With the rise of the digital savvy consumer and an increase in a younger patient demographic, the digital landscape plays a key factor in driving growth for your practice. Whether a potential patient has received a referral or heard of you through word of mouth, most patients will go online to ensure you are credible.
Your digital patient journey matters
The Internet is one of the biggest sources of prospective patients. Research tells us that 97% of consumers research a business online before they call1, so it is crucial to have a strong online footprint. Ask yourself what information—if any—is showing up for your practice? Additionally, where does your practice rank in the search listing? Building, enhancing and maintaining your online presence through your paid search, organic search, ratings and reviews is critical in driving visits to your practice from new and existing patients.
· 90% of consumers today use search engines to find businesses in their local area2
· 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses2
· 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information3
What does this mean for your practice?
Google Places generates the most leads to your website. The goal is to rank in the top three paid and organic listings. If you are not there, you run the risk of losing out to the competition.
Having a strong website with a clear location and phone number is critical in driving patients to your practice. Your website is ultimately a reflection of your practice and can be considered as always “on.” New and existing patients will visit your site to learn more about who you are, what you do and how to contact you. It helps them determine if you are a legitimate and professional business and whether they should take the next step and contact you for an appointment.
Ratings and Reviews
Now, more than ever before, online ratings and reviews have a major impact on your practice’s reputation and success. From our internal findings, practices with a 4.8 or higher Google rating generate 5-10% more patients; thus, an increase in 5-star reviews is critical to maintaining your reputation, growing your patient base, and keeping your existing patients coming back.
What can you do to ensure you make the most of your online presence?
It is necessary to reflect on your practice’s online footprint. Are you easily searchable and do you appear credible? Do you have a significant amount of positive reviews? Ensuring that you have a strong online presence will help drive more patients to your practice.
About the Author
Tanja Harlingten is the Director of Marketing at dentalcorp.