10 Tips to Grow Your Dental Practice

Here is a guest post from our friend Mike Pedersen of AZNetMarketing
Most dentists I
talk to have a strong desire to grow their dental practice. Many
have even hired so-called SEO gurus, website designers, local ranking experts,
and consultants, but with very little success.
With the competitive landscape for most business niches, dental
is no different. You can’t have a piece meal marketing approach.
You must have a strategy (plan) that is all-encompassing,
covering all facets of both online and offline marketing, that work cohesively
together, to get more new patients.
Below are what I
consider the top 10 critical marketing elements you must have in place
and work on consistently to grow your practice
 and be the leader in
your locale.

Lead Generating Website

Notice how I didn’t just say website, I said “lead-generating”
website. There’s a big difference. Of the hundreds of dental websites I’ve
reviewed, I can only count a handful that are truly designed to attract new
dental patients.
Unfortunately, web designers are not marketing experts. They are
building their portfolio to attract more design or creative customers, not
businesses that truly need leads. Unless they have a internet marketing
background, it’s not wise to spend the $3,000-$10,000 on a website that does
not convert.

2. Dental Blog

This could be part of number 1 above, but I am making it a
separate category, as it is a crucial piece of your marketing pie. You see…a
blog allows you to produce and publish valuable content that both your
visitors, and the search engines love.
This will result in higher search engine rankings, and a
perceived leader (authority) in your special niche of dentistry, whether it be
veneers, invisalign, braces, implants or any other high transaction value
cosmetic procedure.

3. Video Marketing

Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world, and
more people are choosing to search and watch videos as opposed to reading text.
This, as a dentist, gives you a huge opportunity to implement a video marketing strategy that will position you as the expert,
making the decision to hire your much easier.
The only problem I see is many dentists who have a Youtube
channel, but have not optimized it, or any of the videos to get more eyeballs.
This ends up being a waste of time and money. Allotting a budget to
have a video marketing company or consultant come in and do this for you is a
wise business decision.

4. Reputation Marketing

This is an area that is exploding online. More and more people
are making their buying decisions on social reviews. You’ve seen these before.
You do a search, and Google shows local business listings.
Right in the listing, you’ll see a link to reviews. This is
where people go immediately to read about the business. Are there any reviews
at all? Are they positive or negative?
There is an entirely separate service for cleaning up bad
reviews, and gaining new ones. As time goes on, businesses are going to be
investing large amounts of money into their online reputation.

5. Local Listings and SEO

More and more people are searching for local services. If you
don’t have a Google+ local page that is optimized with images, videos and
offers, your competitors are going to easily outrank you and get all the phone
Focusing on local seo and business listings is a wise decision
of both your time and money. If you’re not found when your potential patient is
looking for you, you lose!

6. Mobile Marketing

Take a look around you. Everyone is buried in their mobile
phone. Texting, talking, skyping, you name it! Mobile marketing is
exploding! Did you know that over 60% of local searches are
done on the cell phone
? Next year that number is expected to grow to 80%; and the following year (2014) it is
said, mobile search is going to exceed desktop search.
With those types of numbers, you better “get mobile”. 
Again, there is a specific marketing approach that you must take
if you want your mobile marketing investment to pay off.

7. Email Marketing

They say “the
money is in the list
“, and I tend to agree.
Its standard now to get patient email addresses, but what most
dentists are missing is getting the email addresses of their website visitors.
This is a massive lost opportunity that I would say 90% or more of the online
dental websites are missing out on.
There is a specific strategy to maximize this approach. It can
be a time consuming, time-sucking method, and one that I would recommend most
dental practices hire out to the professionals who have experience in this.

8. SMS Text Marketing

Above we already mentioned mobile marketing, and text messaging
is a close second. In fact, many marketing professionals would say text
messaging goes in the same category as mobile marketing, but I beg to differ.
There are companies now that only offer SMS marketing. You may
or may not need a separate company to achieve the results you’re looking for,
but just imagine the ability to send appointment reminders for example. Very
powerful stuff!

9. Facebook

We all know how big Facebook is. Over 1 billion active users! If
you do not have a Facebook
marketing strategy
, you are losing out on a huge potential goldmine
of prospective patients.
This is another area I’ve seen with hundreds of dental practices
who are doing it all wrong. There are so many strategies you can implement just
with Facebook, that it would take 5-10 hours per week just for this. 

10 Social Media

Social media is evolving all the time! With Twitter, Pinterest and now Instagram your demographic (teens) are there. They
are tweeting to their friends. They are uploading to Instagram.
Pinterest is the fastest growing social network in the world,
and it is a fantastic opportunity for you to pin your before and after pics, as
well as any other event you have going on in your practice. 
But…the key to all this is to optimize what you’re doing for
the best SEO results
. If you don’t, you’re wasting time (and
money) doing it, as you won’t see results.
These 10 tips (strategies) I’ve listed would take easily 40 hours or more a week if implemented completely. That is why
you should consider a marketing firm, or consultant to do it, as we are the
professionals, and can get you a better ROI than if you had a staff member “try
The original post can be found here.

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