How many dentists do patients have to choose from in your area? It has been reported that for every 1,639 people, there is one dentist. Some dentists will have more competitors in their area than others, but promoting your dental practice is how any dental practice can stand out in the local market.
Tools for helping your dental practice stand out from all the available choices are an optimized website, active social media accounts (especially Facebook), pay-per-click advertising campaigns (like Google Ads), online reputation management, and more. All these components work together to amplify the online presence of your dental practice so you can be more attractive to patients who have plenty of options.
Why Invest in Digital Marketing When You Already Use Mailers and Print Ads?
If you have been using print advertising to bring in new patients to your dental practice, that’s great! However, it is difficult to know the true impact of print mailers in terms of building awareness about your dental practice. Some mailers may be returned to sender or thrown away without a glance.
What is different about digital marketing for dental practices is that you can see real data about how many people visited your website, saw your ad, engaged with your social media, clicked on your ad, and so on. The measurable results generated from digital marketing paint a clearer picture of the return on your digital marketing campaign investment.
A User-Friendly Dental Website
What is “user-friendly” website design? User experience – also known as UX – now drives web design. The easier your website is to use, the less likely it is that the potential patient will leave your site and go to a competitor’s.
We suggest arranging your website for simple user navigation with in-demand features readily available, like “Request an Appointment Now” or “Pay My Bill.” Showing the features prominently on your website shows potential patients that an exceptional experience is a priority at your dental office.
When you are searching the web, are you using a computer or your mobile device? Odds are you answered mobile. Most internet users are now browsing via mobile devices. Most websites are now built with responsive design, or design that is as easy to navigate on a mobile device as it is on a computer.
Mobile users have come to expect websites that are built for the handheld experience. So, if your website is not mobile-friendly, prospects are more likely to abandon your pages, and look to a competitor’s site instead.
Is it Easy for Dental Site Visitors to Become New Patients?
One of the drawbacks of the old style of web design was the buried contact information. The site visitor has questions or wants to schedule an appointment but finding your phone number or contact form becomes a chore.
iHealthSpot web designers solve this problem by placing the phone number at the top of every page. The phone number also has click-to-call enabled, so when the user clicks the phone number on mobile, it copies over to their phone instantly, prompting the user to call or text.
One of the marketing strategies we implement is to place the HIPAA– secure contact form right at the top of the home page of the website. This makes the new patient acquisition process easy for both the dental practice and the patient, as you can contact them with the information they entered. Another plus is that this information can be entered at any time and any day.
Keep in mind that your website is your dental marketing hub. Website traffic comes from Google, Bing, social media, and more so having an easy-to-use website makes for a positive first impression on potential patients.
Dentist Marketing on Social Media
Market research finds that 76% of respondents believe that dentists cannot be successful without at least one social media account. Here is the breakdown of survey responses:
- 35% Facebook
- 18% Instagram
- 11% YouTube
- 7% TikTok
- 5% LinkedIn
This same survey also reveals that dental practices that engage in social media are viewed as innovative and caring. Social media for dentists allows you to build your online image as positive, especially when current patients compliment you with positive comments.
In addition, leveraging Facebook ads can help you get the word out about an enticing new patient offer, and Facebook ad tools allow you to narrow your reach to a target audience most likely to be in search of a new dentist.
How to Market Your Dental Practice Through Google Search
Google is the most-used search engine on the planet, and your presence on Google strongly relies on your website. Efforts to improve the level of search visibility is called SEO, or search engine optimization. Google’s automated bots must be able to easily search or crawl through your site so it will find the right keywords in your web content to match with the search terms of those looking for dental services in your area.
Terms like “dental practice near me,” “affordable dental implants near me,” or, “sedation dentistry near me,” are more than likely searched every day. If they aren’t finding your practice in local search results, they are finding your competitors instead. Dental SEO helps your services be found in such searches.
So how can you ensure you come up in search results as a top option for local dentists? Claiming your Google My Business directory listing, updating other popular dental practice directories, and building up your Google reviews is how you can dominate in local search.
How to Secure Online Presence and Website Traffic Through Google Ads
While organic visibility on a search engine results page (SERP) is a sustainable dental marketing strategy, this takes time to establish. The more fast-tracked option is pay-per-click (PPC) search ad campaigns, like Google Ads. Our digital marketing experts have found PPC ads for dentists to be highly effective in driving traffic to websites. For example, if someone searched for “low cost dentist near me,” ads for dental specials are likely to come up.
Online Listings, Ratings and Reviews – and What a Dental Practice Can Do About It
Maximizing the online presence of your dental practice can be as simple as having all of your online directories claimed and updated. Consistency between directories also helps Google make connections between sites to improve your online visibility.
While ZocDoc and Rate MDS do include dentists, there are directories for dentists only. Below is a list of some directories dedicated to dental listings management.
- American Dental Association
- Dentist Directory
- The Dentist Hub
- Every Dentist
- Smile Guide
- Super Dentists
Why Ratings & Reviews Are a Big Deal for Dental Marketing Campaigns
If a prospect is deliberating between a few dentists, online reputation is highly likely to be a deciding factor. More and more, consumers read online reviews to vet services as the experiences of others help patients know what to expect if they come in for a visit.
While you have little control over what reviews are posted about your dental practice online, you can still have a role in online reputation management for dental practices by:
- Responding to both positive and negative reviews with a friendly and professional tone.
- Replying to negative reviews with empathy and encouraging the reviewer to move the conversation to a private channel to further resolve the issue.
- Ask happy patients to leave reviews for you online.
Reach Your 2023 Dental Practice Goals with Digital Marketing
Standing out online as a dental practice can feel like an uphill climb but leveraging the power of digital marketing can help you grow your practice – perhaps even larger than you would have guessed. To learn more about how digital marketing services can help your dentist practice thrive in 2023, reach out to us today.