Dental marketing strategy and ideas: ultimate how-to guide
Nuances and Niceties of Promoting Dentistry Services: How to Attract New Customers
Dentistry belongs to the local businesses niche, meaning that the range of potential customers is inside the business’s coverage area. Why would anybody head out of town to see the dentist? 🙂
Most of the patients would choose the clinic by two major criteria:
- Feedback and recommendations
In the event that these two factors overlap, a client will definitely go straight to your dental unit. If instead they are advised to go to the facility across town, there’s no guarantee that they will use such recommendation. On the one hand, it is not a big deal for small towns since every citizen can get to the destination point in some 30 minutes. On the contrary, though, for the big cities like New York, it may turn out a real headache. If you were under such circumstances, desperate for an immediate dental treatment, what would you do? The easiest way out is to simply Google it and find the most suitable clinic on the Web.
The conclusion to be drawn was that businesses should put greater efforts in attracting new customers, especially those who happened to be in the business’s operational area. Gain the trust of your clients, and they will share favorable recommendations within their social networks. Obviously, this applies only to cases when your customer is satisfied and received a high-quality service. But it’s more like a default requirement: the customer should always be given a top-notch service – only then your business will be successful, this applies to all niches without exceptions.
It is important to be best in your field, especially in a highly competitive environment. Providing the best service to your clients is important. It is also important to prove your expertise. Your customers should realize that they are dealing with the best specialist and respective certificates can confirm it.
Creation of, and support for a personal brand is the crucial part of the dentist’s promotion strategy, and it may be one of the reasons why clients would be willing to spend another hour of their valuable time to drive to the reputable doctor. The right way to construct the brand of a dental clinic begins with the well-crafted marketing strategy, designed for the right audience. You should always be found at the right time, and in the right place.
In this article, we’ll reveal some secrets and nuances of attracting new customers to the dental clinic. By using our tips, you will be able to increase the flow of your clients single-handedly, and – in case you’re willing to – you can always count on our services 🙂
In order to give the right impression about your clinic, your services, and your expertise, you need to figure out what it is your customer want. What exactly do they want to get?
What does the patient want?
- Confidence in the accuracy of diagnosis and test results
- Non-commercialized attitude of personnel
- It is crucial to get as much information about the course of treatment, as possible. The patient should be involved in the process.
- Be shielded from any shortcomings in the organization of the medical center’s work.
- No “hidden” fees for medical services.
- Honesty and integrity in communication.
- The availability of information, which helps to decide which medical center or doctor to consult.
Whatever concerns the client, it should be provided on the website, spelled out in Facebook messages, or discussed by the phone and through direct contacts.
Your task is to ensure that the potential consumer doesn’t have any questions on whether to use the services of your dentistry.
After providing the services, do not forget about the patient – call him after the treatment, at least send an email, ask about how he/she feels. In general, email communication plays a vital role, so maintain the patient base and find an individual approach to every client. Send them only useful information, such as, for example, info about special offers.
So, what should the potential consumer find on your website?
Your corporate site: how to turn it into a magnet for new clients
The first and foremost factor in the business success is the quality of the services provided. Regardless of all other actions and budgets aimed at developing the brand and attracting patients, the entire flow will end very quickly with the poor quality of service. The second in importance, if we are talking about internet marketing, is the website itself.
As for the patient’s expectations, according to the polls, the two most important factors that are taken into an account when deciding on an appointment are:
1Professionalism and qualification of stuff
2Building relationships with the patient
These two factors occupy almost 70% in equal shares. The rest: the quality of medical equipment, price, the organization of work – is much less significant.
Information on the site should build a full trust in the clinic, and it’s staff.
Things like photos and bios of personnel, treating doctors, valuable certificates, scientific titles, and clinic’s achievements should be displayed in a prominent position. If we recall the main factors when contacting the public hospital, we can understand that very important points are personal PRs of prominent doctors along with the publication of their articles and all kinds of advertising alike. Therefore, if you know that your doctors play an active role at medical events, it’ll be wise to film their speeches and then post recorded videos on the website.
