In the last few years, competition has increased in the dental industry and the need to utilise marketing to differentiate yourself is crucial. With 90% of consumers using search engines to find businesses in their local area, it’s safe to say your patients are finding your dental practice the same way. But have you ensured there are no cracks in your marketing plans? Or established all possible opportunities to achieve new business?
To make sure you’re not missing out on anything, we have put together the top 5 common gaps found in dental marketing and how to solve them:
1) Utilising Pay-Per-Click
PPC (pay-per-click) advertising can be a very powerful tool for dental practices, especially when you are looking to target local consumers. Years ago, although still used today, advertising in your local newspaper may have provided you sufficient business. However, with today’s easy access to the web via our mobile phones, we can find anything and everything. This makes local online ads a more resourceful tool to capture the attention of your target audience much faster.
You may have come across PPC during your marketing research before, however felt it was a costly proposition. If your budget is limited, it’s even more essential you invest your PPC focus on your dental practice location to achieve a good return on investment. Using Google AdWords, you can see the keywords your customers are likely searching for to define your most profitable keywords. Remember, the secret to success with PPC ads is to have them so well targeted that you avoid stray clicks that could be draining your budget.
The example above shows how a patient would search for ‘dentist in Peterborough’ – in which they would discover an ad from Total Dental Care at the top of the page. By utilising PPC effectively you can narrow your targeting to your specific location and attain high quality leads interested in your services.
2) Track Your Offline Conversions
It’s common for dental practices and other businesses to be tracking their online activity, many using tools such as Google Analytics to do so. You may be familiar with your online traffic and conversions, but what about your offline activity? Could most of your conversions be coming in via phone calls?
Many of your patients, who are looking for more information or prefer to speak to someone before making an appointment, may require an immediate response to their question or require an open-ended discussion with someone. There is a stronger opportunity here for you to engage with your customer over the telephone than through any other medium. In fact, people who initiate inbound calls are, on average, more likely to convert 30% faster. So without properly analysing your phone calls, you could be missing out on valuable information as to which landing pages, campaigns and ads are increasing the number of potential leads and driving conversions.
By implementing call tracking you are able to insert unique, dynamic numbers onto individual landing pages, as well as new campaigns and ads. This helps determine where the highest number of conversions are coming from and whether additional optimisation is required. You can also listen to your calls with call recording enabled to identify ways to improve your enquiry handling and customer service experience. If you’re unsure of where to begin, there are several dental marketing call trackingguides specifically for dental practices which can help your business.
3) Google My Business Listings
Keeping in mind that you’ll want to ensure you have the edge over your competitors, or at the very least compete on the same playing field, being able to rank for local searches is essential for driving conversions. If your prospective customers are not able to easily find your practice, you could be giving away your business to your competitors.
You can set up your free Google My Business listing by visiting http://google.com/business. You are then able to claim your business and display any useful information including the name of your dental practice, address, telephone number, opening hours and your website link – as you’ll see in the example below. This all makes it easier for new prospective consumers to find your business.
Through Google My Business you can also include customer reviews. This is very important for your patients, allowing them to easily view the positive reviews you have received and giving them confidence in your practice. It’s also easy to keep your business listing fresh with new photos, latest news and offers.
4) Ensure your site is Mobile-Friendly
With mobile phone users globally expected to rise to 5 billion by 2019, it is vital that dental practices are connecting with their consumers via this device. You’ll need to ensure your website is optimised for mobile. If your site is difficult to view or use on mobile, this will only frustrate your consumers who may give up and go elsewhere.
Google has provided a useful tool that allows you to identify whether your site is mobile-friendly for users. You can use the free mobile-friendly test, which can also make you aware of any issues affecting the sites performance.
You will see in the above example this website is considered mobile-friendly, however may have issues with ‘page loading’. The most common reasons causing this issue could be related to slow page load speed, large images, CCS or script files that are affecting the page to not fully load. If all of the pages resources cannot fully load, this can affect how Google sees and understands the page. Where Google cannot fully access or load a page, this can impact rankings, as well cause difficulty to the end user trying access this page. So, not only will you need to ensure your website is mobile-friendly but it is optimised for mobile use.
5) Produce engaging content on your site
Content Marketing Institute states how content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing methods and it generates three times as many leads. This could mean a huge number of leads for your dental practice. But how often do you update the content on your website?
One of the easiest ways to regularly produce fresh content is to maintain a helpful blog. By posting content every week with new information, you are creating a new, relevant page on your site which is telling search engines that your website is active and contains fresh content. A search engine is there to provide users with the most up-to-date, relevant, high quality content and the site to which holds the answers to the users search query. Therefore, search engines will favour these sites, however your content must be unique and highly relevant. Posting just any piece of information, or a news piece four times a day will not help your rankings.
123dentist.com have created a dedicated content page on their website. This includes articles, news pieces, community events as well as contests and promotions to engage with their audience. They provide useful information regarding dental hygiene but also choose topics that are currently relevant such as St. Patrick’s Day or International Women’s Day. As their blog section is updated regularly with high quality, unique content, Google are more likely to favour their website over their competitors.