The internet is evolving tremendously and the good thing is that it is accommodating almost everyone. Businesses from almost all industries are striving to have online presence for various reasons such as marketing or selling their products and services online to reach a wider customer base. Some venture online just to keep in touch with their clientele by offering information about their offers and promotions, new products or to offer customer support. Having an online audience is considered a wise choice for any business. What of medical practitioners such as dentists, do they really need to invest on having an online audience? Most may not see the point citing reasons such as they cannot practice their profession online. But, is that a valid reason? Why do dentists need an online presence?One reason is, as we’ve noted, is the fact that the internet has evolved to accommodate almost everybody. Nowadays people spend most of their time online. Also, most people search online for various things including dental services they need. As a dentist, having an online presence will boost your chances of getting more patients. So, having an online presence is one of the marketing tactics that will help a dentist practice his/her profession since it will help you to be found easily by your clients.

How can you reach the online audience effectively?

• Create a Website

Having a website is one of the common ways to market your practice.  A simple, dynamic website will fill this need very well. A  Creating a premium website will showcase your professionalism to your clients and create a professional image. What info should be placed on the site? The website you create needs to have your education and profession qualifications and the services you are offering on a page. For clients to know the place you operate from you have to show the location and, if needed, you may include a map. It is normal practice for websites to have a ‘Contact Page’ and yours needs to have one too for clients to reach you. An e-mail address and/or a phone number will suffice. This may also help if you want those who’ve found you online to book for services.
• A Web Log (Blog)

If you want to interact with your online audience then having a blog linked to your website is good option. Here, you can write about anything related to dentistry. You may write about the various procedures you do or give meaning of terms in dentist’s jargon. You can also update your audience on the latest procedures and how beneficial they are. Remember that there are other upcoming dentists who would like to know more about the profession and your blog can be a good source of information. This is just a side benefit.
• Social Media

Social media sites are very popular and they are also good marketing grounds. There are millions of people who use these social media sites daily not only to socialize but also as their directories.  One advantage of these sites is that they are free to join. You may use these media to keep tabs with you audience just like you would use a blog but this is instant. You may use this platform to make announcements like offers, promotions or if you are relocating to new premises among other stuff.  There are a number of these sites but the popular ones are Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and Twitter. You may opt to use all of them or just choose the one(s) that will serve your purpose.  With Facebook, you have the option of marketing your page and posts to reach a target group by demographics. This will help you reach the target audience you want to offer your services to.
• Directories, Online Communities and Local Reviews

There is an array of directories that you can use to reach more people on the web. These are Google Plus Local, Yahoo! Local, Yelp and Bing Places. You may also search for other sites that you can post  classifieds.  Some of these directories have options where clients can write their reviews. This can help spread the word about your expertise which, in turn, will help grow and market your practice. Also, it will help if you are involved with the online communities of dentists where you can share opinions and grow your practice.  As we’ve seen, it is really a wise choice for a dentist to strive and reach the online audiences listed above. You will be able to market yourself to many people and also be abreast with the new practice.  This will help grow your practice greatly.

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