If you Google “dental marketing ideas,” you’ll find a host of blogs and articles. Most of the publications list ideas that are either too difficult for the non-technical person to execute or so basic that you’ve already put them into practice.
It’s time to spice up your latte!
Let’s dive into 22 tasks you can put into practice today to drive more new patients to your dental office tomorrow.
1. The Easy Buttons
The first thing patients should find on your website is a clear answer to the question. What’s the question? It’s what they typed into google.
You can’t know exactly what they want, but you sure know what you offer. The patients you want desire exactly what you have to offer. Otherwise, they aren’t your ideal patient.
Anyone who finds your site is probably looking for a few dental services or treatments.
At the top of your site, feature easy buttons that direct potential patients straight to your webpage about their topic of interest. For instance, Smile Makeover; Checkups & Cleanings: Orthodontics; Implants; and Kids Dentistry would be great easy buttons for general dentistry patients. Easy buttons should represent your three to six most oftenly booked services and treatments.
2. Calls to Action
This dental marketing idea is also about making your site easy to navigate. A call to action is a button, text, or image that directs site visitors to your contact page where they’ll find your phone number and an email option.
You won’t know at what point of browsing your website a potential patient will be ready to call the office and book an appointment. To make certain that a “contact us now” link is on the page when that transition occurs, it’s important to include more than one call to action on each of your website’s pages. Mix it up. Add a text call to action, a button that says “contact us,” and one eye-catching illustration/advertisement.
3. Regularly Scheduled Programming
If you don’t blog, start today. It’s great for dental marketing!
All of the VIPs in search marketing know that content rules the internet. Experts will advise you to blog by writing original text and posting it to your website. However, most dentists do not make time to write blogs.
One of the important factors in blogging is consistency. If you will write and publish a blog weekly, then go for it. Just jump in and start typing. If you won’t, then call Identiwrite Creative. Our copywriters are well versed in dental services, treatments, and technology, and we know how to professionally optimize blogs for SEO.
4. Listen to the Googler
In your office, patients talk. All day long! They talk about their kids, their problems, their jobs, and their dental concerns. Keep tabs of those concerns — they’re dental marketing ideas! Write them down and use them as blog topics on your website. Examples: how much does it cost, will it hurt, do you offer financing, what’s the best teeth whitening option, should I choose implants or dentures, etc.
5. Consistency Is Key
Websites need to be updated quarterly, but at a minimum twice per year. This is in addition to regular site maintenance and security. If you use a company to manage the technical aspect of your site, there will probably be a list of upgrades that need to be done twice a year. These may include improving site speed, deleting unused plugins, replacing or removing broken links.
Blogging, also, requires consistency. Blogging for SEO works if you keep it up. A few blogs on your site will do little to nothing for your SEO. Blogging weekly will give you 52 new pages of content at the end of one year, and that amount of content will make a valuable impact on SEO.
6. Upgrade Your Home
While website maintenance is important, updating or upgrading your homepage each year is also something Google likes. Change up the wording a bit, freshen up the images, revisit your navigation and add a few pages. These things let Google know that you’ve not abandoned your website; you’re keeping it up to date and relevant.
7. The New Phone Book
Phone books are a thing of the past. (I’ll pause here to let the tree huggers jump for joy.) Today, we use Google as a phone book. Here’s another great dental marketing idea: To help your website rank high and your phone number to come up for a wide range of search queries, you need to add your NAP (name, address, phone number) to local listing sites, like Google Business, Bing Pages, and Yelp!.
Important: Your NAP across all listings should exactly match your listing in Google Business. Ave vs Avenue and Ste 101 vs Suite 101 vs #101 all matters, so be consistent.
8. Make Contributing a Family Affair
Your office family needs to hop on board with your social media posts by commenting, liking, and sharing every week. Alone, trying to boost momentum in social networking will be difficult and could very easily fail. Get the team involved, and between the 3, 5, 8+ of you, your Facebook page may gain some traction!
9. Link Swap and Guest Blog
At Chamber of Commerce mixers or on the golf course, wherever you talk about business, swap links with other small business owners in your area. To swap links means that you feature their website URL on your site and they feature yours. It’s a great marketing idea that works for all kinds of small businesses.
Ask a health expert if you can guest post on his blog; ask the owner of your gym if you can provide an oral health article for his site, and if he’d like to write about physical health for your blog. These links to your site, called backlinks, especially those from other health-related, local businesses or high-traffic sites like Invisalign, really help boost SEO.
10. Smiles on Site
What photos are on your website? No one wants to look at a machine, even if it can produce crowns in one visit or identify cancer cells. People prefer to look at other people, happy people. So, even if it seems cliche, use stock photography of smiling people on your site. Better yet, take photos of your patients and team for use on your website.
11. Google Biz for You
Google Business is a free listing that your practice can acquire online. Have you ever googled something and seen a featured business on the right side of the screen? This special listing usually includes photos, a map, testimonials, and information about the business. Your practice can have one of those listings – for free. Just go to Google Business and complete the requested information.
