According to a report by Aldrich Advisors, every dentist needs at least 20 new patients monthly to achieve business growth and success. While this is an ambitious goal; you aren’t going to reach it by using traditional dental marketing strategies. It’s time to move into the digital age. A recent report by Pew Research shows that 77% of consumers go online to look for dentists and research dental treatments.

If you haven’t already tapped into digital marketing, the time to start is now. The good news is that you probably already a foundation that you can build off of, such as a website or social media channels. You can implement many of these tips on your own. But, if like most busy practitioners, you don’t have the time or staff to do this yourself, consider outsourcing your digital marketing efforts to an agency.

Here are 10 dental marketing strategies that will attract patients to your practice:

 

1. Create and Optimize Your Google My Business Page

Creating a Google My Business (GMB) account page tops the list of dental marketing ideas. The process is as easy as creating a Gmail account but packs a lot of punch when it comes to getting your practice website in front of potential patients. The foolproof optimization all but guarantees that search engines will find it and rank it at the top.

C:\Users\Apostle Tim\Downloads\how-to-get-to-top-of-google-local-pack-1024x558.png

After building your GMB page, you’ll need to optimize your page by filling out each section. Another bonus is that information from your GMB page is automatically synced into Google’s Local Map Pack. This is a listing that groups similar businesses by location and the dental practices located closest to the consumer’s location will rank the highest.

C:\Users\Apostle Tim\Downloads\Google local pack.png

According to Moz, Google’s Local Map Pack accounts for about 44% of clicks by Google users. Most of the clicks are on the business website link.

To optimize your GMB page, you would need to add the following information:

  • Practice category, in this case, “dentistry,” “dentist,” “dental office,” etc..
  • Telephone number
  • Practice description
  • Hours of operation
  • Address
  • Reviews

C:\Users\Apostle Tim\Downloads\Optimize-Google-Maps-For-Dentists.png

2. Optimize Your Website

Traditional dental marketing favors brick-and-mortar dental offices but digital marketing requires an active online presence. That’s why optimizing your website is a very important dental marketing strategy. Your website is usually your practice’s first point of interaction with patients and they will judge your practice based on how your website looks and performs. That’s why website design is so important. You want your practice’s website to be easy to navigate while at the same time, communicating the most relevant information about your services. The content also needs to be written in language that is easy to understand by potential patients of all reading levels. Don’t overwhelm them with too much dental jargon.

More than 90% of web users judge a business based on its website design, and more 38% of people will leave a website if its design is unattractive and difficult to navigate. Also, make sure that graphics and photos are properly sized for both desktop computers and mobile devices. Your visitors will get frustrated and move on if your website loads too slowly.

Here are the key features your website needs to attract more patients:

  • Content that helps patients practice good oral hygiene and maintain dental health
  • Profiles for each dentist
  • Online scheduling
  • Interesting and informative images and videos
  • Online bill payment capabilities
  • Online prescription renewal
  • Messaging capabilities so patients can communicate quickly with the dentist.

 

Here are a few more tips to optimize your website in order to attract more new patients:

  • Your website must be secure: If your website isn’t secure, browsers and search engines will warn users and this may scare aware potential patients.
  • Your website must be fast: Patients want your webpages to load within two seconds or less. A recent report from pingdom.com revealed an average bounce rate of 9% for pages that take three seconds to load and an average bounce rate of 38% for pages that take more than five seconds to load.
  • Your website must be mobile-friendly:  More than 70% of local searches were conducted on mobile devices and smartphones in the past six months, so make sure that your website is optimized for the mobile experience
  • Use search engine optimization (SEO) keywords: Your website content should include keywords to make it easy for search engines to find, crawl, index and ranks its pages. Choose keywords that describe your practice and would be relevant to dental consumers. Examples include: painless, children, early morning appointments, etc. (See tip #4.)

