Digital Marketing for Dentists: How to Grow Your Dental Practice Online

“Digital marketing” is a term used to describe how brands and businesses can use or take advantage of digital data and technology or social media to market their products and services over the internet. Everyone including niches like dental marketing are exploring the online ways of growing their practice. And so, digital marketing for dentists is something that has gained great traction in recent times.

This effort, while it may come in many forms, such as search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns, social media marketing, email newsletters and online videos channels, among others, aims for increasing brand awareness within an industry that will eventually lead to increase conversion rates. And when it comes to dental practices that already rank well on Google, landing a spot on page one can help to improve a practice’s conversion rate and drive the traffic needed to sustain its success.

Why Digital Marketing for Dentists is Important?

According to DentaVox, 86% of people research online before visiting a dentist. This is an obvious statistic as the whole point behind marketing is for your practice to be found and known amongst potential patients – and digital marketing has changed the way we do that.

What’s interesting about this statistic is that it shows how much more aware patients are of practices around them, and how accessible it is for them to be able to do their own research before visiting a dentist.

The good news for you is that starting to use ideas of digital marketing for dentists won’t require a huge time or financial commitment. You can start with small steps–for example, by sharing articles on social media or optimizing your Google My Business page—in order to gauge interest in your content and method before dedicating more resources.

Here are some fascinating benefits of digital marketing for dentists:

  • It’s affordable and typically cheaper than other forms of advertising, and though there are some variations in price for different platforms, it’s typically a lot more cost-effective than traditional, paper advertisements.
  • It’s customizable, allowing you to tailor your marketing efforts to fit the needs of your target audience.
  • You can measure the success or failure of initiatives before expending further resources into it. This allows you to fine tune your marketing strategy so that it will be more successful in terms of generating new patient interest.
  • It’s not “one size fits all” so it won’t be successful for every practice.
  • Your marketing efforts are visible across your entire network of social media, meaning that if you have 1 million Facebook views, everyone in your friend list will see the updates that you post. It allows you to easily reach a larger variety of people, and it allows you to reach all potential patients speedily.
  • It gives you the chance to be seen as an authority figure in your industry. For example, if you’re a dentist who is interested in the topic of oral cancer and how it relates to dental health, then there are many online forums where you can post about that interest and start to build your digital footprint. Your name or your practice’s name will start to be recognized amongst the niche that you are most passionate about, which can give you more exposure.
  • Because it’s so easy to share information digitally, marketers have a chance to connect with others who already have an interest in your services or products without being pushy or spammy.

However, it will take effort because digital marketing requires consistent participation over time to see success. But it’s an investment that pays off exponentially–not only can you attract new dental patients via digital marketing but also earn credibility by becoming the go-to source of information for the industry.

Actionable Digital Marketing Tips for Dentists

1) Start With Your Own Website

Every day, consumers are doing more of their shopping online. If you don’t have an official website for your dental practice that provides information about your services, hours of operation, location, and staff members’ biographies–and if it isn’t optimized to show up on search engines–you could be losing out on opportunities to build new patients.

Your dental website also serves as a hub for all other digital marketing efforts because it can include links to social media channels and Google My Business listings. The greatest value in building a site is being able to control how potential patients find you online—thus reducing the likelihood that they will see negative reviews or outdated information about your practice.

2) Become Active on Social Media

Most social media sites allow you to build a profile and post updates that patients and potential patients will see. This allows your office to give consumers information about the latest in dentistry, share articles relevant to your industry, and promote free screenings or events.

Take a glimpse into some fascinating statistics on influence of social media marketing for dentists:

Source: The Wealthy Dentists

You’ll want to find popular pages within your niche such as Facebook Groups or Instagram influencers who could potentially help spread the word about your practice through endorsements. Creating an engaging social media presence can also serve as a lead generation tool because it increases brand awareness so more people end up finding out about your dental office in person or online. Dental social media marketing can increase your network.

3) Use Google My Business (GMB)

Optimize your presence on Google My Business (and Bing) to enhance local SEO. It’s essential to claim and maintain your listings on Google My Business and Bing Places in order to increase the visibility of your dental practice.

Claiming it is simple: you can usually do so by verifying your address and phone number over email or the phone. Then, you’ll be able to make edits such as changing your business hours or categorizing yourself under a specific type of practice (ex: cosmetic dentistry).

You can also control how patients find you online by modifying which categories pop up when they search “dentist near me” on their mobile devices. By being found through this type of search, you have a better chance at converting them into patients because they were already treatment from a company they trust.

4) Video marketing

Video marketing has nowadays emerged as a one of the most effective strategies of digital marketing for dentists. Take Advantage of YouTube Embedding videos on your website or social media channels can help boost your search engine rankings because Google, in particular, considers them to have a high level of importance.

Video marketing allows you to explain what sets you apart from other practices and establish yourself as an authority figure–thus gaining the trust of potential dental patients who are searching for places that offer specific services or who have very specific needs. As an example, you could create a video series showing how people with dental phobias can overcome their anxieties through hypnosis treatments.

Successful video marketing hinges on good camera work, attractive images, creative editing techniques, pacing, and the right keywords within the title and description tags. To take it a step further, you could include your website and contact information (or even QR codes) within the video in order to make it easier for people to get in touch with you after seeing it.

