The Ultimate Dental Marketing Playbook

[The Ultimate 2021 Dental Marketing Playbook is a resource for dentists who want to optimize dental marketing strategies in 2021 and beyond.  This dental marketing playbook outlines new and old dental marketing techniques used by today’s most successful dental practices.]

Dental Marketing Play #1  – New Dental Practice Signage

Image courtesy of ArtSignWorks 

Digital marketing for dentist matters a lot but don’t forget about your practice signage.  Many dentists think a lot about their signage a lot when they first start their dental practice or when they move their dental office.

Ask yourself, if you were to move your dental office today, would you go with the sign you have now or would you splurge for more modern signage that fits your current image?

If you would splurge, it is probably time to upgrade your signage.

Every day prospective dental patients are driving by your dental office.  Do you want to be the dental office that has “been there forever” or the dental office that seems to be modern and seems to be “keeping up with the times”?

Dental digital marketing is also impacted by your physical signage.   Great dental websites include exterior photos of their dental practice.  Also, your physical signage might show up on places like Yelp and Google Maps.

Make sure your dental practice sign makes you proud.

Dental Marketing Play #2  – Freshen Up Your Dental Logo

Dental logos also help to build trust with new and current dental practices. These days a new dental logo can be impressive, very inexpensive and easy to create.

Even big brands change up and modernize their logos periodically.  Don’t worry about your dental patients not recognizing a new logo – they probably couldn’t recognize your current one either.

A great dental logo can help new dental patients get to know, like and trust your dental practice.   A great, modern logo can help telegraph to patients that you invest in your dental practice.  A good logo can make the difference between someone who sticks around on your website or not.  A good logo can build trust and help inspire a patient to fill out a form or call your dental practice.

Dental Marketing Play #3 – Modernize Your Dental Website

Does your dental website look old and generic?   If you are serious about dental marketing, you need to give patients a modern dental website experience.   Your website needs to show off the personality of your dental practice or website visitors will think you are hiding something.

Don’t get too fancy with your dental marketing website.  Just make sure it looks good, is easy to use and has great content.

There are plenty of dental website companies that can help.  In fact, we’ve put together a list of companies that specialize in dental websites.

Dental Marketing Play #4 – Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

Your dental website is mobile friendly, right?  If not, forget everything else and make it happen.   You can expect the majority of your website visitors will visit your dental website from a mobile phone.   If your website is not easy to navigate on a mobile phone,  FIX IT NOW!!!  (whatever you do, don’t spend money on Google or Facebook ads if your website is not mobile friendly)

Dental Marketing Play #5 – Create Dental Landing Pages

If running ads on Google, Facebook or elsewhere online, you must have landing pages that correlate with the dental ads.

For instance, if you are running Google ads for dental implants, the Google Ad must lead to a page on your website that specifically talks about dental implants.    A landing page with relevant information will make it much more likely that the ‘ad clicker’ will fill out a form or call your dental office.

Sending a dental patient to a main page that talks about dentistry is no longer good enough.  The dental patient needs to quickly understand how your dental practice can help them with their specific problem.

Dental Marketing Play #6 –  Post New Content Once Per Week

We know you hate it.  We know you are too busy.  We don’t care.

If you are serious about dental marketing, you need to post new dental related content on your website once per week.

A blog with new content does two things that Google loves.

New content tells Google your dental website is still alive and well.  If Google needs to decide between two identical websites and one is updated more recently, guess which one they choose? Yup, the updated one.

New content also gives you an excuse to use keywords that might not otherwise appear on your dental website.   Example.  Your homepage might not use the words, “Dental Implants, Typical Cost, Jupiter, Florida”.  However,  a blog post might include all of those dental keywords.   (Find dental keywords here – Dental Keyword List.)

Dental Marketing Play #7 – Use Some Real Dental Office Photos

Stock photos can work in some places on your dental website.  However, you should make sure you include some real pictures of real people.  Your dental website will become much more real and memorable with pictures of real people.  (just make sure you get waivers from dental patients!)

Dental Marketing Play #8 – Get Some Local Links

Don’t worry too much about links.  Google doesn’t expect a local dental office to have thousands of links or lots of powerful links.

However, some links from other local business or local websites can go a long way to send Google the signal that your dental website is relevant to a specific local area.

