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Dental Marketing Guide: A Playbook for Growth in 2020

Creating a Roadmap to Dental Marketing Success: 

One-third of dentists rank new patient acquisition for their practice as an important goal. Although over the last decade dentists' desires to attract new patients has not changed, the path patients take to research potential healthcare has. Digital media and the internet have become indispensable for patients to use on their journey to dental healthcare. Now more than ever, patients use the internet to research their healthcare before making the 'buying' decision. This means that in order to keep your existing patients, and to acquire new ones, you will need a dental marketing strategy in 2020 that can keep up with your patient's digital behaviors because...

Patients are clearly in the drivers seat now.

Not only have patients become smarter internet users, but the tools available to patients are fully empowering them to make high quality healthcare choices. The latest research from Google shows that 77% of prospective patients do their research online with search engines, 76% of prospective patients do research on the providers website, and 52% are researching their health care options through general information health sites. Your patients are online, and you should be too.

Dental Patients Researching Care Options-3-1

The digital competition to acquire dental patients is pretty fierce. The same Google research recognizes that 48% of prospective patients do two or more weeks or research before selecting their provider, and 61% visited two or more provider websites before converting into a lead. Using the internet and provider websites is no longer just for younger patients. According to Pew Research, 61% of Americans 65 and older have internet access, and social media usage for this age group has tripled since 2010.

For patients who book an appointment online, digital content is the critical link to conversion. 

mobile search for dentists

It is undeniable that prospective patients are going online to shop for a new dentist. They are using search engines and dental practice websites to determine if any given dental practice is a good fit for their dental needs. This is why it is important for dentists to rank on the first page of Google for the search terms most relevant to their practice. For dentists whose digital marketing strategies have not kept up with the times, this can be unattainable. If you are a dentist with outdated digital marketing strategies, you'll likely have a website that is poorly designed, minimal in content, or the kiss of death for dental practices - slow loading. Websites like these are doing something far worse for the practice than simply not generating leads, they turn away prospective patients potentially forever by offering an unappealing and outdated solution in their search for a new dentist.

Up Your Dental Digital Marketing Strategy 

The Diamond Group Blog is our favorite spot where we regularly share our opinions about the practice of online marketing for dentists. We encourage you to subscribe to the blog to receive our regular updates that will keep you up to date on the latest trends in dental marketing. We also realize that many of you have come across The Dental Marketing Playbook for Growth because you have recognized an issue in the marketing of your dental practice, and you're searching for guidance. This is why we've created the ultimate guide for dental marketers, so that you can create the winning digital marketing strategy that your dental practice needs today.

We don't call this "The Playbook for Growth" for nothing. Dental marketing has many parts and pieces needed to create a successful marketing strategy. Looking at marketing for dentists comprehensively ensures that your marketing efforts are effective in growing your practice. By publishing this content, we are hoping to highlight the most effective methods to move the needle in your practice. Throughout the guide, we highlight research by other knowledgeable sources through links, and we encourage you to follow these links to gain a better contexual understanding of the information we're providing. 

Dentists who partner with The Diamond Group will recognize many of the recommendations and research in the 2020 playbook. This is because we are a full service dental marketing company that truly practices what we preach.

The dental marketing playbook is a full and comprehensive look at dental marketing in 2020, No time to read it all right now? No worries. Download the entire guide now.

Dental Marketing is a Three Legged Race 

Modern marketing is complicated, and it's mainly digital. Less than 20 years ago, it was pretty effective to publish an ad in the yellow pages and wait for the phone to ring. Fast forward to 2019, and effective dental marketing means you to know what to pay attention and what "not" to pay attention to. You can't be everywhere without being nowhere. We believe that the best way to attract new patients to the office with dental marketing is by running a three legged race.

The success or failure of every marketing campaign hinges on how well it attracts leads, converts those leads into patients ,and then delights those patients so they become a referral source to the practice. We believe in growth driven website design to create a website that continuously improves, inbound marketing to boost SEO rankings and to enhance visibility in search engines and a smart social media strategy to engage and delight patients.

