Tap Into dental marketing for orthodontic services.

If you have completed your general orthodontic training, it’s important to develop a comprehensive strategy for marketing your new services. Advertising and other promotional methods are effective, but excellent marketing begins with your current customer base. If you provide high-quality care, current patients are likely to tell their friends and family members about your practice.

For dental professionals, referrals are one of the most valuable forms of marketing, as they cost very little. A referral also comes with built-in trust, making it easier to build relationships with new patients. Once you have a referral program in place, follow these tips on dental marketing for orthodontic services to grow your practice.

Recommended Website Improvements

An effective website makes it easier for prospective patients to learn more about you and current patients to refer their friends and family members to your practice, making it a critical marketing tool. When you’re ready to launch your internal marketing strategy, one of the most important things you can do is tweak your website to improve the user experience.

1. Calls to Action (CTA)

In marketing lingo, a call to action is a request for the user to do something. “Book an appointment now” and “Call to learn more about our orthodontic services” are examples of effective CTAs for a dental practice. When you’re doing dental marketing for orthodontic services, it’s important to have CTAs “above the fold,” or the upper half of each page on your website. Don’t wait until the very bottom of the page to ask the visitor to do something. Use CTAs above the fold to encourage them to take action immediately.

2. Site Navigation and Menus

Navigation is one of the most important elements of the user experience. If current and prospective patients can’t find what they need on your website, they’re likely to click the back button, causing you to miss out on valuable opportunities to promote your services. To prevent this from happening, create navigation menus that make it easy to find the most important pages on your site.

At a minimum, your main menu should contain links to the homepage, a list of services, information about your staff, and a contact page. You can also add links to testimonials or before-and-after photos. If possible, use CTAs in your menu titles to help users understand what to do on each page. For example, using “Book an Appointment” instead of the more generic “Contact” can help you get more prospective patients to schedule consultations.

3. Contact Information

Your website should also make it as easy as possible for visitors to contact your practice. A contact page is a good start, but it’s helpful to also put your address and telephone number on every page of the site. Not only does this make it easier for prospective patients to find your contact information, but it can also help you with local search engine optimization.

To make it even easier for people to communicate with your staff members, consider adding a click-to-call button at the top of each page. If a prospect clicks on one of these buttons, their computer or mobile device will automatically start dialing your office telephone number. Click-to-call buttons are helpful for connecting with prospects who don’t want to wait for an email response or who don’t want to copy and paste or memorize the number in order to call you.

In addition, consider using a patient chat box to let people ask you their dental questions right on your site. You are in control of when it’s turned on, and these conversations can quickly turn into appointment bookings. In fact, many younger patients won’t pick up the phone to call and would much rather dip their toes in the water by seeing how a chat is handled by a prospective dentist.

4. Page Load Times

If it takes too long for your pages to load, visitors may leave your website never to return. Prevent this from happening by working with your website developer to improve page load speed. They should be able to do this by enabling browser caching, compressing images, reducing redirects, and taking other steps.

5. Helpful Tools and Resources

Internal marketing is all about engaging existing patients and making it more likely that they’ll refer their friends and family members to your practice. It’s easier to do this if your website offers helpful tools and resources. For example, a CTA button labeled “Refer a Friend” takes all the effort out of making a referral. You should also consider offering educational PDF downloads that current patients can easily forward to people in their personal networks.

Social Media Marketing

Social networks are an important marketing platform for dentists who need to engage in dental marketing for orthodontic services. Once you complete your general dentist orthodontic training, don’t be afraid to set up accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and use them to promote your services by sharing successful case stories of happy patients.

When you start using social media, it’s important to be consistent. You don’t have to post every day, but you should aim for a few posts per week. One of the best things about social media is that you don’t need to worry about writing hundreds of words. In fact, it’s best if you stick to short posts about your practice. If you have writer’s block, here are a few topic ideas:

  • Benefits of wire orthodontics
  • An overview of what you offer
  • Short bios of each staff member
  • News about the dental industry
  • Most importantly, case stories of beautiful treatment results! (Always ask the patient for permission to share.)

Staff Responsiveness

Once you have an internal marketing strategy in place, make it as effective as possible by  ensuring your staff is highly responsive. Aim to answer the telephone within two or three rings, respond to emails quickly, and make sure prospective patients feel respected and valued. Ask the patients with whom you have the best rapport for reviews and make a habit of responding to reviews as quickly as possible.

Grow your dental practice!

Williams GP Orthodontic Seminars offers year-round training to help dentists learn basic and advanced orthodontic skills. Dr. Brad Williams also teaches dental professionals how to manage their orthodontic practices effectively, from developing treatment plans to setting fees. To learn more, call (918) 303-5189.