In today’s competitive climate, you can’t expect patients to come to you through traditional word-of-mouth referrals. Prospective patients are still out there, but they’re researching dentists online. Help them find you by upping your online presence in these five ways.

1. Build a website that works on mobile devices.

Many patients use a phone or tablet to access the internet, and they demand websites that load properly. In fact, 57% of Internet users won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.[i] Ask your website designer to use responsive design or use a service such as Officite that comes preloaded with responsive templates, so your site will look great on any size screen.

2. Rank on the first page of Google.

While other search engines do exist, Google holds 87 percent of the market share as of 2021,[ii] so it’s important to rank high in Google searches. Two main forms of search engine marketing can help you rank higher on Google: organic search engine optimization (SEO), a strategy where your marketing team or SEO specialist can use key words to increase rankings over time, or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, which puts your practice at the top almost instantly. For best results, try a mix of both methods, and then revisit in several months to reevaluate.

3. Engage your online visitors.

Every practice website includes basic contact information. To stand out from the competition, you’ll need a website provider that lets you add three types of content to your site: video, blog posts and patient education pages. This content engages prospective patients so they spend more time on your site and help increase your reputation as a dental expert.

4. Be smart with social media.

Create a presence on Facebook and Instagram, where the majority of social media users go, then post at least once a week. Interesting videos, articles and updates about your practice keep your practice top of mind. You can even post openings to fill last-minute cancellations.

5. Take charge of online reviews.

Online reviews can be just as powerful as word-of-mouth referrals: 93% of consumers say that online reviews influenced their purchase decisions,[iii] and this extends to healthcare providers. So it’s critical to stay on top of your online reputation. Take charge of your reviews by regularly checking and responding to Yelp, Healthgrades and other dental review sites. Software such as Demandforce streamlines reputation management by enabling dental practices to request, publish and monitor online reviews in one place.

Henry Schein One offers complete solutions to help dental practices improve their marketing. Get a free marketing assessment to find out how you can expand your web presence, improve your online reputation and attract more new patients online. Visit or talk to a specialist at 833-897-9003.