We've organized our guide into three distinct sections:

  1. Website Design: The Essential Elements in Dental Websites
  2. SEO: Outrank Your Competitors with Dental SEO
  3. Social Media: Patient Engagement on Their Terms

We think of it as a three legged race because all three of these "legs" have to work together. A poorly designed website will have a severe negative impact on your SEO and search engine visibility. A failure to create engaging content will not only dampen your search engine optimization strategy it will cause your social media strategies to suffer. All three legs must work together and you are only as fast as your slowest leg.

Let's start with leg number one, your dental practice's website.

Essential elements in dental websites 

Section 1: Great Dental Websites

A great website is arguably the most important asset a dentist can have for their dental practice. It certainly is the most important asset when it comes to attracting, converting, and delighting patients and prospects. There is nothing else a dentist owns or has access to that attracts prospective patients and stays with them all the way through their first appointment and beyond.

Search engine algorithms are constantly changing and evolving, and 2019 has brought its own set of changes. You must have the mindset that your website is an asset in need of continuous improvement, and a 'set it and forget it' mentality will get you nowhere fast. This doesn't mean that every year you need to start over on your website, it just means you have to be ready to adapt. Many of the essential elements have been on our list for some time and will remain there for years to come.  Others like voice optimized SEO and live chat, are new to the list this year.

Essential elements of dental websites

Essential Elements in Dental Websites

  1. Dentist websites need to be built and optimized for the mobile user. Responsive web designs used to be considered a brand new phenomenon that only a handful of websites actually had. Mobile responsive web design quickly turned from a luxury, to an essential. In fact, as of 2017, the number of web pages served via mobile device officially surpassed the 50% mark, which is only expected to continue to rise. In fact, Google will rank your website higher when users search for your site on their mobile devices if your website is responsive. Subsequently, websites that are only mobile friendly or not optimized for mobile use at all will be ranked lower. Your website has to be responsive to all devices. There's no way around it.
  2. The best dental websites are all fast. Websites visitors care about speed more than almost any other factor. They care about speed a lot more than any fancy bells and whistles you might add to your website. Data shows that 30% of website visitors abandon ship if a mobile site takes longer than 6-10 seconds to load. Knowing the speed of your website is very important. If you don't know how fast your website is, check it out for free right now with this website audit tool. You'll receive an instant website audit that includes page speed metrics.
  3. SSL Security is a must for dental websites. In July of 2018, Google began labeling websites without SSL as "non-secure" in the Chrome browser. A secure sockets layer (SSL) keeps your data safe. Data security is not something to play around with, especially when your website visitors are potential patients. Sites without SSL security are more vulnerable to personal information becoming compromised. Adding SSL to your website is simple, affordable, and an absolute must.
  4. Break down patient communication barriers with live chatThe internet has caused a huge shift in expectations as far as patient service is concerned. Website visitors want information instantaneously, and live chat is one way to appeal to this growing desire. Industries like dentistry are leading the way for live chat, making patient experience easier than ever. Whether it's an appointment request or a question for a dentist, live chat puts convenience in the hands of the user. Luckily, live chat's ability to provide instant answers isn't only great for patient engagement; it doubles as a means of reducing bounce rates and increasing conversions by keeping interested web users right where you need them.
  5. Be a dental authority by blogging helpful informationBlogs are the quintessential place for you to showcase yourself as an authority figure in the dental industry. Blogging is also an important aspect of content marketing, which is a strategic marketing practice that focuses on creating valuable, relevant content that attracts patients to your practice without coming off as a sales pitchIn dentistry, blogs are particularly important because they convey the personality of your practice. People are often afraid of the dentist—as you're likely quite aware—so finding ways to help patients and answer their questions in a manner that's not intimidating is incredibly important.
  6. Consistent branding elements will keep patients coming back. Branding isn't just for big-box stores; every business, including dental practices, should establish a brand identity that offers a consistent look and feel across every page of its website. If you're offering a new experience on every page, your brand is likely getting confused from your patients' points of view. When you brand your dental practice correctly, patients will recognize who you are more easily, and trust in the experience your dental practice will deliver.
  7. Voice Optimized SEO is here. More than 20% of people currently rely on voice-activated commands to assist with their digital search needs. These commands come from virtual assistants like Apple's Siri, and Amazon's Alexa. By 2020, that number is expected to be as much as 30%. People speak differently than they write. This is why it is important that you not only optimize your site for keywords, but you also need to ensure it's capable of capturing voice-driven SEO. Voice search is likely to contain questions. Answering who, what, how, and when questions with your content can improve your site for voice based search.
  8. Patients are demanding video content from their dentist. Video is the most-consumed format of online content. In 2019, it's expected that internet video traffic will account for 80% of all the content that's consumed digitally. As a dentist, you can make the most of your online real estate by creating videos that help patients understand who your employees are, why oral health is important, and how certain procedures are performed.
  9. Make your website experience personalized. Technology today allows you to customize your website in a way that your patients can enjoy a personalized experience every time they visit. You should be taking advantage of this technology in 2019. Personalization is critical to making patients feel comfortable and safe when they consider making an appointment at your dental office. Dental offices typically have three primary buyer personas. Adding personalization to your website allows you to connect with each persona individually and personally.

