Dentistry And The InternetThe importance of one’s gums and dental health rarely comes into focus on any given day. Even the act of brushing one’s teeth is superimposed with thoughts of matters more pressing to be faced as the the day progressed. So how is a dentist to place his proverbial shingle such that a prospective patient can take note? How too, to keep this as cost effective and unobtrusive as possible? The solution presents itself within the cradle of leading edge technology.

History Behind Internet Presence

A brief history of the internet is in order, especially its reach. The internet will be accessible to three billion people within the next four years, up from a almost half that just two years ago. What is even more impressive is the rate of mobile connectivity that is moving at a faster pace. When the internet was in its early infancy, it lacked a critical component. The ability to search. It’s common knowledge that the likes of Yahoo and Google, forever changed that fact and with it, the landscape of the internet, information and commerce. The internet provides –

• superior reach;
• definable footprint – global or just citywide; and,
• transparent access to information.

Search Engines

The advent, and prevalence of search engines, fanned the flame of utility throughout a population that appreciated the importance of information – timely information. Search engines changed the game and was as disruptive a technology as silicon chips were to vacuum tubes. Search engines propelled marketing at warp speed and for the first time connected people to what they needed when they needed it. The simple act of a person keying in “dentist” or “dental services” or whatever else they were in search of, meant the person was in the market for dental service – and thus a qualified prospect. That in advertising terms was a goldmine. Search engines, essentially accomplish the following. They –

• surgically isolate the customer by need and demographic;
• identify what people are in search of; and,
• provide an opportunity to be placed in front of a qualified prospect.

Before search engine marketing, dental services that wished to advertise targeted their messages en masse. Do the masses all need dental work today? Probably not. If they did, would the dental service be able to accommodate them? Certainly not. But, conventional advertising did not distinguish between a customer on his way to work with no need for dentistry and the person at the cusp of a root canal. It blanketed all with equal zeal. It was altogether a waste of resources as it was expensive; it was counter productive, as it numbed the target customer; and it was ineffective, since it sought people who were not in the market for that particular service.

Taking Advantage Of The Internet

The tools required to reach a customer effectively at the moment of their need, is invaluable, this is what makes dentistry and the internet come together. But the effort into setting up the system will detract from the professional’s daily routine. Setting up such a system and keeping it current and effective requires constant, sometimes daily, maintenance. Keeping on top of key phrases, managing search trends and keeping the site otherwise healthy requires constant attention. Its almost apt to say that a good dentist will not have himself as a patient. So to when it comes to internet presence, one should never go it alone.

photo credit: Pixabay Public Domain

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