December 28, 2015 -- When people need a dentist, they don't look in a phone book anymore. They go online, and if your online presence fails to impress, you lose. Good word-of-mouth referrals from your current patients may bring new patients to your door, and some people may stop in because they saw your office on the way to work. But in today's dental market, your website, social media activities, directory listings, and other aspects of your online presence are vital to your long-term success.
Invest in a professional upgrade. Easy internet access and abundant "do-it-yourself" options have led some dentists to believe they (or a staff member, or family member, or the kid next door) can create a perfectly fine online presence. In fact, amateur work looks, well, amateurish -- and makes a bad impression. Also, it takes technical expertise to optimize your website so it will attract more attention from prospective patients.
Don't forget to allow for maintenance. A strong online presence must be maintained. You'll need fresh, interesting content, software upgrades, and a plan for responding to online comments that could tarnish your reputation. Your marketing coordinator should monitor your online presence constantly so it can deliver maximum practice growth.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the founder and CEO of Levin Group, the leading dental practice consulting firm in North America. For the complete list of dates and locations where you can attend his latest seminar, visit www.levingroup.com/gpseminars.
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