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As digital marketing becomes "marketing", it is replacing many traditional forms of advertising that dentists have relied upon. (We're looking at you yellow pages). The move to digital has become increasingly competitive for dental marketers. More than 1/3rd of providers say patient acquisition is very important. In todays digital world, prospective patients have become partners in their medical journeys. Here's a look at some digital marketing stats that every dentist should know about.

Patients Are Going Online To Research Care Options

In the last decade patients have significantly changed the way they seek health care. Digital media and internet search (Google) has become indispensable in patients search for a treatment provider. A large majority of health care consumers use the internet as their primary source of information on treatment and providers. For dental marketers this has required an adjustment to their marketing strategies.

How do Patients Search for Care Options?

The latest research from Google shows that patients are searching are going online to examine their health care options:

  • 77% of prospective patients do their research through search engines online
  • 76% of prospective patients do their research on a providers website
  • 52% use general health information sites for research

 Patients Research Online

Television, magazines and newspapers rank at the bottom of where patients research care options.

  • 32% use TV for research
  • 20% use magazines for research
  • 18% use newspapers

Patients Research Offline

 

Pew research reports that 80% of internet users have searched a health related topic online

Google data shows us that patients are being thoughtful and strategic in their online search.

  • 48% did more than two weeks of research before scheduling an appointment
  • 61% visited two or more hospital websites before converting

For patients who book appointments digital content is the critical link to conversion.

Users tapped into the following resources while searching for care:

  • 83% Provider website
  • 54% Insurance provider website
  • 50% Health information website
  • 26% Consumer generated reviews

 

Mobile Health Continues to Spread It's Wings

Patients continue to use all types of devices while researching their care options. Mobile is a constant research companion.

34% of all adults -- have downloaded at least one app that is meant to support healthy living. (Gallup)

Prospects use their mobile devices to learn about healthcare providers pretty much everywhere they go.

While they're at home: 61% Use mobile at home for healthcare research

While they're at work:  27% Are using their mobile device at work for healthcare

While they're visiting:  24% While visiting family or friends

Even while they're waiting for the doctor:  16% Are even researching care options while they are sitting in a doctors office

Patient behaviors differ in mobile search and on mobile websites.

In mobile search:

  • 26% Use Mobile search to compare offerings at other facilities
  • 18% Go to Google to discover new providers they weren't aware of before

On mobile websites:

  • 29% Read reviews of facilities
  • 27% Locate a facility where they can be treated

Patients doing research on a mobile device are also more likely to convert into an appointment.

44% of patients searching on a mobile device end up scheduling an appointment. (Google)

1 in 20 Google searches are health related.

 

Patients Young and Old are Searching for Care Online

Age is no longer a defining factor in researching health care options online.

  • 61% of Americans age 65 and older are now active internet users, up from 14% in 2000
  • Social media usage has tripled among those 65 and older since 2010. (Pew)

 

Online Content Affects Patient Decisions

  • 41% of consumers say that content found on social media will likely impact their choice of hospital or treatment center (PwC).
  • 49% of patients begin their search with terms for conditions or diseases
  • 48% of patients end up finishing their search using branded terms (Google)
  • 58% of respondents have searched for an online review of a provider (Rock Health)

 

Digital Marketing for Healthcare Providers Continues to Grow

  • 76% of healthcare companies reported using digital marketing in 2015
  • 65% of healthcare companies reported using a CRM system like HubSpot to manage customer relationships. (Greystone)
  • Only 36% report their website and CRM are well integrated. (Greystone)
  • 48% of providers are using marketing automation in 2017. (Greystone)
  • 57% of practices are looking to redesign their website. (Greystone)
  • 55% of health care organizations use a digital marketing firm to help with digital strategies. (Greystone)
  • 20% of all healthcare searches will be driven by voice. (MD Connect)

 The areas of medical marketing that experienced the largest budget increases in 2015 were all digital: content development, search engine marketing, social media, and paid digital advertising (MMM-Online)

With patients actively looking for dentists online it only makes sense for dentists to optimize their website and their web presence. Is your website strong enough to attract and convert new patients? Grab our free website audit and generate an instant report across all of the most important website factors.

 

Topics: Digital Marketing, Dental Marketing

Kelley Bassett

Written by Kelley Bassett

Senior Digital Marketer at The Diamond Group. 30+ years of marketing expertise. HubSpot certified in 14 different disciplines including marketing, sales and growth driven website design.