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Grow Your Dental Practice with Effective Marketing Copy
Dentists and orthodontists have a difficult challenge. You must balance what you’re trained to do – caring for the oral health of their patients – with running a business. And one of the most difficult aspects of running a dental or orthodontic practice is writing effective marketing materials to promote that business. If you’re not finding ways to attract new patients, your practice can’t grow.
See if you’ve experienced any of the issues below:
Do these concerns sound familiar? Many dentists and orthodontists are at the top of their game in terms of professional expertise but they struggle to grow their practice. They view marketing and copywriting as necessary evils but would like to be able to hand off those responsibilities to somebody else — anybody else!
In the past, referrals from other medical professionals and existing clients were sufficient to maintain a steady stream of new patients. Everyone in your area knew you were The Dentist or The Orthodontist. But now the industry is more competitive and patients have their pick of doctors.
In fact, it seems there are more dentists and orthodontists hanging out their shingle every day, many offering services at lower rates and longer hours as they build their practice with patients who might otherwise go to you.
Your practice is likely also being impacted by the national chains cropping up like Aspen Dental, Great Expressions Dental Centers and Smile Doctors Orthodontists. These organizations can achieve economy of scale and are then able to spend substantial ad dollars drawing people to their franchises.
In 2020, there were 201,117 practicing dentists in the United States. This translated to 61 dentists per 100,000 population. There were 187,043 dental offices.
In 2021, the market size of dentists in the U.S. stood at $156 billion. The market size of dentists grew 7.5% compared to 2020 when the market size was $146 billion.
If you’re hoping that these numbers are balanced out by retiring dentists, you’ll be disappointed. Dentist retirement ages have been rising since 2013. Surprisingly, there is no change in this trend due to COVID-19, according to the American Dental Association.
Total inflows to the dentist workforce are expected to exceed total outflows, and this net gain is expected to outpace the projected growth of the U.S. population.
Furthermore, trends indicate a potential surplus in the number of dentists due to improved overall oral health, skyrocketing dental school enrollments, and advancing technology that may reduce total dental visits and procedure time — or even eliminate the need for dentists almost entirely, according to the Ontario Academy of General Dentistry.
If all of that isn’t concerning to you, maybe it should be. There’s no shortage of competition to chip away at the practice you’re working hard to build. What can you do?
Take steps today to improve your marketing and copywriting to attract new patients. Or work with a skilled copywriter who can take this off your plate and be singularly focused on building your practice.
A website should be your most important marketing tool. It establishes your brand. The copywriting on your site introduces your dental or orthodontic practice to the world, telling people who you are and what services you offer. And all of your marketing tools — ads, social media, flyers, brochures — should help drive traffic to your website.
So, when is the last time you made significant changes to your website? One year? Two years? Three years or more? Gasp!
Just like fashions change, so do web designs. A spiffy, new look and some new copy content could breathe new life into your website and help build your brand.
Web design is important. It’s the look and feel of your website. But you need to have substance too if you’re to persuade visitors to contact you. That goes for dentists in the U.S., Australia and Canada, as well as places like Costa Rica that offer affordable overseas dental care to foreign patients. A professional copywriter can help you create pages like these:
If you’d like to add to your existing website but aren’t sure where to go with it, consider writing some copy to promote a niche.
Do you have a dental or orthodontia specialty? Is there a certain type of prospect who’s a particularly good fit for you?
Maybe you enjoy working with children. Or perhaps you’re especially good working with people who are afraid of dentists. Maybe you have special expertise in fitting dentures, or you’re specialized in periodontics, restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, endodontics, teledentistry or family dentistry.
As of 2019, about one in five professionally active dentists (21.0%) reported that their practice, research, or administration area is an industry-recognized specialty, according to the American Dental Association.
Rather than be a dentist for EVERYTHING, select a specialty area(s) that you can promote in the copywriting on your site to set yourself apart from other dentists and attract new patients to your practice.
Promote your specialties to stand out in a crowded field of dentists and orthodontists.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical if you want people to find your dental practice website.
