As per MD Connect, 73% of people use search engines like Google when looking for treatment information.
In this digital age, people trust Google’s suggestions and recommendations more than anything. So, for a dentist to have a steady flow of new patients, it is evident that Google recommends his services to those seeking dental care. And for that, one needs dental internet marketing.
Today, the competition in dental care is intense. Yet, the majority of the dentists experiencing an increase in new patients give credit to digital marketing. In a recent survey, it was found that 83% of patients book appointments after visiting a hospital’s website.
You can also implement dental internet marketing with the step-by-step guide given below:
Step 1 : Analyze Your Web Presence
Before everything else, first, you need to evaluate your website’s visibility on the internet.
Check the Web Visibility of Your Website
Search Google for “dentist in (your city name)”. Then, examine how many times your site appears on the first page of results – zero, only one, or more than once?
- If the answer is 0, you are invisible on the internet. This is the usual situation if you have never invested in SEO.
- In case the answer is one, you are visible but unnoticeable on the web. It’s probably that you have invested a little in SEO.
- If the answer is two or more, congratulations, you are very visible on the web.
The goal of evaluating your web presence is to identify where you need to work to improve:
If you are invisible or hardly visible, on the internet, you need to work on the web visibility. But before that, ensure your website has a compelling design and offers an excellent user experience. Because it’s only then that web visibility will bring profitable results. The next step will help you in this regard.
Step 2 : Evaluate Visual Quality And UX Of Your Website
The visual appearance and UX of your website are very important elements to convince visitors to become a patient of your clinic. While assessing, don’t think just from your perspective. Try to be objective and ask others’ opinions.
Rate your website on this scale:
Not Good: If most people find it unattractive and very difficult to use.
Okay: If your site isn’t bad but doesn’t get compliments, it’s probably OK. The majority of websites fall into this category.
Superb: If your site generates wows, if users find it very easy to use, you have a great website.
Signs That it’s Time to Redo Your Website:
Web technology is changing. Your website must reflect this evolution too. You may have lacked experience with websites when yours was initially built and may not have put in all the effort required.
Here are some clues that it’s time to revamp your website:
- Visitors cannot view your site correctly on a tablet (iPad) or smartphone.
- Your competitors’ websites look better and are easier to use.
- The clinic’s official logo and colors have changed, but the website has not.
- Your services have changed. The team too.
- The information displayed on your website has been incorrect or incomplete for years.
- Your website dates from s2013 or is even older.
- It looks constricted on big screens because it was designed when screens were small.
- It was made by your nephew or by a friend.
- Your friends think that your website isn’t compelling.
- The website’s appearance does not match the professional image that you wish to project.
All other things being equal, the better a site is, the more new patients it will attract. It is better to have a decent but highly visible website than a superb website but not very visible on the internet.
Step 3 : Create Your Budget
Every year, you will lose a certain portion of your patients. They will move, change insurance, change jobs, prefer another clinic, etc. Whatever the reason, in order not to have decreasing incomes, these patients must be replaced. You have to invest in the promotion of the clinic to win new patients. But how much?
Lisa Philp, President of a Canadian dental clinic management consulting company, says that the promotional budget of a clinic should be between 2% and 7% of its gross income, depending on the growth sought.
- Stable growth: between 2% and 3% of gross income;
- Moderate growth: between 4% and 5% of gross income;
- Aggressive growth: between 5% and 7% of gross revenue.
For example, a clinic with annual revenue of $1.3 million and a moderate growth objective should devote between $52,000 and $65,000 annually to its promotion. However, the exact percentage to use for the clinic will vary depending on the growth objective, the degree of competition, and the demographics of your industry.
The Degree Of Competition
Competition for new patients is more or less strong depending on the region. Therefore, the percentages presented by Lisa Philp should be adjusted, up or down, depending on the degree of competition around your clinic.
Low Competition: Minus 1%;
Strong Competition: plus 1% to 2%
Demographics Near The Clinic
The demographics of the area where the clinic is located have a significant impact on the potential for new patients. For example, in a developed region where the population grows rapidly, it’s easier to find new patients. On the other hand, if you are in a mature neighborhood with a stable population, growth will be very difficult because it will have to be done by taking patients away from your competitors. It will then be necessary to invest more in advertising.
