Like a lot of dentists we speak to, it can be overwhelming to stay up on all the internet marketing strategies that are proven to get more new patients. As a dentist, your job is to create beautiful smiles and happy patients, not learning how to market your dental practice.
Many of these strategies include all things Google+, Local SEO, Reputation Management, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, Content Marketing, Search Engine Marketing (google ads), and Website Usability to ensure your website is set up to achieve your main goals which is phone calls and contact form signups for your practice.
It is getting increasingly difficult to keep up with google, and achieve the much coveted first page rankings for not only natural (non-paid) results, but the more important Google+ Local listings, which google is predominantly taking over most of the first page with now.
This could change at any minute, but as a local business owner, it is critical you position your practice high in that section, which we call the “7-pack” of google listings.
Not only that, but managing your online reputation is not critical to the success of your dental practice. The power is in the consumers hands. If one of your staff have a bad day, and treat a patient harshly, it will be on the Internet in the form of an online review in a matter of minutes.
There are still a large number of people who skip the ads at the top of the page, and even skip the Google+ Local listings, and go right to the natural results. This cannot be ignored, therefore a local SEO plan should be in place to get your dental practice high on the first page, in the natural results for your practice.
With youtube being the second biggest search engine in the world, are capitalizing on it! I have worked with many dentists who have a youtube channel and a few videos, but they are not optimized to get search results, so they sit in youtube in oblivion.
As mentioned above, it is crucial you monitor and manage your online reputation. This is hugely time-consuming if you have one of your staff do it, but it is a must when someone posts a negative review about your practice. You need to be “on it’ and interact immediately with that patient via that specific review site, whether it be Google+, Yelp, Doctoroogle, Healthgrades, or any of the other dozens of review sites online.
I’m becoming less and less of a fan for Facebook, but your patients are on it! For sure! And a good marketing plan positions you EVERYWHERE your patients are, so making sure to update your Facebook page, and ENGAGE with your patients in there is important to your practice and even your brand.
The younger generation is exploding on Twitter! I have 2 children in their teens, and my 15 year old daughter is tweeting all day. If you are a general dentist servicing families, you can be assured your teenage patients are on Twitter, so engaging with them will grow your brand even more locally.
There will be more social networks and internet marketing channels emerging very soon. If you want to be successful with your practice moving forward, you must stay current. That means making sure that when a new network launches, you are on it, and start engaging.