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Are dental websites dead?

Feb. 14, 2020
Dental websites aren’t completely dead, but they aren’t the marketing centerpiece they used to be. Your website is essentially a glorified digital brochure.
Graig Presti, CEO, Local Search For Dentists®

Last weekend, my wife and I were enjoying a lazy Sunday on the couch, flipping through the channels. It was one dumb show after the other. The same old formula . . . rehashed, repackaged, and resold. But on one of the classic movie channels, Weekend at Bernie’s was about to come on. “Yes!” I exclaimed. “I love that movie!”

Wait . . . what? You haven’t seen it?! Here’s the synopsis: A rich, underhanded executive is embroiled in some twisted, illicit schemes. He invites two young up-and-comers to his beach house, where they find him dead in his chair. For one zany reason or another, they throw a pair of sunglasses on him. Then, through some admittedly clever maneuvering, they make it look like he’s running around (alive) and having a blast.

The movie began. My wife and I sat there for two hours. We spilled popcorn on the rug as we laughed at how these two schmucks were able to pull off the lie of the century.

Well, here we are in a new century. And there’s a new lie about something that died years ago, even though some companies try to throw a pair of sunglasses on it, charge you thousands of dollars, and pretend it’s alive. That lie is your website. And it’s time to give it a proper burial.

Are dental websites really dead?

Dental websites aren’t completely dead, but they aren’t the marketing centerpiece they used to be. Your website is essentially a glorified digital brochure. It has some nice words about you and maybe gives people directions on how to get to your doorstep. However, it’s no longer powerful enough to tell people why they should come to your doorstep.

Research shows that websites no longer imbue the trust they once did.1 Your website is part of your branding, but it’s not part of a true marketing strategy. Your marketing should be trackable and predictable, e.g., $1 in, $3 out. Your website simply can’t do this anymore.

So, why doesn’t your website carry the clout it used to? It’s simple: you made it (or paid for it). In the modern, trust-based economy, you truly have to earn patients. You don’t tell someone they can trust you. You have to show them.

How do you show patients they can trust you?

If trust is earned, how do you earn it? The answer is plain and simple: your Google presence, including but not limited to as many five-star Google reviews as you can muster. With that in mind, here are three action items to create trust with patients:

1. Get your Google house in order—Claim your listing, make sure all of the information is correct (address, phone, etc.), and that there aren’t any duplicate listings. Then, start uploading photos of the office, your staff, your modern equipment, etc. Try to show people what a visit to your office feels like.

2. Create a YouTube channel—Upload some short videos about keeping your teeth and gums healthy and why it’s important. You can even discuss why an involved dental procedure, when done correctly, can be nearly painless. More than anything, you want to position yourself as a local expert on all things dental so that potential patients see you as the only game in town.

3. Attract as many five-star Google reviews as possible—This is the key to success. Five-star Google reviews from your existing patients are, simply put, little gold nuggets of value and trust for your practice. By leveraging them, you are communicating to potential patients that you can be trusted with their families’ health and wellness. 

Put it in action

Focus on your Google presence and start attracting the kinds of patients you really want: those who pay, stay, and refer. These are patients who will never leave you—and who have probably never seen your website.  

Reference

1. Ask J. Are websites dead? Forrester website. https://go.forrester.com/blogs/are-web-sites-dead/. Published February 18, 2018.

GRAIG PRESTI is CEO of four-time Inc. 500/5000-recognized company Local Search For Dentists (LSFD), one of the fastest growing companies in dentistry. LSFD helps dental practices all over the world gain dominance in their local markets. Presti’s proprietary marketing systems have helped thousands of dentists achieve more freedom, increase new-patient numbers, and reach their income goals.

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