16 Feb Is Your Dental Website Working for You?
It’s your website, know how to use it!
For most businesses in the digital era, a website is often their single biggest presence and needs to create an outstanding first impression. With the majority of dental practices having some form of web presence it is now more important than ever to have a website that works for you on. There is no point in having a website, just to tick a box and to be able to say that you have a website.
With this in mind you need to be very concerned about how your dental website looks, and more importantly how it functions for your target patient demographic. In days gone by many dentists had a fairly homemade type of website, perhaps one or two pages. Whilst less may be more, this type of site just doesn’t fit the bill anymore, potential dental patients are a sophisticated lot, yes that’s right, don’t under estimate that first impression.
Does your own dental website fulfil these criteria?
A dental website should:
- Reflect your business, be professional, clean and make it quite clear what you are all about.
- Be easy to navigate through, to find the information your potential patient is looking for.
- Function well and be quick to load.
- Be fully optimised to ensure your site will be found when searched for.
- Be GDC & ICO compliant.
- Be kept updated and show that it is up to date.
Over the past few years we have seen a surge in the creation of new dental websites with ever more functionality and opportunity for potential patients to interact, whether through contact forms, call back requests and even chat windows. But how do we attract patients to get to your website in the first place and what do visitors want to see and read?
We all know about the power of the new “word of mouth”, or Social Media, to spread the word about your business, however it is rarely used in a fully effective manner that drives users to your largest marketing asset, your dental practice website.
It is now not enough to cram your Social Media channels with memes and links to “funny” videos. Your Social Media channels should be as sophisticated as your dental practice website in order to carry your marketing message to your potential patients, in the same way that you would describe a comprehensive treatment plan.
In other words use your website as the destination for your Social Media marketing activities… link posts back to your website!
On Site Blog
Do you have a blog on your website? If not why not?
A blog is a great tool for landing on from your Social Media channels, enabling you to create unique human interest stories or good quality educational articles for existing and potential patients.
Do not underestimate the power of your blog in search too, it can be a great tool to share your articles via organic search.
Search Engine Optimisation for dentists. Make sure your site is properly optimised “on page”. It is no secret that Google is constantly changing the goal posts for searches, however a solid well optimised site with good on page optimisation should get you to the right place on Google, Bing, Yahoo and others.
As ever Google is constantly looking at websites and deciding if the content is relevant, engaging and more importantly of good quality. Google is also now looking at sites on a holistic basis and then deciding how it is weighted. If for example your site is weighted towards cosmetic short term orthodontics, it should rank well for cosmetic short term orthodontics. On the other hand it might not rank so well for general dentistry if this has been glossed over in favour of higher quality orthodontic content. Make sure you site has balanced content, and it loads quickly, especially on mobile devices.
Rank checkers are great online tools to check on search ranking for specific keywords but don’t rely on them solely, sometimes there is no substitute for a real time human search to get a snapshot of how your site is performing, however this can fluctuate on a daily basis.
Understand how your dental website is being used. Granted, you won’t know until your shiny new website is launched, however you can glean all sorts of data from your Google Analytics once it has been up and running for a few weeks.
Google Analytics data is invaluable, allowing you to work out what content is working, and more importantly what isn’t working. A simple look at the user behaviour flow will show you your visitor’s flow through your site. It is often surprising to see that most users want to know who is going to treat them, what it costs and how to contact the practice. This isn’t always the case, however it does seem to be a new accepted “normal” on many dental websites.
Make sure you keep an eye on your acquisition data. This data is invaluable to assess engagement of users on your site, pages viewed, time on site, and importantly bounce rates.
Always keep an eye on the bounce rate, if it increases significantly for a given data segment find out why and address the issue, the clues will be in the various analytics data in the various reports available to you.
What now for your dental website and dental practice marketing?
In short your website is possibly your largest marketing asset, and probably your largest marketing investment and expense.
Keep it healthy:
- Make sure it is updated regularly with good quality content.
- Check that your on page optimisation is relevant & concise.
- Write regular blog articles to promote dental health, offers, treatments and even case studies (with appropriate permissions of course).
- Share your content on Social Media channels.
- Know how your site is performing.
- Check your analytics data regularly.
When was the last time you looked at your website through your patients eyes?
Use your dental website wisely and it will serve you well.
Original article written by Jan Clarke, published in Dentistry Scotland Magazine.