Why Your Website is the Most Important Part of Your Dental Marketing Plan
Marketing strategies such as a social media presence and paying for online ads can help your practice but a dental website is by far the most effective tool to draw in new patients and stay engaged with existing ones.
Unless your website is the most important part of your dental marketing plan, you won’t get the best return on your investment. High-performing dental websites are researched, planned, and designed to give you the best chance of converting prospective patients into paying customers while maintaining an ongoing relationship with your current patients.
They do this by sending out a strong message focused on the benefits your dental office can offer patients and what sets you apart from the competition. Your website will be your practice’s initial point of contact for many of your potential patients, and it’s crucial to make a good first impression.
What Makes a Good Dental Website?
As well as being visually appealing, a successful lead-generation dental website needs to have:
- Simple navigation to ensure a good user experience.
- A high level of functionality that makes it easy for patients to communicate with you.
The end result is a dental platform that engages with your prospective and current patients in a meaningful way, speaking to them directly and emotionally.
To reach this point requires expertise in several areas, including:
- Understanding the intent of people who visit your site. Providing answers to the questions your patients and potential patients are asking will tell Google and other major search engines that you’re providing valuable content – essential to appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Establishing a strong practice identity. Creating a positive perception of your dental office calls for a quality website that mirrors your core business values. This will allow you to create a firm connection with your patients on which to build trust.
- Structuring a site that flows logically. The easier it is for someone to use your website, the more likely they are to arrive at the ultimate destination point – the persuasive call to action that turns prospects into actual patients.
- Keeping up to speed with advances in technology. Professional dental website designers look to the future, keeping up to date with developments such as the increasing popularity of voice searches and mobile devices.
- Having the technical know-how to maximize your website’s impact. Effective web design entails various skills, including a thorough understanding of online marketing practices and search engine optimization (SEO).
Key Pages of a Dental Website
If your website is the most important part of your dental marketing plan, what are the most important pages?
Many potential patients will judge your dental office largely on their experience with your website, and they expect to find the information they’re looking for set out in a clear and logical way.
If your site doesn’t make it easy for them to get this information, they’ll look elsewhere – very likely ending up on one of your competitor’s websites. This makes your dental service pages a key element of your website. Other dental web pages that are essential but sometimes overlooked include sections on making appointments, payment methods, location and hours, testimonials, and “About” pages.
Dental Services Pages
Creating a separate page for each of the dental services or specialties you offer will make it easier for search engines and prospective patients to find you – these sections become landing pages for your supplementary online marketing campaigns.
A single page for each service also allows you to go into more detail and connect better with your target audience. A dental service page needs to explain what sets your practice apart, and should channel your online visitors toward the all-important call to action – making an appointment.
If it’s easy to make an appointment, the more patients you’re likely to get. A further benefit of an appointments page is that it frees up your reception staff to engage more with patients face-to-face in the office without constantly having to deal with phone calls to schedule appointments.
When a patient submits an online appointment request, it’s important they get a thank-you message including information on what they can expect next, such as a confirmation email.
Location and Hours
New patients need to know exactly where to find you and what your business hours are. Embedding a Google map on your location and hours page will allow visitors to scroll around and zoom in and out. Make your hours clear at a glance, particularly if they vary from day to day, and highlight any early or late times you’re open.
Underscore the quality of your dental services with reviews from patients, with before-and-after photos or videos, and link to any review sites you appear on. Online testimonials can reach out to far more potential patients than word of mouth.
Many prospective patients looking to choose a new dentist will make a point of viewing the “About” page of a dental website. This is your chance to tell everyone about your professional qualifications, experience, and specialties. However, it needs to be presented in a way that clearly spells out how your patients benefit from your dental services.
Including photos of yourself and your team and a few personal details such as interests outside dentistry will add a human touch for better engagement.
The Driving Force Spearheading Your Dental Marketing Plan
The best marketing strategy begins with a compelling website. To ensure your website is the most important part of your dental marketing plan necessitates critical steps to:
- Make sure your site targets the right people – those in your practice’s catchment area looking for the types of dental services you offer.
- Optimize the website for search engines – imperative for prospective patients to find you online. This includes generating SEO-friendly URLs (Uniform Resource Locators – the addresses of your website pages) and inserting appropriate page titles and meta descriptions.
- Reflect the brand image of your dental office.
- Ensure your site works effectively across mobile devices as well as desktops.
- Build in future-proofing to keep abreast of technological advances.
- Protect your practice and your patients with security features to beat hackers.
A professional customized website with quality content can spearhead your dental marketing plan as the main connection point between your practice and your current and future patients.
If your dental website is well designed and makes it easy for people to find the information they need, it will be a valuable marketing tool that can play a significant role in retaining your existing patients and attracting new business.