Build Trust With Your Community At This Critical Time

An interview with Grant Gooley, Director of Digital Operations


Like most practice owners, you’re likely wondering what you should focus on while your office is in shutdown mode. Should you zero in on specific aspects of dental marketing? What do you need to do in the coming weeks and months to help your business springboard back into action?

Grant Gooley, Director of Digital Operations at Patient News, recently shared some valuable insights with Dr. Shahin Safarian of 7 Figure Dental. Watch the full interview on our COVID-19 Resource Page. A few key highlights are below.

Question: What does a dental practice need to pay attention to today and what should they be doing?

Grant Gooley: “From a marketing standpoint, emergency dental care is what’s happening. Practices are in this shutdown mode. It’s an uncertain, unpredictable time in dentistry. We want to be thinking about how to be proactive. You can pull together a strategy. Look at where you want to be and then work backward from that.

“At this time, your website is the portal for patient communication. Add a pop-up explaining where you’re at or include a banner across the homepage saying you are taking virtual appointments [if applicable].”

Dr. Safarian echoed those sentiments, adding it’s important to communicate with patients year-round.

Key takeaway: Keep your dental website up and running. Communicating with your community and keeping them informed is paramount.

Question: What do you think about the practice being completely closed?

Grant Gooley: “The mindset is we should close during this time to help with the spread of the virus and save on resources. From a marketing standpoint, being open [for emergencies] and having an open mind to help the community ... with emergencies to take the load off hospitals ... is key. It’s also a way to stay top-of-mind with patients in your area.”

Dr. Safarian added that dental teams can work remotely and stay in touch online.

Question: What are your thoughts on the quickest and best way to get butts in the chair?

Grant Gooley: “We need to put more time into marketing and ensure we’re standing out amongst our competitors. SEO is important. It needs to be ongoing. Talk to your provider and see if they can help you out with pricing at this time. The last thing you want to do is turn that off because you’re going to lose your links, content, and speed optimization.

When things return to normal, make sure to reinstate paid media ads that aren’t emergency specific.

Build trust and awareness with your patients at this time. The tone of what you’re saying is very important.”

Question: What reports should a dentist pay attention to when it comes to marketing?

Grant Gooley: “When it comes time [to reinstate paid media], you need to understand call conversion metrics. Is your frontline team converting those calls to appointments? It’s a simple metric, but it’s a very important one.

Go into your practice intelligence software and listen to those calls. Look at how your website is performing, your Google My Business page, and the number of reviews you have.

Consumer behavior in your local community has tremendous value on how you market and how you target your audience in that community. Understand what your brand voice should be based on the data you’re getting.

If you don’t have that information, you can’t make those decisions.”

Dr. Safarian and Grant also discussed artificial intelligence, using direct mail consistently to break through the “noise,” and the importance of sticking to a marketing plan and understanding the full patient journey.

SAVE THE DATE: Grant will be a featured speaker at 7 Figure Dental’s Growth Summit on Oct. 23-24, 2020, in San Diego. Registration information is available at