3 (un) popular opinions by dental practices on digital marketing

Dentist Marketing

As part of the ‘Fast Forecasts’ list of 2023 by Quantumrun, a consulting and research firm that uses long-range strategic foresight to help corporations thrive, 80% of people on earth will have a digital presence by 2023 and 90% of the global population will have a supercomputer in their pocket.

It’s 2022 and we’re two months  away from 2023. The year of technology. The year of transformation. The upward digital marketing trend for business in the post-pandemic era has evolved into a necessity as we come close to the end of 2022.

Dental Practices Go Digital As Intelligent Patient Search Increases

  • 77% of prospective patients do their research online with search engines
  • 52% of prospective patients are researching their health care options through general information health sites.

This means your patients and prospective patients are using search engines like Google to directly influence their purchasing decisions. 

Like every other industry, a digital presence has become of prime importance for dental practices. But is it sufficient to just be ‘present’ online? When the days of personal word of mouth as the only way your dental practice got some credit are gone, and online reviews are trusted as much as a personal recommendation?

That’s right. It’s no longer enough to just be there with whatever.

According to Think with Google, consumers have become more intentional with search and they’re planning ahead for purchase decisions. In fact, 43% of consumers like to keep an eye out for new brands, even if they’re not planning to buy immediately. Your online presence informs, educates, differentiates, and builds patient relationships – one way or another.

Given that dental offices must overcome consumers’ preconceived feelings of fear or cost-whether true or not – having a stellar online presence is an absolute necessity to continue fueling practice growth.

If you have an inkling that your website, social sites, and overall online presence needs a fresh boost, please reach out to my team to schedule a free consultation now.

Did You Know? 

42% of people won’t go to a dentist with less than a three-star rating and 70% of patients say online reviews are as important as a dentist’s credentials! From an assessment of Google Reviews to checking your practice’s Facebook page and social footprint, potential customers are using intelligent search online to find the service best suited to their needs.

We asked our experts to address some popular opinions of dental practices with an online presence.

Popular Opinion 1:

“Digital marketing is a slow, long-term process. It doesn’t bring instant business.”

Imagine having the superpower to get your practice on the first page of Google SERP (search engine results page) in one day. Google Ads  campaigns allow exactly this!

Alternatively, when your practice is in a highly competitive location and you want your services to be the most searched, most clicked, and most booked - that’s what a mid-to-long term SEO strategy can contribute to. 

The Power of Digital Marketing for Dentists

Digital marketing helps target specific buyer personas and allows your practice to Stand Out amongst users with direct purchase intent. This is especially important when over 25% of organic search clicks go to the first link on the first page in search engine queries. Patient NEWS® has helped dozens of dental practices increase patient growth through the execution of various digital marketing activities.

Digital marketing has evolved from simply ensuring a digital presence to a strategic process of establishing a positive consumer buying journey. At Patient NEWS, we talk a lot about the dental patient journey because of its importance in mapping out a marketing strategy to reach the right person at the right time.

Dr. Douglas Pennino from Pennino Family Dentistry comments:

“Since I started working with Patient NEWS in 2015, practice revenue has increased by 30%, our new patients per month have increased, and our patients-of-record have increased by [thousands]. Our hygiene team is thrilled to have a fuller schedule, we have increased website views, and our new patients are referring friends and family.” 

Popular Opinion 2: 

“I already have a website for digital presence; I don’t need pay-per-click (PPC) ads.” 

Newsflash! Studies show PPC visitors are 50% more likely to take an action, such as visit your website, call your practice, or book an appointment directly from Google compared to organic visitors.

Paid Media for Dental Practices

There are many ins and outs of paid media and its various components. Pay-per-click ads (Google Ads) allow you to target specific audiences looking for the exact service your practice offers.

Google PPC Ads are not just about pumping money into your marketing strategy, it’s about connecting the right people with the right results. While organic search results may or may not match the exact requirements of the user, PPC ads allow your practice to show up for an exact search query that matches your service.

Running a successful campaign on Google considers a range of metrics from click-through rate (CTR) to cost-per-click (CPC) to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment. While CTR is a percentage of impressions that resulted in a click (views vs. engagements), CPC is derived from your total cost of advertising divided by the number of clicks/actions taken, giving you an accurate representation of your spend. And that’s why you don’t pay until someone clicks through to your website, ensuring that you only ‘pay-per-click’!

When discussing PPC, it is also important to mention how trends in specific industries can affect visibility and reach by using Google Ads' auction-based advertising model, which focuses on keywords. For example, some of the most competitive words in the dental industry are: dental clinic, dental crowns, root canals, cracked tooth, tooth repair, dentist near me. Tracking these trends to research high-volume keywords is crucial for your SEO strategy.

Popular Opinion 3: 

“My website looks beautiful; I don’t need to think of improvements there.”

Ever crawled a website without really knowing where to go to find what you’re looking for?

Your practice may have one of the most attractive websites ever seen, but is that what’s going to bring your practice more new patients? Poor navigation is the most common reason for low conversion and bounce rate. If the phone number or contact information isn’t easy to find or your beautiful images take too long to load on mobile devices, this will lead to poor conversion. A needle in the haystack website is something you want to avoid when your business relies on it!

Website Conversion Optimization for Dentists

Website conversion for dental practices refers to the collection of contact leads, calls, appointment booking form completions, consultations, and any other actions you want visitors to take online. Increasing these opportunities for visitors to complete such tasks is known as ‘website conversion optimization.'

This is where web design and user experiences play a vital role!

Here are some of the numbers:

  • 38% of website visitors will likely disengage with a website if it has unattractive content or layout
  • 48% of visitors consider a website’s design the number one factor in determining a business’s credibility
  • Over 50% of web browsing happens on mobile devices vs desktops
  • Most visitors leave a website after eight seconds, so designers must prioritize user interfaces and content to meet users’ needs.

When users come across your site, they want to find what they’re looking for – and quickly.

Conversion-focused web design includes various aspects such as the color palettes used, positioning of CTAs, and ease of navigation.

With an abundance of consumers relying on internet searches, website design plays a vital role in the satisfaction of current and potential consumers. For example, a call to action such as “Book Appointment” or “Call Now” should be positioned at the top of your website’s first fold and look like a button for higher conversions.

Alternatively, if your practice website is difficult to grasp and simple actions such as “Book an Appointment,” “Practice Locations,” and “Dental Services” are complicated to find, a consumer may feel dissatisfied and lost, leading to rejection.

Don’t let website “staleness”  or lack of current tactics and strategies that are easily available to you inhibit your new-patient success. New patients are the lifeblood that fuels growth and profitability, and your brand reputation online and offline will impact that success.

Digital marketing is constantly evolving, meaning strategies and approaches should, too. From web development focused on positive user experiences to effective online marketing strategies, give your practice the boost it needs to be discovered online.

Get in touch with an expert at Patient NEWS for more tips on web marketing for dental practices to optimize your conversions. We are here to help you take your online presence to the next level as we head into 2023 so schedule a FREE CONSULTATION and my team will show you the opportunities your practice has to make headway in your specific digital landscape.