local Dentist placard with bokeh background

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.
    1. 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.

Referencehttps://www.england.nhs.uk/contact-us/how-can-we-help/how-do-i-find-an-nhs-dentist/ 

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
    1. Online Reputation Management. In the digital era, no one and nothing is protecting you from criticism anymore. Such is the case for dentists, whose practice can be hit by negative online reviews once in a while. Do you know how powerful online reviews can be? According to research, fifty-two percent (52%) of those who searched online for referred businesses looked for reviews or ratings. A separate study also showed that eighty percent (80%) of consumers can change their purchase decision after reading a negative review.

What can you do to spare your dental office from the effects of bad reviews about you if ever there are? How can you maintain the good reputation of your office? 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 in 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
    1. 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.

    1. 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 a user types in search engines that your web page shows up for

We know you need to focus on doing what you do best, and that is to maintain the overall oral health of your patients. Studying and exploring online marketing tips and strategies on your own can be very time consuming, and that’s why we are here. We can help you in all of areas of online marketing – it’s what we do best!

Let's look at your Dental Industry Data

As dentists, your most valued number has always been 32, or the total number for a complete set of teeth. But there are now also other numbers and figures to consider with the Internet being such a big part of people’s lives. Here are some quick stats to chew on:

  • 8 out of 10 say they began looking for health or medical information, as well as doctors or health professionals at a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
  • 72% of users say they looked or health information online within past year.
  • 35% of adults say that at one time or another, they have gone online specifically to try to figure out what medical condition they or someone else might have. We call them online diagnosers.
  • 46% of online diagnosers say that the information they found online led them to think they needed the attention of a medical professional.
  • 53% of online diagnosers followed-up with medical professional after online diagnosis.
  • 52% of smartphone owners gather health info and health-related services on their phones.
  • 34% of people have read about someone else’s experiences with medical issues online

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. Your dental service can be more known within your local area, and there are a few steps to take to market yourself better. But it’s important to also 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 a few other dental marketing facts to consider:

Looked Online to Diagnose a Condition

Followed up with a Medical Professional
after Online Diagnosis

35%

53%

Age

19-29

47%

47%

30-49

43%

55%

50-64

29%

58%

65%

13%

47%

Race / Ethnicity

White, Non-Hispanic

37%

52%

Black, Non-Hispanic

30%

59%

Hispanic

25%

58%

Annual Household Income

£46,000+

51%

53%

£31,000 - £45,999

44%

62%

£19,000 - £30,999

37%

60%

Less Than £19,000/year

35%

44%

Educational Level

Less Than High School Diploma

9%

0%

High School Graduate

26%

51%

Some College

41%

55%

College+

49%

51%

What does this mean for you? The Internet has become such a hub for information that people will constantly use it to look up any curiosity they have on medical conditions or treatments. They are most likely to search for any solution to whatever medical issue, dental or otherwise, that they have. And these people, who looked online to diagnose a condition, are most likely to follow up with a medical professional.

So why not be more visible to them and show you can help?

Dentists need more likes?

Unless people know you specifically by name or place, they are going to start with search engines. In your case, they are possibly looking for anything related to dentistry. In fact, eight out of ten people start looking for dental assistance through search engines. If we’re going to put that in familiar terms, that would mean in a room of 32 people, at least 25 or 26 of them will be starting from Google, Yahoo! or Bing.

If you don’t have a proper website just yet, you can always put yourself in local directories like Yelp or the Yellow Pages. 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 would, in turn, getting a good review from them. 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 the positive reviews forward in these sites.

Consider the two earlier chewed on points: 72% of people looked up health information within the past year and among that percentage, a little over half them (52%) used their smartphones to do so. This means that that unless they’re at home and have access to a desktop or laptop, there’s an equally good chance that your potential patients are looking for your services on a mobile device. 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. When you look at those figures again, this would be great for the 48% of patients that don’t use their phones, but can be problematic for the other 52%. Your website cannot just appease one solid 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 to have a wider, compatible reach where people can quickly get the information they need to contact you.

Dental website

Now it’s possible that you could be shaking your head at any of the things just mentioned. You might not have an entirely mobile compatible site, a local directory listing with good reviews or even a properly managed website that would turn up when people searched online. However, there’s no need to worry like you have a bad cavity if that’s the case. Unlike tooth decay, this situation can still be fixed entirely even if you address it late.

There’s a lot that you can do to expand your reach online and make yourself visible to people when they search for oral hygiene care. We offer services that will help build your reputation, establish your social media presence, let local directories know who you are, and make you visible and rank in search engines. As we said earlier, people are always looking out for their health, and if you can be the one that provides them the dental service they need, you can start by letting them know that you exist when they search for help online.

Dentists know that tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the entire human body. So if you’re ready to have an online presence that’s as solid as enamel, fill out a form today or call us for an appointment.

So smile, fill out the form or call us now at +44 20 8834 4795 and make an appointment. Let us give you a pleasant drill down of our services. Allow us to extract all the information we need from you to help you with your online marketing.

Other relevant articles

  1. Life science marketing, an effective inbound marketing strategy
  2. Marketing for accounting firms
  3. Marketing online for chiropractors
  4. Marketing for vet practices
  5. Digital marketing for plumbers
  6. Restaurant marketing
  7. Digital marketing for estate agents
  8. Marketing for opticians
  9. Online marketing for hotels
  10. Law firm marketing online
  11. Promoting charities online
  12. Cosmetic surgeon marketing online
  13. Personal trainer marketing
  14. Car body repair marketing
  15. Trade show marketing

 

Topics: SEO, Local Buzz