With the rapid advances in technology – it’s no secret that today’s most important platform for small business marketing is the internet. Gone are the days of marketing through telephone books and printed ads. Sure – these things still might have their place – a phone book can make a great booster seat for your child. But to follow the old marketing adage, in order to get your message out there, go to where the people are.
Today, the people are on the internet. And many dental practices are missing this great opportunity.
Dentists are often found in the unique position of being both medical professionals and small business owners. It’s hard to manage both disciplines at once, but ignoring current business trends can lead to lost revenue, patient dissatisfaction and an overall decrease in the value of the practice. While many dental practices might find themselves late to the party – the opportunity is still ripe to create a strong online presence.
Here are the 4 most important statistics that every dentist should know when it comes to digital marketing trends:
1. Websites are Important
30% of patients say that their choice of dentist is greatly influenced by the quality of the practice’s website.¹
The trend of this percentage is dramatically increasing as more and more dental practices are re-investing in their websites – making those who lag behind look even more outdated and less credible.
Further research shows that ²40% of people will leave a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load and up to ¹50% of general consumers consider a website’s design the #1 criterion for credibility.
Websites are the modern day storefronts. It is your online home. How your website looks and functions is a direct reflection of your brand and dental practice. This becomes increasingly vital when more and more patients are using the internet to research local dental practices before their first visit.
2. The New Word of Mouth
70% of patients say customer reviews are just as important as a dentist’s professional credentials.¹
Online reviews = today’s word of mouth.
It’s been found that the ¹#1 concern patients have when choosing a dentist is determining the quality of the dentist’s work. To find this information, patients are using sites like Yelp, Google and other online review platforms.
Many dentists today are missing out on this opportunity to share favorable reviews from their happy patients. Even when their patients do post a review, often times the dental practice is unaware and does not have an automated system of displaying these reviews on their website.
Studies have shown that ¹63% of general consumers are more likely to engage with a business if it has favorable reviews and ratings. Even more astonishing is that ¹people are willing to pay up to 99% more for a service with “excellent” ratings.
3. Patients Use Search Engines
6/10 patients are now using search engines to find a dentist.¹
It’s not enough to have a fancy website or a nifty dental office – if people can’t find your website on search engines – they won’t be able to find your dental practice. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – which is the discipline of diligent online activities to make your website show up earlier and more often on search engines – is it’s own topic and can be addressed to great lengths.
Dental practices just need to know the majority of their patients are looking for them via search engines. It’s important your practice shows up early and often.
4. Video Messaging is Powerful
80% is the boost in conversion rate for website visitors becoming new patients when a high-quality video is present on the website. 4
A professional video that communicates strong brand messaging for a dental practice is the pinnacle for rich media content. It combines the elements of a good online review and unique branding while bringing a dynamic quality to the website. This is the most effective way to communicate to new patients the unique brand, service and experience that your dental practice offers.
Industry wide – marketers have reported that video content provides the best conversion rates for all rich media on websites.
Just to Recap
Digital branding and online marketing is important. It can drive immediate value to your dental practice while keeping you ahead of the competition.
If your dental practice already has a nice website with a dedicated budget towards online marketing – that is great! You are all ahead of the game.
Digital marketing and media is a worthwhile investment that translates to more new patients. When it is done right – it can bring significant value to your dental practice.