How Your Dental Clinic Can Benefit from Reputation Management

If you’ve never heard of “reputation management” before it probably sounds like something from the entertainment industry – the kind of job done by someone working for a major film studio or record label.

But while the entertainment industry certainly has its fair share of people whose jobs consist of burnishing and protecting the reputations of the biggest stars, you might be surprised to learn that reputation management should also be a concern for dental clinics.

As a dental healthcare provider, your good reputation is a priceless asset – one that will be a natural draw for new patients. And in the age of online reviews, managing that reputation and making sure that it isn’t tarnished unfairly is something every dental clinic should take seriously.

While I have written before about the importance of online reviews for dental businesses of all sizes, in this post I specifically discuss the role of review management software – a key tool to help you bring your reputation management into the twenty-first century.

To that end, I’ll answer three of the most common questions that I get from healthcare providers who want to know more about reputation management services in general and review management software in particular.

1. What is Review Management Software?

Review management software is designed to help businesses of all kinds effectively handle their online reviews. According to a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle, negative online reviews can sometimes cause doctors to see significant drops in patient enrolment, which can snowball into catastrophe if left unchecked. 

Most review management software offers a variety of tools that help you acquire a greater volume of reviews on social media as well as industry-specific websites. It also helps you curate the reviews you receive from your dental patients and highlight the most positive ones.

Review management software usually doesn’t interfere with negative reviews but it does provide response options that allow you to manage reviews from unsatisfied patients to minimize the negative impact and ensure that the issues they raise are dealt with productively.

Perhaps most importantly, review management software takes a lot of the uncertainty out of review management and gives you the opportunity to easily oversee how your dental clinic is being talked about online.

2. How Does Review Management Software Work?

Review management software for dentists works on four distinct fronts by:

  • Increasing review volume
  • Highlighting the best reviews
  • Responding to negative reviews
  • Optimizing the placement of reviews

For example, this software helps you solicit more reviews by automating review acquisition campaigns via email and text, which means that you don’t have to organize your own campaigns every month or every two months. It also sends you and your team alerts every time a review is posted, which puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to responding to negative reviews and helps you mark up positive ones so that they will be more SEO-friendly, and consequently more likely to be seen by potential patients.

Finally, this software lets you track your performance over time, so you can get a bird’s eye view of how your patients are evaluating the service your clinic provides.

3. What Difference Does it Make?

While most dental clinic managers and owners intuitively understand that a good reputation is essential for growing their patient base, I often hear people ask whether review management software really makes a difference. After all, if you already have good word-of-mouth promotion, will a few reviews whether positive or negative, really make a difference to your business?

The truth is that as the Internet becomes a more and more integral part of how we gather information and make decisions, word-of-mouth is no longer enough – you also need strong online reviews.

According to recent data, 90% of consumers consult online reviews before visiting any business, while 88% of consumers value online reviews as highly as the recommendations of their friends and family. This doesn’t mean that a few mean-spirited reviews online can cancel out the testimonies of satisfied patients, as long as your positive reviews sound genuine and speak to the same positive experiences. 

One thing to remember is that bad reviews come easily, while good reviews don’t, so it pays to invest in software that encourages your patients to do the latter.

Patients, like any type of consumer, are more likely to actually take time out of their day to write a review if they had a bad experience. Essentially, these reviews act as a warning to others. The good news is that people who seek out online reviews are savvy and if they see one negative review stacked up against 20 positive ones, they will be able to read the numbers and understand that one bad review likely doesn’t speak to the overall service provided by a dental practice.

With a growing number of patients making decisions about which healthcare providers to choose based on what they read online, ensuring that your online reviews reflect the best service you provide is essential. And, the best way to garner positive reviews is to simply ask for them.

If you want to grow your business and attract new patients to your dental clinic, building a strong reputation, cultivating good reviews, and ensuring that negative reviews are not prominently displayed needs to be part of your strategy. Review management software is by far the best tool for making this strategy work.   

Gen Z At The Dentist: Challenges and Opportunities

How do I engage young people?

