Online practice marketing optimized

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Online practice marketing optimized

Nowadays, it is virtually everywhere, filled with tons of information, and accessible from almost any location via almost any kind of electronic communication device. Needless to say, we are referring to the internet. Today, we use it for fun or at work and to obtain all sorts of information via only a few clicks. Some of this information relates to dentist practices and can be reached and disseminated via a multitude of online channels, such as:
  • Search results in Google, Bing, and other search engines
  • Social networks (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
  • Online Newsletter
  • Online platforms with patient reviews (e.g., DentalAce)
The decision on whether to build a strong online presence or not and the corresponding financial investment is very practice-specific and has increasingly moved towards a clear “Yes” among dental practices in Austria, as more and more locals spend an increasing amount of time online every day.

How does optimal practice marketing work?

At first, it is crucial to clearly define the goals of all marketing campaigns in order to maximize their chances of success. For example, it is crucial to answer a set of key questions, including the following five, up front as clearly as possible:

  • Which patient group(s) do you aim to reach?
  • Which services/specializations would you like to highlight?
  • Which online channels would you like to use for marketing?
  • How extensive are the financial resources for online marketing?
  • How is the success rate of online marketing campaigns measured?
After setting the goals of an online marketing effort, one should move on to strategic execution. As with all good things, patience is absolutely essential with online marketing efforts, as it can take several months or even longer until a new campaign gains steam and produces visible and measurable results. Since this initial period of gaining steam has certain costs associated with it, which can vary, depending on the online channels used, a sufficiently large budget should be set aside even before the start of the campaign because all online marketing efforts that are slowed down, or aborted, prematurely due to financial constraints, usually only have a very limited beneficial impact. After a steady build-up of a new online campaign over a 1 to 2-year period, it will likely register with several, if not all, of the major online search engines and start producing continuously strong and measurable results. As with dental treatments themselves, it is also important to always focus on optimizing online ad quality and to continuously improve it in response to market feedback to maximize the chances of achieving optimal results in the long run.

Which online marketing channels are out there?

Before selecting a set of most promising online marketing channels, it is recommended to create a consistent brand strategy to ensure that every piece of marketing material that is published online can easily be recognized by potential customers. The next step is the selection of the best combination of online marketing channels, which may include:

  1. Own Homepage: Nowadays, this is a de-facto “Must” and particularly advantageous, given that the dentist him- or herself has complete control over the homepage content. It is crucial to upload texts that are relevant for patients, to implement an intuitive design, and to optimize all uploaded texts in a way that increases the page’s visibility among online search results (i.e., SEO = search engine optimization). Integrating a periodically updated blog into the homepage is also a good idea but also consumes a lot of time. 
  2. Google-my-Business: A thoroughly filled-out Google-my-Business profile is crucial because it can significantly improve the Google Rank of a dental practice page.
  3. Google Ads: Ads on Google that are optimized for relevant search keywords are very effective instruments for attracting new patients to a dental practice.
  4. Facebook/Instagram: These channels can be used on a cost-free basis and can significantly increase the online visibility of a dental practice. Visual messages on Instagram are particularly effective.
  5. Online Newsletter: An old-fashioned, yet proven channel to stay in touch with patients. It can be sent out on a monthly basis and include new, relevant information about the practice to make sure it stays top-of-mind with existing patients, so they do not forget about upcoming follow-on appointments.
  6. Online Platforms with Patient Reviews: Since an increasing number of patients nowadays wants to book appointments online, patient reviews of a dentist and/or a practice via specialized portals like DentalAce are gaining in popularity and importance. Therefore, it is key to not only garner as many positive reviews as possible by providing top service to patients, but to also respond to each review with short “Thank You” messages to show current and future patients an ongoing interest and engagement in their well-being even outside the practice.
Irrespective of which combination of online channels one selects for a new online marketing campaign, message and ad consistency is absolutely crucial to ensure ideal traction in search engines like Google. This is because Google “punishes” obvious discrepancies between two or more messages (e.g., different practice addresses) by lowering their rankings among search results.

How much can online marketing cost?
In Austria, an increasing number of dentists are starting to use online marketing via some of the most wide-spread online channels (e.g., Google, Facebook) to build an online brand for themselves and to, thereby, attract new patients to their practice. Though the “Do-It-Yourself” model works in many instances, such self-made online marketing often ends up being significantly more expensive and less effective than that performed by a specialized expert. The reason for this is that the success rate of online marketing campaigns highly depends on ongoing optimization of website content. Thus, whoever wants to be listed among the top search results in Google, must tirelessly work on constantly improving any and all ongoing online marketing campaigns. The only real alternative is to pay top dollar for high placements among Google search results which can mean costs of € 50 or more per day in some metropolitan areas like Vienna. Afterwards, if one includes other ongoing costs for other online channels into the calculation, the monthly online marketing budget for the average dentist practice can grow to up to several thousand Euros.

To help dentists with saving their marketing budgets from “exploding” while also benefiting from better results than are achievable via most “Do-It-Yourself” online marketing campaigns, DentalAce developed an efficient and streamlined approach to online marketing that specifically focuses on optimizing the online presence of dental practices.

You can find more information right HERE and we would also like to share some more success stories with you under the following links:

Alright then, let’s log onto the internet to hopefully find some more new patients in a flash.

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