Dental Practice Advertising in USA & Canada Offered by PatientGain. New Patient Marketing Platform and Apps Cost $799/mon (GOLD solution)
A comprehensive dental marketing plan is a must if you want your dental practice to be successful. Relying only on word of mouth from happy patients and your staff will not generate the growth you need for your dental business.
An active marketing plan to bring in new patients every month needs to be in place, or you will see your patient count wither down more and more every month. Fortunately, the experts at PatientGain.com have many years of experience in developing great marketing plans for dentists.
Unlike other medical marketing companies, we do not ignore offline marketing techniques and only concentrate on online marketing strategies. If used correctly, offline marketing tactics can boost the effectiveness of many digital marketing campaigns. Below are some online and offline advertising strategies you can use for a dental practice and areas we can help with if selected to work with your business.
Online Dental Practice Advertising Strategies
1. Dental SEO or Search Engine Optimization
SEO, search engine optimization, is a crucial tactic to help your dental practice achieve good organic rankings. Organic rankings are free, so they are very valuable to a business. While search engines will return numerous pages of results, most people will only look at the first page. Many will not look past the “First Fold” of search results which is another name for everything that appears on a screen before scrolling down. Achieving a high ranking result for a keyword in search is very important.
To accomplish this, a dental practice will need to research what words their patients are most likely to use when searching for a dentist. These words should be not only everyday words but also some medical terms. This will lend some authority to your website, so it appears you know what you are talking about. Ideally, you will want the keywords that patients use in their search queries to be the exact words that appear on your website. For example, if a patient is searching for a root canal and it is a service you offer, the words “Root Canal” and other medical terms associated with it should appear on your website. While you are at it, also develop keywords for specific services and their pages. These keywords will likely only appear on a service page and not other pages. Finally, do not stuff as many keywords as possible into your content. “Keyword stuffing” will often result in your organic results being penalized. Read more about dental SEO.
2. Dental Content Marketing
Content marketing, which often works hand in hand with SEO work, is another crucial part of a successful website. A dental practice’s website needs to be engaging, authoritative, and relevant if a search engine will present it as a top result. As such, the more content you have, the better. The more content your dental practice presents, the more authoritative you look to a search engine. A website user will also spend more time reading your content, again showing a search engine that you are a relevant result to a search term. So, a page on a dental website talking about cavities will perform better with 1,000 words than it would with 200 words.
Avoid the mistake many dental practice owners make by updating everything at once. Your goal is to show a search engine is that you are keeping your site up to date. If you update every single page, you are practically putting up a brand new website, and you could see organic rankings suffer. Instead, update your website bit by bit throughout the year. Updates can include:
- New pages
- Updates to pages
- Pages that have become too long and need to be split up
- Rearranging content
- Updating headers and tags
- Adding blog posts
Any of those actions above can help show a search engine that you are staying up to date and remaining relevant. Read more about dental content marketing.
3. Social Media
Social media continues to play a significant role in medical marketing for dentists and other healthcare professionals. Today, not having a social media presence is like not having a business card. Yes, you can probably function without one, but you are missing many potential opportunities. Social media remains a great way to connect with current and potential patients. When posting on your social media channels, avoid promoting your dental practice in every post. If visitors see you as always promoting a service or yourself, they will soon tune out your profile or, worse, unfollow it. Try to be a source of information by posting not only about your dental practice but local news, dental health stories, and other local health concerns. If possible, also post photos and videos from your staff as that often gets excellent traction.
Social media channels also have great advertising platforms that allow you to promote content to a narrow, refined audience. If you know your ideal target audience, you can narrow down your advertising to that audience much better than through regular search engine ads. You can often target by zip code or radius, gender, age, and interests. In many cases, the cost per click for social media ads will be less than search engine ads if set correctly.
For dental practices, many find it helpful to have a social media profile on:
Some may also find it helpful, depending on how social media savvy they are, to have profiles on:
4. Directory listings
New patients to a dental practice are undoubtedly going to need directions to your dentistry. Even if they are intimately familiar with an area, they also may want to check the traffic and what the street parking looks like. For there to be directions to your dental practice, it needs to appear on Google Maps, Apple Maps, Bing Maps, and any other map services and apps. To achieve that, you must claim or create a listing on Google, Yelp, Bing, and Foursquare. These four directories provide business information to the vast majority of maps on the internet. Each listing in these directories should have precisely the same information and match the details on your website. This includes:
- Phone number
- Website URL
- Hours of operation
- Services offered
- Map location pin
Many of these listings require verification in the form of a phone call or a postcard. Without verification, the listing will be suppressed, and you will not get the full benefits of them. If verifying by phone, make sure your answering system will let a phone call come through from an automated source. If verifying by mail, alert your staff not to toss any postcards that go into the facility. Also, occasionally search for any duplicate listings. Sometimes an eager patient will want to “help” by making a listing for your facility when you already have one. Duplicate listings often lead to confusion, and they should either be merged or deleted from a directory.
