If you build it, will they come?
That depends on how well you market it. We’re talking about Web sites, of course, quite possibly the hottest trend in the field of dental marketing. And like the proverbial tree that falls in the forest without making a sound, the first lesson of Internet marketing says that even the fanciest Web site in the world won’t generate one inquiry or attract one new customer if nobody visits it.
Traditional marketing media, such as radio spots, billboards or magazine ads, forcibly grab the viewer’s attention. Unlike these media, however, the Internet is voluntary. In order to find your Web site, people have to come looking for you. So when marketing your Web site, the #1 goal is making it easy for people to find you.
If you have a well-designed Web site but aren’t getting many hits, perhaps it’s time to revisit your strategy for directing people to your site. Here are six quick tools to drive more traffic to your Web site so it can do the job you designed it to do — attract new patients.
1. Design good pages.
First and foremost, design good pages with relevant content and an attractive look. Good Web pages:
2. Target the large directories first.
The giant directories like Yahoo and Open Directory are by far the largest traffic generators on the Web. Using keywords that apply to your Web pages, search these and other large directories to see which Web sites come up first. That’s where you want your Web site to be.
3. Don’t overlook the specialized directories.
Smaller, more specialized directories like About.com are increasing in popularity because they can deliver highly targeted traffic. For small businesses and professional practices, the smaller directories often offer the biggest bang for the Internet marketing buck.
4. Consider “pay for performance” search engines.
Some search engines charge by the click rather than a flat fee. These can also generate good results for small professional firms, especially at the beginning of your marketing campaign when you haven’t yet obtained a listing on many search engines. The most popular example of this is Google AdWords.
5. Use PR to promote the site.
Put your URL (web address) on your business card, mailings, flyers and every piece of printed material that leaves your office. Contact local or trade publications whose readership might have an interest in your Web site. Editors are often hungry for reports on new and interesting Web sites.
6. Use Social Media to Boost Your Search Engine Rank
Create social media accounts for your office. Social medias, like Google +, Facebook and Twitter hold rank with search engines. If someone searches for dentists in your city, your Facebook business page will come up. Your Facebook page will link to your website and bring traffic in. You can also use this page to promote your office as a whole.
7. Stay focused on the goal.
Keep in mind that you don’t want the entire world to visit your site — just those who have a legitimate need for your dental products and services. As more and more people use the Internet to conduct research on buying decisions, an increasing number of people will be searching for what you have to offer. Make it easy for them to find you and watch your number of legitimate inquiries soar.
Web Marketing Resources
I recently ran across two Web sites that offer a wealth of ideas and information related to Internet marketing issues. I highly recommend both.
www.wilsonweb.com. For professional service firms who want to market their products and services via the Internet, this comprehensive Web site offers a wide variety of ideas, information and links to other valuable resources.
http://searchengineforums.com. Need help with your search engine strategies? Want to know what other professionals are doing to maximize their search engine results? Surf on over to this page for a number of different forum discussions on search engine-related topics.
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