Since keeping your practice healthy in the long-term means not just quality care for your current patients, but continuing to bring in new ones, it’s important to know the best place to find them and search engines are an increasingly popular hangout.
Using a search engine to do everything from buying a book to booking a vacation has become second nature to consumers. Finding a dentist is no exception. Each year more and more patients go online to search for dentists, hygienist, endodontists, orthodontists, and periodontists.
In fact, in 2015 we witnessed a 15% increase in the number of searches across the dental category. Additionally, 41% of the people who looked online for a dentist conducted their search on a mobile device. These numbers are expected to rise further next year.
So how do you tap into this pool of potential patients? Cover these digital basics to help your search rankings and improve the experience on your site.
Make mobile your friend
It’s crucial that your site is mobile-friendly, meaning, it needs to be easy for people to view and interact with on a mobile device. The more digital the world becomes the more people rely on their smartphones. 82% of smartphone users say they use search to find local businesses. But many sites do not render nicely on a small screen. Making your site responsive (meaning, it will automatically adjust to various screen sizes) will allow any potential patient full access to your site without trouble. Google agrees. The search engine now elevates the rankings of sites that are mobile friendly.
Provide answers, not keywords
It’s tempting to just stick keywords on your site in order to try to elevate rankings, but new patients are not searching for keywords, they are searching for answers. It’s not just what they typed, but why they typed it. Consider the questions they are trying to answer and provide content that answers those questions. Yes, include the right keywords, but be sure you are actually providing content that is valuable.
Ask for reviews
Don’t be afraid to ask your current patients to write an online review about their experience with your practice. Good reviews can help sway the decision for potential new patients. These reviews can be gathered on Facebook or even Yelp. Reviews are indexed by search engines and sometimes show up in search results. But more importantly, 88% of potential consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Consider paid search
While search engine optimization is an extremely valuable tool for search engine visibility, don’t overlook paid search as a fast, effective means for finding new patients, as it provides a variety of targeting options. You can select exactly what types of keywords to show your ad on and exactly which pages on your site to send searchers to. And importantly, you can target those ads to specific areas of your town, ensuring you are reaching potential new patients nearby.
If you would like more information about how to reach patients, check outo our page for dental marketing. We have marketing solutions designed specifically for the dental industry to help you find new patients.