By Glenn Lombardi
Your website should be your most powerful marketing tool, not a marketing roadblock.
Maybe you took the plunge a few years ago, turning to the first and lowest priced website company you could find to build your practice website. At the time this process was sufficient for establishing your online presence, but the effectiveness of the site was only temporary, and after awhile you hardly took notice of its existence.
Like many small businesses, you abandoned your website, leaving it to “sit” inactive among the millions of other sites on the Web. The problem now, a year or two later, is that you have an outdated site with no search ranking, old content, and an unattractive design. Chances are you don’t even remember how to edit the site, and if you do, where do you start? Here are just a few reasons why your current website may be not be delivering the return you had initially intended.
Reason 1: Patients can’t find your website.
Search engine optimization (SEO) should be a staple of your online marketing strategy. SEO is the important process of getting your website to rank high on the search engines for local search terms, such as dentist Chicago, so that when patients in your local area search for a dentist, your site appears on the first page and at the top of the listings. If your current site isn’t employing SEO, then you need to start if you want to get found online. It’s the best way to put your website in front of the local patients looking for a dentist.
Reason 2. The design is old.
Your website is the first impression a new patient has of your practice, a direct reflection of who you are. So when patients arrive at your home page and are greeted with an outdated, uninviting home page design and unorganized navigation schemes, what impression are they getting of your practice?
Unfortunately, a bad-looking site is often an immediate turnoff for first-time visitors, and they will likely turn their search efforts to another dentist in your local area. They are coming to your site for a reason: to learn more about your practice and why they should trust you to care for their family’s dental health. If your design is not up-to-date, it may be time to consider a redesign from a professional website company that is devoted to building websites specifically for dentists.
Reason 3. The website doesn’t offer any value.
An effective website is one that offers a visitor real value and invites the potential patient to take action, such as contacting your office for an appointment. This starts with good content and interactive features that make it easy for patients to connect with your practice online. Online patient education, appointment requesting, social media, blogs, patient reviews, videos, and other resources are all highly valuable features that can be integrated into your website.
If your outdated site needs a makeover, it’s possible to revamp your online marketing efforts and regain the competitive edge in your local online space. New and existing patients will continue to search for you online. You want to be found, and you want the information and perception you are giving of your practice to be a positive one. Invest in a professional website built by a company that specializes in website and online marketing for dentists. Implemented properly, your website can deliver many lasting benefits for your practice, including a steady stream of new patients who are searching for you online.
Glenn Lombardi is president of Officite, LLC, the No. 1 provider of websites and Internet presence management strategies for the dental community. Officite has built more than 6,000 websites that have generated hundreds of thousands of appointment requests since 2002. To learn more, visit www.officite.com or call (800) 908-2483.
By Glenn Lombardi