The demand for dentists in the US is growing. As the bond between oral health and overall health becomes more apparent, individuals are realizing the importance of dental care.
While this rise is good news for dental practitioners, it is a double-edged sword. More demand also means more competition in the marketplace. So how can you stand out among other dental practices? The answer lies in creating a solid dental marketing strategy.
Gone are the days of sending out an email blast or mailing out a flyer to attract new customers. Dental practice marketing has become much more sophisticated.
This shift is necessary as consumers can compare multiple dental practices with a few keyboard clicks. And consumers often act after conducting digital research. In fact, 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours.
Read below for dental marketing ideas and insights to propel your practice.
- Set up social media to make your dental practice sparkle online
- Get published in dental industry publications
- Implement SEO, so your dental practice is on top
- Set up Google My Business to improve your ranking
- Use dental directories to strengthen local SEO
- Create content that drives patients to your practice
- Distinguished dentists need strategies to match
Most of your patients are likely utilizing social media. But did you know that a large portion of your peers are as well? Recent data reveals 55% of dentists use social media platforms for their practice. Furthermore, patients in the same survey were interested in exploring these profiles to gain more information about their dental provider.
Whether you have social media accounts that you are looking to grow or you have yet to enter into social media marketing, looking to successful accounts can inspire your posts.
For example, New York-based dentist office @GrandStreetDental features smiling shots of their staff between pictures of their welcoming and chic office interior. The result is a visually appealing feed that motivates patients to come in for an appointment.
What kind of content should dentists share?
When it comes to dental practice marketing, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Sharing articles that are already popular is another way to generate engagement. Utilize thought-provoking, wild, or entertaining articles to catch attention and increase engagement.
Credible healthcare publications and professionals serve as a potential source of blog content to share. Take this article by eMediHealth, for example.
On Pinterest, this article was shared almost 22K times. On Facebook, the shares totaled to over 42K!
Don’t forget the #hashtags!
What’s the point of having a great feed if no one can find it? One way to increase visibility is to do hashtag research. This is the process of uncovering relevant hashtags in your industry and creating content around these topics.
To do so, utilize the autocomplete feature on Instagram. Additionally, the related hashtag feature allows you to explore similar hashtags with overlapping audiences. The tag #instadentist is a popular one. Below, you can see other relevant tags include #dentaldesign and #newsmile.
Ideally, you should use a mix of broad and specific hashtags to increase your chances of being seen. For example, #dentistsofcalifornia and #losangelsdentist are not extremely popular, but they increase the chances of locals finding a nearby dentist.
The reality is that social media channels are growing in users. So being active on these platforms is a pillar of effective dental practice marketing.
To boost brand awareness, aim to get published in health and dental publications. Getting yourself or your practice published offers a valuable item in the digital marketing world—a link.
To understand the importance of accumulating links, consider the following analogy:
Before becoming a dentist, you had to earn your degree. You started in undergrad with little to no credentials. But eventually, you earned your credentials. The DDS behind your name signals your authority and knowledge to others.
So, if you want your website to appear on the first page, Google links are incredibly valuable. Yet, building up quality links is only one piece of the puzzle. Digital PR offers a holistic approach to this process. It goes beyond link building, focusing on producing high-quality content on relevant, authoritative websites.
If you want to impact your customers, you have to meet them where they are. So what’s one place your potential patients are visiting each day? Google.
In 2019, an estimated 7% of daily searches on Google were related to health. That’s over one billion questions. Every. Single. Day.
Chances are, someone looking for a new dentist will turn to Google for an answer. And, if your practice does not show up on the first page of results, you’re likely not going to be on that patient’s radar.
That is why the competition to be on the first page of Google is cutthroat. Fortunately, there is a discipline dedicated to helping websites rank high on SERPs. It’s called SEO, or search engine optimization, and it is crucial for your dental office marketing strategy.
Analyzing competitors offers other useful insights. For example, data suggests that Google highly ranks content-rich sites. If your competitor’s website features in-depth articles while yours has short, surface-level blog posts, this could be hurting your chances of ranking.
This is just one example, but there is so much more to SEO. Check out the following tips for improving your dental SEO.
Tips to improve your SEO
Utilize Google Analytics
For a free, reliable source of insights on your website, download Google Analytics. Here, you can view essential information, such as demographics, conversion rates, page views, and more. Armed with this data, you’ll be able to make well-informed marketing decisions.
