By Roger P. Levin, D.D.S.
Nearly every endodontist has a practice website. If this were 2006, that's probably all you would need to do in the way of online marketing. But times change, and in today's competitive economy, a website is now the bare minimum. In the past, many endodontists had a "set it and forget it" approach to their website. They worked hard to launch it, but basically ignored it once it went live. Endodontists of 2016 need to actively promote their practices online to build reputation and attract new patients. Here are five ways to improve your online presence.
1. Make Your Website Easy to Find
When people are searching online for your practice, you want to turn up on the first page of search engine results, ideally near the top. You don't want referring doctors and referred patients (along with other prospects), scrolling through multiple pages, trying to find your practice's website. If it's too much work, they'll give up and perhaps opt to contact another office.
Search engine optimization helps place your website higher in search engine rankings. The higher you rank in local searches, the easier it is for people to learn about your practice. From your home computer, type in "endodontic practice," along with your city and state, on Google, Bing and other search engines. If you're not coming up near the top of the first page, you need to optimize your website.
2. Register With Local Directories
Search engines aren't the only way people can learn about your practice online. There are many local directories, such as Yelp, Superpages, Angie's List, and others, that can guide potential patients to your site. Registering with the top local directories will make it easier for them to reach your website. The registration process generally takes a few minutes, but the benefits can be long-lasting.
3. Manage Your Online Reputation
You (or your marketing coordinator) should monitor online reviews weekly to see if anyone has posted positive or negative comments about your practice. If someone has posted positive feedback, thank him or her for the nice words. If there is a negative review, investigate the matter fully (and quickly) before responding. Find out who the patient is and what occurred. Address the situation calmly and non-defensively. Depending on the complexity of the situation, you may want to reach out to the patient offline and attempt to resolve the issue first.
4. Consider Starting a Practice Facebook Page
Research shows that Facebook is the most popular social media site, and that its fastest-growing demographic is people over 55. If your prospective patients are hanging out on the site, it only makes sense that your practice should be there as well. If you decide to create a practice Facebook page, make a commitment to posting regularly. The Levin Group recommends endodontic practices post at least once a week.
5. "Mobilize" Your Website
As smartphones become more and more popular, you must make sure your website is mobile-friendly. You want referred patients and other prospects to be able to access information about your practice quickly and easily. According to Google, more searches are done via mobile devices than on computers, so it's likely that many of your patients will check out your practice's website via their phone. Don't give them a reason to give up or search for another endodontist. A mobile-optimized website also will appear higher in search engine results.
Referred patients and other prospects will try to learn about your practice online before they decide to make an appointment. They will check out your website, Facebook page and other sites to learn as much about your practice as they can. Use these five tips to make a good impression on your future patients.
Dr. Roger P. Levin is a third-generation general dentist and the Founder and CEO of Levin Group, Inc., the largest dental practice consulting firm in North America.He offers tools to help endodontists run more profitable, efficient and satisfying practices through the Levin Group Resource Center at levingroup.com/endo.
|Did you know? AAE members can access more tips to enhance their digital footprint in the Digital Marketing section of the AAE's Marketing the Endodontic Practice series.|