For all dental practices, it’s important to decide who are your ideal patients.
Where do they live?
What kind of service do they expect?
Are they young, older, male, female?
Are they affluent, price sensitive, looking for a dental ‘package’ e.g. a membership scheme?
Are they in certain jobs like airline stewards and stewardesses, actors & actresses, business people that do presentations or public speaking, teachers or in other professions?
Last but not least, at what life stage are they? Are they about to get married?
Have you ever considered how many people are getting married in your local area in 2016?
What if we told you that you could directly target these people with tooth whitening, other cosmetic treatments or even braces if far enough in advance?
Well you can!
There’s plenty of benefits to approaching this section of the market:
- Everyone wants a perfect smile for their big day
- Brides, grooms and bridesmaids all want to be camera ready
- It’s all about having great photos as well as the memories
- They have a wedding budget of (average in UK) £24,000*
- People will spend more on a wedding cake than the cost of teeth whitening!
If you’d like more information about creating perfect wedding day smiles for your local area call us on 01626 897 713 or email us.
Your dental website cannot contain all of the details about everything you know without losing its overall effectiveness as a key communication to patients and prospective patients.
One of the best things about a blog is that the small, focused nature of each article allows you to expand on one specific aspect of dentistry and go into detail about it.
Most blog set-ups will allow you to categorise each one so that people can find the articles on a specific topic easily.
Blogs are the ideal platform to show not just how much you know about dentistry in general, but how in-depth your knowledge is about the areas of dentistry that interest you most.
Having a store of good quality dental blogs can answer questions that your patients have and follow up from specific conversations either with them or staff at the practice.
Sharing your dental knowledge on your blog will help to ensure that patients feel they have a truly skilled and experienced dentist.
Google’s Algorithm Updates Explained
Panda, introduced Feb 2011, hits weak and duplicate content and stops them from appearing in Googles top search results. This increased the ranking of news and social networking sites as they are content heavy and regularly updated.
Panda is occasionally updated – in one instance to help small business websites do better within the Google search.
Penguin, introduced April 2012, hitting unnatural links that don’t follow Google’s quality guidelines. Whilst Panda is getting softer over time on it’s work against poor content, Penguin is getting stricter. This shows that Google is gradually lowering its tolerance of webspam. Black hat SEO tactics have been targeted e.g.:
- Keyword stuffing
- Link schemes
- Cloaking, “sneaky” redirects or “doorway” pages
- Purposeful duplicate content
Hummingbird, introduced August 2013, is about Google being able to catch users’ actual search intent and find the content that matches this intent the best. Using semantic search it works out the context of the search query, not just the individual terms.
Hummingbird is more than an update, it’s a new algorithm to ensure that Google understands your entire sentence, not just the words you used.
Pigeon, introduced July 2014, aims to provide more useful, relevant and accurate local search results by connecting web search and map search in a more cohesive way.
While it hits local businesses, Pigeon is also a unique animal because it allows Google to adapt to our behaviors and uses location and distance as key part of search strategy.
For more information about SEO tactics and creating great
web content get in touch via email or phone us on 0845 287 3051.
A great way to create trust in your brand is by asking patients for testimonials.
It costs nothing and can sway potential patients to visit the practice when they see other people like them have had a good experience in the chair.
You could email your patient list, ask patients when you see them for their appointment or have testimonial cards on your reception desk and encourage patients to share their thoughts.
Here’s some examples of our recent testimonials:
Great service….we launched our practice and August 2014, Steve and the team looked after our marketing needs from flyers through to referral packs. They were efficient, competitive and the end result was of a very good quality.
Parmajit Kaur Athwal | Wightwick Dental Practice
I have worked with Smile Marketing for over 5 years as regards marketing all 6 of my practices and the results have been that each of my practices’ turnover has increased by over 10% each year. It’s nice to work with a marketing team that has a thorough understanding of dentistry.
Dr Mitesh Badiani | Devon Dental Centre of Excellence
Dental Awards Winner | Dentist of the Year
Not sure how to best to approach patients for testimonials or not sure what to do once you have them? Get in touch for a no obligation consultation.
A blog is a ‘web log’ – effectively an online diary about your business. There are some very good reasons for your practice to have a blog:
- It’s a great way to keep your patients up to date on details of your practice that are too long to tweet
- It helps your websites SEO as you’ll be updating your website every time you write a blog
- You can write detailed articles on hygiene, how to floss or anything that you feel would benefit patients
- To keep your patients up to date with the practice, staff and new treatments
If you are going to create a blog for your practice you need to do the following:
Host the blog on your own domain. (For example – www.YourBusiness.com/blog). Whoever set up your website can easily add a blog for you to use. Alternatively you can open a WordPress blog and have a link in your site navigation that directs people there.
Thinking of something interesting to say each time you blog is the tricky bit. You need to be able to write good content that will be interesting for your patients. They won’t read a long sales pitch.
Keep it up! Posting on a blog once is pointless, you may as well have just created a webpage for that post. You can write about anything related to dentistry, your practice or your local area, for example:
- Jenny our dental nurse is going on maternity leave and will be replaced by Kim
- Did you know? (you should brush for 2 mins, you need a pea size amount of toothpaste)
- A coffee morning for charity will take place on 26th May at 10am – there will be cake!
