Dental practice website: 4 ways to convert more patients

Have you ever visited a website and immediately left because it was cluttered, slow, or hard to find what you were looking for? It's something we've all done. Most people expect businesses, even dental practices, to have an easy-to-use, fast, helpful, and well-designed website these days. What’s surprising is how many dental practices still don’t invest in their websites even though 76% of patients do their research on a provider’s website before choosing one. Not having an updated website means you’re not giving your team and practice the credibility and authority it deserves. So, you’re probably not bringing in as many new patients as you want. With more dental practices continuing to spring up, a helpful and modern website is an expectation as patients weigh their options. If it’s been a few years since you’ve updated your dental practice website, then it’s worth doing an audit.

In this post, you’ll learn 4 underrated items that must be considered when auditing your dental practice website. These specific items lay the groundwork for a helpful, high-converting site and establish you as a credible practice.

1. Build a dental practice website for your patients

It might be obvious, but the main goals of your website are to educate patients on your practice and services and encourage them to schedule an appointment. This means your website should be built first and foremost with your ‘ideal’ patients in mind. To accomplish this, you should know the answers to these questions.

· Who are your ‘ideal’ patients and who is this website for? For example, if your practice is in a neighborhood that’s mostly a mix of Millennials and/or Gen Z, then it’s possible they could be the patients you want in your chairs. Your website content should speak directly to them.

· What problems are you trying to address based on your ‘ideal patients’ and areas of expertise? If you’re targeting Millennials and/or Gen Z, then you might be focused on making your care accessible and affordable without sacrificing the quality of services. Additionally, you might also offer some cosmetic dental services like Invisalign and teeth whitening. If that’s the case, then you should make them a focus and have dedicated pages on them and highlight them on your home page and ‘about us’ pages.  

· What questions do you want to answer on your website? Some ideas can be answering the cost of care for your services and treatments, what insurance you accept, what membership plans you offer if someone doesn’t have insurance, what treatments and services you offer and what they entail, do you offer emergency services, etc. Answering the most asked questions your ‘ideal’ patients are searching for on social media, Google, and their online communities shows you understand what they care about.

· How do you want them to feel when they land on your site? Comfortable, confident, empowered? Maybe you want to make them smile or laugh because going to the dentist is scary for some people. Injecting some humor into your website copy could put prospective patients at ease and show you’re human.

· What do you want them to do on your website? Your goal should be for them to make an appointment, whether it’s now or in the future.

Knowing the answers to these questions can help dictate your website structure, design, user experience, content, and even practice branding.  

And it’s okay if you don’t know how to answer these questions. But make time to think through it. If you have an agency managing your website, then be sure to have this conversation to confirm you all talked through this when your site was built or updated. If you’ve already discussed this, but don’t remember much from that conversation, then find out if there are plans to revisit the discussion and see what’s changed. Your practice goals change over time, and your website needs to evolve alongside them.

Check out this eBook Using Funnels, Channels, and Analytics to Get More Patients to find out the keys your dental practice website build trust and get more patients, plus other ways to market your practice both online and in-person. You’ll get a mix of strategic ideas and practical tips on how to make your practice stand out.

2. Make it easy and straightforward to find information

Believe it or not, aesthetics shouldn’t be the first thing you consider when updating your website. Sure, appearances shape a person’s opinion of your practice, but what's more important is the information on your website and how it's presented. Your website should be the go-to resource for both current and future patients. Even if they aren’t ready to make an appointment at that moment, they’ll remember your site and practice if they find the information they were looking for. Like we mentioned earlier, your website should serve your patients, so build it with them in mind.

Here are some essential items to make your website more intuitive for patients. It’s possible you already have some of these, but they should be regularly updated and reviewed to make sure everything is working correctly.  

· Keep it accessible. Always be sure your website is meeting web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG), data privacy standards, and HIPAA compliant guidelines. Not doing so could land you in trouble and be off putting to patients who have an interest in coming to your practice.

· Have a clear and logical website layout and navigation bar. For example, in your navigation bar, some categories can include about us, services, contact us, new patients, current patients. And you can have subcategories under certain buckets like services. Under services, you can nest cosmetic dentistry, restorative, emergency, etc.  

