In "Making the Web Work," an article by Joel Fisher in August’s Dental Economics, dentists are encouraged to carve out a place for themselves on the Web. Joel says that it’s more effective when a patient passes on a dentist’s Web address than if he were to pass on an office phone number. Your potential patients (age 20-something to 60-somehting) go online. They Google; they browse; they shop. Even for dentists.
Joel presents an alternate acronym for "www." A Website should represent: Who you are; Where you are; and What service(s) you provide. So, your site does not have to involve complex navigation, be fifty pages deep, and explain how a dental laser works. Instead, your site should tell about you and your practice, explain your location with an address and map, feature contact info, and, of course, tell about what you do.
Another tip: write for your prospective patients. What does your target market want from a dentist? Professionalism, quality, comfort, value, and convenience are big players. Project the attributes your patients are seeking through the words and pictures on your site. What interests dentists is not necessarily what interests dental patients. Don’t let what you think is interesting cloud your marketing judgment.
If you have a Website, check out DE‘s article to learn how you should evaluate your site. If you don’t have a site, Joel says consider it an opportunity, and hire a professional to build a site you can be proud of.
To make your site highly effective, you’ll need a good search marketing campaign, too. This simply means that your site should be created with a strategy that puts it in front of potential clients. If Suzy Googles "family dentist" and "Midlothian," and those terms describe you, your site should be in the search engine results listing.
For Internet marketing, you may choose an organic campaign, which can take about six months to yield results, or a pay-per-click campaign, which can foster immediate results. Some dentists choose to implement both strategies for optimal results. A professional dental Website company, like TNT (www.TNTDental.com), can create your site and market it with little more than a few short interviews from you. After all, you’re a dentist. You already have a job. A good Web design company can let you create smiles while they create your effective Website.
According to Joel, "Internet marketing is the most effective lead-generation and patient-retention program you can consider. Make sure that you are making a good impression online." Joel is vice president and creative director for TruePresence, an Internet marketing firm.