12. Google Biz for Them
Inside the administration panel of your Google Business listing, there’s a place to add a post. It can be a special offer, an announcement, an event, or a product. I like to add a link to a recent blog post and upload the blog’s picture to attract attention. Google Business will provide analytics about your listing, so you’ll know how many times it showed up in search (this is called impressions).
13. Extra, Extra, E-news About It
The days of stuffing and stamping envelopes with newsletters are in the past with those phone books, thank goodness! Today’s equivalent is e-news.
At Identiwrite Creative, we prefer to use a platform called Emma for email marketing, but other popular options are Constant Contact and Mail Chimp. Simply choose a platform, subscribe, upload your patient email list, and create your publication! It’s super easy and also comes with analytics, so you can see how many opens, opt-outs, opt-ins, shares, and clicks your e-newsletter receives.
14. Stay True to Your School
Do you treat kids? If so, call the local high school(s) and ask if you can sponsor the football tickets for the year. My son’s orthodontist did this and he said it was a great investment! Each ticket had his practice name, logo, address, and phone number on it. His practice name was also announced as a game sponsor at half time.
Keep in mind those impressions I mentioned above, under Google Biz for Them. The more often people see your logo and hear your practice’s name, the more likely they will be to think of you when they need a new dentist.
Bonus Idea: This is more common than football ticket sponsorship. You can offer free school colors mouthguards to athletes who come in for a cleaning or other service.
15. Q & As in So Many Ways
Questions and answers. They fuel Google. They can also help in your marketing.
Add a Q & A page to your website and consider having a few Q & As at the bottom of each service page, answering common questions about that service. Also, when your patients ask questions of your office staff, use those questions to help guide your website’s content and blogs.
Now that voice search is mainstream, people are asking their phones about everything – including how to find the best dentist in your area!
16. Let Them Say You’re Great
Testimonials. Patient reviews. Whatever you call them, they’re great for SEO and digital marketing. We can add a Google Reviews feed to your website. We can also feature testimonials on your site’s homepage or services pages.
Ask patients to visit your Google Business page and write a review. The more reviews the better, even if some aren’t 5-star. An iffy review every once in a while makes your listing believable.
I don’t have a statistic for you, but I guarantee that a dentist who directly asks for Google Reviews from patients will receive more than a dentist who does not. There are also reviews services you can purchase to email surveys to patients, post-visit.
17. Lights, Camera, Don’t Freak Out
Videos are more interesting and fun than words and pictures. They just are! So stop postponing. Don’t worry about setting up a studio in your office.
Start with your phone, recording videos about your office, services, treatments, technology, and even staff birthdays.
Ask patients for video testimonials. Then, when you post the videos to your (free) YouTube account, and be sure to fill out all the information required for proper optimization. We can pull videos from YouTube via a link, so they show up on your site and load fast.
18. Illustrations Sometimes Trump Pictures
Few patients want to see the mouth of an implant patient who does not yet have teeth installed. Few want to see decayed teeth and diseased gums. If you want to show how a root canal works or how gum disease develops, use illustrations instead of photos. Some stock photography sites have illustrations you can purchase, or you can opt for using a dental video subscription service.
19. Road Warrior
I dare you to do this one. Wrap a car in an advertisement for your dental practice. Car wraps aren’t just for Realtors!
20. If It Doesn’t Work, Scrap It
Return on investment, or ROI, is an important part of a solid marketing plan. If you don’t know whether a direct mail piece, e-newsletter, or Google Ads are yielding a positive return, how can you determine whether they’re a wise investment?
This is where analytics come in. But beyond the digital data, your receptionist should ask all new patients how they heard about your office. The answers should be logged in a spreadsheet, so you can find out which efforts were most profitable and which were poor investments.
21. Shoot for the Stars
Goals. They’re important, particularly in marketing. When you launch a new website, what do you expect it to do for you?
Set goals so that you know where you want to go. If you grabbed your keys and slid into the driver’s seat of your car, but didn’t have a destination in mind, you’d just drive around wasting gas.
Similarly, if you launch a marketing campaign and aren’t sure what to expect, you won’t know whether it was effective. Should it bring you a certain dollar amount in revenue or a certain number of calls? Appointments? Set goals so that you can celebrate success! (And learn from failures.)
22. Mission Is Possible
Lastly, if you’ve never seriously considered your practice’s mission, now’s the time. A mission statement isn’t a cliche. It’s a passionate declaration that sets the true north for your business.
Everything your team does daily, and all of your marketing projects and business pursuits should be aligned with your vision statement. If you’re considering adding Invisalign to your practice, does that align with your vision? If you’re considering buying your office building instead of renting it, does that align with your mission?
Get Help with These Dental Marketing Ideas
Do you have questions about any of these dental marketing ideas? Would you like to talk with me about your practice’s website, blog, or SEO? Call 972-679-6885 or email [email protected] today!