When patients visit your site, they will apparently want to ask a couple of questions, that obviously require qualified and illuminating answers:
- Maybe I do not need the treatment, will that just go away on its own?
- I have such symptoms, do they mean something? Maybe it’s just my imagination?
- What is the doctor’s experience? Will I get to a professional or an intern?
- How much does it cost? Are there any discounts?
- How exactly does this procedure take place? How long does it take?
- Will it hurt? Is there any risk of complications?
- Can I reach out to the receptionist on weekends and after hours?
- Is it easy to get to this clinic?
Make sure that customers can easily find answers to such questions on your website.
At the same time, the most common mistake made by site owners when writing answers to these questions is that they often use lots of confusing scientific terms. In plain language, they use the “doctors for doctors” style, while what is needed is a “doctors for people” approach.
Avoid complex terms, scientific definitions when describing medical procedures and services. Write articles for patients: describe symptoms, explain what to do after the treatment, tell how to prevent different diseases, make some recommendations, and so on and so forth.
What is implied in building relationships? There are parameters such as affability, politeness, cleanliness, respect for the patient, sociability, comfortable atmosphere, quality of service, efficiency, honesty, client-orientedness, desire to help, etc.
When a patient comes to the clinic, here, with regard to building relationships, everything becomes more concrete and simple to implement, at least it seems so. And how to convey this on the site? This task is not easy.
Everything begins with the structure of the services provided. Navigation should be simple and understandable. The site should have a sufficient number of reference materials for each service, its costs, and implementation methods.
Here we also refer to the convenience of using websites in the form of adaptability and mobile version. The convenience of using mobile phones is of great importance. Plus, adaptability and the availability of a convenient mobile version with the good loading speed of pages, directly affect the results of the ranking in the search results. According to our researches, more than 65% of people looking for dental care, use their mobile devices. How easy is it to examine the necessary info and make an appointment via your website?
There is a large number of potential consumers, and you can turn them into your loyal customers by introducing a feedback form or an online chat in which they will receive a quick response or just a general consultation.
Apply the “ask a question” button on the pages with the most complex services, organize hours of free consultations using online communication, arrange online webinars. All these measures can boost the ranking of the clinic along with the reputation of the responding doctors.
If your dental unit has few downtime hours with the lowest inflow, you can arrange discounted (or even free) receptions.
It will not yield high profits, but at the same time, it is an investment in the future, because your grateful patients will recommend your center to their relatives and friends. It all works for your reputation.
On-site reviews also play a significant role. You need them because feedbacks directly influence the customer’s decision to choose the appropriate clinic. When scrolling through reviews, the client should end up convinced that your institution provides high-quality services and that awkward situations and failures will not take place. Negative feedback should be promptly and appropriately handled by the staff. Your responsibility is to clarify the cause of the conflict, ensure that the patient is satisfied, do your best to resolve the issue, and take all necessary measures to prevent similar situations in the future.
Now, when you have a great website that gives rise to the confidence among the visitors who can easily find answers to all their questions, it’s time to talk about the sources of the traffic. Doesn’t matter how informative and wonderful your website is, you won’t attract new clients if nobody visits your page on the Web. Your task is to draw as much traffic, as possible and then turn the number of website’s visitors into the new customers.
Traffic channels and tools to attract patients
Before we invoke the traffic channels of your website, it is crucial to determine the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) that will indicate the success of your advertising campaigns. At every stage of the development, you should understand whether your advertising company is profitable and how much money it brings to you.
Major KPIs for the promotion of dentistry services are the following:
1Traffic. How many potential consumers are redirected to your site from each promoting channel. What is the traffic’s dynamics?
2Conversions. How many calls and appointments you get from each promoting channel. How does the conversion’s flow grow?
3Sales. How many ultimate customers you get.
When calculating the Return of Investment (ROI), it is important to consider indicators like LTV (Lifetime Value), the percentage of clients attracted by recommendations, CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), and ARPU (Average Revenue per User).
