The success of every dental practice rests on its patient base. You need patients coming in the door to sell your services because, without new dental patients, you do not have any teeth to care for!
Dentists need to attract prospective patients to increase their client numbers and production to earn more money. But how do you get more patients to visit your dental office, month after month, year after year?
This blog post will explain how you can attract new patients to your dental practice. We will present several methods that you can use including online and traditional marketing strategies to increase your patient numbers.
1. Be At The Top Of Local Searches
When you Google “dentist” or “dental practice” with your city’s name at the end, where does your dental website appear in the results? Is it at the top of the results or on the third page?
Search engines are significant for attracting new patients to your dental practice. The first thing many people searching for new dental practices do is take out their phones or log onto their computers to complete an online search. The first listings they see (which happens to be the listings at the top of the local results) are more likely to be the dental team they choose.
So, how do you get your website to the top of the results?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an online marketing strategy used to increase website rankings in mobile searches. It involves content marketing, link building, and web optimization.
While dental professionals can try their hand at SEO, it takes years to learn and perfect. We recommend hiring an SEO professional to help your dental practice website rise to the top of the Google search results.
2. Start A Referral Program
Referral programs are prevalent for streaming and gym membership plan subscriptions. The idea is that a person using (and satisfied with) a service recommends it to their friends or family members. They then receive a discount for each new person that signs up for an annual membership based on their referral.
While it may seem impossible to implement this strategy for your dental practice, think again. One of the most popular methods to receive patients is word of mouth. Now, you can encourage patient referrals by offering a discount or free cleaning for current patients that help bring a new patient in your door.
3. List Your Business In Directory Listings of Dental Offices
A business directory shows local listings of businesses, including their hours, location, contact information, reviews, etc. It is a vital source of information for people looking for local businesses to meet their needs.
List your dental practice on one or more online business directories. It will increase the likelihood that people looking for a new dentist online will find your practice. Most cities have their own directories. Reach out to your municipal office to learn how to list your business in their directory.
4. A Dental Marketing Strategy
Marketing is a must-have for every dental practice because it increases awareness of local audiences and attracts new patients. But, to be effective, marketing should incorporate both traditional and digital marketing strategies.
Tried and true traditional marketing strategies are billboards, radio commercials, and print marketing materials like appointment reminder postcards. These materials encourage patients to visit the dentist, but their effectiveness can rarely be measured, and patients only see them by chance.
Dental marketing campaigns are more direct, measurable and cost-effective ways to get the word out about your business. We recommend incorporating social media marketing and Google ads into your dental marketing plan.
5. Encourage Online Reviews From Existing Patients
Positive reviews from current and former patients have more influence than you may believe.
People interested in your dental services will often look at your practice’s online reputation to get a feel for the service. A large part of gauging a business’s reputation is reading patient reviews to learn about the experience, affordability, and quality of service.
Negative reviews can discourage potential patients from using the services of your dental clinic. In contrast, positive reviews will build a trustworthy, positive reputation for you and your dental team.
Every dental professional should take advantage of online review systems. A great way to do this is to ask a satisfied patient to leave a review on your Google listing.
6. Be Active In Your Local Community
Your target audience is people in your community, so why not go to them directly?
There are several ways dentists can get involved in their communities. Here are some dental marketing ideas:
- Sponsor a local sporting team
- Host local events to promote oral health and answer patient questions
- Volunteer to provide free dental care to the homeless or low-income families
- Hold a silent auction for a local charity
- Attend local town or city council meetings
Presence in the community is especially helpful for those starting a new practice. It gets the word out to community members, sets you apart from other dentists, and forms a reputation for your practice before it opens.