So far in our discussion about the 3 Pillars of Attracting Patients Online we have talked about the importance of a professional dental website and the need for a strong online reputation. Today we will look at the third piece of the puzzle that will set your practice up to attract a lot of new patients online. This final piece essentially puts your business on the online map and helps potential patients find your practice. As great as your website may be, and as great as your online reputation is, if patients don’t find your business when they search for dentists on Google, they can’t choose you. Remember, about 8 out of 10 people use search engines to find local businesses, so if you want to grow your practice you’ve got to be where people are looking. It’s as simple as that. So what is this final piece of the puzzle? … Well, it may sound odd, but it’s a presence on other websites.
A presence on other websites you say?
While Google is the most searched website online, it’s not the only place that your business needs to be listed online. In fact, one of the biggest factors that Google uses to determine how to rank local businesses is how often a particular business is mentioned elsewhere online. Generally speaking, the more your practice is listed on various websites, the more likely your website will rank highly on Google (assuming everything else is equal). Think of it as votes for your business. The more votes you have, the more likely you are to be listed high on Google. So it’s in your best interest to get your business listed on lots of websites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, Google+, etc.
So how do I get listed on other websites?
There are lots of strategies for getting businesses listed on other websites, but we’ll assume you’re new to this, and we’ll just focus on the low-hanging fruit. And really, unless you’re in a very competitive market, the low-hanging fruit is usually sufficient to beat out your competitors
So, my recommendation to you is to start with popular directory websites. These are websites that are made for gathering and curating business information, such as Google My Business, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Health Grades, and White Pages. To list your business, all you have to do is visit their website and fill out a form with your business details and then request to be added to their directory. That’s it. Very easy. There’s nothing technical or difficult about it. It just takes time. You’re just filling out questions about your business on tons of different websites.
As your business begins to develop a wider presence on various websites, it signals to Google that your business is credible. The more votes for your website, the more credible your business appears. And when you’re perceived as credible, your website ranks better and allows you to reach more patients. So that’s one great benefit of getting listed on credible third-party websites.
But there’s also another really big benefit to being listed on third-party websites, which is that new patients can find you directly through third-party sites like Yelp or Angie’s List. Many people go directly to those sites to search for dentists. But if you’re not listed there, there’s no chance you’ll reach those patients.
Also, look at what happens when you type “dentists Milwaukee” into Google, you get directory sites like Yellow Pages popping up on the first page. And guess what, people click on those sites. If your website is listed there, great. You have a chance of connecting with that patient. But if your website is not listed there, you’re not getting that business. So by being listed on third-party sites you give yourself a much better chance of reaching a much larger pool of customers.
So being listed on third-party sites is a win-win. The more “votes” for your site, the better your site will rank and the more patients will find you. And the more listings you have on popular third-party websites, the better your odds of reaching new patients on those sites. Win. Win.
As for sites that you can sign up on, there are lots of FREE sites like Google+ and Bing Places and Yelp. City-specific websites are great too. You can find many online. But if you’re looking for suggestions for sites to sign up on, shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your practice’s details and I’d be happy to provide you with some sites that are tailored to your practice and target market.
Hopefully, you’ve found our 3-part series on attracting patients helpful. If you want to grow your practice, of if you’re an office manager and you want to be the rock star employee who helped bring in lots more patients, then please be sure to read through the 3 Pillars of Attracting Patients Online. Then start working through the suggestions. This recipe has generated thousands of qualified leads and customers, and it will work for you to as long as you commit to putting the pieces in place. As Vince Lombardi once said, “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” So with that, good luck and thank you for reading.
BIO: Hi I’m Josh Fulfer, and I help small businesses connect with local customers. My company is KVF Marketing, and I specialize in online marketing with an emphasis in high-value lead generation, website design, and search engine marketing. I work with businesses such as dentists and attorneys and help them leverage the internet to reach more customers.