Today I saw a new patient who found me via my website. She drove 1-1/2 hours to my practice. She probably passed at least a hundred dentists on the way here. She was not happy with the work of a previous dentist. So, she started looking online.
For someone to drive 1-1/2 hours today to see a dentist is quite remarkable. Some people DO still value dentistry and finding the right dentist, rather than the closest and cheapest.
She used Google, of course. Good SEO (search engine optimization) places my website highly in the results. Of course, it doesn’t end there. A good website has to provide good information, and it has to provide it RIGHT NOW. If a visitor has to drill down through flash movies and endless cascading menus, she will probably just hit the “BACK” button. Ideally, a web searcher who clicks on your listing in the SERPs (search engine results pages), will actually land on a web page that INSTANTLY gives them what they are looking for. Again, if she has to go looking further than where she landed, she probably will go elsewhere.
Another way to get people to your website is SEM (search engine marketing). It is not the same as SEO. Typically, it is the pay-per-click ad campaigns. I’ll get into that in a future blog.
The landing page needs to be “sticky.” Give them what they want… NOW. Make it EASY for a visitor to choose you and take that next step, which is taking ACTION. So, after she’s landed on your sticky page content, she’ll be compelled to make that phone call to request an appointment.
Good content must be self-written (by the dentist), in my opinion. Or at the very least, the copy should be heavily influenced by the dentist. I recommend staying away from generic, canned, encyclopedic content. Write about benefits of dentistry, rather than features. Don’t talk about what a veneer IS. Talk about what veneers can DO for the patient. What are the benefits? Focus on that. And, use a conversational style rather than a stiff, formal style. You’re talking to normal people, not your dentist friends.
Show visitors what you can do. Get rid of the store-bought stock photos (that appear on so many other dental websites). Take your own photos. Faces and smiles! No retractors. No implant abutments. No blood. No spit. These images are for normal people, not your dentist friends. I’ll write a blog about dental photography in the future, too. Stay tuned!
So, effective website marketing is composed of three steps:
- Get them TO your website (SEO and SEM)
- KEEP them ON your website (sticky content).
- Compel them to TAKE ACTION.
My new patient drove for 1-1/2 hours in south Florida, which is SATURATED with dentists. I find that astonishing.
Finally, once the new patient arrives at your office, you should live up to the image you’ve projected on your website!
That’s all for now!