Get Your Dental Practice Website In Shape for 2017February 8, 2017 by AACD Executive Office
By Smile Marketing
Every year, the marketing potential of the Internet escalates. Your online presence is more important than ever. And this remains the case even if you are a referral-based practice. After all, where does a referral go before scheduling an appointment? Your website. Word of mouth alone is no longer enough. Your online presence must validate the referral.
Your website is the hub of all your online marketing efforts. Not your Google Business listing. Not your Facebook page. Your website is the place prospective patients go to learn more about you. Your online marketing initiatives (social media, email marketing, etc.) simply feed prospective patients to your site, which is where the magic happens.
Of course, that means your website must be optimized for patient conversion. If it’s not, you could be sending potential patients straight to your competitors. Countless online ads and an unending list of search results have transformed the mindset of Internet users. They now decide whether or not they approve of a website the second they land on it.
Why the quick conclusion? Social media users are accustomed to scanning dozens of posts in their news feeds in one sitting. If someone’s post doesn’t capture their attention immediately, they keep scrolling.
This has translated over to how people interact on other websites, and it underscores the importance of a patient-converting website design. Some conversion-friendly components of a successful dental website are:
Unique and persuasive content
Browsable content (headings, bullets, and short paragraphs)
Professional photographs of the doctor, staff, and office
Calls to action that encourage prospective patients to schedule an appointment
Why Redesign Your Dental Website?The shelf life of a website is only three to five years. The reason? Increasing competition, changing user behaviors, and new technology leave dated websites in the dust. And quickly.
Old web technology can prevent your website from being found on Google. We’ve seen this with the emergence of mobile technology. Nearly 60 percent of all web searches are now performed on a mobile device. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it may not appear in mobile search results.
And if it does appear, it’s likely the user experience will be poor as site visitors will have to zoom in and out to read the content or have a hard time navigating to other pages. They’re lost within a matter of seconds. Remember, the back button is only a click away.
So how do you redesign your website? You have several options.
One, do it for “free.” Find a cheap online website builder and design it yourself. If you have experience designing patient-producing dental websites, this is an option. But your website shouldn’t just be a piece of “digital art” – unless you’re simply looking for a place to refer current patients.
Your next option is to hire a discount website provider. The drawback to discount providers is that, due to low margins, they’re unable to support ongoing service requests. Discount providers are great if you just want a decent-looking website for current patients to refer to. They’re not, however, great for generating new patients as that requires ongoing website maintenance and an integrated marketing plan.
Your final option is to hire a website service provider. While the monthly fee is higher, you’ll have ongoing website and marketing support. Features like blogging, reputation management, email marketing, and social media content are typically offered by these types of providers.
Make 2017 the Year of Your Website
If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, keep your eyes open to stay ahead of the curve. Digital marketing is a revolving door that requires constant attention. Above all, make sure your website is up to today’s standards.