Marketing a dental practice isn’t an easy thing to do, and most dentists are doing it wrong. Many dentists rely too heavily on old-fashioned marketing campaigns and not enough on internet marketing. Here are seven of our best dental marketing tips with a focus on 21st-century markets.
Learning these contemporary dental marketing tips can work wonders for your practice and bring you patients on autopilot.
Dental Marketing Tips, No. 1 – Use Facebook to Your Advantage
Social media marketing is underused by professionals such as dentists, doctors, and lawyers. This is hugely unfortunate, but it also means that you can easily gain an advantage over the competition with a few simple dental marketing tips such as signing up for Facebook.
As the world’s most popular social media platform, Facebook can do many things for your business. It’s easy and quick to create a profile and get to work selling your services to people in your area.
Benefits of Facebook Marketing for Dentists
Some of the many benefits of Facebook marketing for dentists include the following:
Free promotion to people in your geographic area through status updates, photo uploads, and other options.
Free analytics on your Facebook fan base – who will also be your clientele base.
Services like Facebook reviews, which work to expand and improve your public image.
Read for dental marketing tips on how to get the most out of these benefits, as well as Facebook’s other marketing advantages.
How to Maximize the Benefits of Facebook Marketing
In order to get the most out of Facebook marketing, you will have to put some work in. This is because of the nature of Facebook and its users: because content on Facebook in general is updated regularly, you will also have to update your content regularly to stay ahead.
I would strongly recommend updating your Facebook page at least twice a day to get the most out of Facebook’s ability to be used for marketing. If you update this often, your content will constantly be in front of potential clients’ eyes.
It’s also good to offer promotions with every update or every other update. For example, you can offer free giveaways to anyone who comes in to your practice on a particular day. You can also offer discounts on services.
It is also very important to construct your posts visually. Visual content, such as images and videos, gets much more attention on Facebook than text alone.
Dental Marketing Tips, No. 2 – Expand the Benefits of Facebook with Facebook Advertising
There’s one last benefit of Facebook for dentists I absolutely need to tell you about: Facebook Ads.
Facebook Ads are one of the most affordable and useful forms of direct marketing out there. They’re easy to use and can be customized to target any particular market you think is a good fit for your practice.
Anyone with a Facebook business profile can sign up. The ads will appear in or around targeted demographics’ Facebook News Feeds, which means a lot of people could see your ads every day. They’re generally very attention-grabbing just by their placement.
You can also make your ads more relevant and attractive by checking out a handy guide to Facebook Ads online. There are plenty of good dental marketing tips out there regarding this.
Although Facebook Ads are a paid service, you could end up making back everything you spend. These ads are much more affordable and highly effective than most forms of direct marketing.
Another highly cost-effective and attention-grabbing form of direct marketing is email, which brings us to the next in our list of the best dental marketing tips.
Dental Marketing Tips, No. 3 – Develop an Email List
Want to know how to contact all of your clients at once? What about how to advertise to people you already know are interested in using your practice? There’s a way to do all of this quickly and at no cost to you: using an email list.
An email list is essentially what it sounds like: a list of email addresses. Specifically, these are the addresses of current and former patients, as well as people who may be interested in becoming your patients.
Assembling an email list is not easy at first. However, once the infrastructure is in place, it’s easy to add new addresses to the list.
There are several options for creating an email list. If your practice is very small, you may be able to keep one manually, using the Contacts feature in your business email account. However, most dentists and other professionals rely on email services.
These services allow you to email everyone on your list with the touch of a button. The service will also handle the maintenance of your list, although you can update manually as needed.
There are many professional email services out there, some of the most popular being MailChimp and MadMimi. Both MailChimp and MadMimi offer free and premium service packages.
There’s also plenty of discussion about which email service is best. I would recommend trying both of the major free services to see how you like them. Then you might consider committing fully to one or looking for another option.
How to Get Email Addresses for Your Email List
This is where things fall apart for many dental marketers. Although signing up for an email marketing service is easy, putting a list together can be quite a challenge.
To start building your email list, consider using email addresses from some of the following sources:
Patients or family members who email you directly.
Email addresses on forms patients fill out at your office. Be sure to disclose that patient emails may be used for business use!
Suppliers and others who email you directly.
A form on your website promoting your email list. The email service should provide this for you.
