Having a website working to your advantage is critical in this day and age. Your website is the centre of your marketing hub and should be used as a key component to both your external and internal marketing.
Most dentists don’t know how to promote their site, and many dental websites are poorly designed and executed. Your dental practice website needs to educate, promote offers, and improve the image of the practice.
In short, a good website builds credibility. A less-than-professional website is almost worse than nothing.
When you are building or reviewing your website, there are a number of key areas that you need to address to make your website perform:
1. Know the purpose of your website
You have a website because everyone said you needed one, but you’re not really sure what it does. If you don’t know, how can your patients know what the purpose of your website is?
2. Grab visitors’ attention before they move onto your competitor’s website
More often than not, your homepage will be the initial point of contact with your patients. And you have between three and five seconds to capture their attention before they click away.
3. Make it easy to navigate
Website navigation is the most important aspect to consider when designing a website.
How quickly can users locate a particular page on your site? If it takes more than two or three clicks, you may have to reconsider your website layout.
4. Have call to action buttons
A call to action (CTA) is the button, link, or text on your website that encourages users to respond to your offers. Some examples of website CTAs might read: ‘Get Started’, ‘Contact Us’, ‘Sign Up Today’, or ‘Download a Free Trial’. CTAs can have a deep impact on your online success.
5. Capture leads
Getting prospective patients to sign up to your email list means that you can contact them and no longer have to wait for them to come to you. You can present your special offers and keep them up to date on new products or changes.
6. Structure your content
Did you know? People rarely read website pages word by word – they scan the page. This means the content of your website needs to be structured in such a way as to enable scanning.
7. Use relevant images
A website is a reflection or extension of your physical business – it represents you, your team, and your mission. Your website should give your potential patients the same feelings and emotions that they would have walking into your office.
A study carried out by the Neilson Group showed that users pay ‘close attention to photographs and other images that contain relevant information’.[i] Users will, however, ignore certain images, particularly stock photographs, that are merely included as decorative artwork.
Anybody who has been on a bus, on a train, or in a cafe in the last few years will realise that the world is now living on his or her mobile phone. According to Forbes, ‘87% of connected devices sales by 2017 will be tablets and smartphones’.[ii]
[i] Nielsen Norman Group: Photos as Website Content – http://www.nngroup.com/articles/photos-as-web-content/
[ii] IDC: 87% Of Connected Devices Sales By 2017 Will Be Tablets And Smartphones – http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2013/09/12/idc-87-of-connected-devices-by-2017-will-be-tablets-and-smartphones/
Carolyn Dean is the author of ‘Fully booked – Dental marketing secrets for a full appointment book’ and is the managing director at My Dental Marketing. Carolyn is a widely known seminar speaker and dental marketing consultant working with over twenty-five years’ experience in sales and marketing, working with some of the largest global IT organisations.