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No matter how tight of a ship you run at your dental office, attracting new patients will always be something on your radar. Whether you’re a veteran office or a brand new practice, it’s key to keep a consistent patient flow and build your patient base to grow your business. Let’s discuss how you can attract new patients to your practice.

As of 2016, 62% of Americans in an Adult’s Oral Health and Well-Being survey reported visiting their dentist at least once annually. That number went down to 58% in 2017. Relatedly, a whopping 85% of Americans recognize and believe that oral health is important. 

So, why aren’t they getting the care they want and need? 

Grow your dental practice

Opencare is the only risk-free patient acquisition solution for dentists.

Most people say it’s one (or more) of the following reasons: 

  • The costs that are likely to get incurred. 
  • Difficulty in finding a convenient place and appointment time. 
  • A fear of dentists. 

Perhaps, as a dentist, you should focus on the 85% who recognize the need for better oral care and give them reasons to come in for a dental appointment rather than excuses to avoid them. After all, the numbers don’t lie. So capitalize on the positives and create a thriving dental practice. 

It’s estimated the global dental market will be $37 billion this calendar year. 

Here’s how to do grow your patient base: 

  • Start with a solid plan 

What exactly is your marketing strategy? Flyers, billboards, and mailers? Maybe you should just take a breather and come up with a targeted plan. Do you know what’s a key indicator of marketing success these days? Digital marketing and advertising. See our guide here to help start your strategic marketing plan.

  • Build a website 

A good website that converts leads to client, provides practice information, helps patients understand services, and can really drive bookings in your calendar. People looking and surfing quickly through your site before leaving doesn’t bode well for business. Get their attention and keep it. 

A few tips to achieve this:

  • Use a meta description to get their attention on the Google search results page. This is known as Search Engine Optimization.
  • Optimize your home page and other main pages with commonly searched terms and phrases. 
  • Ensure the website is mobile-friendly with an easy-to-use, intuitive interface. 

  • Maximize SEO 

How do you intend to increase patient volume in a dental office if people can’t find you? The odds increase significantly with a few simple strategies. SEO is an excellent tool to increase your visibility on the search engine results page, but only when you do it right. 

Unfortunately, Google SEO seems like a bit of a slippery slope to navigate for most people. Lucky for you, we’ve got the lowdown on how to use it best.  We break it down below, but see our full comprehensive guide to SEO for dentists here

Here’s what you need to know for SEO: 

  • Avoid keyword stuffing. There’s a limit to how many times a potential client can read the word “dentist” on your post before they are sick of it. 
  • Avoid unnatural links or over-optimized anchors.
  • Use more long-tail keywords.
  • Structure your content properly. 
  • Create a blog with quality articles (search engine optimized articles) that are engaging and educating. 
  • Local SEO goes a long way in helping to reach people in your area.

 

  • Social media marketing 

You didn’t think social media marketing was just for businesses with products that influencers can sell, did you? Previously, dentists would rely on reputation, credentials, and references to build up their clientele. Times have changed. 

Social media is invaluable for more than just marketing. Remember the stereotypes people have about dentists being scary? Social media is your best bet to change their minds and let them see just how wrong these impressions are. 

Also, social media can help a dentist to attract new clients, foster better relationships, and showcase their talents. It provides a great space to build up a brand.

See our full guide for social media marketing for dentists here.

Pro tips:

  • Start a YouTube channel where you go beyond typical dental stuff. An office tour, a day in the life of a dentist at work, dental tips, and more are sure to keep people tuned in and likely to reach out. 
  • Use a social media content calendar to organize your posting schedule and content.
  • Consider outsourcing your social media marketing to a social media marketer/agency. 

  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

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Another popular digital marketing tool, PPC is an online advertising strategy where you pay each time a person clicks on an ad. 

Activating PPC on your dental website means you get to pay for an ad listing in the search results of certain words. 

A great platform for this is Google AdWords. With this, the search network is available to you. This lets you run ads that are seen on other websites, potentially helping you bring in new patients regularly. 

Start here:

  • Ensure your ads are high quality. 
  • Scope out the competition and use the information to improve your business, perhaps by adding more features and incentives. 
  • Set a maximum cost-per-click (CPC) and a maximum daily budget to maximize this strategy. 

Remember, PPC is not SEO. Unlike SEO that drives organic traffic, PPC is paid advertising for your dental website. Note the distinction. 

  • Reviews 

Your credentials as a dentist are great for making people feel comfortable around you. But there’s only so much these can do in the grand scheme of things. Do you know what makes people feel confident and sure of a product/service? Other people! 

