If you’re wondering whether you need to establish an online presence for your new dental practice, consider these statistics:
- 88% of consumers that found a business via local searches on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours.
- 97% of consumers search online for local businesses while 46% of all Google searches are local.
- 92% of searchers will pick businesses on the first page of local search results.
A strong online brand can help you get found by high-quality prospects in search engine results, establish your credibility, and build relationships with the community.
Here are the top 5 ways to set up a strong online brand for your new dental practice:
1. An Optimized Website (For Ranking on Google & Bing Searches)
Your website is your online storefront and often responsible for making the first impression on potential patients. Make sure it has a modern look and feel while communicating a professional image.
The use of single page websites is gaining popularity as it allows for a simple user experience that’s easy to navigate. However, there are also advantages to using multi-page websites because they offer opportunities to publish more content and rank for a wider range of keywords.
In addition, optimize your content for local keywords so your website will rank high on local search results. Examples of such key terms include "nearby dental practice," "nearby dentist," "dental office," "dentist near me," and “dentist in [location.]” There are many tools you can use to check your website’s SEO ranking, such as Ahref, Moz, and SEMrush.
2. Content Marketing
Regularly publishing relevant and helpful content is a great way to build trust, enhance your credibility, and improve your authority status -- which, in turn, helps you attract and retain more patients.
By sharing valuable information on your blog (e.g., what to expect in an implant procedure), you can stand out from your competition, boost your SEO, and attract high-quality prospects to your website. Not to mention, publishing articles allow you to rank for a wide range of keywords, including seasonal and timely topics, to drive more traffic.
Consistency is one of the key components for effective content marketing. You should aim to publish at least once a week. If you’re pressed for time, consider hiring a ghostwriter to create content on your behalf so you can maintain a consistent publishing schedule.
3. Online Dental Appointments
Customer experience has become the key to conversion and retention, so it’s important to make it as friction less as possible for patients to schedule an appointment with you and interact with your practice.
Don’t just put a web form on your site, ask visitors to fill out the information, and wait hours, if not days, for someone to get back to them. Those outdated forms are cumbersome and do not deliver a seamless user experience.
More consumers nowadays prefer to self-service rather than speaking to a receptionist on the phone. Your patients also expect the ability to schedule appointments and manage their relationships with you (e.g., downloading record or processing payment) via an online portal.
Implement an online booking system that syncs up with your dental practice management software in real-time to avoid scheduling conflicts and miscommunications. These applications can automatically email or text appointment confirmation and reminders on your behalf so you can increase efficiency and reduce no-shows.
4. Brand Identity
Your business name and logo can help you establish a clear and memorable brand identity to stand out in a noisy online environment. It’ll also help prospective and current patients easily recall your practice when they need dental care.
Invest in having a new logo designed for your business. Don’t simply put together some clip art, stock photo, or common icons -- they look sloppy and don’t project a professional or trustworthy image.
In addition, select a practice name with dental-related words or phrases for easy association and identification. Doing so may also improve your search engine ranking so you can get found by more prospective patients.
5. Online Presence
Having a website is just one piece of the online marketing puzzle. You also need to establish a presence on social media (e.g., Facebook, Instagram), local directories, and third-party review sites (e.g., Google, Yelp), so you can engage with current patients to build relationships, make it easy for new patients to find you, and improve your SEO ranking.
Enhance trust and credibility by projecting a consistent brand image. Fill out all your online profiles completely, upload high-quality logo and images, and include links to your website.
In addition, did you know that 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business and 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation? Don’t forget to ask your patients to post online reviews, which can help you attract and convert more new patients.
Online marketing is no longer the domain of large practices or established businesses. In fact, it’s even more important for new dental practices to set up an online brand that can increase credibility and drive high-quality traffic.
Thankfully, today’s technologies have made it very easy for dental practices to establish an online presence, so you can project a professional image, generate more leads, and improve the patient experience.