Let’s face the reality: people no longer search through yellow pages to look for dentists – they look in major online search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. It is estimated that 80% of all non-referral leads in the dental industry come from online search engines. That makes it essential for you to pursue new techniques of internet marketing for dentists that embrace both the internet and word-of-mouth referrals.
Fortunately, with these changes in the industry, marketing has become easier than ever. With internet marketing techniques, it has also become easier and simpler to garner word-of-mouth advertisements. Social media has opened the doors to new opportunities for dentists and has made it easier to have a successful and thriving practice.
Here are the five steps that lead to successful internet marketing for dentists.
- Start with your website
When you talk about embracing the internet, your website is obviously the first place where you start. It’s like your virtual office where people can get all the information about you so they can make a decision whether to come and see you or not. And when they do decide to see you, they should get all the contact information and directions to your office in an easily laid out way.
Keep the following pointers in your mind when creating a website:
- What do people see when they visit your website? Do they learn anything useful? Do they get any VALUE? To add value, include valuable and helpful content. Remember, content will always remain the king.
- Can people easily find contact information about you?
- Is your website mobile optimized so the people viewing from a mobile device don’t navigate away because of poor experience?
- Does your website make it easy for people to book appointments? Is there a way to book appointments through the website?
- Does your website include reviews and testimonials from other patients?
- Make sure Google can find you
When a person types up your name on Google, are you there on the first page of search results? If not, you’re falling behind. You can have a great website but unless it shows up on the first few pages of the search results, you won’t get a steady flow of traffic.
To make sure Google can find you, you need to optimize your website for search engines. Search Engine Optimization techniques can help you win this game. Use appropriate keywords throughout the website, update your website regularly, make your URLs search friendly, include valuable content, and link back to yourself as much as you can.
Apart from SEO, pay-per-click advertisement can help to amplify your site’s visibility and put you in front of the people who are looking for you. A combination of SEO and PPC is the ultimate winner in this game. Here are a few pointers to remember:
- PPC advertisement on Google can bring new patients in just a few days.
- SEO can take a long time – about 6-8 months – but the ROI is even better.
- Target your keywords to each of the services you offer but invest most of the energy to your most profitable services.
- Give special offers and discounts and highlight them in your ad copy.
- Make sure you’re there on social media
Social media is where your target audience is hanging out and it’s the platform where they share their word-of-mouth referrals. By making sure you have a solid presence on social media, you can connect with those people and engage with them, getting an opportunity to build relationships that turn them into lifelong patients. Here are a few pointers for your social media campaign:
- Try to get maximum likes by running contests, giving special giveaways and discounts to patients on social media and asking your current patients to follow your page.
- Post engaging content that includes valuable tips and information, fun photos and jokes, and also local news and non-dental stuff.
- Connect with your audience in a personal way and make them feel like VIPs.
- Enhance user experience by allowing patients to book appointments through your Facebook page.
- Maintain a blog!
By maintaining a blog on your website, you not only get a channel to add content to on a regular basis but you also get a chance to share and spread value with your patients. By writing articles on dental stuff, technologies and practices, you can engage your audience with valuable content. Also, share your blog posts on social media to get more people interested in your practice.
- Get listed on online directories and review sites
Listings on other sites give you links back to your own website, which is not only good for your SEO but can also bring referral traffic to your website. Today, more and more people are hanging out on review sites to find out about businesses and practices. It’s the newest form of word-of-mouth advertisement. By making sure you’re represented positively and accurately on those sites, you can harness the power of word-of-mouth advertisement and bring in more patients to your office.
The above five steps are the most essential road blocks for successful internet marketing for dentists.