Your dental service is a product. For most people, a positive experience from a trusted person or even a random person on the internet can be the difference between them accepting you as their dentist or going somewhere else.

Most reviews are collated by an independent platform to make it more genuine, but you can also provide a comment section for people to leave their reviews. Whatever you do, avoid using fake reviews. This could cost you your professional integrity.

See our full guide to nailing down your dental patient reviews here.

  • Testimonials 

Unlike reviews which are gathered by third-party sites, testimonials are often requested by the business owner. These recommendations are also often written by happy customers detailing their experience before and after receiving your service. 

Testimonials serve to affirm the value of your work. To ask for this, you have several options including asking via email, postal mail, or even as a survey. And, we realize that it might feel a bit weird to ask a patient for a testimonial, but you should give it a try. 

Here’s how you can gather testimonials: 

  • Be nice and straightforward with the request. You might even offer incentives like discounts in exchange for completing a testimonial.
  • Make it easy to complete the feedback with an e-mail campaign or an incentive to  leave a review on Google.
  • Tell them their input is needed and will be highly appreciated. 

If your work is good, it should speak for itself. 

Pro tip: for both reviews and testimonials, you don’t have to deal with getting or arranging them. You can employ the use of software that gathers customer or a platform that gathers customer reviews or testimonials. These neutral sites do this professionally and post on your page. 

See our full guide to nailing down your dental patient reviews here.

  • SMS marketing 

Text messages are one of the cheapest digital marketing tools today, one you should definitely consider adding to your dental practice digital marketing toolkit. Engaging with patients is key in running a successful practice. 

Here’s how you might engage with patients and get them to come back through SMS:

Send reminders. Remind them of their dental appointment as a form of ‘Patient Reminders.’ You can link your reminder to a text and send it as an SMS to a patient. Remember, with an SMS strategy, you can be certain your text is received, unlike emails that sometimes get lost in a spam folder.

 Pro tip: make it a two-way channel so they can respond with questions or inquiries.

  • Use direct mail marketing 

Direct mail marketing…good old postcards sent out in the mail. Because, contrary to popular opinion, direct mail marketing is still very much alive. It even has a 29% median ROI in marketing strategies, coming in a close third after email and social media marketing. 

Here are two great tips to get you started:

  • Ensure your postcard design is informative but simple. 
  • Use a targeted marketing strategy to ensure you send it to the right people – potential clients who live close to your location. People want to find a dentist with a clinic close and easily accessible. Give them that. 

 

  • Get some professional help 

From diagnosing and treating oral infections to taking care of cavities and lots more, dentists are excellent at all things oral health. 

However, advertising, marketing, and bringing in clients? Perhaps not so much

Grow your dental practice

Opencare is the only risk-free patient acquisition solution for dentists.

Help is available in the form of Opencare, the platform dedicated to changing the way patients and their healthcare providers interact. We help potential patients get in touch with the right healthcare provider, their forever dentist.

From growing your patient base to managing dentist’s appointments with them, we are here to handle these

Dental practice management tips to help you grow your dental practice

  • Automate the process

It’s often a challenge to keep track of all that happens in your clinic. Automate basic marketing tasks so you have one less thing to worry about. This will also provide you and your staff with ample time for primary duties. 

  • Use customer relationship management (CRM) software 

Customer Relationship Management software is invaluable in growing your business. You can use it to manage all interactions with your patients. With this tool, you can integrate all patient data in one location making it easily accessible to you at all times. 

  • Show some credibility 

Beyond the white coats and confident smile, people want to feel they’re in competent hands. Exude confidence. 

A few tips to achieve this:

  • Your website should be built by a professional web designer and developer.
  • All the necessary information about you should be readily available.
  • Show off! An award here, a professional affiliation there, and of course, a photo with that very white coat and you’re on your way to a waiting room full of patients. 
  • Partner with a trusted platform like Opencare. We only work with top-rated dentists in each location and we vet dentists on the platform to ensure that patients are getting the top care they need.

Grow your dental practice

Opencare is the only risk-free patient acquisition solution for dentists.

  • Track your performance 

You can do this with one of the many performance tracking tools out there. You might not see the need for this until you do it. You’ll be shocked to find out which strategies are bringing in most patients.

Go ahead and figure out a way to make improvements as needed. 

Ultimately, the dental industry has a ton of great potential. As a dentist, you are definitely in the right profession. But there’s only so much you can do without patients. 

Talk about power-packed, top-notch marketing for your business! Good luck. And cheers to lots of happy patients.

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