It can be quite a challenge for dentists and other healthcare professionals to market themselves. I know, you went to school to study medicine and dentistry, not to be a salesperson. And, to be honest, most people aren’t exactly going to the dentist because they want to be there, so they’re “shopping” for a dentist in a very different way than people shop for a vacation resort or a nice Italian restaurant. Still, you need to keep patients coming through your doors in order to keep your practice running, and online lead generation should not be overlooked. Here are a few reasons why:
Patients are looking for you
Everyone needs a dentist, and when they’re looking for a new one, they are turning more and more to the internet, as they are when they’re searching for any type of service or business. The Local Search Association reported in October 2014 that more than half of consumers looked for dentists online via search engines. They’re looking for you, and if you position yourself properly with good SEO (Search Engine Optimization), they’ll find you.
It’s cost effective
In comparison with traditional methods of advertising like commercials or print ads, online marketing has a significantly lower cost in the long run. There may be some upfront investment, particularly if you opt to use marketing automation software, but operating costs will be very low or possibly even free. Online lead generation through inbound marketing tends to yield 3 times as many leads, with 8 times as many closing, compared to traditional methods, typically at less than half the cost.
Educate your patients and earn their trust
Patients are not only looking for services on the internet. They’re also looking for information. According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of internet users said that they’ve looked for health information online. And of those, 77% started at a search engine. With good content marketing - meaningful blog articles, optimized with keywords and SEO best practices, you’ll turn up in their searches and get them to your website. Additionally, if you provide worthwhile and informative content (and I’m sure you will), you’ll increase your visibility as a trusted authority in your field.
Don’t Forget That You Are, Among Other Things, A Small Business
Online lead generation is not just for large corporations with huge marketing budgets. A well -designed online marketing campaign can be extremely effective for small to medium sized businesses. More and more people start looking even for local services via a web search, and Google's search ranking algorithms give priority to local businesses. Maintaining a strong online presence has worked extremely well for smaller businesses with a local focus, and, among other things, your practice is one of those.