• A Guide to Online Dental Advertising

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    November 24th, 2010adminarticles

    Advertising works in many ways, and more recently, online advertising is breaking grounds because of its cost-effectiveness, despite heavy competition for advertising space. Targeted demographics, click counts, and analytics data can be accessed by the advertiser on-demand or by scheduled reports.

    Small businesses benefit greatly when listing their trade on online directories such as Google Maps, Bing Maps and Yahoo! Local Maps. But as the competition grows, and as more and more people flock into free directories and the chances of you getting on top of your competitors slims to a marginal percentage.

    Even seasoned dentists in the metro face fierce competition. Newer dentists moving into cities are savvier in online advertising. We have to face the facts – local advertising is dying, and it’s not at all dependable since you don’t get to know who viewed or clicked your ads. Online advertising, in this golden era of technology, is priceless for any dentist living in crowded, marketable metropolitan areas such as Boston, New York, Seattle, Miami, and Chicago.

    Half of the world is “wired in” to the internet. They spend more time browsing for stuff that matters to them. It is inevitable that in the near future advertisement-driven television programs will cease to exist.

    When people search on Google, Yahoo, or Bing – they always use “targeted” keywords like “boston dentist, “new york dentist”, “seattle dentist”, “chicago dentist”, “miami dentist”; the list goes on and on. These people are by far the most obvious and precious leads every dentist in that city would like to have.  If you own a dental office in New York, you should heavily advertise on dentist directories only in New York, because it saves you the money, gives you targeted leads, and more importantly – if you own a website – gives you better SEO rankings.

    So what do you need before you start advertising?

    1. Website

    You should never advertise online if you don’t have a website. Why? Because websites are proof of “legitimacy” and “web presence”. The usual searcher weighs in businesses that have a website than those who don’t. A website should be all about your: practice, service, appointment-setting, and affiliations.

    If you don’t have a website, commission a web designer to create one for you. Web designers usually leave their imprint on the footer of dental websites. As much as possible, commission a web designer who has previous experience in building a website similar in category to your practice, so you can save up on fees, as usually they have preloaded templates to make the design process faster and easier.

    And ad placements should obviously lead to your website, not to another directory with limited info about your practice.

    2. Contact Form

    A fully functional contact form that is located on a visible portion (preferably on the above fold) of the screen is essential. A quick contact form (with limited text area fields) can also be invoked on every page of the website. A more detailed contact form that has more fields (state, zip code, phone number, etc) should have a page of its own. The detailed contact form should be designated form appointment-setting. There should also be a clear distinction between an appointment form and a contact form.

    Dentists are now leering away from downloadable patient application forms and moving closer to more simple and terse contact forms, which are then sent to the database of the website and can be exported at the dentist’s demand.

    Having a contact form is crucial if you wish to advertise, so that the patient can immediately contact you once they click on your advertisement.

    3. Analytical Data Comprehension

    A dentist – whose knack for detail should also intertwine with his advertising placements – will never have trouble advertising on his own, without the need for a campaign manager. Analyzing data on your own means never having a single detail pass away. A campaign manager is usually hired by dentists who have no time to analyze the data and set placements. But more often than not, a dentist should always be open to online advertising platforms, contacting directories, and more importantly, analyzing the data their placements have, even on a weekend basis.