Digital marketing is crucial for dental clinics in today’s market. If a potential new patient cannot find your practice listed anywhere online, they will likely not follow up to book your services. Your orthodontic marketing practices should include paid digital advertisements, frequently updated social media pages, an optimized website, and resources such as videos or blog posts. This guide will provide some insight into the important components of a complete digital marketing strategy. Your dental clinic needs to try these digital marketing strategies out.
One of the best ways to garner attention for your dental clinic is to run PPC advertisements. PPC, or pay-per-click, is an advertising system where you are only charged if someone clicks on your ad. The most common PPC usage for a dental clinic is dentist Google Ads. Social media platforms also offer PPC ads, but the best place to advertise in this fashion is Google. And there is a very good reason for this, which is ‘user intent’. When set up properly, your PPC ad on Google will display on the top of search results when potential patients are searching for the services you offer and advertise for. For example, if you create an ad for veneers, you could have the ad show up when someone searches for ‘dental veneer service near me’. Most people who are searching for a new dentist will complete some variation of this search in Google, and this is where we find ‘high intent’ potential new patients.
Website & SEO
One of the most fundamental steps to enhancing your clinic’s digital presence is to create a well-designed and functional website. Your website will often be your first impression for new patients, so you want to communicate your professionalism, qualifications, and personality. The basic sections to include on your site are a welcoming landing page, a biography and introduction section, information about your clinic such as hours and services, and a page that allows the patients to contact you to schedule appointments. Additionally, you will need to be sure that your website will be displayed prominently on search engine results. To do this, follow standard SEO, search engine optimization, best practices. If you are new to digital marketing, it can save time to hire a professional to set this up for your clinic. If you are taking this on yourself, some basic tips are to ensure that all of your information is correct and up-to-date, provide contact information and a location, and frequently use keywords on your website that will allow your patients and search engines to be able to quickly identify what services you provide.
Another way to bolster your online credibility is to curate a blog, often hosted on your own website. Your blog should provide information within your industry and can even be used as an educational resource. Commonly, patients will review a medical blog to find out more information about a procedure or to become more familiar with a doctor and clinic.Be sure to maintain a professional tone in these blog posts while still showing that you are approachable and friendly. Patients will feel more at ease when coming to your appointments if they completely understand the services they will be having and if they already know that your clinic is a welcoming environment. Blog posts also provide the added benefit of contributing to your overall digital marketing strategy. Individual blog posts can be displayed in the search results and can ultimately direct new patients to the other areas of your website. For instance, if someone is searching on Google for information on recovery from a root canal and you have published a blog post with those keywords prominently included, your post may be displayed on the results page. When prospective patients read your posts, this can be a step toward lead generation if they continue to explore your clinic’s site and schedule an appointment.
By now, almost all dental clinics have some form of social media accounts. They are a great way to advertise and interact with patients. Even if your dental clinic does not use social media, it is not too late to start. Current and potential patients love the convenience of checking social media platforms for clinic info instead of visiting a website every time. With how thorough social media platforms have become, you should view your profile as almost a mini-website. Linking to your website from your social media profile is also a great idea.
When it comes to advertising on social media, there are two main categories: organic and paid. Both advertising strategies have their place in your marketing mix. For clarification, organic posting is using the default posting system on whichever social media you are using (Tweet on Twitter, Post on Facebook, etc.) Paid posting is when you utilize the advertising tools these social media platforms offer (Twitter Ads Manager, Facebook Ads Manager, etc.) The benefit to paid advertising on social media is that the ads feel organic for viewers, even though they are targeted and cost money to post. It is best to have an audience on social media before you begin your paid posting journey, but there are instances where paying for ads to gain followers has worked.
Email is an effective tool to communicate with both your existing and potential patients.
To stay in touch with your existing patient base, send out emails whenever you are running any promotions on your services or when you have any news from your office. You can also set up automated email reminders for appointments and send out newsletters on a regular schedule. The key is to send emails frequently enough that you stay at the top of mind for your patients without bombarding them with too many messages. If you send too many emails, your patients may start to view them as spam and they will remain unopened and unread.
To reach new patients through email, invest in an email marketing software. These types of softwares will take the guesswork out of emailing, and will allow you to know what emails are working and what emails are going unopened, unread, and not converting.
Generating leads for your dental clinic is always a huge component of digital marketing. Focusing on new patients is always a sound strategy to keep your clinic thriving. Even if you are generating interest for your dental clinic through SEO and blogging, PPC advertisements, social media, or email marketing, some of this interest will not convert. When this interest does not convert into new patients, you will need to make sure you are retargeting, or remarketing to these individuals. There are plenty of online tools and software available that will allow you to keep track and remarket to people who know who you are, but did not become a new patient. If your dental clinic is using Google Ads or Facebook Ads, you can even utilize both tools and create remarketing campaigns. The entire goal of remarketing campaigns is to take interest, and convert it into new patients.
You can also use other types of digital content to draw your patients to your clinic’s online presence. A very common and effective way to do this is by making videos that highlight your doctors, staff, and office as a whole. These videos can be hosted on both your website and your clinic’s YouTube account. Simple but high-quality videos can be made to explain what it is like to receive treatment at your clinic and to introduce your dentists and staff. You can also make a video that serves as a virtual office tour so that new patients will be more comfortable upon their first visit. You can be creative with what you would like to discuss in your videos. Just try to include topics that you believe your patients have actual interest in and questions about.
Directories, Maps, and Google My Business
If your focus is only on digital marketing, it can be easy to forget that you still need to have patients show up to your dental clinic. This is why online directories, maps, and Google My Business is so crucial. These sources help with your SEO and overall visibility for potential and current patients to find your dental clinic. You will need to login and check to see if your business is claimed on Google My Business, which is where you can have your dental clinic placed on Google Maps. Combined with online directories, having your dental clinic easily found is imperative.
Digital reviews are another crucial consideration for maintaining a positive online presence. Reviews may show up on dedicated sites such Yelp, or they may be written on your website or social media posts. Be sure to interact with reviewers. You can simply “like” a positive comment to let that patient know that you have seen and appreciate the time they took to vouch for your clinic. If someone leaves a negative review, take a moment to respond constructively and professional to address their complaint. You can apologize if they were mistreated or encourage them to return to your clinic and give them a more positive experience. Regardless of the tone of a review, make sure to stay professional, positive, and understanding of your patient’s feelings and experiences.
As you can tell from this guide, digital marketing is something all dental clinics need to implement. The tools needed for each marketing source are very user friendly, and have worked for dental clinics all over. Digital marketing does not take a seasoned professional to figure out, just a little patience and creativity. With a little bit of both, you can be well on your way to growing your dental clinic with a steady stream of new patients.
An author of Namaste UI, published several articles focused on blogging, business, web design & development, e-commerce, finance, health, lifestyle, marketing, social media, SEO, travel.
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