With change as the new constant, and social distancing the new norm, people have relied more than ever on the Internet to connect with friends and family, as well as to shop for everyday essentials and research service providers, including dental professionals. You can take advantage of this shift and reach new potential patients with the right set of online and digital tools.
What follows is an overview of some of the most important things to consider, so you can keep your practice running, growing, and even thriving, into 2021 and beyond.
1. WEBSITE DESIGN + FUNCTION
Your website is likely to be the first direct interaction that most potential patients will have with your practice. There are a few things that you can do to make sure that your first impression is a positive one.
MAKE IT FUNCTIONAL ON EVERY DEVICE
Keep in mind that patients are not accessing your site from just a desktop or laptop computer anymore. Make sure your site is optimized to run on these devices. It won’t just look better and be easier to use, it will load quicker, too.
2. RANK HIGHER
Research has shown that 75% of people making an internet search never go past the first page of results[i]. So it is important to get to that first page, and to rank as high as possible in the results. There are a couple of ways to get there.
ORGANIC SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
Organic SEO refers to a collection of long term, ongoing strategies designed to help you achieve higher rankings without paying for advertisements. It delivers the most valuable results but is difficult to achieve and maintain.
Google crawls the web looking for the words that people are searching for and, when it finds those words, and content that its algorithm has determined as relevant, ranks those sites higher on results pages. You can attempt to build good SEO on your own by adding content focused on attracting your ideal patients, earning backlinks, and learning basic HTML for quick fixes.
SHOOT TO THE TOP OF THE RANKINGS WITH PAY PER CLICK (PPC) ADS
For practices looking for a quicker solution, PPC ads are the quickest way to the top of the rankings. PPC gets you to the top virtually instantly, and guarantees you’ll receive high rankings for certain keywords. You pay Google an agreed-upon amount every time someone clicks on it, and in return, Google places your ad in a premier spot. However, once you stop paying, your ads go away.
ENRICH YOUR SITE WITH GOOD CONTENT
Filling your website with content like blog posts, videos, and patient educational materials does more than just provide information that your patients might be looking for. They are also another potent source of SEO, including backlinks (links from another site into your own), which is key for improving search results.
3. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR ONLINE REVIEWS
When searching for a new healthcare provider, patients trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. 77% of prospective patients use online reviews as the first step in choosing a physician[ii]. It’s often the final piece that patients use when making their decision.
REPUTATION MANAGEMENT LETS THE WORLD SEE THE BEST OF YOU
You can stay in control of your reviews by regularly checking and responding to Google, Healthgrades, etc. If that proves overwhelming, reputation management software can help. Reputation management does a number of things to help make sure that you can gather as many positive reviews as possible. You’ll be notified when someone mentions your practice on major sites like Google+, Yelp, and Healthgrades, so you can then automatically post the best testimonials directly to your website.
REPLYING TO REVIEWS SHOWS YOU CARE
For positive reviews, express how glad you are that you were able to meet or exceed their expectations, and let them know that you are looking forward to seeing them again. When you do receive a negative review, think about how you can address the issues that were brought up. Apologize for the shortcomings, and ask for an opportunity to do better in the future.
By responding to both positive and negative reviews in a thoughtful manner, you are demonstrating that you take patient concerns to heart. And while you don’t need to change your entire practice for each negative review, if you see a pattern emerging, it might be wise to address it. Your practice — your business — will be stronger for it.
SUMMING IT ALL UP
While nobody can know for sure what 2021 might look like, you can get your practice ready by taking advantage of these tips, to help you reach the people you want to reach, and to help you adapt for whatever changes come next.
If you have any questions about your current online presence or would like to build it correctly from the start, Click Here or call 833-568-7792 to contact Officite today