5 Other Places Where Your Dental Practice Needs to Be Online: Having a Website is Not Enough!

Total Online Presence. Does that sound familiar? If you’re a client of the Practice Treatment Plan, it should. We often emphasize that just a website is insufficient to market your practice online effectively. Achieving a Total Online Presence is crucial. This involves a system of interconnected links, listings, and content pages that enhance your online profile for search engines. Here are five other essential places where your dental practice needs to be online to maximize its visibility and attract new patients:

1. Directory Citations

Directory citations are listings of your practice on various directories or searchable websites like Angie’s List and Merchant Circle, among many others. Google and other search engines verify and legitimize your business using these listings. The more high-quality citations you have, the higher search engines will rank you. The critical point here is the consistency of your “NAP”—Name, Address, and Phone number. Every time you enter your practice information into a directory, it must be consistent. Inconsistencies or duplicate entries can harm your website’s rankings, as search engines rely on accurate and consistent data to evaluate your business’s legitimacy.

2. Search Engine Map Listings

Creating search engine map listings is free and incredibly important. These listings ensure that your practice appears on the map when patients search for a dentist. With the increasing number of searches conducted on mobile devices—currently, 60% of all searches on Google are from mobile devices—having an optimized map listing is crucial. Ensure your Google My Business listing is complete, accurate, and regularly updated. This will improve your visibility and provide potential patients with essential information about your practice at a glance.

3. Online Review Websites

Online reviews are vital for boosting your rankings and increasing the likelihood that a patient will choose your practice over a competitor. Recent studies have shown that consumers value verified online reviews almost as much as personal referrals from friends. Encourage satisfied patients to leave positive reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, and Healthgrades. Respond to reviews—both positive and negative—professionally and courteously. This engagement shows potential patients that you value feedback and are committed to providing excellent care.

4. Social Media

Many doctors perceive social media as time-consuming with little return on investment. However, when used efficiently, social media can drive new patients to your practice. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can enhance your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) when linked to your website. More importantly, data indicates that people increasingly use social media as a search engine. Instead of going to Google and typing “dentist,” they search on Facebook to immediately see dentists their friends recommend. Maintaining an active and engaging social media presence can build trust and attract new patients.

5. Blogs

Including a blog on your website is a powerful strategy. Google values educational content more highly than purely marketing material. Frequently blogging about dental issues, practice news, community involvement, and other relevant topics can boost your website’s SEO. For example, if you consistently publish high-quality blog posts, Google will recognize your site as a valuable resource and move it up in the rankings. Educational content, such as blogs, helps establish your practice as an authority in the field and provides helpful information to your patients and potential patients.

Implementing a Total Online Presence

To achieve a Total Online Presence, follow these steps:

  1. Consistent Directory Listings: Ensure your practice is listed accurately and consistently across multiple directories. Regularly check and update these listings to maintain accuracy.
  2. Optimize Map Listings: Create and optimize your Google My Business profile and other search engine map listings. Include complete information, including business hours, services, photos, and reviews.
  3. Encourage Online Reviews: Develop a strategy to solicit positive patient reviews. Make it easy for them by providing direct links to review sites and follow up with patients after their appointments.
  4. Active Social Media Engagement: Establish a social media presence on platforms where your patients are active. Share engaging content, respond to comments and messages, and build a community around your practice.
  5. Regular Blogging: Publish regular blog posts on your website. Focus on topics that are relevant to your patients and the dental industry. Share these posts on your social media channels to increase their reach.

Benefits of a Total Online Presence

A comprehensive online presence offers numerous benefits for your practice:

  • Increased Visibility: By being present on multiple platforms, you increase your practice’s visibility to potential patients, making it easier for them to find and choose your services.
  • Enhanced Credibility: Consistent information across various directories and positive online reviews build your practice’s credibility and trustworthiness.
  • Improved SEO: A well-rounded online presence boosts your website’s SEO, helping it rank higher in search results and attract more organic traffic.
  • Patient Engagement: Engaging with patients through social media and blogs fosters a sense of community and keeps your practice top of mind.