 

Essential Pages for Dentist Websites

 

Every dental practice is different and offers it's own unique personality and values system. For this reason we recommend a custom dental website design. Building a custom dental website will allow you to stand out as an elite dentist in your market and will convey your personality to the market. Even though we do recommend custom websites, there are many website pages that we consider essential to the design and that users will expect to see on your website.

Custom Dental Website Mockup

Home Page

It's tempting to think that your home page is the most important page in your websites architecture. While, it's generally the most visited website page and it's the web page where most marketers will spend their time optimizing, for most dentists the home page page is not the most important page. The home page is normally the gateway page. It gets you to the next page - the website page that you really want to see. 

This isn't intended to take anything away from the value of your home page. It is very important. It will be the website page that attracts the most visitors. The home page also sets the design standards for the entire website. The brand characteristics from the home page should be carried through to all of the other interior pages.

A dental practice's home page is generally the one that will pop up first in search engine results for branded search terms. A branded search term is a search for your practice name or a dentists name.

Home pages also pack the most domain authority on websites. A domain authority score helps define a pages relevance to search engines.

Home pages should be designed to quickly and clearly answer the most important questions that patients and prospects might ask. The attention span of website visitors is not very long so make sure you cover the basics right up front. Make sure to immediately mention your most important services. Are you a cosmetic dentist? A pediatric dentist? An Invisalign provider? A holistic dentist? Patients do not have a lot of bandwidth to figure this out so it's important to be clear.

Incorporate video into your home page website design and tell the story of your brand. Dental practices using HubSpot can now incorporate their videos right into the marketing platform.

Search engines will look to your home page content to figure out what your website is all about. Image heavy websites light on text will perform poorly in search engines. Text is the best way to communicate to search engines what your practice is all about. 400 words is the minimum amount for a website home page for dentists. Less text and your home page will have a difficult time ranking on page one. 

The home page is your gateway page to your services and information about the practice. It should also include options for easy communication with your practice. Make it easy for patients to get in touch or to book an appointment. Display your phone number in a prominent position and make contacting you easy with a contact us link or booking CTA in a visible spot. Many patients do not want to sit on hold and prefer a more instant form of communication. Live chat for dentists gives the practice an ability to provide instant answers. Live chat is great for patient engagement and it keeps website visitors on your website.

Reviews are really important to prospective patients. A dental website homepage is the perfect spot to showcase your top reviews. 

 

About Us

About us essential dentist website page-

 

The website page that generates the 2nd highest amount of visitors for dentists is the About Us page. Patients coming to this page are looking to learn more about the dental practice. Before booking an appointment or opting in to content they will come here to find answers to common questions.

