Vitamin D - Marketing & Design
How Dentists Can Get More New Patients Through Local SEO
March 1, 2023 By Natalia Decius MARKETING
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is an important thing to consider when building or updating a website, no matter what business that website represents. SEO helps a website rank higher in Google search results, thereby attracting more website visitors who will hopefully become your future patients.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is all about helping local community find your practice when they search for dental services in your area.
People value convenience, and most want a dentist located close to their home or workplace.
When the average person begins their online search for a dentist, they typically include their city, suburb, neighbourhood, or nearest intersection in their search query. For example, a common search would be dental services in Downtown Toronto, Invisalign in Old Ottawa South, or Tooth whitening near Yonge and Eglinton.
Google receives these searches and uses algorithms and ranking factors to find and deliver the websites that best match the query. By creating a website and online presence that’s optimized for these local keywords, you can prove to Google that your site is the most relevant source of information for these searchers in your area and improve your chances of appearing at the top of the search results and attracting more local patients to your practice.
How can I optimize my website for local SEO?
While you can’t control when and how Google changes its algorithm, there are many things you can do to optimize your website to perform well in local SEO.
Here are a few:
- Create content that is focused on keywords and phrases related to your services and location. This might include the name of your city and neighborhood, a major intersection nearby, or a local landmark. Writing blog posts that incorporate these keywords and phrases then posting them on your website and social media is a great way to help optimize your website for local search.
- Structure your website in a way that’s easy for search engines to crawl and understand. Working with someone who understands H1 and H2 tags, metadata, alt tags and other elements that Google looks for is key in creating a search engine optimized site map.
- Remember your online presence extends beyond your website. Online Reviews are a huge driver of customer (and patient) confidence. Make sure you have a positive presence on online directories like Yelp, and don’t be shy about asking your current patients to post Google Reviews recommending your practice. Many businesses offer incentives for clients to post Google Reviews like entering reviewers into a monthly draw for a cash prize or gift card.
We know you have a lot to think about when it comes to running your dental practice, and we’re here to help! If you’d like to discuss building a local SEO strategy to attract new patients to your practice, contact our team at Vitamin D Marketing & Design today.
Reach out today for a free consultation.
Digital Marketing Tips for Healthcare Practices
February 10, 2023 By Natalia Decius MARKETING
Running a healthcare practice isn’t easy. There are so many moving pieces to keep track of that it’s easy to let your marketing efforts take a back seat.
But unless your client roster is full and you’re not interested in attracting new patients, it’s important to keep your marketing engines running and reach out to potential new clients where they spend the most time – online.
Here are some simple digital marketing tips to incorporate into your 2023 marketing strategy.
- Paid search
About 7% of all Google searches are related to health – which is a great opportunity for you to get your name in front of potential new patients!
By integrating paid search ads into your marketing strategy you can increase the chances that when they search for the service they’re looking for, your business pops up at the top of the list.
One of the best things about this tactic is that you are in complete control of your budget (you tell the platform how much you want to spend), and the results are extremely easy to track. So, if your ads aren’t generating a good return-on-investment, you can stop them with no trouble at all.
- Social media
People are now turning to social media for more than just sharing updates on their family and travels. Social media networks have become a popular place for people to find a new hair stylist, caterer, and even a healthcare provider. With that in mind, consider making the social media presence of your practice one of your key strategies to bringing in new patients.
Whether your social media strategy is organic-only or you’re integrating paid social media ads, it’s very important to select the platforms you focus on based on your target demographics. For example, if you’re looking for younger patients that will stay with you for decades, you may want to focus on Snapchat or TikTok. If you specialize in providing care for seniors, Facebook is probably the best place to put your efforts.
- Content marketing
It’s important that both current and potential patients think of you as an expert in your field, and by publishing relevant content on your website that answers the questions your patients are asking online, you present yourself as the one with the answers.
This content also shows Google that you are the expert on that topic, helping move your website higher in the search results it delivers.
Have you ever wondered why, after looking at a coffee maker online, you’re suddenly seeing that same coffee maker advertised on every website, search engine, or social media platform you visit? That’s all thanks to digital retargeting.
Retargeting works by using something called ‘cookies’, which are small pieces of data stored by your browser that keeps track of the websites you visit. That data is used by marketers to continue to present the visitor with advertisements, reminding them of the product they left behind.
- Don’t forget YouTube
Did you know that YouTube is the second most popular search engine next to Google?
By creating educational videos and posting them on YouTube, healthcare practices can take advantage of the platform’s usage as a search engine to extend their reach as they explain various treatments and procedures. This will help increase name recognition, SEO performance, and establish that practice as an expert in their field which builds trust with potential patients.
Plus, the increasingly popular YouTube Shorts, (short-form, vertically formatted videos that are similar to Instagram Reels) is a great way to showcase their services, team, and office environment in a fun, engaging, relatable way.
We know, this is a lot, and chances are you don’t have time to manage it all. That’s where we come in! Our team of marketing experts has decades of experience helping healthcare practices attract new patients and we’d be happy to discuss any of these tactics, or your marketing strategy as a whole.
Reach out today for a free consultation.
Social Media Trends to Be All Over in 2023
January 19, 2023 By Natalia Decius MARKETING
There is no denying the power and popularity of social media. In a country of just under 40 million people, a whopping 33 million (or 87%) of Canadians use social media.
Social media can be used for many things, from building and maintaining friendships, keeping in touch with family, dating, selling products and services, building brands, and attracting clients.
With so much interest and investment into social media, it’s no wonder the world of social media is constantly changing. Just when you think you’ve mastered Facebook, the world obsesses over Instagram. And once you’re comfortable with your Instagram strategy, Snap becomes the next big thing.