Step 4 : Choose Your Dental Internet Marketing Approach
When it comes to dental internet marketing, you have several options:
Local SEO (search engine optimization) is helpful to bring you more new clients. Using it helps to reach out to dental patients in your area. Doing local SEO makes you visible on the internet on relevant local searches related to your dental practice. It gets you in the search results of location-specific terms, such as “New York dentist” or “best New York orthodontist” rather than just “dentist.” Meanwhile, it gives you an edge in voice searches when users ask Alexa or Siri to “find the best dentist near me.”
Content marketing is to use content, such as ebooks or blog posts to get more visitors to your website. Feed your visitors relevant content to help you build your reputation and convert them into customers. This will also allow you to position yourself on keywords related to the subject you discuss. For example, you can write an article on “Hygiene Practices Recommended By Dentists In Ohio”. It will help you position yourself in Google’s results for “Dentist in Ohio”
Google AdWords is a pay-per-click platform that lets you display an ad for users searching for specific keywords. So, for instance, if they search “dentist in Ohio” your online ad will pop on their screen.
For AdWords campaigns, you need to target location-based keywords to increase more relevance of the ad placements. Also, use catchy headlines and descriptions to mention unique offers and features that set your dental clinic apart.
Dental Internet Marketing on Social Media
Social media provides your dental practice with a great way to reach out to more potential patients. When patients follow you on social media, they get a constant source of information and communication from you.
For instance, Facebook is a great platform for dental practices to build an online community of patients. Besides interacting with your online community, you can provide them with updates and information about your dental practice. You can also collect reviews from your present patients, so the people get to know more about the quality of your work.
Remarketing is a good practice to reach out to existing patients to build a strong bond with them. You can utilize remarketing for asking your existing patients to book future check-ups. Or you may interact with potential patients who visited your website but haven’t contacted you.
Facebook Ads is a great platform for remarketing, as it gives you a better option to retarget existing and potential clients based on their activity on your website.
These are like content marketing. But with a newsletter subscription, a blog post gets delivered to the patient’s inbox. It is like displaying your presence to your patients and hoping they reach out to you when they need your service.
Newsletters must include snippets of useful information that interests your audience. If not, they won’t take the time to click on the unsubscribe button. Also, don’t overdo newsletter sending – as it will look like spam.
Step 5 : Integrate Videos Into Your Marketing Strategies
If you’re thinking about whether you should add video formats to your content marketing strategies, the answer is yes. The video format is a very powerful media, very loved, and can become very beneficial for the companies that use them.
By 2023, online videos will account for more than 82% of all consumer Internet traffic, 15 times more than in 2017 ( Cisco ).
Here are some statistics that will convince you to integrate this media into your digital marketing strategies:
81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool.
And this figure is increasing more and more, especially since the pandemic. Many companies are now using video as a marketing tool because it’s a format that consumers love. 27.2% of people online watch more than 10 hours per week of videos, which is huge and why you can’t miss this strategy anymore.
74% of marketers say video has a better ROI than static imagery.
Videos have more visibility than static images because algorithms and consumers like this type of format. So there is a better return on investment when you use this strategy.
36% of marketers make videos a few times a week, while 14% make videos every day and that number is growing.
Additionally, 94% of marketers who use video plan to continue.
61% of marketers consider video to be “very important or extremely important” to their marketing strategy.
It’s a marketing technique that gets results and that’s why marketers continue to use this format and now see it as a very important part of the digital marketing world. Videos have more engagement than other content formats as they require less effort of concentration for the person targeted by the campaign, they retain more attention as well as remain longer in the memory of consumers. Plus, they’re more likely to share and create engagement.
According to Google, 70% of commerce buyers watch videos during the sales process.
The majority of consumers watch product videos before making a purchase decision, especially for non-routine purchases that involve some decision-making process. For a company, having videos on the benefits of their products and services as well as how they work is very beneficial to help the decision-making process.
52% say the video format helps them build trust with potential customers.
Videos are one of the most effective ways to engage an audience with your brand and build trust. They help you create direct contact with your consumers, humanize your business and in some cases demonstrate your expertise.
58% of marketers create videos with professional software, while 49% use simple online tools.
So you don’t necessarily need a big budget to do video creation. All you need is your phone, good lighting, and your creativity!
Too many dentists rely on word of mouth to promote their services. However, the most successful ones allocate a substantial amount to marketing and promoting their clinic. As a dentist, your success these days depends on the right dental internet marketing strategies.
It is best to use an integrated dental internet marketing strategy to reach more target customers. For instance, you can build a strong online presence via social media, search engines, paid ad campaigns, and social media.
Feel free to contact us if you would like experts’ assistance to set up your dental internet marketing plan.