At first sight, all these things may seem quite complicated, but it is actually effortless. To get the filling how easy it is, let’s calculate the ROI rate of some average clinic.
Let’s say, you’ve decided to conduct the advertising campaign of teeth whitening in your city. The price of services for the end customer is $500. The prime cost of materials is $200.
As you already know, 50% of clients come to you following up the recommendations.
Your average check is $750.
Client requests the service, on average, two times a year.
So, you’ve conducted the advertising campaign of the “Teeth whitening” service in your city, spent $5000 and attracted 10 clients.
Customer Acquisition Cost was $5000/10=$500
You spent extra $200 on the materials for the each of 10 attracted customers = $2000
Overall, you’ve spent $5000+$2000=$7000 and earned $5000.
In the beginning, it may seem like you’ve just lost $2000, but that’s not really the case.
Satisfied customers will revisit you throughout the year. Assuming that only the half of clients will come to re-perform the service, you’ll get extra: 5 (clients) * $750 (ARPU) = $3750
Half of these customers will recommend you to their friends, so if assuming here again the acquisition of another 5 clients, you’ll earn another $3750.
By in large, in the framework of dentistry services, it is considered normal when you start gaining profits only after the patient’s second visit. The first visit goes for covering the cost of the advertising campaign. In a highly competitive market, these expenses are quite significant.
So, now you know about the core performance indicators, you can track and evaluate them. You can also calculate the viability of your campaigns. It’s right the time to discuss the traffic sources. We’ll talk about the possible ways to attract potential consumers to your website and dig into the nuances of each traffic source.
SEO: organic search
The cornerstone of a successful SEO campaign is the selection of correct keywords, corresponding to particular target pages. All keywords should be used with the toponym of your town.
It is crucial to write all meta tags on the key landing pages of your website. Note, that meta tags must contain your target keywords. Key tags that can affect your rankings are the title, h1, h2. For example, for your home page, you may use following keywords: New York, dentist New York, etc. Use the Google’s Related Keywords feature to search for more keywords related to your city.
For service pages you can use some keywords relevant to the particular category, such as, for instance, teeth whitening New York, teeth whitening NYC cost, etc.
Also, you can use Google AdWords Keyword planner to find few additional relevant keywords. It will allow you to glean target keywords:
It is important to ensure that your website is optimized in terms of search engines. It should be adaptive, with the correct structure, loading quickly, with correctly spelled headers and tags.
You can check the loading speed of your website and ensure that it’s mobile-friendly through this official Google service:
The quality and quantity of links from external resources have a direct impact on the ranking of your website. The growing number of free, high-quality links will earn you the place in medical catalogs, you will see your articles on profile forums and websites dedicated to health. Also be sure to take hold in the yellow pages and other local catalogs.
It is impossible to build a successful SEO campaign without providing an appropriate content. You should write and publish articles on the blog and social networks on a regular basis. Make sure that you cover the topics that your clients are interested in. Create internal links between different pages of your website – it will engage your users, and it will provide search engines with a better understanding of the topics of the content.
Overall, rankings of your website depend on the primary factors:
1On-page optimization: the existence of meta-tags, internal linking, the accuracy of canonical tags, the absence of broken links, etc.
2Off-page optimization. Quality and quantity of resources referring to you.
3The quality of the website. User-friendliness, loading speed, quality of content.
SEO: Map pack and Maps
Often, upon many local queries, Google displays three most relevant results on the top of SERP specifying the location of the business. It is the so-called Google Map Pack.
Several major factors influence the mapping of sites in this block:
- Location. It is evident that, all things being equal, the website closest to the user’s location will be the first on the results page. You cannot influence this factor, but you should understand that it exists.
- User reviews – the ranking of your company. Google is not likely to suggest your website in this block if you don’t rank properly. Hence, it’s a good idea to ask your loyal and satisfied clients to give comments about your organization.
- Optimization of your local business card. Pay attention to the details like better and fuller information about your dental clinic; don’t forget to include your main keywords organically. Add more photos of your doctors (they must be smiling!), satisfied clients and equipment. You may also throw in a couple of pictures with your interior and facade.
