One of the most asked questions we get from dentists is “how to get more patients”. If you’re wondering the same thing, you’re in the right place. In this article, we will discuss the many different methods you can adopt to increase patient influx within your dental office.
Increasing Your Dental Patient Base
The daunting thought of more competition and fewer clients can seem very disheartening. But, with the following dental marketing ideas, we hope that we can help you to increase the influx of patients within your dental practice.
1. Building Positive Reviews
The first thing people look at when searching for a dental practice is their ratings online. Reviews are the main factor of what people associate with a great dental practice and influence their decision to book an appointment. It is crucial to keep in mind that people will always look for imperfection in reviews more than the positivities.
Ratings allow people to see that there are minor flaws, but what comes after it will be the deal-maker for your dental office. By responding to these somewhat “negative” reviews with acknowledgment and apologize, it will show the people that your dental office is open to change and the principles of the office.
It is nearly impossible to be a perfect office that every patient will love. However, it’s never wrong to pursue that perfection. Designate a person in your office to address your position within the situation. Explain that mistakes do happen and that you’ll do your best to ensure that it won’t happen again. It is also essential to keep in mind that it’s best to deal with negative reviews as quickly as possible.
Dental offices should try to make sure that the patients who pass through your practice add to your review online. Whether it be Google, Facebook, or Yelp, create an account in order to build up this reputation. Adding complimentary supplies is always a great incentive to get people to rate and check-in on Yelp and Google. However, do not pay people for a positive review as it violates Google’s term of service.
2. Patient Referral Program
When patients say great things about your dental office to a friend, there’s a chance that you are likely to gain another patient. Especially when it’s a testimonial from a close friend. They are very likely to think of you the next time they decide to book an appointment for any dental practice.
Referrals are an excellent method in building up your client base for your clinic. These patients can become loyal patients who will stick with your practice if given the right care and treatment. There are many different dental referral programs you can try out and decide whether it caters to your needs.
It can be either a bonus program like a free cleaning or a discount for each referral. You can create a very basic referral flyer and distribute them to your patients. Preferably, at the end of their appointment to explain the entire process and slip in a few words to your clients.
Another referral program can be if a patient refers a friend, and the referred patient books an appointment, the referring patient will receive a free voucher or gift card. This same method can also apply to your staff! They also probably have a wide circle of friends and family in the same city, so by encouraging them to your practice, it’ll create a larger pool of patients.
Word-of-mouth marketing can seem very slow and “before the times”. However, it can be the one thing that will attract another loyal patient to your dental practice.
3. New Patient Specials
Another method of attracting new patients to your dental practice is by using the “new patient specials”. A majority of adults that agree that the reason why they are unsure of visiting a dentist in the next 12 months is because of the cost.
Most people will ignore it when it comes to their biannual check-up to the dentist because of the cost. However, if you can offer a special discount to these new patients, it may tempt them in booking an appointment. You can slowly start building a relationship and eventually turn them into loyal patients willing to book future appointments.
Some simple incentive examples can be like:
- Bundles (ex. X-ray, oral exam, and cleaning)
- Free teeth whitening session
- Discounted services (Invisalign, Braces, etc)
To each their own, what you decide to offer to new patients, ensure that it’s better than your competitors and generate enough revenue. Be different from other dental practices in your area as you do want to be able to stand out in comparison to others.
4. Perfect Your Unique Selling Proposition
Attracting patients to an office can be difficult when the office is the same compared to the other 20 dental offices nearby. First, research is required for your area regarding the other dental practices that could potentially be a competitor.
Another problem with the dentistry field is that most people already have a dentist that they regularly go to and don’t have to create a new account. In addition to that, their dentist already has their insurance on file.
Bringing these clients to your business requires a unique selling proposition (USP). Most dental practices primarily focus on providing a luxurious experience for their clients as their selling point. However, there are many other different categories that you can specialize in in order to attract more clients.
Focusing on unique services that separate you from other practices allows for the differentiation between your practice and other dental offices who are all doing the same thing. With this set specialty, make sure you use it as the focal point of your marketing or your website to ensure that it reaches the maximum number of people seeking your services.
Keeping up to date with the current technological amenities helps retain returning patients and attract new patients to your office. Advertising your “state-of-the-art” technologies on platforms like a website can be beneficial for patients who seek a better experience.
5. Sponsoring a Community Local Event
Getting involved in the community around you is another essential method in terms of attracting new patients. Sponsoring local events shows the people that your business is a business that supports the community and gives backs. These activities can spread brand awareness for your dental practice.
