What is dental practice marketing? And why do I need it anyway? In this article, we will show you how relevant your internet presence is, how you can be successful, and what opportunities it offers. The right marketing is quite feasible and requires only time and a lot of engagement.
Why is practice marketing important for me as a dentist?
In recent years, the field of online marketing has continued to evolve, creating more and more opportunities for a wide variety of business sectors. This is due to the steadily growing use of the Internet. Every day, for example, around 5.5 billion people use Google search. Creating visibility for one’s services is both a primary goal and a difficult challenge. Potential patients can be reached more quickly, more specifically, and much more easily.
There are two ways for patients to find a dental practice: by word of mouth or by searching the Internet. If the former does not provide any clues or recommendations, the only remaining option is to search the World Wide Web. In that case, it is up to you to ensure that patients can find you and that your internet presence is professional and authentic and leaves a positive impression.
Your internet presence: a professional website as the basis for practice marketing
The first impression is usually created by a practice’s website. It is, so to speak, the basis of your internet presence. Users expect a modern but at the same time intuitive and informal website. Thus, it is important to fulfill these expectations if patients are to choose your practice. You can start off with visual impressions, like pictures from your practice, the staff, etc. and round it off with the information your patients need.
What dental equipment do you have? How can patients reach your practice? How experienced are you as a dentist? Be authentic and write only about the things you are comfortable with about yourself. Only in this way will you appear relatable and also be able to connect to potential patients emotionally. Keep in mind that your website should be optimized for mobile devices. In Germany, 82% of users accessed the Internet via smartphones and the like in 2021.
If you search for the terms “dentist near me”, Google will show you a listing of corresponding practices. As this preview is pretty much the first thing patients see of you, try to make sure to display all important information. Reviews are also written and listed there. By answering negative reviews, you will show new patients that you are proactive and that you care.
Social media, rating portals, etc.
Once you have covered basic marketing measures, you can go further. Probably the easiest thing to start with is creating company profiles on Facebook and Instagram. In 2021, 32 million people used Facebook and 21 million Instagram in Germany every day. You can use these platforms to convey even more visual impressions. Share news related to your practice and communicate directly with your patients if desired. Feel free to show a more private side of yourself and your team, but always remain professional. In this way, you will strengthen the bond with your patients.
If you are willing to spend some money, you can also use social media to acquire new patients. You can send postings to strategically selected target groups. Ad placement on Google is also an option. There you can “buy” a higher ranking (upper placement in the ad list) in the corresponding search results and thus achieve better visibility.
One final aspect of dental practice marketing that should not be overlooked is dental practice rating portals. Rating portals serve as the Internet’s word of mouth. Sign up your practice for the relevant portals (e.g. jameda and sanego) so that patients can rate you. If the ratings are good, other users are motivated to check out your practice. If the ratings are rather poor, answer them and take the criticism as useful feedback.
In summary, it is quite advisable to move with the times and upgrade your internet presence. This will increase your visibility online, patients can find you faster and get a direct impression of your practice. Now it is up to you to make that first impression a good one. Use this checklist as a guide:
- Create your individual website
- Be authentic, empathetic, and professional
- Respond to Google reviews of your practice
- Sign up your practice for relevant rating portals
- Use social media for increased visibility and a more personal connection with patients
- Resort to Google Ads if you want to be listed further up the search results