“Search engines, mobile devices, and online advertising have changed the way patients find the dentists they’re looking for.
It used to be phone books, billboards, radio, and printed mail. While those methods can work to some extent, the modern patient relies almost exclusively on search engines, online directories, review sites, and social networks to find them.
This trend is going to rapidly continue. Therefore, the faster you implement digital marketing, the more you will be rewarded. Plus, you’re much more likely to outrank your competition.
The practices that don’t take digital marketing seriously, on the other hand, may be quickly left behind.
With that in mind, savvy Dentists are turning to new marketing tactics to generate new patients.
So the question now is — where do you start?
Here are five tested and proven methods for getting new patients to your dental practice using the power of digital marketing.
1. Rank in local search results
Google is still the go-to for almost anything under the sun – including finding a dentist!
According to Google’s most recent report, 4 out of 5 people use their search engine for local searches.
This means your goal should be to appear on the first page of Google’s search results whenever people are looking for a dentist in your area. Since it’s likely you don’t own the only dental clinic in your area, you’re gonna go head-to-head with other dental practitioners.
That is why it’s imperative you rank in local search results.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) literally means optimizing for search engines. Not only will it help you to reach potential patients, but it will allow people to discover you as well.
Local SEO goes a long way for dental patient marketing. With the right use of targeted keywords, you can show up more often, get more patients, and outrank your competitors.
2. Have a clean, modern website
Studies show that there’s a 70% chance that the first encounter of a potential patient with a dentist is through the dental clinic’s website.
Therefore, it’s critical you have a clean, modern website that is easy and enjoyable for people to navigate. Remember, first impressions are the most important so you want to ensure you get it right.
What does a good dental website look like?
First of all, it needs to look professional. Since the website will be a representation of your practice, you want to ensure it evokes a sense of professionalism. That way, their first impression is that you really know what you’re doing.
Second, it must be easy to navigate. The better you can reduce the friction from someone landing on your site to learning about your practice and calling you, the more patients you will get. Also, the easier your site is to navigate, the more the user will trust you – which means you’re off to a great start before they even pick up the phone.
Next, you want to be sure your contact details are easy to see. You should also have a clear Call To Action, or CTA. This CTA should encourage the user to take a specific action you want. A couple examples could be to call and schedule an appointment, or to claim an offer you are running.
If you really want to take things to the next level, you could ensure your website is set up to maximize conversions. That means, everything is built around getting someone to land on your website and then converting them into a patient. Since this is an opportunity most dental practices miss, you can get a lot more patients if you get it right.
Likewise, keep in mind that although a well-built website can’t guarantee that visitors will convert into patients, first impressions are very hard to reverse. This means that first-time visitors might get turned-off and decide to totally mark your clinic off their list, just because of a badly build website.
You only get one time to make a first impression. With a professional, easy to navigate website that provides a clear call to action, you’ll be sure to not only impress users, but have a better chance at turning them into patients as well.
Did we mention a good website should also boost your SEO too!?
3. Collect leads and nurture them
Getting new leads is easier than it ever has been with the advent of digital marketing. Of course, you want to be sure you get qualified leads which takes a little more effort. However, it’s still much easier to do today with targeted marketing than it was 30 years ago.
So what do you do after you get a lead?
You nurture them. There is a Rule of 7 which suggests that consumers need to come across an offer on an average of 7 times before deciding to purchase.
That may sound like a lot but you have to keep in mind many people are scrolling the web while they’re in line, at work, or even driving. Some may not even notice your offer while others may not have time to look at it.
However, by following up multiple times and showing your offer, you greatly increase the likelihood they’ll purchase. Of course, constantly emailing people to buy your products likely won’t work. That’s where a nurture campaign comes in.
Through an automated email nurture system, you can collect new leads and then send automated, custom emails that provide value to the potential patient. For example, a new blog post you put out or the Top 5 Toothbrushes Dentists Recommends. Then, within that email, you have a link to your offer as well.
As you continue to build value over time through your automated campaign, your leads are much more likely to turn into patients because they’re gaining value from you and developing a relationship to your business.
4. Run targeted ads
When targeted dental ads are set up and run correctly, they can do wonders for growing your practice.
Not only can they generate more leads, but when done well, you’ll get far more qualified leads. That means when compared to traditional advertising, your money will go farther, you’ll get more patients, and you’ll waste less time.
How does it work?
Targeted advertising is places ads based in front of specific consumers based on buying behavior and demographics.
When it comes to digital marketing for dentists, targeted ads can be done on social networks and search engines. Popular platforms for targeted ads include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google, among others.
Knowing the demographics and consumer behavior of your market allows you to appear in search results above your competitors, right as your ideal patient is searching for your service.
Need help? Companies like PatientSpring specialize in getting d
5. Curate social media profiles
Social media bridges the gap between dentists and patients giving you an opportunity to showcase your practice.
When done correctly, you can gain trust and credibility in potential patients before they even visit your website. Plus, potential patients can reach out to you. This is a wonderful opportunity to provide that personal touch and show your practice is run by real people who care.
It’s also a great way to develop customer loyalty, promote your specials, and drive traffic to your website!
Original content can be a bonus but being consistently able to do that will eat a lot of your time, creativity, and money. You can choose to outsource it if you want but know that consistency is key.
Marketing has changed. If businesses want to grow, they need to adapt with it.
Since digital marketing is more effective and less expensive, it can be a wonderful option to get more patients – especially when it’s done well.