· Avoid large chunks of text so it’s easier for visitors to scan and process information. You can break up website copy using images, video, and bullet points.

· Have clear and action-orientated call-to-actions (CTAs) sprinkled throughout your website, particularly on the high-traffic pages. They should motivate patients to take specific actions, like scheduling an appointment or paying a bill.

· There should be a search box to help patients find what they need.

· Make it obvious where new and current patients should go. There should be a tab or button on your homepage for both patient groups so they’re not wasting time clicking around.

· Create FAQs on your website. You can collaborate with your front office team and clinical team. Find out what are the most common questions each team gets asked. You can post these on your website to educate patients and equip them with more information.

· Include your patient reviews to reinforce your credibility. You can link your GMB listing and social media accounts to your website, so your reviews appear on there.

· Follow both on-page and off-page SEO best practices. This improves your search engine rankings and make it simple for patients to find and consume the information on your site.

3. Maintain a mobile-friendly site

A mobile-friendly site goes beyond having the text realign so you can see it all on your phone. It needs to be well-organized, easy to search, and still give patients a consistent user experience as if they’re exploring your site on a desktop. Even though 60% of people use mobile to search for information, many practices still don’t have a user-friendly mobile site. Here are some must-haves for a mobile responsive site to keep your patients from leaving.

· Use a responsive website theme or template that adapts to different devices.

· Text should be large enough so it’s easy to read.

· Graphics and videos need to be compressed so they don’t slow down your site.

· Load time should be between 1-3 seconds. Check your site speed here.

· Adjust your CTA button size and location so people can easily click on them. The middle of the screen works better for mobile instead of a corner.

· Reduce or eliminate your pop-ups because they can be hard to close on a phone. This can be frustrating and cause your patients to leave your site.

· Test your site regularly to ensure it’s mobile responsive. You can run it through Google.

4. Showcase your practice brand

Compared to other industries, branding doesn’t get enough attention in the dental space or in healthcare. And when it does, it’s surface level like a logo and/or a color palette refresh. Even though having a cohesive brand image is useful, branding is more than aesthetics. It involves going deeper to understand how you want your practice to be perceived by patients and your community and what emotions you want them to feel, and even what your internal practice culture is like – all these should be conveyed on your website. It helps patients connect with your practice in a more genuine way and increases brand recognition, particularly in an increasingly competitive industry. If your story strikes a cord with them, they’re more likely to remember you when they are ready to choose a new dentist. Here are two additional branding-related items to spotlight on your site:

· Share your practice story. Every practice has an origin story that involves why your practice owners and team chose dental as their career path. Your website is the perfect place to capture it. Everyone loves a story and it’s how people find connection to businesses, including dental practices. Putting your story on your website humanizes your team, sparks emotions, builds trust, and deepens your patient relationships. Find out what your story is and document it so you can share this with your agency.

· Identify your practice values. Every practice has its core set of values that your team lives by and is part of what attracted them to your practice in the first place. If you’re unsure about it or your practice hasn’t discussed it, look at some of your favorite brands for inspiration. Many companies have their core values on their website to show customers what drives them. You don’t have to put these on your website, but everyone on your team should know and embrace these values and they should shine through on your website in a subtle way. If you decide to put these values on your website, they could go under the ‘About Us’ page or under your practice story.

If you're not portraying your brand the way you’d like, then you can discuss it with your agency. Keep in mind that you and your team are well-versed in your dental and you all know why you choose to work here. You don’t need an outside agency telling you that. The right agency will listen to your ideas, take that feedback, and capture it on your site in the way you want to be seen.

The right agency partner will build a website that’s centered around your ideal patients, represents your brand in an authentic way, and most importantly, brings you more patients. RevenueWell’s digital marketing team has over 20 years of experience in the dental space so we understand what it takes to build a website that sets you apart and converts more patient. We offer a wide range of services including website services, SEO, branding, and more where we’ll partner with you to manage your all your digital marketing needs so you don’t have to worry about that side of your practice. Schedule a consultation today.