To kick off the 2013 with a bang, dentists should brush up on marketing. As a dental marketing consultant, I’ve seen some great promotions that work, and some seemingly good ideas that tank. Here’re my top dental internet marketing ideas that brought new patients to MDPM’s client dentists in 2012.
Top 5 Dental Web Ideas
Google tells us in its Webmaster Tools Blog that content is king, when it comes to online marketing. At MDPM, our dental copywriters understand clinical dentistry, dental marketing guidelines, SEO, and your patients. We’ve found that blogging a minimum of 12 times per month (three time per week) can significantly increase a dental practice’s online presence and new patient numbers.
Google also says that professionals who aim to succeed online should seek expert status. To Google, expert status means that you have a great online presence: multiple sites, articles, backlinks, and social interaction. Microsites are mini-websites. The most successful dental microsites focus on one area of dentistry, such as dental implants, Six Month Smiles, or sedation dentistry, and feature a blog with weekly postings.
3. Community Involvement
A successful practice is engaged online and in person. To get involved with your community online, comment on local business Facebook pages and blogs. Sign up for local listings, such as Topix, Kudzu (in the south), and Google Places. In person, your team should sign up to volunteer at community events – and wear branded t-shirts during the events. You might host a Halloween Candy Buy Back or free athletic mouthguards for the high school football team. Dentist offices are local businesses, and while targeted Internet marketing can bring you new patients, internet marketing plus community involvement will bring you more!
4. Humans on the Phones
People crave human interaction, personalized service, and relationships. A key to success is having an educated, compassionate team member answer your office phone. The dentist offices that feature an automated phone message during business hours, particularly those that request the caller press a number to reach someone, send off a vibe that’s impersonal and too busy for new patients. Do not make this mistake!
5. Targeted Specials
Instead of setting up seasonal specials or having year-long special offers, consider posting specials during times when your new patient numbers are low. Which months, historically, is your office least busy? Which months bring you the fewest new patients? These are the best times to promote specials, both online and in print. That’s right, in print. While newspapers are quickly going the way of the dinosaurs, some communities still publish thriving newspapers. You might also consider direct mail or e-mail blast marketing to promote your specials.
Proof and Persistence
We have dentists who track patient referrals. Some have shared their numbers, and they show 20-35 new patients a month, on average, from their online marketing efforts. If you’d like this level of success, remember that slow and steady wins the race. Don’t bank on a get-rich-quick tactic, like a Facebook contest or smile makeover giveaway. Instead, fabricate a plan based on evidence, then stick with it.
Your Dental Internet Marketing Partner
Whether your dental practice would benefit from an off-site marketing manager, or you simply need a website and blogging service that’s reliable and profitable, MDPM has the expert skills to suit your needs. We’ve helped new dentists select a practice name, develop a logo and brand, and start from scratch. We’ve also jumped in when other marketing companies have failed, cleaned up the mess, and started dentists on the road to success. If you’d like to talk with us about your dental practice’s internet marketing strategy for 2013, or you have questions about natural search engine optimization, give us a call today at 972-781-8861.