 

3. Start a Dental Blog

Optimizing your website is just the first step. You also need to start a dental blog on your website. This will help your website rank on the search engine results page for keywords that potential patients are using to find information. Consider writing about topics that address common dental problems, dental procedures, oral health tips, new techniques in dentistry and general information about your practice. If you don’t know where or how to start, here are some topic ideas:

Correct Assumptions or Ambiguous Information

Most patients skip visiting a dentist because of incorrect assumptions. According to Cigna, about 40% of patients claimed they didn’t need to visit a dentist because they weren’t in pain. In your blog, you can explain that dental problems don’t always cause pain and that’s why regular check-ups are important.

Adress Trending Dental Topics

One trending dental topic is “natural” teeth whitening. Many people have been Googling the use of activated charcoal as a teeth whitener. Your blog post can discuss the pros and cons of this DIY treatment and recommend teeth-whitening services that your practice offers.

Feature Healthy Oral Habits

Most people are interested in preserving the teeth they were born with. Your blog posts can talk about healthy oral habits and encourage regular dental check-ups. You can also let patients know that most dental insurers will pay 100% for these services.

Not only does blogging help your website rank higher on the SERP, but it also helps you connect with potential and existing patients. People are constantly seeking information, use this as an opportunity to answer commonly asked questions and to position yourself as a dental expert.

 

4. Develop an SEO Strategy

Developing an SEO strategy is essential for all healthcare businesses. The first place that people go to find healthcare information is typically the internet. Their first stop? Their favorite search engine. More than 90% of online experiences start with a visit to a search engine and 75% of people never go past the first page of the search engine results.

You could be the best dentist in the city but if no one can find you, then you’ll have a difficult time attracting new patients.

The following SEO checklist will help your web pages rank higher on the search engine results page. Your website must:

  • Load within three seconds
  • Be mobile-friendly
  • Use images that are sized correctly with completed alt-tags
  • Be a secure site (HTTPS and not HTTP)
  • Include dental references on every web page
  • Offer quality content on each web page
  • Link to authoritative websites as well as include internal links to other content on your website
  • Connect to your social media channels

There are many guidelines available online if you need help developing an SEO strategy for your dental practice website. We’ve published a few that can help you get started:

Also, you can hire an SEO agency to help you with this task. This might be a wise investment for a busy dental practice. The worst thing you can do is ignore your website and changing search engine algorithm updates. If you don’t do the basics, you’ll website will never be found.

 

5. Create Engaging Images and Posts on Social Media

C:\Users\Apostle Tim\Downloads\Using-Facebook-For-Dental-Marketing (1).png

There are more than 3.5 billion active users on social media platforms and more than 54% of these people currently use social media to research products before they make a purchase. This makes leveraging social media a good dental marketing idea.

Here are a few suggestions of dental posts that you can share on social media:

  • Remind people about the dental benefits they’re paying for but not using. More than 25% of people with dental insurance are not aware of their full package of dental benefits, primarily cleanings, check-ups, and x-rays. This is an easy way to get more patients into your chairs and income into your practice.
  • Infographics. Visuals are great because they are easy to read, enjoyable, and can attract potential patients.
  • Videos that highlight your dental procedures. This will show how professional, experienced, reliable, and trustworthy you are at handling prospects’ dental cases.
  • Before and after photos and videos. People love these and they are natural selling points. These types of photos are particularly effective with cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics

You can also post:

  • Client reviews
  • FAQs with the dentist
  • Featured smile makeovers
  • Photos of you and your team
  • Special offers or discounts
  • What’s happening in your community (e.g., your practice’s participation at a local health fair)

C:\Users\Apostle Tim\Downloads\Get-On-Instagram-Dental-Marketing-Idea.png

 

6. Invest in Video Marketing

Video marketing is a sound dental marketing strategy because consumers like videos, especially ones that address a dental problem they have. Approximately 40% of potential patients called to schedule a dental appointment after watching a video on a topic that was relevant to them.

Here are ideas of dental videos you can post:

  • Welcome or introductory videos: Create a video to welcome and introduce prospective patients to your practice. A very great example is this welcome video created by Coastal Dental Arts.
  • Profile videos: You can create a video about yourself that discusses your background and training. This is also a great place to discuss your practice philosophy and your areas of expertise. This goes a long way towards instilling patients’ trust and confidence in you and your dental practice.
  • Patient testimonial or review videos: These videos will not only build patients’ confidence in your expertise but also trust in your dental staff.
  • Dental treatment and procedure overviews: Create videos of all your dental procedures and treatment, especially the “before and after.”
  • Educational videos: Touch on the importance of proper oral health and hygiene and promote regular cleanings and check-ups.
  • FAQs: Talk about common dental procedures, anesthesia, what dental insurance your practice accepts, etc. Ask your staff about what types of questions they get from patients, either from phone calls or while they are in the office.

