Most dentists, oral surgeons, and dental implant offices know they need to run digital marketing. This includes what people commonly think of as Google and Social Media, in order to generate traffic for their office. However, most offices do not understand the difference between generating leads and growing an audience in terms of fans and engagement. They also may not truly understand what terms like SEM, SEO, and Pay-per-click actually mean or do. Sure, we have all heard these terms, but do we really know what they mean and how they impact your office? And let’s be honest – most offices have been burned by a digital vendor. When you see reporting from the digital vendor, it usually focuses on vanity metrics like clicks and impressions instead of true business impact metrics like leads and consultations booked.
In this article we will give you a broad overview on the important pieces of digital marketing.
Then, in the next few blogs, we will dive deeper providing you with an insider’s view into digital marketing, tips on how to set up and structure campaigns, and what to watch out for when vetting potential digital vendors.
SEO(Search Engine Optimization)
One of the most crucial components of dental digital marketing is optimizing your website for search engines. By ensuring that your website appears on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs), you can increase the likelihood of attracting new patients to your practice. SEO does not include any marketing spend, the only charge you would incur is paying an SEO specialist a monthly management fee if you choose to. When building your website, it is normal to pay an SEO setup fee for when the site launches. However, you also need SEO to be managed on a monthly basis. Offices that do not engage in monthly SEO will quickly fall behind. Many people/vendors claim to do SEO, but the truth is that many of them do not do it very well or charge a monthly fee for minimal work. It is important to note that SEO(search engine optimization) is a totally organic and unpaid form to improve your online presence. SEM(search engine marketing) is paid advertising on search engines which will be covered in our PPC section.
TIP..You are not expected to be an SEO expert but here are the reports and metrics to look for to make your weekly/monthly discussions with your vendors are fruitful. Here are the types of reports you’ll want to get from your SEO vendor…….
TIP…And here are the metrics we look for to make sure SEO is moving in the right direction…..
….For example, here is a real life example of what I found in an office…..
Local SEO for Dentists
As a dental practice owner, it is important to focus on Local SEO because it is for brick and mortar businesses. Local SEO includes optimizing your website and Google My Business profile so you can be found by the people in your community.
How to Implement Local SEO for Your Dental Practice
Claim & Optimize Your Google My Business (GMB) Listing
Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing. Add accurate information about your practice such as location, phone number, and business hours. We suggest finding your GMB competitor and ensuring you have everything on your profile as your competitor.
Optimize Your Website for Local Keywords
Include location-specific keywords in your website content, titles, meta descriptions, and URLs. This will help search engines understand that your website is relevant to local searches.
Optimize for Mobile
Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, more people are searching for local services using their mobile devices then computers.
Encourage Patient Reviews
Encourage patients to leave reviews on Google, Yelp, and other relevant review sites. These reviews can help build trust with potential patients and enhance your reputation.
List your practice on local directories such as Healthgrades, Zocdoc, and Yelp. This will help increase your visibility and generate leads.
PPC (Pay Per Click) with Google Ads
If you’re looking to drive more traffic to your dental office’s website and generate new patients, pay per click (PPC) advertising can be an incredibly effective tool.
Steps to Creating Your First Campaign
Determine your budget and your target audience
Decide how much you’re willing to spend on PPC ads, and identify the demographic characteristics of your ideal patient (age, location, income, etc.). You should also identify a service you want to focus on.
Complete keyword research
Complete keyword research to identify the terms that people are searching for when looking for dental services and terms that match your focus service. Find specific phrases rather than general terms to attract high-quality leads who are more likely to schedule an appointment.
Create your campaigns and ads
When creating your PPC ads, make sure they’re attention-grabbing and informative. Include a strong call-to-action that encourages viewers to contact your office or schedule an appointment.
Monitor and test
Finally, monitor and analyze your campaign performance regularly to optimize your ads for maximum ROI. Test different headlines, ad copy, and landing pages to see what works best for your target audience.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is a powerful tool for businesses to connect with their customers, create brand awareness and attract patients. However, with so many platforms available, it can be overwhelming to decide where to focus your efforts.
Facebook should be used to advertise your services and run campaigns to target specific demographics. One of the best features of Facebook is its review section, where patients can leave feedback on your dental practice. These two features should be the focus on Facebook for your dental practice.
Instagram offers an ideal platform for visually showcasing your dental services. You should use it to share before-and-after photos of dental treatments, post educational content about oral health, and promote special offers or events that your practice may be running.
Creating video content that educates patients and promotes your dental services can be an effective way to build your brand and attract new patients. Once you create video content, you can host it on YouTube and embed it on your site for another way potential patients can learn about your services.
Viewed as a professional tool, it’s a great platform for establishing your dental practice as an authority in the dental industry. You can use LinkedIn to publish articles on dental health topics, network with other dental professionals, and promote any job openings that your practice may have.
How to Measure Success of Your Digital Marketing Campaigns?
Before you start your campaigns you should set specific goals and KPI’s (key performance indicators). For example, if you’re running a social media campaign, your KPI’s could include the number of followers gained, engagement rates, and the number of leads generated. By setting clear goals and tracking your progress towards them, you can easily determine the success of your campaigns.
It’s also important to continuously test and refine your campaigns based on the data and insights you gather. This will allow you to optimize your campaigns for better performance and reach your target audience more effectively.
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