Occasionally updating your website, social media, or blog posts is merely maintenance. To succeed in today’s market, orthodontists need to be proactive and assertive, meaning you need to own your online presence. Fortunately, improving your digital marketing activities is both easy and will help your practice thrive and grow.

Owning Your Online Profile

The fact is your website is the first point of contact many people have with you online, so it’s the best place to start. Well-designed websites provide pertinent information about who you are, what you do, and why people should trust in your orthodontic services. Answer their questions with these pages:

About: This page provides much of the general information about your practice. Use compelling and creative content to share the unique story behind your business.

Bio: Reassure potential patients by showing them that you’re qualified to provide the best orthodontic services in your community. Your bio page should offer information about yourself—where you’re from, how many years you’ve been a practicing orthodontist, etc, and your credentials. Be sure to share where you earned your degree, any certifications you have earned, and ongoing education you have completed. Since your staff interacts with your patients as much as you do, be sure to include pictures and mini-bios of them on this page, as well.

Services: The various services you provide help set you apart from your competitors. Your services page should list all the services you offer as well as detailed explanations of each. Also including a list of frequently asked questions with answers helps provide important information.

Contact: This is the most important page for converting users into long-term clients. Make sure to include the following:

  • Your practice’s address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Social media links
  • Directions to your office

Even though some of this information sounds like “Website 101,” you’ll be surprised at the number of business owners who are underutilizing their website presence. If each page of your website lacks a wide variety of helpful information, you’re missing out on this very crucial online marketing opportunity.

Do yourself and your business a favor and update your website ASAP!

Owning Your Online Reputation

Your online reputation is an important part of an overall marketing strategy. As a professional orthodontist serving the dental needs of your community, you want positive reviews to come up when someone Googles you. The easiest way to ensure that you’re making the best impression online: Search for your practice on Google.

Type in the full name of your practice in the Google search bar and read everything that comes up in organic search. If there’s anything that you don’t want the community to see—old photographs, unprofessional blog posts, comments, etc—don’t panic! You can easily combat this in the next steps.

  1. Create compelling content. Adding a variety of positive, professional, and informative content on your website helps improve the image you want to portray of yourself and your practice. Doing this also nudges the negative content you found in search engines to the less-trafficked second- and third-page results.
  2. Manage multiple social media networks. Having multiple social media accounts increases the chances of people finding the content you want them to find. Take the time to create various social media accounts—Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, etc—and fill them out. Also, add new content as often as possible, even if it’s sharing a picture or a short comment.
  3. Separate professional from private. This is easy. Don’t post any content, comments, or pictures on your website and social media accounts that you wouldn’t want your community to see. Have separate social media accounts for your personal use. Remember only to add friends and family to these accounts, and set your privacy settings as high as you can to avoid potential security leaks.

Owning Your Online Visibility

Having a highly visible online presence helps tell your story and build your brand. It also allows you to communicate directly with your patients, who will often share positive experiences with your business on their accounts for all their friends and family to see. All of this results in positive gains for your reputation in the community.

Here are some ways to increase your visibility online:

  • Launch a blog. You’re the orthodontics expert in your community. Share your tips and suggestions for proper oral health on a blog.
  • Promote your blog through social media. The best way to share the information on your blog is to promote it on social media. Share brief descriptions and links to each of your blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts and enjoy the increase in blog traffic.

Andrew W. Skorobatckyj, DDS, is an orthodontist in Parma, Ohio. Skorobatckyj received his DDS from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Dental Medicine and went on to Nova Southeastern University for orthodontic specialty training. He is also an assistant clinical professor of orthodontics at CWRU, and a member of many local and national orthodontic and dental association.