More – it’s what we’re all about. More relaxing, summer afternoons? Bring ‘em on! More Starbucks cold brew? Fill ‘er up! More ice cream? Definitely – a triple scoop, please! More time home with the kids? Mmmm…that’s a tough one. More dental patients? For sure.
While the indulgent days of summer may be limited, your ability to get more dental patients doesn’t have to be. Read on for the top three things you can do today to attract more dental patients tomorrow.
First and foremost, get your practice website up-to-date! Your website is the foundation of your practice’s online presence, and the gateway to new patients. Consider it your virtual office. Use your website to showcase what makes your practice unique. Include photos of your friendly staff or inviting waiting room. Your website should convey how you want patients to feel when they walk through your door. But inviting images alone aren’t enough; usability is just as essential. If a patient opened your door only to see a wall it wouldn’t take long for them to turnaround and leave. The same is true for your website. If it’s not obvious where visitors should go for the information they need, they won’t take the time to look around. Make it intuitive – ensure key information (e.g. location, hours of operation, contact information, areas of expertise and insurance plans accepted) is front and center on your homepage or clearly identified in the primary navigation bar.
Feeling confident because you already have a great practice website? Make sure what you think is cutting edge, actually is (wink, wink). If you haven’t changed your website design in more than three or four years, it’s likely that it’s now outdated. Internet browsers and design trends constantly change, which can result in a less than optimal viewing experience if your website design hasn’t kept pace. Depending on your starting point, this doesn’t have to be an enormous undertaking. Ask your website provider if they have any new website styles available that can be easily swapped out without a fee.
Next on the list of ways to get more dental patients – online reviews. Like it or not, online reviews can pack a punch stronger than that last Bahama Mama. Let’s put it this way, 70% of dental patients said that online ratings and reviews influenced their choice of dentist.1 Furthermore, online reviews create the perception of trustworthiness and transparency.
The prevalence of social media and the increasing number of review sites available (Yelp, Angie’s List, Rate MDs, etc.), mean that your practice is conspicuous if it’s absent. Trust us, if prospective patients can’t find any reviews about your practice, they are not going to think, “Wow – that dental practice is so good that not one patient felt the need to share their experience.” The more likely scenario is the train of thought will go something like: “Why hasn’t anyone left a review on that dentist? What are they hiding?”
It’s also important to note that online reviews factor into your practice’s search engine rankings. Search engines consistently tweak their ranking algorithms to return the best results possible, which means highly recommended doctors are more prone to rank higher over those with lower ratings.
So, aside from the obvious (delivering the best patient experience possible), how do you get more positive online reviews? Step 1) Ask. Step 2) Make it easy.
It’s not that your satisfied patients don’t want to leave a review, it’s just that they probably don’t think about it. People are busy and as soon as they set their next appointment, they’re out the door and onto the next thing on the list. You’ll be surprised at what a simple ask can do. And, using an automated reputation management feature allows your practice to reach out in a timely manner without tying up your team.
Another way to attract more patients is by using social media effectively. The average adult checks social media 17 times a day.2 If your practice isn’t there, you’re missing a direct path to current and prospective patients.
You get it, but what do you post and where? Effective use of social media creates an ongoing conversation with current and prospective patients, so use the same tactics that you would to create a great in-person conversation. Ask questions, share interesting information, and maintain the flow with responses. Essentially, be engaging.
Being the realists that we are, we know that not all social media scrolling is done outside of work, so it’s fair to assume your followers might be looking for a quick mid-day distraction. Why not offer them a mid-day laugh with an oral hygiene meme or a quick tip on how to get kids to brush? This type of easily digestible information was made for social media! Not only is it what your current patients are looking for, if your posts are deemed valuable enough to share (which is the goal) you get in front of an exponential number of potential patients, which leads to more for your practice.
Between the ghost (Snapchat), the little bird (Twitter), and that camera (Instagram) there are more social media options today than polishing paste flavors. Where should you start? Given that Facebook has 1.79 billion monthly active users,3 we think it’s a good place. If your practice is like most, you don’t have an in-house social media resource. Not a problem. There are a number of dental social media solutions available for just this reason. To ensure you find the right fit for your practice take time to determine what will work best for your team (i.e. automated posting, content generation, etc.) and make sure your provider is well-versed in the industry.
Some say that our culture’s obsession with more is detrimental. When it comes to dental patients we say more is the path to dental practice growth, and if that’s what you’re after PracticeMojo is here to help. Reach out to a Practice Coach at 800.556.2580 to see how our solutions work together to help you get more dental patients.
1 Henry, Kevin. “Convenience, Honesty, and Online Reviews … Some of the Things Your Dental Patients Want.” Dentistry IQ, Dentistry IQ, 2 May 2013,
2 H. (2017, January 03). Top 20 Facebook Statistics – Updated January 2017. Retrieved from https://zephoria.com/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics/