To attract new patients, as in any business, there has to be a strategic plan. Marketing is the business principle that fulfills this role and while the mediums have changed, the basic principles are still the same. Some have been given new names, but the underlying concept remains unchanged. Before being able to move to digital marketing and SEOs an understanding of marketing basics is required. The strategic plan must address what makes a particular dental practice different. A dental practice must identify all of its strengths and weaknesses to be able to compete with the opposition. Research is vital, without knowing who the competitors are, recognising their strengths and the demographics of an area it would be like trying to compete blind. Marketing is a case of showing an audience what they should show an interest in, without telling them in detail. Compiling meaningful quality content, not just large quantities, is another cornerstone of basic marketing. Armed with a solid strategic plan incorporating all of these basic principles, a dental practice can implement a positive patient attraction system.
To attract patients using a website also requires the use of social media, website performance, content velocity and analytics. In addition it also needs to address search engine optimisation if the website is to get to the first page of a search engine. The transition from posting and handing flyers to digital marketing is how to best describe a fully responsive website. In this era a website must have the capability of allowing searchers to quickly find and easily read and understand a web page. Getting found quickly is therefore key to attracting new patients, the web is crowded with competitors and this is why a fully responsive website is crucial. Keywords are how search engines match searchers to a website, so using the most effective keywords is a necessity to attract patients.
Using analytics effectively
Attracting patients to a website is the initial part of a much longer and involved process. A dental website might be attracting many visitors, but if those visitors are not staying on a website for longer than a few brief seconds this will be highlighted in the analytics. This is where using data is so important, to identify and quickly act, to make a website more effective at retaining visitors.
Like anything, if the website is not interesting enough the visitor will move on to the next website. Providing interesting and captivating content and videos of why a particular dental practice is more beneficial to use than another is the core to holding visitors once they have been attracted. Encouraging the visitor to become involved by allowing opt-ins such as downloading e-books or motivating them to provide their email address for a newsletter are ways to continue communicating with visitors until they have become patients. Building trust is paramount to retaining prospects and patients alike, and by ensuring that a visit to a particular dental website has been informative and more of a pleasure than perhaps another dental website, it will motivate further interaction.
Social media is a necessary component
Social media is part of the patient attraction system, because it is a vital aid to help build a solid digital medium to be able to engage with patients. Facebook cannot be ignored purely because of its enormous reach in the digital world. Google Plus provides the vehicle for prospective patients and existing patients alike to obtain extra information. Through Google Plus they can find telephone numbers, hours of operation and full physical addresses.