It’s a question I hear often and it can be a difficult one to answer. Usually the person asking works for a clinic that is seeing declining numbers and wants to find ways to draw in Gen Z patients who are starting new careers and trying to find healthcare providers.

While there is no one guaranteed method for attracting young patients, there are a few things you can do to make your clinic more attractive to them both as patients and employees. It all starts with understanding how this cohort differs from previous generations.

Who is Gen Z?

If you’ve only just gotten used to the fact that Millennials are about to replace the Boomers as the largest generation, hold on – a whole new generation is now reaching adulthood and understanding their needs is going to be essential if you want your clinic to grow.

According to most demographic researchers, Generation Z consists of those who were born between the mid-nineties and the mid-two-thousands. While most Millennials were shaped by the experience of spending the first years of their lives in a largely analog world, the Internet and the rise of social media was nevertheless a formative experience.

Gen Z, on the other hand, largely doesn’t remember a world before computers and the Internet. They are the first generation that can be considered true “digital natives“. Digital connection is the natural state of things for Gen Z and influences much of how they see and interact with the world.

As Dr. Jean Twenge explains in this video for Time Magazine, this key difference is having a profound effect on how Gen Z engages with the world.

Generally speaking, members of Gen Z share a set of distinct qualities. They tend to be:

  • Entrepreneurial
  • Digitally savvy
  • Plugged in
  • Independent
  • Hard-working
  • Interested in connection

If you want to attract young people as patients and as employees, you are going to need to understand how they think, what they value and where to most effectively make contact.  

How to Connect With Gen Z Patients

One of the key challenges any dental clinic will face when trying to connect with Gen Z patients is the fact that young people are not always as careful about their health as their older peers might be.

Having just started to live independent lives, many are too busy or too disorganized to book regular healthcare appointments. And if they are going to school away from home, they might not have a regular healthcare provider.

This means that dental clinics need to be more intentional about connecting with Gen Z patients and reminding them to make and follow up on appointments. For this reason, getting the right dental patient communication software can really increase follow through and help you meet your Gen Z patients where they are. Strong patient communication that results in reliable scheduling will go a long way in attracting and retaining Gen Z patients.

Making Gen Z Part of Your Team

Bringing in Gen Z patients is important, but if you want to serve Gen Z well as patients, it helps if you hire them as employees.

So how do you reach out to this key demographic and how can you make sure you are hiring the best candidates for the job? Here are just a few things that can help bring in more resumes from hard-working Gen Z applicants.    

  • Connect with them early: If you want to get the top talent working at your dental clinic, reach out to them while they are still finishing up a dental program. Many Gen Z students are applying for jobs before they are out of college, so making connections early on is important. 
  • Emphasize cross-training: One of the well-documented facts about Gen Z is that multi-tasking comes naturally to them.  Keeping them engaged and interested in how your clinic runs by giving them opportunities for cross training is an effective strategy. 
  • Find out what they want: More than previous generations, Gen Z knows it has options. Discovering what young candidates are looking for and what their expectations are is a great way to make sure your Gen Z hires are a good fit.
  • Be Decisive: Your Gen Z candidate is probably applying to dozens of jobs, so once you decide to hire them, let them know right away!

Gen Z is particularly competitive and they are focused on being the best, doing their best, and receiving the best incentives in return. Patience is not a strong suit with Gen Zers and they are used to having everything at their fingertips.

Whether you’re trying to land a Gen Z as a patient or as an employee, you need to act quickly as Gen Zers will move on to new opportunities if they don’t see immediate results and rewards.

As I have written before in this space, tailoring your marketing to the demographics you are hoping to reach is essential if you want to have a concrete impact and bring in new patients and employees.  

Whether you are trying to attract Millennials or the emerging Generation Z, appealing to new patients and new employees will come down to demonstrating that you care about their needs and are willing to adjust your dental practice to meet them. Remember, the younger generations are the future of healthcare and building a dental clinic that works for them is a great way to guarantee future growth!

 

Looking To Improve Your Quality of Service? Review Management Software Can Help

What price would you put on attaining a great reputation?

If you operate a dental clinic, your reputation in the industry is one of the most important aspects of your business. A good reputation will attract new patients and help you keep the patients you have – but it will also do a lot more than that. 

