Your dental website is a place for your practice to have meaningful interactions with existing patients and potential new patients alike. It's often the site (pun intended) of the first interaction your patients have with your business. With that in mind, it may seem obvious that your dental website should be a powerful tool that works hard for you.
Outdated design principles create sites that are both unsightly and unfriendly to visitors.
However, most dental sites aren’t much more than just a glorified brochure, filled with distracting and unfocused elements that prevent them from being effective. Many sites provide a laundry list of a dentist’s qualifications and awards -- more of a shrine than a business card. And a lot of dental web design is stuck in the early 2000s, with designers trying to optimize pages for SEO by leaning on excessive keyword stuffing that ends up looking like word salad:
"Hey there! I'm the best dentist in Bigtown, USA! 555.123.4444 Call today! Best Veneers Dentist in Bigtown! Book now. We have Invisalign for you in Bigtown, call now! 555.123.4444 We have crowns! Pinhole Surgery! Get dentures, whitening, lasers, Facebook, x-rays, implants, instagram, wisdom teeth removal and silver diamine fluoride in Bigtown USA! 555.123.444. *555.123.1234* Bigtown USA's best dentist! Implants! View my tooth portfolio! Maxillofacial Reconstruction all ready, just call today! Did we mention Bigtown?"
These design principles create sites that are both unsightly and unfriendly to visitors. New patients are given the bare minimum of information relevant to their needs -- they don’t care about your awards and accolades, they care about how your practice fits their needs. Meanwhile, you aren’t leveraging your already loyal patient base by providing content that retains and encourages them to visit your site.
A quick search of dental web design reveals hundreds of companies touting features such like “custom designs,” “stunning graphics,” and “strong branding.” These are all important things to consider, of course. But if your dental website’s strongest aspect is its beautiful design, then you aren't tapping its full potential.
A great website should be a virtual front office, designed to meet the needs of new and returning patients alike. New patients should be able to meet your staff, view office hours, and schedule an appointment from your page. Your existing patients should have access to the same, as well as tailored content that informs them about new treatments to encourage them to come back in. This style of site, built in clean HTML for easy search indexing, is both more useful for patients and better for search optimization.
A great website should be a virtual front office, designed to meet the needs of new and returning patients alike.
Let's face it; most dental websites get very little organic traffic. People just don't visit dental pages for casual internet browsing (and if they do, that’s definitely someone with unique interests). But traffic is a factor when it comes to improving a site’s search rankings. That’s why it’s important that every point of patient communication is tied to your website. At Legwork, we favor the “push and pull” approach to site content. Your website should leverage “push” (to your patient) and “pull” (nurturing your leads) communications. Using this approach, you provide value for leads and patients alike, while driving traffic to your site and raising its search rankings organically.
What does this look like?
“Push” technology involves connecting your website to your Patient Relationship Management software, allowing the two to work in tandem. This enables your page to be a hub for communicating with your current patient base. These communications can take a variety of forms, such as
- Digital health forms to drive web traffic from new and existing patients, while providing your team which easy collection of patient data
- Monthly email campaigns that encourage site visits by directing patients to blog posts educating them on new services
- Blog content that improves recall by engaging with your current patients
“Pull” Technology works the same way, and includes nurturing tactics designed to encourage leads to interact with you through web forms and patient-centered content that tells a story in a non-clinical way. This content can also vary in format:
- Video content that motivates leads into action and increases visitor time-on-site
- E-books on relevant services with capture forms to encourage time-on-site and gather lead data
- Subscription buttons that drop new subscribers into PRM software to receive monthly email and blog content
- Appointment booking forms allowing leads to easily request appointments from your website, automatically notifying your team through your PRM software
These are all vital components to a website that works hard for your practice. Remember, your dental website is a place for your practice to have meaningful interactions with existing patients and potential new patients alike. Make sure it’s up to the task; you need a powerful tool that helps grow your business -- not just a glorified brochure!