It’s also important to be sure that your list is dynamic and always growing. If not enough people are signing up for email on your site, there might be a problem. You may need to work on bringing customers to your site, or making the email form more attractive or easier to find.
Dental Marketing Tips, No. 4 – Learn All About SEO (and Apply It!)
The best way to advertise your dental practice is through your own website. This is because you control all the content on your website. Also, your website is available anywhere, at any time, to anyone who is potentially interested in using your practice.
However, just creating and maintaining a beautiful, functional website is not enough. You also need to make sure that potential clients can actually find your website. That’s where SEO comes in.
SEO, short for “Search Engine Optimization,” is a set of techniques you can use to make your website more likely to appear higher on search engine result lists for relevant terms. In other words, SEO puts your website at the top of Google’s first page.
When Google, Yahoo, or Bing users search for terms or phrases like “dentist in [your town]” or “best dentist near me,” you want to be sure your practice is the first thing they see.
How SEO Works
SEO is a complex art and science. In the simplest terms, it involves the manipulation of certain factors that search engines use to determine sites’ relevance to searches.
However, the higher-level SEO techniques are best left to professional marketers with more experience. If these techniques are misused, they could have a strong negative effect.
There are a few things you can do to be sure that your site is doing the best it can, though. These include blogging – a hugely important marketing tool in its own right – and keyword usage.
Keyword usage involves using the words and phrases that you think people will search for in the content on your site. For example, if you think potential patients might search for “dentist in Scottsdale,” then you’ll need to use the phrase “dentist in Scottsdale” multiple times on multiple pages of your site.
You should also create engaging content. This encourages users to visit your site often, which boosts its popularity – another factor Google and the other search engines consider.
Having great content will also encourage other sites to link to yours. This is because they will reference the content on your site in their own content.
Links are one of the most important measures of popularity and legitimacy for search engines. Many consider them to be the most important of Google’s ranking factors.
Professional SEO services can also help you get links from other sites. If you consider hiring professional SEO services, do your research. Try to find an SEO service with experience in your particular field. SEO for dentists is not the same as SEO for lawyers, bar owners, or anyone else.
Dental Marketing Tips, No. 5 – Rank Your Site for Relevant Keywords
Choosing the keywords you want your site to appear in response to is one of the hardest parts of SEO. Even most dentists who are well-versed in SEO are doing it wrong.
The most common mistake a dentist can make when choosing keywords is being too general. Search terms like “dentist” or “dentistry” most likely won’t work for your practice.
This is because these search terms are already overused by other dental practices. It’s also because they occur so often naturally in content about dentistry.
The only dental practices that will be able to consistently rank for these search keywords are very large ones in large urban areas. However, by focusing on local SEO, you can be sure to get plenty of clients all the same.
How to Make Local SEO Work for You
One of my most important and frequently cited dental marketing tips goes like this: be sure to win at local dental SEO.
You can increase your site’s local SEO viability by using plenty of geographic cues in your content. This includes phrases like “[name of your town] dentist.”
Winning at local SEO is about even more than keywords, though. You’ll also want to be sure that your practice has a strong presence on Google Reviews and Yelp.
If your business is on Yelp, be sure to claim it! That way, you can reap the benefits of a Yelp profile, such as putting a link to your main site in the profile. It will also allow you to monitor and respond to patient reviews of your practice.
Through a combination of locally focused keywords and a presence on Yelp and Google Reviews, your practice can win at local dental SEO. Your Facebook profile and activity will also help you with local SEO.
Dental Marketing Tips, No. 6 – Use Google MyBusiness
Google MyBusiness is a free package of services offered to any and all businesses. Signing up for Google MyBusiness will ensure that your practice appears on Google Maps and can receive Google Reviews.
Both of these are hugely important to building a strong local web presence. This is important because it will positively affect your SEO and visibility online, as well as bringing customers in all on its own.
In fact, the services offered for free on Google MyBusiness can positively impact all of the other dental marketing tips mentioned in this article.
Having a listing on Google Maps is hugely important now that so many people rely on smartphones for navigation. Google Reviews is also a trusted and accessible platform for patients to read and write reviews.
Having a Google MyBusiness account can also help with your SEO. If a person Googles your business name and you’re signed up, the Google user will see a card on-screen with your review average, your location, and your main website.
Putting this information at potential patients’ fingertips is extremely important. A Google MyBusiness account can bring you patients on autopilot.
