How do I get more patients?

You have a practice that excels at dentistry, but, unfortunately, that’s just not enough to prevent you from struggling in a competitive industry. Getting new patients into your office requires marketing.

There are many marketing options available for attracting new patients. Outdoor signage, local magazine and newspaper ads can help make people aware of your practice. Community involvement is a great way to generate name recognition and build connections that can foster growth. You can talk with your existing patients about referrals of friends and family. And, of course, in an increasingly online world, good reviews and a strong presence on the web is really important.

While any one of these can help, the most effective marketing strategies involve combining many of these methods into a congruent and cohesive marketing plan that provides synergy for growth.

What makes your approach to dental marketing different?

Many other agencies use the same single plan for all of their clients. At Creativedge Marketing, we take the time to get to know you and your practice. We then design a custom digital marketing strategy that is the best fit for your unique situation. We also analyze results and show you what kind of return you’re getting from your marketing investment.

What’s the best way to market my dental practice? What strategies should I use?

There are so many different ways to promote your practice that it can seem frustrating and overwhelming. Currently, the most crucial part of promoting your practice is to start with developing your story. A well-crafted story is what will get prospective patients to connect with you.

Once your story is created, the next focus should be on creating a strong online presence. This includes paid traffic, being easy to find in search, having a 5-star reputation, maintaining a blog, having a custom, professional website, and an active social media presence that generates engagement.

You may also find that you need to work in some traditional methods such as print ads or direct mail, as well as internal marketing to get more referrals and retain patients.

What should I include on my website?

Your website should first and foremost have your well-crafted story. It should be simple and easy to understand and follow. What information should a prospective patient want to know about you and your practice? Who are you? What do you do? Where are you located? How can they contact you?

Avoid using a cookie-cutter template. Your site needs to personable and convey who you are in a way that resonates with the visitor.

Websites aren’t just for patients, however. They are also used as important sources of information for search engines which are trying to connect patients to the most appropriate practice for them. You need to make sure your website contains information in a way that Google can read and understand.

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What is SEO? What does it do for me?

When a person is searching for a dentist online, they’ll use a variety of terms, such as “find dentist near me,” “best family dentist,” or “same-day crowns in Cleveland.” SEO (Search Engine Optimization) assists search engines in connecting the keywords used in these phrases to the services you provide. Optimizing your website for search makes your practice become the most relevant answer for the potential patient’s search.

How can I show up higher in Google searches?

Everyone wants their practice to be the top result in Google search, both in the Maps listings and the organic results that appear below them. With so much competition, what can be done to give your practice every possible advantage?

There’s no simple answer here. It’s complicated. REALLY complicated. Consider showing up high in search to be the equivalent of Google giving you an enthusiastic endorsement. Some basic guidelines for encouraging this endorsement include:

  1. Location – There might not be much you can do about it, but Google prioritizes physical distance from the person doing the search.
  2. Have a good, optimized website that works well on mobile devices; people use their smartphones for everything now.
  3. Make sure your practice’s name, address, phone number, and website are all listed consistently and correctly across major directories on the web (these include Google, Yelp, Bing, Acxiom, Infogroup, Neustar, Factual, and many, many others).
  4. Build online authority – Links to your website from reputable pages makes your website more trustworthy. This is especially true for sites in your area, like your local chamber of commerce.
  5. Have an active social media presence. This ties into #4 above. People commenting on, liking, and sharing posts from your social media sites adds to your authority.
  6. Have a good reputation – Your practice can be rated and reviewed in many places across the Internet. Make sure there’s a lot of good things being said about you and your team.

Do reviews matter? How many do I need?

Unless they’re specifically being asked to provide feedback, most people will only leave a review when they’ve been disappointed or upset. What this means is that, if you haven’t been cultivating your online reputation, one disgruntled person can transform you into a 2- or 3-star dentist overnight.

Reviews matter. Potential patients need plenty of reassurance before they put their trust in you, and (believe it or not) search engines like Google care, not only about your rating but what patients are saying about you. You need a steady flow of new, positive reviews to let everyone know that you are continually providing the highest quality service to your patients. The more positive reviews you have online, the easier it is for potential patients to trust you and your practice.

How is your review system different from others? What do you do differently to get reviews?

It’s easy. You get reviews instantly on Google, Facebook, and Healthgrades via our proprietary technology with minimal staff involvement.

We ask at the right time (shortly after their appointment). This way you will get detailed reviews that evoke emotion.

It works to get your reviews shared on other online review sites so they are displayed in multiple places.

We market your reviews on your social channels to publicly expand their reach.

We send reminder emails and thank your patient once they have left a review.

We assist with responding to both positive and negative patient reviews.

We monitor results and send you feedback and weekly stats on the reviews that have come in.

What is paid traffic? What can it do for me?

When a potential patient searches for a new dentist online, before they even see the results for their search query, they’ll be presented with sponsored links. These pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements are intelligently displayed to the user based on their search terms and physical location. If, for example, you want to show up at the top of the page when someone searches for Invisalign treatment in your city, paid traffic can do this for you. It’s a great way to compliment an already strong web presence for your practice.

Facebook is another great place to run paid traffic campaigns, as well as boosting some of your responsive posts out to your target market.

I’ve never done marketing before. How much should I be spending?

For practices that have experience with marketing, our general recommendation is to invest 4–7% of their net income in your marketing efforts. However, if you’re just starting out, it’s likely a good idea to start a bit lower. Once you start getting results, you can ramp up from there.

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