Let’s say you’re a dentist or orthodontist in Tampa, Florida. If someone searches Google for a dentist in Tampa, ideally you want your website to come up on page 1 because, let’s face it, most people don’t bother going beyond page 1 or 2. Someone searching for a practitioner in your local area is an excellent prospect for you, so you don’t want to be overlooked.
A professional copywriter knows what factors Google and other search engines consider when determining the rank for a website. And they also know how to optimize your local SEO, increasing the search visibility of your physical location.
Obviously, if you’re a dentist or orthodontist located in South America or Central America and offering affordable overseas dental care to patients in countries like the U.S. or Canada (dental tourism), then you don’t need to worry so much about local ranking.
You can get on that first or second page with the right SEO content. It’s possible. And that’s the type of free advertising that can rapidly grow your dental or orthodontic practice.
Need further convincing? Think about how you found this very web page that you’re reading now. You probably searched for a “dental copywriter” or something similar, and that’s exactly what this page has been optimized for. See? SEO really works!
In recent years Google has made a significant change to its broad core algorithm with an eye toward improving the quality of its results. This certainly was not the first such update; Google has had many. But one particular change in 2018 called the “Google Medic Update” for reasons you’ll soon understand, has special significance for dental and healthcare practices.
Many medical and healthcare-related websites took an immediate hit thanks to Google Medic Update, dropping in the rankings. What quickly became clear was that Google wants healthcare-related websites to prove their legitimacy and trustworthiness. Medical information should come from reputable websites/companies, and the content should be created by authorities in the industry.
Fast forward to the Google May 2020 core update, and websites in the health category again experienced significant flux. It’s not surprising that websites containing health terms related to Coronavirus / COVID 19 ranked high.
Those terms let Google know your site is being updated to stay relevant. The COVID-related search engine results will likely shift as the pandemic improves over time. But it does demonstrate that Google wants searchers to have access to the most current information.
Through Medic and other recent updates in 2021 and 2022, Google is compelling dentists and other health practitioners to develop useful, relevant and original written content that demonstrates their expertise. It values those sites that are continually being improved and offer a superior user experience.
Finally, be sure to include plenty of relevant information that answers visitors’ questions and supports the legitimacy of what you’re offering to improve your credibility in the eyes of Google.
An endless array of marketing tools exist, all designed to give you visibility and build your brand. But no dentist, or any business for that matter, has unlimited funds to advertise. So you’ll have to choose those marketing products that will give you the most bang for the buck.
You start with writing your dentist website, making sure it’s as professional, engaging and persuasive as you are. From there, you can consider creating promotional tools such as:
Make sure whatever marketing method you choose, the design and copywriting are first-rate to reflect the professionalism of your practice.
Social media offers you an opportunity to stay in touch with your patients, encourage referrals and attract new patients to your dental practice. And you can do all that for FREE.
Your existing patients want to know what you’re up to. Don’t make them wait until their next dental appointment. Post updates on social media. When you communicate with them more frequently, you stay top of mind.
Facebook and Instagram are excellent platforms for your dental practice. Use them to:
Every time you post on social media, you’re reaching out to your patients and building that relationship. And you’re also positioning your practice for growth by helping to attract new patients and referrals.
Whether you’re a dentist in the U.S. or you’re located in a country like Costa Rica or Mexico selling overseas dental care, promoting your dental or orthodontic practice is critical to your success. The best practitioners in the world can’t be successful unless people know about their services.
As a dentist, your time is best spent treating patients. Your years of study and experience are what make you unique and qualified.
Consider working with a copywriter and marketing professional to undertake the responsibilities of promoting your dental or orthodontic practice, whether locally or globally (dental tourism). With a little help, you could be attracting more new patients, taking your business to the next level.
Do you need help updating or expanding your website? Would you like to explore other marketing materials to promote your dental or orthodontic services? We have a copywriter who specializes in writing dental copy and helping dentists grow their practice. Contact us today!