(And What To Do About It!)

Adam Mortimer - Dental Websites: Why Most Dentists Have Horrible Websites - MGEThis week we’re continuing with the top “Must-Do’s” for a dental website that successfully converts visitors into NEW PATIENTS.

You can’t always count on a web company to create an effective website on their own, without some input from you. So in this series of blog posts, I want to give you some internet marketing concepts in an easy-to-understand way, so you can then impart exactly what you want to your web developer/designer.

If you missed last week’s installment, here’s Part I. Make sure you read that one, too (preferably before starting this one)!

So here we go with point #3:

3. Make it easy for them.

If anything the “Internet age,” has made us lazier as consumers. When we go to a website, we expect everything to be taken care of for us. Preferably, all we want to do is “click a button.” And lest we forget – it’s expected that the website will tell us clearly which button to click! Apple made a big deal about the “single button” phone. Few people want to figure out where to go or how to do things online.

Dental Websites: Why Most Dentists Have Horrible Websites - MGE

And this plays into why I stressed point #2: “Have a clear “Call-to-Action” in last week’s post. Specifically:

Don’t ask a potential patient to hunt around your website to find your contact info or figure out what they should do.

The reason: most people won’t do it.

Instead, guide them with simple instructions.

This applies to other aspects of your website as well. Make sure your site is simple and easy to navigate. Think, “What information would a potential new patient be interested in?” And make that information easy to find. If you go to your website yourself and get confused trying to find that information, what do you think would happen with a prospective new patient?

The potential patient’s mental narrative should be very simple, “Does this dentist do veneers…oh yes, here’s their page about veneers…oh look, that’s how veneers can benefit me…oh wow, they’ll give me a free consultation about it if I call now, and the phone number’s right here!”

That person only had to go to two pages—the home page and the veneers page—and then they picked up the phone. That’s what you want.

4. The home page.

Dental Websites: Why Most Dentists Have Horrible Websites - MGE

As I already mentioned, the home page should have a big, prominent call-to-action on it. Beyond that, there’s a few more essentials:

  • Be clear about the fact that you’re welcoming new patients
  • Include a nice little tidbit about the dentist or office. Something that would be attractive to a new patient: friendly, gentle, takes great care of patients, does great work, won awards, “voted top dentist in ___,” etc.
  • Testimonials. More on this later, but it’s good to have some on the homepage.
  • Snippets (or at least a button) about some of the most popular services you offer or conditions you treat, with a link to pages about them. If you see a lot of new patients for Invisalign, veneers, whitenings, emergencies, dentures, etc., then feel free to have a little attractive snippet or button about each of the most popular services somewhere on the home page

5. Have a well-written page for each service you’d like to attract new patients for.

What services do you want to do more of? What’s the bread-and-butter of your office? Well, don’t just list them on a “Services” page.

If you want to get more implant patients, have a well-written page about implants. And by “well-written” I mean: written in such a way that will resonate with the potential patient and make them call now. If patients hate dealing with their partial dentures, talk about the bothersome aspects of dentures that they hate, and tell them all the ways implants solve those issues. Sing the praises of implants sound along with why they might regret not coming in for a consult today (while, of course, being totally honest and not misleading patients or giving improper dental/medical advice). And, naturally, have a call to action and special offer on that page.

And on each page where it’s applicable, explain why it’s important to come into the office now. Procrastination is the biggest enemy of marketers. Show, in a simple way, how things may get worse if they wait. Motivate them to come in to get healthy now, not later. Give them a special offer now and explain why they’ll regret it if they don’t take advantage immediately.

6. Make it “eye-friendly”—not just big long paragraphs of text.

Dental Websites: Why Most Dentists Have Horrible Websites - MGENow, let’s be clear, I’m not saying that you can’t have lots of text on your site. Sometimes you need a lot of words to express something correctly. I’m just saying you shouldn’t have never-ending walls of pure text, line after line after line.

Break it up. Include some big, eye-grabbing headlines with a short paragraph after. Then another big headline and short paragraph. Work some photos in. Maybe include a snippet in its own box somewhere on the page. Perhaps break the text up into three columns, with nice big icons at the top of each one. Use bullet-points.

7. Include testimonials throughout the entire site.

Dental Websites: Why Most Dentists Have Horrible Websites - MGEI mentioned putting some testimonials on the homepage. That’s great. Also include them anywhere else you can. Especially on pages like I mention in point number five. If you have a page about veneers, get a testimonial from a patient who got veneers at your office including before-and-after photos. They can say how easy and affordable it was, how much it changed their life, and so on.

A video testimonial is great, but if you can’t do that, then perhaps a photo and short paragraph. Or at least a single line with quotation marks around it. (Note: ensure any testimonials you have on your site are done in accordance with the marketing/testimonial aspects of your state Dental Practice Act, or if you’re in Canada, the applicable federal or provincial Dentists Profession Regulation).

Your web developer should be able to get these testimonials to appear in a little spot on each page, or at least manually put some on several selected pages.

We all want to hear from other real people just like us before we visit a business or do a service. Again…make it easy to find, read and so on.

And that concludes the “top must-do’s” for a successful dental site. I hope this helps you convert more website visitors into new patients. And of course, if you want to learn more about marketing and ways to reach potential new patients, look into the MGE New Patient Workshop.

Thanks for reading! And feel free to contact me with any questions at adamm@mgeonline.com

3 Responses to “Why Most Dentists Have Horrible Websites – Part II”

  1. Carmen

    Both parts of this article were a very great read, thank you!

    The dental practice I work for is currently preparing a site redesign now that we’re managing it in-house. I’ve created and managed websites for personal endeavors for over 15 years now (back in the days with Comic sans fonts, tiny, grainy animated graphics and keyboard music in the background, those were good times), but I’m learning currently on how to make sites cater to business needs, and this really helps. It’s a different ball game and keeping navigation short and direct as you said is really important.

    When I first joined the project, I thought the biggest concern was that the Flash graphics era was dead.

    Reply
    • Adam Mortimer

      Thanks for reading! I’m glad to help. We are also in the middle of a website re-design here at MGE. There’s definitely a lot of thought that goes into creating an effective business site beyond the appearance.

      I’d love to check out your site once it’s done. Good luck!

      Reply

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