A visit to your dental website is often the first meaningful interaction a potential new patient has with your business. It’s your virtual front office that needs to be inviting and useful for existing patients and potential leads alike.
But time and time again we come across dental websites that are, in essence, a shrine dedicated to the doctor of that practice. Unless your dental practice is actually a meeting ground for a secret society (if so, ignore this article) this style misses out on the potential growth your site can provide.
There's a lot of information out there regarding what makes a good website and what doesn't. It can be overwhelming, especially given that much of the advice out there doesn't apply to dental websites. Dentistry is a very particular niche, requiring a special approach to web design not applicable to any other industry.
Here are the things you should pursue for when looking to build a dental website for your practice.
Today more than 57% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, so it's more vital than ever to make sure your dental website is designed and optimized for mobile browsers.
"Mobile-first" doesn't just mean that your website collapses to fit a phone's screen -- it means mobile users have a perfect experience while using the site. This means optimizing site design, getting rid of some components and re-formatting others so visiting your website from a smartphone or tablet is intuitive, not frustrating.
Dentistry is a very particular niche, requiring a special approach to web design not applicable to any other industry.
Pull technology involves nurturing tactics designed to “pull” visitors to your site, encouraging interaction via web forms and tailored content. Providing information on new treatments via videos, blog posts and e-books are all great ways to draw in views and collect information on new leads.
Pull content gives people a reason to visit and to stay on your site, even after they have checked your hours of operation, and subscription buttons and assessment forms help you turn those visitors into leads.
Make sure you're leveraging your current patient base to drive more traffic to your website. This is done by pushing content to your patients that they want to consume.
However, the content you push must be patient-centric. No one wants to see pictures of how a root canal is performed - your patients probably aren't studying to be dentists themselves!
More likely, they're experiencing anxiety about their appointment, worried if it will hurt, and want to know how much it will cost. The content you push needs to address these topics. If your content isn't focused on the patient, it will do more harm than good.
No one wants to see pictures of how a root canal is performed - your patients probably aren't studying to be dentists themselves!
Calls To Action
High-contrast "call to action" buttons entice web visitors to click and perform specific actions. These actions include items such as scheduling appointments or contacting your office.
Here's an example:
As you can see, this button is highly visible and enticing. What might seem like a minor element of your website is actually very important -- having a proper call to action can turn a casual visitor into a new patient.
Providing first time visit and medical history forms online helps with front office efficiency, and also increases new patient conversion rates.
Some offices like to have tablets in their front office for the patient to fill out their information. This might seem like a great idea, but in practice it should be avoided. Having patients fill out their information this way slows down the intake process, and creates a negative experience.
Letting patients fill out intake forms before their appointments helps evaporate some pre-appointment anxiety, and allows them to relax before they get treatment, smoothing their transition and giving them a positive impression of your practice.
Building a great website is just one part of providing a memorable experience to your patients. But with these tips, your website can be a big contributor to your dental practice's growth.