In the past, people primarily relied on direct recommendations from friends, family, and healthcare practitioners to find a good dentist in their local area. However today, potential patients are turning to the Internet to search for dental care providers. All they need to do is Google their city name and the word “dentist” or “dentist near me,” and in an instant, they have plenty of nearby options to explore.
According to Google, 4 out of 5 consumers use search engines when looking for information about local services and products. In addition to that, “near me” searches increased 34x from 2011 to 2015, and they nearly doubled year-over-year in 2015. This is why it is so important to have a strong local digital marketing strategy. Without one, you could miss opportunities to attract new patients within your local market. Below, we explore multiple must-know local marketing strategies for your dental practice.
Use Localized Keywords
People want dentists who are conveniently located. That means they will be searching for dentists close to home, work, their children’s school, etc. As a result, potential patients will likely search for dentists by area specifiers, typing in a specific city, neighborhood, or zip code to find the right dental provider. You can get found in these geographic-focused searches by using localized keywords, such as or “Burbank dentist” or “Santa Monica dentist.”
This is an important practice for both your search engine optimization (SEO) practices and your paid search advertising. For SEO purposes, you should optimize your website content, blog posts, and other online content with area-specific keywords so search engines can index these pages and include them in relevant searches.
You should also bid on localized keywords for your pay-per-click (PPC) ads to ensure that your ads are being shown to the right audience—potential patients who are looking for a dentist in your specific service area. It’s important to do your research to determine which search terms will generate the most web traffic at the best cost.
Manage Your Online Business Listings
Another important component of your local dental marketing is your online business listings. It is crucial that you keep your online business listings accurate and consistent—meaning your listed practice name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across the web. This makes your dental practice appear more credible to search engines and boosts your ranking in local search results, which includes the map results.
One of the most important steps to take is to create Google My Business and Bing Places for Business accounts and keep them up-to-date, as search engines pull data from these profiles for their search results and maps.
Pay Attention to Your Online Reviews
Finally, for effective local digital marketing, you need to take an active role in managing your online reviews. Why? First, potential patients often check online reviews before choosing local healthcare providers. According to a 2016 survey by BrightLocal, 84% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. Second, online reviews are a major ranking factor in local search results. The more high-rating reviews you have, the better your chances will be of appearing at the top of the results page in localized searches.
Be sure to monitor what patients are saying about your dental services on both general business review websites such as Yelp as well as healthcare-focused review sites such as Healthgrades. To improve your online reviews, it helps to encourage patients to leave honest reviews of your practice.
Partner with Scorpion & Drive More Local Patients to Your Dental Practice
When potential patients search for dentists in your local area online, do they see your practice listed on Page 1—or even better, at the top of Page 1? If not, it’s time to get serious about your local digital marketing!
Improving your dental practice’s visibility in local searches is a lot of work, especially when you have patients to treat. This is where our dental marketing professionals at Scorpion step in. We’ll do all the work on your website and digital marketing campaigns that is needed to drive more local patients to your practice.
About the Author
Amanda Riley is a Regional Sales Director at Scorpion who is passionate about helping dentists grow their practices through Internet marketing. Amanda has over 10 years of sales experience with a proven track record of new customer acquisition and revenue growth for small to medium-sized businesses. She is also Google AdWords-certified.
Amanda she has a bachelor’s degree in public relations with a minor in marketing from Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. She is a member of the American Marketing Association and Alpha Kappa Alpha. Outside of work, Amanda enjoys watching sports and staying active.