Local Marketing for Dentists: Start Online
In order to attract new patients to your dental practice, you have to take advantage of local marketing strategies. You already know where your target audience is located. Now, how to do you find them--or better yet, bring them to you?
Local marketing for dentists, like many other companies and practices, starts online.
Whenever someone new to the area does a search to find a new dentist, you want your practice to show up as close to the top of the list as possible. Make sure that you're filling out your profile information on Google Local, Bing Places, and Yahoo Local, and use those sites to direct new patients to your website. Make sure that your information stays current with all of these sites. If you change locations or your phone number or email address changes, update it with them as soon as possible so that there aren't any gaps between a patient trying to contact you and a patient being able to find you.
Next, be sure you're taking full advantage of your web page. In many cases, your webpage is the first thing a potential client sees when they start looking for a new dentist. That means that you don't want a stale, static page that hasn't changed since the day you set it up.
Also make sure that it is always current and accurate, and that it has the answers to as many of your frequently asked questions as possible. For example: Are dental x-rays safe? I have a child who is afraid of going to the dentist; is your practice a good place for me? Are you currently accepting new patients? Do you, or does someone at your office, specialize in pediatric patients? Answering those questions on your website helps weed out potential clients who won't be happy with your practice and cuts down on phone calls to ask those questions.
Consider using your website as a platform to start and maintain a blog. Whether you post one to two times a week or one to two times a month, an active blog can help keep your patients (both old and new) informed about what is going on in your practice and what is going on in the dental industry. Dental practices are always changing and updating. Are you on the cutting edge of that technology, or do you stick with the tried and true methods that you already know best? Maintaining a blog will not only help give your patients the information they want, it will also offer the opportunity to teach new patients a little bit about your philosophy, your practice, and your personal stance on dental care.
Some patients prefer a dentist who is up to date on all the new technology, changing methods as quickly as new information comes out. Others prefer a doctor who has been practicing dentistry for years, using the same methods with a proven success rate. Which one are you? Which types of patients are you trying to attract to your practice? Your website can help attract the type of patient that works best for you.
Encourage your loyal patients to leave reviews for your practice, both on your website (where applicable) and on the local search engine profiles. While a word-of-mouth recommendation is still the most hoped-for method of finding a new dentist, many people trust online reviews almost as much as a more personal recommendation. That doesn't mean that you should generate your own reviews. Instead, have trusted patients leave their own reviews of your practice. Bad reviews might happen, but as long as the good outweigh them, it will be a positive thing for your practice.