Don’t rely on Facebook as your main public landing-page
During a recent conversation with a group of dentists, it came to light that they had been advised that a Facebook business page would work better than a website for attracting new patients. They were told to dispense with a website and put their budgets fully behind Facebook marketing.
Based on this incorrect information, they were considering setting up a free Facebook business page and trying to use this as their main public-facing landing page. Whilst a well-managed Facebook page is important for a business, it certainly can’t take the place of a professionally developed website as I’ll illustrate below.
There is no doubt that social media marketing is becoming more established and indeed should be part of the online marketing strategy for dentists looking to harness the power of the web to attract new customers. However, it is still just one component within the overall strategy and certainly cannot stand-alone.
Here are the main reasons why your dental website is still the main hub for acquiring new patients online.
- Over 60% of consumers used a business’s website to research their service offer and to initiate initial contact in 2016. This actually rose on the figure from 2015, even with the increasing popularity of social media. So the value of websites continues to grow. It is important to remember that even where users find your business via social media or even via the local results in Google, the vast majority still click through to the website to learn more.
- SEO is still a big deal – the vast majority of people who are looking for new services, including those seeking a new dentist, do so via search engines; primarily Google. Way more than via social media or indeed any other online channel. Increasingly important are the “local” or “map” results – and much of the influence for which businesses appear here is related to their websites. By establishing and maintaining a high-quality website which is linked to and/or referenced by third-party sources, you stand a great chance of gaining a prominent ranking position in Google – and this is still where most of the high-quality new patient enquiries come from.
- Over a third of all people recently surveyed suggested that they wouldn’t even consider a business unless it had a professional website to reference. Remember that you can showcase your services on your site but also patient testimonials and an aggregation of reviews you’ve received – this is exactly the kind of information (and trust) people are looking for when deciding who to do business with. The information and third-party proof you can provide via your website is way more than a stand-alone Facebook page.
- Flexibility – a website is way more flexible than a social media channel when it comes down to a detailed presentation of your services, facilities and successes. Whilst you can certainly post to Facebook, Tweet to Twitter and so forth to announce these aspects of your business, you can’t easily form an ever-present record of what you do via those channels. Your main online reference is your practice or personal website.
Whilst social media continues to grow in popularity and, when used correctly, can bring new patient enquiries, your dental website is still your primary hub for new business acquisition and the library of information users will seek to reference before they elect to come to you for dentistry. Without the underpinning foundation which your website offers, you cannot expect to develop and build a comprehensive web presence. So start with your website first and then develop the additional channels to reach out from there as illustrated below:
For a no-obligation discussion about establishing a new website for your own practice and how social media integrates within a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, please call Dental Media on 01332 672548.Google+