  • What are the practices core values?
  • Are they friendly?
  • What are its standards of care?
  • Who works at the practice?
  • How large (or small) is the dentists office?

The about us page is a great spot to highlight your offices personality. Use team bios to accentuate the excellence in your teams training and their unique ability to provide excellent care. Provide enough unique information about your team to give visitors a good idea of what your team is like in person. Where did they go to school? What's their passion? What kind of pets do they have? These personal details enhance the bond between patient and practice.

When you are posting fun photos of your team on social media, link back to your about us page where patients can "learn more" about your incredible team. 

 

Dentist Profile

About us dentists website page

 

Another important page for prospective pages is the "Meet the Dentist" website page. Patients are putting their care into the hands of their chosen dentist and they would like to more about them. Many patients are looking to discover where the dentist went to school and to better understand their background. Have more than one dentist in your practice? You can combine them into one page or separate pages for each dentist can give an added boost to search engine optimization. Separate pages will rank better for a branded search of each doctors name.

Website pages for dentists should include information that exhibits their authority in dentistry. Does the dentist contribute to the practice blog? Link to their written content from the page. Education and industry affiliations or awards can showcase the expertise of the dentist. Link out to associations and institutions that support the dentists background. 

Patients are looking to create a personal relationship with their dentist. Sharing the dentists interests and personal hobbies will help to make this connection. Many people are scared about going to the dentist. Letting prospective patients know that the dentist is kind, caring and compassionate will go a long way towards filling your practice schedule.

Remember to highlight the dentists personality. The fun photos of the dentist that you are sharing on social media will go perfect on a dentists website page.

 

Service Pages

Services pages dentist website design

 

Services pages are important to include on your website. These pages provide valuable information to patients regarding the services the practice offers that can help them when deciding on a new dentist. Having individual pages for every service you offer is also a prime SEO opportunity as each page will rank for specific keywords and search terms that are important the practice. Having the services on separate pages will help each service stand out in search engines and increase the likelihood that they will be found.

A services page should provide sufficient information to inform the patient about the service and what the practice will provide. When developing these pages it's important to focus on what an average reader of a page would expect to discover. Patients did not go to dental school so they don't need to be highly technical pages. They do need to clearly communicate the service that is offered and to encourage patients to connect with you to learn more. Patients seeking more detailed information will have no problem asking for it.

A good services page will contain 400-600 words or more. They should outline the basics of the treatment, what the patient can expect, and any information the patient might need to know. Some current patients with an appointment already booked will use your services pages to learn more about the procedures they are about to undergo. Help them in their journey by providing useful information and links to more in depth content to learn more. Including live chat on your services pages is also a smart idea. Patients have questions and your practice can position itself as the expert without having to send patients away to other medical websites for answers.

Branding is important to keep in mind. The SEO value of services pages for dentists is high and these pages will rank well in search engines. With this high SEO value it's likely a services page will be the first page a visitor sees on your website. Make sure it's a good first impression by staying on point with your brand identity.

Link out to other pages on your website to help patients find information they're interested in. Doctors bios, patient reviews, and blogs or video content will help patients learn more.

  

Contact Us

The contact page on your website is a very important part of the patients journey. This is the premier page that patients will use to connect with you. Make sure your contact page is clear, concise, easy to read and offers numerous ways to contact the practice. A contact page should be accessible from any page on the website. It's a must to have in your main menu navigation. 

Not all patients want to communicate the same. Some will want to call. Some will want to fill out a form. Others are looking for more of an instant form of communication like texting or live chat. Make all of those options available on the contact page for patients to connect with you as they prefer.

 

Other Pages in Dental Websites 

There are a number of other website pages dentists use to attract patients to their practices beyond our essential list. Dentists add these pages to gain additional SEO value, or to provide 

Before/After

Blog/Resource Pages

Reviews

Other pages (pillar?) Landing? Offers?

