Just 20 years ago, successful dental practice marketing strategies involved placing a well-positioned ad in the Yellow Pages and sending out a few mailers to members of the local community. Today, potential patients find their next dentist through a Google search, which means you need a strong online presence if you hope to keep your appointment calendar full. If you compare conventional forms of marketing to what a great looking and easy to navigate dental website can provide, you’ll find a dynamic website offers a far more effective tool for both attracting new patients and further establishing your brand online.
But what separates a good website from the bad? How do you know when it’s time to finally upgrade your old, functional, but dated website? Let’s take a look at some of the qualities all great dental websites have in common.
All great dental websites feature high-quality content that helps inform patients while also offering them valuable information. Poorly written or organized content reflects badly on the type of professional image all dental practices strive to project, and will lead many potential new patients to simply click away if they can’t find the information they need. Website visitors, especially those looking at a site on a mobile device, tend to quickly scan over information, rather than reading it fully, as they look for the information they want. To help direct patients where they want to go, you need content that’s clear, concise, and that quickly gets to the point in an engaging way.
Professional Development and Design
A great dental website doesn’t need to have dynamic scrolling, embedded video, or any of the other fancy apps that developers can install to boost your patient base. Instead, the website needs to be designed to help you generate and convert leads so you get the best return on investment possible. The design process should begin with a current evaluation of your dental practice and where it sits within the marketplace, followed by an assessment of your target patient’s online behavior profiles. Professional marketing agencies will also conduct a thorough keyword evaluation to ensure that your site performs well in local SEO.
While you might think of a website as little more than a virtual business card, a well-designed site is actually a powerful marketing tool that enables your brand to connect with its customer base. They help your practice establish a strong brand identity, which works to create the professional and competent image needed to standout in a crowded market. The design of your website needs to blend solid marketing principles with effective content. This combination will better enable your practice to convert visitors into patients by both answering their needs and their questions.
Search Engine Optimization
Following the best SEO practices will enable a dental website to place towards the top of the page in organic search results and local listings. From H2 tags and titles to keyword placement on relevant core pages to maintaining a blog, a successful SEO strategy will enable potential patients to find your website the next time they search for “a dentist near me”.
Off-page SEO plays just as big a role as on-site optimization, going past design and content to help improve search ranking results. This type of optimization communicates with search engines about how your site is perceived by both visitors and other sites. A well optimized site has an improved chance of receiving reference links from other sites and to be shared through social media channels. Having other high-quality sites, such as the American Dental Association or other community businesses, link back to your website offers some of the most impactful SEO results as it tells search engines that your site features enough high-quality content to have earned the trust of other respectable website.
Web security is paramount for dental practices that possess highly valuable private patient information. Healthcare websites are frequently the target of cybercriminals, especially small, privately owned practices that are viewed as having weaker security compared to larger brands. Recent hacks of Yahoo, Equifax, and the DNC show just how damaging leaked information can be for everyone involved.
Patients today demand that their private information remain private, as does government regulations under HIPPA. This means your website needs to feature security provided by a TLS (Transport Layer Security) or SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) system, which work to encrypt the connection between a web server and a browser.
To many patients, dentistry is simply not one of the most fascinating industries out there. Great dental websites work to bring a little life and dynamism by adding professional photos and videos. Dynamic visuals play an important role in helping to generate a positive first impression and act as an important tool in attracting new patients.
Studies have found that the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than reading text. Providing visitors to your website with relevant and interesting images makes it easier from them to relate to your practices, and it begins the process of building trust, making it easier for patients to feel comfortable scheduling their first appointment. Pictures and videos can play an especially valuable role when used as part of patient testimonials, as they provide a more valuable endorsement than a simple review will alone.
Detailing Payment Options
A dental practice is just like any other business in that customers want to know how they can pay for the services they receive. A quality dental website will contain a payment page that thoroughly explains all of a patient’s options, including insurances accepted, payment plans, and the types of credit cards your practice accepts.
A Unique Quality that Reflects Your Brand
A lot of online web design companies will offer cheap, out-of-the-box website templates that can serve the basic function of website but lack the form of a truly great website. The most effective dental websites are a basic extension of you and your brand, with all of the colorful personality and quirks that helps to separate you from the competition. One size doesn’t fill all when it comes to customer service the individual care you provide patients, so why should your dental practice website be any different?
Your Dental Practice Marketing Experts
If you need an updated or new dental practice website, our team at Local Fresh has you covered. We’ve been helping our dental client excel at dental practice marketing through a combination of outstanding website design and customizable marketing individually tailored to meet their needs. Click here to find out more about what Local Fresh can do for your dental practice website.