The Dental Industry & Covid-19
What can the Dental Fraternity do:
1. Have a Robust Online Presence
Digital Attention is at an all time high with most people staying home. As people practice social distancing and avoid visiting brick and mortar stores, your website/online presence becomes a very important tool to keep your Dental Services top of mind and also create a sense of brand recall, whenever a need arises.
Continue with your SEO, Google My Business, Google Ads & Social accounts to the best of your economic ability. Even if the budget is not much, let them run. Pausing your campaigns may seem to be the right solution at this point in time, however, do note that your competitors are still running their campaigns. Also, this will make it more difficult for you to acquire patients, when normality resumes.
Finally, keep in mind that any major changes to your SEO campaign such as pausing it can make months of work futile and when you do resume, you would end up starting from scratch.
2. Providing Effective Communication
This is a great time to build and retain your customer relationships. Hence, effective and efficient communication plays a very important role.
Since your service is affected, update your business hours and description in your Google My Business profile. Aside from letting people know when they can stop by your clinic, you can also update your description to give more information regarding any additional precautions you are taking or if there are changes in services.
A good practice would also be to provide clear and up to date information in your FAQs on how your company is dealing with the impacts of the virus.
3. Continue Engaging your Patients on Social & Other Online Platforms
With most businesses closed, and most people staying at home in order to reduce the potential spread of the virus, social media usage is surging. Keep your audiences engaged with the latest news about your service and highlight how they can help you during these times with activities like:
- Showcasing any new promotions/discounts.
- Writing positive reviews online.
- Purchasing service cards that they can avail later
- Connect more with your audience through Facebook, YouTube and Instagram live.
- Make use of live chat/phone/video/other online resources.
- Schedule live events/chats/videos on useful information such as better oral care, brushing the right way, resolving minor dental issues themselves etc.
4. Miscellaneous Ways for you to Maximise this time
Online/Video Consultations: Since patients will still exist with ailments and some of these ailments can be resolved through visual examination, this is a good time for Dentists to take up online/video consultations for issues that might not require direct contact. Appointments and Payments can be made using online portals. This way, even on a small scale, you get to offer your Dental services to patients.
Availability in case of Dental Emergencies: In case you are permitted to offer this service, subject to Government regulations and permissions, communicate the same to your patient via the various tools of communication you have.
Invest in Organic Growth & SEO: If it has been a while since your website has had a revamp, this is the right time to analyse and modify it. Some of the changes to think about include:
- Putting in more information sharing your subject expertise
- Updating introduction write ups about the Dentists & the team
- Introduction of new patients
- Highlight any new services/treatments that you offer etc
- Overall health of your website, not limited to Content, On Page SEO, Link Building etc.
What to do with your Google Ads Campaigns:
Google Ads Benchmarks During Covid-19
Here are some statistics for the Health & Medical Industry. Although it is primarily US data, the trends and behaviour could still apply to the Australian market and give an indication of how things are looking. Looking at the data it is evident that the cost per clicks might have increased, however, the Clickthrough rates and Cost per Acquisitions have gotten better.
(Source: Average of 15,759 WordStream US PPC Campaigns)
Observations that can be made from the above data:
- Many advertisers have paused their campaigns keeping in mind the circumstances. Hence the competition is much reduced and there is scope for the advertisers currently advertising to see better performance and more traction.
- People will continue to look for professional help with minor ailments like check ups, tooth pain, teeth cleaning & repairs etc.
- Search terms like emergency dentist, dental emergencies continue to see traction in the past month. Dental emergencies will continue to be there; the onus is on the Dentists too to be available at the right time. (Subject to Government regulations & Permissions of course).
Inferences that can be worked on:
- Reduce your campaign budgets to an amount you are comfortable with, if you are in a position to advertise your services.
- Modify your messaging based on the current circumstances. Have messaging around “Available for emergencies” or advertise for “Online Video Consultations.”
- Update your keyword list to focus on terms that you are going after and also ones that are trending during this time.
- Update your landing page to share information on any changes that have happened due to the lockdown and are there any steps patients can take before they come to meet you.