Earlier this summer I wrote about the value of reputation management software, and review management software in particular, as a way of increasing the growth and profitability of your practice. This week, I want to share some of the less obvious ways in which strong online reviews can make your dental clinic shine.

Yes, using review management software to curate your online reputation will help you build your patient base but, as you’ll see below, that’s not all it can do for you.

Good Reviews Attract Good Staff

Every dental clinic relies on a strong team of receptionists, assistants, managers, hygienists, and dentists in order to function well. Building a good team isn’t easy, and attracting talent can be a challenge, especially in competitive urban markets. Attaining as many positive online reviews for your clinic as possible will make it much easier for you to find passionate, dedicated staff. 

Most job seekers will read up on online to find out as much as they can about their potential future boss before they ever send in an application. If you don’t have much of an online presence, or if your online presence contains a lot of negative reviews, this can make attracting the right people even harder.

Conversely, if your clinic has received a lot of positive, public feedback online from genuine patients then potential employees are far more likely to consider working for you.

Reviews are a way for potential employees to discover a number of things about your practice. Here are some of the things patients may comment about in reviews:

  • Your Team – A strong team with the right work ethic will attract better candidates
  • Service – Potential hires want to know whether a practice is trying to improve people’s lives by providing great service and by making them feel welcomed and appreciated
  • Workspace – The physical space of a clinic is as important to employees as it is to patients and a comfortable, well-kept office with modern equipment will attract both
  • Office Culture – A positive office environment is an attractive quality for potential hires

Negative Reviews Give Opportunities To Show You Care

No one likes logging onto the review management component of their dental software and seeing that someone has left a negative comment criticizing their dental clinic.

But wouldn’t you prefer to know if your patients are having a bad experience, rather than remaining unaware of the impression your clinic is leaving in patients’ minds?

They say that ignorance is bliss but in the world of healthcare it is actually dangerous. Knowing how your patients feel about the service you offer is absolutely essential if you want to give them the best care possible.

For this reason, you should embrace negative reviews as an opportunity for growth. After all, you can’t get better if you don’t have reliable feedback about where you are missing the mark. 

One of the reasons why dental reputation management software is so helpful is because it alerts you to every review posted about your clinic, and gives you a variety of action options, putting you in the driver’s seat when it comes to dealing with disgruntled patients. 

According to some experts, when healthcare professionals respond to negative reviews, patient satisfaction can double, turning a bad visit into a good experience. So, make sure your review management software is set up so that you can respond to them as quickly as possible!

Tapping into Patient Reviews Helps You Fine-Tune Your Practice  

Earlier this year, I wrote about some of the ways you can improve the culture of your practice. Everyone working in dentistry should be striving to give patients a better experience and a better level of care. One of the best ways to find out where you can be doing better is by regularly reading what people have to say about you.

For example, if most of your patients’ reviews indicate their appreciation for your practice’s implementation of appointment management software, e.g. for convenient  patient confirmation or re-booking of appointments online, it indicates that your approach to booking is working. It also suggests that your patients are pretty plugged in which may lead you to adopt new digital tools to make your clinic even more accessible.

Remember, even when patients are happy with your service there are still ways that it can be improved!

Online reviews have rapidly become one of the most important factors in how patients decide on their health care options but this isn’t the only reason to take online reputation management seriously. Investing in review management software can also help you attract talented employees, respond to negative criticism in real time, and fine-tune the service that your dental practice offers. 

4 Ways to Increase Patient Satisfaction and Grow Your Dental Practice

Are your patients happy?

In our line of work, this question can’t be asked often enough. Patients are at the very heart of healthcare service provision, and if the patients are unhappy, we clearly aren’t doing our job.

Oddly, while dental practice owners and administrators frequently ask me how they can expand their services and attract new patients, I don’t often get questions from people who want to ensure that they are providing the best possible experience for their patient base.

This strikes me as strange because if you aren’t keeping your current patients happy you’ll probably struggle to attract new patients. It’s no secret that few advertisements for your practice will be as effective as having a large number of satisfied patients.

