How to Market a Dental Practice Online
This information is for the owner/operator of a dental office, providing services in a local market. Local dental practices must utilize a different marketing method than major dental companies, such as Bright Now; large companies (with large marketing budgets) employ sophisticated marketing capabilities and offer a full range of dental services. The local dental office can effectively compete by providing superior service and being visible in the surrounding community through online marketing.
One reason TV, radio and newspaper advertising doesn’t work well for dentists is that patients generally prefer to use a dentist in their immediate geographic area. The solution? Local search marketing, which drills down marketing efforts to the specific areas you want to target for new dental patients.
Although some dentists have seen success in the past with direct mailing and billboard advertising, these tactics are becoming less effective. Growing the patient base for your dental practice requires investing in an online marketing strategy. The following are the most effective tactics for promoting dental services online.
Obtaining Online Reviews
Prospective customers are typically referred to a dentist from their friends, family and co-workers. Typically, the second step in the “buying process” is to perform a quick online search to see what people are saying about the dental practice. If your prospect customer has two or three dentists in mind and your company isn’t found online, there’s a good chance you’ve just lost a potential new customer.
Establishing Credibility with Google
Google, Bing and Yahoo don’t like websites that contain information that is inconsistent. By simply ensuring that the information on your website about your dental practice (such as name, phone number and street address) is properly categorized across the web, search engines will display your office location on maps and in search results when someone searches for a new dentist online.
Be an Information Resource
Dental spending is on the rise (a 7% increase is forecast for 2013 per First Research). When people are spending their money and utilizing their insurance plans for cosmetic and preventative dental services – they want information to make their decision. Your dental practice blog and website should be providing useful information to dental patients, who are looking for information. If you need help making your dental website a destination for people who need dental services, I recommend hiring a professional content writing firm that understands how content helps build trust with prospective customers and builds website authority with Google.
Highlight Your Specialty Services
Make sure other local health practitioners (who can send you referrals) and customers remember what services your provide! If your practice has a specialty such as periodontics, cosmetic dentistry or dental implants, your website provides an opportunity for your company to stay first and foremost in the minds of those who can refer you patients. A website that is properly built and promoted gives your practice additional exposure and credibility, which causes prospective patients to sign up.
Optimizing your dental practice for local search and building authority for your dentist website can be attained by following the steps above. Also, talk to us, we have experience helping dental practices market online.