Five Top Tips On How To Create An Award Winning Dental Website
The more time we spend designing dental websites and also managing and hosting dental websites the more we learn what really attracts new dental patients. In other words what turns someone from, shopping online for more information, to a fully signed-up new patient, for life.
Creating a brilliant dental website is complex mix of stunning design, user-friendly functionality and back-end coding to ensure high google ranking. That said, we’ve put together a list 5 must-dos and must-haves if you want to turn your dental or orthodontic website into your primary marketing tool for attracting more new dental patients.
Get Your Homepage Right
Busy lives and a lot of dental practices to choose from means you often get one shot at making a big first impression. If your dental web homepage doesn’t immediately engage your visitor and give them a reason to invest more time in your website you’ll lose them forever. It’s just two clicks to go back to the google listings and on to your competitor’s website. So your homepage is the most important page on your website and you need to make it as visually appealing as you can and not overwhelm your visitor with a mass of text. Visual marketing is more important in Dentistry than almost all other industries so getting the images you use right, first time, is crucial. More details on this below.
The explosion in mobile web traffic over the last few years has also driven the development of dental web design. With so many potential new dental patients seeing your practice for the first time on a mobile screen, your homepage needs to run deep. This means your information and functionality needs to be designed with scrolling thumbs very much in mind. Big images and buttons are needed so the user can tap on the small screen using their thumbs. As they scroll down the homepage all the information, functions and pages need to be clear and easy to tap. Contact us forms; telephone number; treatment pages, reviews, testimonials, offers, map and more need to be displayed on a deep running homepage.
In short, your dental homepage must make it easy for new patients to find what they’re looking for.
Before asking new visitors to read through paragraphs of information you need to give them a good reason to do so. This means showing them they’ve come to the right place. There’s no better way to showcase who you are, what you do and why a new patient should choose you, than adding a dental practice video to your dental web homepage. Firstly, you’re saying to the new patient, sit back and watch, no reading, no scrolling, no work required. It’s a big decision to choose the right dentist so patients really appreciate seeing what’s behind your front door; the staff, the patients, the atmosphere.
Get your homepage video right and the viewer feels comfortable you’re the right dental practice for them. They’ve invested time on your website and will explore other pages and there’s a much bigger chance they’ll send a form in or call direct for that all important first appointment.
It’s also worth noting that google loves video websites. Your dental website is 5 x more likely to be listed on page #1 if you have video.
High-end, bespoke photography lifts a dental website like nothing else. Stock dental photos play a useful role in illustrating different pages on a dental website and we use them on our dental websites. But combining stock images with bespoke photography really gives a dental site that personal touch that sets it apart. By their nature, staff and team photos have to be bespoke so why not expand your photographic portfolio by using reportage-style photography. Images of staff greeting patients, in-surgery interaction between dentist and patient and patient testimonial photos are just a few ideas to make individual web pages really stand out and show patients who you really are.
Reviews & Testimonials
Dental reviews are used to convey trust and credibility to a potential new patient. The five star review system is a useful way to promote your practice and usually is accompanied by a written paragraph from a dental patient. The reason for these type of reviews is they act as a quick way for a busy web visitor to make a snap judgement on a dental practice. Most visitors to your homepage will see the 5 star reviews, make a mental note of these and will be persuaded to stay on the site. Think of them as visual comfort blankets. They say “you’re in the right place, stay here!”
Testimonials, whether video or written, tend be more in-depth and, therefore, more believable. It’s virtually impossible to fake a video testimonial. People have an incredibly accurate sense of what’s real and what isn’t. Using your own real patients is an incredibly powerful way to build trust and, trust, is the most important factor you need your website to convey.
The first four tips described above are all about how to engage new patients visiting your dental website. Our final tip is about how to drive more traffic to your dental website. This is down to expert coding on the back-end of your website. It’s vital your website is built along the very latest google guidelines. If you don’t give google the right reasons to list your website high on the page rankings then, put simply, it won’t. Low rankings mean your website will never be the new patient marketing tool it could, and should, be.
Expert coding is only part of the story. High google ranking is dependent on multiple factors. For dentists this includes how many dental practices are in your area, how digital-marketing savvy your competitors are, how wide is your geographical catchment area and a host of other reasons. Some dental clients need to invest in search engine optimization and pay-per-click adwords to compete or stay ahead of the competition but all dental websites need to be coded correctly and optimized for local search.