A digital marketing guide
Regularly marketing your dental practice is an essential task for every dentist, no matter how established. Now more than ever, it is essential that dentists have a strong Internet presence as part of their marketing campaign. Here you get information about what is digital marketing and how digital marketing works.
Image: @ Photobank / Fotolia
The most important aspect of digital marketing is a website. Your website is a representation of you and your dental practice. It reflects your philosophy on patient care and what experience your patients can expect with your office.
If you don’t have a website, now is the time to build one! There are companies that can help you do it yourself for a nominal fee, or you can hire an digital marketing company that specializes in website design.
If you choose the DIY route, here are some ideas to keep in mind:
- Choose an easy and descriptive domain name.
- Use a modern and fresh design. Keep the website clear and avoid using too many images or big chunks of text.
- The appearance of your site should be consistent from page to page, and ideally, with the rest of your marketing and dental practice materials.
- Make sure that it’s easy to navigate around the site and find important information.
- Make sure to include your specialty, the procedures you perform, and the conditions that you treat. .
- Include frequently searched information, like hours and contact information, on the front page.
- Introduce your staff and office, and include photos of both to help potential patients feel comfortable with your practice.
- Have a simple to use contact form.
- Optimize the site for mobile use as well, so that potential patients have a good experience when accessing your site from their cell phone.
- Add your practice to Google Maps.
Another important aspect of digital marketing is search engine optimization (SEO). Up to 70% of patients will go online to find a new dentist. SEO helps those potential clients find you and your website online. It is important to consider what your potential clients are looking for – is it a dentist in your particular geographical area? Or a dentist with a certain specialty or who performs a particular procedure?
How do you improve SEO and drive new traffic to your dental practice website? Having good, keyword-rich content is essential to not only getting people to your website, but also keeping them there. Quality content is one of the most important factors driving search engine traffic to a particular site. Even a small dental practice can become an online expert in treating periodontal disease with the right content and text.
Google is one of the most used Internet search engines, including when people are looking for a new dentist. After performing a search, most people will only look at the first page or two of results; therefore, it is essential to be as high as possible in the search results. Use these tips from KaVo to help you improve your SEO ranking:
- Choosing the right domain name: For a good search engine ranking it‘s helpful to include frequently used keywords right in the domain. For example: dentistname-dentistcity.com (such as www.Dr.Smith-SanDiegoDentist.com).
- Make sure that each of the URLs on your page is search-friendly and easy to remember. For example, dentistname-berlin.com/treatments/prophylaxis, is much easier than www.dentistname-berlin.com/ajfhiej450
- Create new quality and relevant content as often as possible.
- Avoid using Flash because search engines are unable to read or analyze the site.
- Define relevant keyword phrases and use them on your website and blog. These should be specific to your dental practice. A good place to start is to ask yourself, “What are my potential patients looking for?”
- It is important to place your keywords in strategic places on your website. At a minimum, these keywords should be in the:
- Meta description tag
- Title tag
- Largest headline tags (the H1 and H2 tags)
- Domain and URLs
- Text at least once or twice
- Alt tags in images and videos
- Internal links
If you aren’t sure how to do this, check with your computer support team for help.
Pay Per Click Advertising
Pay per click (PPC) advertising can be a lucrative addition to every dental practice’s digital marketing plan. Google AdWords allows businesses to place small ads on popular websites within their network, which if done correctly, can generate many new leads.
Here are three tips to optimize your PPC advertising:
- Include a phone number in your ad. Because you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, it is a free lead every time that someone calls the phone number instead of clicking on the ad.
- Build a unique landing page that your ads direct to. This provides your potential patients with a smooth transition to getting the correct information. Google rewards this consistency between your ads and their landing page because it gives their readers a better experience.
- Use your keywords! Use the keywords that you identified above and divide them into groups with a similar focus. Build your ads around that focus and using the keywords. Create different ads for different patient needs and use your keywords accordingly.
Digital marketing includes also social media, which is a great tool for new and experienced dental practices alike. It is a fantastic way to connect with both your current and potential patients. Using social media allows you to:
- Answer questions
- Respond to inquiries
- Share educational information
- Expand your network
Instead of using every available social media platform, choose one or two and using them consistently. Facebook, Twitter, and Google Pages are the most used for business promotion.Try to post on Facebook at least a few times a week, and Twitter at least once a day. In addition to sharing your content, look for ways to interact with other local businesses and share their content. This helps to build relationships and your network of potential patients.
Moreover, email marketing is a form of digital marketing. Emails are so much more than a simple communication tool. You should be collecting the email address of every single patient in your office and entering it into an email management service. These email services allow you to send out newsletters, special announcements, new and exciting promotions, and even birthday greetings. Email is also an effective tool that can be used to send appointment reminders. This helps you stay in touch with your patients and clients, and keeps you in their minds, in a very simple and cheap way.
A very good aspect of digital marketing is video marketing. Videos can help your practice stand out from others in your area. YouTube is an awesome platform for publicity and brings traffic to your dental website. You can showcase your team, present interviews with you and your staff or just ask your patients to offer a simple testimonial. You can also use video to describe new technology or equipment that you are using in your dental practice.
Creating simple yet effective videos requires minimal equipment and time: Simply shoot, edit, export, upload to YouTube, and embed the video on your website.
Summary of digital marketing techniques
As a dentist, you may worry that you are too busy to implement the digital marekting techniques. However, many dentists find that another member of their staff, such as the office manager or other team member, is very familiar with these best practices and how to use them. If this isn’t true in your office, or if you prefer, there are also many talented freelancers and digital marketing agencies that can help you get started!
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