FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT DENTAL PRACTICE MARKETING DURING COVID-19

Our Whiteboard Marketing team members have presented in multiple webinars recently, including our client-only marketing webinar, the ACTDental COVID-19 Relief Conference, and the Florida  Whiteboard Marketing Frequently Asked QuestionsDental Association. 

Throughout our discussions, we have been asked many questions from participants.  We have listed the most frequently asked questions and answers below.

What are the lead generating platforms I should use to acquire new patients?

Generating opportunities for prospective new patients to convert or schedule an appointment will be more important than ever before. Owning the real estate on Google when someone searches for a “dentist near me” is the most effective conversion strategy you can have, and requires multiple marketing channels, or lead generating platforms, to show up during a search. These platforms are acquisition-based and help direct prospects to locations where they can convert:

  • Website: Build your website for Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), speed (to load quickly on desktop and mobile devices), and search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO includes strategies to help your website show up during Google search. These strategies include website content written with specific keywords based on search volume, your website structure, links (internal and external), special HTML tags, and other technical aspects of how your site is built.  A focus on SEO will help your website show up on the first page of Google when a patient searches for a dentist in your area.
  • Local SEO, Business Listings, and Google My Business: As we have discussed repeatedly, ensuring your practice name, address, and phone number (NAP) are listed consistently and accurately across the web is key to helping your on-page SEO efforts. Your Google My Business (GMB) page is the driving force behind how your practice shows up for local searches (“dentist near me”).  Prospective patients can click to call your office, chat with you, and get directions straight from your GMB page. 
  • Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC): Investing in paid ads to ensure your practice shows up at the top of a Google search page is one of the most important digital marketing and conversion strategies in which you can invest. It is the first section readers see when Google presents its search results and is the lead into the rest of the search page. 
  • Social Media, Boosts, and Ads: Your organic social posts help build your brand while serving as an active directory for Google to search.  Boosting your posts and having a proactive social PPC strategy has a direct impact on the number of prospective new patients you generate through your social media efforts. Facebook’s ad targeting system is an affordable and effective platform to help you reach patients who are your direct demographic and geographic match.
  • Reviews + Reputation Management: Your online reviews are the source prospective patients seek out when confirming your professional ability to care for them. Whether patients are referred to you or they find you online first, they always read your reviews before scheduling. 
  • Online chat: Once patients visit your website, online chat is a direct and immediate conversion channel and it is proven to increase your new patient acquisition rate.  
  • Online scheduling:  Enabling current and prospective patients to schedule online, on their time, is one of the most powerful tools to help you acquire new patients. You are essentially allowing them perceived control to schedule at their convenience, resulting in more new patient appointments for individuals and families.

How long will we need to have the COVID-19 page/banner on our websites?

We’re unable to give a specific timeline for how long you’ll need to have a COVID-19 page on your website. No one knows how long this crisis will last, but Whiteboard Marketing closely monitors search trends both by individual clients as well as on Google Trends.

  • We have found that having a COVID-19 page helps your business be found more easily on search engines as potential patients look for dentists who are following proper sterilization and safety guidelines. 
  • When COVID-19 search traffic has run its course, the proper action may be to add a permanent redirect of that page to the sterilization pages being created. By doing this we maintain the ranking signals accumulated by the COVID-19 pages and boost the authority of the sterilization pages. Even as state and local economies open back up, a COVID-19/sterilization page on your website will reassure your audience that you are doing everything you can to keep them and your employees safe.
  • We also have seen that the COVID-19 banners on our clients’ website homepages are generating a significant amount of clicks. As we continue to monitor this on-site traffic, we may recommend that clients keep this banner and utilize it to highlight specific pages on their websites.  For example, we recommend changing the text of this banner to “learn how we are keeping you safe at our office after COVID-19” with a link to your sterilization/infection control page.

How long will it take to restart my Google Pay-Per-Click Advertising campaign after COVID-19?  

Google Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) is a marketing channel that can be paused at any time by reducing your allocated budget. Per Google’s recommendation, we do not ever recommend stopping or canceling a PPC campaign completely if you plan to resume it later on. For our clients, we have reduced their PPC budget to $1 per ad campaign so that Google still considers the campaign to be live and enables us to keep the historical data achieved.  

  • We recommend that you restart your PPC campaign two-to-three weeks prior to re-opening your practice after COVID-19. Once you resume your campaign and reset your desired budget, your PPC campaign will be live in about 15 minutes. 
  • Keep in mind, when you are just launching a PPC campaign, it can take a few weeks to fully understand the keywords, landing page copy, and bidding strategy. 

What are some easy video ideas to post on social media during COVID-19?

Videos are a great tool to communicate with your patients online. Based on our own Whiteboard Marketing clients’ social media channels and insights, personal staff images and videos are generating the highest engagement and interaction for dentists. Take this time to shoot short videos to post on your practice’s social media and YouTube pages. 

