Online directories are probably the last thing in mind when you are thinking about diversifying your dental practice’s marketing efforts. It is the same for many small business owners too, missing out on an opportunity to increase their online presence and customers to find their services easily.
Part of the reason is that they associate online directories with traditional paper directories, where one had to manually look up a business, contact address, and so on. While online directories contain such business information too, there’s so much more that they can do for your dental practice.
Another reason is that most people do not understand how online directories function, beyond submitting business details. This article will answer these questions along with some of the reasons why dentists need online directories.
What Is an Online Directory?
As the name suggests, an online directory is a site where you submit important business information such as the name, address, and phone number (NAP), social profiles, products, directions, among others. This way, when a prospective customer searches for the same services you offer either through branded or non-branded keywords, this information is easily accessible.
If you have ever searched for restaurants, malls, or other places near you, then you are familiar with the power of online directories. It is also common for a business to appear in such results even without the owner having claimed their listing because search engines might source and combine this info from websites and social media profiles.
Why Do Dentists Need Online Directories?
Whether you just opened your dental practice or are fully-fledged, online directories can help dentists with the following:
Brand Exposure and Awareness
If your dental practice is listed accurately in multiple online directories, then people are definitely seeing you when searching for similar services. This is known as brand exposure.
Prospective customers who are more likely looking for immediate services will have your practice at the back of their mind and may even contact you to book an appointment.
Generating Quality Traffic
Unlike other topics such as entertainment, most people looking up dental practices and related searches probably have a tooth problem. This means that the visitors seeing your information that has been pulled out from online directories are qualified leads.
Similarly, if they click on your listing to learn more, they are likely to consider hiring your services.
Increasing Conversion Rates
Statistics show that nearly a third of local searches have a purchase intent. What does this mean for your local dentist practice?
Claiming a local listing in an online directory will expose your business to customers who are looking for dental services near them and are likely to contact you due to location convenience.
Online directories serve as additional backlinks to your website, blog, and social media profiles. This is one of the top factors that search engines consider when deciding which sites to rank higher in the results.
Further, adding accurate, matching, and correct information in multiple listings can prove to search engines that you are a genuine and authoritative dental practice. However, not all online directories promote your SEO, and some can actually hurt your practice’s marketing efforts. Getting dental directory listing help is an assured way of appearing in the directories that promote your business.
Claiming online listings is ideal for all sizes of dental practices because it is cost-effective and less time-consuming. There are several free web directories while others work on a freemium basis.
If you are just starting and working on a tight budget, you can rely on online directories to provide all the above marketing benefits for your practice. Dentists who have been practicing for years can also use web directories to have more visibility and customers.