The Most Important Page On Your Practice Website

Mom is looking for a new dentist. Here's a super-easy, super-fast, super-affordable way to make sure she chooses you!

She looked for it, and didn’t find it. She’s on your website, maybe because Google directed her there, or maybe because someone she knows recommended you. But then she goes to your About the Dentist page and finds… nothing. Or an old photo with nothing but your name underneath it.  

Once someone lands on your website the first thing they look for is information about you, the provider. At this point, they assume you’re a good dentist and will only delve further into your credentials and experience once they have some idea of who you are as a person. Your bio is the perfect way to let potential patients know more about you, as a clinician and a human being. Even better, a good bio (and professional photo) is one of the most affordable, if not free, marketing tools available to you.

So imagine what this mother thinks when there is no information on you at all, or if the About the Dentist page greets her with the always-annoying “Coming soon.” Almost as bad is the bio you wrote 12 years ago when you started your practice, but haven’t updated since. 

Jill Townsend, author of the e-book, “How To Write A Great Bio”, says the most common reasons she hears for not having bios on a website, dental or other, are: 
1.    I don’t have time.
2.    I’m not sure what to say.
3.    I’m not comfortable with my writing skills.
4.    I’m not comfortable including personal information. 
5.    I don’t have a good, current photo.

Her advice… 

I don’t have time.

If you don’t have time, hire someone. I write hundreds of bios every year, including many dental bios, and there are lots of other professional writers, or someone you know who enjoys writing, who can help. Let them!

I’m not sure what to say.

Concept of basic questions written on sticky colored paper

It’s hard to talk about yourself, no question. If you’re not sure what to say, look at other bios on other websites, find one you like, and do something similar. Make sure you include something about you that sets you apart from other dentists in your area. Maybe you help your patients protect the investment they have made in their oral health by offering smile protection from Dental Warranty, for instance, or maybe you offer weekend or evening hours. Perhaps you have a therapy dog, like Niko, who brightens the day for many kids and adults alike who visit Dr. Jeff Moore and his team in Red Bluff and Redding, CA. Whatever it is, make sure it is patient-centered. Your education and experience are important, of course, but Mom expects and wants a little more. Don’t disappoint her.

I’m not comfortable with my writing skills.

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If so, you’re certainly not alone. I hear this over and over again in the course of writing bios for people from all walks of life with all levels of education. Some of us like it and some of us don’t, it has nothing to do with talent or skill. So if you are not comfortable writing your own bio, hire someone. It will be one of the best investments you ever make. 

I’m not comfortable including personal information.

Including personal information is often a stumbling block, but it’s a crucial element when potential patients are looking to establish a sense of trust with you. I’m not talking about your income, where you live, or where you vacation, but potential patients would like to know that you enjoy snowboarding, zip lining, and ventriloquism. They'd like to know about your family, but it does not have to be intrusive. For instance: 

Hand writing What's Your Story List with red marker

“Dr. Who is an avid cyclist and amateur ventriloquist. He and his wife, Anne, have three pre-teen children, a dog, two cats, and a parakeet named Marley.”

If you prefer not to reference your relationship status, try: “Dr. Who has three pre-teen children, and enjoys cycling and ventriloquism. The family has a dog, two cats, and a parakeet named Marley.”

Whatever your personal circumstances, there’s a way to write about it in your bio that does not violate you or your family’s privacy or comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to include some personal details if it feels right, but be careful with statements like, “Dr. Who and his wife, Anne, have been married 22 years,” or “Dr. Who has three children ages 8, 10, and 11.” It’s better to say, “Dr. Who and his wife, Anne, have three pre-teen children.” This alleviates the need to update your bio every time there’s an anniversary or birthday.

I don’t have a good photo.

People Diversity Faces Human Face Portrait Community Concept

That’s what professional photographers are for! Choose a non-patient day and hire a professional photographer – or that friend of yours who is a really good amateur – and ask them to take pictures of you and your team. Although often a bone of contention, photos are very important. If someone on your team says -- and they probably will -- “I don’t like pictures of myself,” reassure them that only photos they approve of will be used. Feel free to use less formal photos as well, maybe of you and your family, or you and/or your team enjoying your hobbies.  Just make sure the photos are high-quality, not grainy or out of focus. You’re running a top-notch operation, after all, and your photos should reflect that fact.

Bottom line: There are many, many ways to spend money in your practice trying to attract new patients that will never achieve the same impact for the time and money invested as a well-written bio. Take the time, or get the help you need, to make sure Mom picks you!

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