16 Percent of Dentists Do Not Have A Dental Website

dental websitesWhen dentists consider building a dental website they tend to think in terms of one massive site instead of several websites covering their areas of expertise. Having a multiple website marketing strategy can help you dominate search in your geographic area.

In our most recent survey, we asked dentists if their dental practice has multiple websites.

More than half (58%) said they have only one website. 15% replied that they have at least two dental websites, while another 11% have at least three. Urban and suburban dentists were more likely to have more than one dental website.

Shockingly, 16% of the survey respondents did not have a dental website at all.

Here are a few of the things our dentists had to say on the subject —

“We have dental website that we can change the content ourselves without paying the webhost and we have an optimized site that draws much more traffic.” (California dentist)

“We have 2 dental websites – 1 through your company [Internet Dental Alliance] which we are very pleased with and another through another company which I am very disappointed with and have switched companies 2 times and still am not getting what I want.” (Georgia dentist)

“We have multiple web addresses linked to one website.” (New York dentist)

“We just stated with second dental website — thought it would help.” (Pennsylvania dentist)

“We have only one website, but we have a Facebook Page also.” (Washington dentist)

Dental market domination should always the goal of your dental website. Instead of the traditional, one website approach, here at The Wealthy Dentist we believe in having several specialty-specific dental websites that support certain search phrases in addition to the dental website you may already own.

Having multiple dental websites helps you casts a wider reach across the top search results for your services as well as your dental practice itself. Multiple dental websites simply hedges your search position for a large set of dental keyword phrases creating a market monopoly strategy for a dental practice.

Multiple dental website marketing has all the features of search engine optimization and Internet dental marketing, but is easier to manage, more cost effective in the long run, and in many cases dramatically better at building targeted dental patient traffic.

What is your dental website marketing strategy?

Dental Marketing: Dentists See a Difference in Online Dental Patients

Dental Marketing: Dentists See a Difference in Online Dental PatientsIn The Wealthy Dentist’s weekly survey, we recently asked: Are patients who find you online any different from patients who find you via more traditional methods?

The dentists we polled were pretty split on this dental marketing issue.

34% of those polled said, “No, I don’t see a difference.

While 23% of the dentist respondents felt that online dental patients are more likely to follow through with treatment; the other 24% felt online patients are less likely to follow through with treatment.

Another 19% felt that word-of-mouth referrals by patients are the best type of dental patients to follow through with treatment.

One dentist replied, “Word-of-mouth referrals brings in the most loyal patients!

Dental Marketing: Dentists See a Difference in Online Dental Patients

Dentist certainly have different opinions about online verses traditional patients! Here are some of the comments we received on this survey:

“Referral patients have more trust from the beginning. Online patients are typically younger and not as financially able to afford treatment.” (General dentist)

“The majority of our big cases the past few years have come from the Internet.” (Minnesota dentist)

“The younger dental patient is more tech savvy and tend to believe what they read on-line. They are less critical thinking and very wed to their smart phones. They are also not big conversationalists.” (California dentist)

“They were motivated to look for a dentist. However, they also are more likely to have been regular patients elsewhere and have little work to be completed; may be prophy only.” (Texas dentist)

“The stronger the site encouraging appointments the better the lead. Most dental websites are so easy to give information, but the prospect is not ready or willing to come in.” (New York dentist)

“For me, a cold online lead is not unlike a patient who drove by and saw my sign. They are a tougher sell than a true internal referral. A Facebook referral can be close to an internal referral when referred by an existing patient.” (Georgia dentist)

“Online patients have done their research and know a lot about our office before becoming patients. They are certainly more likely to follow through with recommended treatment.” (Ohio dentist)

“Online patients are generally young, looking for the best price and not dentally educated. Anyone who chooses a dentist based upon online reviews sees dentistry no different than a gas station or a supermarket.” (Massachusetts dentist)

The rising popularity of researching dental care online proves that for an increasing number of dental patients, factors like online reviews and easily finding a dentist online, seeing what dentist family and friends recommend online, and getting to know the dental practice before ever stepping foot through the front door may continue to outweigh the advantages that traditional offline dental marketing has offered in the past.

What are your thoughts on traditional verses online dental patients? Do you notice a difference?

Dental Marketing: Top 10 Ways to Build Dental Website Backlinks

Dental Marketing: Top 10 Ways to Build Dental Website BacklinksLink building should still be an important part of your Internet dental marketing efforts.

Links to your dental website from other trusted websites is still one of the most underutilized SEO tools by dentists in their dental marketing plan. Adding just 5 to ten additional incoming links to your practice website can usually boost your search engine ranking by several pages.

The fastest way for a dentist to acquire links to a dental website is to ask for them.

