Within the walls of your practice, the quality care you provide is self-evident. You put in the work, earned your qualifications, and you pour your heart into each and every day. Outside the walls of your practice, to the passing motorist, you are a name on a building. Once inside, you can show patients exactly what that name means, but with so many choices, how can you make sure people give you that opportunity?
How do you stand out in the crowd? The answer is: by thinking like a patient.
In order to be found, you first must know where people are looking. In 2018, people are looking online–in all practicality–on Google. If your name does not show up with a quick Google search, chances are few will find you. Your business needs a strong online presence and an up-to-date, strategic search engine optimization plan. It sounds obvious, but with the changing nature of how search engines catalog results, having an SEO expert on your side gives you a huge advantage over the competition.
Once potential patients find your practice, they are going to have three main concerns:
- Is their insurance is accepted?
- How convenient and accessible is the practice?
- What are the opinions of other patients?
These are the three top reported factors people consider when choosing a new dentist. People generally assume they will receive quality care regardless of where they go. To truly stand out, you have to show an effort to meet people where they are in their hectic, daily lives.
Do you offer same- or next-day appointments for new patients? Can people schedule an appointment online? Do you have extended hours to serve people after the workday or on the weekend?
Maybe you should. Convenience is a selling point and can be the difference between you and others.
Is your website modern, up-to-date, easy to navigate?
Your website is where you will make your first impression. It’s an opportunity to highlight your strengths while offering a glimpse of your personality. Think of your website as a window into your practice, a way for patients to peek inside without leaving home.
Once people find you online, they are going to see what others have to say about you.
Uploading pictures and completing the information on review sites like Yelp shows that you’re engaged, and positive reviews are like the new word-of-mouth. Highlight positive reviews. Post them to social media and thank those who leave them. Respond to negative reviews, and see if there’s a way to clear them up. Be active on social media. It’s not just a way to interact with the community; it’s a modern referral system, and it’s a way to put a face to the name on your building.
To stand out in the crowd you need to know what people are looking for, and where. Your online presence needs to be as vibrant and full of life as your practice is within its walls.