Dental marketing has really accelerated online in recent years due to intense competition.
Sure, you have a website and a Facebook page, but so do most of the other dentists in your area.
Don’t let your dental business suffer due to lack of information! Here’s a list of ten ideas on how to stay competitive online…
1. Subscribe to Help a Reporter Out: Help a Reporter Out is a service that allows writers and reporters find experts in any field. As a dentist, you subscribe to receive HARO’s postings (which come out three times a day). Each posting contains 50 to 100 inquiries from leading magazines, websites, television shows, radio shows, and authors. We found that at least once a week there is someone who needs a dentist for quotes, answers, and expert opinion. If that person decides to use you, they will include your name, city, and website address.
TIP: make sure to receive to inquiries in every category, because we found that dental inquiries appear in just about every category
2. Don’t use dental hashtags: What? don’t tag your social media posts with “#dental” or “#dentist”? That’s because patients don’t follow those hashtags. Only other dentists do.
Your patients follow stuff like, #recipes, #motorcycles, #weightloss, #craftbeer, #detroit (or your town name), etc. Therefore, your social media posts should be focused at the topics your patients love to follow, but branded with your logo, name, and tagline.
3. Add your business to Google My Business: This is how to get your business listed on Google Maps, and how to give it a “Knowledge Panel”.
The Knowledge Panel is a block of detailed information about your business that appears on the ride side of a Google Search Result when someone searches for your business name. It also appears on Google Maps when someone clicks on your map location.
Being listing on Google My Business will also help you get listed on Google’s local results, which as of this writing, is limited to the top three most reputable businesses matching a user’s search and the user’s immediate location.
4. Start a Pay Per Click campaign: So many dentists are buying ads on Google AdWords that dentists who don’t buy them either are so well established that they don’t need to, or are being left behind to pick up the crumbs.
But if your business is located in a senior community or a working class neighborhood, consider advertising on Bing. You may discover the same or better results but for much less cost (see our article about this).
Pay Per Click campaigns require constant oversight, research into the most effective keywords, monitoring reports, and making adjustments. It also requires you to craft a landing page on your website that will match user expectations based on what your ad is offering. Definitely call a digital marketing company (like us), to help you.
5. Create a special landing page for your Pay Per Click campaign: As we stated above, your Pay Per Click ad needs to direct to a landing page on your website that matches user’s expectations. For example, if your ad is offering a $50.00 special, then your landing page must make that its primary focus. If your ad is targets to people living in Phoenix, then you must have a landing page that is focused on Phoenix customers.
A big reason for this is to increase relevancy of your ad. Google AdWords will decrease exposure of your ad if its relevancy is low.
6. Encode your website pages with Structured Data Markup: Yes, this gets technical. But, any website developer that knows to how write code (like us) can do this.
Structured Data is a concept that’s been around for many years, but recently it’s become a popular topic because finally Google and Bing haved started to implement it. There are several mobile apps and Chrome browser plugins that analyze Structured Data too. But basically, it allows machines (and artificial intelligence) to understand what the heck we humans are talking about.
When implemented properly into your webpages, Google and Bing web crawlers will be able to know that you’re actually a dentist, and that dentists are people, and have names, and that they are also businesses with geographic locations, and hours of operation. They will also know that “such and such” person works for “such and such” dental clinic. Before Structured Data, the only thing web crawlers knew about a “dentist” was that it was a string of seven characters starting with “d”.
Google has implemented a fraction of what Structured Data can do in their search results pages. Rich snippets of content, that appear above its search results, is based on Structured Data markup. If you have blog pages, one of your posts could appear as a rich snippet, and drive lots of traffic to you. If your website sells dental products, they can appear as a carousel above the search results.
Structured Data is complicated, but offers several dimensions of possibilities for marketing. (Call us about encoding your website pages with Structured Data).
7. Encourage reviews from your best patients: Not so difficult to understand, but we’d like to point out that this is going to become more important over the next several years. This is because the lines of SEO and Public Relations are effectively converging to become one-and-the-same. In the post-Penguin era, ranking above your competitors on Google Search has more to do with how the public perceives you in terms of trust, reliability, and authority.
And it’s not just about Google’s web crawler looking up business reviews on Google Maps, but people relying these reviews to find reputable businesses, and thereby posting their experiences with these businesses on social media and their own blogs.
8. Submit your business to local listings: Another no-brainer, but before you spend money on local listing agents like Yext, know that you only need to submit to a handful of sites, not the 100 or so that Yext likes to advertise.
Start with: Google My Business (See #3 above), Yelp, TripAdvisor, Manta.com, and YellowPages.com. Those listings will get licensed out to many other business listing sites. If you ever change your business name, address, phone number, make sure to update these sites.
9. Automate (or outsource) your social media: If you want to really leverage social media for your business, it’s going to take a lot of effort, and you’ll won’t have the time to do it yourself. There are social media automation tools out there, (e.g. Meet Edgar, Follow Liker), that will automate the posting, friending, and unfriending for you. That helps a lot.
But if you want to own social media in your town in the dental niche, then hire a social media professional. Make sure they will do three things for you: 1. create original posts based on your photos and logos, 2. interact with your followers by posting comments and clicking, “Like”, and 3. maintain a budget to purchase promoted posts once or twice a month.
Item #2 in that list is always where most social media professionals fail. It’s also what Facebook and Twitter uses to determine which posts get the most views. The more the interaction, the more the views. Interaction is so important!
10. Get a MailChimp Account and Start Inputting E-mail Addresses: Even if you don’t have time to create a newsletter, at least input the e-mail addresses so that you have a list built and ready to use.
This is because at some point, you’ll find yourself with an employee with time to create a newsletter.
We recommend MailChimp.com. It’s free up to a certain point. You can input addresses to your heart’s content and never have to pay. Even when you send out a newsletter, it’s free. It only costs when you send out A LOT of newsletters each month.
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