But how do you get started?  Where do you look for links?  How do you acquire them?

To answer these questions and help you out, The Wealthy Dentist has put together the following–

 Top 10 Ways to Build Dental Website Backlinks

1.  Look to your dentist referral partnerships first.

Do you refer dental patients to a local orthodontist?  A periodontist?  A local oral surgeon? Dentists should start with what is considered low-hanging fruit when it comes to link sharing and link building.  Doctors in your referral network are a great place to start your link building campaign.  Links between similar businesses are some of the strongest links a dental practice can obtain to help with its SEO efforts.

2.  Look to your dental supplies and equipment companies next.

The easiest way to get a link back from a dental supply or equipment company is offer up a website testimonial with a link back to your website instead of listing your city.  It never hurts to ask, especially if you are a valued customer.

3.  Make sure your website is listed on the websites of any local organizations to which you belong.

Is your website listed with your local Chamber of Commerce website?  The Better Business Bureau?  Is your dental website listed with the Rotary club where you are a member?  Professional dental organizations not only can grow your professional network, but also can be a great source for link building to your dental website.

4. Dental patients, family and friends professional websites.

Do you have valued patients who have their own business websites who might link to you as “the best dentist in town?”  Do you have family and friends who have professional websites that would be willing to add a link back to your dental website?

5.  Establish your own presence on 3rd party review websites.

Business review websites like Yelp or DR. Oogle typically have their own community built around them. Ask your favorite dental patients to review your dental practice at these communities when they tell you how happy they are with a certain dental treatment you have just performed. See if you can’t build you own dental patient community around one of these 3rd party review websites.

6. Every social media website available to you.

Social media websites are valuable for SEO because of their sheer size and power. They are typically trusted by search engines and fairly easy to join. When dentists think social media has no real value, they are often forgetting about their link building capability. These sites don’t take long to join and all offer the ability to link back to your website in your profile. Think Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (you could just offer a few of your favorite YouTube videos if you don’t have dental practice videos of your own), Foursquare, Google Places, Pinterest, and Ning to name a few. Make sure to include your dental practice in as many dental directories as possible.

7. Press releases about you and your dental practice.

Press releases are an easy way to build links back to your dental practice website. Not to mention the fact that press releases are often picked up by local, regional and national news websites. There’s prnewswire.com, prweb.com, www.prlog.org, free-press-release.com, pr.com, I-newswire.com, PRBuzz.com, and more — just Google ‘press release distribution’ to see a full list of websites offering press release distribution services.

8. Create fun, comical or entertaining content.

Have you always fancied yourself as an artist with a sense of fun? Can you draw a fun dental cartoon? Can you create fun names for teeth so that people can remember which ones are located where in their mouth? Think about creating something fun that people want to share. An example of this is The Wealthy Dentist’s Dental Marketing: Social Media For Dentists Explained image where social media for dentists was explained in a light-hearted way.  Creating a resource page is another way to obtain links back to your dental website.  Your local city culture offers many resource page ideas like ‘inexpensive places to entertain children over the summer’ or ‘local clean bathrooms for public use’ (every mother who has children will love you for this list).  Even a list of all the local parks that allow dogs can be something your dental patients will want to share.

9.  Sponsor a local event.

Often local events have their own event websites that stay up long after the event has ended.  Think about your local little league or soccer leagues.  Being an event sponsor not only offers you involvement in your dental patient community but a chance to be featured on their websites.

10.   Writing guest articles for online publications.

Most blogs and online publications are always looking for experts in various fields to provide articles.  Get to know the local journalists in your community and introduce yourself as a go-to specialist on dental-related subjects.  Is there a popular blog in your niche where you can offer an expert opinion on teeth whitening, the latest in dental implants, or the proper way to brush your teeth to prevent cavities? There are many top mom bloggers who would love to share advice from dentists along with their regular blog articles.  Just make sure your guest articles always include a link back to your dental website.

Some of these top 10 link building techniques will work better for your dental practice than others.  It’s all about thinking outside the box when it comes to obtaining links back to your dental website. It is one of the most effective dental marketing tools you will ever spend time on.

What link building techniques have worked well for your dental practice website?

Internet Savvy Dental Patients Create Great Opportunities for Dentists

Internet Savvy Dental Patients Create Great Opportunities for DentistsIn this month’s edition of the Economic Journal features a study performed by U.C. Berkeley Professors Michael Anderson and Jeremy Magrude looking at the relationship between online ratings and customers’ purchasing decisions.

The professors studied the effects that positive online reviews had on 300 San Francisco restaurants on Yelp.com.

Their research found that restaurants with higher ratings, or that saw an improvement in a star rating were more likely to be busy at peak dining times. This would only stand to reason, but what they found interesting was that if a restaurant’s rating went up by even half of one star, the restaurant saw in improvement in patron visits.