Dental Marketing Tips, No. 7 – Start a Retargeting Campaign
Retargeting is an underutilized advertising technique that can amazingly complement an ad campaign. It’s a bit complicated, but here’s a quick explanation.
Someone interested in your practice visits your website.
That person leaves your site, perhaps comparing your practice and others in your area.
A “retargeted” ad for your practice appears in banner ad spots in their web browser.
The person then returns to your site, his or her interest renewed.
Retargeting uses computer cookies to put your ads in front of people who have already visited your site.
Although this won’t bring your site new traffic, it can help make the final decision easier for people interested in becoming your patients.
Because major purchases like dental work are a big decision, people often take time and compare prices and reviews. Retargeting ensures that your practice isn’t forgotten during that process.
Unfortunately, a retargeting campaign is virtually impossible for an individual to set up on his or her own. However, there are professional retargeting services out there that essentially work like regular online advertising services, but specifically for retargeting ads.
Promote Dental can also set up retargeting services for you and your practice.
If you’re interested in learning more about retargeting, check out our last article, in which I covered retargeting in greater detail. You can also give us a call about it anytime.
How to Take the Next Step and Put These Dental Marketing Tips to Work for You
Using any of these tips alone will affect your business positively. However, using them all together will give you a complete marketing package.
If you want to apply all of these dental marketing tips to your everyday business activities, create a specific plan. Decide the order in which you’d like to implement these tips. Also think about the amount of time and money you’re willing to invest in each one.
Once you’ve made a plan, start putting it into action. There’s no time like the present, especially when it comes to internet marketing. The sooner you put your plans into action, the sooner you’ll be ahead of the competition.
If you need help with implementing internet marketing, there are plenty of resources out there for you. You can read our blog for more dental marketing tips and greater detail on SEO for dentists. Web resources like Search Engine Journal can help you get a handle on SEO.
If you’d prefer a more hands-on approach to internet marketing assistance for dentists, feel free to give us a call or contact us via the form below. In addition to our paid marketing and SEO services, we offer free consultations for anyone interested in learning more about dental marketing.
The world of marketing is ever-changing, and the advent of the internet has brought these changes on faster than ever. In order to succeed at dentistry, you’ll also have to succeed at marketing, at navigating this fast and complicated world.
Marketing a dental practice isn’t an easy task. Many people don’t realize how much they need dental services, and others worry about the cost of dentistry. However, there are several ways to quickly improve your dental marketing package quickly and easily.
One of the most important things to do when it comes to marketing a dental practice or anything else is to think outside the box.
Thinking outside the box is the surest way to get good results.
One of the easiest ways to think outside the box when it comes to 21st century marketing is to focus on internet marketing.
Too many dentists out there are too focused on “traditional” marketing methods. These include some of the following:
Signage, flyers, and other tangible marketing goods
Relying too much on word of mouth
Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with marketing methods like these, they’re simply not the most effective methods for marketing a dental practice anymore.
All three of the little known but highly effective dental marketing tips I’ve got for you today involve internet marketing to some extent. Before we get to those, let’s take a look at some of the basics of internet marketing.
Online Marketing – How It Works and Why You Need It
First off, let’s talk about why internet marketing matters so much these days. Here are some simple facts from HubSpot:
81% of customers (including your potential patients) do some kind of research online before making a big purchase (including expensive dental procedures).
72% of people who do local online searches end up visiting a business within five miles of them.
51% of smartphone users have discovered a new business or product of some kind searching on their phones.
While all of these facts are important, the first one really takes the cake. 81% of people in your town look online every time they make financial decisions – including going to the dentist.
Blue Rise Media also offers some simple facts on the importance of internet marketing. Although they’re less focused on hard numbers, they do bring up a very important point. Any marketing materials you put on the internet are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Besides the huge popularity of the internet these days, constant availability is one of internet marketing’s biggest advantages.
When you buy a TV or radio spot, you probably pay by the minute – or by even smaller increments of time. However, when you pay for internet marketing once, you can reap the benefits for years.
Internet marketing is also usually cheaper up front than traditional marketing forms. Reaching more customers for less money is every professional’s dream, right?
How Internet Marketing Works
Marketing a dental practice online is complex work. Many dentists and other medical professionals hire internet marketing companies or consultants to do it. However, there are plenty of things you can do on your own.
