Uncovering the “how” in your patients’ discovery process is critical to the future of your practice. The better you understand the “how”, the more adept you’ll be at bringing new patients in the front door.
To help you uncover the “how”, we’ve done some research surrounding the typical person’s journey from prospect to paying patient.
Here are the five steps every person takes when searching for a new dental practice.
Step 1 — Search Google for Nearby Dental Practices
Patients start their journey searching Google for dentists in their area. People rarely go beyond the first page of their search results, which means if your practice doesn’t show up on page 1, you’re in trouble.
- 97% of search engine users find local businesses on Google
- 82% of smartphone users conduct “near me” searches on Google
- 46% of all searches conducted on Google are seeking local information
- 90% of users say they are most likely to click on the top-ranking set of search results that populate for a local search
Step 2 — Read Your Reviews on Google
After noting the top dental practices listed in Google, people will begin examining reviews from previous patients on Google My Business.
- 64% of consumers read reviews on Google before deciding to contact or visit a local business
- 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation from a friend
Step 3 — Evaluate Your Practice on Yelp to Confirm Initial Findings
To confirm the validity of the results found on Google and Google My Business, people will often turn to Yelp to read additional reviews from previous patients about your practice. They will then weigh those reviews against the reviews left for your competitors’ practices.
- 74% of consumers will trust a business with positive reviews.
- 84% of consumers trust a Yelp review as much as a personal recommendation.
- 68% of consumers will form an opinion about your practice after reading between 1 and 6 reviews
- 90% of potential patients will read a review on Yelp before visiting a medical practice.
Step 4 — Visit Your Website
If your practice checks out on Google My Business and Yelp, you can expect patients to visit your website—they’ll click through the various pages, read about you, read your background, and read about the services you provide in relation to their desired dental outcome.
- 69% of consumers said that they were more likely to buy from entities with mobile optimized websites that are easy to navigate
- 9 out of every 10 visitors will leave a website that is difficult to navigate and fails to meet mobile optimization standards
Step 5 — Contact Your Dental Practice
Only after your practice has been thoroughly vetted on the Internet can you expect a person to reach Step 5—pick up the phone and schedule an appointment.
- 75% of mobile users that look for local businesses will visit in person within 24 hours