Marketing and advertising are essential for the survival of any dental practice. Many dentists are missing the opportunities to reach potential customers by leveraging their online presence. This presence can serve to attract and keep loyal patients, take advantage of lower marketing costs, and improve overall efficiency.
The Value of an Online Presence
There is a very real, measurable monetary value to having an online presence. Where in the past potential patients would ruffle through the Yellow Pages or ask for personal referrals, many now search online for local dental options.
At LocalFresh, we have found over several years of working with dentists that:
- An astounding 85% of internet traffic begins with a search query such as “dentist in portland oregon”
- Potential patients will look online or on their mobile devices for a dentist before using the yellow pages
- Website traffic in search engine results in high returns on investment
Considering the growth of internet marketing and the rapid growth of mobile marketing opportunities, if you’re not reaching potential and current patients online, then you’re losing them.
What is An Online Presence?
The ultimate goal of an online presence is to get current and potential patients to schedule an appointment with your office. An online presence is both a deep and wide strategy to connect with patients through a website that you own, social media, mobile marketing and building a brand. LocalFresh provides information and services like:
- Search Engine Optimization, including strategic positioning for your dental practice in search engines
- Organic results through keyword analysis
- Content creation and editing
- Affordable website hosting
- High-quality website design and development
- Mobile marketing strategies
- Social media marketing management, including Google+ and Facebook
- Submissions to dental directories
- Geortargeted optimization
Casting a wider net over these strategies presents countless opportunities to reach potential patients and to build long-lasting relationships with current patients. Building an unshakeable online presence, however, requires an investment to deepen your online presence and widen your sphere of influence.
Expand Your Sphere of Influence
Consistent growth for anything – including your dental practice – requires the presence of two elements: time and money. For example, the quality of teeth whitening involves an inverse relationship between time and money. If a new or current patient wants whiter teeth but only has a short amount of time to invest, then an in-office teeth whitening – which is more expensive – will be required. However, if a patient wants to invest more time into the process, then an at-home teeth whitening program would be an option.
Creating a viable online presence requires the same investment of money and time. There have been times when dentists we work with at LocalFresh do not want to spend a lot of money and choose an investment of a longer amount of time to see results. However, once prospective patients in the form internet-generated leads start calling their dental offices and making appointments, our dentist clients realize the value of an increased online presence and invest more money to expedite the process.
It’s essential to remember the value these new patients bring when it comes to expanding your sphere of influence. While internet marketing has largely replaced the yellow pages, word-of-mouth marketing can never be replaced – it has simply moved over to social media instead of necessarily face to face communication. Stop to consider that one internet-generated patient can lead to 10 patients in a sphere of influence that you couldn’t otherwise have reached, and the return on investment of internet-generated leads becomes immediately apparent.
What’s Your Online Presence?
If you don’t have an online presence for your dental practice, then potential and even current patients are unable to find you online. As consumers shift from finding information from the yellow pages to online search engines and social media word-of-mouth, it’s absolutely essential to make sure your online presence is strong.
Unfortunately, many dentists are not being found online, which means they’re missing opportunities to build relationships with new and current patients. Or to be more blunt, if you don’t have a wide and deep online presence, then you’re losing patients.