seo - web - sem - branding
What We've Learned About Dental Marketing
What We've Learned About Dental Marketing
There’s no way to sugar-coat it; competition is fierce around dental practices. Everyone needs a dentist, therefore it becomes a game of which dental office the consumer chooses. Will it be the closest in distance? Will it be the office with the best online reviews? Maybe it’s the recommended dentist from friends and family. Dental marketing is all about getting your clinic in front of the right eyes at the right time and that’s what we do.
Here at RhinoHub, we have experience working with local dental clients. Successful experience at that. We use a combination of tactics and strategies that we’ve tested in the field and have found to work. And then we adapt and revise. And then we monitor and improve. It’s always an ongoing process!
We use a mix of traditional marketing and digital marketing methods to get more patients in your doors. It’s all about being unique and creative in order to stand out from the overly saturated dental pool. Here’s what we’ve learned over the years about dental marketing.
Marketing Plan and Timeline
We don’t start anything without some sort of plan and timeline. By learning about our clients, specifically what platforms and strategies have worked for them in the past, we can direct our efforts toward the right dental marketing ideas. Taking shots in the dark doesn’t work in dental marketing. Taking shots in the appropriate direction will yield better results.
First, we start with a robust SEO plan and website audit to guide our marketing efforts. Every dental clinic is unique, therefore every marketing plan will be a little different. Then we settle on a timeline to make sure everyone is on the same page. By setting deadlines, we can all stay on track with deliverables and on-time reporting.
While they may seem old-school, postcards in the mail are still a good marketing tactic. Post office services have gotten sophisticated enough to target neighborhoods near your dental clinic to deliver direct mailers. For new patients looking for a dentist who is nearby, direct mailers are a great way to get their attention. Consider a postcard with bright colors, unique copy, and creative cutouts, foil stamping, or embossing and you are bound to make an impression.
While mailers are harder to track than digital marketing strategies, there have been studies on the effect of physical mail. Direct mailers are more memorable than flashing banners over a Buzzfeed article. People browsing the internet have become pretty good at ignoring ads when they want to.
A study by the US Post Office and the Center for Neural Decision Making at Temple University’s Fox School of Business found that physical ads triggered the part of the brain associated with value and desire. That means that a potential customer will be more emotionally connected to a direct mailer, especially if it’s a good one!
Plus, when you give an extra incentive on your mailer like a discount or free service, patients will be more inclined to visit your clinic. If you ask them to bring the mailer in with them you can count that as a successful lead. Traditional print marketing still works just fine!
You may be the most popular dentist in your neighborhood. Maybe all your dental patients have told their friends and family and that’s how you’ve acquired new clients. The rest of your patients could be people who know your employees. While this is a great client pool, and word of mouth and patient referrals will always be valuable lead generators, you need a strong online presence if you want to truly harness a new client base.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is digital marketing speak for how to show up when someone searches for your service on the internet. So how does your dental clinic show up when someone out there searches for a dentist? While everyone wishes they were the first result in Google, the online world is a crowded one. There’s a lot that goes into SEO and it takes patience to see results. But when you put in the time and effort, you will see the effects for years to come.
The first step to local SEO is finding the words potential patients are using to search for dentists in your area. When you have the right terminology in your content, search engines will connect the dots and drive users to your webpage, that is, if you have all your other SEO ducks in a row.
Search engines like Google rank your website on a variety of things. Is your site user-friendly? There’s a point. Does it have all the technical requirements like metadata, image alt tags, snippets, and necessary coding? There are a few more points there. What about page load speed? That’s especially important for website ranking. If and when your website ranks well with technical SEO, search engines are more apt to serve your site to users when they type in associated keywords into the search bar.
We live in a digital age which means that everyone and their mother now has a website. But is it a good one? Search engines also rank websites on style, usability, and speed. When a website ranks well regarding website design, colors, and usability there is a much better chance to be in the top slots in SERPs (search engine results pages).
To reiterate, SEO takes time. Don’t listen to any marketing company that promises that your dental clinic will be in the top SERP results in Google tomorrow. Unless you spend exorbitant amounts on Google Ads, true SEO tactics to get in the top spots take time. You also want to do it right. When you focus on organic search strategies and long-term dental SEO tactics, your dental clinic will be in the top spots in time and likely stay there with proper maintenance.
Google Ads are a great way to get some fast traction. The problem with Google Ads in dental marketing is the price. Like we’ve said before, the dental industry is a competitive one, and Google knows that. That’s why terms like dentist, family dentistry, and dentist near me are pricey when it comes to cost-per-click (CPC). And that’s essentially how Google Ads work. You pay for the clicks you get (PPC, pay-per-click), which can get pricey.
We are always learning new tactics and strategies when it comes to Google Ads. But that’s why we stay up to date on SEO algorithm changes and updates in the industry. It’s all connected!
That’s why it’s best to have a good strategy. A few things we’ve learned that helps take the cost down is to turn the ads off for our clients on the weekends. The offices are generally open only during the week, so it makes more sense for someone to click on a phone number during office hours. Users may be researching dentists on the weekends, but odds are, the practices will still be shown in SERPs even on the weekends just not as expensive ads.
