Does your practice resemble an airport? Patients circling with interest, landing to check out your services, then departing to fly on to a better deal or a more compelling and informative provider?
Attracting new patients to your practice and your services via your website is a challenge. Keeping them engaged requires strategy. That’s where retargeting comes in handy.
What is Retargeting and How Does it Work?
Good question. Technicalities aside, think of it this way:
- A prospective new patient or a current patient lands on your website or social media platform.
- They click on a specific service or view a video or image you’ve posted. A “script” or “cookie” is placed ontheir browser.
- They eventually leave your site and proceed to search the web for other areas of interest. On another site, the “cookie” they received enables an ad to appear, strategically preconfigured by you and relevant to your site and their search interests.
“Retargeting is a simple concept: Market to the people who have already expressed an interest in your product or service.” 
What Are the Benefits of Retargeting?
The primary benefit of retargeting is that is keeps your practice top-of-mind with any potential or current patients who visit your website. Using retargeting ad that targets their indicated interest will keep you on their radar, so to speak. And help prevent them from seeking a better “deal” elsewhere.
“Retargeting is a proven method for increasing conversion and reaching new and returning customers. The key is to find the balance between efficacy and overreaching so that your retargeting will sell, rather than repel.” 
As in, the more specific your ad target the better. Look at factors such as:
- Age demographic
- Country of origin or nationality
- Lifestyle and organizational interests
For example, how do men vs. women approach dentistry? Their unrelated web searches can reveal an interest in sports, fashion, luxury travel, or exotic automobiles.
The more specific (granular) your analytics, the more targeted – and hopefully effective – your ads will be when using a retargeting strategy.
Someone accustomed to a luxury travel and/or the social scene would perhaps have an interest in cosmetic dentistry procedures (professional whitening, implants, veneers, smile makeovers, orthodontics, etc.). Thus, ads directing them to your related services would re-engage their interest in you as a provider.
That’s merely one of a number of opportunities to consider. Think “granular” about your potential and current patients – who are they, what are their interests, etc.?
Monitor what’s working and what’s not
Bottom line: you want to drive interested, willing-to-schedule patients to your site or landing page. It will help to first test your ads, then evaluate and analyze which ones are working and which aren’t.
Here are some tips for managing your ads:
- Leverage high-converting ads. Duplicate the message with a fresh offer.
- Keep your ads free from hype. Speak to a specific problem or “pain” and reveal a solution benefit instead. Clarity is often more effective than creative hype.
- Ask for a response. Give a clear call-to-action (e.g. “click here,” “call now,” “limited time…,” “the countdown has begun…,” etc.).
Invest in your winners
Data analysis will reveal whether an ad is working or not. Once you’ve honed your message, increase your marketing budget around it and the ads that are producing returns.
Keep an eye on the platform where you’re getting the most return. Is it your primary website, linked content (a blog post, a video, a digital newsletter/article, etc), a landing page, or social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, etc)?
The more specific your retargeting, the better you can target, measure, and optimize your strategy.
Adopt a retargeting mindset. Always be thinking about fresh ways you can re-engage potential (new) and current patients around your expertise via your digital marketing strategies. Ads strategically placed and delivered are a good place to start.
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