Marketing can be a challenging task for both new and long-standing dental practices, and online dental marketing is no different. It requires massively different tools and knowledge to correctly advertise your dental services online, and the world of dentist internet marketing is still immensely challenging for those who haven’t had to use digital internet marketing before.
However, massive success can come with proper online dental marketing, as it makes your services easier for potential clients to learn and engage with. Most people tend to look for medical and dental services through Google online reviews or social media pages, so making sure you’re using the right marketing tactics for your dental website and social media presence is key.
If you’re new to dentist internet marketing, or just want to help your dental practice cast a wider net for potential patients, this introductory guide should give you the basic knowledge you need to get started.
What Is Online Dental Marketing?
Before anything else, it’s important to explain exactly what online dental marketing aims to do. The short version of content marketing for dentistry is that you want your services to be easy for potential patients to find online. This usually is done through either custom advertisements that appear based on someone’s location and browsing history, or through making your website easier to find through common Google search terms and phrases. The search engine’s algorithm develops a target audience based on the dental online marketing you are creating, and this can involve everything from your company’s website design, to brand awareness, to your Facebook page.
Alongside getting more people to look at your site, online dental marketing also involves crafting your website to be easy to navigate, read, and make appointments while browsing. It’s not just enough to have people visit your website, as you then have to make sure that viewers can easily become clients with just a little reading and interaction.
Why Should Dentists Market Online?
As mentioned earlier, it’s much more common for people to search for new dental practices through online searches. An article from DentistryIQ even mentions that most consumers of any service prefer contacting through email, and that the ability to track your site’s success and viewership can help much more than other types of marketing in the current dental environment.
Some may do this through applications like Google Maps to find practices near their location, but others will likely be attracted to ones they find in text-based searches. If they see a certain practice’s advertisements often around the web, they may be more inclined to check out your site if they happen to be looking for a new dentist or practice.
Is Online Dental Marketing Expensive?
One of the best parts about online dental marketing is that it’s potentially really inexpensive, as advertisements are extremely low-cost and many of the best tools are completely free. Services like Google Ads and Keyword Finder can help you find the best words to put across your site for search engine optimization (also known as SEO) for no cost, and you can use these sites to track the success of your marketing efforts as well.
Much of the cost comes in how you plan to improve your dental marketing strategy. This can potentially involve hiring graphic designers and writers to improve your site’s navigation and readability, but also through hiring digital marketing agencies like Canopy Media to help you build a cohesive marketing strategy with informed experience in online dental patient marketing.
Online Dental Marketing Guide
With the general advice out of the way, there are some main steps and tips you should consider when creating an online marketing plan. This is hardly a comprehensive list of internet dental marketing strategies, but these suggestions should give you a great place to start from if you want to get your website in front of some more eyes, and turn your site’s visitors into clients.
1. Build An Online Marketing Plan
As with any form of marketing, online dental marketing needs a specific plan before building anything from ads to website content. It’s extremely important you know what your intended audience is so that you can make sure every part of your online presence is catered towards who you want viewing your site, as well as making sure that your marketing is done in ways that results in viewers making appointments or contacting you directly.
For example, if your dental practice primarily focuses on pediatric dental care, you won’t be wanting to point your online marketing directly to children. You’ll instead want it oriented to parents, and you’ll want links to your site appearing in places that parents will most likely encounter. This can include making your site more likely to come up through specific Google searches, or by promoting your site in social media groups that feature your ideal target.
2. Seek Out What Other Dental Practices Are Doing
Online dental marketing can lead to a large number of users comparing your services to other experts and practices. Digital marketing involves following algorithms and trends that spread across the entire internet, and to do that you need to have a balance of incredibly specific traits that viewers can look for, as well as using similar keywords and information as other dental practices that are also marketing themselves online.
This doesn’t inherently mean you’re competing with other local dental practices, as you’re likely to be offering different services, or you might be located in fairly different locations without shared potential clients. However, since your businesses both are trying to get people to visit in-person, you want to make sure your practice or services are a clear and present option alongside other dental service websites.
3. Use SEO Keywords
The biggest thing to know when attempting a digital marketing strategy is search engine optimization, more commonly known as SEO. This term describes how well your site can be picked up through web searches like Google or Bing, which is usually determined by how many keywords and phrases a given website caters to specific phrases people type into search engines.
The challenging thing about SEO is that search engines can tell when they’re being manipulated, so you can’t just hide various common words or phrases in your website. Instead, you need to place them in organic places and choose the words you use carefully, making sure that it’s easy to find through Google searches without making it seem like a hoax.
4. Create Blog Content
One of the best ways to have more SEO keywords in your content is through having a blog section of your site, which will contribute to more viewers finding your homepage while searching for general questions about dental health and dental services. This is how you can answer especially specific questions, and by giving helpful answers to common questions, you can often keep viewers engaged enough to have them consider browsing your site further.
You might not need or want a lot of this content on your site if you’re a relatively small practice, but it’s a great way to cast a much wider net if you want a larger audience and a higher rating. Search engines will usually rank successful and popular sites higher, so even if your ideal clients aren’t attracted through this content, your website will show up more easily if your site has regular traffic.
5. Purchase Online Advertisements
Alongside these inexpensive ways to improve your site’s online presence, it’s worth putting some money into other forms of direct advertisements as well. Having advertisements run through Google and Facebook can help your site appear based on someone’s location and search history, meaning it’ll help ensure that those looking for a dentist in your location will see your dental practice as an option.
These can be quite inexpensive compared to other physical forms of advertising, and even if few people access your site through them, it creates much more awareness of your practice thanks to it having more guaranteed appearances in people’s online browsing. This means that potential clients may not have to search for you alongside other similar dental practices, as they’ll simply be looking for yours directly.
6. Track And Analyze Your Site Traffic
The last and most important part of any internet dental marketing strategy is to make sure how your site is performing. It’s good to change plans and edit your site if its traffic is staying low, but you still need to make sure at every point just how well something is contributing to your site’s success, and how people are accessing your site to begin with.
Through services like Google Search Console, you can get a fairly accurate reading of where your viewers are accessing your site from, and the phrases they use to search for your site in the first place. Online dental marketing requires you to follow what works best, and if you aren’t regularly checking what improves your site’s traffic, or what other websites come up alongside yours, then this process can be significantly slower than it needs to be.
Once again, it should be mentioned that this is hardly a full list of every approach you can take in online dental marketing strategies. These steps are all important and valuable, but there are several other strategies that you can learn as you go on, as becoming more familiar with the tools and systems behind digital marketing strategies can make a world of difference for your dental practice.
Online digital marketing is where advertising and promotion is leaning towards, and it’s important to get a head start on it if you want to make sure you have a sufficient online presence. It isn’t the only way to get more people viewing your website, but it’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to find new clients and help your dental practice succeed.