Successfully Marketing Your Orthodontic Practice Online: A Beginner’s Guide

An orthodontic business lives or dies by the strength of its marketing. Why? Simply put, because orthodontic offices rely on a constant influx of new customers in order to keep the doors open.

But it’s not enough just to open your orthodontic business and put out a few advertisements, especially if you are only one of many orthodontists in your local area. Indeed, for your orthodontic marketing to be successful, your ads have to speak directly to your ideal customer.

An ideal customer, in a nutshell, is a specific customer profile you develop through market research and by understanding what exactly you offer. By identifying and marketing to your ideal customer, you’ll save money on your marketing budget. More importantly, you’ll bring the people most likely to spend money at your business to your business.

Let’s break down how you can market successfully for your orthodontic practice online.

NOTE: Join our Social Media Kickstarter for Orthodontists Course completely free for more in-depth training on effective social media for orthodontists!

How to Attract Your Ideal Customers

Your ideal customers are already out there just waiting for your orthodontic practice to be brought to their attention. Unlike other businesses or industries, orthodontics is something that almost everyone needs at one time or another. 

Odds are there are several customers just waiting for a great orthodontist to market to them before spending some money on clear aligners.

But how do you attract your ideal customers? By being the ideal orthodontist for their needs.

As described above, you first need to do some research and figure out who your ideal customer is. Breakdown your target audience by looking at demographic attributes like their:

  • Sex
  • Age
  • Location
  • Budget
  • And more

and psychographic attributes like their:

  • Why for wanting orthodontic treatment
  • Deeper desires and motives
  • Sources of inspiration and authority

All of these aspects can help you narrow down your marketing efforts more directly, maximizing the effect of every marketing dollar you spend.

Once you’ve identified your target consumer, you can start talking to them through your marketing efforts. There are two places where you should focus your communications.

Website Marketing

Website marketing is a crucial part of your marketing and conversion funnels. When someone visits your website, they aren’t a customer just yet. Bringing them to your homepage is just half the battle.

Your website now has to convince your prospective customer that you are the ideal orthodontic office for their unique needs. Website marketing isn’t like other marketing; you don’t just want to slap a banner ad on your homepage to advertise to someone who has already decided to check your practice out.

Instead, effective website marketing involves:

  • Designing an attractive website that’s easy to navigate through. All your key pages, especially your contact page, need to be identifiable and functional (i.e. there should be any broken links or buttons, and the customer should be able to find them without thinking)
  • Having a testimonials page to advertise your past success
  • Making your unique value propositions clear and concise. No one wants to read through mountains of text just to figure out what you do

It may take some time for you to get your website up to snuff. That’s one big reason why it might pay to hire a web developer to create a stellar website for your future customers.

It costs money, but it’ll be worth it in the long run when visitors hit your website’s landing page and convert into paying customers instead of clicking away to a competitor.

Social Media Marketing

The other big area to market to your ideal customer is social media. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all major elements of a solid social media marketing campaign.

Social media marketing is also different from “traditional” marketing like commercials because you can interact directly with your target consumers. You can:

  • Answer questions about your practice
  • Showcase happy customers or the day-to-day routine at your office
  • Provide special incentives or bonuses through engagement programs
  • And more

All of this increases the odds of someone clicking on your practice website, or contacting you directly and signing up for a consultation.

To practice social media marketing, you should:

  • Post new content regularly. The more active your social media pages are, the more likely people will be to click through to your website
  • Have accurate information, such as the address of your office and your contact phone number
  • Run promotional campaigns using Facebook & Instagram ads, like contests for free swag or a discount on braces
  • Interact directly with people who ask questions or seem interested in your orthodontic practice

Paid vs. Organic Traffic

Before you start whipping up ads for your social media profiles or start reinventing your website, you also need to understand a key dichotomy in advertising: paid compared to organic traffic generation.

As its name suggests, paid traffic is traffic that you directly pay for. With paid traffic marketing methods, like ads, you can potentially reach more people in the short term. You exclusively target your core consumers and try to get them to sign up for a consult or visit your office in person.

Organic traffic is different. Through organic traffic generation techniques, you’ll direct people to your website while they search for orthodontic solutions. For example, redoing your website’s layout and content for better search engine optimization (SEO) is a form of organic marketing because doing so helps your website rank more highly with Google’s search engine algorithms. When someone types in certain keywords, like “orthodontist near me”, your website will have a higher chance of being at the top of their search results.

Both types of traffic are important to your business. But you’ll need to use different advertising methods to generate them.

How to Generate Paid Traffic Generation

Firstly, don’t be afraid to pay for ads. Paying for advertisements doesn’t mean that your business has failed. Even the most successful organizations buy ads all the time.

You should specifically pay for ads as part of with your social media marketing. These ads include:

  • Facebook ads, which can be still images, videos, and interactive advertisements
  • Instagram ads, which can also take a variety of content or media forms

Either way, Facebook and Instagram ads are fantastic for boosting brand awareness and reaching as wide a customer base as possible. Even better, both of these social media platforms have targeting controls you can leverage to only show your ads to people who stand a good chance of needing orthodontic work in the future based on your market research.

Google ads are another cornerstone of paid marketing. With Google ads, your orthodontic practice will show up on the search results and sidebars of pages for “high intent searchers”: those target consumers who are most likely to get orthodontic work done in the near future. Note, however, that Google ads are usually significantly more expensive than Facebook or other ads.

No matter what, paid advertising helps you reach new people. But you need to make sure that your advertisements are engaging, well-designed, and offer a good deal for them to be effective.

How to Generate Organic Traffic

Organic traffic generation is the other half of online marketing. Organic traffic is also excellent for your marketing budget since it tends to be more effective as your business becomes more successful. You will spend less effort on organic traffic as time goes on, freeing up your energy for other pursuits.

You can generate organic traffic by:

  • Ensuring that all your contact and address information is accurate across all platforms and pages, including Facebook, Yelp, your website’s contact page, and more. This will increase your website’s ranking with Google
  • Filling out an accurate Google My Business Account, which will help searchers find your business and also boost your SEO score
  • Using Yelp and other customer review websites as much as possible. People often look up reviews for businesses before giving them their patronage these days. The more positive reviews your orthodontic practice has, the better off you’ll be
  • Publishing high-quality content on your website’s blog. The best blog posts are usually informative and/or entertaining and provide content that your ideal consumer wants to see. Quality published content also makes your site more authoritative, which again boosts its rankings with Google
  • Publishing high-quality content on your social media pages. This helps potential patients see your brand personality and identify with you before they meet you.

All in all, organic traffic generation does a lot to help ensure that your business has a steady stream of new customers constantly coming in and filling out your books. Both types of traffic generation are necessary for your orthodontic business to succeed.


The above guide is just the start when it comes to successfully marketing your orthodontic practice, especially if you have just opened the doors and are looking to build a customer base for the first time. But each marketing technique – researching an ideal customer, using website and social media marketing in tandem, and generating paid and organic traffic – is crucial.

For the best results, Contact OrthoPatients today and see how we can help you generate new consults for your orthodontic practice in no time!

NOTE: Join our Social Media Kickstarter for Orthodontists Course completely free for more in-depth training on effective social media for orthodontists!

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