No matter how hard you try, your orthodontic practice website might have difficulty competing against the search result success of those that provide business listings – local or industry specific ones.
So it’s great when a patient finds your practice, a small speck of sand on the enormous World Wide Web of beaches. You’ve done it!
Growing your ortho practice depends heavily on your ability to be found. Online presence is increasingly becoming something that you can’t ignore.
Why Online Listings Matter for an Orthodontist?
But what many, many providers don’t realize is that their business listing could end up being the thing that halts an opportunity for generating a new patient; if they aren’t actively claiming, updating and monitoring their presence on those business listing sites, new patients won’t keep searching.
Think about it: A patient finds you, calls the number listed under your name, and the recording tells them that the number is no longer in service. Do they jump back online to find an updated listing, or do they go to the next provider on the list?
Discover a few of the “big” business listing services, what you need to do to be included on these sites and how you can manage these listings for the best results. The results of your effort may surprise you!
The Big Listing Services
Three of the biggest listing services are Yelp, Google and Facebook. You may think that Google is “just a search engine” or that Facebook is “just a social media platform” but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Both of those sites are typically at the top of the listings when someone searches for a local business.
Luckily, you may already have profiles at both sites, so getting started will be easier. Yelp is a listing service and that’s it. In addition to serving as a standalone platform, Information on Yelp is often pulled up when potential patients search through Bing too, so it’s very important to be listed on this site.
To find the sites that matter, do a few online searches to see what people will find. “orthodontic in Sacramento” “find an orthodontist near me” “best orthodontist in Sacramento” “orthodontist reviews for Sacramento California”
How to Get Started
Take everything on the first page of results you found in your search, and find out if a) your name shows up, and b) if the information listed there is correct. For websites that pull business listings without needing any involvement from you (and there are often quite a few of these types of websites locally), claim them! They will typically allow you to identify yourself as the business owner, and take control of the information listed there. Sometimes you can pull in testimonials or pictures or bios for yourself and your staff.
For Facebook and Google, the key is simply to create your profile as a “business”, not as a private page. For instance, when you create your Facebook page as a business, you’ll have the option to add store hours, location and other information. If you don’t have the ability to do that now, take it as a red flag that something is wrong and you need to create a business page instead of operating from a personal page.
Yelp requires you to sign in and “claim” your business. However, they’ve made it easy. Visit https://biz.yelp.com and the site provides step by step instructions to claim your page. All three platforms have certain checks in place to make sure that only the business owner or someone who has been given permission BY the owner can create these pages, but it isn’t difficult, so don’t let it slow you down.
Managing Your Business Listings
It’s important not to “set it and forget it” when it comes to these business listing services. You never know what will change on the platform or with your listing, so it is important that you check out your listing regularly and make certain everything is accurate and up-to-date. Put this on your “to-do” list and follow up on each major site at least twice a year.
One last thing: Many of these listings will offer reviews of the business. Find yours, and address them. Are they good? If you have the ability to respond, thank them! You can even add something like, “We love referrals, so if you have anyone in mind remember that we offer a free ___ every time you send someone in!”
If they are negative, it is even more important to address them. If you want more assistance with dealing with negative reviews, you can find some great ideas in this eBook about marketing your practice with modern techniques.
Once you have a strong presence on the business listing sites, you will likely begin to acquire leads and perhaps even patients through these platforms. Building a strong relationship with each and every patient is your next challenge. Nearly every orthodontic practice can use some help with this task. Check out a a free demo of Weave and find out how easy it can be to build better relationships with every patient—no matter how they originally found your practice.