5) Leverage Pay Per Click Ads On Google

smartphone with Google Ads on the screen and display notebook background. Ads is a service of contextual, basically, search advertising from Google. Moscow, Russia – August 25, 2019

Advertise Your Practice on Google Ads Continuing what we discussed earlier about being found through searches for “dentist near me”–ads that pop up at the top of search results are extremely valuable because you can guarantee that people will see them. In fact, this type of advertising is so effective that many have dubbed it pay-per-prospect because one single view can lead directly to new patients walking through your doors.

You should consider using this strategy if a considerable number of potential patients in your local area search for “dentist near me” and you aren’t already listed in the organic results.

The downside to this strategy is that it can be expensive, especially if you don’t have a high number of daily patients in relation to other local practices in your area.

As with all ads, whether they show up in Google AdWords or on social media channels, it’s vital that they incorporate your keywords and provide an accurate description of what potential patients will find when they visit your website. It may also be useful to include a call-to-action such as clicking through to book an appointment or calling about mobile dental services (if relevant).

6) Work on SEO of your website

Some strategies of digital marketing for dentists can test your patience and Search engine optimization is one of them. But SEO services for dentists are essential if you want to grow organically on search engines like Google. In the digital age, modern consumers expect a higher standard of quality from businesses–and especially those in the medical field. If you hope to succeed as a dentist online, it’s essential that your website is optimized for search engines so that you can attract new patients who are actively searching online for dental services like yours.

For online dental businesses, it’s best to work with an SEO company that can help you structure your website in a way that includes the right keywords.

Google Analytics has shown that 63% of people who search for dentist services visit 1-2 pages on the first page of Google. This is because Google’s algorithm system (PageRank) includes the number of links to a website. It’s not necessarily the amount of content on the page, but it ranks pages that are already trusted by other people (i.e., external links). So, when people search for dentist services and self-referral leads via Google, your website is what they will be looking at to determine if you’re the right dentist for them.

A simple approach of digital marketing for dentists is to develop page titles and meta descriptions for each page of your site that include your primary keyword (in this case, something like “dental implants Maine”) along with complementary keywords (for example, “cosmetic dentistry Miami”).

The reason this works is because search engines like Google use certain factors when determining whether or not to list a website in organic results. The more that you do to meet their criteria–such as including keywords on pages of your site–the higher the chances are of appearing on relevant searches.

Further, if you have a blog or regularly updated website with consistently high-quality content, Google will reward you by bumping you up in search results whenever your website is mentioned in social media, shared on other websites, or recommended by industry-related influencers.

7) Focus on Online Reviews

Source: DentaVox

More than half of people have looked up companies through online reviews before making a purchase. Furthermore, 94% said that they trust these sources as much as personal recommendations.

The above stats implicates the importance of reviews in digital marketing for dentists. Online reviews are now so influential that it’s vital to stay on top of them–ideally, you should be soliciting positive feedback from former patients and encouraging them to leave a review on Google, Yelp, and Facebook.

When a potential patient searches for your dental business online, your reviews can make or break their decision to choose you over another practice.

Why patients read online reviews before visiting a dentists – importance of digital marketing for dentists.

Source: DentaVox

It’s therefore important that you monitor what people are saying about you in various locations online and get in touch with anyone who leaves negative feedback–even if it’s just to apologize and thank them for taking the time to leave feedback.

8) Add your Practice to Dental Directories

There are a number of directories and listing services you should consider adding your practice to, such as Foursquare for Business, and Yelp.

Additionally, you can add your practice to directories that only focus on dentists.

It’s important to list yourself on these sites because they come up in the results pages whenever someone searches for dental businesses in your area–particularly when they use any of the keywords you targeted in your SEO efforts.

Make sure that any profiles or listings include your primary keyword (such as “dental implant surgery”) to maximize the chances of appearing on relevant searches.

This is why it’s essential for you to claim any professional profile pages for your practice on these sites if you haven’t already done so, to make sure that they are accurate and driving traffic back to your website.

9) Keep consistency in publishing blogs and optimizing them on your Dental website

Having a strong digital marketing plan means being consistent with the content you publish online, particularly via your website. Your blog should be regularly updated with high-quality, valuable content that provides potential patients with the information they need to know about whatever dental issues or concerns brought them to your blog in the first place.

If you don’t regularly update your site, you could lose viewers who regularly check search results for related topics–especially if there are other sites (like those of your competitors) publishing new content regularly. To avoid this scenario, make sure that all of your website pages are optimized properly according to SEO requirements and that each page has unique keywords where appropriate.

The reviews you solicit from former patients can also be published to your blog, which will maximize their effectiveness.

In addition to these methods, make sure that your social profiles (such as Facebook and Google+) are up-to-date with accurate information and contain links back to your website.

Final Words

Today’s most successful dental marketers are utilizing search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing tactics and publishing regular blogs to help bring new patients to their practice. However, even though digital marketing for dentists is crucial to a dental practice’s success, only around 1/3 of dental marketers rank it as a top priority for their business.

These 9 actionable digital marketing strategies for dentists will help your website rank higher in search results, increase brand recognition, and improve the overall online reputation of your dental practice.

Digital marketing for dentists requires a lot of time and can feel like an overwhelming process. The result, however, if your digital marketing plan is executed successfully with best-in-class practices, can lead to more new patients finding you online.

There are many other ways to implement digital marketing tactics for dentists, but these nine methods are a great start toward enhancing your online presence.

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