Of the many professions out there that can benefit from internet marketing, dentists are among the top when it comes to their potential for a high return on investment. Think about it: what are your prospective patients looking for when they are trying to find a new dentist? Here is a list of 4 important things people research when choosing a dentist:
1. The Convenience Factor
Personally, the first thing I would be looking for when shopping around for dentists would be dentists in close proximity to where I live. I could ask friends and family for a good dentist in my area, but why would I do that when I could search on the internet for “dentist,” and come back with results that show me all dentists within the area? Plus, I trust that the internet would provide me with a far more expansive list than anything friends or family could provide. After all, most people only have one dentist, and therefore, only one answer!
So by using the internet I can quickly find the closest dentist to me with the integration of Google Maps in the search results.
2. Insurance, please
This is pretty self-explanatory. Nobody is going to go to a dentist who doesn’t accept her insurance. So is your friend Bob really going to know for certain if his dentist accepts your Blue Cross coverage when Bob himself is covered by Aetna? I’m guessing the answer is no, unless of course Bob enjoys talking about insurance companies with his dentist.
So the point is, if you’re a dentist with a website you can list the insurance providers that you accept on a special section on your website, or you can list your providers on social media sites and local online listings like Google places, Yahoo! local, or yelp.
Much easier than asking Bob, right?
3. Office hours
What good is a dentist to you if you can never schedule an appointment at a time that works for you? If your dentist’s office is only open during hours that you work, it is probably not your best option. Perhaps a dentist who has an office that is open on Saturday is a good option. Still, Bob will not necessarily know his dentist’s office hours like the back of his hand. So once again, it only make sense that a dentist hunter would be looking online for a dentist with the right office hours for her busy schedule.
No doubt if you are being referred to a dentist by a friend or former dentist, you are getting a direct recommendation. Great! However, don’t you think it would be more powerful to see dozens of recommendations? Say you look up the dentist your friend Bob recommended and you find out 10 other people think she’s a dud. I’m guessing you would be thinking over your decision a little bit more.
When people are looking for a dentist, it is extremely important that they see social proof that the dentist they are interested in is a good one. For many people, going to the dentist is a frightening experience, so even when 10 strangers rate a dentist as 5 stars on yelp, it really helps put them at ease and make a confident decision on a new dentist.
So to provide extensive social proof (Bob + many others), a website with testimonials and/or a local listing review page on a site like yelp are key in bringing in new clients to your dental practice.
Ready to get started?
Although having a website made and then having to market it sounds like an extremely daunting task, it will be well worth your while. You will see your business grow so fast that the only regret you will have is not putting together a website sooner. Also, while getting a website up may sound like a lot of work, your site doesn’t have to be big or complex in order to be effective. In fact, building a site that answers the 4 patient concerns listed above would suffice just fine in bringing in many new patients.
If you are a dentist, have done marketing work for dentists, or simply have something to add to the list above, please feel free to share your insights below in the comments section!