Branding, Websites, Blogging, Social Media, and SEO
Any niche within dentistry, including holistic dentistry, can be marketed online to drive new patient numbers up and up and up. However, niche markets like holistic dentistry come with one major hurdle: education.
The general public may not understand the meaning of holistic dentistry (or TMJ therapy or full-mouth restoration), so people don’t know whether they need or want those services. Sure, some people know about holistic medicine, and its those people who make up your target market. But if more people knew, would they become patients, as well?
In addition to having images and videos, a website needs quality copywriting to convey its message in detail, particularly when education is necessary before a purchase decision can be made.
Online marketing (websites, blogs, social media posts) of holistic dentistry should aim to:
- Attract – put your brand in front of target patients
- Educate – teach your potential patients about holistic dentistry, its purpose, benefits, and how to experience it
- Convert – take the user from search query to conversion, which means making an appointment online or calling your office to schedule a new patient visit
To accomplish conversion that leads to new patients, your niche dental services should be marketed with these main tools:
- Branding (mission, vision, logo, atmosphere in office, reputation in community)
- Website optimized for search, updated at least once a year
- Blog optimized for search, published weekly
- Social media profiles (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
- SEO (website and blog are good for on-page SEO; off-page SEO involves other tasks)
I’ll go into more explanation of these marketing tools, so you can understand how to attract potential patients who are curious about holistic dentistry.
Note: Identiwrite Creative copywriters have studied and know how to explain holistic dentistry, or natural dentistry, in layman’s terms. We know about SMART protocol, biocompatibility, and the benefits of metal-free dentistry. To our clients, this means that potential patients will have access to easily understandable information about your holistic services, treatments, and products. Our goal is to educate and convert site visitors into new patients!
Branding and Logo Design for Dentists
In short, branding is the idea that comes to mind when someone sees your dental practice logo, drives past your signage, visits your office, or thinks about their experience in your office. Branding is all about perceptions.
You’re familiar with demographics, right? Branding considers psychographics, which classifies people based on their attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria. Psychographics play a major role in the minds and lives of your target market–the very health-conscious and people in your service area. They are usually thinkers by nature.
We create branding by developing a mission and vision statement, then training the dental team to promote the attitudes and philosophies in those statements every day to one another and to patients, contractors, and callers.
Further, office design, logo, and office policies contribute to branding. Just about everything that’s done by, said by, or perceived to be true of your dental practice contributes to your brand – whether you like it or not!
The good news is, if you get ahead of the ideas people perceive about your dental practice, you can steer those thoughts in a positive direction that yields continual word-of-mouth referrals…and word-of-mouse referrals! Sure, you want more patients, but you also need happy patients.
In regards to online marketing, your brand is conveyed through graphic design, the voice and tone of your published text, direct mail pieces, Google and Yelp reviews, and the videos and graphics you publish.
When it comes to converting web visitors to new patients, your brand is represented by the tone of voice, word choices, and the speed at which your office phone is answered. (Don’t let those calls go to voicemail!)
Your Dental Practice Website
A dental practice website is the hub of all online dealings, from informing and educating to accepting payments and housing forms. Your website will often be the first impression your brand makes on a person–and about half of those impressions will be made on a smartphone, rather than a computer.
Here are three important tasks your website should perform:
- Perception of your practice – the colors and design should emulate the feel of your office decor; your logo should convey the ideas your mission and vision project, like holistic dentistry or biocompatible dental restorations; your site can make you look contemporary and tech-savvy or outdated and difficult to work with
- Anticipation of wants and needs – ease of navigation/user friendliness; accurate and detailed information about services, treatments, and products; many opportunities to contact the office/make an appointment (we call these calls to action or CTAs in webspeak)
- Education – interesting, enlightening information about the many services, treatments, and perhaps products that your practice offers, as well as the benefits of each; the types of patients your office serves (kids, seniors, special needs, any group outside of 20-65 age range); insurance and payment option information; a bio about the dentist with education, special training, hobbies, and family information; forms and policies; directions to the office, a photo of the storefront, email, phone, etc.
The caveat is, potential patients searching for a dentist, or holistic dentist, online must be able to FIND your website. This means, everything on the site (code, images, videos, text, plugins) must be optimized for search, which is a strategy we call SEO.
A great SEO strategy will push your website to page one of Google search engine results, for keyword terms that describe your practice’s offerings, ie: holistic dentistry, SMART amalgam removal protocol, metal-free dental crowns and fillings, latex-free dentistry. You’ll learn more about SEO at the end of this article.
Learn more about Identiwrite Creative’s Power Sites and how redesigning and redeveloping your website could significantly impact your new patient numbers.
