Dental internet marketing is hardly uncharted territory. Some of today’s most innovative dental practices have completely replaced their old-fashioned dental marketing strategies with highly successful online marketing campaigns.
If you’ve arrived at this article from a Google search, chances are: you’re a dentist looking to expand your local footprint.
You may not be ready to take the leap of faith into full-fledged online marketing for your dental practice – or you very well may have already decided to do just that. Either way, I’ve given my best effort to provide you with a set of actionable dental marketing strategies in order to help you grow your business and get more patients in your door.
Top Dental Marketing Ideas
Sending greeting cards to new homeowners in your practice’s area might not produce as many dental patients as it did in the past. The truth is, post cards don’t cut it anymore, now that people are looking less to their mailboxes and more to their email inboxes for important communication. The end goal for a new or established dental practice is the same today as it was many years ago (that goal being a steady flow of business), but the most cost-effective (and literally effective) ways to get new patients in your doors couldn’t be more different.
How To Market A Dental Practice – 3 Proven Techniques
While there are countless ways to market your dental office, I’ve consolidated the top three dental marketing ideas to help you get started with some easy dental marketing strategies that won’t cost you much, if anything at all.
Start A Dental Blog
Start a blog. Actually, start a blog today. Let me be frank, the reason you’ve made it to this page is because I wrote a killer blog post (in my humble opinion) for dentists like yourself who are looking to get more patients and to increase their cashflow. While this may be an oversimplification: If you write high-quality dental blog posts that appeal to your target audience, you’ll build credibility as an industry authority, which, in turn, generates more patients who are choosing you over your competition, not only because you are a reliable local dentist, but because you publish thought-leading content.
I’ll be the first to say that starting a blog is no walk in the park. It requires focus, motivation, and above all else, lots of trial-and-error.
My goal is to make the concept of marketing your dental practice a reality by breaking the process down into easy-to-consume bites. Since blogging is a topic for another day, I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction and I plan to expand on the topic in the near future. Keep your eyes out for a post that’s written solely about dental blogging tips in the near future.
For now, this should get you started on your new dental blog. First off, here’s some topics that you can write about and publish:
- The long-term benefits of dental mouth guards
- 10 reasons everyone should visit the dentist twice each year
- New technologies in modern dentistry
But seriously, you went to dental school for a reason. Take the knowledge you have from your experience, build on it, and share it with the world.[Tweet “You went to dental school for a reason. Take that knowledge and share it with the world!”]
Build An Email List
I can imagine some of the younger readers of this post chuckling at the thought of sending mass emails… as if emails were still useful.
Well, for those of you who are too cool for email – you’re missing out.
If you want to connect with your current list of patients, email is the way to go. [for anyone who calls me out for saying anything about age, trust me, I’m still well under 30].
To get started with building an email list for your dental practice, use the handy export options that are available in the dental practice management software you already use – DentiMax, Dovetail, MOGO, Ace Dental, Accountable, Maxident, and Denticon should all let you export email lists from your patient records. Import those lists into a popular email newsletter marketing tool like MailChimp or use a more advanced tool like Drip and send away!
The beauty in sending emails is that they cost a fraction of what you’d spend on a greeting card campaign, and they are much more relevant to your patients.
Pro Tip: If you send dental marketing emails that are addressed from the name of your dental practice, you may get caught by spam filters or you may end up in the no-mans-land “promotional” tab of modern email inboxes. To avoid that, and to keep things on a more personable level with your patients, send it from your name. An example would be sending emails from “John Doe, DDS” – as opposed to “Doe Dental Associates”.
Request Testimonials From Dental Patients
Word of mouth recommendations and testimonials are a key marketing tool for any reliable dentistry. If you’re great at your profession, testimonials will be one of the easiest forms of content to produce. In several cases, testimonials may prove to be your most influential marketing asset.
Testimonials from loyal patients can be used on your website, in print material, in advertisements, and just about anywhere else you market your local dentist office.
To start collecting testimonials, all you have to do is send an email request out to all of your patients. Or, yet another great way to get testimonials, is by having your receptionists ask for a review or testimonial when your patients are checking out after a routine exam or procedure.
