To effectively expand your dental practice, you need a solid, modern dental marketing strategy. For those without marketing backgrounds to create that strategy, there are convenient online tools to help ensure your marketing is on the right path for your goals and patient type. Take a look at these resources available to help you decide which direction your practice marketing should grow.
1. Competitive Analysis
A competitive analysis can help you gain insight into what other dental professionals in your area are doing and what is or isn't working for them. You can use the data to determine if and how your practice should alter your marketing strategy to better reach your target audience.
For example, if another dentist near you has double the engagement on their social media channels, a competitive analysis can give you clues as to why. Perhaps they're using video marketing heavily or posting much more frequently than your practice is. You can emulate their strategy to determine if it works for your patient base.
2. Buyer Personas
Your buyer personas can also indicate what direction you should grow your practice. If, for example, you're a cosmetic dentist targeting individuals with high disposable incomes, you may want to focus on offering veneers, teeth whitening, and other elective dental procedures. A complete buyer persona can indicate what motivates your ideal patient and what their pain points are, so you can adjust your marketing accordingly.
3. Patient Surveys
Want to know what your patients really think? Ask them to complete an anonymous survey before they leave. Include questions designed to measure the efficacy of your dental marketing strategies, as well as patient comfort and satisfaction. You should also include a section for open comments as well; simply asking yes or no questions, or asking patients to rate their satisfaction from 1 to 5, can restrict the number of valuable responses you get.
4. Split Testing
Your dental practice can use email marketing to reach out to patients about open cleaning appointments, new treatment offerings, and other important content. But how do you know what emails are and aren't effective? Split testing allows you to test different subject lines, banners, and content to suss out the higher open and click-through rates. Then, you can continue sending emails to your patient base knowing they’re getting in the active inboxes.
5. SEO Analysis
An SEO analysis is another critical tool in determining what direction your practice should expand in. Essentially, your SEO analysis will inform you of what actions need to be taken to improve your search engine ranking. The analysis will evaluate several important components of search engine optimization, including the quality and length of your title and meta descriptions, keywords your site is ranking for, how quickly your website loads, the number and quality of both inbound and outbound links, and more. Use your SEO analysis as a sort of roadmap to guide you on where your practice website needs improvement.
6. Patient Reviews
Patient reviews are extremely valuable to your marketing strategy in more ways than one. Not only will good reviews help prospective patients choose your practice, but bad reviews can help you learn where your practice needs to improve. Are multiple patients complaining that the wait to see a dentist was too long? Or are they unsatisfied with your office's lack of dental technology? Use your patient's pain points to help determine what changes need to be made. However, you also need to consider confidentiality constraints related to using patient reviews.
7. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is likely necessary for any business with a website, not just dental professionals. This all-important tool gathers a variety of information, including the sources of your website traffic, bounce rates and popularity data for each page, historical data, and more. Use this tool to spot weaknesses in your overall marketing strategy, such as a high load time or astronomical bounce rates.
8. User Testing
User testing is also a great way to glean data about the thoughts and opinions of your target audience. Tools like UserTesting.com charge a fee to have a trained "tester" visit your practice's website. You can customize what questions the test asks and where on your website the tester navigates. User testing can be helpful just to get a general idea of the impact your website has, but it's even more effective if you use it to drill down on particular issues. Wondering if you have enough resource content about CAD/CAM dentistry? Think your content may be too complex for the average reader to understand? A user test can help you figure it out.
You Have the Data, but is Your Dental Practice Taking Action?
Once you've used a variety of digital marketing tools to gather data about the market and your target audience, the next step is to do something with it. Create goals to grow your dental practice in the direction the data takes you, and make sure each of your goals are SMART–specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Remember that expanding your practice is an ongoing process, and you should always be collecting and analyzing available data. The market shifts often, but these tools and similar can help your practice keep up.
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