One of the biggest challenges facing dental practices today is acquiring new patients. Many dental offices find themselves in a continuous competition for patients, and for a dental practice to see growth, a single dentist should be seeing about 20 new patients per month.

Growing your dental practice can seem like a difficult task, but it can become even more daunting when there is a lack of marketing efforts. Believe it or not, in the dental industry, marketing is essential to driving demand and growing your practice

Being in the dental industry means that you are providing your customers with a service, and without a tangible item to sell, you must focus on selling your ideas and promises. Because of this,  you need to take a different approach to the way that you market your dental practice. In order to keep up with the competition, you need to know how to market your business. Here are a few marketing tips that will help grow your dental practice:

1. Get involved in your local community.

Dental practices are local businesses that rely heavily on their communities to source new patients. Therefore, getting involved in the community is a great way to grow your dental practice. This can include things such as sponsoring or attending local events, sharing your knowledge with a local school, or even teaching classes on dental hygiene. 

When you are engaged with your community, you begin to build honest relationships with citizens, which can help  lay the foundation for how your business is viewed. This also gives you the chance to take part in word-of-mouth and direct marketing, further spreading awareness about your practice.

2. Get more patient reviews.

An estimated 97 percent of customers look at online reviews and 85 percent of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family.

A new patient is likely to have a lot of doubts about seeing a new dentist, so oftentimes they are checking reviews to decide whether to visit your office or not. By making a great first impression, you can better influence their decision to book an appointment with you.

Increasing the quality of patient reviews will do more than boost your reputation. Good word of mouth has the potential to increase patient engagement, identify gaps in care, and ultimately drive revenue. So, how can you get your customers to leave a review of your dental practice?

  • Create incentives, such as add-on service discounts.
  • Share positive reviews you have already received and make sure to continually ask for new ones (at the appropriate time). 
  • Respond to every review—even the negative ones.
  • Ask the patient for a review in person.

3. Offer referral bonuses to patients.

Referrals are another great opportunity to grow   your dental practice. In fact, 93 percent of people trust recommendations from their friends or family.

Not only can referral bonuses be used to expand your practice, but they can also be used to retain current customers. The incentive for patients is simple: If a patient recommends your practice to family/friends and that person ends up visiting your practice, then the original patient will be rewarded with a bonus, such as a dental product or discount.

Not only does this have the benefit of engaging with your current patients, but it also opens the door to engage with new patients.To get started, try handing out a simple referral card at the office or mail them to your current patients.

4. Focus on local SEO.

Leveraging local search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective ways to grow your dental practice. What does this mean? This means you’ll want your practice to rank highest for terms like “Lafayette dentist” instead of just “dentist” or “best Lafayette dentist.”

Optimizing your website for local SEO will help you to pinpoint your target audience searching for these terms. While search engine optimization on popular dental lingo can help grow your practice, nothing will bring in new patients like focusing on  highly searched  local keywords.

You don’t want to be showing up for a search in California if your practice is based in Louisiana.

More  Dental Office Marketing Tips: 

  • Use demographic targeting to further narrow down your potential client base. Data shows that 80 percent of family healthcare decisions are made by women. Using this information to your advantage, targeting women and mothers has the potential to be very beneficial to your marketing efforts.
  • Online users are drawn to visuals. Using infographics and pictures to explain your dental practice and patient services will offer your audience an easy explanation of what you do. Letting patients see what you do behind the scenes is a way to build trust.
  • Create a video for your practice. It can be placed on your website and your social media pages to further engage with your audience or spread awareness about your practice.

Be sure to utilize a strategy that will work best for your dental practice and the patients you want to attract. It does not matter what size your office is, reaching out to new and prospective patients is a must for every dentist. Marketing your dental practice can seem daunting at first, but if the right steps are taken it has the potential to be extremely beneficial to your practice and, most importantly, your patients.

At Dexcomm, we aim to deliver quality service and add maximum value to our customers. If you want patients to have a personalized and pleasurable experience every time they contact your practice, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.We would love to help grow your  practice and give you and your patients the best customer service around.

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Dexcomm is a Louisiana-based corporation that provides answering services to businesses and service agencies across the United States. We have been open since 1954, employ a staff of roughly 80 people, and our average client retention rate is 10+ years.

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Read More About The Author: Ashley Plauche