- Citations in local websites and other resources can also more or less influence the ranking of your site in this block.
Paid search is an incredibly powerful and flexible tool for bringing more traffic to your website.
Paid search can be divided into two main parts: search network and display network.
Search network advertising is aimed at addressing direct user’s queries such as, for example, clinic new york, dentists near me, etc. Your task is to create as many relevant ads relating to your keywords, as possible. For the search networks – this applies in particular to the big cities – it’s important to select the range, where your ads will be displayed. You can limit the search to 3 miles and those who are not in this range, won’t see your ads. It’s crucial to research each city to identify the appropriate range. Pay attention to the geo targeting: select your city in settings if you intend to use general queries. For instance, by specifying “New York,” your keyword can be “dentist near me.” At the same time, note that in this case citizens of other cities won’t see your ads.
Try to avoid negative messages in ads. Instead of “sick? We will fix it up!,” you should go for something like “You will never be sick again” or “It is awesome to be healthy.”
The structure of the account in contextual advertising has to be based on the website’s structure – by the classification of the services provided. Select a couple of companies: one by general queries and another by specific services. Make sure you’ve unfolded all your advantages: Why would the patient choose exactly your dentistry?
If you provide free initial consultations, don’t forget to mention it.
Remember about negative keywords. Check what keywords trigger your ads on a weekly basis and add those that have nothing to do with you to negative keywords.
Display network may be handy for advertising of your special offers and discounts. For example, you can inform about the 50% discount for teeth whitening services by selecting the 1-mile range. It works great!
Pay particular attention to the campaigns in mobile applications, they, in fact, need to be selected manually. If you neglect the setting, ads will be displayed everywhere, including some childish games. A kid will be just tapping on the screen and “scraping” your budgets.
In general, qualitative and efficient display network campaign is made up of two parameters:
a) Your message. An attractive message, transparent service.
b)Right demographic targeting.
It’s crucial to envisage different versions of ads by various demographic groups (for example, men over 40 or women with children). Make a targeted message for every group and track the effectiveness.
Collect email addresses of your patients and potential clients wherever it’s possible. Introduce the subscription form on the site, gather data from admission applications, surveys, forums and social networks. As we’ve already mentioned above, do not abandon your patients after the procedure. Reach out to them, send them emails with useful information. Here you can also conduct an additional advertising campaign, such as, for example, a free consultation or services with discounts.
We recommend using the open source platform https://mautic.org for your email campaigns. Services like mailchimp.com and getresponse.com can also stand you in a good stead.
SMM and Facebook ads
These are the most sensitive channels for attracting new patients because no one likes to share health problems, it’s a rather personal sphere. Attracting people with the articles about a healthy lifestyle is already just as problematic. Therefore, content for groups should be slightly different. For example, specialists of your clinic can make the list of questions and then conduct the email outreach campaign. You can write about topics like unusual medical cases, details related to a particular procedure and so forth. It is not superfluous to create a specific page for reviews to collect and process them in one place. It should be noted that it is not recommended to delete negative reviews. Manage negative mentions and answer them immediately.
As for Facebook ads, they are very similar to Display network ads in Google. The thing is that you should target the right audience and deliver the right message.
Naturally, all the above channels must constantly be analyzed to formulate conclusions and develop solutions for future advertising campaigns. What works and what doesn’t; where, when and with what service you can attract the patient. It is necessary to set the correct goals for all events and conversions on the site. It is also recommended to set up the e-commerce research to get a picture of the costs and profits of advertising campaigns.
Internet marketing for healthcare institutions is significantly different from the traditional promotion of commercial sites. It has a number of features and nuances, without considering them you can make serious mistakes, leading to negative consequences. At the same time, with attention to details, allocation of investments to support advertising campaigns and information support, can become a powerful locomotive of traffic growth and expansion in the number of customers. Think about your users. Think about how your users think. Think about where they are looking for your services. Be there!
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below, our specialists will be glad to answer them!