Marketing is essential for the success of any business, and that's certainly true of a dental practice. Whether your practice is up-and-coming or it's been established for years, focusing on an ongoing marketing campaign can help boost your clientele and brand awareness, not to mention cement your reputation in the community.

Why Digital Marketing is so Important

Untitled14

Image via Flickr by socialautomotive

You may have purchased ad space in the local newspaper or handed out flyers around town, but those techniques aren't going to get your business very far in the modern world. In fact, 80% of websites are found through search engines, and how do most potential clients learn about your business? By searching for a nearby dental practice online.

What's more, the Internet is more mobile than ever. As many as 63% of adults use their smartphones to browse the Web, so it's important to consider mobile marketing, as well. This might require building a separate mobile site -- or at least a mobile-friendly main site -- that will encourage visitors to schedule a new patient appointment.

Understanding SEO

Untitled15

Image via Flickr by Paloma Gomez

Getting your practice's website to rank highly on search engines is done with something called SEO, or search engine optimization. The rules of SEO change often, so keeping your website updated and optimized is an ongoing process, but the payoff is worth it.

To optimize a site, you need to develop relevant page content the search engines love. This means focusing on building informative landing pages and even a regularly updated blog to keep visitors engaged. Site architecture is also an important aspect of SEO, so make sure your site is clean without any clutter that takes away from the content.

While you might be able to grasp the basics of SEO with a little research, most dental practitioners choose to have an SEO professional step in and take over the workload. This ensures you have a highly optimized site that's targeted to local would-be patients, plus it frees you up to treat them rather than worrying about updating your site.

Search Engine Marketing

Untitled16

Image via Flickr by search-engine-land

SEO might be crucial for getting your website ranked highly by search engines, but search engine marketing (SEM) helps you target specific users with paid advertising in search results, sending even more traffic to your website. Both SEO and SEM complement one another -- it's just that SEO is essentially free traffic while SEM is purchased traffic via virtual ad space.

Also known as "Paid Search," SEM consists of activities such as PPC (pay-per-click), paid search ads, and CPC (cost-per-click). Some familiar examples of SEM are Google Adwords, Bing Ads, and Yahoo Search Ads.

Grow Your Social Media Presence

Untitled17

Image via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Most Internet users are on social media, so don't miss the opportunity to engage with potential clients on websites such as Facebook and Twitter. While you can certainly do this for free, you'll attract more traffic to your social media page by paying for ads.

Dental care is a vital part of everyone's overall health and well-being, but clients must be aware of your practice if they're going to use your services. Focus on a strategic digital marketing campaign and experience a boost in your clientele.