How Patients Look for Dentists

Where Do Your Patients Come From?

This data actually shows how consumers look for stuff in general on the Internet. We can safely assume that some of the folks would be searching for dental care.

  • 92% of US Internet users use Search
  • 80% of Searchers use Google
  • 58% of consumers begin the buying process with Search
  • 24% start with company websites
  • 18% start with social media

Knowing this information helps dental marketing companies like MDPM determine how to find new patients for dentists.

How You Market

While newspaper and direct mail work very well in some markets, every dentist – that’s e v e r y dentist – needs a well optimized website at minimum. Having a website is, today, as important as having a telephone in the office. If 92% of US Internet users search for the things they want to spend money on, you darn well better do what you can to show up in the search engine results pages (SERPs). And remember, women are the dentist’s target market. In most households, the wife or mother decides where the family will go for dental care.

Pleasing Google in Dental Marketing

In the past, Google held 65% of the market share for search engines. Today, estimates vary from 80-90% for traditional search and 90%+ for mobile (smartphone) search. To a dentist, this means that Google is the search engine to please when building your website, blog, and overall online presence. Yahoo, Bing, and the others hold just a fraction of the market, and while you can safely implement SEO tactics to please all the engines, in the overall strategy, Google should come first.

Where Consumers Start the Buying Process

The last three percentages in the list above represent the online location where consumers begin their search. Over half start with a search engine, and we know that of those, 80-90% start with Google, specifically. About a quarter begin on company websites. In dentistry, this may mean that a potential patient begins her search on a product website, like Invisalign or ClearCorrect, or on a site like or They may also start with, the national report card for medical providers. About 18% turn to social media. Since consumer review sites don’t have a separate category, I would assume that they’re included here; so, just under one-fifth of consumers look to sites like Facebook, Yelp!, and LinkedIn to determine where they’ll spend their money.

When Dentists Need Help with Marketing

You’re probably thinking, well this is great information, Jill, but I have no time to worry about this. I have to see patients, keep up with CEs, manage my office, and find time for my family. I know, and I understand.

If you’d like help applying the research to your marketing plan, call Modern Dental Practice Marketing for a consultation. We’ll analyze your overall Internet presence (not just your dental website or dental blog), then recommend a practical, affordable plan to improve your online marketing so that it earns you more new patients. Call 972-781-8861 or email us today to request your analysis.