How to Get New Patients for a Dental Practice

In addition to having a dedicated, well trained team of professionals and good word of mouth, a strong marketing strategy is essential in obtaining new patients at your dental practice. Below is a list of key tactics that will help build your online presence and take your practice to the next level!

How to Get New Patients for a Dental Practice

The Website is Step One

A well-designed and marketable website is essential in attracting new patients and helping them find you! A good professional website should always include all of the vital information including your hours of operation, your location, services, and contact information.

Websites should also include an immediate “call to action” on every page to help encourage the visitor to call the office or set up an appointment. Having a well designed website that’s easy to navigate and view on any device will go a long way in increasing your business.

More than half of digital traffic online now comes from mobile devices and through mobile apps.

Search Engine Optimization

Once you have a nice, mobile-friendly website, it’s time to think about how you’re going to drive new patients to that website. That’s where the SEO comes in and becomes a major facet in bringing in potential new patients to your practice. It’s important that you’re working with someone who knows the in’s and out’s of the dental industry and has experience with SEO for dental practices.

Studies show that, on average, about 64% of website visitors come from organic search.

The wonderful thing about organic search is that you’re not paying every time someone clicks on your listings. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can run you upwards of $15-20+ a click in this competitive industry. While it’s a quick “instant-gratification” method of getting your business found, it can be an expensive venture whose benefits come to a grinding hault as soon as you stop shelling out the cash for it!

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Social Media Marketing

Social media is a powerful tool. Over half the US population uses Facebook and Twitter has millions of active users every month. More and more people are turning to social media to learn more about the new businesses they encounter. Having a presence on these top three platforms is a great starting point. Profiles should be optimized, active, and engaging.

Marketing on social media is a proven business strategy that will extend your reach, assisting you in gaining more prospective patients. It is also a great way to link back to your website, increasing your organic website traffic. Social media provides an outlet for online engagement with your patients, building stronger patient relationships, as well as attracting new patients.

With every new Facebook like, you could have a potential new patient. And posting regular and engaging content puts your business and your message in front of these fans daily keeping your office on their mind when they are due for a dental appointment. This is why social media marketing for dental clinics is particularly effective and always important.

Stay Current

Keeping all of your platforms up-to-date and posting relevant news and updates about your industry helps give off the right trust signals to new patients and people looking at your practice. An up-to-date image could give you an edge over other nearby dental offices. Posting new, unique content and current events on both your website and social platforms will also help extend your reach as people will be more likely to “like” and share it.

Good Reviews / Testimonials


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Having a lot of reviews on platforms like Google Plus, Yelp or Angies List is good for business (see Customer Reviews & SEO). Genuine reviews help build trust and instill confidence, and that is what you want to attract your new patients.

You should be encouraging all new and existing patients to leave reviews where ever possible. Ask your patients that have had positive experiences to give you verbal testimonials that you can also then feature on your website. Featuring positive reviews from real patients will help encourage new patients to visit and learn more about your practice.

NOTE: This should be obvious, but it’s important to note that you need GOOD reviews. Negative reviews will completely counteract your online marketing efforts.

Offer Referral Incentives

Offering referral incentives or bonus systems is a great way to take advantage of good word of mouth. Motivate staff and patients by providing incentives such as service discounts or gifts. Your existing patients will be more encouraged to tell their friends & family to take advantage of your offer. You can also look at what other practices might be offering to get ideas and see what works best for you and your patients.

PRO TIP: While most review sites forbid incentivizing patients to leave reviews, many do allow you to incentivize “Checking-In” to your business on platforms such as Yelp, FourSquare & Facebook.

Network Within Your Community

It is good to get involved in good causes and build trust with the members of your community. This will help build stronger relationships with your patients. Participating in community events is also something that can increase your reach and engagement on social networks, by partnering with other social profiles in the form of sharing and “tagging” images and content related to the event.

And Finally, Get Listed

Many people look at all the practices nearby and use directories to help narrow their search, even before looking on search engines.

Get Listed on Local Directories

A great way to help people find your practice is by getting listed in online directories such as HealthGrades.com, Vitals.com & AngiesList.com. It is important that you are easy to find if you want to attract new patients, especially for those who might be new to your area.

Let’s not stop there, though. Make sure your profiles are filled out to the best of your ability. If there’s a spot for you fill out information, you better believe that you should be filling it out. This includes high-quality photos of your staff and office as well, as this is a big indicator for potential patients looking to find a dental practice they’ll be comfortable visiting.