You know that your dental practice needs to show up online in order to attract quality new patients. But knowing that your dental practice needs to be found on Google’s search results is a lot easier than using dental marketing to actually show up there.
There are specific action steps your practice can take to get found online and start attracting more patients today. Here are three of the most important places to start.
1. A Patient-Centered Dental Website
Your dental website is the foundation of all the other dental marketing that you do. Think about it. If a friend introduces you to a potential new patient at a cocktail party, what is the first thing that person is going to do?
Go home and “Google” you.
The same is true for traditional advertising such as radio ads or direct mail flyers. For any dental marketing you do, potential patients will Google your practice first to learn more about you and your services.
Here are 2 key components to consider
1. Focus on the problems of the patient
Most dental practices focus on all of the solutions that they offer to potential patients: implants, veneers, fillings, braces…
But most patients are not thinking about the solution; they are thinking about their problem. “I’m embarrassed about my smile.” or “I’m in pain but I don’t know if any dentists take my insurance.”
Tap into the pain points of potential patients. Then, use your website to answer all of their questions while creating an emotional connection with them.
According to a report published in 2016 by Futuredontics entitled "What Dental Patients Want", only 3% of dental patients care about the design of your website.
That doesn't mean your website isn't important!
However, it DOES mean that it's much more important to have information patients are looking for easy to find on your site rather than only focusing on making the site look pretty.
2. Make sure your website is mobile friendly
We have an entire Insider’s Guide dedicated to the game-changing importance of a mobile friendly website. If you’re not sure if your website is displaying well on mobile devices, be sure to check it out!
2. Focus On Getting Five-Star Google Reviews
Now that you have a professional website that converts traffic into high-quality patients, it is time to look at your Google Reviews. You already know that Google Reviews can impact your overall results in search ranking. But what’s more, Google Reviews are an extremely eye-catching way to show social proof.
Not only do your practice’s reviews need to show up at the top of the results page, but the stars immediately catch your eye! If you have the choice between a dental practice with numerous five-star reviews, or a dental practice with no stars at all, which are you going to choose?
In 2013, reviews ranked after a dentist’s credentials as the seventh most influential factor in the dentist selection process. It’s now number three. Today’s patients consider reviews far more relevant than where dentists went to school, how many years they have been practicing and even the range of services they offer.
88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and even more interesting; 86% of consumers will pay more for services with higher ratings and reviews.
3. A Powerful Google Ads Campaign
When we talk about Google Ads, we are referring to any of the ads that show up on the top and right hand-side of the search results.
These ads are always marked with "ad" text, but the most important thing to note is that the ads show up first—before any of the organic search results.
According to the same survey-based research shared by Futuredontics and 1-800-DENTIST, 6 of the top 10 sources patients use to find dentists are web-based.
The most influential online source being search engines, (e.g. like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.), which are currently used by 55% of patients.
54% of patients say they use an online search engine (Google) to search for a dentist. That means your practice can attract those patients by making sure your practice shows up in search results using an optimized Google AdWords campaign.
96% of Google’s revenue comes from its advertisements. That means Google is extremely invested in ensuring that your ads perform well. And that’s one of the reasons why we love Google Ads—they offer immediate and dependable ROI for your practice.
This is just a snapshot of the marketing strategies that your practice can use to start attracting new dental patients this year.
For an in-depth guide to these strategies, as well as more about being able to compete with corporate dentistry, be sure to download our brand new FREE 2017 Insider’s Guide below.
This post was originally published in March, 2016 and has been updated as of July, 2017 to include the latest dental marketing information.