How 20 minutes at the Apple store can get your dental practice 10 new leads a month

Seeing your dental website on multiple platforms will let you know how well it's performing. By spending a few minutes in technology wonderland, aka, the Apple Store, you can test many devices to see how your website is holding up.

Feb 1st, 2016
Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2016 02 Apple 1

How long has it been since you took a good hard look at your website’s performance and convenience? If it’s been awhile and you have a few minutes to spare next time you visit the mall, step into the Apple Store and let the fun begin.

If you’re not satisfied with the number and quality of leads generated by your dental practice’s website, then it’s time to take a step back and evaluate a few things. You might not be well versed in Web development or website design, but the good news is that tools are available to tighten up your game. In fact, the next time you find yourself at the mall with 20 minutes to spare, think about wandering into the Apple or Windows store to do a deep evaluation of your practice’s website performance.

The wonderful thing about these product stores is that you can freely browse their entire selection of electronics, which allows you to take advantage of multiple platforms to view your website. From desktops to iPhones and every device in between, you'll have the ability to type your URL into any machine with Internet capabilities to see how your website looks and feels on each device.

As you test your website on these various platforms, evaluate these five features:

1. How slow is your website?
Page loading time is one of the most important aspects of the user experience, and it factors into how well your website ranks on search engines such as Google and Bing. Patience is a dwindling commodity these days. Think about how often you abandon a page when it takes too long to load. According to a study conducted by the Nielsen Norman group, 40% of visitors will leave a website if the loading process takes more than three seconds. People have come to expect instant gratification online, and when they don’t get it, they have no problem finding it elsewhere.

With this in mind, it is crucial to not only make sure your page is fast, but that it’s also consistent across all platforms. Consider optimizing your images and videos to reduce their size, and enabling your browser by using HTTP caching. Doing so will make your load times quicker and will keep prospective patients from bouncing off your page, no matter what device they use.

2. Does your site use the click-to-call feature?
The click-to-call feature involves converting numbers on a webpage into clickable links, which makes it easy for users to call your office without having to write down or manually enter your number in their phone. Click-to-call links ultimately lead to faster conversions for doctor’s offices. According to Google research, 70% of searchers using mobile search used click-to-call directly from Google's search results.

Be sure to test the click-to-call feature on all devices that have calling capabilities (iPhones and Androids alike) to verify that the feature works and that it’s sending patients to the right place. Ensuring that all phone numbers on your website are accessible and clickable can greatly increase your ability to convert new leads.

3. Is your website responsiveness across all platforms?
For almost the entire history of the Internet, all you ever needed to worry about when it came to Web design was whether or not your website functioned properly on a desktop. With the increase of Web-enabled mobile devices in the last decade, responsiveness has become one of the most important components a website can have.

Many developers are creating sites that work seamlessly across all platforms. But if your website was created more than five years ago, of if you initially cut corners when setting up your site, do your due diligence and see if you experience any problems accessing your site through various tablets, mp3 players, and mobile devices. Now may be the time to invest a little more time and money into your web platform.

RELATED READING:
Responsive Website Design – latest must-have for dentists
10 signs your website is costing you patients

4. Is your office address easily accessible?
When it comes to marketing your dental practice, always make it as easy as possible for your patients to find you. Your office address should be prominently featured on your website and should ideally link to a google maps page, or at the very least to a mobile-friendly locations page that gives visitors directions. This will help your website rank higher in searches and will do wonders for your local SEO.

Test to see how easy it is to find your address and location page on each device. If you’re having trouble, odds are so are your prospective patients.

5. Can patients schedule appointments online?
Convenience is tremendously important when a patient is choosing a new dentist. Along with an easy-to-find address, you should consider adding appointment scheduling capabilities to your site. Allowing patients to schedule appointments on the spot is not only more convenient, it can help relieve stress on your staff.

Similarly, try out the scheduling feature on each device to see how intuitive and user-friendly the experience is. If you have to go through too many pages or the process takes too many steps, then it’s time to streamline.

By evaluating these five features, you can better identify what your client’s user experience is like and how to better optimize it for lead conversion for the future.

Bill Donato is the founder of Conversion Whale, a consulting company established in 2014 that is dedicated to lead generation and marketing for dental practices. He previously worked with a leading Florida-based dental equipment repair company and served as technical editor for the book, “Micro Entrepreneurship for Dummies.” Reach him at bill.donato@conversionwhale.com.

More in Marketing