Ninety percent of patients currently search online to find their new dentist–either to find a new practice or to confirm a referral. Patients aren’t just searching for a “dentist near me” and choosing the first option–they’re closely combing through the Internet before they decide to book an appointment.
Before calling you, a new patient has likely done extensive research on your website, reviews, social media and more. Today, we dive into your prospective new patient’s journey and all of the touchstones they examine before scheduling an appointment with you.
The Patient Experience: Finding a New Dentist
In the digital age, there are more channels than ever for patients to find your practice, learn more about you and ultimately convert.
Searching for a “Dentist Near Me”
Everything starts with a simple “Dentist near me” query in Google. With how quickly Google can return information, a practice with a well-optimized digital presence and investment in local SEO immediately comes out ahead.
The more places you can show up on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), the better. Primary real estate options include Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads, Google Map ads and your Google Business Profile.
Exploring Your Website and Seeing What You Offer
Potential patients want both quality information that answers any questions they have and a fast, streamlined user experience from your dental practice website. This includes easy and efficient navigation, informative content, professional photos of your doctors and staff and quick site load times.
Reading Your New Patient Reviews
Reviews from current patients matter. Reading feedback from people who actively visit your practice influences prospective patients. If you have a consistent stream of positive reviews that you respond to personally, this will speak volumes.
Communicating With You Via Live Chat
Patients appreciate 24/7 convenience, and live chat is an excellent example of this. If your practice is closed for the evening, a potential new patient with a question about insurance or services can get the answers they need from a live person.
Scrolling Through Social Media
Your social media presence allows you to showcase your practice personality and brand. If a patient sees authentic content and organic images of you and your staff in and outside the office, they’ll feel a personal connection to you which further establishes trust.
The Patient Experience: Visiting a New Dentist
You’ve gotten your prospective patient to book an appointment with you. Now it’s time to sell them on staying with your practice.
Scheduling an Appointment Online
While phone communication will always be important to patients, modern website features like online scheduling, online bill pay and the ability to fill out any medical forms online show them you care about their busy lifestyle and want to simplify dental treatment. They’ll remember your consideration of their needs.
Following Up With a Patient and Modernizing Their Experience
If your patient communication system allows you to text patients, you can both text and email them reminders and confirmations about appointment dates and times. If a patient forgets to confirm via text or email, call them.
Staying in Touch After Their Appointment
Immediately following a patient’s appointment, send them a review request while their experience is fresh. You can also provide patients the appropriate links to follow your practice on social media.
Why the New Patient Journey Matters to Your Dental Practice
Patients expect a personalized, thoughtful, intentional dental experience every time–both in your office and online. If they see anything less impressive, they’ll continue to search until they find the right dentist.
With this in mind, it’s imperative you familiarize yourself with what patients are looking for during their research and excel in those areas.
Audit Your Digital Practice Presence to Understand How Patients Find You
To best understand your new patient journey, try test-driving it yourself. Simply Google “Dentist near me” and explore what you find across the Internet.
Digital Factors Garnering The Most Attention:
- What pops up in the search results
- Ease of navigation and depth of information on the dental practice website
- Personal touch of social media channels
For a more in-depth look at how your practice’s business listing appears across the Internet, use our complimentary Business Listings Scan.
Need Help Creating a New Patient Journey that Grows Your Patient Base?
At Whiteboard Marketing, we specialize exclusively in digital dental marketing solutions for dentists across the nation. Since 2005, we’ve worked with an elite group of clients to refine and implement conversion strategies that grow both your patient base and practice revenue. Schedule a consultation call with our team to learn more today.
Written by Anna L. Davies, Digital Marketing Specialist at Whiteboard Marketing, with assistance from Brittanee Anania and Brady Stagg, Senior Account Managers.