Even if you don’t have an immediate use for testimonials, you’re doing business in an industry that relies heavily on credibility and word of mouth (no pun intended). If you ever decide to hire a dental web design company or dental marketing company, one of their first content requests will likely be for reviews and patient testimonials. You’ll thank me later for telling you to get a head start today. Pickleball paddle
Advanced Dental SEO Marketing Strategies
SEO For Dentists
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is likely the most effective dental marketing service available to private practices. Dental SEO marketing can direct an impressive number of visitors to your website, which leads to more patients.
For some perspective, a dental SEO company will often have a leg-up on run-of-the-mill dental marketing companies because the former focus on one primary goal: ranking higher in Google (and other search engines) for keywords that your target patient is likely to be searching – or, if you have a specific goal in mind, a target number of calls per month. They’ll do anything it takes to get there. A professional dental SEO service will usually start at about $1,250/month [see our pricing] and the results will be staggering. For lots of dentists, the equation is simple:
If each patient has a lifetime value of say, $8,000 (see this study for why I chose that number), getting one new dental patient every month because of professional dental SEO puts you in the green. But that’s an ultra-conservative figure. Our top-performing dental SEO campaigns have boasted staggeringly high lead generation rates. For example, one of our clients who’s been working with us for less than 8 months has gone from averaging 1 online lead per month to over 35 (that’s more than 1 lead per day). SEO for dentists can prove to be one of the best ways to spend marketing dollars.
Dental Website Design
It’s one thing to get visitors to your website, and it’s another thing to turn them into loyal patients. While a five-star dental SEO service or a great dental marketing company can handle the former part of that sentence, a professional dental website design will take care of the rest.
To quote Jay Levine in a popular article published by the American Dental Association (ADA):
“Remember that a website gives patients their first glimpse of your practice, and patients are likely to associate a professional, quality website with professional, quality care.”
Hiring a professional website design company is key to your online success and doing so will magnify the results of any other dental marketing strategies. Here’s an ultra-practical example of why a dental website can help you get more customers – especially when combined with other dental marketing techniques:
You may find yourself investing in dental SEO marketing efforts for an extended period of time and have nothing to show for it. Even if your SEO consultant is able to produce graphs of increases in visitors, you still have not gotten one patient or dental consultation from your SEO campaign.
One of the likely reasons for your lack of new patient activity is that people are arriving at your website and end up not finding what they are looking for. There’s no “book an appointment” button or any other prompt to start the dialogue. As smart as your visitors may be, they won’t contact you unless you give them a straightforward call to action and make it scream “CLICK ME!”
Dental website design is a necessity if you’re looking to grow your business online. When you invest in SEO or social media marketing for your dental practice, make sure you have somewhere to direct your audience that will turn them into leads and patients.
Dental Marketing Services – A Word For The Wise
To tie this post up with a pretty pink ribbon, I want to share some thoughts and suggestions that reflect on the article’s main topic: growing your dental practice.
I hinted to it before, and I’ll say it again here: the first step to successfully pulling offline and online dental marketing campaign is firming up your intentions. Instead of focusing on the number of visitors your website is receiving, focus on the number of patients that are coming from those efforts. Don’t let technicalities like your search positions on any given day represent how well you’re doing. As long as you keep moving forward, the details shouldn’t matter that much in the scheme of things.[Tweet “You need to be able to filter out the junk data to pull off a successful campaign.”]
Building traction online shouldn’t strike you as being very different from what you’re used to (in respect to conventional dental marketing strategy). The hustle and determination are a core element in both methods. The only real difference in digital marketing versus in-person substitutes is that you need to be able to filter out all of the junky data to pull off a successful campaign. I’ll tell you upfront that you, the dental professional, should never have to worry about how many people are visiting your site and how high it is ranking for “best dentists in …” At the end of the day, all that should matter to you is whether or not your investment is paying for itself by bringing you new patients on a regular basis.
* If you need some help and don’t have enough time to run an aggressive marketing campaign for your local dentistry, let us know and we’ll help you reach your goals! – Feel free to shoot me an email here: brennen [at] pixelcutlabs [dot] com. (note: I have to separate the email so I don’t get spam, just type it in with the characters in brackets and we’ll be all set!) You can also shoot me a message by leaving a comment below. Cheers!