You probably have lots of patients that have somehow fallen off of your radar.

Many people cancel one dentist appointment and then forget to reschedule it, and before they realize that they haven’t visited your office for a while, three years have gone by.

These patients usually don’t realize that by the time they return to the dentist, they are likely going to have serious dental issues, whether it just be cavities, or more serious problems like cracks in teeth, infections, or missing teeth.

Luckily, there are ways that you can use dental SEO to reach out to former patients and draw them back into your practice, before they’ve gone a decade without visiting the dentist.

Here are some of the ways your office can use SEO to reach out to patients who haven’t been in a while or who are looking for a new dentist:

1. Make sure your website includes service descriptions.

If a potential patient is having a specific problem, he is likely not just looking for a dentist.

He is looking for a dentist who can do an emergency root canal.

If your website doesn’t include even a partial list of the procedures you can perform in your office, you’re going to be missing out on the patients searching for those procedures.

Make sure your website includes a page that includes a bulleted list or more in-depth discussion of what services you offer your patients.

2. Post helpful articles.

If you don’t yet have a blog attached to your dentist office’s website, now is the time to get one.

This is a great venue for you to show your chops by posting helpful, informative articles about dentistry-related topics.

Patients who are looking for the best way to brush their teeth, or what healthy gums should look like are more likely to find your website if you have a blog article posted on that topic.

3. Start a mailing list.

You don’t have to send out emails every week or even at all to the patients that routinely keep their appointments.

An email list, however, can be a great way not only to make your website look more legitimate and therefore more valuable to Google, but also to collect email addresses and associate them with your patient files.

That way, you’ll be able to send out an email to former patients that haven’t been in to see you in a while.

4. Give your patients a gift.

When I was a kid, our dentist would give us a sticker if we didn’t bite her during the cleaning (that wasn’t the explicit deal, but because the kids who did bite didn’t get stickers, it was definitely implied that those were the terms).

That was plenty of incentive for most of us to not bite her, despite the fact that she was poking our gums with sharp objects and a child’s natural defense mechanism is to bite.

Offering your page visitors a gift not only allows you to build another page you can fill with keyword-rich content, it also gives your patients something of value, which makes your website more valuable.

Even something as simple as an oral hygiene guide PDF qualifies as a gift.

5. Start a social media campaign.

Many dentists don’t think that there is a place for them on social media.

The exact opposite is true.

Social media is the perfect way to distribute the helpful articles that you post to your blog and to gather together your patients and deliver reminders about teeth care and making appointments.

6. Make a video.

Videos are far more engaging than text is.

While the right article or blog post is likely to be read and shared, a video requires significantly less brainpower and is therefore better for engaging with page viewers that maybe don’t want to read a block of text.

With the right description, a video can also be a great way to boost your SEO, and because Google gives preferential treatment to videos in search results, you’re more likely to see that video, which connects back to your webpage, at the top of the page.

7. Write a guest post for another blog.

Guest posting is the secret weapon of any SEO campaign—and it should be.

It’s a great way to reach out to a whole new set of patients or to reconnect with former patients.

Getting your name and your knowledge on a heavily-trafficked blog in the dentistry industry can draw people in your area right to you.

8. Get involved in forums and ask pages.

If your city has a forum (and it probably does, most do), there are probably people on that forum asking which dentists to visit and why.

They may also just be asking general dental hygiene questions.

If you find either of these two situations, you have the ability to reach out not just to the person asking the question on the forum, but also to anyone else who comes across that question and your answer.

These types of posts boost your authority, and if you include a link to your website (just make sure it doesn’t look like spam), you are also link building!

9. Allow people to make appointments on the website.

The act of having to call to make an appointment or to reschedule one can be enough to drive a patient away.

Use an online booking service to allow your patients to make their appointments online.

This is a great way to boost SEO, by offering unique content and much higher value than your competitors.

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