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The Shocking Truth About Internet Dental Marketing And Why Many Fail

May 13, 2008
When someone in the dental industry talks about dental marketing online, they usually are referring to website design.

But in the overall scope of internet dental marketing, a website is just a simple step to an effective dental practice internet marketing system.

The truth is, a dental website needs the same amount of attention as a good postcard, or phone book ad. Pretty pictures and fancy animations do not effectively CONVERT the visitor into a patient, and that's the whole purpose right?

You have to look at your marketing as a series of steps to a door. Your goal is to get a patient to walk in the door.

The goal of one step then is to get them to move to the next step, and so on.

What is the step before your website. It can be a Google search, a link form another website, or even a mention on a direct mailer that creates a website visit.

Once the patient is at your website, what is the next step for them? Are they supposed to call your office? Are they supposed to download your new patient forms? Are they supposed to email you?

Is it clear what your patients need to do to take the next step?

Many dental marketing website designers will load a website up with links, animations, videos, and little to no text. This causes a visitor to click through a bunch of pages, but really offers no direction when it comes to what the next step is.

The dental website design with a lot of options and pages may work well for a retail site like Amazon, but when there is a specific purpose for your patient everything on your dental website should point them in that direction.

In fact, if you want to provide your current patients with a lot of information, but drive your new visitors to become patients, why not have 2 websites?

Domain names are cheap, and it would be as easy to have one dental website as it would two.

You could them post all of your information about Invisalign, or information you use in marketing dental implants on one, and on the other, post a structured presentation that takes your patients step by step through the information you want to present.

Your new patients will then be directed through the presentation, and have it be clear what the next step is.

This new patient website would then be the one you print in your yellow pages, and make your Google ads link to. It would be a great first point of contact for your practice.

Your current patient website would be printed in your newsletter, and on any correspondence you give to your current patients. You could even post it up in your office as a special "patients only" website, adding exclusivity.

So, when you are considering dental website marketing, ask your designer about two different websites, and make sure to do the "mom" test. That is, have your mom look at the site, and ask her what she thinks the next step is. This one never fails to give you a DUH moment.
About the Author
James Erickson is the President of EMC Dental Marketing which gives Dentists a resource for turn-key dental marketing programs and dental practice marketing education including new patient attraction, and internal marketing systems. Visit www.EMCdental.com and get a free practice building kit sent directly to your home or office.
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