Online marketing strategies? If the question in the title of this article, or any mention of marketing for your dental practice, throws you for a loop, I’m not surprised. I mean, you went through all those years of school to be a dentist, not a salesman, right? But in reality, while your main focus has been learning everything there is to know about dentistry, and honing your craft, your dental practice is something of a business. The minute you opened the doors of your practice, you also became an owner of a small business, and if you don’t keep patients coming through your door, your dental practice will be a thing of the past.
As a healthcare professional, it might seem a little weird to think in terms of “drumming up new business”. You wouldn’t wish dental ailments like cavities or gum disease on your worst enemy. However, most of us need some dental work at some point in time, not to mention regular preventive and maintenance visits. Your goal is to get as many of those people as possible to come to your office, instead of someone else’s dental practice.
It can be something of a challenge to find ways to market your practice. After all, apart from any particular specialties you may have, you’re really selling the same services as most other dental practices. So, what can you do to make yourself stand out in an already crowded field? Old school methods of getting patients, like advertising in the yellow pages or newspapers aren’t really relevant and effective any longer, as people are turning more and more to the internet virtually every time we need information.
Fortunately, your dental practice can benefit from utilizing many of the same online marketing strategies that have been effective for other types of businesses. For starters, you’ll want to be sure that you have a website that’s modern, easy to navigate, and informative. Today’s busy consumers (and patients) have a short attention span, generally speaking. If someone lands on your website, and sees that it’s not easy to find information, or if the site is slow to load or doesn’t look right, they’ll probably just move on to the next site in their search results.
That segues nicely into the next idea of online marketing strategies that should not be overlooked. No matter how talented of a dentist you may be, and, for that matter, no matter how brilliantly your website is designed, it won’t get you new patients unless they find their way to the website. We’ve found that content-based marketing to be extremely effective at attracting people to your website. Quality content on subjects that are relevant to people looking for dental information will make you visible, give you added credibility as an expert in your field, and help you rank high in search engine results.
It’s also worth considering establishing a presence in social media, if you haven’t done so already. Social networking gives you additional visibility in different channels, and it also gives your patients, both new and old, additional methods of being in contact with you.
It may not be easy to stand out from the crowd of competitors in your field. But a comprehensive plan of online marketing strategies can help you and your dental practice rise above the competition.