.

7. Include Your Practice in Relevant Dental Directories

A report from Pew Research shows that about 77% of healthcare consumers use search engines to find a dentist, while about 25% prefer to use their state dental society or dental board. To reach that 25%, make sure that you and your practice are included in directories such as:

Make sure that your listing is complete and contains up-to-date information, including education, certifications, awards, services offered, practice locations, hours, and a link to schedule an appointment (if possible). If you include partial information, it’ll look sloppy and untrustworthy, which may give website visitors a negative impression of your practice.

 

8. Utilize Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads

Another way to make sure that your dental practice ranks high on the search engine results page (SERP) is to use pay-per-click ads. Here is a very brief explanation of how PPC advertising works on Google Ads:

  • Choose relevant keywords that you want your PPC ads to rank for
  • Create a PPC ad using the keywords
  • Users search for your keywords or related keywords
  • Your PPC ad is displayed on top of the SERP
  • When someone clicks on your ad, you pay a certain amount of money to Google

C:\Users\Apostle Tim\Downloads\dental-marketing-ppc.jpg

Facebook Ads work in a similar manner. Instead of users searching for keywords, Facebook displays ads to your target audience within their newsfeed using demographic and behavioral information they have shared.

C:\Users\Apostle Tim\Downloads\Facebook-Video-Ad-Example-e1564262198509.png

PPC ads are great for advertising special offers or discounts, which is often one of the biggest pain points of potential patients. If you decide to use PPC ads, it’s best to get the advice of a digital marketing agency that has experience with PPC strategy and management. There is a lot of strategy and science behind PPC and if you don’t have the expertise or time to keep on top of it, you will end up just wasting money and not getting the best results.

But if you want to try yourself, we’ve published many guides on how to develop effective PPC advertising campaigns. Here are a few that may help:

 

9. Ask Dental Patients for Reviews

Asking for reviews and testimonials is another great dental marketing idea. These days, potential patients will read reviews from other patients before they even bother contacting your office. A consistent flow of current positive reviews is free marketing. More than 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family. As if that’s not evidence enough, 48% of patients would go out of their insurance network for a dentist with great reviews.

Here are the places you need reviews:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Yelp
  • Dental directories mentioned above

 

10. Optimize Your Content for Digital Assistants

The growing use of mobile phones and smart devices has led to an increase in voice searches. According to Google, about 20% of all web searches are voice searches. If you optimize your dental website for voice search, you will be able to generate more organic traffic to your website.

A way to go about this is to tweak your SEO strategy to cater to voice searches. For instance, rather than just using the keyword, “Dentists in Dallas,” you can focus on the long-tail keyword “Who is the best dentist in Dallas?”

Learn more in my article “Medical Related Voice Search is on the Rise – Here’s How to Adapt.”

 

Now You’re Ready to Develop Your Digital Marketing Strategy

You now have 10 digital marketing ideas that you can implement right now to attract more patients to your dental practice. If you use even a handful of these ideas and strategies, you’ll be ahead of your competitors. Most of these ideas and strategies are very easy and free to do yourself, but if you don’t have the time or expertise, Cardinal Digital Marketing can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

 

Alex Membrillo Cardinal CEO

Alex Membrillo

Founder and CEO

Alex Membrillo is the CEO of Cardinal, a digital marketing agency focused on growing multi location companies. His work as CEO of Cardinal has recently earned him the honor of being selected as a member of the 2018 Top 40 Under 40 list by Georgia State University as well as 2015 and 2016 Top 20 Entrepreneur of metro Atlanta by TiE Atlanta, Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2016 Small Business Person of the Year,and the Digital Marketer of the Year by Technology Association of Georgia (TAG).