One restaurant saw a review improvement cause their 7 p.m. reservations to sell out for more than a third of the evenings they were open for dinner.  Which meant that many restaurant customers used real-time local search data when deciding where they wanted to eat.

The study points to an ever-increasing fact that more people are using online review sites and the Internet to influence their decisions about where they will spend their money. And if they discover that the online restaurant review was relatable to their experience, then they are more likely to believe subsequent online reviews about other businesses as well, including their local dentist.

A recent German study asked 287 doctors about the Internet’s impact on their practice and their online-connected patients. 80% of the doctor respondents felt that dealing with Internet-informed patients increased their need to be better-informed, Internet savvy doctors as well.

Doctors see that younger patients who access the Internet as part of everything they do in their daily lives are much more involved in their healthcare choices and are generally better informed.

This growing demographic, known as “Generation Y” was born between 1978 and 2000 and places their age in the 12 – 34 range. Their passion for using technology as part of their every waking moment is only going to increase over time as technology advances make this easier and easier to do.

In the past, dental patients gathered all of their information about a local dentist from neighbors, co-workers and Yellow Pages advertisements. They often naturally accepted the idea that their dentist was the best dentist in town — without question.

Now, dental patients can research their local dentist online, explore different dental treatment options, and compare the average cost for those treatments with dentists across the U.S. They can also look up what people are saying about their dentist online — from complete strangers – not just their family and friends and relate that information to the experiences they’ve had with your dental practice.

And as much as some dentists want to resist Internet advances, it is better to accept this ever-increasingly, Internet-savvy next generation and jump into the fray by insuring that you are optimizing all the different social media channels and managing your reputation with online review sites.

I would argue that the main reason dental patients look to the Internet for information is because they are not certain about their decision and are looking for more reliable data. Your dental practice website, your social media presence (especially with Google + Local) and your management of your reputation with online review sites can be the place where they find the information and reassurance they are searching for online.

Don’t leave their decisions to random Internet search results. If patients can go online and find out about their dentist, their symptoms and the information they are searching for from your dental website and various social media channels, then you’ve already developed trust before they pick up the phone to make an appointment.

You’ve made their life easier and you’ve let them know that you are a dentist who is up to date on the latest dental treatments and you are reaching out to where they are hanging out to let them know that you are the best dentist in town.

Economists predict that the availability of healthcare information online will actually cause people to reach out and schedule more health maintenance appointments, which should actually increase the demand for healthcare providers such as dentists.

As this demand continues to grow, dentists should be prudent in their engagement with patients online, providing them with the information they are seeking and establishing that doctor-patient relationship before they ever step into your waiting room.

The Top Online Dental Marketing Activity Is Website Marketing, Dentists Reveal

The Top Online Dental Marketing Activity is Website MarketingThe results of a recent The Wealthy Dentist survey revealed that dentists find doctor-to-patient interactions to be their most effective form of dental marketing above all other marketing activities.

Direct mail marketing was their second most successful marketing activity, followed by dental patient referrals.

Dental website marketing was dentists top online marketing activity, with email marketing, social media marketing, and radio advertising being listed as their least effective dental marketing, in part, because many dentists didn’t regulatory participate in these marketing activities.

Here are the details from the dental marketing survey:

  • 28.6% – Doctor-to-patient interactions
  • 23.8% – Direct mail marketing
  • 19.0% – Patient referrals
  • 9.50% – Website marketing
  • 4.80% – Social media marketing
  • 4.80% – Email marketing
  • 4.80% – Radio advertising
  • 0.00% – Local community involvement
  • 0.00% – Yellow Pages

Possibly the biggest surprise in these survey results is the fact that none of the dentists thought community involvement was an effective form of dental marketing.

When asked what marketing activities that they were not utilizing that could help their dental practice, many of the dentists responded that they needed to do more with social media and internal marketing.

“We need to have a plan for Facebook,” commented a general dentist.

Here’s what other dentists had to say about their dental marketing activities:

“Word-of-mouth is our best form of marketing.” (California dentist)

“Direct mail advertising has always worked best for me.” (Colorado dentist)

“We are currently working on greatly increasing our internal marketing via patient referrals.” (Ohio prosthodontist)

“Our dental practice website and patient referrals are still the best practice marketing methods.” (Texas dentist)

“I think patient workshops, info sessions, and open houses could be good marketing activities.” (Dental office worker)

“Dental insurance brings in the majority of our patients.” (General dentist)

Dentists who use any combination of these dental marketing activities will increase their ability to reach more new dental patients within their target market.

What dental marketing activity is most effective for your dental practice? Let us know in the comments!

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