Did you know you only need to start one more orthodontic patient per day to add over a million dollars of annual production?
It’s true! We’ve done the math.
And if you can add more than one more patient per day to your current starts, your revenue grows exponentially.
But to get new orthodontic patients, you first need to attract more leads. Because you won’t add more patients every day simply by relying on dentist referrals or word-of-mouth marketing.
Orthodontic practice growth requires making your brand seen everywhere in your community. You should be a familiar face and a welcoming smile in the lives of your potential patients.
So let’s look at how you can attract more new patient leads to your orthodontic practice today.
11 Proven Strategies To Get More Orthodontic Leads
1. Stand Out From The Crowd
When it comes to marketing, you don’t want to blend in—you want to be seen!
So think carefully about how you want your brand to be perceived. What separates you from your competitors? How can you differentiate yourself? What makes your orthodontic practice truly unique?
You can stand out by being the oldest, most trusted, or best practice in your local area. But we suggest trying to elevate your brand as the practice with the happiest orthodontic patients.
After all, what are your orthodontic leads really looking for? Transformation.
They want to see their future self reflected in every bright smile on your billboards, website, and advertisements. So, rather than focusing on your technical skills, training, or experience, give your leads more of what they want to see—big, happy smiles!
If you can stand out as the #1 smile-maker in your community, it will bring more orthodontic leads to your practice.
2. Optimize Your Website for Local SEO
A website is more than a digital business card. It’s more like your 24-hour-a-day virtual salesperson. And when you set your website up correctly, it will actively attract and convert new patients to your practice.
Your optimized orthodontic website needs to have 3 distinct elements—SEO optimization, conversion optimization, and a mobile-first design.
Let’s talk about SEO first. Search engine optimization (SEO) ensure you include necessary elements to make your site rank in the top few spots in search engines like Google and Bing.
Over 25% of people click on the #1 listing on Google, and 54% click on one of the first 3 spots. So ranking your site at the top of search results is crucial to attracting more orthodontic leads online.
You’ll want to either work with a reputable SEO company or an established orthodontic marketing agency with a track record of helping ortho practices dominate the search rankings in their local markets.
3. Maximize On-Site Lead Conversions
Optimizing for conversions the practice of making it easy for your visitors to contact you, book appointments, or get the information they need to become patients.
You’ll want to make clear what action you want them to take, ensure your buttons are big and bright, offer online appointment booking, and utilize a live chat function to turn more leads into patients.
For more on conversion optimization for orthodontists, check out our guide to high-converting orthodontic websites.
4. Focus Your Website Mobile-First
According to Zippia, 82% of customers prefer to book appointments using mobile devices. So if your website doesn’t provide an excellent, lightning-fast mobile experience, you risk losing 8 in 10 potential leads!
Gone are the days of “mobile responsive” websites designed for desktop but adapted to mobile devices. Instead, your website must be designed with mobile users as your #1 priority for appointment-based businesses like orthodontics.
Search engines, like Google, also base their SEO rankings based on the loading speed and usability of your mobile pages. So focusing on a mobile-optimized site will help you get in front of more potential patients.
5. Grow Your Positive Reviews
No orthodontic marketing strategy is more effective than word-of-mouth referrals. But what if you could multiply the impact of your patients’ voices to reach tens of thousands of potential leads?
That’s precisely what positive reviews and testimonials do for you!
Studies show that 91% of 18-34 year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. And 94% of people say that a negative review has caused them to avoid a business.
So what your patients say about you online matters. But how can you impact what they say?
First, try to consistently deliver an exceptional experience. But don’t stop there…
Repeatedly ask your happy patients to leave you an online review, starting with their first successful appointment. Also include a “Review Us On Google” QR code on appointment reminder cards and send follow-up emails and text messages asking patients to leave you a review.
Most patients are happy to give your orthodontic practice a 5-star rating, but if you don’t ask, they won’t think to do it on their own.
6. Boost Your Google Business Profile
An optimized Google Business Profile (GBP) for your orthodontic practice (previously called Google My Business) will get many times more visits and views than your website. So yours needs to be updated and accurate to give potential orthodontic marketing leads the best possible impression of your practice.
Because it’s “created” by Google and prominently features patient reviews, your GBP has a sense of independent credibility that your website doesn’t. Plus, it appears prominently in Google Search and Google Maps, which can lead to hundreds of thousands or even millions of views! Potential leads can even call you just by tapping a button.
One of our top partners, Fishbein Orthodontics in Pensacola, Florida, has leveraged their Google Business profile to generate over 1.1 million views on Google Maps, initiate 69,268 phone calls to its offices, and send nearly 20,000 visitors to its website!
If your GBP isn’t as good as it could be, you’re losing business daily to competitors in your market.
7. Post Daily On Social Media
Research by Pew Media shows that 81% of Americans aged 30-49 say that they use at least one social media site. And 77% of the folks in that demographic are on Facebook.
So if parents or young professionals are a part of your target audience, social media marketing is a must for your orthodontic practice!
Every orthodontic office should have social media pages, but having these profiles is not enough—you need to use them strategically. You should post fresh content multiple times per week, if not every single day.
