Remember the days when you could place an ad in the yellow pages and sit back and wait for the phone to start ringing? That doesn’t happen today.
For most consumers the internet (particularly Google) has replaced the yellow pages when searching for local products & services. There are several reasons for this:
- Most people have instant access to the internet (PC, smart phones, iPad, etc)
- There are too many versions of the yellow pages, most are thrown out immediately
- Doing a Google search is much faster than looking for a phone book
A properly implemented online dental marketing campaign is the most effective way to reach potential new patients at the exact moment they are actively searching for the services you offer.
When you position yourself well on the major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing they can deliver highly targeted consumers directly to your website.
While most dentists understand the importance of having a presence on the internet, many still believe they simply need to have a website. With online marketing, the “build it and they will come” approach does not work.
You can have the most beautiful website in town, but if consumers can’t find it, it’s nothing more than an expensive brochure.
Most consumers (according to one popular study – 89%) never go past the first page of the search engine results. That means if you aren’t on the first page of Google, Yahoo, Bing – then to those consumers, you don’t exist.
Let’s look at some search numbers in the Dallas Fort Worth market:
According to Google, following are the average number of monthly searches conducted over a 12 month period for some select keyword phrases:
- Dentist Dallas: 14,800
- Dentist Flower Mound: 3,600
- Dentist McKinney: 4,400
- Dentist Rockwall: 1,300
- Dentist DFW: 8,100
Keep in mind, this is only the term “dentist” and doesn’t include all the possible variations such as “cosmetic dentist”, “dental office”, “dental implants”, etc.
Let’s assume you are a dentist in Flower Mound; How many postcards would you have to mail to put your marketing message in front of 3,600 people who are currently looking for a new dentist?
It is the dentists on the first page of Google who are getting those searchers as new patients.
Most consumers assume (often incorrectly) that the dentists on the first page of Google are the “best” dentists in town. We often hear from dentists that a competitor with inferior clinical skills to theirs has a much larger, more successful practice than them. Upon investigation we always find that dentist with the inferior clinical skills has superior marketing. The bottom line is – the best marketer always wins.
The foundation of a successful online marketing strategy is a properly optimized practice website that ranks high in search engines, presents a positive first impression and gives a compelling reason why visitors should select you as their new dentist.
Once your main website is ranking well and converting visitors into new patients, you can add additional strategies such as Google+ optimization, patient reviews/reputation management, online videos and social media.
In future posts we’ll take a deep dive into each of these strategies so you’ll have a better understanding of what it will take to become the dominant dentist in your market.