10 Dental Internet Marketing Strategies We Used to Get 75 New Patients in 5 Months
Finding new patients for your dental practice is essential for the growth and continued success for your practice. Although you will get some new patients through word of mouth and reputation, in today’s market the best way to bring in new clients is through the Internet. The majority of consumers now search for local services, like dentists, online. If you do not have a strong, positive online presence, you will be lost amongst the competition. When you hire a company like Crawford and O’Brien for your dental practice, you get the expertise to utilize the best Internet marketing strategies (like these 10) to get new patients.
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The 10 Dental Internet Marketing Strategies We Used
1. High Converting Website
Your website is the foundation for your entire Internet marketing campaign. You must have an engaging website that is optimized for SEO that will convert people to action. Most users only spend about 10 seconds on a site before making a decision. If your site does not capture their attention instantly, then they are lost. Crawford and O’Brien build high functioning, optimized websites from the ground up with high quality unique content, but they do not stop there. They continue to add content to it over time, keeping your website fresh and engaging to customers. Additionally, they integrate social media sites like Facebook and Google+ to enhance the user experience. With such a strong website, you can have a high rate of conversion and a high return on your investment.
2. Regular SEO
Once you have your foundation built, it is time to begin optimizing it to be found by search engines. Most users never look past the first page of search engine results, and some do not even make it past the top five sites on the first page. Therefore, it is essential for your practice to rank highly in searches. Your website must be optimized for the important keywords so that the search engines find your site when searching for those keywords. Additionally, link building makes your website more popular. The more websites that link back to your site, the higher your rankings will go. However, you must be careful about the websites you choose to link back to you, as if you have to many links from crappy sites, it can actually damage your SEO rankings. We understand dental internet marketing, and we know what Google wants (high quality content that’s so good that people are willing to share it) – so we give it to them. Often for many of our dentists, we’ve ranked websites on the first page of search engines within just a few weeks.
3. Local SEO
Local SEO, which is slightly different than regular SEO, is important for businesses like dentists. When people search for local businesses, the search engines will put the local business sites above the organic sites. To fully capitalize on the Internet, you need to have both a strong local SEO and a strong regular SEO. Through optimizing your site for local searching, including adding keywords and metadata for the cities and counties you serve, your site will rank highly regardless of how potential clients search for you.
Here are the main factors in ranking higher in the local results:
1. Name, Address, Phone Consistency (NAP). You need all this info to be the same across all the directories, otherwise Google gets confused.
2. Directory Citations. Basically a citation is a mention of your business on another website, and all the links from Yellowpages, Superpages, InfoGroup etc. help Google see that your website is worth ranking in the local results.
3. Claiming Listing. Just like Google Places / Local, you have to verify many of your listings. This can be time consuming, but it’s definitely worth it.
4. Getting online reviews. You need to ask patients to leave reviews on Google+ either through emails after their appointment or in person or both. But getting reviews is about 1/3 of the entire algorithm for determining who ranks where in local.
4. Google Adwords PPC
Another important aspect of any Internet marketing campaign is Google Adwords PPC. PPC means pay per click, and it is basically an advertising campaign where you only pay if a user actually clicks on your ad and visits your landing page / website. You can use Google Adwords, the biggest Internet PPC advertising network in the world, to put advertising links to your site on a variety of places throughout the Internet, but only pay when someone actually acts on the advertising. You can even easily incorporate YouTube ads, which increase the number of people finding their way to your website.
Another important strategy for your Internet marketing campaign is retargeting. Sometimes, people find their way to your website and then leave before taking action. However, they are not completely lost, as you can use retargeting to get them to come back to your site and take action. As long as someone has cookies enabled in their browser, a cookie is placed after they have visited your site. Then, as they continue to use the Internet, relevant ads for your business are displayed in various websites, which will lead to them clicking the ad and making their way back to your website. You can also perform capping and un-targeting so that you do not oversaturate users who do not want to see your ads.
6. Social Media Marketing
Social media is one of the most powerful tools in any Internet marketing arsenal. However, many companies do not use it to its fullest advantage. It takes more than just having a Facebook profile; you must continue to add engaging information. Furthermore, you can easily put adds on the social media sites that can target the right demographic for your business to easily get them to click on your ad and make their way to your site. YouTube has become a powerhouse for displaying ads to bring people to your site. Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the other social media sites all have unique aspects that can be utilized in order to find potential clients and convert them into actual patients.
7. Online Reviews
With dental practices, people want to know more than just what your company has to offer. They want a practice that will make them feel comfortable and execute high quality work. Most users will look for reviews while searching for a new dentist, so you must have strong reviews easily found to increase your new patient numbers. Additionally, by having a lot of reviews on various review sits like Yelp and Google+, your site will rank higher in the search engines. It is easy to get reviews for your practice online, as you just have to ask satisfied customers to go to these sites and write a quick review of your practice either in person before they leave your practice or through a follow up email.
Just like reviews, testimonials are important aspects in your Internet marketing strategy. After a patient has visited your practice, you can send a follow up email asking them to write a testimonial. Then, these testimonials can go directly on your own site or find their way to review sites. With positive testimonials about your practice in plain view of potential customers, they will be more willing to take action and become a patient.
9. Media Buys
Media buying is a targeted approach to advertising online. Through media buying, you get optimal placement and price for your advertising on various media. This type of advertising is targeted towards a select demographic. Through researching the best places to place advertisement for a particular targeted demographic, your links will have more power. Additionally, the money you put out for these links will be better invested, as there will be a higher rate of conversion. You can find the exact people who are most likely searching for a new dentist.
Competitions are another way to bring in new patients. People love the idea of winning something, so having a competition will help them to stay on your website longer and possibly convert into taking an action. You can easily use your social media sites like Facebook to have competitions like someone wins a free checkup if you hit a certain number of likes. The rewards for the competition can be small, not costing your company much. However, in return you will end up with a high number of potential clients, making it a high rate of return on your investment.