Over the past few months, dental consumer priorities have changed drastically, and the website you count on to generate a steady flow of new patient leads is no longer effective. It’s time to give your dental practice’s website a frank review and adjust according to the new normal.
A strong online presence can help drive new patients, make it easier to build relationships with existing ones, and help increase your practice’s visibility. It’s a must-have—the virtual front door of your business, the backbone of your marketing strategy. In a post-COVID world, your text and visual content need to reflect the new normal, such as images of team members in full PPE gear when near a patient. Otherwise, it could come across as inappropriate, insensitive, or not with the times.
As the home base for your brand online, your website is where you can showcase your services as well as introduce yourself to new patients and the community around you. It is your first interaction with new patients and your first opportunity to establish trust before they make an appointment. Trust matters more than ever now, so ensure that all your content convey patient care and safety as the No. 1 priority.
With that in mind, we’ve narrowed down a list of five things you need to maximize your website’s ability to drive new appointments in a post-COVID world.
Must-haves for all dental websites
1) A “Patient Safety” page
Prior to the pandemic, a big part of dentistry was handling anxious patients. Imagine the level of stress they face today.
Having a “Patient Safety” or infection control page that lets them know what to expect when they visit will help alleviate these fears. Spell out in detail the precautions you’re taking to minimize their risk of exposure, from creating a curbside dental waiting room to modifying treatment plans and administrative protocols. Maybe even add a dedicated Frequently Asked Questions section addressing potential concerns.
Let patients know how safe it is to get the dental care they need at your practice.
Don’t forget to update your homepage, About Us page, social media profiles, and the local directories you’ve joined with links to this page.
2) A “Patient Resources” page
With the pandemic-driven economic downturn, budgets will be tighter. You’d better believe they’ll be weighing the need for dental care against its expense. Reducing costs and making patients more manageable would make you more attractive to potential patients as they consider a dentist. Put all this information, and more, on display with a “Patient Resources” page.
This page should include:
- Insurances you accept
- Patient forms
- Membership plans for uninsured patients
An informative page will help you deter the wrong kind of patients. It will also help decrease the number of calls that you get regarding insurance policies, and so forth.
It will also allow patients to get a jump on their check-in forms and allow you to provide a contactless and more efficient check-in process during their office visit.
3) Online scheduler
As we are in the golden age of technology, many people expect to be able to book visits through an online scheduler. It is efficient, easy, and allows both parties to save time. Most online schedulers will synchronize with your calendar and automatically block off the selected time, without any staff action needed.
Having a “Book Now” online scheduler on your website also allows your office to be bookable 24-hours a day. Whether your future patients are early risers or night owls, they will be able to make an appointment when your office is closed.
Seal the deal, even when you’re out of the office.
4) Contact Form
We recommend that you add a “Contact Us” page on your website and that it comes complete with a contact form. While many practices only include their email address, adding a contact form provides an easier and more efficient way for people to reach out to you.
It gives people the ability to inquire about a service or procedure, around the clock, even when your office is closed. Given today’s patient safety concerns, enabling them easier access shows transparency and enables trust.
Adding a contact form will also allow you to provide potential patients with more thoughtful and thorough answers. Instead of providing them an instant answer, you can draft a knowledgeable and comprehensive e-mail.
You can also use this as a way to showcase your practice’s personality and create a connection with the patient.
When creating your contact form, be sure to include sections for:
- Phone Number
5) SEO Optimization
It’s true that dentistry is highly competitive and saturated. Prospective patients have a large number of dentists to choose from, and it is getting harder and harder to get discovered by them.
That said, COVID-19 has kept the general population at home, and they’re spending a lot of time online. There is an opportunity for you to improve awareness about your practice and up your SEO (search engine optimization) game.
SEO is about optimizing your website for search engines, a long-term strategy to get your website to rank for specific keywords on Google. There are a number of things that you can do for your site in order to increase its chances of ranking higher on Google, including:
- Properly formatting your website headers
- Optimizing your site’s speed and load time
- Adding keyword-rich content
Right now, people are searching COVID-19 related content, so you can still get into the mix by creating content based on your practice, services, and what you’re doing to fight the pandemic. You could include “teledentistry” or “virtual care” and add online consultations.
Believe it or not, this list barely scratches the surface of SEO.
Since SEO is an ever-changing industry, we recommend consulting with dental SEO specialists to learn more about best practices and how to implement these to your website.
A strong SEO strategy will help increase your practice visibility, drive more traffic to your website, and ultimately increase patient numbers.
Learn more about how RevenueWell improves case acceptance and creates more close-knit relationships between dentists and their patients.