How To Effectively Grow Your Dental Practice Online

While the dental industry suffered nationally during the pandemic, the good news is that forecasts are predicting huge growth over the coming years. This is attributed to a rise in dental disease, increased demand for cosmetic dentistry and developments in dental tech. So, now is a fantastic time to make the most of increasing demand and invest in marketing your dental practice online. Here we will look at the different marketing options available to you and how you can utilise this to hatch your marketing strategy into an effective plan. 

Converting website visitors into patients

In order to formulate a marketing strategy that will work for your dental practice, you must first have a strong understanding of who your current and future patients are. Factors including age range, gender and where your current patients are located will inform you who your likely target audience is going to be. Finding out how they discovered you and what treatments were undertaken as a result can also be a big help when it comes to planning your future marketing spend. Based on this, you can then profile who your future patients are likely to be and figure out how you can capture their attention. 

Including certain people is just as important as excluding others from your marketing. For example, if your practice is based in a location that isnt easily accessible and just has one dental practice, patients from this locality will be your focus. That is unless you offer something that other nearby practitioners cannot that is, such as dental implants, tooth whitening or cosmetic dentistry. However, if you are based in the middle of a big city with excellent transport links, your potential patient reach is much bigger but the competition is probably higher. So you may benefit more from focussing on other factors.

Your dental practice brand

Once you have narrowed down who it is that you are targeting, you can start to build your digital presence effectively. You will want your brand to communicate your core practice values in addition to highlighting your competence, range of dental treatments and professionalism. A lot of dental practices will build a bespoke website, run a social media pace, run advertising campaigns and search engine optimize their website around these considerations. To build trust, you may also actively seek Google Business reviews from patients who have had a positive experience.

Your bespoke website

When you are running any type of marketing campaign, all roads will lead back to your website. Your website should therefore act as a sales funnel hub that targets moving your customers forward from just visiting to booking an appointment or making another form of transaction. If your website is clunky or does not show your website visitors a quick way to reach their goals, then there is a strong chance that they will not stick around for long. Worse still, after just a couple of seconds, they will very likely move on at speed to a competitor website that does. 

There are a number of prefabricated website providers available that will provide you with a low-cost generic website template for your practice. These are fine for small practices and those who are not hoping to gain a lot of business from their online presence. However, if you are hoping to draw revenue from your digital marketing, you will likely benefit much more from using a bespoke website design service. This will ensure that when you do invest in additional marketing spend that those visitors convert into paid appointments. 

Social media management (SMM)

A huge volume of companies are actively investing in their social media management, or SMM. The main social media channels are – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok. Social media content marketing on these channels over the years has shown itself to be potentially hugely cost-effective. For some firms social media has proven to be a real kingmaker. SMM is a particularly popular choice for those who are targeting a younger audience who are looking for more than just a healthy smile. 

Commonly you will find three to four posts a week while engaging with other members of the community and other potential future patients. This can include pictures of patientsbefore and after procedures, as well as interior shots of the practice and introductions to staff members combined with well-researched hashtags. Photos of routine examinations may provoke less of a response than a great tooth whitening session, or successful dental implants placements. Some dentists take this a step further and will include motivational quotes, testimonials, short film clips, hygiene advice, story posts and content reels.

Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) advertising

Search engine optimization or SEO means selecting and utilising certain keywords throughout your website content to improve your search engine discoverability. This will only occur once a search engine has indexed your website and the keyword makes a certain number of appearances. SEO can be combined with pay per click or PPC advertising to maximise your websites exposure to your target audience.

PPC search engine advertising is very similar to SEO in that it improves your search engine ranking. But PPC ads guarantee that you will get a certain number of clicks based on the budget that you set. Combining PPC with targeted SEO can ensure that you get the best of both worlds. You may prefer to use this method to target a high-value keyword, for example. 

A high-value keyword could be related to: ‘missing teeth’, ‘same-day emergency appointments’, ‘private patients’, or ‘dental implants’. You may compare the value of an emergency customer with say a non-emergency treatment or dentures check-up and base your advertising spending on this. While it is unfortunate that this is the case and it will vary by locality, patients searching for these terms may benefit you more financially in the long run. 

It is worth noting that PPC and SEO can get very expensive and yield little return if not done correctly. But they are also the two areas that can offer the most return on investment potential. So, if you are not confident, it may be worthwhile employing a certified professional in both of these areas to ensure that you are getting real value for money. 

Final thoughts on marketing your dental practice

As you progress with marketing your dental practice you will start to notice the strategies that are converting and those that are not. In order to get the most value from your marketing spend, it is worthwhile keeping track of your conversions and reviewing your content on a regular basis. Over time you will be able to narrow down the best strategy for your practice and take a more concentrated approach. Narrowing down your strategy into a clear actionable plan is what will provide you with the best revenue source in the long run.

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