Dental Marketing Play #9 – Link To Some Local Stuff

Beyond just getting local links,  you can show Google your dental practice is relevant to a local area by linking to websites related to your local area.

Linking to local events and organizations is also a great way to show dental patients that you are connected to the local community.

Dental Marketing Play #10 – Use Dental Keywords

There are tons of keywords that dental patients are searching for on the internet.  Google is super smart but don’t expect them to read your mind.

If a dental keyword phrase is important to your practice make sure it appears on your dental website multiple times.

Dental Marketing Play #11 – Make a Page for Primary Dental Keywords

There are dental keywords and there are primary dental keywords.  Let’s say your dental practice is very interested in finding more emergency dental related patients.

If so, the term “emergency dentist” would be a primary dental keyword phase for your dental office.

For primary dental keywords, just sprinkling them throughout your dental website is not good enough.

For instance, a dentist in Acron, Ohio who wants to be found for emergency dental procedures needs a page that specifically focuses on keywords related to “emergency dentist Acron, Ohio.”

In fact, multiple, somewhat related, emergency dental pages that link together would be the best play!

Dental Marketing Play #12 – Optimize Your Page Title

This is maybe the most important dental marketing play.    Every webpage has a Page Title.  The Page Title also dictates the blue headline in the Google search results.

Notice anything about the top search results for the Google query “Purple Motorcycle Helmets” below?   That’s right the page headlines for these top Google results all talk about “purple helmets”.

If you want to be ranked for particular dental keywords, make sure you have a page that focuses on that topic and a page title that includes that dental keywords phrase.

A great page of dental content with a Page Title nobody is searching for will never get found on Google.  Make sure you get your Page Title right!

Dental Marketing Play #13 –  Include Dental Videos 

People love videos.  They don’t want to read all your content but they will watch your videos.

Videos keep visitors on your dental website longer.  Longer visits send a good signal to Google.  In theory, longer website visits = happier website visitors. Google likes longer visits!

Dental Marketing Play #14 – Optimize Your GoogleMyBusiness Listing

Make sure your Google My Business listing is accurate and updated.  Include photos, video, and services to make your listing stand out.  The more information you provide the more hints you will give to Google about what is important to you.

Dental Marketing Play #15 – Improve Your Online Dental Reviews

Dental Reviews are crazy important and getting more and more important every day.  Consumers are getting accustomed to checking reviews before they do anything.  (socks from Amazon = check review, new pizza place = check review, etc)

Don’t expect that patients will just provide positive online reviews for your dental practice on their own – a couple people might, but not as many as you need.

How to Get Positive Dental Reviews

Step One.  Provide exceptional, memorable experiences for your dental patients.

Step Two.  Consistently let your patients know how important reviews are and ask them to review your dental practice.

Positive Dental Reviews on Steroids

Do you need to really juice up your online reviews?  Consider using an online dental review service like

Birdeye can dramatically increase the quality and quantity of your online dental reviews with their managed online review system.

Essentially, Birdeye will facilitate the process of getting real (positive) reviews from real dental patients online.

Dental Marketing Play #16 –  Use Google Ads Keywords That Convert 

Smart dentists run dental Google search Ads.  Smarter dentists run Google Ads that find profitable dental patients.

You can expect to do well with keywords like Invisalign, Emergency Dentist, Dentist Near Me and Dental Implants.  You need to dig deeper to find keywords your competitors are not finding.  Once you find keywords that are not competitive (but find real live dental patients), you can bid low to maximize your Google ads budget.

Dental Marketing Play #17 – Create Relevant ‘Google Ads’ Ad Groups 

It is super important that the right Google ads show up for the right Google searches.  Imagine you are a dental patient searching for teeth whitening and you see a dental Google Ad talking about Dental Implants.

The dental implant Google Ad would not be relevant to you would and you would be unlikely to click on that ad.

‘Ad Groups’ help dentists group related keywords and Google ads so that the correct Google ads show for particular keyword searches. This sounds super obvious but is done incorrectly most of the time.  You must get it right.

Dental Marketing Play #18 – Create Compelling Google Ads

When it comes to Google Search ads, Google gets paid every time someone clicks on a Google ad.  For this reason, Google loves it when advertisers write great relevant ads that inspire action by web searchers.

Most dentist Google ads look alike and talk about the same stuff.   If you can make your Google ad stand out you will get more clicks and Google will actually give you a better price for each click.

