As dentists, your most valued number has always been 32, or the total number for a complete set of teeth. But there are now also other numbers and figures to consider with the Internet being such a big part of people’s lives. Here are some quick stats to chew on:
- 8 out of 10 say they began looking for health or medical information, as well as doctors or health professionals at a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
- 72% of users say they looked or health information online within past year.
- 35% of adults say that at one time or another, they have gone online specifically to try to figure out what medical condition they or someone else might have. We call them online diagnosers.
- 46% of online diagnosers say that the information they found online led them to think they needed the attention of a medical professional.
- 53% of online diagnosers followed-up with medical professional after online diagnosis.
- 52% of smartphone owners gather health info and health-related services on their phones.
- 34% of people have read about someone else’s experiences with medical issues online
People are looking online more for health services and resources, and they will obviously go for the ones that are most visible to them when they search. Your dental service can be more known within your local area, and there are a few steps to take to market yourself better (you might also want to check out our Online Marketing Tips for Your Dental Practise). But it’s important to also remember to not just cater to a portion of potential patients as people from all walks of life are constantly looking for help with their oral hygiene every day.
What does this mean for you?
The Internet has become such a hub for information that people will constantly use it to look up any curiosity they have on dental medical conditions or treatments. They are most likely to search for any solution to whatever medical issue, dental or otherwise, that they have. And these people, who looked online to diagnose a condition, are most likely to follow up with a medical professional. So why not be more visible to them and show you can help? Unless people know you specifically by name or place, they are going to start with search engines. In your case, they are possibly looking for anything related to dentistry. In fact, eight out of ten people start looking for dental assistance through search engines. If we’re going to put that in familiar terms, that would mean in a room of 32 people, at least 25 or 26 of them will be starting from Google, Yahoo! or Bing. If you don’t have a proper website just yet, you can always put yourself in local directories like Yelp or the Yellow Pages. You also want to get in the good graces of potential patients, so you need to generate buzz. As directories also work as aggregators of reviews made by different people who go to a business or service, leaving a good impression on patients would, in turn, getting a good review from them. Think for a moment not as a dentist but as patient browsing online. When you see different dental services to choose from, are you likely to choose the one that offers cheap services but has three star reviews, or the slightly pricier clinic but with glowing five star reviews? This is the importance of pushing the positive reviews forward in these sites. Consider the two earlier chewed on points: 72% of people looked up health information within the past year and among that percentage, a little over half them (52%) used their smartphones to do so. This means that that unless they’re at home and have access to a desktop or laptop, there’s an equally good chance that your potential patients are looking for your services on a mobile device. Why is this significant? Many websites are properly designed and laid out for desktops and laptops, but do not have a corresponding mobile version to them. When you look at those figures again, this would be great for the 48% of patients that don’t use their phones, but can be problematic for the other 52%. Your website cannot just appease one solid half of potential patients just because it is not properly formatted for their preferred device. If you want your dental practice to be known online, you need to have a desktop-friendly and a mobile-friendly website in order to have a wider, compatible reach where people can quickly get the information they need to contact you. Now it’s possible that you could be shaking your head at any of the things just mentioned. You might not have an entirely mobile compatible site, a local directory listing with good reviews or even a properly managed website that would turn up when people searched online. However, there’s no need to worry like you have a bad cavity if that’s the case. Unlike tooth decay, this situation can still be fixed entirely even if you address it late. There’s a lot that you can do to expand your reach online and make yourself visible to people when they search for oral hygiene care. We offer services that will help build your reputation, establish your social media presence, let local directories know who you are, and make you visible and rank in search engines. As we said earlier, people are always looking out for their health, and if you can be the one that provides them the dental service they need, you can start by letting them know that you exist when they search for help online. Dentists know that tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the entire human body. So if you’re ready to have an online presence that’s as solid as enamel, fill out a form today or call us for an appointment.