Local Search & Digital Dental Marketing – WTF?

Oh, so it looks like someone does actually have at least a somewhat loose grasp on what the kids are doing these days.

Give yourself a pat on the back if you figured out what the headline of this humble little digital dental marketing blog post is all about.

Here’s a hint, it’s not what you think.

When it comes to marketing, a lot of dental practices claim very little in the way of return on investment. Some attribute success or failure to the particular marketing tool employed, and others wouldn’t even know if they had a new patient because nothing gets tracked.

We’re not here to debate dental practice marketing ROI; we’d be here all day.

We’re here to let you know that the systemic Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt surrounding your digital marketing IQ, is prohibiting your ability to act on opportunity. Local Search & Digital Dental Practice Marketing - WTF?

And if luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, that FUD is leaving you SOL!

What’s to Fear?

Local search as a digital marketing concern for the dental practice is here and here to stay.

When it comes to new patient recruitment, the most popular method often described is, word of mouth. Dental practices around the world receive a steady flow of new patients all from their happy and incredibly talkative, giving and empathetic existing patient base.

  • Isn’t that how it is?
  • Have you noticed any drop in that word of mouth referral?
  • Do you know what can take your offline WOM and amplify your digital WOM?

Word of mouth has now gone digital, it’s out there on Facebook, completely visible for everyone to see on Google Places, it even exists in some corners of the Internet you may not even be aware of, yet.

Don’t let fears of the unknown paralyze your practice when it comes to cutting edge patient communications and online practice visibility & accessibility.

Here’s why you need not fear digital marketing, local search, or social media in your dental practice marketing plan.

Fear is good, it keeps you on your toes!

And maybe with a little education and some positive results, you’ll be afraid of not calculating your practice marketing ROI every month. Local Search & Digital Dental Practice Marketing

Just because we don’t understand something, doesn’t mean it’s difficult, time consuming, or expensive.

How Long Are You Going to Sit on the Fence?

Uncertainty also leads to inaction, basically we feel powerless as to the outcome of a chosen endeavor, so we do nothing instead.

Glittering generalities aside, uncertainty has no place in your dental practice marketing plan. If you’re uncertain about what local search (or digital marketing) for the dental practice entails, educate yourself.


  • Immediately improve website ranking factors & increase online practice visibility.
  • Confirm, consolidate, & control your Google Places, Bing Local, Yahoo Local search engine listings. (Now add Mapquest to the list too…YES MAPQUEST…you were uncertain about all this remember?)
  • Remove duplicate listings that could be adversely affecting your TRUST factor with Google.
  • Automatically syndicate digital word of mouth & broadcast across local search environments.
  • Capture more website traffic & convert more website visitors to new patients.
  • Automatically monitor your online dental practice reputation.
  • Generate important backlinks & citations to your dental website…and your physical location.

It’s about optimizing your practice location as much as it’s about optimizing a dental website.

There are now at least 25 local IYP (Internet Yellow Pages) listing or local review sites out there communicating dental-specific information to patients.

Are you uncertain if you’d like practice representation on every one of those websites?

We didn’t think so.

Uncertain if it will cost you an arm and a leg?

It very well may…if you don’t educate yourself and deal with the fear first.

New Patients?…No Doubt!

Back in 1998 dentists were crazy for thinking they needed a website to properly communicate their location, areas of focus, and digital practice identity to an incredibly infinitesimal segment of the population possibly searching for a dentist online.

Fast forward to present day and we can see the same type of doubt evident with regards to SoLoMo digital dental practice marketing.

The Internet landscape is changing, the way we search for local products and services is evolving, and the methods used to broadcast your practice message to potential new patients are diversifying.

We (as consumers) access information about products and services right in our immediate area, from a multitude of sources. Sure, all of these sources may very well still be discovered on Google predominantly…but wouldn’t you want to give Google as much verified practice information as possible?

Wouldn’t you want all of that information to jibe with offline reality?

Doesn’t it make sense to have practice representation in as many online channels as possible?

Are you afraid of having your name, address, and phone number widely available?

Is there uncertainty as to how that can only help your practice recruit new patients and keep more of the existing ones?

If you doubt what we’re saying, by all means, sound off. We can take it, but we won’t let you pull the FUD card any longer!

What is your #1 fear with regards to local search & digital practice marketing diversification?






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+Chris Barnard is the Managing Partner at Social Dental Network, a boutique digital marketing agency consistently generating tangible return on investment for dentists across North America & the U.K.