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6 Marketing Mistakes made by Dental Practices

Today, it can be difficult to reach new patients - mainly due to intense industry competition. Like any business, dental practices and orthodontics need to keep up to date with their competitor's to ensure you don't fall behind.

1) Your website does not convert
97% of consumers search online for products & services, and more than half of searches are local. So if you want new patients, they need to be able to find you - it's that simple! Always remember that first impressions are made very quickly when people click on your website, unfortunately people associate a bad website with a business that mustn't care very much. Making such assumptions stops people from proceeding with your treatments or services. If your website looks unappealing, doesn't provide the information required or isn't responsive to a mobile or table then people are likely to go to the next search result, so you lose out on a potentially highly profitable patient. If you already have a website but you're not sure how it's performing online, we offer free, no obligation website free web health checks - request your today, email imogen@justdentalmarketing.com.

Improving areas of concern will help you reach new people, build your Google ranking and get your phone ringing.

2) You ignore social media

Social media is an excellent source for engagement (both industry and patient). The issue that most people express to us about social media is getting the time to do it, little do they know - if a well thought out strategy is in place then you just need to be willing to set aside a certain amount of time per month.

Firstly, choose what platforms work best for you, don't set up everything and only post on Facebook, if that's all you want to post on then that's all you should have - the phrase quality not quantity comes to mind! Ensure your content has a healthy mix of call to actions, links to website pages, engaging conversations, images and video content to keep your audience interested. Social media is about being 'social' so don't treat it like a sales platform because it's not want your audience wants. Get involved in industry events such as National Smile Month, Denplans big summer brush up and don't miss out on local opportunities such as school events.

3) You don't track results
Use Google Analytics to track results of campaigns and gain an understanding of what people are doing on your website. If you don't track, you won't know what's working and what's not. By tracking exactly what patients are doing, you can make changes to improve user experience and make you website more effective.

4) You don't have selected target audiences
Obviously everyone needs a dentist but your messaging should be different to suit target segments, here are a few targets you might want to consider when promoting your practice or platforms such as Facebook.

- Teens and young adults - NHS orthodontics, importance of oral health, Facebook competitions.
- Children - Targeting parents with fun facts to share with their children, demonstrations on oral health care, fun packs, create your own tooth fairy stories in your practices waiting room or targeting local schools.
- Adults - Tooth Whitening, private care, dental finance or payment plans.
- Brides - Tooth whitening offers or facial aesthetics if they are offered at your practice.

5) You have no targets to work towards
Set certain targets to work towards, for example patient acquisition per month or an x% increase in tooth whitening treatments. When key performance indicators are established each team member can hold certain responsibilities and goals to work towards. When setting objectives it is important to review what your competitors are doing to ensure you are not missing out on any opportunities.

6) Your offline presence doesn't marry up with your online presence
Consistency is very important, what people see online they expect to see offline - ensure your colours and branding are consistent across all platforms to help people recognize you, create associations with the brand and increase brand loyalty. Whether you are a small practice in a small town or a big practice in multiple locations the message remains the same. Think of your practice as a brand like Google, Apple or Lego - yes there obviously differences in your brands but the basic principles are the same. If you are not happy with the way your dental brand looks then how can you expect others to?

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