Download our complete list of dental video ideas on our COVID-19 Resources and Updates page. Meanwhile, here are some video ideas to get you started:

Videos from Doctor/Staff

    • Have you donated PPE to local hospitals? If so, take a photo of the boxes or your team delivering these items.
    • Talk about your hobbies and what has been keeping you busy during the time you’ve been away from the office.
    • Talk about how to keep up with dental health at home.
    • Put together a thank you message to our first responders and tag your community’s hospital system.
    • Spread some positivity! Record individual 15-second videos from each team member that is positive and uplifting. Something like, “Hi, everyone! This is Maria! I miss all of you so much and I can’t wait to get back to the office so we can care for all of our patients.” 

Videos from Patients 

Getting your patients involved is a great way to keep them engaged with you during this time. Ask patients to participate via social media or email blast. You can even turn it into a giveaway and mention that anyone who submits a video will be entered to win a gift card. Here are some ideas to ask your patients:

    • What are you doing at home to stay busy?
    • Share a video of your little ones brushing their teeth!
    • Share a video of your little ones washing their hands!

How do I boost Facebook posts?

Boosting your Facebook posts is an affordable and effective way to expand the reach of your organic posts to prospective patients in your demographic and geographic area. The boosting process is simple:

  1. Go to your Facebook Page.
  2. Find the post you want to boost. This can include an event, a specific job, video, or a general post.
  3. Click the “Boost Post” button found in the bottom-right corner of your post.
  4. Fill in the details for your boost such as the audience you want to boost to, the budget, the duration, and the payment method.
    1. Recommendation: Mirror the audience to your current patient-base demographic. Example: If most patients travel 5 miles to your practice, select “within a 5-mile radius.”
    2. Budget: For our clients, we typically boost a post for 7 to 10 days for a budget of $30.
  5. Once you have completed the information above, click “Boost”.

Remember to monitor your boosted posts and respond to any messages you receive or comments posted. Additionally, review your boost analytics and insights on your Facebook to track the number of clicks to your website or calls to your office, as well as engagement.

What are the key sites that employers can link to find quality employees?

There are several sites that our dental clients have had success in finding quality employees. Prior to posting a position on any job site, we recommend first adding a Careers or Join Us page on your website that describes your practice culture and values and lists any available positions. 

    • Google Job Board
      • Google now indexes jobs posted on websites across the web for prospective employees to easily find when they are searching for a position (e.g. dental hygienist near me).  In order to show up during a search, you will need to edit the HTML of the job postings on your website. 
    • Facebook
      • Facebook also allows people to search for jobs directly through its Facebook Job Postings option. Dental practices can post a job opening directly on your Facebook business page with the option to boost it or run an ad campaign to find the most qualified candidates. While Facebook allows you to include some demographic information, including your practice location, it will not allow you to filter your job post audience by gender, age, or zip code to prevent discrimination.  
    • Indeed
      • Indeed has been a very effective platform to recruit dental practice employees, and it is one of the first sites we recommend when placing ads for our clients.
    • Dental Peeps
      • Dental Peeps is a national network of dental professionals.  Dental Peeps groups on Facebook are segmented by city and provide a platform for dentists, hygienists, assistants, and other dental practice employees to privately discuss issues, challenges, and changes in the industry.  The job posting feature on the Dental Peeps website and inside each area’s Facebook group page is extremely effective in helping practices recruit quality candidates.
    • Dental Post
      • Dental Post is another dental industry-specific site that allows practitioners to advertise for qualified candidates. 
    • Your Current Staff
      • One of the most effective ways to find candidates that are most likely to fit into your practice culture and operational standards is through your current staff. Consider providing an incentive or “finder’s fee” for a staff member who successfully recruits a peer who ultimately joins the practice.

What is a Schedule Champion and how can it help my practice? 

“Schedule Champion” is a title we give someone in your practice that will be responsible for managing the wave of current and future patients who will contact you for appointments as we move past the COVID-19 pandemic. As people start scheduling dental appointments, it will be imperative for your Schedule Champion to oversee the quality control process with your entire front desk team to ensure they are correctly answering phone calls, scheduling with strategy and production in mind, and following-up on any missed opportunities. A vital part of your post-COVID-19 re-opening strategy will be to generate revenue and acquire cash flow via new and current patients.  Getting both groups scheduled quickly and efficiently will be key to achieving those goals. 

What is the importance of blogs for my dental practice marketing strategy?

Posting regular blogs on your website is an incredibly powerful SEO strategy that enables you to consistently add fresh content that will be indexed by Google. Essentially, blogs can make a significant difference in how your website performs during search because they help you focus on topics based on the key services and procedures your patients are searching for online. Blogs also help position you as an authority on time-sensitive current events (i.e., COVID-19), while providing powerful internal links to your primary content on your website

The answers to the questions above are general overviews of complex marketing strategies.  If you are interested in learning more about the right post-COVID-19 marketing strategy for your practice, contact us today.

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