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Dental websites: Your practice has one, but is it doing its job?

June 1, 2016
By now most dentists have websites for their dental practices. But are the websites doing their job of attracting new patients, providing visitors with useful information, and keeping patients engaged?

I’ve replaced many bad dental websites. Often times I question why a practice paid good money for a site and then put their name on it. Did they forget that a website is a powerful piece of marketing material that tells the world who they are? Websites are seen by dental practices’ current patients as well as many potential patients. Having a poor or unfinished website reflects negatively on a practice.

Do you think your dental practice’s website is promoting your practice as successfully as it can? Try incorporating some of these popular ideas.

Try these ideas and your website will be amazing!

Provide real photos and bios of your staff
I’ve seen countless sites that have a “coming soon” place holder for their staff page, or they have an unfinished page with bits and pieces of content about their staff. Having quality photos and up-to-date bios lets patients get to know your staff before visiting your office.

Have a clean and professional logo
I recommend investing some money into your logo. This is your practice’s flag. A logo that looks like a third grade art student created it is not good for your business. It leads people to believe that your practice is out of touch or unprofessional, and it can cause potential patients to dismiss your practice when they go shopping online for a new dentist.

Explain your services
Most people don’t speak the dental language. Providing unique content, such as videos, articles, and photos, that explains your services to patients is a must. Done in a simple, easy-to-understand way, this communication can ease patient fears and answer any questions or concerns they have before they receive treatment.

Provide testimonials
Testimonials are an excellent way to gain patient trust. These can be as simple as short customer write-ups all the way to videos of your patients talking about how great you and your practice are. This information can be a powerful vehicle in attracting new patients.

Provide lead forms/contact forms
Lead forms are a simple way to offer something in return for a potential client’s email address. This can be a coupon or something of that nature. Gaining these addresses allows you to notify masses of people about upcoming changes in your practice, upcoming promotions, or oral care tips.

A contact form is a way for someone to easily contact your staff. There are times that patients can’t contact you via phone, or they might feel uncomfortable doing so. Providing this form shows that your office is available and open to questions, concerns, and other input from patients.

Have an “Ask the Doctor” page
Several dentists offer a specific page on their website where patients can send questions directly to the doctor and receive a response before their office visit. This opportunity allows the doctor to clear up confusion, clarify concerns or questions that patients have, and help build a bridge of trust between doctor and patient.

Offer online bill pay
Online bill pay is another way to drive traffic to your site, but it is also a service that patients love. You can sign up for free online payment software that ties into your website, and start accepting payments online within minutes.

Make sure your website is mobile friendly
If your site is not mobile friendly, you will exclude many visitors to your site. Many people primarily use a mobile device (phone or tablet) to browse the web. If you do not offer mobile capabilities, your site will not score very highly in Google’s rankings.

Offer patient promotions
Your site should be a platform that lets patients know about promotions your practice is offering. Promotions can drive users to contact your office for more information, or to make an appointment for treatment.

Have a monthly maintenance schedule
Every website needs regular maintenance because web technology changes daily. Technical updates should be done regularly to avoid downtime or hacks. If you don’t know how to handle this maintenance, you can sign up for services that can build and manage the website for your practice.

Include a smile gallery/portfolio
A smile gallery is photographs of your patients’ smiles. This can be an excellent tool to demonstrate the quality of your work as well as show your patients’ satisfaction with your work.

Film a video tour
A video tourgives potential patients the opportunity to take a quick tour of your office and introduce members of your staff. Patients like to know who will be working on their teeth. A short video allows them to feel connected to your practice before they walk through the door.

What is local SEO?
Local SEO is the practice of making your site appear at the top of local search results, which allows potential clients in your area to find and contact your office. Local SEO can be vital to the health of your website and practice. It’s important for your site to be built and optimized for search engines in order to use SEO properly.

Having a quality website that is built specifically for your dental practice is essential to the growth of your practice. Patients are becoming more conscious of the quality of websites. If your site is unprofessional, sloppy, or outdated, people will think the same about your practice. I hope the above checklist will help you understand the importance of a quality website. Making one or more of these improvements can help improve the image of your practice. In this technological age, your website is as important as your friendly staff and organized office. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t fret. There are options available to help create a professional dental site you can be proud of.

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Jordon Comstock is the founder of BoomCloud Apps, a software company that allows dental offices to accept payments via their websites and create in-house membership programs. Jordon also owns RocketFire, which specializes in helping dental offices build and manage their website. Contact him today at (801) 753-8586 or [email protected].