Digital Marketing for Dentists
Until a few years back, the Yellow Pages were the first port of call for somebody affected by a toothache. If you had a dental practice, then not having a listing in the Yellow Pages was unthinkable. However, times have changed, and in all probability, today, your potential patient will look for a dentist by using search engines. They could do their searches on their computer, laptop or even their mobile phone. In such a scenario, any dental practice without a solid online presence will be invisible to prospective patients.
It does not matter what advanced technology you use to treat patients or how skilled at dentistry you are if you do not have a steady inflow of patients. The use of digital marketing in your dental marketing strategy is imperative for your dental practice to remain competitive.
So, where do you start if you don’t have an online presence yet? The starting point is having a well-designed and informative website to act as a signboard for your practice. This website should give potential web visitors sufficient information to want to walk in and seek treatment from you.
Just having a well-designed website to succeed in your dental practice is not enough. It is equally important to have a proper digital marketing strategy. The first stage involves having a mobile-friendly website and having a good social media presence to back this up.
Apart from these basics, you should actively consider SEO (especially dental SEO), AdWords marketing and location-based digital marketing as well. Another important consideration is the use of mobile marketing which involves claiming and building your business on online platforms, like Google Places, Facebook Places, and Foursquare.
Doing so will ensure that potential customers looking for dentists, when logged on to these social platforms, will be able to find you in double quick time.
In case you are not familiar with the above terms, it’s likely that your head would have started to swim! To make things even more challenging, digital marketing is not a one-time effort. You’ll need to devote substantial effort and time to take steps to remain on top of Search Engine Rankings.
Search Engine Rankings can be considered to be dynamic in nature. Major search engines have sophisticated algorithms they use to ensure the ability to give relevant search results in response to specific keywords entered by users. Getting a particular business to be on the first page of Google or Bing is half the digital battle. Staying there week after week is the real challenge for many businesses.
Some important aspects to consider are on-page optimization and well as off-page optimization. Along with this, having a regularly updated blog and email newsletter campaigns in conjunction with effective social media marketing is imperative for you to stay ahead of the competition.
It is also necessary for you to use analytic tools to assess your digital marketing tactics. Tools such as Google Analytics of Open Web Analytics are free, while paid tools like such as Kissmetrics, Clicky, Crazy Egg or Mint, to name just a few, offer specific benefits which free tools do not.
If you are an expert in website building and maintenance as well as digital marketing, then doing all of the above will be a relatively straightforward task. But if you are not, then you’ll need to spend a substantial amount of effort and time to learn these skills and successfully implement them yourself.
Alternately, you can consider outsourcing this entire digital brand building exercise to expert consultants who will do it for you. Doing so will free you up to focus on your core business, that is giving the best dental service in your locality, while the consultants work on your behalf to bring in new clients and patients for your dental practice.
Using expert digital consultants gives you the added advantage of getting access to specialists who will find it comparatively simple to stay abreast of the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing. You will not need to constantly read up about ever-evolving methodologies to be used to get to the top of search engine rankings and stay there.
Implementing digital marketing strategies yourself can be cost effective. But the use of expert consultants would be a wiser decision for you in the medium to long term. After all, as a dental practice, you will already have your hands full trying to sustain your business. Leaving the online part of growing your business to experts in the field is the best way to ensure you get achievable and measurable results.