Dental Marketing Play #19 – Create A Call To Action in Your Google Ads 

Good Google ads will be read by web searchers looking for help with dental procedures.  Great Google ads will get clicked and will result in more ‘form fills’ and phone calls for the dentist.

Effective Google ads include a ‘Call To Action’ that should motivate the web searcher to take action.  Examples of dental Google ads ‘Call To Actions’ include, “Schedule Appointment Now”, “Book Appointment Online”, “Call Now.”

Smart dental offices continue to improve and perfect their ‘Call To Actions’ so they can get more Google ad conversions. (new dental patient phone calls and form fills)

Dental Marketing Play #20 –  Focus on Local Google Ad Searches 

If your dental office is based in Houston and your Google ads are showing in Dallas, well… Houston we have a problem!

Smart dental offices target ads to specific geographic areas.  Dentists can target their city, cities nearby or even limit their ads to only a radius near their dental practice.  Learn more about Google Ads Location Targeting.

Dental Marketing Play #21 – After Hours Google Ads Bidding

Most dental practices run their Google ads when their dental offices are open and they are able to help new dental patients.  This makes a ton of sense.  It also makes the cost of Google ads considerably more expensive as dentists are all bidding against each other at the same time.

Of course for many people, the ideal time to schedule a dentist appointment is not when the dental practice is open.  Many people are doing this kind of ‘administrative life stuff’ after 8:30 pm when their kids have gone to bed.

The good news is Google ad clicks can be way less expensive after hours.   The trick is getting those after-hours clicks to convert.  Allowing dental patients to schedule dental appointments online 24/7 is a great way to get conversions anytime.

Dental Marketing Play #22 – After Hours Voicemail

When is the last time you listened to your voicemail greeting?   Does your voicemail appropriately welcome someone who dared to call your dental office off hours?

You should consider a special after-hours voicemail greeting that specifically offers a special promotion for patients who leave their contact info or fill out a secret form on your dental website.

Imagine the impact if you can get just two more patients per week who otherwise would have simply hung up and gone with another dental practice…

Probably worth being creative with your voicemail, right?

Dental Marketing Play #23 – Stop Expensive Cable TV Ads 

Unless you can track ROI on your cable TV ads – stop them.  They are probably way too expensive and you would be better off spending your money on trackable dental digital marketing.

Dental Marketing Play #24 – Stop Paying For Billboards 

Sure, dental practice billboards make you look cool in front of your friends and family but are they really working? If you can’t track it, stop it.

If you want to impress your friends and family, just buy a Tesla!

Dental Marketing Play #25 – YouTube Ads

A great alternative to cable tv ads is YouTube dentist ads.  Dentists can still advertise very inexpensively with YouTube ads.

Don’t worry you don’t have to advertise to the whole country or your whole state.  Google allows you to show your ad only to folks in your local area.

You can repurpose your old tv cable ad or create a new one very inexpensively.

A YouTube ad will be another signal to your local community that your dental office is modern and actively welcoming new dental patients.

Dental Marketing Play #26 – Remarketing With YouTube Ads

Don’t want to blanket your whole town with inexpensive dental practice YouTube ads?

No problem but you must consider at least remarketing to audiences that have already shown interest in your dental practice.

Imagine this scenario.  John does a Google search for “dental implants.”  He checks out your dental implants page and then proceeds to get distracted with his life.

For the next 60 days, John occasionally sees your YouTube ad prior to watching his favorite videos on YouTube.   John eventually clicks back and schedules a consult.  You pay pennies for the privilege of remarketing to John.

Dental Marketing Play #27 – Use Facebook Free Marketing (Social Media)

The days of free and easy social media marketing are over. It has been reported that only about 10% of your organic (non-paid) Facebook posts will be seen by your Facebook followers.

The bad news is only 10% of your followers will see your posts.  The good news is 10% WILL SEE YOUR POSTS!   That’s called free advertising!

Also, new dental patients might check out your Facebook page, so make sure it is up to date so your practice looks vibrant and dental patient friendly.

Facebook will reward dental practices that have Facebook pages that are more active and up to date.  Make sure to provide accurate information and respond to Facebook inquiries asap.

Dental Marketing Play #28 – Create Dental Facebook Ad Campaigns

Facebook Ad campaigns can be great.  Facebook allows dentists to target the perfect patient.