For this reason, you’ll want to keep the foundation of your clientele strong and ensure that overall patient satisfaction is not compromised as you expand your practice. If you want to build your patient base without negatively affecting legacy patients, consider these four steps.

1. Survey Your Patients

In order to find out how you can create a better experience and increase patient satisfaction, first you have to find out what your current patients think could use improvement!

Every dental practice has a different mix of patient types so when it comes to offering better service there is no one-size-fits all solution: a practice that primarily serves seniors will want to focus on different aspects of care than a practice that caters to Millennial patients or young families will.

If you are trying to expand your service to include a specific patient demographic, you will have to find a way to balance the needs of your current patients with the needs of the new patients you are trying to attract.

Surveys are one of the most reliable ways to find out what your current patients like about your service and what they think could be made better. The first step toward increasing patient satisfaction should always be discovering the reasons why your current patients are unsatisfied.

You can also invest in reputation management software to quickly and easily survey your patients and encourage them to leave reviews. Positive reviews and testimonials are the single best tool to promote your brand. Did you know that Millennial consumers trust word-of-mouth advertising (including testimonials) over traditional advertising by more than 700%?

The right reputation management software will not only help you better understand what your patients think of your practice, but will also allow you to share positive experiences to help you grow your practice.

2. Enhance Your Online Services

In the twenty-first century, one of the easiest and best ways to make patients feel more plugged in is by meeting them where they are: online. Software for dentists is quickly becoming an essential tool for practices of all sizes, as they make it a lot easier to automate patient registration, track patient needs and keep treatment recommendations from falling through the cracks.

Moving to a more expansive dental practice management software that includes automated patient communication is a great way to reach out to new tech savvy patients and offer more convenience to your existing patients.

Effective use of dental practice management software also reduces no shows and short notice cancellations – a sure sign that it is keeping patients plugged in and engaged with your practice. Patients who regularly make and honour their appointments see the value in the service you offer – lower frequencies of no shows and cancellations are an indicator of improved overall patient satisfaction with the added benefit that it reduces costly downtime.  

3. Focus on Experience as Well as Service

In the dental industry, we spend a lot of time talking about the level of service we are offering. But until recently, it was fairly unusual to hear someone talk about patient experiences.

As the late health industry executive and bestselling author Fred Lee outlined in the following TEDx lecture, given in Maastricht back in 2017, patients don’t just look to healthcare providers for a service, they look for an experience of care that goes beyond the simple transaction of receiving medical help. 

It is not a question of trading one experience for another: it is about viewing patient experience as an additional dimension of the economy of your dental practice. If you want to improve patient satisfaction while attracting new patients, you’ll need to rethink the entire landscape of the patient experience and be willing to make adjustments.  

Start with why patients came to see you in the first place – to either be assured that they are on the right track with their dental hygiene and/or to receive treatment for whatever is required. In fact, your treatment plan acceptance rate is another good indicator of patient satisfaction and of whether your consultations are hitting their mark.

4. Update Your Waiting Room

If you are like most dentists or dental administrators, you put in a lot of hours at your office. Over time, this can mean that you become less sensitive to the impression it makes on new patients.

For established dental practices that have been around for a long time, this can be a major problem: a waiting room that seems familiar and comfortable may seem shabby or depressing to a new patient. 

But while updating your waiting room is important for making a good impression, it is also a great way to improve the experience for your current patients. Simple improvements like purchasing new furniture, adding access to multimedia or changing the layout can go a long way toward making your patients feel at home in your practice.

In summary, patients that are unsatisfied with the overall experience you offer will be reluctant to book appointments, follow through on scheduled appointments or recommend your practice to family, friends and colleagues.

This means that improving levels of satisfaction among your current patients needs to be job number one for any practice that is trying to expand its patient base. Remember, happy patients are the best advertisement a dental practice can get!

4 Ways to Build a Better Website for Your Dental Practice

The importance of a strong web presence to the success of any dental practice cannot be overstated. This is why I’ve decided to write a follow-up article to one we published earlier this year on how to maximize your web presence with a strong site. This time, I’m putting a deeper focus on the technical side of things.

