Like most businesses, dental practices used to rely on traditional marketing methods such as word-of-mouth, referrals, yellow pages, direct mail marketing, and billboards to get new patients. However, times are changing and these methods are becoming a thing of the past. Today, it is not what dentists say about themselves, their practice, their team, or their technology that gets them business. It’s what current and potential patients are saying about them.
The millennial generation is getting to a point in their lives where they’re going out to find their own dentists, doctors, and insurance providers. They are no longer reacting to traditional marketing methods but, instead, they are searching for companies that have high positive reviews and stay connected with their customers online. Therefore, having a good digital marketing strategy in place is critical in attracting new dental patients.
Paid digital advertising is broken down into three separate pay-per-click (PPC) groups: paid search, paid display, and paid social.
PPC advertising is a type of internet marketing that allows people to display ads for their products or services to potential clients that search for relevant topics. As the name pay-per-click suggests, it means that dentists and other advertisers are only charged when someone clicks on their ad. PPC is a great opportunity for dentists to get their practice out there and in front of potential clients who may not know about their practice.
Paid Search Advertising
Paid Search ads are ads that are shown in the top and bottom of the search engine results on platforms like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Your ads are shown to individuals when they search using keywords related to your ad.
When creating your keywords for your ads, it is important to know that, although potential clients search for generic keywords such as “dentist” or “dental services,” they also search for specific services, from “teeth cleaning services near me” or “cavity fillings in [my location].” These are known as long-tailed keywords, which are three and four keywords that make up a phrase that is related to your industry even if not directly mentioning it. They often have lower search volume but the individuals that are searching these terms have a better chance of converting to a customer because of the precise targeting.
When writing your ad copy for the ad itself, it is important to make your ad stand out and get people to click on your ads. To do so, your message within the ad should focus on the benefits that your dental office can provide for the customer. Your ad should create a strong, clear, and concise call-to-action (CTA) for the potential customer. Ultimately, your ad copy should mirror the potential customer’s end goal.
Dentists should also take advantage of using extensions on their ads. Extensions are additional snippets of relevant information that extend your ad and provide greater visibility and prominence on the search results page which can increase your click-through rate and improve quality score.
For example, as seen in the image above, the text within the red blocks are extensions. The first red block is outlining sitelink extensions. These are links listed directly below your ad copy that will link individuals to additional pages of your website. These links can increase conversion rates by providing users with several relevant links to additional landing pages that can increase their chances of converting; Contact Us, About Us, Our Services, etc. The highlighted text beneath these is known as structured snippet extensions. They highlight specific services or products that dentists may offer. For example, root canal treatments, teeth whitening, dental implants, or invisible braces.
Search Engine Optimization
If dentists want their customers to find their practices online, search engine optimization is critical. It is important to note that seeing results from a proper SEO strategy requires commitment and patience.
One of the most important aspects of your search engine optimization strategy is keywords. Choosing the right keywords will allow Google to understand what your website is about and rank you in their search results for those related terms.
If your dental practice operates within a specific geographical area, focus on geo-location keywords like “St. John’s Dental Office” or “Dentist in St. John’s.”
It is also important to note that once you have chosen your keywords, dentists must place them in the right sections. These include the title of the specific page, in the URL, in the meta tags, & descriptions, and within the alt text of an image.
Social Media Marketing
Paid social ads are ads that appear on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Each one of these platforms provides precise targeting capability that gives dentists complete control over who will see their ad. Besides the general user demographics such as age, gender, and location. There are other targeting options (that may be less relevant to dentists) such as interests, behaviours, relationship status, income, and much more.
Paid social ads allow dentists to give their practice a voice and build new relationships with their target audience. It allows dentists to reach out to potential customers and provide them with up-to-date, relevant information regarding your practice. This can include unique services or procedures that your practice may offer, your track record and industry experience, customer testimonials, client experiences, and even introducing your team and the office culture. This creates trust and builds brand awareness around your dental practice which would increase the possibility that your dental practice will be top-of-mind for people when they are looking to schedule a dentist appointment.
Having a proper digital media strategy in place can increase the number of patients and overall bookings at your dental practice. Instead of spending money on traditional practices, get ahead of your competitors and start a digital media strategy.
Here at Newfound Marketing, we provide thorough consultation and personalized inbound marketing, website optimization, and SEM strategies. For more information and ideas of how you can generate online leads for your dental business, give us a shout!