12 Easy Dental Marketing Ideas to Boost Your New Patient Count in 2020
Without a solid marketing strategy, your dental practice is likely to lose out to the competition when it comes to attracting new patients. Dentistry can be highly competitive with several practices vying for business in the same location. Staying ahead of the field in the digital age calls for an effective online strategy to promote your dental office and generate new business.
The new year – a time for reflecting on the past and looking to the future – presents the ideal opportunity to review your online promotional activities and maybe incorporate a few ideas you’ve overlooked.
To help you with this, we’ve put together 12 easy dental marketing ideas to boost your new patient count in 2020.
1. Use Local Search Marketing to Target Potential Patients
Local search marketing is key to connect with potential patients looking online for a dental practice in your area.
It’s a form of search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure your online listings keep popping up for relevant local searches.
This entails ensuring your practice details – including name, address and phone number – are accurate and consistent across important directories like Google My Business, which can have a big impact on your local search ranking.
Local search marketing needs to be an ongoing process and can be time-consuming, so it’s probably easier to leave it to a dental digital marketing specialist.
2. Optimize Your Website
If your dental website has seen better days, potential patients are likely to look elsewhere, particularly if faced with a slow-loading site or one that’s difficult to navigate.
As well as putting off prospective patients, an unappealing website won’t do you any favors with search engines, either.
Measures to optimize your online platform for search engines as well as new patients include:
- Creating a positive user experience.
- Ensuring quality, relevant content.
- Prioritizing content that offers particular value.
- Making sure your site is mobile-friendly – Google will penalize you if it isn’t.
3. Build Quality Links
Link-building provides an effective means of reaching out to potential patients by telling search engines you have an awesome website.
A few high-quality links – rather than a bunch of spam-type links – will prove to search engines, like Google, that your dental website is relevant and high quality and deserves to be seen in a local search.
You could try:
- Asking a local business to link to your site if you return the favor.
- Getting a local news platform to run an article that links to your website if you have an upcoming special event or promotion.
4. Research Keywords
Keyword research – to pinpoint exactly which terms people are using to look for dental services – can be crucial in your marketing strategy to boost your new patient count.
Various tools are available to help you do this, including Google AdWords Keyword Planner. You can also find relevant keywords for your dental office in the search recommendations when Google helps you complete a search
5. Use Your Keywords Effectively
Once you’ve found the right keywords, it’s time to take advantage of organic, free search engine optimization by inserting them into your website content. Your keywords need to occur naturally and in context, and you should avoid keyword-stuffing.
A specialist in keyword-based SEO can give your dental practice the gift that keeps on giving – by helping to establish and maintain a strong online presence that can play a major role in boosting your new patient count.
6. Manage Your Online Reputation
To increase your chances of generating new business, you need to know what your existing patients are saying about you and the effect it’s likely to have on your prospective new patients.
Online reviews of your dental office can reach out to far more potential patients than word of mouth and are vital in the trust-building process.
If you’re aware of online chatter relating to your practice, you can become part of the dialogue and take steps to fix any problems – the occasional negative review is unavoidable. You can set up Google Alerts for your practice so you know when new content is posted that refers to you.
Another way to counter negative reviews is to encourage your existing patients to post positive ones on review sites like Google, Facebook and Yelp, and get them to leave their feedback on the testimonials page of your website. The best defense is a good offense!
7. Network with LinkedIn
Social platform LinkedIn can give you a cost-effective resource to expand your patient base by developing a consistent online presence that strengthens your reputation.
LinkedIn allows you to connect with potential patients as well as other small businesses – you can network on a personal level and increase awareness of your practice by creating a business page.
Regarded as the Facebook of the professional world, LinkedIn presents an opportunity for dental offices to attract new patients through a platform possibly underused or completely overlooked by your competitors in favor of more obvious social media marketing channels like Facebook.
Smart use of LinkedIn can:
- Promote your practice.
- Boost Google rankings.
- Drive new patients to your website.
8. Draw up a Social Media Policy
In addition to using LinkedIn to your advantage, you also need an overall social media strategy to help you boost your new patient count in 2020.
Most of your prospective patients will be on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. These platforms tend to favor individuals over businesses, but you can still put your practice in the spotlight by paying for promotional posts.
At the very least, try to maintain a Facebook page with information about your practice, and update it regularly with fresh content.
9. Advertise on Facebook
Facebook attracts a huge volume of visitors and features finely tuned targeting technology that gives small local enterprises like dental offices the perfect opportunity to generate new business.
Facebook ads typically work on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis – you pay a small fee each time someone clicks on your advert.
They appear across a wide range of digital platforms, including smartphones, laptops and tablets, as well as desktops, and they’re easily visible and clickable – giving your practice a powerful means of getting its message across.
Facebook is favored by many professional online marketing agencies for social media advertising because of the low cost of attracting new business.
However, without the skills of knowing how to target potential patients properly, you could end up losing money.
10. Get Involved in Oral Health Campaigns
There are many annual campaigns aimed at highlighting the importance of dental health, and they give you a platform to engage more with existing patients and the general community and reach out to new patients.
For example, if your practice offers orthodontic care, you can associate yourself with National Orthodontic Health Month in October.
You can link your practice with various national dental health awareness drives by:
- Creating special blogs for your own website.
- Offering feature articles to online local news outlets.
- Using social media to spread the message about your dental office.
11. Shoot Videos About Your Practice
Video marketing can be a powerful tool to attract new patients and consolidate your practice’s status.
Informative video content can also appeal to prospective patients on an emotional level – giving you an advantage over dental practices that rely solely on the written word.
A custom dental office video allows potential patients to get a real feel of what sets your practice apart from others.
It also allows you to introduce yourself to new patients before actually seeing them, and you can give them a virtual guided tour of your practice.
Video content will make your website more dynamic, and you can reach a potentially wider audience through YouTube and your Google My Business listing.
12. Make Patient Registration Safe and Simple
Making it simple for new patients to join your dental practice is one of the easiest ways to generate new business while saving your office time and money.
With some practices, the registration process may deter potential patients because it’s too time-consuming or through concerns over security. A security-protected online registration form for new patients eliminates these issues.
Taking Your Dental Practice to a New Level
Each new patient is worth on average around $900 a year for your dental office.
A well-planned, integrated online dental marketing strategy can produce a steady stream of new patients by setting you apart from the competition.
We hope our 12 easy dental marketing ideas for increasing your new patient count help to take your practice to the next level in 2020.