Perform Keyword Research
Keywords refer to the search terms users type in when they use search engines. For example, “dentists near me” is a competitive keyword that dental practices wish to rank for. Your content should target specific keywords.
But how do you determine what keywords to target? That is where keyword research comes in. In this process, you find popular keywords in your industry using tools like Google’s autocomplete feature. Then you determine which of these keywords you have a chance of ranking for and which ones are not with going after at the moment. To see how a top digital marketing agency performs keyword research, check out this article on SEO content strategy.
Post High-Quality Content Regularly
By now, you’re likely seeing a common denominator among these dental marketing ideas—content is key. That is because valuable content will engage your audience and help forge connections. If you are offering users something they deem important or useful, they are much more likely to trust you and eventually become patients.
Because 75% of people never move past the first page of results on Google, SEO is the difference between being seen or being invisible. In light of this, SEO is the cornerstone of digital marketing success.
As previously mentioned, Google is the prime location consumers visit when looking for local businesses. In fact, mobile searches containing “near me” have increased by 500% in recent years, according to Google Customer Insights.
Because a dental practice is a physical location, local SEO is incredibly valuable. That is because local SEO can boost your practice’s visibility on Google Maps and in local searches. To be featured in these places, you need a Google My Business (GMB) profile.
Here’s an example Google Maps results from a search “best dentists in Scottsdale.”
These practices may offer different services and have different price ranges. But they have one thing in common—they all have GMB profiles.
This goes beyond Google Maps search results. Take a look at the search results for “top dental offices in Chicago.”
These dental practices have a coveted top spot on the first page of Google. This is in part due to their Google My Business profiles.
GMB profiles also give your business a more put-together look when users search your company name. As you can see, this dental office has a local search box on the right-hand side of the SERP.
Now that you understand the benefits of local SEO, it is time to elevate your strategy.
An effective way to accomplish this is through citations that improve your backlink profile and increase your brand awareness.
A citation is an online reference to a business that contains a name, an address, and a phone number (NAP) at a minimum. Citations affect local search results and aid in building your backlink profile: the more citations, the better. Of course, the citations must be accurate and updated.
The best place to start building citations is general directories like the following:
- Bing Places For Business
- Yahoo Local Listings
- White Pages Business Directory
- Bizjournals.com’s Small Business Directory
While these directories offer a great starting point, they are more general. Industry-specific directories offer a better, more targeted approach. Dental directories offer a great way to improve local SEO.
Below is an example of a dental directory by the American Dental Association.
A user can input specific information, including the specialty of the dentist to receive a relevant, useful citation.
As you can see, the resulting citation has more than the minimum required name, phone number and address. It displays the hours of operation with the education credentials of the dentist, and a link to the company website.
It is not uncommon for industry-specific directories to charge a small fee in exchange for a citation. However, the amount of visibility and leads can significantly outweigh the upfront costs.
Here are a few of the top dental directories you might consider for citations:
Among all the marketing ideas for dental offices, creating content falls at the top. Content marketing is so relevant because it allows you to educate and connect with your audience.
Of course, you can’t just write up any article and slap it on the blog. The content must be crafted with SEO in mind. Optimizing content can lead to an increase in organic traffic to your website.
You’ll notice that many of the top-ranking dentist offices on Google feature a blog with relevant content. Take, for instance, Seattle based dentist Dr. Vicki Fidelr and her blog Fidler on the Tooth.
A humorous name draws readers in, and the blog imparts medically sound information in digestible, exciting articles.
Another example comes from Dr. Laurence H. Stone. His blog was featured in Healthline’s list of Best Oral Health Blogs. This publicity earned the blog a link from a noteworthy publication, a great way to increase visibility.
There are so may dental blog topics you can tackle so don’t be afraid to start writing.
Whether you are a well established dental professional, or are new to your community, brushing up your marketing benefits your brand. From social media marketing to content creation and local SEO, there are multiple ways to set yourself apart from competitors.
Results-driven marketing requires an understanding of the digital marketing landscape. As such, having a team of experts building out your strategy can save a lot of headaches and help you navigate roadblocks.
With expertise and a proven track record of SEO success, Markitors is dedicated to helping small businesses excel. We help small businesses rank higher on Google to get more traffic to their websites and increase revenue. Explore what’s in our SEO toolbox: audits and keyword research, digital PR, technical SEO, and local SEO.
If you have questions about these dental marketing ideas or want to know how we can elevate your marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.