The Four Pillars of Online Marketing Success

The Four Pillars of Online Marketing Success

If you have a website that’s NOT bringing you new patients, you’re about to find out why.

Why must you be on the web? Let’s start with a statistic: Eighty-five percent of consumers are searching for local businesses online. So even if you haven’t dumped your phone book for Google, the majority of your patients have.

In fact, 91 percent of consumers search to find information on the web.

More than half do so EVERY DAY. But what’s wrong with your billboard, yellow pages listing, TV commercial or newspaper ad? Nothing is wrong with them if you don’t mind spending a bunch of money in hopes of drawing in prospects.

But with web marketing, you can be very targeted in how you spend your money, drawing in the patients YOU want to attract. That’s because the web is data-driven.

You can:

  1. track who looked at your website (you can’t do that with your billboard)
  2. target specific messages to people who have looked at a specific page on your website (you can’t do that with your TV commercial)
  3. automatically follow up with prospects who have requested more information (you can’t do that from a newspaper ad)
  4. use videos to show how likable you and your staff are (you can’t do that with your phone book listing)

In fact, there are four key things you need to be doing to have web marketing that provides more and better patients. Most dentists aren’t doing even one of them effectively. Unless you’re our client, you’re almost certainly not doing all four.

These are what we call our four pillars.

Just as a building needs rock solid support to be sturdy, so does your practice. You MUST have these four pillars to bring yourself more patients, more profits and more freedom.

Having one doesn’t support your practice. Even having three makes your practice unstable. But with all four pillars, you have a rock solid frame from which to build your web marketing efforts.

The four pillars are:

  • attraction
  • conversion
  • follow-up
  • tracking

What you MUST know about attracting patients

The first step of any web marketing campaign is that your prospects must be able to find you on the web, no matter if they search on Google, Facebook, local search, or on their mobile phone! The alphabet soup of “buzzwords” you’ve heard (SEO, SEM, PPC, SMO, etc.) are simply the tools used to achieve a top-ranking visibility.

For many dentist, this is the only pillar that gets done!

Without diving into the specifics of each “tool“ here, you must be:

  • doing organic SEO
  • doing PPC
  • doing video optimization
  • optimizing local search
  • managing online reviews
  • using blogs, articles and press releases

With Google constantly tinkering with its search engine, you have to make sure you have a dominant online presence that covers ALL FACETS.

Getting your name out there in as many channels as possible is a MUST for building your web marketing.

In my next post, I’ll discuss the other three pillars of patient attraction and how they work to bring you the patients YOU want.

Conversion: Visibility Doesn’t Equal New Patients

Conversion is very simple. It means taking someone who has found you and getting them to set an appointment. That might be via your website, or that might be through a phone call. But what a conversion is NOT is a click.

Having someone click a link to your website, or even a link from your website to another page within your website, is not a conversion.

Some dentists get hundreds and thousands of clicks, but they get 0 phone calls and 0 butts in chairs. Obviously they are doing a good job with attraction if they are getting all those page views. But that’s why this is one of the more overlooked aspects of web marketing.

Many dentists think they buy visibility and magically butts appear in their chair. In large part that’s because many web marketing companies sell dentists on the ideas that clicks matter.

When dealing with conversion, only one kind matters.  It’s not page goals in Google Analytics or a “Like” on Facebook. A conversion is when somebody picks up your phone and calls your office. Until they pick up the phone, they are a lead.

So how do you convert that click or lead into a patient?

You address patients’ three needs:

  1. Are you going to hurt them?
  2. What are you going to charge?
  3. Are you going to do the work right?

That last one has nothing to do with your training. It has to do with whether they trust you, whether you have credibility with them.

Two of the most powerful ways to do that are:

  1. Have a problem/solution-oriented website.

Most dentists have a services-based website. But the patient’s problem is not Invisalign; it’s that they are embarrassed to smile. Implants aren’t the patient’s problem; it’s that they can’t eat the foods they love.

Orient your website to deal with patient problems to earn credibility.

  1. Use video.

Video expresses things that you can’t put into words. Most communication is nonverbal. Video of you and your staff lets people get to know you. This goes back to Dr. Robert Cialdini’s principle of likeability. Video of testimonials allows patients to advocate for you. This goes to Dr. Cialdini’s idea of social proof.

In my next post, I’ll cover the Pillars of follow-up and tracking, and how they complete the patient attraction cycle.




Leave a comment

About the author
Colin Receveur is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and dental web marketing expert who has pioneered the way dentists market themselves online for the past decade. Since incorporating in 2001, Colin has established a rock solid track record with his dentist clients and turned SmartBox into a stalwart of proven results for hundreds of dental practices.