The second tactic we use is utilizing negative keywords. We shouldn’t be paying for the query how much does a dentist make, dental school, or dental jokes. That’s why we take the time to build out a robust negative keyword list. There’s no reason you should pay for every inquiry that has the word dentist in it!
We also make sure to create a landing page for our dentist Google Ads. Google’s main goal is to make its search engine easy to use and that means giving the user exactly what they are looking for. If you have an ad for teeth whitening that drives traffic to an About Us page, the user will likely be unsatisfied. If you drive that traffic to a landing page offering a new patient special for teeth whitening that has a convenient click to call action button and a make an appointment form, the user will more likely stay on page and potentially make an appointment. Google will reward you for that behavior.
Finally, we make sure to target our ads to geographical location. There is no reason you should pay for ads for a dentist on the East coast when you are on the West coast. By pinpointing your ads to your city, the surrounding communities, and even just your neighborhood, you can save money and count on success.
You can add and update and create all the content and ads you want, but how do you know you’re successful without reporting? Reporting on your tactics, strategies, and conversion rate is the way you know you are spending your marketing dollars in the right areas.
We use Google’s DataStudio to create beautiful, interactive reports that easily link to Google Analytics and Google Ads data. That way our clients can see a comprehensive and dynamic view of the work we are doing for them. Not only do we include all the important digital data points and lead generation numbers, but we also include SEO reports to show clients what they can be doing to improve their content efforts.
We also utilize CallRail to monitor calls going to dental offices from Google Ads. CallRail allows you to track multiple phone numbers which means you can also track phone numbers from offline marketing outlets like billboards, newspaper ads, and radio and TV commercials. CallRail also allows for recorded calls which can help businesses better their customer service as well.
Again, your dental practice may have glowing reviews within certain circles but that isn’t sustainable. Your office needs to have plenty of good reviews and testimonials online which means that your clinic should have profiles set up on the following platforms:
Yelp - Google MyBusiness - Facebook
Encourage your patients to leave reviews on whatever platform they prefer. Giving extra discounts or a freebie for a review are great incentives. Not only do reviews help your clinic’s overall reputation, but they can also be the deciding factor for a potential patient looking for a new dentist.
Reviews also help SEO ranking. The more reviews you have on multiple platforms means your practice’s name is more visible on the world wide web. Search engines take all that into account when rating for search engine optimization.
We all know that social media is a great way for businesses to connect with their clients. Sharing photos of the staff and happy patients is a great way to show that your dental office is warm and inviting. Lots of people harbor unnecessary aversion toward dentists due to negative past experiences or unfounded myths. Friendly photos personalize an otherwise sterile dental office and make potential patients more likely to walk in your doors.
Being creative with your social media posts is also better in the long run. Rather than constantly bombarding your followers with deals and incentives, which are good in appropriate doses, consider using different content.
We like to create infographics and informational videos for our dental clients. Maybe the search volume is high on the cost of veneers in your area. What if you share a neat infographic on the history of veneers, what they cost, and the process of applying them? That will be good for SEO and your followers will enjoy something different on their newsfeeds.
Creative social posts can also contain a different message than simply advertising your practice. Consider doing a weekly education post using the hashtag #DYK (DidYouKnow). These will help educate your clientele and get them to engage with your posts. You might be surprised at how much your patients want to know about their dental health!
Quality, Exclusive Visuals
Having quality images on your website isn’t only beneficial for your clientele, but search engines also rank your page as a whole on your images. Some good questions to ask yourself about the images on your website include:
Are they original? Using your own images of your own employees will help strengthen credibility and SEO ranking since there likely isn’t the same image anywhere else on the web. Search engines like individuality and may even ding your site if you use stock photos.
Are they of quality? Don’t use blurry images or images with low resolution on your website. It’s not 1998. Users have come to expect beautiful websites with beautiful imagery. Plus, search engines notice quality photos as well.
Are they compressed? Large images can slow a site down when it comes to loading speed. This will discourage a user who may abandon the journey before your site even loads. Large images lead to slow sites that lose potential customers and ultimately hurts SEO ranking. You don’t want any of that!
In addition to quality images, well-produced videos can also be beneficial on your dental website. Similar to images, proprietory videos perform best. Consider doing a walk-through video of your office. Or maybe film a procedure with one of your dentists. These can all be good digital marketing tactics. Plus, they can double as great social media content.
RhinoHub | Dental Marketing
RhinoHub has worked with numerous dental clients in the Reno/Sparks area and beyond. The beauty of digital marketing is the fact that we can help clients all over the country. From creating and printing digital mailers to managing Google Ads to building websites that stand out from the crowd to quality video and photography content, we can help your dental office get to the next level.
We know how busy your clinic can get. Marketing efforts can be the last thing on your list even though you know how important they are to get new patients into your dental chairs. Let us help with your dental marketing strategy so you can focus on giving your current patients the best oral care available. That’s what you’re good at; marketing is what we’re good at.
Reach out to see how our marketing services can help drive your dental business goals.