You want a new car, you come up with a good strategy for acquiring that car. It involves finding a good price, a low interest rate, and a great service plan.

You want a successful business, you come up with a good plan – a strategy – for developing the dental practice.

When buying the car, you know that you’re up against a group of people and entities that want to make a profit: the salesman, dealership, bank, and automobile manufacturer.

What are you up against in business? What challenge must your practice face on the road to success? Do you know who those challengers are? Do you know where they are and what they’re doing to succeed?

If you wanted a new car and were at the mercy of whomever you came up against, you’d probably walk away with a lesser vehicle than you desired, at a higher cost and interest rate, and without a service plan, than if you went in ready for business, ready for battle.

You’ve invested your education, career, and probably have or will invest the better part of your life in your dental practice. Knowing your competition is imperative to doing business wisely and well.

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Who are your neighbors?

When I first entered the dentistry arena, I quickly learned that dentists are professionals with an honor code. Times are changing, but there’s still a basis of honor and respect between peers in dentistry – and rightfully so! Understand that you can retain your professionalism and respect for your fellow doctors, while being a savvy businessman. “Doctor” and “businessman” are not opposites. The two titles can reside simultaneously on one honorable and well-liked individual.

You can want to improve the health of your community; want to be involved in a community of dentists who share this goal; and actively seek to become the largest and most profitable dentist office in your region. This is friendly, respectful competition, and today it takes more than hanging out a shingle and providing good service to patients to successfully compete.

I strongly encourage you to learn about the businesses of your local peers so that you can intelligently and efficiently plan a fact-based marketing strategy.

Whether you are new to your practice or have been the sole practitioner of the establishment for three decades, when it comes to learning about the dentists in your community, all paths lead the same direction. Start online. It is the easiest and fastest way to research just about anything on the planet – and beyond.

Steps to Knowing Your Competitors

Identiwrite Creative helps dentists with online marketing. Before I start building a website, content marketing or SEO plan, or writing a blog for a dentist, I find out which local dental offices are showing up on page-one Google results for “dentist,” in the map and organic listings. Furthermore, I need to know what those dental practices are doing online to achieve their page-one ranking, so that I can develop a strategic plan that will land my client’s website on page one of Google, among these top-ranking sites. I must know what we’re up against; I must know who the competition is, and what they’re doing. If I do not know these things, how on earth can I develop a marketing strategy to compete with them? I’d be going into the battle dumb, deaf, and blind.

A pre-packaged website marketing plan makes no sense because every dentist’s market is different. My client in Denver, Colorado has a vastly different marketing strategy than the client in Duncan, Oklahoma. Both are on page-one results, but it takes a lot more work to keep the Denver dentist there!

Finding weak spots in competing dentists’ online marketing will give you a huge advantage, and a way to leap to page-one Google results.

So, here’s how to find the information you need about your competitors, before designing a marketing plan for your dental practice:

1 Conduct Google Search for Your City + Dentist in Chrome Incognito Mode (or your browser’s equivalent mode)

2 Conduct a Competitive Analysis on Each Website in the Organic Listing Results of Page One

  • Age of website
  • Is website responsive
  • Is text original
  • Is text optimized (linking, meta, headings, etc.)
  • Is meta data unique and well written for each page
  • Do images have Alt-tags
  • How many service pages
  • Evaluate quantity and credibility of incoming links
  • Look at patient reviews (Google, Facebook, Yelp!, HealthGrades)
  • Is Google Business complete
  • Does the site have a maintained blog
  • Is NAP consistent across indexed listings
  • Are there many citations
  • Is social media utilized

3 Conduct the Same Analysis on Your Site

4 Compare Your Results to the Top Ten Sites

5 Identify Competitors’ Weak Spots

6 Develop a Strategy for the BEST Website, Reviews, Social Media, NAP, Citations, Links

7 Implement the Strategy and KEEP IT UP

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Sounds like a solid plan, doesn’t it?

You may wonder why you’ve never heard this method of strategizing before. It seems so logical! The reason is, it takes time, effort, dedication, and a lot of energy. I will never get rich quickly if this is my business model, but I do not want to drive a Ferrari. I have a Nissan Z, and I love it. I also love seeing small businesses succeed and the American dream achieved. My grandpa owned a barber shop, and my daddy was a house painter. I love small businesses and the small business owner – and that’s why I don’t do contracts. None of my clients are held to a contract. If you don’t like the results, and if I don’t earn your business, you certainly should not keep working with me. You work hard for your money, and so should I.

If you’d like Identiwrite Creative to help your dental office create and execute an effective online marketing strategy that will not cost you the farm, give me a call. I’m Shauna Duty, and you can reach me at 940-395-5115, or email [email protected].

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