8 Ways to Build a Dental Website You Can Be Proud Of
So you’ve gotten a fresh, potential patient to come check out your website – congratulations! You are now one step closer to introducing them, in person, to all your practice has to offer. But if you really want to make an impact that will bring them through the door, it is vital that your website presents your practice in the best way possible.
Below are 8 tips on how you can take your website to the next level and really make it shine – let’s dive in together.
The instance a potential patient comes to your website, your main goal should be for them to make an appointment. I can’t stress how important it is for your website to make it easy for them to do just that! Whether you want them to call your office or fill out an online form, you should make it clear to them on how to do so.
If you want them to call your office, make sure that your phone number is prominently displayed at the top of every page. If they have to look for your phone number for more than a few seconds, you can be sure they will leave your site and check out the practice down the street.
Now, if you want them to fill out a form to request an appointment, make it easy to find the form, and the form itself needs to be a breeze to fill out. Skip the long list of questions and opt for as little information from the patient as you need, at the moment. The only information you should be getting from them here is the minimum it would take to get them scheduled for an appointment. Web design standards have shown that the longer a form is, the less likely you will get people to fill it out to completion, typically. So, the key here is to make it quick and easy for the patient to reach out to your office for an appointment.
Unfortunately, a visit to the dentist sometimes carries a negative connotation, making patients nervous to come in. If you can alleviate even the smallest bit of your patient’s stress – would you? Of course you would! So make their first appointment less nerve-racking by providing easy-to-download PDF forms on your website, which they can fill out at home, on their own time. This way, they will have one less thing to worry about when they step into your office for their appointment. And remember, a less stressed patient is a happier patient! Plus, this helps to free up time and resources in your practice as well – so it is a win-win situation.
Gone are the days of having a bunch of different colors, banners, and dancing images fighting for attention on websites. Nowadays, you should aim for a simple website design which showcases your office’s services and gets the visitor to your goal (see tip #1 above). In addition to a simple design and website layout, the colors you choose should communicate your professionalism and simplicity by not being overly bright and “shouting” at the reader. There are a variety of online resources which make this easy for you, such as this website, which allows you to sift through a variety of color palettes to find the right one for you. Allow yourself time to find color combinations you think would be appealing to your patients and then provide them to your web designer (or whoever is in charge of your website).
Bonus tip: the last thing you want to do is to give your potential patient a headache from browsing your website – which is why it would be beneficial to use a font that is easy to read. Try Arial, Courier, or Verdana for an optimal web reading experience. And please, pick one font for your entire website and stick to it – your patients will appreciate the consistency.
While written reviews from Yelp, Google, and on-site testimonials allow people to get a feel for your practice, video is a quickly-rising star when it comes to getting a genuine message across. Even though the word “invest” is used in the title, you don’t need a fancy Hollywood production. You’d be surprised at how honest-looking and compelling a review taken on your iPhone can be.
Who do you pick for the testimonial video? Think about some procedures you have coming up, preferably with patients that you’ve seen on a regular basis and built a relationship with. It’s as simple as having your receptionist inquire if they’d be willing to participate when they call for an appointment reminder. Also, you should have a video release prepared for anyone who participates, in order to protect you and your practice from anything down the road.
Once you’ve compiled a few video testimonials which make you proud of your practice, upload them to YouTube and have them displayed on your website. Also, it doesn’t hurt to circulate them on your social media pages as well. If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine what a video can do!
One simple way you can create a stronger connection between a new patient and your practice is by having recent photos of your entire staff on your website. Seeing the same smiling faces at your practice as they did on your website will make patients feel more at ease – it’ll be like they know you already! Take it to the next step by also including a short bio alongside the photos – just a few sentences per employee, talking about their education, experience, and perhaps even a fun fact. Make sure you put your best effort into keeping this up to date, both for new employees and employees that leave. Aim to keep this updated quarterly, but for sure at least once per year.
Think about how often you use your smart phone for daily tasks, especially when it comes to browsing the web. I’m sure that without even thinking about it, you tend to use websites that are easier to read and browse on your device. Now put yourself into the shoes of someone looking for a new dentist – they want to get information quickly and easily, and odds are they are doing this from their phone during their busy day.
Making sure that you have a responsive website, a website that changes its layout and presentation depending on what kind of device someone is using, is vital in putting your best foot forward. These days, many websites that are built are designed with mobile phone and tablets in mind because the numbers tell us that more and more people are using those devices.
Don’t see the benefit yet? Imagine someone finds your website and is able to easily call your office to make an appointment, due to your website being easy to use on their phone. Now imagine the opposite of that situation, and they leave your website instead. That should be reason enough to consider a mobile responsive website.
It is 8pm and your office is closed. A patient has a procedure first thing tomorrow morning, or perhaps they had one a few hours ago, and they don’t know of any special things they are to do or not do – or maybe they just have a general question. Luckily your website has information about pre- and post-procedure protocols, such as eating and drinking, to put their mind at ease.
With all the things we have on our minds, sometimes we forget what the doctor told us. Make it easier on your patients by having an information section they can refer to, outside of regular office hours. While it might not be used on a regular basis, on the times it is, your patients will thank you.
While direct marketing and email marketing are good ways to reach your patients, there’s something to be said about the power of social media. If your practice is active on Facebook or Twitter, make sure you have your feed displayed somewhere on your website. This can help not only build your social media following, but it can help to show the fun side of your practice to those not familiar with it. Remember, you want to be where your patients are – so keep your practice on their minds with posts that are both fun and informative.
Now that you’ve read through these tips, take a look at your website, do a brief inspection, and see if you can put any of them into action. Once you’re done, patients and potential patients should be impressed with your clean, informative, easy-to-use website. And remember, if you aren’t proud of your website, then how can you expect your patients to be?
Have any dental website tips of your own? Share them in the comments below!
Safco Dental Supply