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Blog
28
Jan
2015

Why Local SEO Is Important for Dentists Looking for New Clients

Dentists face a number of problems in their line of work, which can prevent them from giving the best dental care possible to their clients. Instead of focusing on what is truly important in their job, dentists often find themselves assuming the roles of formidable operations manager, savvy generator of dental marketing ideas, and reliable staffer all rolled into one.

Dental Staff Management

Having an excellent dental staff is not enough. Patients rely on and interact with them more than they do with the dentists themselves. If one of a dentist’s key staff members decides to leave, he or she has to handle the problem of having to hire and train the staff’s replacement, which can cost time and money.

Tax Concerns

Dentists have to constantly be on guard in all matters concerning taxes. They cannot afford to compromise their reputation as highly regarded health professionals by getting involved in tax issues such as failing to file their income tax returns, not remitting the tax withheld from their employees’ salaries, as well as avoiding tax payments on purpose.

Decreasing Number of Clients

Dentists know the importance of maintaining a good relationship with their existing clients to keep their dental office business going. It cannot be avoided, however, that retaining their current patients becomes more difficult for a number of reasons. Old clients may pass away, transfer to another city, or decide to stop maintaining their dental health care.

Competition among dental health professionals is also a key factor in the reduced number of new clients coming in. A significant number of dental office businesses are run in most cities, and this prompts new clients to easily jump from one dental clinic to the next if they are not satisfied with the service, or if they are looking for a dentist who charges a lower price.

Solution for Dentists Looking for New Clients

The best thing that dentists can do, then, is to attract new patients, ensure that they keep coming back and, ultimately, become returning, faithful clients. Dentists should broaden their scope of dental services to provide more value to their patients; this gives them the competitive edge they need over other dental practitioners so that they are able to increase their client base.

Old Strategies That Don’t Work Today

There is now a great need for a new marketing approach that dentists can apply in looking for new clients. However, conventional dental marketing ideas that are designed to establish a healthy client base are no longer applicable in modern times.

Good Reputation

Dentistry is a highly reputed profession — one that should provide one of the best customer services in the world — but this fact does not guarantee that patients will flock to a dentist’s clinic by the hundreds every day. What is important to any regular client is that they get the best dental health care they need — not that their dentist graduated with the highest honors in dental school.

Seniority Advantage

Dental practices that have been around for a long time may gain a bit of an advantage over their younger counterparts, even without the benefit of novel dental marketing ideas, but this still does not ensure them a huge client base. Nowadays, prospective clients are more likely to get their dental services from dentists who have a tangible presence in the Internet.

Patient Referrals

Being referred by your patients to other people or word-of-mouth is a tried and tested strategy to increase a dentist’s number of clients. However, this only serve

Dentists can hardly expect their satisfied clients to spread the word that they had a great time having their tooth extracted, or that they enjoyed getting a root canal. Also admitting that one had undergone an extensive procedure such as teeth whitening is something that a dental patient would not probably announce to the world.

Print Marketing

Handing out colorful postcards to their patients is a time-honored marketing practice among dentists. It is proven to be successful in growing a client base, especially when discounts are offered to current patients. But it has its limitations — it can only reach a small number of prospective clients because existing patients do not necessarily hand out these postcards to people they meet.

Communication

The reason why these traditional dental marketing ideas are no longer effective in securing an increasing number of patients is that they don’t give dentists the ability to stay connected to their clients. The modern environment drives people to always be on the move and gives them little room for checking every single dental clinic within the vicinity.

Online Dental Marketing Ideas

Now, more than ever, dental patients have an unbelievable amount of choices in almost every kind of customer service, including dental health care, and this prevents them from being loyal to one dentist alone. In addition, patients are more drawn to getting information about a particular dental clinic more easily and much faster by going online.

Customer Reviews

Online reviews now play a big role in most consumers’ decision-making. Customers are more inclined to buy or try a product or service when they know that others have experienced using it and are more than happy to tell everyone about it.

