So you have a website I hear you say. You use your website to promote your practice to potential patients and provide useful information to your current patients, right? Wrong!
The internet is now the single most effective, and more importantly, the most appropriate way to promote your practice. But having a compelling and up-to-date website is now only a fraction of the overall equation.
“Ten years ago if you missed placing your Yellow Pages Ad then you would be not happy Jan.”
Today, the Yellow Pages directory and its attempt at being a useful online version are almost irrelevant to successfully marketing your practice. Your position on Google Maps, your overall ranking within Google on relevant search terms and your profile on social media sites however are all vitally important to successfully promoting your practice and connecting with your target market.
But it is complex and it is certainly not as simple as placing an ad and writing the cheque as is the case with medium such as Yellow Pages. Internet trends are rapidly changing and a tailored campaign will deliver well qualified and motivated patients in their droves, without the need for special offers and incentives.
Why go down this path?
Simple: because you are connecting with people who actually want your services today.
When you place an ad in a magazine or newspaper or carry out a flyer-mail drop, you are hoping to attract the attention of people who require a new dentist. By adding an incentive the hope is that this broadens the pool of people you can attract. But whatever medium you use you can only expose your practice to fraction of society at any one time.
However, if your website is found first on an appropriate Google search you are instantly talking to someone who is looking for your specific services, not someone who has been simply tempted by a special offer.
As much as a successful internet strategy is complex, it is nowhere near as complex as dentistry; so even the most technophobic amongst you can master the right approach with some online search or coaching. All the information you need to succeed is freely available one the internet, indeed Google publish details o exactly what you have to do to rank well on their search engine. They also give you tools that tell you how many people are searching on certain terms, how many people have visited your site, how long the stayed on your site and even what pages these people viewed. All this information is free and openly available.
As well as making sure your website is ranking well on the major search engines and on the mapping services these sites provide, the other trend to capitalise on is social media. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and others have come of age in main stream society. Sure social media remains the chosen medium for the rantings of youth, but when you hear more people are being kept up to date via social media, you have to start taking the medium seriously and looking for ways to use social media to connect with patients and potential patients.
One of the current benefits of setting up a Facebook page or Instagram is that most of your colleagues will not get around to doing this for quite some time to come.
Having an up-to-date website remains important but your overall ‘New Media’ strategy is now what makes your website either the most productive marketing money you have invested or an irrelevant waste of time.