Unlock your online potential – maximising your digital marketing efforts

digital marketingTim Cameron-Kitchen presents five ways dentists can maximise their digital marketing efforts.

Some dentists may already be successful without the help of online advertising. Yet, many successful businesses are neglecting digital marketing and an entirely new pool of prospective clients as a result.

For example, did you know that, according to www.dentistryiq.com, 42% of patients prefer to book appointments online rather than via a call or in-person? 

Perhaps the prospect of learning about online advertising seems like a time-dump for already busy and successful dentists. But what if I told you all you needed to do was make a few tweaks to your website to capture this ever-expanding audience? 

In this article, I’ll offer you five simple fixes that require no advertising budget or marketing mastery. As a result, your website’s traffic and conversion rate will improve, opening your practice up to a whole new world of possibilities. 

Set up Google Analytics

It makes sense to set up your Google Analytics account sooner rather than later. Why? This software shows you data that calculates your advertising return on investment. Plus, you’ll gain key insight into your website’s visitors and how they behave when navigating your site. 

The sooner you set up your account, the sooner you’ll be able to collect historical data that will paint a picture of your website’s progress. This software can also help to recognise key issues on your website, such as pages that cause people to click off your site faster. 

Conduct user tests

Before you roll out an aggressive advertising campaign, you’ll want to gain some non-biased feedback first. 

You can conduct user tests so that randomised visitors can navigate your website and point out any obvious issues they have. This could result in comments about load time, how your website works on mobile versus desktop and the reasons why a visitor may not feel compelled to convert. 

Hotjar (www.hotjar.com) does the same sort of thing. This is a heatmap that can be installed onto your site to track each visitor’s footprint and, interestingly, where these visitors tend to drop off. The only downside is that you won’t get that qualitative feedback that adds context to your visitor’s actions. 

Tweak your online form 

As a result of your analytics and user feedback, you might decide to refine your online form. Or, go ahead and create one if your site is missing a field form altogether. 

For dentists, this form is usually a gateway for customers to book an appointment or a free consultation. 

You’ll want to make this form appealing, prominent on the site and easy to fill out. Remember, successful forms ask for the right amount of qualifying information without probing for useless details that customers will get sick of sharing.  

In the case of dentists, you might also require an image attachment option to review the patient’s need for braces, Invisalign or veneers. 

Consider live chat

An advanced version of a form is a live chat or a chatbot that can give visitors instantaneous replies. Getting replies instantly is what’s important to modern-day customers. As well as being able to multitask and be in control of the situation. 

Those in dentistry should seriously consider installing a live chat plug-in to take care of customer queries. As you’ll know, dentistry can be urgent, personal and fearful for many. As such, it always helps to have as much interaction as possible before a booking is made. 

This doesn’t always mean tearing dentists from their important practice. Live chats can be looked after by virtual assistants or automated to recognise specific queries. 

Create a dentistry blog 

Finally, you’ll want to create a hub of information that potential prospects can use to find you. 

Before undertaking any treatment, most people will turn to Google to ask a few questions first. You should be working to answer their questions and, in turn, drive more traffic to your website.  

As soon as your blog is created, it will already stand a good chance of ranking in the search results. This is because Google prefers industry experts that are qualified to give advice on health and medicine. As a dentist, you have the upper hand when it comes to writing content because of your ability to give professional, ethical recommendations.  

The article first appeared in Implant Dentistry Today. You can read this here.

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