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Expanding your dental practice can be a real struggle, especially for a start-up business. Around 75% of start-ups fail despite having venture funding, studies show. Luckily, a dental office can have immediate opportunities for success. 

By the end of 2021, the US dental market size is estimated to increase by 8.4%. But to tap into your full potential, you need to know how to attract more patients. Even though you might be happy with your regular clientele, it’s always a good idea to have every appointment booked for the day. But that can be harder than it sounds. 

There are many reasons you can’t boost dental patient growth. And unless you work your way through these problems, you can’t improve patient flow. Let’s discuss.

1. Poor online presence

One of the main reasons you can’t attract dental patients is because you’re not appearing in closer-to-the-top search results. You are either not investing enough time into your online presence, or your current efforts don’t create enough attention. 

75% of people don’t go to the second page of their search results. Therefore, sites and blogs with a strong keyword presence get the highest organic traffic. So, to get dental patients, the first thing to work on should be keyword efficiency

Come up with strong and reliable keywords — terms people actually search for and that are related to the dental services you provide. Start with a brainstorming session. What is it your clients want to know? Have they asked you something during an appointment? Perhaps they’re practical topics like dentures, implants, veneers, and toothaches.

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Use your experience and your audience’s interests to compile practical content. Incorporate topics in your website that patients will find useful. Once you find the topic to go for, pick a relevant list of keywords. (And make sure you’re not keyword stuffing!)

To improve your success rate, work with a reputable company, like Opencare, which has an excellent search engine presence and domain authority. They can help you get your dental business out there. So, every time a client searches online for a “dentist near me,” the first thing that will pop up is your business.

2. Lack of community involvement

There are more than 182,000 dental offices across the US. Even though the industry is fragmented, it may not be the case in your local area. If the neighborhood you work in has multiple dental establishments, you need to develop a unique selling point

The most efficient way to attract dental patients is to involve yourself with that community. Take part in local sponsoring events, charity, or host your own event. You can use this opportunity to spread awareness about dental hygiene and promote your business.

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Another option to engage with the community is to send out coupons and fliers outlining promotions. When patients get a better deal, they are more inclined to try your services and book a dentist appointment. As a result, being part of that community is a great way to surpass the competition. 

3. Patients don’t really understand their dental insurance benefits

Many dentists are wondering, “why can’t I attract dental patients.” Studies show 22.9% of adults don’t plan on going to the dentist or tend to avoid it — because of cost! While basic insurance plans cover 80% of dental care costs, many patients still think they can’t afford it.  

According to statistics, 77% of Americans have dental benefits but 40% don’t use it. A different study showed 9% of adults don’t understand health insurance terms. This is a huge number of people who have no clue what their dental insurance can cover.

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To change that, you can use press releases or blog posts to educate patients. You can offer them new patient specials, which provide a discount on some or all services. If you want to figure out how to get dental patients, you should provide them with helpful and practical .information. A convenient guide on insurance is an awesome way to start.  

4. You’re not using retargeting campaigns

About 97% of clients who visit a website for the first time don’t buy anything. Or, in your case, book an appointment. Unless you inspire them to come back, you can’t get any results. 

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Ad retargeting will help you change that and get dental patients. It reminds your visitors of the services you provide even after they leave your site. They’ll get useful content and ads. Many marketers use ad retargeting as a key component when building a new client base. 

It creates momentum, loyalty, and visibility. This is exactly what your dental office needs. Basically, retargeting can be a practical long-term tactic. It can generate a certain number of followers and boost monthly visitors.  

5. No website booking

Be sure you’ve updated your website to give your clients a practical way to make an appointment. This can help you get many prospective patients and keep your current ones, particularly if you work with clients who don’t feel comfortable making an appointment on the phone. 

6. Absence of Referrals

Business referrals are a practical tactic for stable dental patient growth. So, developing a relationship with other businesses in your local area can work to your advantage. Anyone who is related to your dental practice will do, particularly an orthodontist or oral surgeon.

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You can read more on how to make dental referrals work for your dental practice here.

Final thoughts

Attracting more patients doesn’t have to feel so onerous. It’s often simple common sense and using digital marketing means in ways that make sense for you. So think about it, begin to form a strategy and then try a few of these suggestions. You’ll soon start seeing an uptick in your patient flow