As I constantly tell my colleagues in the dental industry, it’s not enough to simply have a site anymore. In order to compete today, you must put in the work to have your online presence noticed and to ensure its relevance week after week and month after month.

Not every clinic has the money to allot big budgets toward paid advertising and so it becomes all the more vital to make organic efforts. But what many people don’t realize is that to achieve organic results, you need to understand what’s going on under the hood, so to speak.

To ensure your site’s success, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and/or use third-parties that specialize in improving the look and functionality of websites.

Luckily, there are many different ways to engage with users and to build your audience – read on to learn more about how to improve your dental practice website:

1. Update Your Site’s Look and Functionality

Internet content is evolving at an increasingly rapid pace and what looked good three years ago might not cut it today. A dated website won’t inspire prospective patients to take the next step and get in touch. The first step toward improving your site means conducting an overhaul.

The first thing you’ll need to do is to make sure that everything on your site is working as it should be. You’ll want to conduct a thorough audit of your clinic’s website, going through each page looking for:

  • Out-of-date content
  • Missing or poor-quality images
  • Plugins or themes that require an update
  • Broken links
  • Style or formatting inconsistencies

While this may seem like a lot of work, updating your website will pay off in major ways, starting by maintaining your relevance in the dental services marketplace.

You can also improve your site’s performance by checking your analytics – these will help indicate where you may need to make changes. This may seem like a hundred-dollar word, but this simple tutorial will show you the basics:

Once you’ve learned how to access and use analytics, you can start to track:

  • Which pages are the most popular
  • Which pages are engaging users and keeping them browsing
  • Which pages your users find uninteresting or unnecessary

2. Invest in Search Engine Optimization

Some companies swear by what’s known as search engine marketing, paid advertising such as Google AdWords that boost your site’s visibility through a cost-per-click model. While effective, this can get very pricey.

Search engine optimization (SEO) on the other hand tries to increase rankings organically. This is done by identifying which words are most associated with your field, and then using those words – or keywords as they’e called – to buff up your site’s content.

By sprucing up your homepage with keywords, and by running a regular blog (see below) that also includes keywords, your brand will slowly become tethered to the most popular search terms in your industry. This will help your practice climb to the top ranks of a Google search – making it easier to entice new visitors. Although it might seem obvious, make sure your website includes applicable keywords such as:

Dental Exam, Dental Emergency, Dental Cleaning, Teeth Polishing, Perio Scaling, Dental Implants, Teeth Whitening, TMJ, Mouth Guard, Root Canal, Tooth Extraction, Dental Crowns, Family Dentistry, Periodontics, Orthodontics, Oral Surgery, and Child Dentistry.

3. Start a Blog

Speaking of blogs, creating one that’s accessible through your website and posting weekly content will help you to connect with your audience about topics or issues relevant to your business. It also gives you a reason to spark engagement on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Furthermore, it humanizes your brand, allowing an authentic voice to come out and build brand loyalty. Finally, by including keywords like those mentioned above into your content, you’ll increase search engine rankings at the same time.

If you don’t already have a blog, it can be easier than you think to generate some great content. Here are a few basic blog topic ideas to help you get started:

  • Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Smile
  • 5 Tips for Improving Your At-Home Dental Routine
  • A Simple-to-Follow Guide on Teeth Whitening
  • 3 Signs That It Might Be Time to See Your Dentist
  • Does it Matter Which Tooth Brush or Tooth Paste I Use?

4. Maintain Up Time

Whether you’re a multinational corporation, a simple blogger, a not-for-profit organization, a news outlet, or a dental practice, traffic must reach your website otherwise it is partially closed for business. 

If you are using an unreliable service provider and your site goes down, you’ve effectively disappeared off the internet radar. Essentially, dental practice seekers can’t find or reach you when they need to – causing your credibility to plummet and making it seem to search engines like Google that you’ve received zero clicks or visits during that period and are therefore losing relevance.

Host your site with a credible provider – one who can ensure 100% up time guarantees as part of their hosting package.

