|By Farid Parvini Ph.D. | Solution21 | CEO|
In an effort to gain new patients to a dental or medical practice, it is vital to have a professional website with quality content. If you are considering ways to increase the new patients in your practice, here are a few tried-and-true techniques for success.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, more commonly referred to as SEO, is a technique for increasing rankings with major search engines. It is best to follow white hat SEO techniques which include finding keywords relevant to your practice, writing quality blogs and websites, and ensuring links are properly placed throughout your online presence. Black hat SEO techniques can cause your website to be penalized by large search engines such as Google, and should always be avoided. They include spam, hidden links, low quality content, and “keyword stuffing.”
Local Search Marketing
Another aspect of search engine optimization to consider is local search marketing. This is best for industries and professions such as hospitality, food, dental, medical, and retail. A brick-and-mortar retail store, restaurant, or medical practice will be focused on local residents, and it is critical to consider the keywords local residents would use to find services in their community.
An example would be a local dental office in Chicago. While the keywords “dental office” may apply to all practices, but the keyword “Chicago” would be beneficial to this particular facility. Place your business on the local search map with Bing, Yahoo, and Google to ensure your customers can find your dental or medical practice.
Search Engine Marketing
Another method of increasing website traffic is by considering the purchase of advertising on some of the most popular search engines. Search engine marketing, referred to as SEM, includes pay-per-click, cost-per-click, and paid search ads. They can be broken down into mobile and desktop users, as well as spending on “cost-per-thousand” impressions. To get involved in SEM, it does cost money, but it can greatly improve rankings on the most used search engines online.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is used all around the world for sharing videos, photos, and music with others. It can also be used for sharing blogs and websites with patients in your community. Social media marketing is the act of using social media posts to drive traffic to your website.
Social media includes websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The key to making these sites work for you is to create posts relevant to your specific niche with a functioning link to the post on your website. Users of social media also expect interaction, so monitoring these posts and handling questions, concerns, and comments is key.
Your conduct on social media can be a positive or negative impact in your industry. Stay professional at all times. Create a profile on LinkedIn and network with other link-minded individuals in your industry, and consider utilizing sites like YouTube to share videos and commercials advertising your business.
Mobile Marketing Techniques
It is no surprise that individuals use their smartphones and personal tablets to search for information online. These mobile devices allow for checking websites, email, and social media on the go. By using mobile marketing, practices can reach patients from anywhere.
Considering this, it is key that the website functions properly and loads quickly, otherwise potential patients may not visit your site—or your practice. Some practices can take this one step further, by offering a downloadable app with a patient portal, links to blog posts, and a contact form to make it easier than ever to connect with a professional.
Mobile advertising is known for playing a substantial role in the increase of patients to a dental or medical practice. The first step is to start with investing in Google ads for mobile devices. These are often featured with an add-on extension for visitors. Image ads for mobile are another option, as these are specifically made to load on a mobile device.
Other companies consider in-game mobile marketing. This results in business advertisements being posted within games played on mobile devices. This may be a video between levels, an image on the screen, or a banner on the top or bottom of the application. These ads are often location-based.
Mobile marketing can also be used to track progress and check for notifications. It makes it easier than ever to connect with your patients quickly.
There are so many techniques available for driving traffic to your business’s website. By learning these techniques, you can increase the number of patients visiting your dental or medical practice and building a business relationship with you and your staff!