More and more people are taking to the internet to investigate their healthcare providers prior to making an appointment. Your website should look professional and answer their questions as well as establish you as an expert in your field. Does your practice's website win the day by correctly implementing these 5 tips?
Dentist Marketing Tip #1: Master the Art of Blogging
I'm sure you've heard it time and time again: why isn't your practice blogging yet?!
Don’t underestimate the power of having a blog on your website to connect with potential patients; well-crafted, thoughtful, and informative blog posts will bring your patients back to your website time and time again, and create a connection between your patients and your practice.
Blogs have the potential to connect with both new and existing patients. For example, your existing patients may use your blog to look up basic answers to their questions so they don't forget to ask you during their visit. Here's a pro tip: Questions you hear from patients all the time (aka Frequently Asked Questions) make great blog content to help others resolve their questions on their own.
If you're looking to attract new patients with your blog, doing keyword research can help you craft articles that seem to anticipate questions that people in your local and regional areas are already asking via Google or other search engines.
Dentist Marketing Tip #2: Be a Local Search Champion
To reiterate what I mentioned earlier about keyword research, be sure that the content on your website uses local and niche keywords to enhance search engine optimization, or SEO. This marketing practice helps to list your site higher in search engines, making it easier for potential patients to find your page.
Focusing on your site's content and key phrases is referred to as "on-page SEO". But did you know that there is also another side to SEO that doesn't involve what's on your site? We call this "off-page SEO" (how original, I know).
Believe it or not, off-page SEO is equally, if not more, important than on-page SEO. Why? Because while on-page SEO helps you focus on actual search queries, off-page SEO tactics, such as link building and citation management, can give your on-page SEO a helping hand behind the scenes.
Link building is the act of your site linking to other relevant websites and other sites linking back to you as a relevant resource. This network, or "web" of connections helps Google associate content and topics that are relevant together and makes it easier for Google's bots to crawl and navigate the internet easier when looking for new and updated content.
Citation management is the process of making sure your business profiles are consistent across all the local directories on the web that Google uses to validate its local searches, such as for Google Maps, Google My Business and "businesses near me" type searches. If you'd like to see how your practice is currently listed in all these directories, you can do a quick search using our Listings Scan.
Dentist Marketing Tip #3: Give Visitors a Next Step
This may be one of the most important things to remember to avoid leaving your website visitors hanging or stuck in a dead end: always have a call to action.
Every page on your website, including pages in your main menu and every blog article you publish, should have some sort of next step button at the bottom or someplace relevant. That call to action can be as simple as a phone number or email to contact you, such as on your About Us or Contact Us pages.
Your service pages may have a "book an appointment for this service" link to your booking form or a free piece of content that educates them more about a particular service. For example, in exchange for your visitor's email address, you'll provide them a free copy of your "8 Questions to Ask Your Dentist about Oral Sedation". Educating can help a new or existing patient feel more comfortable when the time comes to actually book an appointment.
Dentist Marketing Tip #4: Let Your Patients Be Mobile
A lot of people search for local services, including dentists, from their phones or tablets instead of a traditional computer. (You’ve probably done it yourself.) Surfing the internet on your phone or tablet is much more convenient than your desktop or even laptop computer. With this in mind, it’s smart to ensure that your website is optimized for these devices, making navigation a breeze no matter how a potential patient accesses it.
And here's one more important thing to consider: the number of people using their mobile devices to search the internet passed desktop users for the first time in early 2015; as if you needed another strong reason to optimize your site for mobile!
Dentist Marketing Tip #5: Skip the Stock Photography
When you use images on your website, mailers, or social media accounts, you should use actual (professional, please) photos of your space. Do not try to palm off stock photo of dental offices to represent your practice.
More and more consumers are demanding a personal experience and human touch from the organizations and service providers they give their business to, and in-house professional photography is a huge piece of that.
Pro Tip: Hire a pro to take attractive pictures of your office, your staff, and you. Use a mix of candid photos of your team at work as well as flattering posed photos to convey the tone of your office.
While these 5 tips are definitely big trends in digital marketing and website development, this is in no way an exhaustive list. Sit down with your website agency to discuss these items and ask what else you can do to align your website with your visitors' expectations.
If you are not currently working with a website agency and need some assistance, contact us today for a free website assessment.