I’ve talked before about cyber scamming, and the best way to stay safe is to find a hosting provider that can also help you protect your site from hacking attempts. While you should stay educated and regularly test your site for functionality, also make sure that your provider guarantees automatic updates and maintenance to prevent data leaks.

Staying up and running is integral to maintaining a strong reputation – especially for those who are looking to boost their SEO.

When it comes to websites, remember that a little goes a long way.

Hopefully, these tips will help get your practice noticed and engaging with more of your present and future patients. Continue to visit the ABELDent blog for more on this and other topics.

How a Well-Designed Website Can Help Your Dental Practice Thrive

Someone has just moved to a new city and is suddenly experiencing tooth pain that won’t go away. They need to find a new dental clinic, but how do they go about finding one and what criteria do they use?

If they’re like me, the first thing they’ll do is a quick Google search to see what dentistry options are out there. After checking out the websites of a few nearby clinics, they’ll probably book an appointment with the one that looks the most promising.

Once they’ve had a check up and are in the dental practice system, they’ll probably keep going back to this dentist by default unless they are truly unhappy with their service. This means that the clinic they selected online won a new client simply by having an accessible web presence.

Therefore, if you run a dental practice, designing an attractive website needs to be one of your top priorities. Here are a few ways that proper web design can turn digital visitors into real-life patients:

Design: Why it Matters

Making things look good online takes a lot of work and for the practically-minded healthcare professional it can all seem like a lot of extra effort. As long as you have all the necessary information on your website, why should things like videos or search engine results matter?

The truth is that good web design has a profound impact on establishing the trustworthiness and legitimacy of your clinic. A website that is able to quickly establish the credibility of your business through solid organization and attractive visual cues will dramatically improve the chances that increased web traffic will translate into new patients.

Content: How Much is Too Much?

This leads us to another frequently asked question – What kind of content and information should you put up on your website?

While there is no one-size-fits all web design solution, it is important to remember what kinds of information potential patients will be seeking. This includes service hours and location, but also any special services your practice offers.

It’s also important to balance different kinds of content. First time visitors to your website may be put off by large blocks of dense text, so try to incorporate visuals, diagrams, embedded videos and bullet point lists to keep things visually interesting.

Statistics show that engagement tools like video dramatically increase the amount of time users will stay on your site – and increase the likelihood that they will become patients.

In my own experience interacting with patients and clients interested in dental practice management online, creating a website that allows viewers to connect immediately with what is distinct about your service will help win their attention while providing them with the information they need to make an informed decision. This includes portraying a practice personality.

For example, if your practice name is ABC Dental, it is important to let prospective patients know who is behind the name. Make sure to provide detailed profiles of your dentists and at least some background on the rest of the dental team. The way you describe your dental team may have some influence on whether potential patients ultimately decide to check your practice out so give them a good impression of your services!

SEO Ranking: How Do I Get People to Notice My Site?

Setting up a great website is only the first step to attracting traffic. If you want to increase your number of visitors, you need to ensure that your site comes up on the first page of Google search results (try to remember the last time you went to the second page of Google!).

This isn’t always easy, especially if you aren’t regularly updating content. Before hiring a company that specializes in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you can take some initial steps toward increasing your Google rankings yourself by including more external links on your web pages and starting a clinic blog that will help you increase the amount of content you are posting – each of which make your site more likely to appear higher in a Google search.

Savvy business owners will also rely on a user-friendly web platform such as WordPress that allows you to easily curate what’s known as meta-data (a secondary language that you post behind the scenes) to heighten the ranking potential of your webpages.

Hidden keywords as well as special titles and descriptions can help your site climb the search engine results page, bringing more users to your site. The science behind it all is easy to learn and articles like this one will help you become SEO-literate in no time.

In summary, think about your clinic site as a way to make a good first digital impression on potential patients. With solid design, awesome content and a strategy to increase your Google rankings, your website can become a serious business booster!

Top 6 Ways Your Dental Clinic Can Cater to Millennials

Much has been written about the ways the Millennial generation is re-shaping the market for everything from taxicabs to diamond rings. But will this generation’s tastes and preferences really affect dental clinics? After all, everyone needs to have their teeth cleaned, right?