Facebook allows you to advertise to and educate folks in your local area.

These aren’t people with their ‘hands up’ saying I need ‘dental implants.’

Instead, Facebook allows your practice to target people of the right age who might need dental implants.  Plus, you can also target folks at the right income levels who can afford dental implants or are likely to have insurance.

You might not want to run dental Facebook ads every day like Google ads.  However,  a few targetted campaigns here and there can provide a killer ROI and find you some dental patients that you otherwise never would have.

With Facebook dental ads, the key is to follow up aggressively because these are people who need to be educated before they will invest in high-cost dental procedures like dental implants.

Dental Marketing Play #29 – Try Bing Dentist Ads

bing dentist near me

OK, so Dental Bing ads are not going to make or break your dental practice.  However, Bing can be perfect to find dental patients of a certain age.

Every day people in your local area are searching for topics like “dental implants” on Bing.   Why in God’s name would you not bother running a Bing ad to get in front of them? You only pay for Bing search ads if someone clicks – if they don’t click,  no harm, no foul.   (most dentists focus on Google and don’t bother with Bing which makes Bing ads bids cheaper!)

Learn more about Dentist Bing Ads.

Dental Marketing Play #30 – Postcards

Dental postcards still work but it is still kind of a Spray and Pray method.   As much as possible, your dental office should target specific neighborhoods to make your dental postcards pay off.

Dental postcards can be cheap and simple to create at places like

Whatever you do, don’t just send out dental postcards because that is what you have always done.  Use call tracking to establish your dental postcard campaign is really working.  If not, move you dental postcard budget to digital marketing campaigns where you can track your investment.

Dental Marketing Play #31 – The Zillow Trick

Want to send dental postcards or mailings only to new residents of your community?

You can use real estate sites like Zillow to get the addresses of folks who have recently purchased a home in your area.

Simply filter Recently Sold as seen below.  Next, copy the addresses that appear on the right-hand side of the screen.

Now, just paste those addresses to a spreadsheet and with a little bit of clean up, you will have a list of folks who have recently moved to your area.

Dental Marketing Play #32 – Record Your Incoming Calls

There’s a reason many dentists don’t want to record their incoming calls.   They are afraid of what they are going to hear and they should be!

Online dental marketing takes many steps before it gets to your front desk.  Often times, lots of hard work crashes and burns when it gets to your front desk.   If you are willing to rip up a $100 bill, don’t worry about recording calls.

If the idea of throwing money down the toilet terrifies you, get call recording set up today so you can optimize your digital marketing ads and provide better training and guidance for your front desk staff.

Check out our article CallRail – Call Recording For Dental Marketing to learn more about the power of call recording for dentists.

Dental Marketing Play #33 – Optimize Your Dental Yelp Listing

Dentists hate Yelp. We get it.  People say mean and untrue stuff on Yelp.   But here’s the problem more and more people are looking a dentist reviews on Yelp.  You can’t just boycott Yelp!

If nothing else, you need to optimize your free Yelp listing with photos, videos, and pertinent information.   Yelp will be more likely to show an updated Yelp listing.

You can go ahead and hate Yelp and not take advantage of their free advertising or you can be stubborn and let your competitors grow their dental practice with Yelp. Your choice.

Dental Marketing Play #34 – Consider Yelps Ads

If you already have great Yelp reviews, you should consider advertising on Yelp.

The relatively high price of Yelp ads will pay off if you have built-in social proof from dental patients saying your dental practice is awesome.   If your Yelp reviews are not great, you should probably skip Yelp ads until they are.

Check out our more in-depth article about  Yelp Dental Ads

Dental Marketing Play #35 – Implement Online Dental Appointment Scheduling

We might have saved the best for last.  In 2021 and beyond, online dental appointment scheduling will be a must.

Dental patients don’t want to accept (settle for) the time/date offered by your staff.   They want to know when you have open spots and fit you into their busy calendar.

Dental patients also don’t want to call at 11:00 am when their co-workers can hear their non-work related call.  They want to quietly click on a time and move on with their day.

Pretty soon if your practice does not offer online dental appointment scheduling, your competitor will offer online scheduling and THEY will take YOUR patient.  You can learn more about online scheduling in our article Online Dental Appointment Scheduling.

ConversionSmiles is a Dental Marketing Company.