By Smile Marketing
Building an online presence may seem overwhelming, especially when the majority of your marketing experience lies with traditional advertising. From website design to social media and blogging, there are a lot of moving parts.
For this reason, mistakes are bound to happen.
The key is knowing which ones to avoid. The five common online marketing mistakes we observe are often made by dentists who are either just starting out or have yet to gain traction in the online space. By avoiding these missteps, you can build successful campaigns that result in a steady stream of new patients.
1. Not Having a Blog
Many dentists donít have the time or experience to host a†blog†on their website. But not having one puts you at an immediate disadvantage. By consistently publishing new content to your practice website, you can educate prospective patients about their oral health. Doing so establishes trust and credibility. Furthermore, new content improves your authority with Google, which can boost your rankings and broaden your new patient reach.
2. Poor Design
A website for a cosmetic dentist has an additional design burden. Sloppy design reflects poorly on the practitionerís skills. Your website needs to be contemporary, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to use.
Not only should it be visually compelling, your website needs to engage visitors by showing them what itís like to be one of your patients. They shouldnít have to sift through page after page of text before knowing what it would be like to visit your office.
Your website isnít for you; itís for the prospective patient who is seeking out a new dentist.
3. Expecting Overnight Results
When it comes to building an online presence, thereís no such thing as overnight results. Content marketing, SEO, social media (and on) all take time to gain momentum. The goal is to build a sound foundation and expand from there. The long-term results far outweigh the time you put into it.
A word of caution: Beware of overly aggressive agencies that guarantee results while quoting outrageous timeframes and low costs.
4. Ignoring Measurable Data
It can be difficult to measure the results of radio, print, and other traditional marketing channels. However, you can get detailed performance reports from your website. The key is knowing what to look at. Google rankings and the number of visitors to your site are great metrics to monitor. Google Analytics will give you the number of visitors, time on page and other data, but is virtually blind when it comes to revealing what turned a visitor into a new patient.
Make sure you choose a website provider that can show you the most important data. For instance, Smile Marketing created the New Patient Tracker to show the number of new patients a clientís website is producing and precisely how those new patients were converted.
5. Discounting User Behavior
As technology evolves, Internet users evolve along with it. Now,†more than half of all website searches†are performed on a mobile device. If your website is three to four years old, it probably doesnít adapt to the smaller screen size of a mobile device. This makes the user experience poor and Google penalizes your site, reducing its new patient performance.
Social media has shortened attention spans. Users demand high quality content that they canít find elsewhere. These behavioral shifts mean your website should be more unique, readable, and visually engaging than ever before.
There are†over a billion websites†in the world today. The rapid increase in competition means you have a matter of seconds to gain a prospective patientís attention Ė before they move onto one of your competitors.
Online Marketing Can Produce New Patients
When used correctly, the Internet can send a flood of new patients through your office doors. The first step is to avoid the mistakes that may be holding you back. In overcoming these initial hurdles, youíll be able to build impactful online marketing campaigns that fill the gaps in your patient schedule.