I think every one today knows they need a website for their dental practice. The question is how are you using your website and what role does it play for your business. Websites can function as a digital storefront at minimum. This means that people will find something if they search for your business online. It is standard practice today for most of us to go to the web and “google” any company that is recommended to us. So whether people get your name from a family member or friend or off their insurance website, having a practice site that they can find and well represents who you are is critical. Your marketing dollars (which is one way to look at PPO insurance write-offs) are wasted if once a potential patient learns about your office they are turned off by not finding a website or one that is poorly done. Although it is easy today to build your own website, optimizing design features, typography and video for maximal effect may require partnering with a professional company.
Above and beyond creating a digital storefront, your website has the potential to be a successful marketing venue all on it’s own. It can be the vehicle by which potential patients discover your practice and are engaged in the process of making an appointment. A successful website will maximize it’s potential both for inbound and outbound marketing. Unless you have an MBA and an IT degree in addition to your dental degree these may be terms and concepts that you aren’t expert in. Even for the experts today the steps and tools to optimize website performance today is changing so rapidly that it is difficult to stay on top of. Years ago when I launched my first website, the rule I learned was “Content is King”. The search engines “crawled” your site looking for written content. The more you had, and the more current it was the higher your site would appear. Today those algoritims are far more complex and inclusion of video content, active links to other sites and connections to your social media pages play a very important role in the success of your website as a marketing tool.
Derek Pearson, Director of Business Development for Social Dental, a new social media marketing service for dental practices shares: “Having a great website doesn’t do you any good unless you can be found. How you rank on Google depends on how many people are talking about your practice online. Are you getting good Google reviews? Are people liking, sharing, or commenting on what you post on your Facebook page? If the answer is no you are not going to be found easily. There is nothing a practice can do that will impact their online presence more then getting Google reviews and posting real engaging content on social media.”
In my practice today I have partnered with professional companies to make sure my web is being optimized and I have my team engaged in producing and posting the content so it doesn’t fall in the category of one more thing for me to do at night “after work”, which would mean it doesn’t get done routinely. If you haven’t re-evaluated your website recently, take the time and look at whether you are getting all you can out of your online presence.