 

 

 On to the next piece of the dental marketing puzzle, SEO.

Dental SEO to outrank competitors

 

 

Section 2: SEO

Research from Google has revealed that 77% of prospective dental patients research potential practices online using search engines. This makes search engine optimization, referred to as SEO, a cornerstone in dental marketing. As a dental practice, your biggest competition is likely the dentist down the street. Local SEO is important to master as a dental marketer, and we will walk you through how to be successful. When you optimize your website and content for search engines, you are essentially building pathways for customers to find you
  
You can use SEO to attract patients to your website, and ultimately your dental practice.
 

 

SEO Basics

 
To reach dental marketing success, there are 4 basic SEO elements that you should be familiar with: 
 
  1. Meta Tags
  2. Keywords
  3. Links
  4. User Experience

 

Meta Tags

 
Meta tags are the first SEO basic that you should have a grip on. Located in your page's html 'head' area, meta tags are what search engines read to have a simple understanding of what your page content is about. There are two meta tag 'parts' that you should know as a dental marketer: title and description.
 
The title tag refers to the title text that is shown on a search engine results page (SERP). Titles less than 60 characters are recommended. The description tag is where your webpage's summary goes. Search engines like descriptions around 150 characters. You can see the title tag and description tag in the example below.

 

dental marketing and seo

 

Browsing potential patients, and search engines, use this information to determine what your webpage is about. 
 

Keywords

 
Your website content should be optimized to draw in potential new dental patients. This is accomplished by writing content that uses the right keywords that are relevant to your dental practice and patients.
 
Keywords are the words and phrases that users type into search engines. Keywords provide clues that search engines, like Google or Bing, use to establish what your webpages are all about. Keywords can be as short as a single word, a 3-7 word phrase, or much longer. Once you search for a keyword or phrase in a search engine, it will try and deliver the most useful and relevant content in relation to your search phrase. The most relevant results will appear on page one, which is where you want your content to live. Creating content that has the perfect mix of keywords will lead you to dental marketing success.
 
Google, Bing, and other search engines have complex algorithms that are constantly updating in order to weed out bad content. Keyword stuffing is the practice of loading keywords into a webpage's visible content, meta tags, or other places in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage in search engine rankings. You can often tell when a page is trying to stuff their keywords if they have sentences or titles that don't make sense. Keyword stuffing does more harm than good, which is why it's important to create authentic, natural content. 
 
You can view best practices for using keywords to create SEO friendly blog content here.
 
 

Links

 
Links are an important part of search engine algorithms. When you use links, it essentially signals to Google what your content is about (using anchor texts and the information it derives from the page it lands on), and how important the domain authority and quantity are. Easy examples to think of are CNN and Forbes, which have high domain authority because the search engines believe users will trust those sites over 'less credible' sources, like a local high school newspaper blog post.
 
When your content has links to high-authority sites, and high-authority sites link back to you, this sends a signal to Google that your content is trustworthy. The more backlinks you have, the more trustworthy Google and other search engines will rank your content, increasing your rank on the SERP.
 
 

User Experience

 
If your dental practice website includes the elements mentioned earlier in this guide, your visitor's user experience will be favorable. Search engines, like Google, will use user experience to help grade your website. If your webpages have a slow loading time and high bounce rate, Google assume that visitors aren't having a great experience with your content, and lower your rank.  
 
 

Make Having a Local SEO Strategy a Priority

As a dentist, one of your most important digital marketing tools is having a local SEO strategy. Since your competition is typically other local dental practices, staying on top of local SEO standards and trends will keep your dental practice at the top of patient searches

