How You Label Your Dental Practice Makes a Huge Difference
Last week we drove a stake through the heart of “Aesthetic” or “Esthetic” as marketing terms to describe your style of dentistry. For the New Year, I’ll be a little kinder to the term “Restorative Dentistry.”
“Restorative Dentistry” ranks number five on our list of top results for descriptive marketing phrases with more than one hundred responses per month. But let’s stop and think about this result for a moment. That’s about 108 searches a month per state! Of all the people searching for a dentist in your state, only 108 referenced “Restorative Dentistry” in their search request. This is not a marketing term on which to stake your practice’s or family’s financial future in the tough months ahead.
Now, some of you are thinking “Cosmetic Dentistry” is still a great marketing term, given there are 135,000 queries, versus only 90,400 for “General Dentistry.” So let’s segment just the “Dentistry” results. I’ll even include the 1,900 people who used the misspelling of “Cosmetic Denistry,” and “Family Cosmetic Dentistry” on the cosmetic side of the equation.
Let’s compare “Cosmetic” to “Family.”
The results favor “Family / General Dentistry,” but not by much. The remaining issue is this: are you going to refer to yourself as a “Family-Friendly” dental practice or a “General” practice? Well, unless your state laws require you to use the term “General Dentistry,” I would strongly suggest using “Family” or “Family-Friendly Dentistry” to cast your marketing net as wide as possible. Further, how many of you want to be one of those “General Dentists” doing “General Dentistry?”
What does this mean for your 2009 marketing? The answer is simple: context.
If you are using signage, you should make reference to “Family Dentistry.” If you have enough space on your sign, use both terms (“Family & Cosmetic Dentistry”), but lead with the more economically friendly “Family” terminology in these recessionary times. (Click here for more details on dental sign design.)
The same holds true for Yellow Pages phone book display and newspaper ads. Lead with “Family Dentistry,” and follow up with “Cosmetic,” “Implants” or “Sedation.”
In terms of dental website marketing for local practices, there are still more than enough people searching for “Cosmetic Dentistry” in conjunction with “Your City Name,” so it makes financial sense to have a specific geo-targeted site for cosmetics.
Because of the way the search engines list results, it is still cost-effective to have multiple dental websites that are each targeted at a different segment of the dental market: Family, Cosmetics, Implants, Sedation, Ortho, etc. Complete Internet campaigns including a local website, directory listing and custom monthly patient email newsletter start at just $280 a month and drop to as low as $160 each for multiple websites.
It’s not hard to justify expanding your Internet marketing when just one additional new patient will generally pay for a full year of marketing. The reality is that you will probably average – worst case – one additional new patient a month. It makes for a great dental marketing ROI in a recessionary market.
Have a Great New Year!