- How to floss like a pro
- Our new implantologist
If you like the idea of a blog but need more direction and assistance in the set up and management then get in touch.
We get asked this a lot. Well, for many practices, it’s a sound business opportunity!
Typically, and in our experience, radio works best for:
- Practice launches – reaching as many people as quickly as possible to build a patient base
- Promoting a unique service in your catchment e.g. cosmetic treatments not offered by competitors
- Communicating convenience e.g. children’s braces without NHS waiting list
- Promoting an event e.g. practice open day (often at launch)
- Seasonal offers e.g. teeth whitening for summer and the “wedding season”
Regional radio stations with a good % of local people listening can work really well. You just need a creative advert with a strong message and clear call to action (your phone number, web address or text number)
Ah, my “ideal patient” I hear you say. Everyone should have a profile of who they really want in their practice but that’s a subject for another day.
There are best practices in buying radio advertising or sponsorship and it’s always best to consult a professional marketing company for assistance.
Next time, we’ll dispel the myths of radio advertising, for example it doesn’t have to be expensive – in fact it can be extremely cost effective if you look at the cost per thousand of reaching your ideal patients.
For an initial no-obligation phone consultation with us to discuss your practice future, call 0845 287 3051 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dental practices with a clear business plan will be able to make the most of the improving economic climate, and greater consumer confidence.
Whether it be increased take up on adult orthodontics, “teeth-in-a-day” (a.k.a. All on 4 or All on 6), whitening or other cosmetic dentistry. Smile Marketing are ready to help you succeed in 2015.
Why take our word for it? Here’s what our client Joe Dwyer, Sunlight Orthodontics, had this to say after Smile helped with Marketing Planning, local promotions, GDP marketing and joint venture promotion.
“I have been very impressed with Smile Marketing. Prior to working with them, we had tried to find our own way through the marketing minefield and had wasted much time and money. With the help of Smile Marketing, we have implemented a more professional and effective marketing strategy which has seen the private gross of the practice more than double. The service is excellent. They are approachable and always available for advice, responding to questions with a speed I have not experienced with any other company I have worked with, marketing or otherwise”… “I would recommend Smile Marketing to anyone who has ever wondered whether practice marketing can be effective. With Smile Marketing, it can.”
Give your practice the ultimate Christmas gift, a clear roadmap to increased income in 2015. Smile Marketing has a range of special packages for helping ambitious practices to thrive and grow.
Call or email for an initial no-obligation phone consultation with Steve Davey to discuss your practice future.
If you’re thinking of getting involved with Social Media but don’t know where to start, check out our package offers and contact us.
Facebook Page Management
- Daily updates
- Monthly reporting
- Full competitor analysis
- Replies to comments
- Weekly page optimisation
£195* per month
Facebook Ad Management
- Full competitor analysis
- Weekly reporting
- Careful analysis of your target market
- Identification of objectives for your campaign
- Creation of dozens of targeted Ad Groups
£350* per month
Twitter Account Management
- Daily updates
- Weekly reporting
- Full competitor analysis
- Manual following of new potential customers
- Retweets and replies encouraged and made for others
£195* per month
All Three Services – £675* per month
* + VAT. For more information contact us or call Steve Davey on 0845 287 3051.
Excellent Marketing Support Now, Pay Later
We are getting into the festive period frenzy of special offers and deals – from holidays to furniture to any number of potential gifts. But it’s refreshing to know that for business planning, marketing advice, branding, website and patient communications, your costs can be spread over several months.
Following the expense of practice refurbishments and equipment upgrades for CQC and HTM 01-05, or the launch of a new practice, cash may be tight but the need for finding new patients, promoting treatments, attracting high value cases and increasing referrals never goes away.
It’s important that dental practices choose a flexible agency to support them – not just in terms of high quality advice that eliminates costly mistakes or media planning and buying that saves them money.
Smile Marketing works with you to plan and budget in a way that suits your cash flow, whilst allowing you to benefit from marketing right away. There are several ways we do this.
- From our proposal, you can simply select paying in 12 equal monthly instalments on the agreed contract value. There is no minimum contract value.
- For the larger marketing investments, maybe for a new practice launch, re-brand or change in practice strategy, we can recommend a finance company that allows you to spread payments as part of an unsecured ‘working capital’ loan.
And remember, for retainer clients a proportion of our fees are based on practice results, whether new consultations, cases, income or bottom-line.
For more information contact us or call Steve Davey on 0845 287 3051.
Let your patients do it for you!
Your happy patients are your brand ambassadors. There’s no one better to boast about your excellent dental treatments than your current patients!
Testimonials and case studies show potential patients how brilliant you and your team are from a credible source, people with nothing to gain for inaccurate information.
Although rational people know that you will only use positive testimonials they won’t react rationally – people tend to react emotionally. Other patients encouraging words can give potential patients the confidence to try your practice, especially if they can relate to the patients giving the testimonials.
Most of your patients will be happy to be quoted on a few words if you ask them. To increase the credibility of the testimonial it’s a good idea to display their name underneath – with their permission of course!.
You should encourage willing patients to note a specific treatment, the procedure and the difference it has made to them. Backing this up with a before and after picture is a great way to add a visual element – but avoid any gruesome dental photos, run them by a non-dentist first!