Web Retargeting

By taking advantage of a simple computer code, targeted ads can follow potential dental patients on the Internet. This ensures a dental practice’s constant virtual presence to individuals who have shown an interest in availing of its dental care services.

Social Media Marketing

In a nutshell, social media marketing allows dentists to be easily recognized by potential clients in a more accessible manner. It also helps dental practices to build a big client base in a shorter amount of time while letting them connect to their patients on a more personal level.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO provides dental health professionals an easy way of marketing their dental practice in the long term in the most cost-effective manner. It allows a greater number of potential clients to view the services offered by a dental clinic in the comfort of their own homes. This translates to a more visible online presence for dental practices on a global scale.

The ease with which SEO allows a dental practice to be accessed online also means a higher return on the dentist’s investment in a dental marketing idea that works entirely for him or her the whole day, every day.

The Benefits of Local SEO

For dentists who are looking for new clients, going the way of search engine optimization may not be enough. Compared to other types of businesses, dental practices find it more difficult to get higher SEO rankings. The number of dental clinics in one city alone can reach hundreds, which makes it impossible for any dental clinic to easily rank in the top 5 or even top 10 search results in any search engine.

Local Presence

Online dental marketing ideas make it possible for dentists to make their businesses known nationally and even in international shores. But in order to increase their number of clients and ensure the growth of their dental practice, what is more crucial to dentists is that they establish their presence in the neighborhood by ranking high in local Internet searches.

More Clients

This is where the importance of considering the advantages of local SEO comes in. A small dental clinic that is just starting out and is looking to build up its client base will benefit from this type of SEO by allowing it to reach a bigger number of potential patients within a specific distance in its area. Likewise, an established dental practice with a decreasing number of clients is able to acquire new patients by going the local SEO way.

Ranking Well

Dentists who are looking to add to their existing clients can easily position themselves to rank high in local searches by doing these steps to maximize their local SEO.

URL Submission

A dental office business owner should submit his website address to all the local search engines as soon as he gets his website set up. This ensures that his address will show up in local searches as soon as possible. To maintain a high ranking, a dentist should also constantly update his webpage and resubmit to the search engines at least once a month.

Keyword Optimization

Taking local search optimization one step further, it is important for dentists to include specific keywords in their website pages to make it easier for potential clients to find them. Dental terms that refer to services provided should be a key component of their web content, as well as contact numbers, company policies, and their business address. The city or state where the dental practice is located should be conspicuously displayed on the webpage.

Backlinking

Dentists can increase their local SEO value by linking their websites to other websites; backlinks also serve to validate their dental practice. They can get their website registered in local directories, trade organizations, networking groups, and even in the websites of their existing clients. Giving comments on blog posts and in forums are considered as good backlinks as well.

Blog Creation

Speaking of blog posts, dentists will do themselves a great service by creating their own blogs. This is a great way for them to put a personalized touch on their dental business and to interact with their clients in a non-intimidating atmosphere. Maintaining their blogs by posting helpful, informative, and easily readable articles on a regular basis also ensures that their business address is constantly updated online, which translates to higher ranking in local search results.

Lead Generation

A call to action spells the difference between gaining new dental patients and driving away potential ones. Each of a website’s blog posts should contain a “call to action” statement that, when clicked by an online visitor, takes him to a specific landing page instead of the main page. Each landing page contains the information he is looking for, such as the types of braces offered or steps in booking an appointment.

Closing the Deal

A dentist should find ways to turn his prospective clients into loyal ones by giving them offers that encourage booking another appointment, such as giving a discount if more than one family member decides to have a general dental checkup. Setting a time limit on the offer also helps to quickly close the deal. It helps a lot if the website visitors can see a widget or any clickable component on the landing page to allow him to take up the offer.

Local search engine optimization does take up a huge amount of time and effort on the dentist’s end because it is an ongoing process. But in these competitive times, local SEO is no longer an option — it is a necessity.

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