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Dental practices are pretty close to recession-proof. There’s always going to be a need for dental services, no matter where your business is located. But wouldn’t it be nice to bring in 50 patients a month, every month?
Chances are, you’re not the only dental practice in town, so you need dental practice marketing strategies that will help you attract new clients and get them to choose you over your competition.
With the dental marketing strategies in this article, you’ll be able to get the word out about your dental practice and help potential patients learn more about you and the services you offer.
Plus, you’ll be in charge of your own narrative so you can highlight what sets you apart from your competition!
The dental practice marketing strategies we’re sharing are actionable, proven steps you can take to get your dental practice noticed.
Don’t get overwhelmed. You can choose to use one, two, or even all the strategies that will help your practice grow.
First and foremost, you need to know your audience. Before you can develop an effective marketing plan, you have to decide who is your ideal patient.
And, no, it’s not enough to target anyone with teeth.
Will you be a family dentist who offers affordable services to the masses? A cosmetic dentist catering to those who want to improve their smile? Or, will you focus on providing a boutique dental experience that targets patients who can afford to pay a little more?
The marketing tactics and messaging you use could be drastically different depending on who you choose to target.
Once you know what kind of services you want to provide, consider who will be making the decision to bring themselves or their families to your practice.
For instance, women drive more than 90% of all healthcare buying decisions. This knowledge will help you make decisions about everything from the images you use on your website to the language you use in your ads.
Of course, that’s just a single example.
To really zero in on the right messaging, you’ll need to do some research about who it is you want to bring into your practice. Then, gear your marketing towards them.
Along with knowing your audience, you’ll need to know your competition, but for different reasons.
Knowing your audience will help you create targeted marketing messages that resonate with them, bringing them to your dental practice. Knowing your competition is more about understanding the differences between you and them so you are better equipped to help your audience make a decision.
Knowing who you’re competing against also helps you create even better promotions, products, or services than they’re offering.
Yes, sometimes it just comes down to being able to take what your competitors are doing and make it better.
If they offer discounts, you can offer bigger discounts. Or, if they accept walk-ins, perhaps you could take walk-ins and offer weekend hours.
Look at their reviews to see what patients do and don’t like about their practice. Then, take those ideas and create your own dental practice marketing strategy around them.
If you’ve never done competitor analysis it can be difficult to decide what’s important or worth pursuing and what isn’t. You can always hire a digital marketing agency to perform an in-depth competitor analysis for you.
Local SEO is essential for a dental practice. You’re offering services that the vast majority of people won’t travel far for, so optimizing your online presence for your city (or even your neighborhood if you do business in a very large city) will allow you to target only those people who are likely to come into your practice.
This means that you’ll want to rank for search terms like “[City] dentist” or “best [City] oral surgeon” instead of just “dentist.”
Focusing on local SEO will help local patients find you.
If you’re trying to boost patient growth for an established dental practice, more than 70% of your new patient growth could come from referrals by existing patients. Unfortunately, most patients tend to consider dental practices as static businesses that aren’t necessarily looking for more patients.
To encourage existing patients to spread the word about your practice, you can create a referral bonus program.
It might sound complicated, but creating a referral program is actually pretty simple. If a patient recommends your dental practice to someone and that person comes to your practice, your patient gets rewarded for it!
The reward could be anything from a dental product or service to a discount.
Referral programs are great because they keep existing patients engaged and happy while generating new business for your practice.
Every business needs a high-quality website to show off their business in the best light and your dental practice is no exception. Your website is the online storefront for your business and your chance to make a good first impression.
In today’s digital age, there are certain things that your dental practice’s website needs to include in order to attract more patients:
Online scheduling and bill pay
Online prescription renewal
Profiles for your dentists and dental practice staff
Content relevant to your practice
In addition to these elements, you’ll want to make sure your site is performing well.
There are four key areas to address to ensure your site’s performance:
For a dental practice, security is paramount. Your patients want to know that their medical information is secure with you. If your website isn’t even secure, it doesn’t exactly inspire trust.
Your website needs to load in under three seconds. If it doesn’t, more than half of your visitors will head for the exits.
These days, 62% of smartphone owners look up health information on their mobile devices and more than 80% of mobile users check search engines when looking for local treatment. Having a mobile-friendly website is a must in 2020.
SEO is about more than just the content and keywords you include. SEO also includes proper coding to make sure that search engines can find, crawl, and index them.
What does your target audience want to know about dental health? When you provide content that answers the questions your target audience is asking, you’re more likely to pop up in search engine results.
Dental patients search for everything from what kind of toothbrush or toothpaste they should use to how often they really need to brush their teeth. By creating content that answers these questions, you’ll be able to bring in more traffic to your dental practice’s website and that can, in turn, generate more patients and more revenue.
Here are some ideas for content that you can use on your dental blog:
Case studies from happy clients (get permission first!)
Lists of dental-related things
Checklists related to dental health
Tutorials (how to brush your child’s teeth, perhaps?)
Dental and oral health definitions
Interviews with industry experts
Dental product reviews
Memes and other funny content
Getting started with blogging might make you feel a bit out of your element. That’s okay! Here are some tips that can help you embrace your inner Hemingway:
Imagine that you’re writing to one of your patients. Blogs are a chance for you to show your personality to your patients and potential patients.
Visitors to your site don’t want to be met with a wall of text. Images are a great way to not only break up the monotony of blocks of text but are very engaging for readers.
Engage With Your Readers
Don’t just leave people hanging if they leave a comment on your blog. Even something as simple as “thanks for reading!” can make visitors feel appreciated.
Your client’s email addresses are incredibly valuable. Email addresses are a direct line of communication between you and your patients.
You can use them to stay in contact with your patients by sending service and appointment reminders, as well as newsletters about what’s going on in your practice.
You want to use email communication to stay in touch with your patients without reaching out too often.
Not sure what to say? Here are some things your patients want to hear about from you:
Dental hygiene tips
Stories about your patients (with permission)
Invitations to your referral program
What you’re doing in your community
News about your practice
You’ll notice that there’s a lot of overlap between what to blog about and what to email about. This gives you the chance to use your emails to send traffic from your emails to your site. And the more time people spend on your site, the better it ranks in search engine results.
Here are some email marketing best practices to ensure that your email marketing efforts hit their mark.
Social media is a powerful marketing tool. In terms of medical information, one 2017 study found that 61% of people on social media are likely to trust information posted by providers and 42% of people look at other consumer’s reviews of health-related products, providers, services, and experiences.
With so many people turning to social media for information, you’ll definitely want to make sure that you include social media in your dental practice marketing strategies.
To get the most out of your social media marketing, keep your messaging and branding consistent, and provide value to your followers to keep them engaged.
While social media is a more information platform, it’s important to remember that it’s still representative of your brand. You’ll want to show your dental practice in a personable and professional light.
Marketing your dental practice can seem overwhelming, but it’s well worth it. Using the dental practice marketing strategies on this list will help you provide value to your patients and bring in new ones.
Need a little help developing a marketing plan, building a website, or running a PPC campaign for your dental practice? Digital Marketing Agency has the experience to help you. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your digital marketing needs!
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