However, this does not mean that you should create accounts on dozens of low value low value websites.
For example, if you are medical practice focused on dental services for patients with Invisalign, dental implants ,general & cosmetic dentistry, jaw muscle and joint conditions (TMJ), sedation dentistry, cleaning, exam,gum disease.. does it make sense to be listed on Yellow pages or pink pages, or BlueFrog? The answer is no. Consider this : Some salespeople will encourage you to list your practice on dozens of directories. Now just imagine, an upset patient or a disgruntled former employee decides to google your name, and goes to dozens of directories and starts posting fake reviews – it will become a nightmare for you manage this.
We recommend and assist with these :
- Apple Maps
- Google My Business
- Other dental related directories
If you want to create the extra listings there is Moz service you can use.
5. Dental ChatBots on your website
Chatbots are becoming very popular with dental websites. These computer programs mimic human conversation and help website visitors accomplish specific tasks. The healthcare industry has recognized that chatbots can be incredibly helpful for current and potential patients as well. Dental practices can also benefit from having a medical engagement chatbot installed onto their website.
The goal of a chatbot is to help a patient before they have to call the front desk or leave a message with them. This slows down the work of your staff, making them less efficient. A chatbot takes some of that work off their plate, allowing them to concentrate on more complicated patient issues. Many questions they receive are similar, so setting up a chatbot will help by intercepting some of those questions and answering them before asking for a staff member’s assistance. Ask your staff for the most commonly ask questions and use that as the base for the questions and answers you program into your medical chatbot. If a chatbot is presented with a question it can not answer, it will take a name and contact information so staff can follow up with the website visitor.
Offline Dental Practice Advertising Strategies
6. Direct mail
It may not be easy to believe, but direct mail marketing can be very effective if used correctly. Mail volume today is much lower than it was in the past, meaning you have less to compete with six days a week when the mail arrives. Another advantage to direct mail marketing is that, unlike other offline marketing strategies, there is a degree of targeting available to a dental practice. The US Post Office allows you to target neighborhoods and mail routes to ensure your marketing materials end up in the correct mailbox.
For your marketing effort to be successful, you should mail something that:
- Strands out from other mail
- Uses colors
- Different shape compared to other envelopes
- Feels different in terms of material or thickness
- Has a call to action on it
- Has contact information, including a phone number and a dental practice’s URL
Avoid sending a mailer out with an expiration date on it or a short window where it will be valid. For example, if you want to promote a weekend special, sending something that shows up on a Friday will not be very effective. By Friday, people may already have their plans set. Worse yet, they may not check their mail until late on Saturday, or a postal delay may cause the mailer to arrive on Monday.
Another direct mail tactic that dental practices use is sending people things in the mail to use at home. These often include pens, pencils, mini calendars, and magnets. The idea behind them is that a patient will use them every day and be exposed to the marketing message. This tactic tends to be expensive, so many dental practices will only send things to confirmed, regular patients. Otherwise, you may be sending stuff to people who already have a regular dentist and may not be wooed by a free magnet.
Newspapers can be tricky to make cost-effective for a dental practice. Advertising in important regional papers can cost-prohibitive. Your ad will likely only appear a limited number of times and serve a large part of the region that will not drive to a dental practice. A local, town-based, or community-based newspaper would be a much better choice to advertise in. If everyone receiving that paper is within driving distance of a dental practice, this is a cost-effective way to promote.
A better, although trickier, way to use a newspaper is to have an article written about your dental practice. Generally, they will only write about your dentistry if you are doing something new and exciting, like offering a unique service or holding a free dental health clinic. Another way to get into the paper is to provide one of your dentists to write a column for them. They can talk about some dental health concerns or local health concerns. This will not directly promote your practice, but the dentist will be identified, and it will say where they works. As a bonus, many newspapers have online editions allowing these articles to be linked to your website, providing valuable SEO backlinks.
8. Radio and TV
Radio and TV stations can be challenging to use for advertising unless you have a regional change of dental practices. Much like regional newspapers, they serve a large geographic area that may not come and drive to your dental practice. An exception to this rule will be if you are located in the middle of a city with a high population density or offering a valuable, unique service that other dental practices are not.
Much like newspapers, TV and Radio stations are likely to send someone out to cover a story about your dental practice when there is something new and exciting going on. A valuable aspect of this offline advertising tactic is that anything you manage to get covered will often be shared across their social media channels, which tend to have large followings. Again, the best way to be featured on a radio or TV segment is to offer a dentist to chime in on a recent dental health concern or provide other expert statements. Whenever you manage to get on TV or the radio, be sure to get a copy of the segment to post it on your website.