Inside Dental Technology
Jul/Aug 2011
Volume 2, Issue 7

Online Strategies

Leveraging Internet resources is a cost-effective method for marketing to today’s dentist.

By Bill Fukui

Marketing to today’s dentist requires that you invest time, thought, and money into your website marketing strategy. However, it’s easy for most laboratories to make the investment, but get very little in return. To navigate around some of the pitfalls, keep the following considerations in mind.

1. B2B vs. B2C

Most highly publicized website marketing statistics and strategies are driven by the consumer not business-to-business traffic. Strategies that may work well for a local dentist may not be nearly as effective for the local dental laboratory. For instance, most dental offices are able to attract quality traffic if they get on the first page of a Google search for local dental-related keyword phrases such as "Los Angeles dentist." Unfortunately for dental labs, dentists rarely look for laboratories using "local" search phrases.

2. Choosing Keyword Phrases

So does this mean that no one searches for dental laboratories on the Internet search engines? No. In fact, there are literally thousands of searches done each month for dental laboratory-related keyword phrases. However, the nature of the searches is quite different than those for a local dentist.

You will also find that competition for the highly trafficked phrases is pretty fierce. In fact, according to Google AdWords (adwords.google.com ), pay-per-click advertisers are willing to pay upwards of $3 for one click to their website and may budget thousands of dollars a month to purchase visitors.

3. Consider Local Organic Search Engine Listings

Another important development is that search engines now deliver "local" results for non-geographic specified phrases. For instance, when you search "dental labs," you will likely find a number of local dental laboratories in the "Places" or map listings.

Some strategies to get Places listings include:

  • Claim and optimize your local Places listing (www.google.com/places)
  • Optimize your website with local information, making sure your address is in text format, not in graphic form.
  • Listings and links from local authority websites, like the Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, Yellow Pages, etc.
  • Get clients to post testimonials, particularly local dental clients.

4. Build a More Effective Website

In addition to attracting more dentist traffic, it is essential to develop a site that is more than an online advertisement or brochure. It needs to:

  • Develop greater rapport with visitors. Avoid using all stock photos and yellow-page descriptions.
  • Provide more interactive elements and engage them. Video can be affordable and a very effective way to develop relationships and communicate detailed information.

Attracting new dentist clients is more challenging than ever. Make sure you are doing everything you can to leverage Internet resources.

About the Author

Bill Fukui serves as the Chief Operations Officer (COO) for Page 1 Solutions, LLC, a dental/medical/legal Internet marketing firm specializing in strategic website design, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and online sales strategies. He can be reached at 800-916-3886.

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