A Custom, Optimized Dental Care Blog
One of the best ways to boost your holistic dentistry website to the top of page one Google results, according to Google’s own experts, is by creating a blog with original wording, and regularly publishing blog posts.
More is Better
I have found that a weekly blog yields higher traffic, SERP position, and click-through results than publishing every few weeks or once a month. Posting multiple times a week is even better.
In fact, the more original, optimized text your website displays, the better chance it has of ranking high for a variety of keywords, keyword phrases, and long-tail keywords. That means more ways for potential holistic dentistry patients to find your practice.
Learn about Identiwrite Creative’s SEO Power Blogs and how they can help your website rank higher so that you’ll get more new patients!
Moderate Social Media Participation
Honestly, I’ve never seen proof that a dentist acquired a new patient because of an office’s Facebook page. However, being active in social media positively contributes to a dentist’s overall online presence. Social media is free and can have marketing benefits, so why not participate?
Time. Time is the most common response to that question. It takes time to keep up with just one social media profile, and I’m suggesting that you participate in multiple platforms–especially to get the word out about your holistic dentistry services, or other niche offerings.
The Tool We Use for Social Media
Because time is a precious and irreplaceable commodity, smart web guys and gals have developed tools to help us keep business profiles active with minimal effort. One such tool allows us to publish a blog post to multiple social media profiles at once, literally at the click of a button. Hashtags, blurbs, and images are included correctly, without any additional effort.
The Identiwrite Creative tech team first examines the SEO on a website and chats with the dentist. With that info, we develop an editorial calendar of topics and keywords that need to rank higher in Google. From there, we explore keywords and related phrases, and then one of our dental copywriters composes original, strategic blog content that will help position your site high in Google search engine results.
Questions about blogging? Call us! 972-679-6885
Strategic, Effective SEO
You may already know that SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization, a strategy designed to help a webpage or website rank high in search engines, like Google.
Wouldn’t it be great if your website was listed on page one, position one and in the map 3-pack for “holistic dentistry” in your city? Executed correctly and consistently, an SEO strategy can do that for you!
There are two ways to think about SEO: paid and organic – and – on-page and off-page. Both have merit. Once you understand these terms, even if you don’t know everything that goes into the strategies, you will have a better grasp of SEO in dental marketing.
4 Need-to-Know SEO Terms
- Paid search or PPC (pay per click) is basically Google Adwords (other search engines have a version, as well). You create and publish an advertisement, and every time someone clicks to follow the link, your prefunded account is debited a predetermined fee.
Note that polls tell us, most web searchers–70%–don’t click on the paid ads. There are occasions when I suggest a temporary PPC strategy, but usually I advise dentists to invest their resources into organic SEO because of the long-term cost effectiveness.
- Organic search refers to the non-ad portion of search results. In Google, there are generally 10 page-one organic positions, plus the 3-pack map results that sometimes appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). If your website is strategically optimized and regularly maintained, it can come up at the top of page one or even in both the maps and organic listing areas of a SERP. That’s always exciting!
With an organic SEO strategy, you pay for your website and its maintenance. You do not pay when a potential patient clicks on your organic SERP listing.
Over time, organic SEO grows and grows and grows–and you own the cause of that growth, your holistic dentistry website. A high-conversion website can be a valuable asset today and when you’re ready to sell your practice.
- On-page SEO is the term that describes everything on and in a website. Well-optimized blogs feature on-page SEO. Implementing original meta-data, alt-image tags, heading tags, and internal linking within a web page contributes to on-page SEO.
- In contrast, off-page SEO includes everything that’s not on your site. Incoming links (backlinks) from other websites, PPC advertising, your original articles published on other websites, and local listings are just a few off-page SEO tactics.
Your Holistic Dentistry Website on Page One of Google
It sounds like a lot: branding, website, blog, social media, and SEO. However, not all dentists need all of this to rank on page one, even at the top of page one. A town with 5 dentists has much less competition than a city of 100s of dentists.
In highly competitive areas, like Denver, Manhattan, LA, and Dallas, a dentist should pursue every proven option for marketing, especially when marketing a holistic dentistry or other niche services.
At Identiwrite Creative, we conduct a thorough competitive analysis of similar dental practices in our clients’ service area. This helps us determine which marketing tools are necessary to increase new patient numbers.
A dentist in a less competitive area, like suburbs and smaller towns, may only need a website and blog. Or just a website! The most basic branding, even a natural development of a brand, is fine in some situations.
We will help you decide on the most cost-effective and actually effective strategy to boost your website to page one. Give us a call today at 972-679-6885 or email [email protected].
Learn more about marketing your holistic dentistry practice by visiting www.identiwrite.com.