Women are making their mark in every traditionally male-dominated industry, from finance to space travel, and definitely in dentistry. Where just a decade ago about 24% of all dentists were women, now that figure is closer to 35%, and women graduating from dental school nearly equal the number of men.
All dental practices are pretty much the same, right? They all offer the same basic services and have similar equipment, and for the most part their patients want the same things. Of course not! Yes, there are some patients who typically only need routine services and for them, perhaps one dental practice is as good as the next. But there are so many more patients out there looking for something more special from their dentist.
Why does a patient choose one dental practice over another? Does it have to do with location, insurance or state-of-the-art equipment? Perhaps that’s how the search starts. However, once a prospective patient has narrowed down his or her choices and fills out online appointment requests, more often than not their choice will depend on which practice responds the fastest.
A popular marketing adage states: “When times are good, you should advertise. When times are bad, you must advertise.” This is a fitting attitude given the COVID-19 pandemic, but of course you would expect a marketing agency to say that.
This article originally appeared in the July/2020 issue of the Academy of General Dentistry’s AGD Impact magazine.
If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that marketing your dental practice online is more important than ever, but that the message may have changed. The crisis has trained people to reach for their computers for information, products and services instead of heading out to Main Street. It has also reframed how we interact with the world and each other; what is safe and what is not is still a question in many people’s minds.
Were you one of the practices that continued to engage with patients while your practice was shut down? If you weren’t, you have some catching up to do.
Search engine optimization (SEO) — making your website appear as a top search result — is a must for practices that want to be found online when patients are searching for your services. However, many factors affect how your site ranks within these results, including the rest of your marketing strategy. While SEO is an important part of your marketing, it shouldn’t be your only focus. SEO, like most digital marketing tactics, is always changing. One day your site can be ranked highly on Google, and the next it can drop in rank because of a change to Google’s algorithm.
What do new patients look for when choosing a dentist? People purchase products and services based more on the results, or benefits, they will receive rather than their features. The same goes for your patients. Businesses across the board like to describe their product’s bells and whistles or the many, many details of what’s included with their service. New patients, however, will resonate more with your marketing and brand when you describe how the results of a treatment will make them feel, because that is what they are really interested in. When you focus on features, well, you may blend in with every other dentist who delivers the same services. Here are a few examples to show you what we mean.
Among the many questions we are being asked from our dentists, the most common one is, “What can I be doing now?” In some cases, dentists think they should just pare back or stop marketing; stop posting on Facebook, pause emails, stop their Google and Facebook ads and discontinue adding content to their website. We…
While I am well aware of the seriousness of the current situation, I felt it necessary to share positive things I have encountered during this challenging time, in hopes that you may get inspired. It’s time to turn off the news, take a break from the headlines and tune into what’s going on behind the…