  1. Get reviews on the 'Big Three'. Reviews are important, especially for the dental field. Researchers have found that 91% of web users read online reviews either occasionally or regularly. Even more important, 84% say that they trust the reviews they read online as much as they do recommendations from friends or family members. Here's what we recommend when it comes to reviews; start with Google, Facebook, and Yelp. These are the 'Big Three' when it comes to reviews, and you should be actively encouraging your patients to leave reviews here. If a patient does leave a review, always reply with a brief, professional thank you, and address any concerns in the review.
  2. Get backlinks from high authority websites. A backlink is a link to your content that is located on another website, and they can make a huge impact on your SEO. There are several ways to get backlinks from good sites, and the first is to produce high quality, helpful content. You want it all to be very organic without any forced backlinks. When your content gets consistently shared, it will get noticed, and is more likely to be referenced in others’ content. You can also publish content on websites for well-known publications. If you do this, include a link to your company in a small paragraph located at the end of the content that sums up your business called a boilerplate, or even in the body (if it can be done without being spammy or too sales-like).
  3. Make sure you're optimized for mobile use and voice search. When it comes to load time, 30% of visitors will click off a page if they wait longer than 6 to 10 seconds for a page to load. So, a mobile friendly site that loads quickly will set you on the right path for optimization. Google and other search engines rank websites that are fast and mobile friendly higher than unresponsive sites, it's a fact.  Along with mobile optimization, make sure your website is voice search optimized. Up until just a few years ago, the only way for users to enter information into search engines was to type. Those days ended when Google introduced their voice capabilities for searching. The catch is that the way people talk is usually different from the way they type. You can make sure your website is voice search friendly by thinking and writing copy in natural speaking patterns. Answer the Public is a great tool to use to help you on your way. 
  4. Create helpful content. Creating content that adds value to your potential patients is a very effective inbound marketing strategy. High quality, valuable content is gold when it comes to online visibility and search engine rankings. When you create relevant content for your ideal customers, they will look to you for resources, and ultimately for business. Having poor quality content is not going to get them there, and can send them to your competitors office. Always make sure your content answers the questions your ideal customers ask, and gives them information that they need.

    dental marketing flywheel for growth

     

  5. Optimize your content and webpages for local keywords. Use keywords in your blog content and web pages that people will use to look for your business, and add location keywords to them. Keyword stuffing is not recommended, instead naturally work in local keywords into your content. An example would be if you were a dental practice located in Charlotte, you may want to use local keywords like, 'North Carolina dentist', 'Charlotte primary dentist', and 'Preventative dentistry in Charlotte'. Any combination of local keywords is fine, and it is OK to use “stop” words – the words that link the keywords and make them coherent. For instance, "dentist in Charlotte" sounds much better than "dentist Charlotte" and you won’t lose any of your SEO power for adding the word “in.” In fact, it will boost the quality of your content and increase the likelihood that search engines will find you in the process.
  6. Get listed. Business directories do an outstanding job of putting your business right in front of your potential customers. Business listings on directories provide your business contact information, any reviews, a link to your website, and a small blurb about your business. There are hundreds of directories out there, and getting on as many as you can will increase the likelihood that a potential customer will find your business over your competitor. We recommend starting with the basic Google, Yelp, Foursquare, and Yahoo listings, which are easy to access and change. You could go to each directory one by one and create a listing, but remember, there are over 100 of them. Add that to the fact that you won't be able to directly access many of them yourself and you've got a dilemma. The easy way is to create a single master directory listing and have it for ALL of the directory listings of your business. You can contact us to fix your directory woes, and we will run a directory report before creating any new profiles so you can get an idea of where your business is already present. You don't want any duplicate listings, which will hurt your ranking rather than help.
  7. Keep your listing information consistent.  When it comes to ranking locally, consistency is key. Your contact information should always be the same across directories, and should ALWAYS include your NAP (name, address, and phone number). If a directory listing asks for a logo, keep the image the same across all directories. This will keep customers from getting confused, will boost your SEO efforts, and will keep your  dental practice branding consistent. 

