Your practice’s website is your biggest advocate when it comes to your marketing strategy. It’s where people will likely first be exposed to your brand and your personality. Consider the amount of people who perform an online search or find recommendations through reviews on social media or search engines. These people are interested in what you have to offer and are looking for enough information to seal the deal (meaning, become a patient).
If you’re in the process of developing a new dental website, it’s important that you understand what you should expect from it. Don’t settle for some out of the box, ready made website that wasn’t designed to meet your specific business goals.
Attract New Patients
You should expect your website to attract new patients. After all, your website is like a virtual billboard that is made to target all the right people. This includes current and future patients. By providing visitors with useful information that drives people to take action (like calling for an appointment or scheduling one online), your website is doing its job of answering questions those people may have and providing them with the information necessary to move forward.
In order for your website to attract new patients, it needs to keep up with the competition and meet the expectations of your audience.
List Your Specialties
While everyone needs a dentist, not every dentist is the same. Your practice might focus entirely on preventative dentistry or a mixture of cosmetic and preventative dentistry. Whatever your specialties, it’s important that you list them and are honest about them. Never list something that a competitor offers just to try to outrank them on search engines (read more about SEO here). Instead, focus on your strengths and what you have to offer.
When listing specialties, it’s important to provide a description of the types of services offered under those specialties. For example, you might specialize in cosmetic dentistry, but only offer a certain type of teeth whitening procedure. Be honest and up front with patients so they don’t feel tricked.
In addition to listing your specialties, we always advise practices to also list their awards. This helps to breed trust with your visitors and encourage their confidence in your abilities to treat their unique needs.
Provide a Map
Your website should make it incredibly easy for future and current patients to find whatever information they’re looking for. Many patients come to a practice’s website because they want to know their address. You can add an additional wow factor to the online experience by including a map of your location (or locations if you have more than one practice location).
Maps can easily be clicked from a person’s mobile device and used for turn by turn navigation in native map apps on phones, as well as downloaded apps.
When a person reached your website, they should be empowered to make important decisions, feel as if they’re on a website that is helpful, and ultimately feel loyal toward you. The more helpful and informative your website, the more likely people are to feel like you’re on their side.
When a person lands on your website, they should be directed to your social networks. This helps foster community by encouraging them to engage in viewing, sharing, and commenting on posts of yours. By creating a community atmosphere you make patients feel comfortable, offer them an outlet for conversation, and can engage in transparent interactions with people.
All of this plays a large part in creating a great impression on both current and future patients.
When a person reaches your website, they should immediately see how to communicate with your office. A contact form is a great way to field less urgent, more general questions while providing a phone number or email offers people an additional outlet for communication that is more immediate.
When designing your website, it’s important to also design a process for handling inquiries. It’s often useful to assign certain individuals to various communication outlets. So, one person might respond to emails, while another handles phone calls.
One of the most popular communication tools available is the HIPAA compliant email system. This allows you to communicate with patients about their medical records, as well as any questions they might have, without violating HIPAA’s strict privacy regulations.
Online reviews are an incredibly important part of every dental practice’s reputation management program. Your website should collect reviews and testimonials from happy patients. You can offer an online form for people to easily submit their reviews or pull in reviews from Google or Facebook.
Another great way to leverage your website for reviews is to post links to your social networks’ review forms. This empowers people to post their own reviews on public forums that others can see. This allows them to be honest and work as a sort of ambassador for you by promoting their individual experience with your practice.