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Marketing your practice can be a daunting task for dental professionals who already have plenty on their plate. But making sure you have a steady stream of new patients (and keeping your current ones on their recall schedule!) is crucial to a successful business. So we asked the marketing and dental experts at quip for their best advice on how to keep your practice growing, and your schedule full.
Search engine optimization (or SEO for short) is the process of acquiring website visits organically. In other words, when someone searches for “dental practices near me” they will see some sponsored (paid) results and some organic (non-paid) ones. There are a lot of factors at play when it comes to Google’s prioritization algorithms for displaying search results, but some widely accepted strategies for improving your website’s search ranking include connecting your website to your practices’ social accounts (i.e. Facebook Page, Instagram, etc.) and regularly posting content (such as blog posts, or content surrounding before & after photos of your best cases). When writing blog content, think about the questions patients regularly ask, and write blogs answering those questions. The more content you have on your site, the more ‘valuable’ Google considers your website — and the higher it will show up in search results.
Google & Bing Ads
Paid Search advertising is a great way to market your practice, but requires some marketing budget investment and patience with the learning curve. A lot of offices reach potential patients via Google Ads or Bing Ads, by serving ads to users who are searching for dental practice related terms. Both platforms offer location targeting, demographic targeting, and keyword planning to prioritize the most relevant users to your practice. Tools like Smart Campaigns are available for offices with minimal resources to easily create assets to make sure you are advertising to the people most likely to book with your office. Marketerhire.com is another great resource to find experts if you’re looking to give your search ads a boost.
Facebook & Instagram
Facebook and Instagram are great platforms to advertise your practice. More importantly, they give patients a look into what their dental experience will be like, and a chance to meet the providers they will be interacting with. With the fear and anxiety associated with dental visits, allowing patients to put a face to the name can be the small nudge that new patients needed to book their appointment.
You can easily promote your Facebook posts by asking patients and staff to reshare, or by using hashtags in your Instagram captions to gain more exposure (dentistry, dentist, and veneers are some of the top tags). Facebook and Instagram both have ad platforms that will allow you to pay to promote posts as well, that can also be targeted to specific populations and even locations. Make yourself familiar with different metrics to determine the ROI on the ads that you’re running. Making multiple different ads will help to improve its success too, by allowing Facebook to optimize which ad is the most effective.
Creating a Visual Personality
Between your logo design and your website’s layout, your visual brand as an office is very important to patients. Are you redefining the dental experience with an ultra-relaxing dental appointment? Or is your office equipped with cutting edge technology that puts you well above the rest? Your presence online and as a brand, should convey how your practice and you operate your business. Websites like workingnotworking.com and fiverr.com are great resources to help you source designers to elevate your branding and logo.
Reviews play a huge part in potential patients’ decision making process. And the more good ratings you have, the better. You wouldn’t dine at a 1-star restaurant would you? The rating of your practice can also affect where your website shows up in search results, or on Google Maps (our old friend SEO at work!), meaning quality and quantity of reviews is more important than ever. Get in the habit of asking patients you know have had a good experience to rate your office on Google, Yelp, or Healthgrades. Consider using reviews in your ads as long as you have patient consent, they’re a great way to get new patients excited about also having good experience at the dentist.
Addressing bad reviews is important too, but make sure to keep responses simple and ask them to contact you directly. You don’t want to draw more attention to the negative review by starting a back and forth with a disgruntled patient.
Marketing your practice isn't a one-size-fits-all approach, it is the result of trial and error, of testing and learning. Try implementing a few of these ideas into your practice, and let us know what has worked for you at @quip.pros !