To grow your dental practice organically, it is imperative to implement a marketing strategy designed to isolate the consumers that are most likely to become new patients, and then cater directly to them to bring them into your practice fold. A large part of any marketing strategy is effective advertising. Because the majority of dental practices are small businesses, there is often not a lot of room in their budgets to launch a huge advertising campaign.
These are some economical methods of advertising that I’ve used to market my Rocklin, Calif., dental practice.
The introduction of Google AdWords allows small businesses to advertise on Google, but the intriguing aspect is that the advertisements only show up in searches that contain the keywords relevant to your business, words that you can select. When you start an AdWords campaign you can do research regarding what pertinent keywords you want to advertise for that will bring the most traffic to your site. Additionally, you have the authority to select how much advertising you want to engage in to meet your budget. But the most cost effective element of this advertising is that these ads are Pay per Click (PPC). This means that you’re only charged when a user clicks on your ad and is brought to your site. This is a very inexpensive style of advertising that, if done right, can bring your practice a lot of new business.
The majority of dental practices draw most clients from within 10 miles of their location. Dentists are thought of as a local service, and it’s rare that a customer will travel much further for a service that is likely available closer to them. For this reason it is crucial to advertise only to searches that are taking place within a 10-mile radius of your practice. The population in this area in need of dental work is your target market. What does it matter if Internet traffic around the world is visiting your site if there’s no chance they will become patients? By advertising within this geographic range you can eliminate the unnecessary expenses associated with marketing to online traffic outside of your target market.
Today, the average Internet user makes extremely quick decisions when visiting websites. These include whether to stay on the site, purchase services from said site, or keep moving to one of the thousands of other options on the Internet. Users do not see your practice as special, rather you’re one in a crowd of viable options. It’s therefore imperative to develop your practice website to draw in customers. To do this your website must have a high converting landing page that is esthetically appealing, calls the customer to action, and has all pertinent information regarding your practice’s contact information and location. A modern, optimized site will convert online users into new patients, as well as serve as an advertising tool that promotes your business.
After customers leave your website, there’s a way to directly advertise to them through a method known as retargeting. This entails using cookies that are enabled by the user to show them advertisements for your business on websites they frequent, such as Facebook, YouTube, or Google. This allows them to remain in contact with your business long after they leave your website, and gives them the option to return at any time. This is an extremely effective advertising method because it keeps your practice relevant and in the minds of potential patients that have visited your site. Additionally, this is a very controlled form of advertising because you can set limits on how many advertisements the targeted traffic sees, and how long they see it.
The last and potentially most effective way to advertise to your target market online is to initiate local search engine optimization (SEO) practices. This includes getting your practice verified by Google so that you appear in the Google Local section of a results page. This section includes all local businesses offering the service searched for by the user. Once you are certified as a local business, it is crucial to enter your practice into online directories, making sure to keep your contact information and address consistent throughout. The Google algorithm also takes reviews into account, so it is highly beneficial to ask patients to leave good reviews. These strategies will show you’re a trustworthy and quality local practice that Google will rate higher, and that more online traffic will see.
By using Google AdWords, a high converting website, retargeting, and local SEO, your business will seem very attractive to your target market, and your business will see more new patients very quickly. These are the most efficient and economical ways to advertise online and should be used by every practice.
Dr. Keith Nguyen is a dentist in Rocklin, Calif., who owns Pro Dental Group Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Nguyen serves the greater Sacramento area and can take care of any of your dental needs. Along with his dedicated work in the dental field, Dr. Nguyen enjoys spending time at home.