I am often asked, “How do I get more TMJ patients in my dental practice?” Or specifically, “How can I get more TMJ patients from my marketing?” The dentists who ask this are highly trained in treating TMJ disorder (temporomandibular joint), but they struggle when it comes to marketing TMJ. They don’t understand what makes the phone ring. For the best TMJ dentists, the dentists who really rock, if they follow these TMJ marketing tips, they’ll get more TMJ patients scheduling appointments.
Focus Your TMJ Marketing on Patient Needs
Forget the tech. Boot your bona fides out the window. Your patient’s immediate concern is, “Do you understand my pain, and can you help?” If your website doesn’t make that clear from the get-go, then all the pay-per-click and dental SEO in the world doesn’t help.
The best TMJ website will make it clear that you can help the patient navigate the journey that they are on. Make the story that your marketing tells to show the struggle past patients have been on and then highlight the amazing outcome where the patient emerged victorious! The struggle and the better life on the other side are all the patient really cares about.
Snake oil salespeople can sell snake oil not by listing out the unique ingredients and their years of experience sourcing the best snakes in the world. They sell snake oil by selling the understanding of the patient’s pain and the transformative experience people have had by drinking their particular brand of snake oil.
Dental website design companies often get this wrong. They knuckle under the pressure that dentists sometimes put on them to build a dental website that the dentist likes or that is just like the one THE DENTIST has because they want to be that guy.
Forget that guy.
You have patients who need YOU and what you have to offer. Focus your TMJ marketing on them and their needs.
Consider A TMJ or TMJ & Sleep Brand
This is an advanced strategy that has to be executed well. It gives your office a killer, competitive advantage over other general dentistry brands when it is done right. If you create a new practice- literally with another name, phone number, and address, you can build a website and marketing campaign that looks like you “specialize” in TMJ or TMJ & sleep treatment.
Yes, after more than a decade of dental marketing, we know that the S word (specialize) is verboten for your website, but we are talking about the patient’s experience. If they come to your home page and all of the content is about their problems related to TMJ, they feel like you are more of an expert than the dentist next store who lists TMJ treatment along with dentures, cosmetic dentistry, and root canals.
Google feels the same way. They see a focused presence, and your TMJ marketing team will be able to optimize your home page for ‘TMJ Cityname.’ That’s a massive win for dental SEO. Your website’s focused content and focused patient experience tell Google that they’d be fools not to consider you for the top spot if people are looking for TMD treatment in your area.
Your internal pages will be focused on symptoms and treatment options. Your blog posts will be about TMJ and not a bunch of other keywords. Everything in your site will support the premise that you are THE TMJ expert in your area.
There are some requirements for doing this right. TMJ marketing with a separate TMJ brand requires:
- A separate business address. You can cheat a little bit by having a different suite number at your building but have a separate address entirely from your leading dentistry brand for best results. You’ll have even more success if your office is located in the heart of your city.
- A separate phone number. You don’t want your address and phone number to match your main office because it will confuse Google about your online business listings. Your new brand will have its own listings because you’ll need…
- A separate marketing campaign. Your TMJ practice will not succeed on the merits of your other website. It needs its own profiles on the internet and social media. It needs its own ads that point to its own content that lives on…
- A separate website. Every dentistry brand needs a website, and your new TMJ office will be no different. Multiple Google listings pointing to your old website will look like the new one is duplicative of the old one and will either confuse Google, hurting your main office’s results, or get deleted as a duplicate. Google believes that every small business should have one website and only one website. Your TMJ website should take advantage of the opportunity to showcase its focus on TMJ treatment with original content that talks about what patients go through and how you can help them. Don’t borrow content from your main website. Create all-new TMJ and sleep content.
- Separate social media profiles. As part of the different marketing campaigns, your TMJ practice will need its own social media profiles for the same reason that you need a separate website. Highlight the focus on TMJ treatment. Get your patients at your current practice to like or follow the new practice profiles and let them know that you’ll enter them to win a drawing if they do so. Let them know that you are launching this new practice to help people suffering from jaw pain, headaches, and other debilitating symptoms. Ask them to share the new page and posts you create with friends and loved ones who may not understand that their symptoms could be due to TMJ disorder. People are less likely to share a website as they are a bite-sized social media post with a cause for TMJ awareness behind it.
- Separate ads and a separate ad budget. Your website and social media profiles can go relatively unnoticed for a while if you don’t promote them. Don’t split off some of the budget from your main office. Both websites will only have partial funding behind their campaigns if you do.
