Website design is one of the most important marketing strategies for dental practices. There might have been a time when just having a website was good enough. That is no longer the case. To bring potential patients in the door and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty among your current patients, you need a great website that is easy-to-navigate, mobile-friendly, SEO-optimized and provides your patients with valuable information that they want. Many dental practices consider the use of a template-based website, especially when first starting out as they have the misconception that a template will be easy-to-use and cost-effective. Unfortunately, this is often not true.
A template website is a website that is based on a one-size-fits-all approach. They consist of a variety of designs, and you simply choose one that you like. Your information is then plugged into the template. Although it is true that template-based websites are initially cheaper, a custom website usually leads to better conversion rates. Here are the reasons why.
It is Unique to Your Practice
Your practice is unique so why should you go with a template that was designed for a generic practice? The goal of most dental practices is to exceed patient’s expectations. You want to make a positive impression on first-time visitors to your site. Using a template limits your ability to effectively to showcase what makes your dental practice different from your competition. It may even come across as being unprofessional, especially if your website looks the same as a competitor whose mission, goals and values aren’t similar to yours. This can leave an unfavorable impression on potential patients. Having a custom website will help patients identify your practice as unique. It will help you stand out from all of the other dental practices out there and provide a competitive edge that will attract more traffic and lead to greater conversion rates.
Custom Sites are More User-Centric
Template-based websites are often not very user-friendly, which is unfortunate, as user-friendliness is one of the key design factors that influences conversion rates. Important elements that make a site user-friendly site are its navigation, load time and design. A site that is user-friendly will result in a better experience for the user and directly influence conversion rates. On the other hand, a website that is plagued with slow download speeds, navigational flaws, and other problems will lead potential patients to quickly hitting the back button and moving along to your competitor’s website. If users cannot quickly find what they are looking for, they will get frustrated and simply leave your site. A website design firm, especially one that specializes in dental practices, understands your patients and know what they come to your site looking for. They can design a website that makes it easy for your patients to find what they want.
Not only must your website be user-friendly when it is viewed on a desktop or laptop but it must also be designed for mobile use. The process of going online to find information or services has changed dramatically in recent years. More and more people are choosing to use mobile phones and tablets over traditional laptops and computers. According to Pew Research Center, almost two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone. Nearly 19 percent of these people rely almost exclusively on their smartphone for accessing online information and services and staying connected to the world around them. That is why it is essential that your website is responsive, meaning that it must automatically adjust its images, layout, and content to fit the resolution of a mobile phone or device. Template-based websites are simply not designed to be responsible. A custom website, on the other hand, can be designed to be responsive according to how the information is being retrieved.
Search engine optimization is key when it comes to your website being visible to search engines. If patients cannot find you when they do a search, it means that your website is not SEO-friendly. What makes a website search engine friendly? Website design is one of the most important factors in search engine optimization. A website must be designed in such a way that it is user-friendly for your visitors and optimized for search engines. Template-based websites are not optimized for search engines. In fact, they are often penalized by Google, Yahoo, and Bing. This means that, with a template-based website, patients will not be able to find your website as easily as with a custom website. Custom websites are created by designers that are experienced at developing search-engine friendly websites. They understand how to get your website at to the top of search results and be more visible to new patients.
Offers Ongoing Expertise and Support
A template-based website cannot provide you with the same level of expertise and support as one designed by a dental marketing firm. The person who designed the template did not have your specific practice goals in mind at the time they developed the website. Custom website designers, on the other hand, will figure out what your goals are and design a website that is consistent with your needs. They are committed to developing a website for your practice that will lead to more conversations. You can expect a custom website developer to work with you to design a well-thought out website that appeals to your target market and gets more patients in the door.
It Grows with Your Practice
The landscape of dental and medical care is constantly changing. This is especially true with changes in politics. Template-based websites cannot be changed once your practice grows or changes. This means that they quickly become outdated and useless. Custom websites, on the other hand, are flexible and can be changed as your needs change. This is ideal for long-term conversions.
As is evident, custom website design for dentists leads to better conversions and helps bring in more patients as it is designed specifically for your practice goals. A dental website design firm will have the expertise and tools needed to design a website that is flexible, unique and user-friendly.