To learn how to get more patients in dental practice is a crucial skill for dentists and health marketing experts. Since the traditional marketing tactics become less and less effective, we need to dive into the realms of Internet marketing. If you want your dental practice to thrive, you need to be aware of how to get to people on the web.
1. Set up a website
If your practice doesn’t have a website, you are already behind your competitors. Depending on the complexity of the website, the cost of developing a medical website could range from $1000 to $10,000. If you can’t afford that, but still want a feature-rich medical website, we created an easy-to-use turnkey solution for medical professionals called Avramed. With Avramed you can create your own medical website without having any programming skills. It’s easy, it’s cheap and it’s high quality.
A good dental website must be modern looking, easily customizable and packed with features a dentist may need.
It’s also a good idea to regularly update your website with articles that your potential patients may find interesting. Using proper SEO tactics, a health website may bring several thousands visitors a month that can be turned into paying patients.
Building a quality email list is also an excellent way to keep in touch with your patients and get new one. Sending out newsletter campaigns can become quite expensive. Make sure to read our article about self hosted newsletter softwares so you’ll be able to send newsletter campaigns for pennies.
2. SEO strategies for dentists
Once you have a website, another important thing to get more patients to your dental practice is to leearn SEO. First you need to know your target audience. Obviously you don’t need to target people globally, only the people in your immediate vicinity. For this local SEO tactics may be a good choice. The main purpose of SEO is to rank your website as high in search engines as possible for certain keywords.
What do you need to do for good local SEO:
- Try to find high quality directory citations.A citation is when your name, address and phonenumber is also listed.
- Create a Google My business page
- Make sure your name, company name, address, phone number are consistent throughout directory citations, your website, Google/Facebook pages etc. This information will be displayed in search results.
- Get people to write reviews about your service on Google and/or Facebook. Others will read this before choosing your service. Good reviews will positively affect your local search results.
- If you can, get high quality, relevant backlinks from other websites. These are links that point to one of your pages.
- Make sure your website is well optimized for search engines. For example, have your main keywords in titles, your NAP (name, address, phone number) can be found on your website.
3. A few more words about reviews
I briefly mentioned the importance of online reviews, but we need to dive into it a little bit more.
Just think about it, if you are looking for a good restaurant in your area, you go to Google. You check the first few results, you read what other people think about that restaurant. It is no different when you are looking for a new dentist.
Reputation and trust are extremely important in the healthcare industry, especially in the private healthcare industry. If you see that many people had a good experience with a doctor, you are more inclined to try that service yourself. You can be the best doctor in your field, if your patients don’t like you, you won’t get any new patients. According to a survey 68% of consumers trusts online reviews. If your practice only has 5 stars reviews, you can be sure that more and more people will be interested in your services. According to BrightLocal “82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses”.
If you do a search for the following terms “dental practice in syracuse ny”, you’ll see that the first results (apart from the paid ads) are local search results with reviews.
4. Excellent patient management
This is not related to Internet marketing, but can be just as important. We all know how frustrating it is when you have an appointment and still have to wait an hour for the doctor to treat you. It’s especially annoying when you are in pain. Manage your schedule to reduce the time a patient has to wait. Don’t forget, word-of-mouth marketing converts the best.
A good IT infrastructure can also contribute to good patient management. If you have more than one doctor in your medical practice, provide them with an online portal to manage their patients. It is also a good idea to allow patients to register on your website, and let them see their examination history, their appointments etc.
If your patients can register an account on your website, you can also implement some kind of reward system and award your patients reward points that they can use as discounts on upcoming appointments.
5. Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
This is the most complicated, but also the fastest way to get more patients to your dental practice. You need a good understanding of the advertising interface of Facebook and Google and you also need to know a lot about your target market and your patients. In the health industry the cost per clicks are pretty high so if you don’t have any advertising experience, you are probably better off hiring an expert otherwise you may end up losing a lot of money.