Marketing is an essential component of business growth, especially for dental practices. Most dental practices fail to market their business, even though they should. Instead, many put their focus on contracting with proferred provider organizations (PPOs), which cuts away at bottom-line profits. The cost of partnering with PPOs is far higher than a Google or Facebook ad, which gives you the same results: new patients.
Dentists need to understand how proper marketing can help boost their practices, helping them become more self-sufficient and less dependent on PPOs. Dental practice owners are entrepreneurs, and, by nature, all entrepreneurs are marketers. Here’s how you can make your website better work for you and your practice.
The Purpose of Your Website
Most dental practices set up a routine website and then neglect to focus on what they should really be doing to help grow their practice. There are so many poorly done dental sites, it’s a wonder how some practices even attract new patients.
Statistics show that when website visitors leave a website, more than 75% of them do so because the site was poorly designed. High-quality website design is extremely important for a successful practice, since it can make or break your ability to attract new patients and leads. A website needs to focus on these critical components:
- Patient education: Studies show that using a combination of videos, images, and written content will help engage and educate patients about the procedures your practice offers while addressing the benefits of your services and any common questions you may get.
- Credibility: If your practice has been featured in the news or voted as a best practice in the area, highlight these accolades on your website. Awards and recognition help build trust and establish credibility. When a patient trusts you and your team of professionals, they will be willing to accept more treatment. Your website should emphasize your accomplishments.
- Lead generator: Leads are an essential component to establishing a successful practice. What is a viable lead? A lead is someone who needs your services. This doesn’t apply to everyone in your community. A lead is someone who is both interested in and needs your dental care services. Leads are usually broken into different groups, such as hygiene patients, denture patients, and perio patients.
- Be accessible: There are many dental websites that are impersonal and don’t allow potential patients to connect with you or your team. It’s important to incorporate videos and images of your team, introduce yourself to potential patients, and help them to get to know you and your staff before their first visit.
- Contact: Potential patients need to be able to easily find your contact information, including your phone number, email address, and location. Make sure that contact information is easy to read on mobile devices. Some larger practices even have live chat options on their website, which can help convert leads who are afraid to speak to someone over the phone.
Why You Need a Lead Magnet
What is a lead magnet? Entrepreneur Magazine recently described a lead magnet as “content given away to someone in exchange for their email address. Instead of purchasing an e-book, for example, they simply sign up for your email list and then receive a link to download the e-book free.” Lead magnets are great tools for promotions, coupons, or even free whitening kits to help attract new patients via emails.
Most dental websites don’t have the critical lead magnet angle. It is important to appeal to potential patients, luring them into giving you their names, email addresses, and other contact information so you can turn them into new patients.
Your practice’s potential gold mine is in the email list. You can’t merely set up a practice and hope that patients happen to come in or call for appointments. You need to give patients an incentive to use you as their dentist. Offer a special coupon that doesn’t cost your practice that much, but is very valuable to potential patients. For example, offer a free fluoride treatment for a routine hygiene appointment. Not only can you help establish a new patient, but if additional dental work is required, you can offer those treatments too.
The purpose of collecting email addresses is so you can help provide educational content, get to know your potential new patients, and then convert those leads into long-term patients.
Driving Targeted Traffic through Content Channels
Now that we’ve explained the purpose of having a strong website to attract potential patients, you need to start driving traffic to your site. Here is a list of different ways to drive traffic back to your page:
- Radio interviews
- Radio ads
- Geo-targeted social media ads
- Search engine ads
- TV ads
- TV features
- Direct mailings
- Search engine optimization and content marketing
- Email blasts from local businesses
- Referral cards
Sometimes it’s best to use a combination of both online and offline channels to help drive traffic. An interesting statistic is that 85% of people will visit your practice’s website to read about your services before they call, visit, or email. This is why it’s crucial to advertise your website.
Managing a successful dental practice website takes work. If you are interested in learning how to set up and manage a successful website for your dental practice, watch this informative webinar. Keep in mind that the purpose of your practice’s website is to help build and establish trust, while generating valuable leads for your practice. Visitors need to receive value and education from a site about your services that will help them feel confident in choosing you as their dental services provider.
Mr. Comstock is the founder of BoomCloud Apps, a successful software company that allows dental offices to quickly create, organize, track, and automate their in-house membership program. Contact Jordon and his team at (800) 260-9285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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