What is online marketing? How to use internet marketing to improve your dental practice

1 October 2019 | | Marketing

The business of marketing has changed rapidly over the last few decades, with many companies no longer relying heavily on print, TV or radio advertising. Companies these days are discovering new ways and perhaps more importantly, more cost-effective ways, of marketing their company and services.

Many of these innovative ideas are performed online, but with so many options, it can feel daunting to know where to start. We will explore what internet marketing is and will focus on some different types of online marketing strategies to improve your business.

What is online marketing?

Put simply, it is any type of advertising or marketing completed on the internet. It’s a term that encompasses email marketing, social media posts, and paid advertisements often referred to as PPC (pay per click).

It is possible to reach a wider audience with a relatively small budget and online marketing is used to attract new patients or clients as well as a tool to help retain your current patients. Once you have used online marketing to attract your potential new customers you want them to find a great looking website with clear call to actions and navigation. Don’t stay stagnant with an old-fashioned and unappealing website. Be online aware and take advantage of the wealth of ways you can make sure your website is the one that’s found. Use it as an efficient marketing tool to gain patients, and to ensure that they stick around.

Get mobile Responsive

A huge amount of online searches are now done on mobile devices. According to official Google statements, more than 50% in fact, are performed globally on mobile devices. That’s why it’s so important that your website looks good on all devices, including laptops, PCs and mobile devices.

There is something very frustrating about trying to look for a contact number or tiny pictures on a small screen that have virtually disappeared as the website is not mobile responsive. So make sure your website design is ‘mobile responsive’ which means it can adapt to the myriad of different screen sizes on the market.

Consider live chat

A good way to connect with people is by using a live chat facility. These little pop-up windows are becoming more commonplace and popular on websites. It provides a personal touch, is quicker than email, and offers a direct line of communication. You can respond immediately to any dental questions, offer information or even make a booking on the spot! It is important that you have the staff to handle the live chat promptly, however, as it is not an advised option to offer this facility and then not respond fairly rapidly.

Email Marketing

Information sent by email to your patients. The emails could provide information about special offers, new opening times, staff changes, etc and could also give information on dental treatments, which can lead to people seeing you as a leader in your field. These emails should not be sent too often, monthly is recommended, as too often can be seen as blocking the user in-box and are more likely to be unread or deleted.

Social Media

The main factor in social media marketing is to post interesting and engaging information and articles on your social channels. This enables you to gain the trust of your brand and encourages return custom. There are both paid and unpaid options with social media. It is a great tool, which allows satisfied patients to share content with other like-minded people. We offer either social media training for your team or a fully managed social media service here to help you keep on top of the social world.

PPC

PPC is perfect for new practices that are trying to get established or to directly attract new patients to your books. It has a quick return on investment. Maximum daily budgets can be set to help spread the costs over the month as well as maximum costs per click so that you don’t overspend on a particular keyword.

PPC allows you to target more than one area, so if you are a practice in a large city or are located between locations this could be very beneficial.

SEO

Search engine optimisation is essential in increasing your website’s visibility in online searches. It is the process of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website. Without SEO your site will find it hard to stay at the top of the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) and it will fail to show up for those keywords you want to rank for.

Local keywords such as ‘dentist Poole’ are the best keywords to start with. After all, it isn’t helpful if someone based in London finds your site if your practice is located in Poole.

Local SEO helps to attract your target audience and is also great if people use a voice search option like Siri or Alexa asking for a local ‘dentist near me’.

Content Marketing

This is used to increase brand awareness. It is an ongoing process that communicates with your patients without necessarily selling something to them. Content can be created and can then be shared via any form of media, which encourages patients or customers to interact with your practice or company. Types of content can include videos, infographics and blog posts.

Display Advertising

This type of advertising is successful in increasing your brand awareness and gets your name out there to a large proportion of people. When you are on a website and an advertisement with an image or video crops up, this is display advertising. It can be very eye-catching and be easy to make using Google’s Ad Gallery.

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