This may be painful at first, starting a new marketing campaign from the ground up. It will feel redundant until you start seeing new patients at the new office. Then you’ll realize that you’re actually double-dipping in an increasingly competitive and lucrative market. You’ll still get TMJ patients at your main office, but thanks to aggressive TMJ marketing, you’ll push a competitor’s website out of the first page too.
Launching a separate practice for TMJ treatment also has the upside of giving you an added exit strategy. After you’ve built up a second practice, you can consider selling your general and cosmetic practice while still having an established and thriving practice in the area.
Engage Prospective Patients with Action-Oriented TMJ Marketing
Patients shouldn’t have to continue suffering from their symptoms while physicians are stymied about the true cause of their pain. That’s the message you should broadcast: don’t wait! Don’t suffer more than you have to. Take action!
Include assessment forms on your website that stop short of diagnosing them but can help them tell if they may be suffering from TMJ disorder. Here’s an example from Dr. Haddad’s Michigan Center For TMJ & Sleep Wellness site:
The intent is to expand your website into a useful extension of your practice rather than just an information source about your practice. If people can use your website to help answer questions, they have beyond just reading but also engaging with it. This sets your website apart.
Go ahead and test out the form at the above link. You’ll see that it’s OPTIONAL to send the results to Dr. Haddad and ask for follow-up. This is critical. If you force the contact, your form goes back to being a marketing element rather than an online screening tool. The option to contact makes this assessment a powerful indirect call to action.
Of course, traditional calls to action are critical too. It’s incredible how often TMJ dentists still launch websites where the phone number is hard to find and contact forms are stuff down at the bottom of the website if they exist at all.
Get more new TMJ patients by:
- Having your phone number in large print at the top of your website
- Having a click-to-call button on your website for mobile devices
- Adding links to schedule a consultation throughout every page of your website- not just at the top and bottom of the page.
- Including a basic Contact Us page.
TMJ Marketing Tips and Trends
People search Google for answers to their TMJ questions. Not all of these people will make suitable patients for you. Still, look for trends and get into the mindset of people who have been suffering from TMJ disorder. You can capture their interest and minimize the amount of money you have to invest in generating a new TMJ patient from your marketing.
Google Trends can give you insights into how often people are searching for TMJ-related topics.
In the above image, you can see that March and April are typically when interest in TMJ on Google dwindles. Then, in May, it bounces back. Interest is erratic, following many of the trends that we see in dental searches. For example, search volume declines during the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Curiously, TMJ-related Google searches surge the week after Thanksgiving, making the first week of December an interesting time to target TMJ-related content on social media and in advertising.
Be careful in the kind of content that you put in your blog and on social media. There’s a fine line between attracting people in search of a dentist and people in search of at-home, DIY TMJ treatment. Your Google Ads and social media strategy need to be led by someone who understands that not every click is worth targeting.
As covered in the above video, you don’t want to target everything and anything related to TMJ disorder. In your ad strategy, you certainly don’t want to spend ad dollars on someone who searches for ‘free TMJ treatment’ or ‘at-home TMJ treatment’ unless you have a plan for how you will be able to make a profit on these clicks later.
If you include content about at-home treatment, it should be limited to content that you might otherwise share with a patient as part of their exam and treatment. Otherwise, you may have people emailing and calling you about the treatment that you cover on your website. This will distract and annoy your front desk person and potentially confuse Google about what your dental office actually does for its business. They might mistakenly believe that you sell TMJ widgets for people to order.
Hire TMJ Marketing Experts
We have been marketing TMJ dentists since our company launched in 2010. We’ve been part of the community ever since, attending seminars with our dentists, sponsoring events, company, and organizations such as Myotronics and ICCMO. We are passionate about helping patients find relief from their symptoms, which makes us incredibly good at what we do.
If you’re not as passionate about sleep apnea and snoring, we’d encourage you to consider adding an emphasis there alongside TMJ treatment. Most of our offices that add more TMJ patients also offer dental sleep treatment and do very well. If you need help streamlining the diagnosis and insurance billing for sleep treatment, we have partners that can help.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you add more TMJ patients to your practice with more effective TMJ marketing. We’d love to offer you a marketing analysis and TMJ marketing game plan that gives you concrete next steps for growing your practice! Call (970) 672-1212 now or schedule an appointment online.