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Your website can show prospects that you are the expert who can solve their problems. First, let me make something clear: Just because you have your degree, have a practice and have a website does NOT make prospective patients think you are an expert.
People want proof – or at least what they perceive as proof – that you are an expert.
How can you give them that proof?
Here are 5 ways you can show that you are an expert on your website.
- Post evidence from third parties that you are an expert. This could be a citation in a journal; a quote in a newspaper or TV news story; or interview in a specialty publication.
- Offer your book. It doesn’t have to be a long book. You didn’t even have to have actually written the book; it just has to have your name on it. Then make sure potential patients can order it through your website.
- Present in public. This could be a seminar at your office; a recorded webinar; or a speaking engagement at the local Kiwanis Club. Then make sure your website tells the dates and times.
- Get people talking on social media. People believe other people. If you can integrate a Facebook or Twitter widget into your page, do so.
- Write blogs. Blogging lets prospects know that you are engaged and gives you an outlet for showing your expertise.
If you are not blogging, you are missing out. I’m going to give you three ways that blogging helps the content of your website.
First, it is great for search engine optimization. I don’t mean keyword stuffing, either, where you just drop a bunch of keywords into sentences without really saying much. If you are writing about authentic topics that affect potential patients, then you will naturally use the terms they are searching for.
Second, blogs are a great way to educate patients before they ever come to see you. Having knowledgeable patients will weed out the window shoppers and tire kickers. Patients will come in with more realistic expectations about pain, time and cost.
Third, blogs are a great way for potential patients to get to know you. Blogs are a social media, as readers can leave comments and begin a dialogue with you and others. They also can share your blog with others via Facebook and Twitter if they find it particularly helpful.
The key with a good blog is to make sure the content is engaging and meets the readers’ needs.
How can your dental blog do that?
- Identify prospects’ pain points.
- Write about the procedures your want to perform and their benefits.
- Write to the patients you want to attract.
One other thing: try not to “pitch” too overtly. By telling prospects what you can do for them, you are encouraging them to come and see you WITHOUT asking them to come and see you. The occasional reminder that you are there for them or would love to hear from them or have an appointment just waiting for them is fine.
But using your blog to constantly hit prospects up for appointments will only turn them away.
Market Content Like the Media
The same goes for how good content on your website allows you to advertise your services as though they are part of the conversation. Content marketing – that is, distributing valuable, relevant and consistent information to attract an audience with the goal of driving profitable customer action – is nothing new.
The print, TV, radio and Internet media have been doing this for years. They provide content and leverage users’ desire for that content to sell advertisements to be placed with that content. So this is not earth-shattering or startling.
It is a new way of looking at your website. Your website is the content, and your services are the ads.
Deliver content that potential patients need and want. That may be how you can relieve their dental pain. That may be how you can alleviate their embarrassment. That may be how you can provide them the perfect smile. It may simply be your hours and a map to your office.
Regardless, prospects are coming to your website to get information of some kind.
Provide it. Give them informative web pages complete with good copy and videos. Write blogs that are interesting and engaging. Share content on social media that reflects the values and sensibilities of your practice. Build the audience to come to your website.
Then provide reasons that audience should choose you for your dental needs:
- Offer more content like reports and books.
- Showcase the services you offer – written in a way that emphasizes the problems that correct for patients.
- Provide special web-only offers, like discounted exams or free teeth whitening.
This change in emphasis from pitching your services to providing information goes back to putting the customer first. Do that, and you’ll attract more of the patients YOU want.