So many businesses like to treat digital marketing like some kind of mystical genie; it’ll give you everything you want and more if you ask the right questions. The truth is a little less magical but just as interesting: digital marketing is really just chemistry. It’s all about adding different elements to your strategy. When all of the elements interact and react, you have a formula designed to help your business grow.
As digital marketing experts, we’ve developed our own formula for an effective strategy, and we know what elements are most important. These are 5 things you need to market your dental practice successfully online.
Invest in a Good Website
Your website is like your business’ welcome mat and best salesperson. It’s important to make sure that it’s set up to capture a web user’s attention and give them a great experience.
You only have 3-8 seconds to spark a web user’s interest; if they haven’t found what they want by then, they’re going to move on to another site. Obviously, 3-8 seconds is a very short window, which means your website needs to make an excellent first impression. It’s absolutely key that your site loads quickly and looks professionally-designed.
We’ve written a whole blog post about the key ingredients of a successful website, which you can (and should) check out here.
2. Capture Users With Intent
You could advertise McDonald’s in a health food store, but it wouldn’t make much sense, would it? It’s not enough to grab any old web user’s attention; you have to attract the users that are looking for the services you offer. And there is no shortage of them, trust me.
There’s been a 12.5% increase year over year in searches for Dentists and Dental Services. If you can position yourself in front of these searchers (which you can) you’ll be in the perfect spot to grow.
Google Adwords lets you market your ads directly to the people who are searching for services just like yours. That basically means that you can guarantee searchers in your area will see your practice when they type in one of your relevant keywords.
If you don’t want to pay for Adwords, you can also lean into search engine optimization to improve your ranking. Having said that, Google’s algorithms change all the time, and SEO strategies follow suit. If you want to pursue SEO, we’d recommend having your website audited by a professional SEO consultant.
3. Position & Brand for Tomorrow
While grabbing attention from users with intent can generate leads for your practice today, branding and building relationships with your community will give your practice a positive position for the future.
Typically, branding campaigns focus on who you are as a practice and what you do rather than promoting any particular service or product. It’s sort of like introducing yourself to the area. Branding is super important; even if you’ve been around for years.
Digital branding via Google, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube allow you to use artificial intelligence to target potential patients online by analyzing the current users of your website that call and request appointments online. This method ensures that, by the time potential patients start looking for a dental practice, they already know that you’re around and ready to help.
4. Measure & Analyze Monthly
The best marketing strategies are highly scientific. But remember, science is only science if you measure the results and use the data to draw conclusions. If you’re not tracking the effectiveness of your strategies, you might as well just throw a bunch of chemicals in a pot and hope that what you’ve brewed won’t kill you.
Digital marketing is uniquely transparent; absolutely everything is quantifiable. The best way to build an effective marketing strategy is to monitor every metric you can and compare your results every month. Where did your leads come from? Which leads turned into conversions (the user doing what you wanted them to do, like request an appointment or call your practice.)
I recommend starting with Google Analytics. Google will actually work with you to help you understand Google Analytics for your business, which gives you the know-how to make solid, evidence-based decisions. Another great step would be dynamic call-tracking software like Call Rail. This kind of software will show you how callers are finding your number, including both online and offline advertising.
One of the coolest things about digital marketing is that you can react to trends unbelievably quickly. If something isn’t working, it’s relatively simple to change your plan of attack. Analyzing your results on a monthly basis means you can make sure you stay on track and even pivot your strategy to meet your goals.
5. Invest More Where You See Success
Now that you have clear evidence indicating which parts of your strategy are working the best, it’s time to invest more in those areas. That might seem obvious, and it’s easy enough to say, but not always easy to do.
Marketing tools like Google search ads allow you to quickly understand how much it costs to get a phone call through your advertising. If you’re getting enough calls through advertising to outweigh your cost-per-call, you now have the power of predictive analytics to incrementally increase your cost.
Find Your Formula
Remember, digital marketing isn’t magic; it’s science. There is no closely-guarded secret to success. It’s just a matter of making sure you have all the necessary elements and finding the balance that brings the best results.
You’ll need to devote a fair amount of attention to tracking metrics and calculating which areas are producing the best return on investment. If you don’t have the time to find the ideal formula for your practice, you don’t need to give up on digital marketing. You just need to find the right experts to help you out. SmileShop Marketing would love to talk to you about your clinic’s digital marketing needs.