Six Directories to Get Listed on ASAP

Don't Forget Google Local Packs

The best marketing strategies for dentists are data-driven, and your website is where you'll get the data. Behavioral signals like click-through-rates, mobile clicks to call, and check ins all play an important role in SEO, and local SEO in particular. To send your local SEO strategy to the next level, you should be familiar with what Google Local Packs are. Google Local Packs are prime real estate when it comes to being seen by a wide audience on the front page of search engine results pages. When you're listed as one of the 'Elite Three' in a local pack, your click-through-rates (CTR's) and conversion rates from website visitor to paying customer will increase exponentially. Getting in the local pack is tough, but can be done with the right knowledge. 


reputation monitoring for dentists

To understand how to get included in the Google Local Pack, here is a breakdown of the ranking factors, and how much each affects the Elite Three:

  1. Google MyBusiness Signals = 25.12% 
    • Google My Business (GMB) signals comprise more than a quarter of the weighting factor that goes into determining if a business will be featured in Google Local Packs. This category is driven by factors such as proximity, categories, and keywords in your business title.
  2. Link Signals = 16.53%
    • Link signals essentially tell Google what you're talking about (using anchor texts and the information it derives from the page it lands on) and how important the domain authority and quantity are. The more authority you build into your own domain, the more respect you'll get on the SERPs.
  3. Review Signals = 15.44%
    • Google views the reputation your dental practice has with patients as an important ranking factor for the Google Local Pack. Google breaks down your reviews by quantity, velocity, and diversity.
  4. On-Page Signals = 13.82%
    • On-page signals are things like your name, address, and phone number (also known as NAP, for short). It also includes the keywords in titles and domain authority from links.
  5. Citation Signals = 10.82%
    • Citation signals are references to your business on other websites. You're more likely to be seen in good graces if your NAP is consistent across all citations, and if you have a high citation volume. The more you're cited, the more Google will turn its attention your way. Being featured in the Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) can also bode well for your business.
  6. Behavioral Signals = 9.57%
    • Your website visitor behavior, like CTRs, mobile clicks-to-call, and check-ins, are all pieces of information Google uses to determine whether or not you're worthy of being featured in the Local Pack results.
  7. Personalization = 5.88%
    • As technology evolves, people demand messaging to be catered to them, otherwise they'll just move onto the next dental practice who will take the time to create personalized content. 
  8. Social Signals = 2.82%
    • Google pays attention to the way your audience interacts with your brand on Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms. The more followers, shares, and reach you have, the more valuable your content and product is likely to be according to Google's algorithms. 
 You can learn how to fulfill these factors in our blog, Local SEO: How to Get Listed in Google Local Pack Results.
 

Creating SEO Driven Content

Part of the inbound methodology is creating content to attract patients to your website like bees to honey. We're not just talking any type of content though, we're talking SEO content. To get the most out of your blog investment, you need to write your blogs for your target audience and optimize the blog content for search engines.
 

Establish Buyer Personas

We recommend that you personalize your marketing by establishing buyer personas for your dental practice, and writing content specifically for these personas. Buyer personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal patients. Establishing who these personas are will help you visualize and internalize "ideal customers" so you can speak to their preferences directly through your content. It helps to remember your personas by assigning them names, like Gingivitis Gary or Kid-Mom Karen. 
 
To write the best content for your target audience, you should think like your patients. Are there questions your dental hygienists hear over and over during cleanings? Does your dental practice offer a specialty dental service, like Invisalign? These are great blog content topics! By blogging about dental techniques, common oral hygiene misconceptions, or your dental practice accomplishments, you'll be able to draw in not just potential customers, but also gain a positive reputation as an expert in the dental field.
 

Do Your Topic and Keyword Research 

Once you start thinking like your patients, you'll be able to come up with content topics to write about. Next, you should start thinking about what keywords should be in your blogs. Keyword research is an important step in creating and optimizing your content. It is used to identify popular words and phrases people enter into search engines. Keyword research will help you figure out what keywords you should try to rank for with your content. You can learn all about how keywords and blogging come together for SEO in our blog.