6. Interactive Website
One of the essential tools of a successful dental office is their website. As mentioned earlier, having a unique and interactive website that sets your website apart from the countless other dentists who have similar sites makes it so that you can establish yourself as different.
The primary purpose of your website should be aimed towards attracting and retaining patients. Creating a good website will most likely cost a good amount of money. However, there are many benefits when investing in excellent website design. Having a good website contributes to better leads and becomes an incomparable marketing tool for your practice.
A professional website should have the capability of funneling patients towards booking an appointment. Your patients should have easy accessibility towards your contact information as well as providing multiple contact options.
Another great asset for your website can be testimonials. Asking your current patients for testimonials that you can use for your website can be a great marketing strategy. Using reviews you have from other sites like Yelp, Google, etc., also work very well as reviews for your website. Highlighting testimonials on the website builds a reputation and merit for your dental practice and can potentially attract more patients to your practice.
7. Social Media Marketing
With everyone having access to their smartphones in today’s society, social media is another perfect platform to market for your dental practice. By building a large community, as well as a presence online, it can directly contribute to your brand name and build up your reputation. Social media is a very powerful tool for online marketing if used correctly.
Like mentioned before in your reviews, you have to be interactive with your social media page to gain followers and loyal patients. Engaging with your audience and staying consistent with your posts allows for a higher chance of appearing on a potential patient’s timeline or explore page.
Again, designate a specific individual to monitor the engagements on your social media account and different mentions of a dental practice. Reaching out to potential patients in your area, although simple, can be very effective. This simple practice can attract patients who are in a rush to get to a local dental practice but lack the connections to find one.
In terms of customer service, social media is also a great platform to communicate with your patients. If there are any unsatisfied patients, they might write bad comments on your account, but take this as an opportunity to build a positive image and address the problem with finesse.
8. Directory Listings
Generally, people searching for a dental practice on an online directory are perfect targets for converting into new patients. Most of these individuals are either looking for a new dentist or just don’t have a dentist yet.
Having listings on websites like HealthGrades, Vitals, Yelp, and more, if possible, can help reach a larger audience in your area. You have to ensure that the listings that you create on these directory websites have consistent information. Many dentists make a mistake when creating different listings for their business name because they put the name of their office (e.g., Orange Coast Dental Clinic) and, in another directory, their name (e.g., John Apple). If they aren’t consistent, it may drop you in terms of ranking when someone searches up a dental office nearby. Make sure not to make this mistake!
9. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The ultimate goal of SEO is to improve the ranking of your dental office on search results. This will indefinitely improve your revenue growth with a more significant online presence. SEO is not as simple as it was back then. You will want to consider hiring a company or a person to hire for SEO. Optimization of your website so that you’re able to successfully book appointments with the site visitor.
SEO strategies include organic and local, with each having its unique impact on your business. Consult a professional to figure out what strategy works best for you and attract as many potential patients as possible. One of the most popular strategies dentists tend to use is local SEO. The reason for this is relatively simple: they target the people in a specific area.
Google can produce results and prioritizes local listings on mobile searches. It generally makes it very easy for people searching for a service or product nearby. Most consumers tend to do a local search before visiting a store within the same day.
This just shows how important optimizing your website can be, especially for a local area where your dental office is residing. It’s best to include your city, neighborhood, and zip code to trigger specific keywords for your USP (unique selling point).
Another way to prevent any competition is by using long-tail keywords. People tend to search for solutions for solving dental problems. By creating something that caters to that need can increase the traffic on your website.
10. Pay-Per-Click Advertisement
Another very common method for marketing ideas for your business can be PPC (Pay-Per-Click Advertising). With Google Ads, you can advertise your product or practice above the original/organic search results.
PPC is very useful in the sense that when you target specific keywords, it allows the ads to decipher whether or not it is relevant to what people are searching for. One of the better things about Google Ads is that you don’t have to pay initially. You are only charged when someone clicks the ad. Regarding how competitive your line of work can be, the prices you pay Google may vary.
However, it’s reported on Google that one of the most expensive ads is for dental offices and can range up to $15 per click. Make sure that the keywords that you are choosing to optimize are the perfect keywords. If you choose a keyword that contains much competition, it will lead to your budget downfall. Another thing to keep in mind is to track the click-through rates that occur throughout the days of the week. This will skim down the competition as well as narrow down the soon-to-be patients in the area!.
There are many different methods to increase the amount of patients in your dental practice so don’t feel limited to just the ones mentioned in this article. Whether it be the use of a professional website or having a patient referral program, feel free to use whatever caters to your needs.
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