Your practice’s digital existence
It’s always worth taking time to consider, assess and reevaluate your practice’s digital existence. It is vitally important to take time to consider what is working for you, what isn’t, what could be better, what has had significant impact on your business. The digital aspects of your practice are as important as the physical aspects. Secondary to excellent care, an impressive online presence is probably the most fundamental way of encouraging patients through your door.
To start, perhaps consider the below questions:
- Do I have a smart, functional website?
- Is it working to the best of its ability ie, is it doing everything it could be doing for my practice?
- Am I using social media to aid business?
- Is my digital presence what I want to reflect my practice?
These are just the basic ideas you should be considering. If you have a website you will have spent money on it, so make sure it is working for you! Go through it, look at pageviews, discover what people do and do not like, clear out anything that is outdated. For example, any expired offers, anything no longer relevant. Just as you would not have an untidy practice, do not have an untidy website, it looks unprofessional.
The right representation
Have a think about what you would like your website to be doing and assess how much impact it has had on your practice (ie, new patients through your door). Your website is your biggest commercial asset in terms of promotion and marketing. Make sure it is smart, aesthetically pleasing, functional, intuitive and interactive. Make sure browsers can easily find contact details or book an appointment. Promote special offers and inform patients about new treatments. Most importantly make sure it represents you and your practice to the highest standard. It is unequivocally associated with both and therefore must be afforded due attention and care.
If you are not using social media, use it! It is a free marketing tool and an effective one at that (if used properly). If you have never delved into the world of social media make sure you do so. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc. can be hugely effective tools in your marketing arsenal. Set up a practice Facebook page and Twitter account. Use these to promote your work, new offers, exciting new technology.
A good social media presence reflects good business practice. It is a way of interacting with patients old and new. Make sure your social media is informal, exciting but also professional. Join Linkedin and communicate with other professionals. Linkedin allows you not only to make business contacts but to find out what is hot in the world you work in. It is a key business tool.
Consider my last question: ‘Is my digital presence what I want to reflect my practice?’ There are many more ways to use the online world to enhance your practice but please at least consider these when you come round to your end of year summation. The changes you implement could make the difference when you head into 2016.
If you’d like to speak to an expert in this field you can call Charles Southey, operations director at Digital Results, who works with dental practices and dental companies to maximise the performance of their websites and online marketing. Visit www.digital-results.com or call 0800 688 9810.