LEVERAGING ONLINE MEDIA
MODERN WEBSITE MUST-HAVES
Among the most important features modern
dental websites need today is the ability to
accommodate text communication. People
of all ages who prefer texting to phone calls
will be more attracted to a practice that al-
lows them to communicate in their preferred
method. Text communication is also a benefit
for your front office team because it doesn’t
require team members be tied to a phone, it
allows for multitasking, and most importantly, it allows your team to focus on the
patients in the office.
It’s also important to allow patients to
request appointments online. A growing
number of patients choose to communicate
in any manner that involves a keyboard or
touchpad over a phone call. As an added
benefit, this allows patients to appoint outside of business hours. Wouldn’t it be great
to let technology fill your schedule while you
and your team members are out of the office
enjoying the weekend?
Next, you should ensure that your website
functions quickly, and that it clearly highlights
the dentistry you want to perform. Forty
percent of people abandon a website that
takes more than three seconds to load.4 Visit
your website from a variety of mobile devices
to see how it functions. Most importantly,
ask yourself what procedures you prefer to
perform. If you answer dental implants, sleep
dentistry, or smile makeovers, how visible
are the links to access information about
those procedures on your website? Do you
have an abundance of content about the
preferred procedures on your website? In
other words, if you want to grow a certain
type of dentistry, those treatments should be
visible, attractive, and engaging to website
visitors. This is imperative if you’re investing
in online advertising to grow specific
Lastly, a dental study shows 67% of dental
respondents researched cost and financing. Of
the study respondents, 52% were not aware that
financing was available for their needs, and 47%
would consider financing if it enabled them to
receive care immediately.3 Does your website
clearly show patients their options with regard
to financing and convenient online payments?
Forty percent of people abandon
a website that takes more than
three seconds to load. Visit your
website from a variety of mobile
devices to see how it functions.
ONLINE REVIEWS—HOW DO YOU MEASURE UP?
Sixty-six percent of consumers trust the opinions of other
online consumers.5 This is not far from the 83% who
trust recommendations from people they know.5 If you’re
not asking for reviews from your patients, not only are
you missing out on marketing opportunities, you’re leaving your online reputation vulnerable.
There are a variety of high-tech or organic methods
you can implement to invite patients to post reviews. Of
these options, automated surveys e-mailed or texted to
patients after their appointments tend to be the most
popular and effective. With an automated patient engagement system in place, for example Solutionreach,
you’re able to grow relationships with patients and ex-
pand word of mouth about your practice, all while creat-
ing a strong online reputation for your practice. There
is no better way to minimize a negative review than to
have 100 positive reviews to outshine it.
WHAT DOES SOCIAL MEDIA SAY ABOUT YOU?
If you aren’t spending time on social media, you may have
no idea how powerful a marketing tool it can be. Patients
of all ages are discovering new products and services every
day through social media. The old saying about telling
your spouse you love them before someone else does ap-plies here. Practices that are actively sharing a variety of
content, including team photos, tidbits about treatments,
video interviews, and more, allow patients to learn about
what they may not know they’re missing.
There are a variety of ways to make social media manageable, including outsourcing to a trusted vendor. Don’t
let the fact that you or your team members personally don’t
enjoy social media keep you from leveraging the many
benefits social media has to offer.
In summary, patients are looking for the most convenient
methods to communicate with your team. They want to
easily explore the treatments and financial options you
offer, and then book their appointment online, all without
having to talk to another person. In some cases, patients
may not intentionally look for a new dentist; however,
through their use of online reviews and social media, they
see word of mouth at a large scale and discover new options.
Discuss this article information with your team and use it
as a checklist to diagnose the health of your online practice.
Keep me posted on your findings.
1. Mobile Fact Sheet. Pew Research
Center website. http://www.
Published January 12, 2017. Accessed
April 11, 2017.
2. The customer journey to online
purchase. Thinkwithgoogle website.
tools/customer-journey-to-online-purchase.html#!/the-us/arts-and-entertainment/large/generic-paid-search. Published September 2014.
Accessed April 11, 2017.
3. Tauber R. Consumers’ Path To
Healthcare Purchases Study. White
Whitepaper_072315.pdf Pubished July
2015. Accessed April 11, 2017.
4. Akamai reveals 2 seconds as the new
threshold of acceptability for
e-commerce web page response times.
Akamai website. https://www.akamai.
jsp. Published September 14, 2009.
Accessed May 11, 2017.
5. Recommendations from friends
remain most credible form of
advertising among consumers. Nielson
recommendations-from-friends-remain-most-credible-form-of-advertising.html. Published September
28, 2015. Accessed May 11, 2017.
RITA ZAMORA is an international
speaker and published author on social
media marketing and online reputation
management. She and her team offer
customized monthly social media
management and training programs.
Zamora has over 20 years of experience
working hands-on in dental practice
marketing and has been helping practices
with their social media since 2007.