By researching the words and phrases your potential customers search, and using this research to create content that is targeted to their specific questions, you can drive high-converting traffic to your website. Some terms to understand in relation to keywords research are:

  • Search Volume - The amount of searches that a keyword or term receive per month.
  • Search Competition - This can refer to how many pages on the internet include that term, thus, the number of pages you will be competing against. If you are using Google Adwords, search competition can also refer to the number of advertisers that are running ads on Google Adwords for this specific keyword.

Just remember to go for keywords that are:

  1. Valuable to your website and content
  2. Have high search volume
  3. Have low search competition

 An example could be that you want to write a blog about gingivitis. Gingivitis has a search volume of 130,000 per month and has a low competition score: 18 out of 100. This is a good sign! Google suggestions tells us there are other relevant long-tail keywords for gingivitis.

google suggestions keyword research

Do any of these long-tail keywords align with your content? If so, great, use them! Mindfully writing your content while building in long-tail keywords will help your content rank for more terms and searches about your core topic. You should even include local SEO keywords in your content. Using the gingivitis blog example, keywords like 'gingivitis treatment Wilmington NC' could help your next patient find your dental practice over your competitor. 

 

Content Tips

SEO should play a huge role in your content writing strategy. You want to create content that your patients are looking for, and you want to make sure they can find it. Here a few tips you should follow when creating content:
  • To get the most out of your keywords research, keywords should be used not only in your content's body, but also in the title and headings. Just like a good book, your blog's title will give readers and search engines, an idea of what your content is all about.
  • Try to keep your content and keywords focused. A blog about too many different subjects isn't as strong as a topic-concise blog with 10-20 focused keywords.
  • Put yourself in your patients shoes when it comes to keyword research, and ask yourself what patients generally want or need from you and your dental practice. This can help the keyword process of blogging flow naturally.
  • Trust the professionals. Hiring an inbound marketing agency skilled at blogging ensures that the right keyword research will go into your content. This eliminates stress on your end, and frees up your time to work your dental practice and leave the marketing to a professional team.



 

 

 

 

 

 

Section 3: Social Media

 

As a dental practice, you should think of social media as a tool your practice uses, not a thing you 'have'. Social media is a great way to connect with potential and existing patients, and to tell them the story of your dental practice's brand. Facebook alone had 2.27 billion registered users in 2018, and your patients are included. 

As a dentist, you may think you are just selling dental services like teeth cleanings or veneers, but what you're really selling is health, confidence, and trust. This is your brand story, and social media gives you the opportunity to tell it. 

Now more than ever patients are educating themselves online on products and businesses before purchasing. Social media plays a huge role in this research process, and now is the time to start influencing their decision with your social media strategy.   

 

Benefits of Social Media for Your Dental Practice

Your social media strategy should be an integral part of your overall digital marketing strategy. As a dental practice, your competition will be limited to other local dental practices. Social media is a great tool to: 

  1. Tell Your Brand Story
  2. Share Your Content
  3. Find Out More About Your Patients and Get Personal
  4. Establish Patient and Industry Authority

How to Measure ROI on Social Media

Social media marketing can feel like a black hole of content that never gets full. It also can be difficult to document the true ROI of a social media investment. It can be very hard to show why a click to purchase happened. The reality is that many facets of your marketing strategy work together and not in silos.

 

Tips for Creating Social Media Content

 
  • Get official - If your social media account is acting as the 'official' page or account of your dental practice, make sure you take the necessary steps to look the part. You can verify your Facebook Business Page and upgrade your Instagram account to a Business account for free.
  • Respond to patient engagement - Many social network algorithms, like Instagram's, will keep your content at the top of your audience's feed if you are active on your posts. Always reply to comments to show your followers you're there and listening, and to beat the algorithms. 
  • Be selective with your networks - When it comes to social media, you should practice quality over quantity. It is better to have one or two social platforms that you actively post, and create content for than to have accounts on 'all' social networks that you struggle to stay active on.
  • Be organized - While some posts will be spur of the moment or unplanned, you should consider creating an editorial calendar for your social content. 

 

 

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