April 25, 2017

Starting a New Dental Practice? Differentiate with Better Website Copy

If your dental marketing copy sounds like everyone else, prospective patients will think you are just like everyone else.

dental marketing copy should look like everyone else

You spent a lot of time and paid a lot of money for you dental education.

You likely spent a lot of time working as an associate to develop your skills.

Now, after investing all that time and money in yourself, you decide you want to start a practice, or buy one of your own. 

Assertion

The worst thing you can do as a new practice owner is develop a practice and/or a dental marketing strategy that makes you look like everyone else. The reason is, if you don’t stand out, prospective patients will not know why they should choose you as their new dentist.

The best thing you can do is develop a practice and/or dental marketing strategy that speaks to your ideal patients, so that when they discover you, they:

  • Know what you do that makes you different
  • Know why that difference makes you the logical choice as their dentist

Inside this Article

This article is for any dentist who has a practice website, or a dentist who just became a practice owner, and needs a new website, but doesn’t really know how to use a website to grow your practice.

The article presents a few ways to help you use your website to stand out from the competition, and most importantly, appeal to your target audience.

First Things First

Dentists, more than many small businesses that I have encountered, are bombarded with solicitations from marketing companies who promise the world as it relates to online marketing.

The big attraction seems to be that they, the marketing firm, can get a lot done, with a limited investment of time and money by you.

Many of these companies do nothing more than create a template of sorts, usually not even a good one, and replicate that template across all of their clients by literally using the exact same website copy for all of their clients.

It works well for the marketing company, because they keep their costs down. It is a terrible idea for a dentist, because, well, it keeps your revenue down.

This video by Amy Harrison, because of Amy’s unique ability to combine hilarious comedic talent with practical marketing expertise, is perfectly suited to illustrate the insanity of, either on your own, or with the advice of a consultant, creating marketing copy that sounds like everyone else. 

There are many ways to create a marketing strategy that helps your dental practice stand out, and appeal to your target audience. A few, just to name a few, include:

  • Establishing a niche practice around a particular service or specialty
  • Establishing a niche practice around a particular audience type, or demographic
  • Serving a very specific location

No matter how you differentiate yourself, your core message delivered by your website copy needs to be created and presented via your marketing materials in such a way that you let the right people know about you, your practice and why they should choose you as their dentist.

Here are three things you can do right now to make your dental marketing copy better.

One – Don’t Make “Patient Care” Your Core Message

I realize you think that your level of patient care makes you the best choice in town. You might even be right.

The problem is, every dentist thinks they provide the best dental care in town, and say so in their marketing materials, often using this type of message as their website home page headline.

There is no problem with indicating to the prospective patient what they can expect from their experience with your practice. It becomes a problem when you make this your core message or theme, and try to use it to differentiate you from the competition.

Two – Develop a Core Message

If you have established your niche properly, your core message should be pretty easy to create. As an example, if you are the only dentist in town who provides dentures, than your core message is something like, “If you need dentures, we can help you get them.”

“Basically, you want your prospects and customers to know that they have come to the right place and you’re the business to serve them the best.” Jen Havice 

Once you have established your core message, the “thing” that defines you and differentiates you, this message should permeate your entire marketing strategy, whether it be your website or advertising materials.

The best part about a solid core message is, once established correctly, your dental marketing copy will likely be written for the audience who needs your services the most.

Three – Make it About Them, Not You

I know it is tempting to think that your community needs to know how great you are as a dentist. The truth is, they don’t. They really need to know how you address their needs, and why you do it better than anyone else.

When you write your dental marketing copy properly, you will use the word “you” far more often that you will use the word “I”. Here is an example to illustrate the point.

Let’s say you are a dentist who provides cosmetic dentistry services. Here is some typical copy you might find on other websites, that you might think would be great on yours.

“We are the cosmetic dentist in town who takes great pride in making our patients feel welcome and comfortable.”

A better approach, one that will likely appeal to your audience in a much more effective way is…

“You need a smile makeover and want to ensure it is affordable, comfortable and long lasting.”

The first sentence is all about you. The second sentence says the same thing, and is all about your patient. The reason number two works best is because it represents the thoughts that are likely in your patients head.

Since you are selling services to them, and not yourself, their thoughts are more important to align with.

“Effective copy writing boils down to one thing: keying into your prospect’s overriding need.” Demian Farnworth

In order to do so, you must know who you are, why it matters to your audience, and above all else, make it accessible and easy to understand for your audience.

Actionable Insights

Here are a few more things you can do, now, to direclty enhance the impact your website will have on the success of your practice.

  • Make a list of your top 10 to 20 patients. These are patients who allow you to practice the type of dentistry you enjoy, and contribute to a profitable practice. (if you worked as an associate, and are starting a practice from scratch, think back to those patients you really enjoyed, and would like to attract to your new practice, and try to remember what you liked about them, and what they liked about you.
  • Give your top patients a call and ask them if they would be willing to discuss how and why your practice fits in with their overall goals and objective. Essentially, you are trying to create buyer personas.
  • Based on what you find out when talking to your best patients, re frame everything about you from the perspective of the patient. If you currently say, “I provide teeth whitening services…” say instead, “You want your teeth to be as white as they can be…”
  • When developing your core message, don’t think in terms of what you do, think in terms of the outcomes you create. You might be tempted to say, “I do smile makeovers”, but instead you should say, “I give you confidence to achieve your goals…”. When you think in terms of outcomes, you naturally have to think in terms of your patients.
  • Try to eliminate unnecessary and/or redundant text from your website. leave as much white space as possible, because white space makes your website more readable.
  • Eliminate as many stock photos as possible, and instead, use real pictures of you, your staff and your patients.
  • Make it incredibly easy to navigate your website, so that people find the information they need, and, take the action you want them to take.
  • Create a video of two of you talking about your practice. The video will add a personal touch to your website, allowing prospective patients to meet you without actually meeting you.
  • Make your reviews easy to find, and make it easy for your current patients to leave a review.
  • Certainly write your website to be found by search engines, but not to the detriment of its readability by humans. In other words, don’t write for search engines, write for people.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, your website is the center piece of your total marketing strategy. It is the place on the web where everyone will turn to find out more about what you can do for them. 
To be successful, your website needs to be professionally designed in such a way that it is a reflection of your overall professional brand.
However, you cannot stop with a well designed website. You must ensure that the message your website delivers is the message that will resonate with your target audience. That requires a shift in your thinking from crafting a message about you, to crafting a message for your prospective patients.

More Resources

More from Amy Harrison

Modern Dental Practice Marketing on Moving Past Monkey See Monkey Do

How Much Copy to Write on Your Home Page – ConversionXL

Embracing a Slow User Experience – Confluent Forms

Are Your Words Causing Small Headaches? – Kayak Online Marketing

How to Review Your Own Website Copy – Jen Havice

12 Writing Exercises That Will Transform Your Copy Today – Demian Farnworth


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