The Internet is no longer the future, the Internet is today. If your practice isn’t online, you are missing thousands of potential patients. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, a majority (61%) of American adults go online for health information.1 Some 17 million people reported that they have specifically searched for dental health topics.2 They are looking for information from a source they can trust. You want to be that source.
With millions of websites on the Internet, it is important that you not only have a website, but you market it effectively so that it attracts visitors and turns them into valuable leads for your practice.
“Dentistry, especially complex restorative dentistry, has changed more in the past 5 years than in the last 50 years! The digital technologies available today have impacted diagnosis, treatment, interoffice communications and marketing,” states Joan Forrest, President and CEO of The Dawson Academy. “The internet has become the primary source of dental/medical information for patients.”
Internet marketing can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Most dentists want to get online or improve on their existing efforts but find themselves wondering where to start. Brian Burns, CEO of Ads Next, the official internet marketing partner of the Dawson Academy, breaks down the key components of Internet marketing:
Professionally Created, Personalized Website
Ten seconds. That’s how long it takes a visitor on your website to decide if they want to stay and look some more or leave. Online success is built on the foundation of a strong website. Yours should be a reflection of your practice, consistent with the logos, colors, messages and style of your brick and mortar establishment. It is critical that your website be visually engaging with professional photography of your own patients or with stock photos that represent patients typical of your practice. Before and after galleries are also very effective and offer online visitors a chance to see your work before an office visit and have content that is relevant and to the point.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Most people find information through search engine queries. SEO is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a website from search engines via natural or un-paid search results. There are two types of SEO, on-site and off-site. Onsite SEO includes creating unique keyword tags for each page of your website, placing Geo-specific and service specific links in the footer of your website and enhancing content to make it rich with keywords specific to your location and services. Offsite SEO focuses on creating business profiles, submitting to local directories and search engines, and link building, just to name a few.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
A small but important part to any Internet marketing strategy, PPC drives immediate traffic to your website. Typically targeting both Geo-specific and broad key terms, PPC can help generate leads quickly and effectively. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, helping you keep your money where its most effective.
You’ve heard of Facebook and Twitter? People connect and share information with one another like never before. Your practice can do the same with patients and potential patients. Imagine being able to send patient appointment reminders, answer questions, post practice news and events, and let people know about important dental health topics. Choose an Internet marketing company who can help you learn how to uses Social Media to your advantage. While it does require a commitment of time and effort, the results can be very valuable to your practice.
Once you have visitors on your website, you want to convert them into leads for your practice. Website forms and tracked phone numbers are just a couple ways to capture valuable information from potential patients. With this information you can gain valuable insight and evaluate your return on investment. Look for an Internet marketing agency who can show you these results in one, easy to use place.
Now Is the Time
We all want to attract new patients. With Internet marketing, you have an opportunity to reach out to people in your area looking for your services and expertise. Getting started can be intimidating, but with the right guidance and customized marketing strategy, you’ll be glad did.
About Ads Next™
Ads Next™, provider of Dental Websites and search engine marketing solutions, combines leading internet marketing techniques with proprietary lead generation and tracking software. This unique, comprehensive solution is focused on organic search engine optimization and social media marketing. At the core of our marketing solutions are custom and semi-custom websites designed to provide a window into the modern dental practice. These websites are built to rank well in the search engines and generate more leads. For more information about dental websites, internet marketing and lead generation solutions please contact Bill Mulcahy of Ads Next™ by calling 410 – 960 – 5217 or visiting www.AdsNext.com
1 Susanna Fox, Sidney Jones “The Social Life of Health Information” (Pew Internet Project: July 11, 2009)
2 Susanna Fox “Online Health Search” (Pew Internet Project: October 26, 2006)