When it comes to dentistry and winning over patients, a dentist is competing, not only with thousands of other qualified professionals, but also with the fear and discomfort of a client base who would really rather do almost anything else than book a dental appointment. For a dentist, getting patients into their office can be as difficult as, well, pulling teeth. With this in mind dentists need to work that much harder to market themselves in order to get patients through their doors.
For dentists, a highly competitive market and patient anxiety make being found in search engines (online visibility) and a website that is well design with the required marketing messages and functionality elements is quite significant.
Whether one admits it or not, dentistry is a highly competitive business, and effective on-line marketing has a significant impact on acquiring and retaining new clients. Most markets have numerous practices trying to be found by thousands of people who are looking for dentists as well as information on procedures and dental conditions. Perhaps most importantly people are looking for a sense of comfort and reassurance..
Prospective clients want to know about your happy patients, success stories, technologies, procedures and qualifications. They want to know that you are good, that you care about them and that you have the latest and least painful procedures. To research this they are online looking in search engines such as Google and Bing, and Yahoo. Increasingly they are using social media like Facebook and Twitter to get opinions on procedures, referrals from other patients and conversely to see if there are dissatisfied patients who are putting out cautionary opinions.
If you are a dentist holding onto the belief that online marketing and your website are not important to your business, wake up! They are and your belief to the contrary is hurting your business.
Online marketing and customer support is a great opportunity to share what you do well with an interested audience and can provide a chance to foster a relationship with your potential patients that is simply impossible in the “real” world. The relationship formed between dentist and patient prior to any dental work being done can be a dentist’s key to success and can provide an excellent way to bring customers into a dental office.
It is also important to remember that each patient will likely come back for many years and numerous procedures varying from teeth cleaning and whitening to cosmetic procedures all the way to major surgery. Your cost of acquiring and then maintaining a patient is small compared to the overall potential upside of a lifetime of providing service to a satisfied patient and potentially members of their social network!
Whether you are just getting started with marketing your business on the internet, or are simply looking to beef up your online presence, online marketing for dentists, like other businesses in other industries, needs to be done right.
Too little, too much or not the right content and layout can all have a negative impact. You certainly cannot afford to have your practice loosing patients because they don’t like you site or find it useful.
Here are some tips to make sure that your dental business’ internet marketing campaign does not fall short.
Your dental practice’s website is going to be the major tool that patients are going to use in determining if they are going to go to your dental office, or take their teeth, gums, and cosmetic procedures somewhere else. The trick to having a website that is going to endear you to people is to maximize professionalism, wow your audience with your dental know how, and, most importantly, show compassion and empathy. Be personable, and let your audience know that you know how they feel about a visit to the dentist, and let them know that you sympathize with them and will make it as good as possible.
In general, there are key elements of a Dental Website you may opt to include:
Give the people what they want! There are also specific key pages to your website that you ought to be sure to include. Every dentist’s website needs to have an “About Us” page, an “About the Doctor” page, and an “Office Tour” page. All three of these pages provide you with the opportunity to get a little bit more personal with your audience and potential patients.
For your “About Us” page, be sure to include pictures of each member of your staff. Each staff member’s profile should include not only their credentials, but and anecdotal biographical blurb as well. Your “About the Doctor” page should follow along the same lines as your “About Us” page but with a little more detail. Be sure to stress your own qualifications at great length and tie it in with an autobiography with a personal feel. Your “Office Tour” page should be a thorough video tour or a series of pictures of your office designed to inspire the feeling of comfort, safety, and relaxation in your patients.
When it comes to marketing your dental practice online, you’re still going to need to come up with a content strategy, and that content strategy is going to require that you create and post compelling content. For your dental practice, the content you post should be more visual as pictures and videos will be more likely to catch your audience’s attention and inspire in them the feeling of care and comfort which will prompt them to book an appointment at your dental office.
The types of images you post as part of your content marketing campaign can range from a visual tour of your office, images of yourself and your staff, or pictures of the successful work that you have done with a brief description so as to show what services you offer. With each image of successful work that you’ve done, consider posting a testimonial as well.
Your dental practice needs to be sure to represent itself on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. By having your dental practice represented on social media sites, you open up the possibility of interacting with your audience and potential clients. For those in the dental industry, the more of a relationship you can build before the patient enters your dental office, the better.
Social Media for dentists, and those in the dental industry, works pretty much the same as social media marketing in any other industry. The key to promoting your dental practice, however, is to ensure that your posts are more personal in nature. Be sure your posts are open ended conversation starters. Be sure, as well, that as your audience, and potential patients, respond to your posts or ask questions, that you answer them.
Marketing your dental practice via social media also has the benefit of allowing you to keep your audience up-to-date on the specials or promotions going on at your dental office. Running a Facebook promotion is a great way to garner business for your dental office.
While the personal relationship you are forming with your audience is a step in the right direction for driving patients to your dental practice, few marketing campaigns will go as far with convincing people of your dental practice’s merits as hearing about you from their friends via testimonials, reviews, and recommendations on platforms such as Google Places and Yelp.
An excellent way to encourage your patients to leave feedback is to set up a computer or tablet in your waiting room for the express purpose of allowing your patients to write a review of your dental office. For service based industries such as dentistry, word of mouth, and social sharing is going to be your greatest means of successful marketing.
A blog can be a valuable asset to a business’ webpage in a lot of ways. For dentistry, your blog is going to be a way to humanize yourself for your audience and to transform you from being a big bad dentist who is going to hurt them into a gentle but knowledgeable and skilled dentist who understands the fear of going to the dentists and cares about the health of their mouth.
Patients who are searching out a dental office are looking for something more than just comfort and empathy. Potential patients will be looking for dental know-how as well. By maintaining a blog you give yourself a chance to show off some of the knowledge you picked up during your extensive schooling. You can also keep your audience informed of new procedures, practices and advancements in the field of dentistry which your dental practice offers.
By sharing your dental know-how and prowess, you give your patients the comfort of knowing that, yes you are a gentle compassionate dentist, but you also know what you’re doing as well. Together, these qualities mean that patients of your dental practice are safe and in good hands.
When it comes to marketing your dental practice online, Guaranteed SEO can take a lot of the guess work out of the task and help you ensure that your efforts are successful.
For more information on how we can help you and your dental practice, please contact us at 1-866-588-8282.