Your Patients (and Website) Will Thank You for Doing This.
Any successful dentist can tell you that dental patient engagement is a core element of a thriving practice. Patients are driven by the experience you provide them while in the dental chair. At the same time, your dental practice is driven by the patients who purchase your services. It’s a mutually dependent partnership.
Keeping an open channel of communication between you and your patients goes beyond face-to-face interaction; your online presence is just as important to remaining consistently available to them. Posting content on your website via blog posts can be a powerful tool to boosting patient engagement online. After all, the tools are available–why not use them to your advantage?
Let’s look at some ways you can master dental patient engagement via exciting online content.
As a patient who isn’t exactly enthusiastic about facing the dental chair, I tend to do some pretty heavy online research before a procedure, just to mentally prepare myself for the challenge ahead. The first place I usually visit for some info is my dentist’s website. This is why one of the best ways to initiate engagement with your dental patients is ask them questions. During visits, find out if there’s any particular part of their procedure they want to learn more about. Asking questions will show that you are concerned for your patient’s oral health and comfort when visiting you—and that’s an element that will encourage them to choose your services in the future.
Side note: Make sure you create some solid service area pages within your website so that your clients–both potential and current–can reference when seeking information on a service you offer. In my past searches for local dentists online, I came across many dental websites that don’t provide information on the services they offer. As a concerned patient, that just makes me want to move on to a dentist who does provide that information.
Use social media to share new content updates.
It’s 2015, folks. It’s very hard to find someone who does not use the internet to look for answers to their questions. Social media is a tool that every business should be using to help engage their audience. Dentistry IQ published a sweet infographic with some tools on the ideal words to use to increase engagement when sharing your content on social media.
Turn patient experiences into insightful blog posts.
Every dentist has experienced their fair share of challenging cases, like a patient who was too afraid to face the dental chair or a desperate patient in need of treatment for a dental emergency. These are experiences that you can use to provide your clients with some professional insight.
Now, I’m not encouraging you to divulge specifics here, because that would be a confidentiality no-no. However, creating anecdotal blog posts of some of your more challenging cases (sans patient names) and what you and your team did to reach a resolution for the patient can showcase your practice’s sense of initiative. It also shows empathy, a huge driver in helping consumers reach decisions on products and services. From a website standpoint, creating content that encompasses these golden traits is a dental patient engagement plus, since potential clients are looking for a dentist who’s “been there, done that” and cares about sharing their experiences with their audience.
Provide the latest 411 in your industry.
Is your practice utilizing modern dental equipment (such as 3D imaging software) to perform procedures? Any exciting dental breakthroughs that can make your patient’s experience more comfortable? Engaging with your dental patients by keeping them informed of the latest dental industry news can help establish you as a go-to in your target location. Best of all, if your practice has implemented any of these services, publish content to let people know. Look into dental industry websites such as Dentistry Today and Medical News Today to get some inspiration for some informative blog posts.
Your Patients Will Thank You For Your Engagement
So, we’ve established that dental patient engagement via online content can help you increase website traffic and referrals. Here’s a little secret: it’s only one of many ways you can increase exposure on your website. The content you publish on your website should always be SEO driven, so the audience you’re trying to target can actually find your website on search engines. Content optimization is key.
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