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Your dental practice needs a constant influx of new and returning patients. Good marketing is essential, but where do you start?

First, let’s think strategically. Too many dentists pour all sorts of money and time into one-off marketing tactics that don’t deliver ROI. To get the most return from your marketing dollars, it’s essential to implement proven dental marketing strategies.

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The 4 Ds of Effective Dental Marketing

  1. Distinguish yourself. Even general dentists can leverage the lucrative power of specialization by using their marketing to spotlight what sets them apart from their competition. Perhaps you specialize in a certain type of dentistry, or serve a certain demographic. Maybe you accept more types of insurance than any other dentist in your area. Perhaps you have the most comfortable waiting room, or the shortest wait times. Whatever your unique strength, reflect it in your branding and messaging. Your web design is the best place to start — a good dental marketing firm can help you create a site that will distinguish you from other dentists in your area.
  2. Dominate your local Google search. The first thing most people do when looking for a new service provider is search online. The higher on the page your practice pops up, the more likely you’ll be the one they call. That is why it is so essential to have a good SEO (search engine optimization) strategy in place for your dental office. SEO uses on-site and off-site content and keyword placement to boost your local search engine rankings. SEO is highly effective but does require time and expertise, so many dentists prefer to outsource this task to a competent dental marketing company.
  3. Drive local traffic with effective advertising. The key word here is “effective.”  It’s easy to spend big bucks on advertising that doesn’t deliver. To avoid this, be sure your ads are trackable. You can do this offline by including a unique special offer in the ad, or by sending people to a separate phone number. If you are implementing an Internet marketing ad campaign, such as a Google AdWords or Facebook Ads campaign, you can send them to a unique landing page to request information or book an appointment. Test your ads on a small scale first to be sure they’re working well before rolling them out to your entire audience. Effective advertising is an art, so if at first you don’t succeed, don’t despair. Better yet, consider hiring an experienced dental marketing agency to handle this aspect of your marketing.
  4. Don’t neglect your existing patients. As exciting as it is to land a new patient, don’t forget the old adage, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Staying top of mind with your patients will help ensure that your competitors don’t steal them. One of the best ways to do this is with email marketing. A regular informative email newsletter plus personalized reminders will both educate your patients and let them know you care.

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