If you’re not sure what to say about yourself, let your happy patients do the talking for you! Video testimonials and smiling photos of thrilled patients are the most likely content to get you free traffic. Avoid before and after photos of teeth or technical posts about clinical orthodontics because they don’t perform well. Happy patients and staff are your best bet to boost your engagement.
Also, use your social media pages to promote any special offers or promotions that might drive new orthodontic leads to your chair. Organic posting on social media is a great way to test new ideas and messaging that might work in paid ads or boosted posts.
8. Accelerate Growth With PPC Advertising
So far, we’ve mostly discussed orthodontic marketing strategies that will pay off over time. But now let’s talk about stepping on the gas pedal to accelerate your growth almost overnight.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is when you pay a company like Facebook or Google to show ads for your business. You only pay when a potential lead clicks on one of your ads in search results or their Facebook feeds.
Unlike organic social media posts, PPC ads help you to reach new potential orthodontic leads that aren’t in your network. And it can let you to skip the line on Google and get your ad placed above the top-ranking organic search results in your market.
Facebook advertising, in particular, lets you offer your most exciting promotions to new leads to encourage them to book a consultation immediately.
If you’re looking for exponential growth, paid PPC advertising MUST be a part of your marketing plan. It’s the #1 strategy we use to drive millions of dollars of growth for practices every year.
Take Cassinelli, Shanker & Baker Orthodontics just outside of Cincinnati, OH. They had a very healthy, established practice when they approached HIP, our orthodontic marketing agency. Yet we were able to help them add 60 new patients from digital leads in their first 4 months—that’s $300,000 in production at a 780% ROI on their ad spend!
But PPC advertising isn’t something you should jump into on your own. It’s easy to burn through thousands of dollars with zero return if you’re unfamiliar with quality ad creative and winning bidding and targeting strategies.
An orthodontic marketing agency will know how to target your audience effectively. And they can recommend ads and promotions they know are generating leads for other orthodontists.
With the right strategy and marketing partner, PPC advertising will drive faster and more profitable growth than any other orthodontic marketing tactic.
9. Start A Patient Referral Program
Did you know that referral leads are 3-5x more likely to convert than any other type of lead?
Use that to your advantage by incentivizing your patients to refer their family and friends to your practice. You have to be careful of regulations—rewards can’t impact your care or give preferential treatment to participants—but there are plenty of ethical ways to get your patients excited to build your business.
You can offer gift cards to stores like Amazon or Starbucks, offer discounts on future services like teeth whitening, or enter them into a monthly drawing for larger gifts. Get creative! There’s no limit to the ideas you can come up with.
And you’ll find many software solutions that make creating an orthodontic patient referral program easy to manage.
10. Sponsor Local Events
Your orthodontic practice is a part of the local community, and the more you participate in that community, the more leads you’ll create.
Look for opportunities to co-sponsor local charity events, youth sports teams, community parties, bike or road races, and local fairs or festivals. Set up a booth if you can, and send out a team to meet people and give out small gifts and fliers advertising your latest promotion.
There’s no replacement for making a personal connection with a potential patient for boosting conversion rates.
11. Advertise Locally
Orthodontic marketing works best when you show up in every aspect of your community’s life—online, offline, and in-person.
So consider taking out ad space in a local magazine or newspaper. And look for opportunities to buy a billboard or advertise at bus stops near your target clients. You can even send out postcards with your offers to local neighborhoods. And local radio can still reach thousands of people every day.
Online advertising is incredibly effective in today’s market. But don’t underestimate the power of traditional print, broadcast, and outdoor opportunities to bring new leads into your orthodontic practice.
Are You Ready to Grow Your Orthodontic Practice?
If you are ready to grow, the first thing you’ll need is leads.
But leads are NOT what separates the top 1% of practices from those struggling to break $2 million annually.
The truth is that almost any orthodontic marketing agency can get you leads.
But most marketing agencies won’t tell you the hard truth—the number of leads they create for you is less important than what you do with those leads.
Because if you don’t create air-tight follow-up processes and execute proven conversion strategies, 95% of those leads will never make it past your front desk.
HIP is the only orthodontic marketing partner that goes beyond the lead to teach your team our proven framework for converting digital leads into paying patients.
Over the past decade, we’ve helped some of the nation’s fastest-growing practices, like Fishbein Orthodontics, Dr. Jennifer Orthodontics, All Smiles Orthodontics, and many more, achieve tens of millions of dollars in growth.
And not just once. But year after year.
Here’s what Dr. Ed Wentz of Wentz Orthodontics had to say about working with HIP:
“We had a pretty established practice with nine locations. So we were hoping for maybe a 5% to 10% increase in new patients. But I looked last week, and we’re up to 61%, which I’ve never had before.”
If you’re looking to boost your orthodontic lead generation, book more consultations, and start more patients every month, please contact us to schedule a free consultation today.
We’ll show you how our Patient Acuisition and Retention Framework (PARF™) can help you duplicate the phenomenal success of the nations top 1% orthodontic practices.