If you are using your website to attract new patients here is some good news. A recent study from Cobalt group found that 55% of leads generated from the Internet resulted in a sale. Now for the bad news. Only 10% of the 55% went to the “intended” seller.
These results were for car dealers however there are some lessons to be learned for dentists as well. The survey identified three different types on Internet prospect. I have adapted them to the dental profession.
Soft leads are potential new patients who are surfing randomly and may come across your name in a Google map or similar site. They have no particular reason to choose you and may simply click to your web page or Google landing page. To convert them to a solid lead you need to have a compelling “sticky” web page that gets them to call or e-mail for an appointment. If you can’t or don’t do this there are plenty of other dentists online and the potential new patient will simply click away. In fact Google will give a nice listing of “related places” right on your Google landing page. When this happens those people become part of the 90% that got away.
A targeted lead comes from a person who searches for a product and then finds you through a referral service. If you Google dentist you will see that most of the first page results are not for dentists but for vendors that will help the consumer find a dentist.
A targeted lead is better than a soft lead but in order for the patient to find you, you must be signed up with the referral company and then you must aggressively follow up once the patient name is delivered to your office.
The third potential new patient is the solid lead. This person has landed specifically on your page and takes the steps necessary to fill out forms and make an appointment request. Most dentists find that solid leads generated directly from their website are more qualified and have a considerably higher rate of following through and accepting treatment.