While striving to keep up with the newest technological advances in dentistry, you purchase equipment. Some of these become essential parts of your business that save you and your patients time and money. Then there’s equipment that didn’t fit your practice and was a wasted portion of your budget. Which category does your dental website fall into?
One of the first things a new business does is create an online presence. Many adapt their personal social media profiles to business profiles or create new ones. They may also grab a templated website design from a hosting site because they don’t have the time to figure out all of the details on their own. Most doctors miss that there is so much more to an online presence than simply having one. By having a presence and not optimizing it, you risk losing potential patients to another practice who saw the benefits their website and social media accounts provided.
Show What Sets You Apart
When you purchased your website, unless you did it in-house, the person or company who built the site likely didn’t have your overall goals in mind. The main focus was constructing the site, not developing groundwork to build your practice’s marketing on. After development was complete, they handed it over to you. Not much happened after that unless you promoted it yourself.
If you have invested in Chairside Economic Restorations of Esthetic Ceramics (CEREC) (purchased equipment, received training on how to use equipment, hired staff), you are likely marketing procedures that will use this technology to deliver a return on your investment in the form of new patients. Marketing this part of your practice shows a return of new patients that is more than the overhead it took to begin using CEREC. You wouldn’t purchase new technology and not want all of your patients to know the benefit that it will bring them in their treatment. You would do all that you can to show patients why this technology puts you a step ahead of competitors and serves patients in the best possible way. You can say the same thing for your website. Building it is only the first step in developing an online marketing strategy. You have to promote your website and then budget for additional expenses beyond the initial investment of just building a site.
Promote Your Website
The most logical way to promote your website today is through online marketing. This is more practical than print marketing avenues or interruption marketing (tv and radio) because it targets people already looking for dental practices on the internet. While other forms of marketing have their time and place, online marketing will give you the most bang for your buck. The two most relevant types of online marketing are organic search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Both require a plan and a budget if you want to utilize your marketing dollars.
Whichever avenue or combination you choose for your marketing, you must establish a budget. This should consider your market, how you want to rank compared to your competitors, and the demand/opportunity for your services in your area. How you plan out your budget will allow you to see what range of marketing you will fall into. There are minimal, moderate, and aggressive. Sometimes practices fall in between based on their own goals. As one would assume, aggressively marketed sites have the most exposure because they have prioritized their budget to emphasize online marketing. This allows their site to appear high on search engine lists and attract more traffic, ultimately resulting in a higher return on their investment. You can see why aggressive marketing is worth the extra money in your budget.
Capture Those Conversions
Heavy site traffic is great, but it will mean nothing if your content doesn’t serve your potential patients. You want your site to create leads in the form of emails and phone calls to turn those prospective patients into loyal patients. If your site is in the top five spots in a Google search, you can bet that the person behind the computer (or phone) has already checked out your competitors that are also ranking highly with Google. This means that you have to anticipate the needs of your patients before they even reach your site.
Fortunately, you have already gained the information your patients are looking for with years of schooling and experience. People searching for dental practices may ask, “How much does a dental implant cost?” or “Why is my jaw making a popping noise?” You need to formulate the questions that patients will ask and answer them with your wealth of knowledge. This knowledge will help develop the content that you have on your site. Credibility in your expertise with content that answers questions quickly and with easy-to-understand terminology will ultimately be what keeps your patients on your site.
It is also important to move visitors to targeted information or “landing” pages. People want to be told what to do next or be led to what they are looking for when navigating through sites. You would never invite someone into your home, only to leave them to get their own drink and wander to find the bathroom. You need to be a good website host in the same way. This starts with intuitive navigation buttons. You need to be crystal clear on where potential patients will go once they click. “Dental Solutions” will not suffice. It is not direct and will leave patients searching for what they need, and eventually, they’ll leave your site for one that is easier to navigate. “Cosmetic Dentistry” or “Orthodontics” is more straightforward and gives a clear directive.
While navigation is important, a targeted call-to-action (CTA) is more important. CTA’s are like school zones. They get people to slow down and think about what they will do next. You want your call-to-action to tell people about the most critical parts of your site. If you want your outcome to be an email lead, the CTA might say, “Email Us Today!” You want to be clear this is something patients can click on. It is also essential that people be able to find your office number easily. Typically people expect it to be in the upper right-hand corner of your site.
Win New Patients with Stellar Follow-through
You could do all of the above, and it would be a waste if your office does not have systems to organize and follow up with leads from your site. To turn those leads into patients, you need to take specific steps. You must first understand that you are selling all of your services, and other practices are selling to the same people. They have likely been reached by other practices about their services. What will set you apart from others in your field is how you choose to respond to your leads.
Phone leads and other mediums might be responded to differently, but email leads’ goal will always be to get a patient on the phone. Once you receive an email lead that includes a phone number, do not hesitate to contact that person immediately about their inquiry or services needed. It can be hard to resist the urge just to hit “Reply,” but that avenue will not have the results you are looking for. If no one answers, leave a voicemail and reply to the email. One might make the mistake of responding with a short blurb like this:
“Call our office to schedule a consultation. 555-555-5555. – Jack”
At this point, you have potentially spent thousands of dollars to have that prospective patient email you. Do not waste the opportunity on a poorly planned follow-up. Instead, your follow-up should answer the question they asked. Show that you care.
Thank you for your email. You asked how much a dental implant costs. Our costs range from $1,200 to 3,500 per tooth, with prices depending on several factors. However, we have many options that can help make this more affordable:
There is more to choosing a provider than simply cost. Safety is our number one priority. We use the most current technology to determine if you will be a good candidate for dental implants. To do this, we will need to see you in our office. We will give you a firm quote once we understand your situation and dental goals. Please call me at 555-555-5555 to schedule your free consultation. In the meantime, here are some links to more helpful information about our practice and dental implants:
Thank you again for your email. I look forward to hearing from you.
This is an opportunity to stand out and be different from offices that will send brief and ineffective responses. Including links back to your website will help them to remember who you are and why they contacted you in the first place. A prompt response is vital to successfully converting site leads into patients. Call them as soon as you receive the email and email them back immediately.
Your Website is One of Your Most Important Assets
By taking the extra steps to go beyond just throwing a website together, you will find that your site can be the most effective tool for generating new patients for your practice. Instead of costing you money, your website will be what is earning you the most return.
Trust Pro Impressions Marketing with Your Website
Have we convinced you that you need an effective website to get the most out of your marketing dollars? It couldn’t be more true in today’s digital world. If you are a savvy dentist interested in getting more new patients and getting a big return on investment in your marketing, call (970) 672-1212 or schedule a consultation with Pro Impressions Marketing online today.