If your dental website is not producing new patients every month, then it is time to find a new website provider. Your website ought to be the number one tool in your marketing plan. The best part about your website, is that it should generally run on autopilot. Whichever dental marketing company you choose to go with, make sure they are constantly updating your site with fresh content.
Today dental website marketing has become the most powerful and cost effective tool for producing new patients. There are also a few things you should know about dental websites:
- All traffic from search results will go to the top 5 or 6 positions in search results. Around 40% will go to the website in the #1 position. You need to be in the top few positions to make it worthwhile. Anything else is a waste of time and money.
- Your website is there to generate new patients, not to educate them. Many potential patients can actually be turned off by information overload. Make sure your website has clear call to actions and that you pick a company with websites designed to generate new patients.
- You will need to spend some money on SEO or search engine optimization. Unless you want to spend a ton of hours learning & practicing SEO, it’s just not possible to rank at the top without professional help.
Spend some time on the phone with your website provider. Test their knowledge and make sure they do the work themselves. Overseas development can be seedy, often leading to Google penalties for bad development & bad SEO.
If you are serious about your web presence and want an awesome website, the team at Elevate DDS – Dental Websites & Marketing is here to help.
Search Engine Marketing –
Both SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click) advertising are referred to as search engine marketing or SEM for short. SEO results within Google, Yahoo and Bing are not bought, but rather earned through hours of hard work. This is why dentists who want to rank well will need to hire a professional to perform SEO on an ongoing basis.
Pay per click advertising can be done across a number of search engines, website networks and social platforms. A “pay per click” or cost per click (CPC) model is exactly what it sounds like, meaning you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Most PPC models allow you to set the amount you are willing to spend by day, week or month. This is referred to as your “budget.” PPC campaigns will typically run until funds in the budget are depleted, in which case there is the option to refill the budget.
Pay per click advertising is a great way for dentists to target multiple cities or surrounding locations, as it is very hard to rank in Google organic results without a physical address in that area. PPC can also be used to target specific keywords that dentists website does not currently rank for. Keywords in a PPC campaign can also be matched to the specific verbiage surrounding any marketing plan.
Display Advertising & Remarketing –
Display and remarketing (or retargeting) advertising generally works on a cost per impression (CPM) model. The cost per impression is generally minimal and averages between $15-30 per 1,000 impressions. Display ads are richer than pay per click ads, as they can be graphical as opposed to plain text. Display ads however, tend to have very low click through rates as opposed to PPC ads. Display ad campaigns are usually more expensive than PPC campaigns because of the lower click through rates. Good creative and specific targeting of networks can help cut down on costs and the visual appeal of the ads can help to increase brand awareness.
Remarketing or ad retargeting can be a very effective tool to show an ad to someone who has already shown interest in your practice. This is generally done by placing a cookie on their browser while they visit your website. Once they leave your site and visit another website within your advertiser’s network, they can be shown your display advertisement.
My personal opinion is that both of these mediums are overkill for dental marketing efforts. Unless you’re practice specializes in facial reconstruction or surgery that is very specialized, targeting potential patients with these types of ads might not be worth the time and costs.
Social Media Marketing –
Creating and maintaining a social media presence is almost as important as having a website. Social media marketing is a fantastic way to stay in touch with your current patients, without being in their faces too much. The bad thing about social media is that if patients haven’t liked your Facebook page or followed you on Twitter, they won’t see your posts or updates. This basically leaves two ways in which you can use social media to market your business. The first way is to keep in touch with current patients who have liked your page. I mentioned this above and I think practices should absolutely be using Facebook and other social media networks in this way. Social media should be updated often with unique and custom content that helps to build your brand and awareness.
The second way is to create ads that can target both followers as well as people who have not yet liked your page. When using paid ads on social networks, you have the ability to use the ad space on the right hand side of Facebook pages, or you can do what are called “Promoted Posts.” Each of these can probably produce some results for new patient acquisition if done extremely well. Both can also be used to acquire new fans and followers of your page, which could pay dividends down the road. The problem here is that you’re not guaranteed followers that live anywhere near your office location.
In general social media channels need to be set up and optimized for SEO purposes and updated frequently. That part is a must for search engines. From a patient acquisition standpoint, paid social media advertising can be hit or miss. However, this still may be a better solution to try than radio or TV.
Video Marketing –
This form of marketing can be extremely effective and an important part of your marketing plan & strategy. Years ago, video marketing would have been super expensive to shoot and produce. In today’s high tech world, HD cameras are extremely cheap and video editing can be done at minimal cost. Cameras that can shoot full HD cost less than $100 and can be purchased from hundreds of online marketplaces.
Your website and all social networks are a great place to feature your videos. YouTube also offers a video marketing platform that can integrate into retargeting campaigns as well. So feel free to set aside some budget for video advertising into your marketing plan.
At Elevate DDS we offer full HD video marketing and video editing as a part of every marketing package. Feel free to ask us any questions on how we can help and what kinds of videos we produce.
Measure Your Results Using an Analytics Platform
So now you’ve written out your marketing plan, decided on which strategies to use, and set aside some budget to get started. The final step is to make sure that you can measure the successes and failures of your marketing efforts. I would personally recommend going with a platform such as Google Analytics. It’s a free solution and offers invaluable insights into your marketing campaigns. The best thing about using Google Analytics, is it integrates with Google Adwords (Google’s PPC advertising platform), YouTube, Webmaster Tools and other Google software.
There are also a slew of other features within Universal Analytics which can help you measure offline advertising efforts. Meaning it can actually help you track and measure the success of advertising that isn’t done online!
Final Thoughts on Dental Marketing
I’ve personally put together marketing plans in a variety of industries and used every one of the above strategies. In my opinion, nothing drives optimal results and allows for as much tracking and customization as internet marketing. This is why I started Elevate DDS – Dental Websites & Marketing and why I have a passion for this business. That’s not to say that you can’t have great results using one method or strategy specifically. And best results will be achieved when using every single marketing strategy. But when businesses don’t have the budget of a General Motors, internet marketing is the absolute best way to go.
At Elevate DDS we are here to help. I feel we have put together a marketing and website package that offers more value than any other company on the market.
Please feel free to call us anytime to talk about any of the above plan and strategies. The team at Elevate DDS – Dental Websites & Marketing is here to help!