In order to win the social media game, it’s important to keep up-to-date on the emerging trends. Here are five trends we expect will gain momentum in 2023.
1. The rise of TikTok
TikTok is a relatively new social media platform that is focused on bite-sized video content. TikTok really took off during the pandemic, with tweens around the world recording dances and sharing them with their peers as they stayed home during Covid 19 related lockdowns.
TikTok harnessed that popularity and released a host of new features throughout 2022, and became an important platform for advertisers looking to target its 1 billion users.
As the company continues to expand across the globe, it’s important to jump on this trend now. If your business does not have a TikTok handle yet - today is the day to claim one. Better late than never!
2. There’s no avoiding reels
The use of Instagram reels skyrocketed in 2022, with 220 million additional users jumping on the reel train between July and October alone. 62% of Instagram members use the platform to research brands and products, and the popularity of video content like reels has never been higher.
This means that to really take advantage of the power of Instagram, you’re going to have to create and distribute reels. Make your reels fun, and keep up-to-date on what’s going viral. Use those trendy songs and dances that are going viral to make your reels relatable and relevant.
3. Diversification in LinkedIn
LinkedIn isn’t just about job postings anymore. If you’ve spent time on the professional social media network lately, you’ll see many of your contacts using this platform as a way to build their own professional brands, positioning themselves as thought leaders and subject-matter experts.
This is a great opportunity to highlight the knowledge and expertise that exists within your business. Encourage your ownership and executive team to build their LinkedIn presence to develop a community that likes, shares and otherwise engages with your content. You’ll be amazed at how impactful your LinkedIn strategy can have on building your brand.
4. The replacement of hashtags
Adding hashtags to your social media posts used to be one of the best ways to ensure your content got in front of people who were searching out the topics relevant to you. Social media users once relied on hashtags to sort through the masses of information and images available to find the ones most relevant. This has changed.
Google reports that 40% of people aged 18-24 are now using social media as a search engine to research topics, news, brands, and services, but they’re using the search function, not just hashtags.
To stay ahead of this trend, make sure your social media captions are optimized with the keywords you want to show up for. For example, if you’re a cosmetic dentist looking to provide more crowns and implants, post about those topics on social media and mention those services in the captions.
5. Closed captioning for the win
Social media is becoming a more accessible world and social media users are increasingly choosing to consume video content on silent, especially when they’re out in public.
This highlights the importance of adding captions to your video content. Not only does this make your content accessible for the hearing impaired, but it also does what every marketer should be trying to accomplish – serving the right content to the right people, in the format they prefer.
Inevitably, there will be dozens more social media trends that arise in 2023 and we’ll do our best to keep you updated on which ones to watch.
If your social media strategy needs a refresh, contact our team at Vitamin D Marketing & Design today. We’d love to discuss the many ways we can work together to build your brand and create a social media presence you can be proud of.
Social Media Trends for Dental Practices to Harness in 2023
December 15, 2022 By Natalia Decius MARKETING
Marketing trends are constantly changing and it’s important to keep up to date on emerging trends, especially when it comes to the use of social media to attract new patients. Most dental practice owners and practice managers are busy with their day-to-day work and patient care and realize that aligning themselves with an expert in the field will help their practice grow.
Here are some activities you can integrate into your social media strategy for 2023.
1. Video, video, video
If you’re going to spend time and resources creating social media content, shouldn’t you make sure to focus on building engaging content that people will actually consume? If you’re concerned about capturing the attention of your audience and holding onto that attention long enough to deliver your message, short-form videos are the way to go.
The average person has an attention span of 8 seconds, so make sure the videos you create do something interesting and engaging in the first few seconds to encourage your viewers to stick around long enough to hear your message.
2023 is the year of Instagram Reels, TikTok and YouTube shorts.
2. Stay on top of it
We live in a society focused on instant gratification. People have grown accustomed to accessing information and connecting with a business the very moment they decide the time is right. This includes reaching out to companies via their social media accounts.
In order to provide a positive customer (patient) experience and build trust with your audience, be sure to keep on top of any messages coming into your social media inboxes and respond as soon as you can. Whether it’s responding to comments, reviews or direct messages, having a person responsible for monitoring your social profiles is the key.
3. Go live
While live streams were popular before the Covid-19 pandemic, the years 2020 and 2021 really put live streams into the spotlight. From the introduction of live streamed weddings and funerals to the popularity of video meetings for those working from home, the past few years have made live video a part of most people’s everyday lives.
In the first quarter of 2022, social media users consumed almost 9 billion hours of live streaming content. Live videos are a great way to engage your patients and give them a tour of your office, introduce members of your team, or show off your new equipment and technology.
4. Build your brand
Social media creators are getting more sophisticated and social media consumers are expecting more from a brand. Be sure to craft your social media calendar and messaging with brand consistency in mind and write your posts using a cohesive brand voice.
Build a brand that’s seen as a trusted resource for dental care advice by sharing helpful information that provides value to your patients without constantly selling.
4. Trust an expert.
There’s a lot of work that goes into building a social media strategy and calendar, not to mention the creation and distribution of the actual posts. Consider partnering with an expert that knows the dental industry and the unique nuances involved with marketing to dental patients.
The team at Vitamin D Marketing & Design has 17 years of experience providing marketing support for dental practices across Canada. We’ve seen many great campaigns, and many campaigns that were not-so-great. We’ve learned lessons from both and can share and apply that knowledge to a custom-built social media strategy that will generate new patient leads and increase your brand awareness.
Are you ready to discuss the social media needs of your dental practice? Contact Vitamin D Marketing & Design today and let’s chat about growing your practice.