Getting more patients means you have to get the word out about your dental practice. Sure, you can send out mailers, run TV or radio commercials, or rent space on a billboard to get some exposure, but don’t forget about your online presence. According to the Local Search Association, 51% of consumers use search engines to find a dentist, which means you could be missing out on new patients if you aren’t prepared with a solid Internet marketing strategy.
Your dental website is an important aspect of your inbound marketing—a practice that focuses on getting your patients naturally interested in your services so they come to your rather than the other way around. (It’s the opposite of an intrusive, hard sell.) A strong website and a targeted search strategy can help you expand your reach, attract more of the types of patients you want, and grow your practice.
Here are a few ways to use your website as a tool for turning online users into new patients:
1. Give Your Website a Clean & Attractive Design
Think of your website as the digital identity of your dental practice. Potential patients will go to your site to learn more about you and your staff, your facility, your dental services, and more. As a result, it’s crucial that you have a clean and visually appealing website design. If you have an outdated or unattractive website, you could be giving potential patients a bad impression of your practice.
In addition to being professionally and beautifully designed, dental websites today must be mobile-friendly. This means they need to look good and be easy to use on any device, whether it’s a desktop, a tablet, or a smartphone. In 2015, 62 percent of people surveyed said they used their smartphone to research a health condition.
To ensure that your site is mobile-friendly, make sure it uses responsive design, which automatically adjusts images and other design features for smaller screens, allows for faster page load times on mobile devices, and improves the overall mobile user experience.
2. Fill Your Website with Patient-Focused Content
What’s the purpose of your website? To let potential patients know about your dental services and why they should choose your practice over others. However, people will only read through your site if it catches their interest and answers their questions. This is why it is so important to keep your website content patient-focused.
When writing your website content, try to anticipate what type of information is most important to your target patients, such as basic information about your practice on the homepage or About Us pages. If you are talking about specific dental procedures, don’t just use medical jargon – break down the terminology in layman’s terms.
Your website should also include a blog that that educates your patients and encourages them to seek the dental care they need. Dental care tips, FAQs, information on the latest treatments and procedures, and so on are all great ideas for blog posts that people will want to read and share.
3. Sell Your Practice
While inbound marketing isn’t pushy or “salesy,” it is okay (and important) to use your website to showcase what sets you and your team apart. You are basically answering the question, “Why should I choose your dental practice?” Let your site visitors know about your advanced training and credentials, state-of-the-art technology, convenient financing, and anything else that differentiates your practice from competitors.
Testimonials and before-and-after photos and videos are also important because they give your practice greater credibility. With these elements added to your website, people get to read about and hear the stories of actual patients, and they get to see results firsthand rather than relying on your word alone.
4. Give Your Website More Visibility in Search Engines
Having a great-looking site and valuable content won’t help you much if no one is able to find your site. You can use search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) to make your practice more visible in search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. When you improve your SEO (making your site more search engine- and user-friendly), your practice appears higher up in the organic (or natural) search results—the ones you don’t have to pay for.
With SEM, or paid search, you run pay-per-click ads that appear at the top and bottom of the search results page. These ad placements give your dental practice and even stronger presence on the search engine results page. With both strategies, you use keywords to you target the right online users.
Scorpion can help you grow your dental practice through a competitive website and a powerful digital marketing strategy. Contact us today to find out how we can help your dental practice!
For more helpful digital marketing tips, download our free e-book on the top 18 SEO myths for medical practitioners.
About the Author
Mike Sudinsky is Regional Sales Director at Scorpion. He is a medical marketing specialist who is experienced in patient attraction and retention. Mike is Google AdWords Certified and has 25 years of marketing experience across all forms of media. Prior to joining Scorpion, he worked in various business development roles across a broad spectrum of industries.
Mike’s goal at Scorpion is to help medical practitioners gain a competitive edge in their local markets through cutting-edge digital marketing solutions. In addition to being a medical marketing specialist, Mike is former professional golfer, an avid sports fan, and a music lover who plays saxophone.