Empowered patients are more informed than ever. Accessing information whenever they have a concern about their health, received information from a provider or are guiding the care for someone, patients increasingly depend on the internet as a source of medical information. While referrals from family, friends or a respected healthcare provider carry the most influence, directory websites are an important part of a patient’s research.
As noted in Marketing the Endodontic Practice Part I: Referral Outreach, “An online presence will complement other marketing efforts and offer an alternative to traditional communication methods. Each tool is an extension of your overall marketing and networking efforts, and the content you develop should be done with the appropriate audience in mind for each site.” Too often, though, professionals and practices take a set it up and forget it approach to online directory accounts. Unfortunately, this can be harmful.
The ADA recently launched a new digital marketing campaign promoting its Find-a-Dentist website. If you are a member, take a few minutes to update your profile. Completed profiles with a photo will appear at the top of the search results.
For additional instructions, launch the ADA's How to Update Your ADA Find-a-Dentist Profile flyer or visit their Marketing Your Practice Starter Pack page.
Each year, the AAE also encourages you to review and update your information. Look for the new Find an Endodontist tool launching soon. Be sure to follow the recommendations of this post to be prepared.
Accurate and consistent information is essential to providing a prospective patient a positive experience during their digital journey. Follow these key steps to ensuring your information is accurate and up-to-date everywhere your patients can find you.
- Craft a concise and well-worded public profile statement that you use consistently across all your directory and social media profiles. Include relevant, but differentiating information such as your experience, technology and commitment to your patients.
- Use a recently taken photo for your profile. Professional headshots are always recommended as they display a higher level of professional investment. Keep several size options and always review after uploading to ensure good cropping and no pixilation.
- Maintain a list of all the organizations you belong to that have an online directory or searchable profile information. Access, review and update this information on a bi-annually at a minimum. Make sure to look for ways the site may have been updated to make sure you are benefiting from all the offered features.
- Google yourself and your practice quarterly. As a growing trend, third-party aggregate sites often pull information from other directory areas. Make sure you are aware of all the sites that display your information and take steps to update these as needed.
For more on this subject, review the AAE's Marketing the Endodontic Practice three-part series.