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How To Grow Your Practice Using The Internet

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Getting new patients from the Internet starts with a beautiful dental website design and engaging content that persuades website visitors to choose you!

Then, to maximize new patient results, you need a traffic strategy that drives qualified visitors to your website.

Depending on your new patient goals, your traffic strategy should include these online channels:

  • Search Engines (SEO)
  • Paid Traffic (PPC)
  • Blogging
  • Social Media
  • Directories & Review Sites

Here's a brief overview of each channel and how they integrate to maximize new patient results for your practice.

{1} Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The art and science of optimizing your dental practice website for the search engines is referred to as "SEO."

ConductorDone correctly, your site will rank high in Google search results for the search terms (keywords) people use when searching for a dentist in your area.

Expert SEO will produce a steady flow of new patients to your practice. Not just for general dentistry patients but also for your specialist services inc. implants, crowns, veneers, orthodontics and more. However, SEO has it's limitations!

For example, perhaps your practice is near the border of two suburbs. Your address is Suburb A but you also want new patients from Suburb B.

In this scenario, given the most recent Google algorithm updates, SEO alone cannot rank your practice on page #1 of Google for both suburbs. This is where paid traffic complements SEO to extend the reach of your practice online!

{2} Paid Traffic (PPC)

Search engines and social media sites make money by selling advertising. For a cost-per-click (CPC), you can buy prime placement on Google and Facebook.

Adwords and FacebookTo illustrate, let's say Google charges you $7 for every click (visitor to your website) and one in every seven clicks converts to a new patient.

That's a marketing cost of $49 per new patient.

Of course, not all new patients are equal! Perhaps $49 is an acceptable investment for a new general dentistry patient. But you might be prepared to invest five times that for a cosmetic case!

Like SEO, the right paid traffic strategy needs to be planned with skill and precision.

Google AdWords and Facebook Ads work incredibly well for some practices and not at all for others. At Smile Marketing we test new client campaign thoroughly before risking a large budget.

{3} Blogging

Blogging"Blog" is short for "web-log" which is essentially online journaling. A blog allows you to share your thoughts, ideas and philosophy about oral health and modern dentistry.

Blogging is like flossing! If you do it regularly, it's the #1 method to build the long term health and authority of your practice website.

Say you blog once a week for two years, this results in 100+ posts. Google rewards websites that consistently post new and engaging content. You're site will rank higher for a broader set of search terms (keywords) leading to more traffic and more new patients!

But, like all online marketing activities, you have to be strategic. You can't just blog about any random topics. Your topic selection needs to consider SEO and social media factors.

{4} Social Media

Your social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, etc.) should be integrated with your website. In fact, every time you blog, it's wise to share the post on your social media pages.

Social circleMillions use Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to stay connected with what's happening in their community, including searching for a new dentist through their network of friends and family!

To make social media work for your practice, a great rule of thumb is: two human interest posts for every clinical post. Meaning, sharing about your practice manager Cindy's new baby and Dr. Andrews' embarrassing tennis incident earns you the right to share about a cool new dental service you're offering.

The point is, keep it social :)

As you build your social authority, you'll see more new patients converting from social media.

{5}Directories & Review Sites

Top online directories and review sites can send new patient traffic to your website. But every jurisdiction is different.

Yelp may be all the rage in one city but hardly used in another. Some prospective new patients search directories and review sites for nearby dentists. Once they see one they like, they'll visit their website to refine their choice.

Watch this quick video to uncover the directories that will work for your practice.

There you have it.

The essential elements of an effective, integrated online marketing strategy for your practice.

Best of all, with Smile Marketing you see exactly which online channels are producing new patients with our innovative New Patient Tracker technology.

Ready to take your practice Internet presence to a new level? Ask us anything using the form below or give us a call.

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