In the fiercely competitive world of dental healthcare, patients often find themselves overwhelmed when seeking new providers. Leveraging the digital landscape has become crucial for dental practices aiming to stand out. Tebra's 4th annual Patient Perspectives survey reveals that over 3 in 4 patients (77%) turn to online resources to streamline their search for dentists. This article delves into the top four places where dental patients look for new practitioners, accompanied by tailored tips for dental practices to enhance their online visibility.
Google: The First Stop for Dental Searches
Google is the go-to platform for patients initiating their quest for a new dentist. Whether using broad or long-tail keywords, patients rely on Google to find local dental services. To secure a prominent place in search engine results pages (SERPs), dental practices should invest in search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search engine marketing. This includes conducting keyword research, strategically incorporating keywords across the website, and optimizing the Google Business Profile.
Review Sites: Building Trust Through Patient Feedback
With 46% of patients using online reviews to guide their decisions, third-party review sites are instrumental in shaping a dental practice's online reputation. Platforms like Healthgrades, WebMD, Zocdoc, and Yelp can significantly impact patient choices. Dental practices should actively claim and update their profiles on these sites, encouraging satisfied patients to leave reviews. Positive feedback can instill trust and attract new patients.
Online Insurance Directories: Credentialing for Success
Online insurance directories play a pivotal role in the decision-making process for 53% of patients. Dental practices affiliated with insurance companies must ensure their listings are accurate and regularly updated. Utilizing relevant keywords and consistently updating profiles with new certifications, licenses, and information about accepting new patients can help these practices stand out in insurance directories.
Social Media: Engaging Dental Patients Beyond the Chair
Surprisingly, social media platforms have become a source for dental reviews, with 26% of Gen Z and 22% of Millennials turning to Facebook for this purpose. Beyond reviews, social media offers dental practices an opportunity to engage with patients by sharing oral health tips, answering common questions, and showcasing a welcoming practice environment. Developing a focused social media strategy, emphasizing storytelling, and incorporating visually appealing content can effectively attract new dental patients.
Bonus: Meeting Patient Expectations
Beyond online presence, dental practices should focus on meeting specific patient expectations. Factors such as convenient appointment availability, open and easy communication, a friendly and welcoming staff, minimal wait times, online access to dental records, online appointment booking, and the availability of telehealth options are critical considerations for patients. Dental practices that can seamlessly integrate these features may set themselves apart in the competitive dental landscape.
In conclusion, for dental practices navigating the digital landscape is not just a trend but a necessity. By strategically optimizing their online presence across Google, review sites, online insurance directories, and social media, dental practices can create a compelling digital identity that resonates with patients seeking exceptional dental care.