Dentist, Your Reputation Is on the Line!

We hear a lot about “reputation management” in dental marketing these days. In fact, I wrote a chapter on this very topic in an ADA marketing guide last year. The phrase refers to how you appear to others online. To most, “reputation management” deals solely with online reviews/testimonials from patients. These rants and raves appear on sites like Google+, Yelp!, and Facebook, and what is written in those reviews is completely out of the dentist’s control.

I want you to think outside of the box labeled “patient reviews” for a moment.

Your online reputation, that is how you appear to others online, is significantly influenced by what’s on your website. Part of managing your online reputation involves everything published on the Internet, with your name attached. When you google your practice name, the first result should be your dental website.

And because of this, your dental website is often the first impression you will make on a potential patient. If that visitor is unimpressed, you just lost a new patient that was led all the way to your website – the next step was booking an appointment. But your website turned that potential patient away. You may never know just how many potential patients see your website and move on, even with all the analytics in the world (wide web).

There is one thing you can do to reduce the potential for window shoppers.

You need a website that’s as awesome as the Christmas display in Macy’s on Fifth Avenue.

Whether your website looks similar to another dentist’s isn’t really important. From a marketing standpoint, converting the visitor to a booked appointment is the goal. Therefore, the look and voice of your website should accurately represent what patients will experience in your office. If you truly have a Ritz Carlton service, your website should show it. On the flip side, if most of your patients value affordable general dentistry, your website should show it.

First, then, decide what your brand represents. What’s your message? Is it the Ritz or Disney Land? Is it quick appointments, because you own an office downtown, or is your value found in the time you spend getting to know your patients and their families?

Once you know your message, define your market. Who are the ideal patients you want to attract? At Identiwrite Creative, I work with clients to identify their dental practice’s best quality – and message – as well as their target patient. Armed with this information, we can move toward the creative process of designing a website. The shapes, colors, fonts, layout, functionality, and text on a website must be selected carefully, so that when a potential patient sees your site, she calls your office and books a visit.

The best dental websites are those that bring in new patients.

This is the main goal; do not lose sight of it in the creative process of designing your site.

You may not like having a call to action (call us now at 888-888-8888) in the text on your website. Perhaps you hate the idea of your phone number and address being in the top left corner, where people’s eyes naturally go first. Your personal preference in these matters is irrelevant, if you want a website that works.

I’ve worked with dentists who dislike the idea of an “about the dentist” page. They don’t want to sound pompous or share their accolades online. They’re humble. And humble is a good quality in life, but not in marketing. The “about the dentist” page is the second most visited page of a dental website, next to the homepage. Your potential patients want to see a picture of you and know your professional background, even more than they want to know what services you provide. So, humble or not, you need a great page about yourself on your website – a page that captures a visitor’s attention and makes her fall in love with the idea of having YOU as her dentist.

I could write about dental marketing and websites all day long, and I will in future blogs. Right now, if you need help with your website, call me, Shauna Duty. I’m the owner of Identiwrite Creative, a respected dental marketing and copywriting agency that helps dentist create captivating site, sure to result in new patient calls.

You can reach me at 940-395-5115 or email shauna@identiwrite.com.