People search online for almost everything. This means that you need to have a presence online so you can be discovered by potential patients. You can create an online presence through many outlets including your website, social media, and paid ads.
There are some dentists who treat the internet like an electronic phone book by having a website that contains a single page listing with the address and phone number of the practice. If you want to use web marketing to grow your practice then you are going to have to put some real effort into your website. There are a couple reasons why it is so important to develop a robust website for your dental practice.
The internet allows people to do quick and in depth research on any topic, including dental issues. For example, if someone is having trouble with their gums chronically swelling they may do a search about treatment options. If they determine that their problem requires the help of a dentist they could search for dentist in their area who treat gum disease. They will be more likely to find your website if you have content and keywords throughout the site related to gum disease and the geographic area you serve. If you have quality content, people will come to view your site as the local authority for all things dental related. When you establish yourself as the expert, you increase the likelihood that patients will look to you for help when they have a problem.
A website full of relevant and quality content will rank higher on search engines than a site with minimum content. The search engines look for sites that have content related to the search word or phrase entered. If all you have on your website is the name, address, and phone number of your practice then people will only find you if they search for that specific information. If you have content on your site related to a variety of dental issues and treatments then potential patients can also find you when they are searching for information on those topics.
Social media is a tool that you can use to make people aware of your dental practice and increase your credibility. Social media networks, such as Facebook, allow users to search for business pages. One reason people may search for your information on Facebook is to see if any of their friends have liked your page. In addition, patients can leave comments and reviews on your page. Both of these features can help you attract new patients by adding to your credibility. When a potential patient knows one of your current patients it can create an immediate element of trust.
There are several options for paid ads online. Two of the options you have are ads on various social media networks and ads through search engine programs such as Google AdWords. Paid ads are something you can use to help boost your visibility as you continue to build a robust website. Quality content and keyword choice are still important when you use paid ads. You want the ads to get in front of the right people, aka potential dental patients, and relevant content makes that more likely.
So, is this really everything you need to know about web marketing for your dental practice? There are various approaches to online marketing but the foundation for any successful plan must be quality content. If you start with the goal to create quality content for current and potential patients then you have the foundation you need to build a successful online marketing plan.