We live in the Internet age… where more than 80% of people begin their search for a new dentist on the web.
Which means you need to be doing at least a large part of your marketing online. Even if you still rely on Yellow Pages ads and mailbox flyers, the fact is that more and more of your potential patients will use their computer or phone to check you out before they ever consider contacting you.
But even as the Internet grows in importance month by month… Most dentists are using it flat-out wrong.
Here are four ways you can improve your dental practice marketing—and get a leg up on the competition in 2017.
Your website can be an incredibly powerful way to convert strangers into patients. That is, if you use it right.
It’s not enough anymore to pay a web designer to “make it pretty” and consider your site done.
Your website content itself—the pages, blog posts, videos and so on that are on your site—plays an increasingly important role in informing a potential patient’s decision to contact you.
Good content that speaks about your services in a way that addresses their concerns and answers their questions can help patients know, like and trust you.
Practice-centered content that’s all about “you, you, you,” on the other hand, will drive potential patients away.
Mistake #2: Most dentists don’t fully appreciate the power of Google to make or break their practice
Over the past 5 years or so, Google has been rolling out increasingly sophisticated updates designed to put knowledge in the hands of searchers.
If you can provide people with this knowledge, congratulations—Google will reward you with visitor after visitor.
If you can’t, however, the search engine will doom your site to some obscure page in its index and you’ll never be seen again. (Have you heard the joke about the best place to hide a dead body? The answer: Page 2 of Google.)
You may have never heard of search engine optimization, or you may already be working with an SEO provider. Either way, SEO requirements have changed… Meaning that if you’re still using the same strategies you used a couple of years ago, you’ll be left behind in 2017.
To beat 90% of dentists to those precious new patients, make sure your website is full of content that is fresh, relevant, high-quality, and useful.
Facebook boasts 1.8 billion (that’s “billion” with a “b!”) active users around the world. Here at home, more than half of all internet users log on at least semi-regularly.
In other words, yes—it’s very possible that you could build your practice by doing nothing but posting content on your Facebook page and targeting potential patients with Facebook ads.
We wouldn’t necessarily suggest that approach, but to be clear, we do recommend that any dentist looking to succeed in 2017 consider Facebook an indispensable part of his or her marketing strategy.
Marketing giant Hubspot refers to marketing automation as “software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions” to handle repetitive tasks such as sending emails, posting social media updates, publishing website content, and other online tasks.
However you define it, marketing automation is a game-changer. Once available only to massive corporations, software like Infusionsoft have put marketing automation within reach of any dental practice that wants to embrace it.
And make no mistake—the smartest dental practices definitely do embrace it, using marketing automation everywhere they can in their businesses: from capturing potential patients to registering new ones; from serving existing patients to checking routine office tasks off the to-do list.
And, frankly, those that don’t use marketing automation… Well, they struggle, no matter what else they do.
Techniques such as patient-focused content marketing, local search engine optimization, Facebook advertising and the like are great at attracting traffic to a dental practice website… But unless you know what to do with that traffic once it gets there, all of your efforts will be wasted.
That’s why, when our dental marketing clients ask, we call marketing automation the linchpin of any mature marketing strategy—the ability to let software handle your repetitive marketing tasks really is that important.
Learn more about using marketing automation to turn more website visitors into patients
When repetitive marketing processes are automated, you’ll be able to gain and retain patients more quickly and efficiently.
That will free you up to devote time to the other goals that matter—like providing the best service to your patients, or spending more time with family.
If you’d like to explore how you can automate the process of dealing with potential patients, download ‘4 Easy Ways to Put Your “Potential Patient Process” on Auto-Pilot’, our free guide to new patient acquisition for dentists.
In the guide, you’ll learn 4 things every dental practice should—and can—do to automate the process of courting potential patients.
Download your free copy today and learn how to stop making the mistakes that “other” dentists make… And how to start easily running a robust, busy practice powered by marketing automation.
Get your free copy of ‘4 Easy Ways to Put Your “Potential Patient Process” on Auto-Pilot’ here.