Also, it’s a great idea to learn as much as you can about internet marketing even if you plan to hire a professional marketer. The good news is that there are great resources out there to get you started.
However, before you go in search of the deepest details, let’s go over some of the basics of the basics here. There are several major keys to marketing a dental practice online:
Having a website. This is the most basic part of internet marketing.
Filling your website with content that attracts patients.
SEO – short for Search Engine Optimization. I’ll give details on this in just a minute.
Using “external properties” such as social media and review sites to market yourself.
Basics of Marketing a Dental Practice Online: Your Website
Having a website is the biggest key to marketing a dental practice online. Without having a website of your own, none of the other strategies I’ll talk about will help.
If you already have a great website, you’re ahead of many of your competitors. If you don’t, you need to get one immediately. Try using a simple platform like WordPress or talking to a professional web designer or internet marketer about other design options.
Basics of Marketing a Dental Practice Online: SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Search engine optimization is the main work that internet marketers do. Essentially, a simple definition would go something like this:
SEO is the practice of making your website more attractive to search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing) so that your website appears higher in results for relevant searches like “best local dentist.”
However, SEO is anything but simple. It involves a lot of work and study. In fact, it is so complex that there’s an entire industry of professional search engine optimizers for hire.
I won’t go into depth on SEO here, but there are a lot of great resources on this site and the rest of the web. Try going through some other articles in our blog to get started learning about specifics. Blogs like Moz are also worth checking out, especially their exhaustive introduction to SEO.
You might also try watching the video below. Although it’s very long, it’s a really great introduction to the basics of SEO with some advanced lessons sprinkled in.
Basics of Marketing a Dental Practice Online: External Properties
An “external property” in internet marketing lingo is any site that you don’t own. Specifically, though, when marketers talk about “external properties,” we mean sites that you don’t own that offer content related to your practice.
External properties important to marketing a dental practice include the following:
Google Maps and other business-related Google properties
These external properties are very important to two of the three specific, highly effective tips in this article.
Without further ado, let’s get to those tips!
Tip #1 for Marketing a Dental Practice Online: Use Social Media
Many small businesspeople, such as restaurant owners, have learned the benefits of social media. However, it has yet to catch on with professionals such as dentists.
Social media outlets like Facebook can be hugely beneficial when it comes to marketing a dental practice. They’re also a great way to stay connected with your customers.
Furthermore, social media is so massively popular that this can be one of the most effective forms of marketing. Even better, it’s completely free if you do it yourself. If you decide to hire a professional, social media marketing assistance is generally one of the cheapest services.
Other major social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram also offer advertising programs.
2. Connect with patients.
Connection with your patients is hugely important to your marketing.
Think of all the work you do in your office to connect with patients. Simple things like learning patients’ names can make them much more comfortable with you. This in turn makes them more likely to come back to your practice.
Social media offers opportunities to connect with patients when they’re not in the office. Patients may message your practice directly and privately with questions. They can also interact with the content you post in various ways.
Seeing these connections made manifest on the screen can also teach you a lot. For example, Facebook offers free analytic tools that show you what demographics you’re popular with.
How to Start Reaping the Marketing Benefits of Social Media Profiles
Luckily, all the major social media outlets offer simple instructions to set up a profile. This is because they want their sites to be accessible to all. That’s one of the major reasons they’re so popular.
Start by creating a single social media profile. I’d recommend Facebook because it’s easy to use and effective.
Fill out your profile in the greatest detail possible.
Create new content every day or every few days. Update your status, add an image. Promote yourself!
Don’t move on to starting another social media profile until you’re very comfortable with the first one you started. Although more is merrier when it comes to social media marketing, you don’t want to overwork yourself. Social media marketing takes a lot of time and learning.
Tip #2 for Marketing a Dental Practice Online: Perfecting Local Search Engine Optimization
I mentioned search engine optimization earlier, remember? One of the most important aspects of generating good SEO is a focus on your locality. This is especially important for smaller, local businesses like dental practices.
No matter what, Google and the other search engines are going to index sites worldwide for their users to find. However, focusing on getting customers in your city or town has the biggest benefit for you.
There are two things to focus on when it comes to local SEO:
Your own website
Local SEO Techniques for External Properties
Optimizing external properties for local SEO is fairly easy. Social media especially can be highly effective, and is one of the easiest things to optimize.
