Today, most patients search for a dental practice online before they ever call and make an appointment. According to Google Trends, people are searching for dental care more than ever, making a strong online presence of the utmost importance for dentists.
Dental offices that are lacking a strong online presence are going to miss out on potential new patients. With this guide, dentists will learn five proven strategies that will help to ensure patients can find them online.
5 Tactics Dentists Can Use to Help Patients Find Them Online
Developing a strategy to attract potential patients is essential for dentists. Most people search for dentists online and visit websites to learn as much as possible about the services offered.
Dentists who do not have a website will end up being overlooked, even if the dentist has set up a Google My Business account. Because so many people use the Internet daily, there is a higher level of expectation for websites that work seamlessly and provide a fluid experience.
The following offers information to help your patients find you online.
1. People are spending more time on their smartphones than watching television or browsing the Internet on a computer. According to experts, a ¼ of all screen time is spent on a smartphone.
If a dentist wants to attract customers and help them find information on the practice, they must ensure their websites are mobile-friendly. Load times must be lightning fast throughout the website, including the images used.
Websites need to change automatically to accommodate the needs of the phone a person is using. Responsive sites are engaging, offer a beautiful display, and provide the information users need for scheduling an appointment with the dentist.
2. Individuals are using voice search options increasingly, prompting dental offices to optimize their websites for these searches. According to Google, around 41% of voice searchers feel as if they are talking to a human being.
When a person searches through voice search, they need to be matched with factual information that sounds conversational. It is important to note sites that have fast loading times and are listed at the top of search engine result pages are more likely to end up being offered to a voice searcher. With the current dental office marketing data, it appears voice searches are here to stay and will increase further. If a dentist’s website is not optimized for ranking high and loading fast, they may miss out on voice searches.
3. Today’s Internet searches are more conversational than in years past. While a person may type in a quick search for a dentist, if they are speaking to their smartphone, they will often ask a conversational question.
Including long-tail keywords in dental website content is essential for being matched with local users who are searching for specific dental services. Dentists must ensure their website content clearly answers who, what, where, why, how, and when questions.
4. Dentists who have not claimed their Google listing must do so immediately. According to Google, around 93% of Internet users have found a local business using the Internet. If a dentist’s Google listing has not been claimed, information will be lacking.
Claiming a Google listing is free. Dentists should ensure their listing includes the following correct information as a part of their dental marketing plan.
- Office hours
- Contact details
- Service information
- Patient reviews
When a dentist claims their Google listing, they are viewed as more of a reputable business. An accurate listing increases the trustworthiness rating of a dental practice and is more likely to entice potential patients to call and schedule an appointment.
Filling out a Google listing is not only important for local searchers. If someone is visiting from out of town and needs emergency dental services, Google is likely the first place they will begin their search.
5. Finally, a dentist needs to have accounts on all the major social media networks. Facebook and Instagram are all ideal for dental offices.
Not only do these accounts need to be set up, but they also need to be updated regularly. Besides using search options, people also look for dentists through social media.
Social media allows dentists to interact with their patients. With social media, dentists appear more personable and develop a good rapport with their patients.
It is important to note that dental offices can set up their social media accounts to link with their website. When social media accounts are integrated with the dental website, any posts made on the social platforms will automatically be posted on the website.
A Strong Online Presence Attracts New Dental Patients
The days are gone when a dentist could put up a quick website and walk away. Stagnant websites do not attract new patients. A dynamic website approach is more conducive to helping locals find a dental office and commit to an appointment.
Train Staff Members to Handle New Patient Prospects
If a potential patient decides to call a dental office with questions or to schedule an appointment, the staff members must be trained properly. If these calls are handled inappropriately, individuals will not schedule an appointment.
Some of the issues that can occur with the mishandling of new patient prospects include the following.
- Longer than average hold times
- Misinformation or disorganization
- Slow appointment systems
- The inability of the staff to answer questions correctly
Carefully training staff members to be attentive to the needs of new patient prospects will help dental offices to avoid giving a bad first impression. A solid first experience is more likely to convert a search into a new patient.
Get Started Right Away
Dentists who do not have a strong authoritative online presence are going to have a more difficult time attracting new patient prospects. Without a dynamic website and a high rank in search engine results, many dentists will be overlooked by local searchers.
Besides working to get new patients, dentists also need to strive for patient retention. Delivering quality patient care will help dentists to grow their practices through word-of-mouth advertising