Digital marketing can help businesses grow their revenue and enhance their digital presence, and dental practices are no exception. To attract new patients, dentists should ideally implement effective dental marketing concepts. This article explains some SEO strategies for dental clinics.
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New patient acquisition is vital for dental practices. According to the Oral Health Group, every solo dentist requires at least 24-50 patients monthly to achieve consistent success and business goals. So, the question is how to attract new patients to your dental practice?
Having a good dental marketing strategy in place can help you enhance your visibility in the industry and bring in new patients. With some background and expertise on this topic as well as the right SEO tools, you can understand what is required to help drive greater traffic for your dental clinic. So, let’s begin with the basics.
What is dental marketing?
Dental marketing is defined as the marketing strategy or tactics that dental clinics or dentists can use to attract new patients and enhance brand visibility in the market.
To identify how to promote your dental practices, SWOT analysis could play a crucial role. In case you don’t know about the term ‘SWOT’, it is simply a way to discover your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Here, we explain what this could indicate for dentists in particular:
- Strength: what makes your clinic different from other dental clinics in your area? Make a list of every element you can utilize to stand out from the competition.
- Weakness: identify if there are any specific issues that your patients often address. Try to be honest when listing weaknesses to overcome them with best practices.
- Opportunities: where do you see opportunities for your dental practice’s growth? How can you gain more patients? What are the current trends in the dental industry that could benefit your practice? Jot down such aspects to know what you can benefit from.
- Threats: is there any issue your dental practice may have to prepare for and defend against? What are the obstacles that you’re facing or might face in the future? For instance, research published on ScienceDirect says that oral health care settings have a potentially high risk of causing COVID-19 cross-infection between dentists and patients due to the use of aerosol-generating procedures.
Once you have identified the above factors, you should ideally be in a good position to be able to decide what can be done to improve your dental practice and which dental marketing ideas can drive growth in your practice. If you want your dental practice to be found online by potential patients, you should ideally have an SEO dental marketing strategy in place.
We have also listed some commonly-used marketing terms with their definitions.
The importance of SEO for dentists
The market size of Canada’s dental industry in terms of revenue is $17.7 billion in 2022. Also, this industry is the third-ranked healthcare and social assistance industry in Canada by market size. Therefore, implementing SEO strategies could potentially drive good results. Let’s understand how.
Helps create visibility through organic search
SEO strategies can help enhance the online visibility and presence of any brand. An SEO-optimized website can give prospective patients the opportunity to find you on the Google search engine results pages (SERPs) when they are searching for dental clinics.
The click-through rate (CTR) research study by SEOClarity reveals that the top 10 search results on Google in Canada capture 34.17% of users. Therefore, people may be more likely to land on your dental website if it appears in the top 10 search results in your area.
Can aid in becoming a local authority
It may be a good practice to include different types of keywords that are targeted to your local area. Adding such keywords can make your website appear more visible as a local dental services provider. For example, if a prospect types “best dentist in Ottawa” or “dentists near me” and your website keeps coming up near the top of the search results pages, chances are that they might consider your dental practice as a viable option.
Could help drive new patients to your practice
Improving the visibility and authoritativeness of your dental practice on digital platforms can potentially help bring new patients to your dental services and increase revenue. Focus on the unique services and factors that can differentiate you from other dentists. Such unique services could include after-hours or emergency dentistry. Add these details in your dental marketing strategy and promotions communications, including on your website and social media channels.
Try to keep your clinic technology updated and make sure to let people know about your state-of-the-art equipment through your website or social media accounts. Before you start implementing SEO strategies for your dental practice, make sure you prepare a checklist that can help ease your job. We discuss some of these best practices in the next section.
A checklist: Effective dental website SEO practices
1. Optimize website content
When optimizing content, you should ideally have a balance of enough relevant keywords within your content while also addressing the right message to visitors. Ideally, the first step in creating SEO-optimized content is to research the right keywords. You can use SEO software to perform keyword research for your website.
Once you have a list of the relevant keywords you can utilize, the next step is to include them in headings, paragraphs, alt text for images, bulleted lists, and your website’s call-to-action sections.
2. Optimize meta descriptions and page titles
A meta description is an explanation of what a particular webpage is about, which is something that a potential patient will see on the search results pages. Title tags are the ones that appear in big blue font and signify the title of a webpage on the search results pages.
To optimize meta descriptions and page titles, you should add focused keywords and your clinic’s city and state name within the copy to make it more localized. Moz recommends that the best practice is to keep the page title under 60 characters and the meta description under 160 characters.
3. Generate high-quality backlinks and perform backlink analysis
Your website should have credible and authoritative backlinks to get better rankings on search engines. The ideal strategy to generate backlinks is to list your business on online directories, create social media accounts, and interact more often on niche platforms or Q&A websites where people are discussing dental issues.
Also, try to ensure that there are no bad backlinks linked to your website. Although it could be time-consuming, it’s worth spending some time removing bad links to reduce the chances of being penalized by search engines.
What are bad backlinks?
Bad backlinks are the links that come from a not-so-trusted or spammy website. Bad backlinks can potentially lower the ranking of a webpage in search engines. Using link management tools can help you identify good links that could direct genuine/organic traffic back to your dental website.
4. Have consistent name, address, and phone number (NAP) data
Search engines and searchers use NAP data to know what you do and who you are. Using a local listing scanner, you can check hidden duplicate listings that may display an old address, phone number, or name. A local listing scanner allows you to add more data within online directories, update inconsistent NAP information, and report duplicate listings.
5. Get listed on Google My Business
A well-optimized Google My Business page can make your dental practice appear higher on Google’s search results pages. Make sure you don’t miss any important information such as business hours, phone number, or your website’s URL when listing your business on Google My Business.
6. Try to gather more online reviews
Some potential patients may prefer looking through online reviews before choosing a healthcare provider. Leverage a strategy that helps you gather online reviews from your patients. Also, you should ideally respond to all positive and negative reviews in a calm and professional manner.
If you want to be easily found when any patient looks for a dentist online, you should ideally have a well-thought-out dental digital marketing plan. Make sure that your social media profiles and website clearly communicate your dental clinic’s brand message and remain consistent throughout every interaction. It may be a good practice to start with one or two strategies from the list. Once you get some traction to your dental website, you could try more strategies.