Optimizing for local SEO on Facebook requires filling out the profile completely. Especially focus on geographical information and connecting with local people and businesses.
On Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, using popular local hashtags can also make your social media profile much more likely to appear for local searches like “dentists in [your city]” or similar searches.
Optimizing local SEO for external properties that aren’t under your direct control is also easy. This includes external properties such as Google Maps and Yelp.
The same goes for Google My Business. Google My Business encompasses several business services offered by Google. These include Google Maps listings, Google Reviews, and more.
Claiming your business or creating a business profile on these sites is extremely important. These actions can be incredibly lucrative for your business at no cost to you. Also, the signup process for each one is fast and easy.
Local SEO for Your Site
Optimizing your own site for local SEO gets a bit more complicated, but is equally helpful (if not even more so).
One action you can take is optimizing your site for local search is using a large amount of locally focused keywords. If you’re not an SEO pro yet, check out this Rags to Niches article on SEO keywords before reading on.
The following video may help as well. While it’s focused specifically on photography, the same principles apply to keywords across the board. You can easily use these skills for dental marketing.
Now that you understand what SEO keywords are, it’s important to understand local SEO keywords.
Whereas a general keyword you might want to optimize your site for is “best dentistry,” that may be too too general for local searches.
To attract local clients, you’ll need to optimize for local keyword phrases like “best dentistry in Scottsdale” or “dentists in Virginia.” Specificity is key here.
If you’re worried about the work that goes into researching keywords, an SEO consultant may be able to help. The same goes for getting the keywords into the content on your website naturally.
It takes a lot of work and research to get keywords right. However, they’re a key fundamental of SEO. Their impact can be undeniably huge.
The Benefits of Direct Advertising to Local SEO
Advertising services like Google AdWords, Facebook advertising (mentioned earlier), and Bing Ads can make a huge difference to your local SEO.
Although these services obviously charge money, they can be useful. The reason they’re so useful is that you can tweak them to impact local customers the most.
When amateurs attempt SEO, it becomes an inexact science. Getting good at SEO requires a lot of trial and error. It may take you some time to get your keyword mix exactly right – not to mention all the other factors that determines where you page lands in search engine results.
Direct advertising, however, is very exact. It allows you total control up front. Purchasing direct advertising can also be a great way for you to hedge your bets while you practice SEO or look for an SEO professional to hire.
The most successful businesses – including the most successful dental practices – use a combination of SEO and ads. While this might not be possible for you right now, it’s a goal you should work towards.
Tip #3 for Marketing a Dental Practice Online: Retargeting
Retargeting is perhaps our best tip, because it is so underused by dentists. It’s also underused by other professionals such as MDs and lawyers, as well as small businesspeople.
Because retargeting was so expensive until relatively recently, it’s only caught on with very large organizations so far. However, retargeting is easier and cheaper than ever. If you start utilizing this strategy now, you can beat the curve and come out ahead of your local competitors.
What is Retargeting and How Can It Help You with Marketing a Dental Practice?
It then places your targeted ads in front of these potential patients after they leave your site.
This often causes them to return to your site and reconsider your services.
If you’re more of a visual learner, this diagram should help explain things:
This method works best in conjunction with traditional ads, solid SEO, or both. That’s because retargeting requires people to visit your website in the first place to be successful.
Retargeting isn’t a strategy to get you more site visitors up front. It’s a strategy to get site visitors to come back again and again. Constantly putting your content in front of casual web browsers increases the chances they will become your patients.
Because not a lot of other professionals in your field are using retargeting right now, it can be highly effective for you in both the short term and the long term.
How to Get Retargeting Service on Your Site
The one downside to retargeting is that you won’t be able to set it up yourself. Doing so would be extremely difficult and expensive.
However, there are retargeting options from Google and Facebook, as well as retargeting agencies out there that specialize in this service. Also, many professional SEO services can get retargeting set up for you.
If you’re interested in learning more about how retargeting works or how to get it on your site, please give us a call or fill out the form below.
We would also love to hear from you if you have any other questions about our services. Feel free to contact us with general SEO and internet marketing questions as well. Everyone at Promote Dental knows how complicated and overwhelming all of this can be, and we’d like to help you understand it.
Even if you’re not interested in purchasing any of our services at this time, we offer free fifteen minute consultations. During this time we can discuss SEO in general or specific strategies for your practice.