Getting patients in from word of mouth is great, but lets face it: when it comes down to it, to really drive patients into the chair you need to be doing some serious marketing. Online marketing strategies offer some serious potential for growing your practice: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Social Media Marketing and, most importantly, your website, are all goldmines full of patients ready for you to convert into sales. Here are seven tips for marketing your dental practice online, and driving customers through the door.
Make sure your website is user-experience (UX) friendly
You might have heard the words user-experience or UX floating around, and we have to tell you, it’s really important. UX essentially means how easy your website is to navigate and how enjoyable it is to use.
Having good UX means patients are likely to spend longer on your website reading all about you and your services, and it just comes across as more professional.
Having a website that’s difficult to use and unattractive just means that people aren’t going to stay on your site. Guess where they’re going to go instead? Straight over to another local dental website.
Research shows that over 50% of web searches come from mobile devices, rather than desktop. That’s a big audience that you need to cater for, and not having a mobile-friendly website just isn’t an option.
Mobile-friendly just means that when you go on a website on a mobile device, it works differently to how it works on desktop. If you’ve ever clicked on a website on your phone and the whole page is squeezed up into one corner and you have to zoom and swipe around to be able to read it – that’s not mobile friendly.
Google have also recently announced that it will prioritise mobile-friendly websites in it’s search results, which means not being mobile will have a negative impact on your SEO. Which brings us to our next tip:
Optimise your website for search engines
Google processes around 3.5 billion searches every single day. Obviously that’s a lot of potential customers that you need to put your website in front of, and that’s just Google – there’s also Bing, Yahoo, and numerous other search engines that people use instead. That’s where SEO comes in.
There are lots of things you can do to make your website more visible to search engines, and move your site up to the top of Google. Read our blog post on how to improve your SEO.
Be active on social media
There are millions of social media users in the UK that you could be putting your dental practice in front of, and you need to take advantage of that. Create a profile on Facebook at the very least, and if you want to go further get signed up to Twitter and Instagram.
The key here is to post interesting content on a regular basis. Your number one aim on social media should be to spark comments and discussion. By doing so, your reach will increase, and more and more people will see your content and become aware of your practice.
Not only will you be increasing your brand awareness, but spotting your content in the newsfeed might be the thing that reminds people they need to book in for a scale and polish!
Write a blog
Having a blog page on your website will help your marketing in multiple ways. First, it’s brilliant for SEO. Google loves regular fresh content and a blog is the way to do this. You can also pack it full of keywords to improve your chance of appearing in search results.
A blog also provides you with really strong content to post on your social media channels. Sparking comments and discussion is the order of the day on social media, so by creating original, thought-provoking blogs and posting them on your profiles you’ll be increasing your engagement.
You’re also positioning yourself as an expert in your field. By writing blog content related to dentistry and presenting fresh ideas and solid information, people will see you as knowledgeable and trustworthy.
Incorporate digital messaging
While 10 years ago it was a given that if you needed a dentist appointment you rang up your local practice, it’s now more common for people to want to get in touch online. Younger people in particular are becoming more reluctant to speak over the phone, and will naturally look for an email address, a Facebook Messenger link, or an online appointment booking system.
This might be the thing that sets you apart from your competitors, and offering the ease of communicating online is a great USP. It’s so easy to do; just set up notifications on a mobile phone that’s linked to your Facebook account so you know when someone messages you. You can also embed a live chat function into your website, or include a contact form so people can get in touch that way.
Cultivate online reviews
Thanks to the Internet, reviews of any company are available at the touch of a button, and because of this, it’s becoming increasingly common for people to research a company online before doing business with them. You should be taking advantage of this, and asking your patients to review your practice online; on Facebook, Google, Trustpilot, your website, Most Recommended Dentist, and anywhere else you can think of. Build asking for a review into your sales or aftercare process.
If you’re not comfortable with asking straight out for a review, offer an incentive, like money off their next treatment or a free teeth clean. People will be more willing to leave you a review if you offer something in return, and they’ll more than likely be incredibly positive and sing your praises!
For help with your online marketing, speak to one of our experts today.