During most of the 90’s, the vast majority of dental practices did not have a web presence beyond standard entries on internet listing guides. However, having a web site today is an absolute necessity that offers many advantages that can make your practice more efficient and more appealing to your existing and potential patients. And a web site is just the start. Online marketing and communication services like Lighthouse 360 that integrate with your practice management software are becoming an indispensable part of a dental practice's online identity. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn should also be developing into essential elements of the your patient communication strategy. Practice videos on your web site are another easy way for prospective patients to find out more about you before making any decisions. Web sites and social media can also play an important role for dental continuing education institutions and lecturers.
When it comes to web site development, content is king and requires your direct attention. Educating patients about improved treatment modalities in this manner serves them better and makes your practice more productive as well. Controlling the message through WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) type software that allows a dental office to make changes in content on both its web site and social media pages affords ultimate flexibility. Promoting your web site through all of your printed materials is a must and all business cards should contain QR codes that will direct a smart phone or tablet to it as well as your Facebook page because more people are going online through mobile devices than ever before. Including these in any external marketing you may do (along with search engine positioning) is also a must, depending on the quality and quantity of new patients you are looking to attract. Many companies are out there to assist you with these endeavors.
After this course, the attendee should be able to:
- Identify the most important aspects of dental practice web site and social media page development, including content.
- Describe the ways these outlets are used to educate existing and potential patients about advanced treatment procedures.
- Discuss how to promote a dental practice's web site and its social media through printed materials and internal marketing.
- Understand how patient communication is enhanced through the use of integrated marketing and communication services.