There are 185,897 dental practices in the US in 2023. Each practice is busy serving patients in their community.
Each practice is likely also busy competing for those patients with other nearby practices.
The reality is that patients have options and will exercise them if they aren't happy with any part of their experience. So dental practice marketing becomes even more critical as you consider how to grow your dental practice.
Reaching patients and showing them how you can serve them is integral to patient growth. New patient marketing helps get them to your office, and the continued marketing keeps them loyal and returning.
So, what can you do with your marketing to promote your business? Read on to learn more about marketing strategies you can use to build your practice.
Creating an SEO Strategy
You already know that most potential patients will begin searching for a new dentist by opening their computer or phone, going to a search engine, and starting a search.
You want to ensure that when they type in a dentist near me, your practice pops up at the top of the results. When those search results pop up, 25% of people will click on the first result. By the third listing, only 11% will click on it.
If you land in the 10th spot, your chances of getting a click are about 2.5%. It won't be surprising that very few searchers will ever get to the second page of results.
As you plan your marketing strategy, it is key to include an SEO strategy in your plan. In fact, many of the marketing ideas on this list depend on good search engine optimization outcomes.
You might consider hiring a marketing dental copywriter as part of this SEO strategy. Again, this person can help you create the marketing copy that you can use throughout many of the strategies listed here.
Your message and tone remain consistent throughout all your marketing tools when you use copywritten text to showcase your dental practice.
Dental Website Performance
Patients expect easy access to information. In this digital age, consumers want to get on a website and have their questions answered quickly.
In fact, they'll have very little tolerance for websites that aren't user-friendly and fast loading.
Before you begin implementing all these marketing strategies, many of which will ask patients to visit your website, you need a well-functioning site.
Potential patients go elsewhere because they can't find what they need. With so much technology at their fingertips, there's a low tolerance for sites that require digging for information that isn't easily accessible.
Perform a critical audit of your website's landing page and all other connected pages.
How quickly do they load? How easy or hard is basic information to find? Can someone learn quality information on each page of the site?
Most importantly, is it easy to contact or connect with your office in several different ways while on the website?
You also want to ensure your website is mobile-friendly. Does your website perform as well on a mobile device as it does on a computer screen? With so many users accessing through their phones, this is critical to keep them on your site.
Take the time for a careful audit, since getting your people to your site is the first step in welcoming them as a new patient.
It won't surprise you that many patients will go to the internet to seek out medical information. It might also not be surprising how many dentists aren't taking advantage of online opportunities like social media.
When you know that 69% of US adults are on Facebook and 40% are on Instagram, you should recognize the huge audience potential you have to connect with.
Social media gives you an abundance of opportunities for marketing on a daily basis. You can connect with potential and current patients as they scroll through their feeds.
Your marketing can include:
- Before-and-after photos
- Patient reviews
- Dental facts
- Hygiene tips
- Toothbrushing reminders
- Behind the scenes at your practice
Social media gives you an opportunity to feature members of your practice and new procedures and technology you have available in your practice.
Google My Business Page
Remember that SEO strategy and the potential patient searching for a dentist near them? Creating a Google My Business (GMB) page is one key to both of these.
As you work on gaining practice growth, you want your SEO strategy to optimize this Google My Business page. More people go to Google for their search needs than any other search engine.
Google will use the information you input into your GMB as reliable, which helps your page optimization.
There are a number of components to building your Google page, and you must complete them to get the desired results.
Does your website contain a blog? If it doesn't, it should. A blog allows you to present yourself as the expert that you are in your field.
When you have blog posts, patients can learn from you, and you become their needed source for dental information.
As future and current patients visit your site and look at your blog for information, it can help to improve your website's SERP ranking. This ranking from Google is a response to users' search queries, which led them to your page. This improves your ranking with Google and can improve your SEO.
As you consider blog posts, there are a few essential factors. The posts need to be well-written so they sound like an expert does them. You also need to post consistently so new information is regularly available.
While there is nothing new with email marketing, there are some new approaches. Sure, people get lots of emails, so yours needs to be more innovative.
Many new email automation programs help you connect with patients and ask them to respond, which is key. Of course, this might be related to appointments and billing.
Yet, once your patients get used to email communication from you, you can integrate a monthly newsletter. This is a powerful tool for new patient marketing.
Use your social media patients to connect to the newsletter, guiding potential patients right to your page.
With a solid mailing list, you can even target mailings to reach patients and gain referrals.
You might be surprised that direct mail campaigns can still be effective for dental marketing. In fact, some appreciate the paper connection (and reminder) that you get with a direct mailing.
For those patients who aren't using all the technology, direct mailing is a great way to connect. You can use this for check-up reminders and even features about the practice.
Reaching new area residents is effective with direct mailings. Your flier goes on their fridge for when they're ready to call. It might not have the same fast results as other marketing, but often with carefully planned communication, it's highly effective.
Back to social media and the huge number of users. While there are such high numbers of people on Facebook, the platform does a great job of targeting those customers in its advertising.
This allows you to create brand recognition and generate leads for potential patients.
Consider these ideas for your Facebook marketing ads:
- Mobile-first approach to advertising, remembering how many users are on phones
- Abundant visuals
- Show the patient's experience
- Create imaginative marketing through graphic design and copywriting plans
- Use video content (more on this shortly)
This type of advertising is easy to change and manage. It allows you to get out a wide range of marketing to a specific targeted audience. Experiment with your ads and adjust based on the results you get from the ads.
Pay-per-click is another avenue of digital marketing that some dental practices are exploring. Using Adwords can help you rank your content when a user clicks on your ad.
Some practices are using pay-per-click ads to run specials and promotions. You target the advertising, then get the click which helps bring those leads to your site.
PPC advertising can be tricky and ineffective if it's not planned well. Be sure to consult with an expert in digital marketing to create the most effective campaign.
In the digital world, video content is king right now. Look at the sheer number of users on YouTube.
As a dental practice leader, you should get comfortable in front of the camera. Or have someone who creates video content on your behalf.
When you use video content on your social media pages and website, people will watch. Think short and concise, with a strong message, and you'll get the views you desire.
Of course, all video content ends with a call to action that directs patients to your website or office.
Dental Practice Marketing Strategies to Create a Busy and Successful Practice
You've worked hard to become a dentist and to start your own practice. Use these dental practice marketing strategies to grow your business and reach more patients.
If you want to learn more about potential marketing opportunities, reach out to us about our programs and seminars.