Meeting the modern online needs of supported dentists
Most dentists do not graduate dental school as information technology gurus. Likewise, most do not have extensive experience with online marketing or know how to create the best online image. But when managing the business aspects of a dental office, applying effective online marketing is a necessity in this day and age.
That is where Heartland Dental comes in. As part of the organization’s non-clinical support, Heartland Dental features a team of online marketing professionals to offer support and education in all things internet. With this, supported dentists do not need to be information technology or online specialists; they have access to a team of professionals who can make the necessary suggestions and provide the necessary tools.
“No matter what industry you are in, having an online marketing presence is essential. This is true for dentistry as well,” explained Sarah Easter, Online Marketing Manager at Heartland Dental. “Everyone is online, including patients and prospective patients of supported offices. As they can work online, shop online and communicate with friends and family online, they are looking for the right dentist online now more than ever.”
Because we are now an online society, dentists must represent themselves as effectively as possible on the web. This starts with visibility. If patients are searching online for a dentist in their area, but an office’s website shows up on the seventh page of results, it will not matter how attractive that website is because they may not see it. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. By identifying specific keywords that prospective patients are using in searches and utilizing these keywords efficiently in the content of a dental office website, the Heartland Dental web team can help increase the chances of supported websites showing up at the top of search rankings. Certainly, many other factors affect page ranking as well (quality of content, structure of website, amount of backlinks, proportion of keywords and more), so the web team works to accommodate these areas also.
Online Marketing Manager at Heartland Dental
Since SEO is affected by website architecture, the design of supported office websites is also key. There are many elements that make up an ideal website. For dental office sites specifically, they need to be welcoming to patients and prospective patients, attention drawing, user friendly, clear and beneficial. In researching and using proven methods, the web team designs supported office websites to incorporate all of these elements. The websites feature clear, informative content, as well as straightforward navigation and organization.
Now in the New Year, the web team is taking steps to advance the efficiency of their support even further. They have partnered with Acquia, a software company providing services and support for web content management. With the content management services provided by Acquia, the web team can streamline the creation of supported websites, allowing more time to advance the functionality of these sites.
“As Heartland Dental’s footprint and network continue to grow, more and more web support is needed. With the services provided by Acquia, we can accommodate this growth, create and maintain more office sites and still effectively support all existing sites,” added Easter.
Partnering with Acquia is only one of the recent advancements taken by the web team. The team has also initiated a partnership to feature patient comments and reviews directly on supported office websites. This process will give prospective patients an accurate representation of a supported office. In addition, steps have been taken to ensure supported office sites are mobile device compatible.
These advancements are only the beginning. As Heartland Dental progresses into the future, the web team will evolve as well – discovering new ways to best support online needs.