While dental clinics do offer a timeless service, I’ve heard a lot of concern from some clinics that are struggling to reach out to younger patients. Millennials approach healthcare in different ways than their parents did, so if you want your dental practice to continue to grow, it is important to find ways to connect with this segment of the market.

Millennials approach healthcare in different ways than their parents did, so if you want your dental practice to continue to grow, it is important to find ways to connect with this segment of the market.

Here are a few ways you can make your clinic more Millennial-friendly:

1. Invest in a Good Website

In order to attract Millennials as patients, you have to connect with them. Unlike their parents, Millennials much prefer being able to explore a dental clinic’s website before they get in touch to book an appointment, so make sure your clinic is searchable online and has an easy-to-navigate website.

And reaching Millennials isn’t just about creating a new public face for your clinic, it also requires a re-imagining of how to explain what services you offer and how you differentiate your practice from others.

2. Invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Millennials are natural born web surfers. In fact, because they are so Internet savvy, the digitally-minded Millennial generation relies on very specific keyword searches to locate the products and services they want.

In layman’s terms, SEO is the practice of encouraging Google’s ranking system to place your business higher than your competition in a Google search based on industry terms.

When a Millennial searches for ‘Dentist Toronto’ for example, Google displays links to the web pages it thinks are relevant and authoritative – which is measured mostly by analysing the number and quality of links from other web pages back to yours. Simply put, a person searching for services within your industry is more likely to find your homepage the more frequently other reliable web pages (including other pages on your own site!) are linking back to it.

Once they find your site, remember that Millennials want a variety of engaging content that is informative and emotive. Research shows most Millennial purchasing decisions are based on an emotional connection rather than a logical one. Furthermore, your site’s content should not be preachy, overly long or boring – if it is you’ll lose their interest. So, try to offer vibrant, fun content rather than a lecture on dental hygiene!

3. Update Your Social Media Marketing

As the following video explains, successfully marketing to Millennials requires different strategies and a different emphasis compared to marketing to Baby Boomers.

If you want to reach this segment of the population, simply tweaking your current advertising strategy will not be enough: you need to target Millennials specifically, and the best way to do that is by increasing your social media presence and strategically using tools like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

When it comes to reaching the under-forty market, no marketing tool is going to be quite as effective as social media, and paid social media marketing campaigns can be a huge boon to dental clinics that are trying to reach new patients.

4. Expand Your Digital Services

It’s also a good idea to make the scheduling, appointment confirmation and billing experiences as seamless as possible. Millennials like to request visits and confirm appointments online rather than in-person and they will prefer that bills and statements be available from a patient portal. Using practice management software with these capabilities makes it easy for dental offices to meet these expectations.

5. Recognize the Challenges They Face

As the American Dental Association has noted, only thirty percent of Millennials report having gone to the dentist in the past year, which is seven points below the national average. There are several factors driving this trend, but one of the most significant is the fact that Millennials are often not insured at the same rate as previous generations.

In order to attract (and more importantly, keep) Millennials as patients, you need to understand that broader economic forces are making it harder for them to afford regular care, and be sympathetic to this fact.

As Gary Radz noted in a piece he wrote for Dental Economics, Millennials aren’t kids anymore: as they begin to enter middle age and raise families of their own, they are becoming a key demographic for all healthcare-related businesses. And, the reality is that if you want to reach this growing market you need to do so on Millennials’ terms.

6. Don’t Expect Them to Pick Up the Phone

One of the key challenges for healthcare businesses today is figuring out how to adjust service to varying customer expectations. Older patients tend to prefer phone calls and paper, whereas younger patients prefer text and email attachments.

Attracting Millennials while keeping your older patients happy means tailoring service to individual customer preferences, which is why we’ve designed the ABELDent platform to make customization easy, so you can keep detailed notes on how each patient prefers to be contacted.

Millennials are the first generation of digital natives, so earning their trust and meeting them on their turf will require investing in new marketing strategies and new software. If you want to make your clinic more appealing to this audience, check out ABELDent’s dental management software to learn how it can help you achieve that goal.