Posts Tagged ‘website’

What’s In A Website?

Thursday 28th August 2014

A good website is at the heart of any successful marketing campaign, and is an excellent way of showing patients just who you are and what you do. You website may for example include patient testimonials, picture of your team, or even before and after photos from completed cases. Whatever you choose to include, visitors to your website will experience a fantastic ‘snap shot’ of your practice, and what they see, and what they read will persuade them either to call you, or search elsewhere.

 

Set yourself apart

To make the most of your practice website, it is important to remember that not all websites are created equal. In this day and age, merely having a website alone is not enough. This is because there are literally thousands of dental practice websites out there now, and unless you are able to successfully differentiate your website from the competition, then you may find your local rivals rank higher on Google than you do.

 

To help you get the most out of your practice website there are many different steps you can take, and the support of an experienced online dental marketing team can make the whole process an awful lot easier. Whichever route you decide to take – whether you employ the services of an outside agency, or choose to ‘go it alone’ – it is useful to be aware of the various features that help set the best dental practice websites apart.

 

Detail in the design

The design is an important part of any website, and in dentistry in particular, an eye-catching design helps to establish a strong first impression. The best websites will work as an extension of the practice setting, and will even use the same branding and colour scheme. Aside from the branding element, you should also be sure that your website isn’t too cluttered, or overwhelming on first glance, and that menus are clear and easy to follow. Remember, your practice website is reflection of your practice, and if your website doesn’t look professional, then rightly or wrongly, patients will assume the same is true of your dentistry.

 

What you say matters

Of course it’s all well and good having a practice website with an appealing design, but all this is worth nothing if you don’t have anything to say. Content is vitally important to a good website, and is one of the key determining factors behind how well your website ranks on Google. Content should be easy to read and professional, you should avoid jargon wherever possible, and you should never copy and paste text from another source. You should also ensure that your text is up to date, and ideally, you should add new content regularly. One of the best ways you can do this is by writing a practice blog. Blogs are an excellent way of engaging with patients, and making your practice seem ‘real’. Not only that, but Google loves blogs, and you will find your search ranking rises as a result.

 

Online compliance

While you will be familiar with the need for strict compliance protocols in-practice, you may not be aware of the need for a similar level of compliance when it comes to your practice website. In addition to the requirements outlined by the GDC and CQC, you should also ensure your website meets the ICO’s policy regarding the use of cookies. If you’ve never heard of the ICO regulations then it may well be worth your while to call in some expert support. After all, you may be an excellent dentist, but that is not to say you are an expert web developer, and factors such as ICO compliance should not be overlooked.

The mobile web

Online trends are changing, and more and more people are now surfing the web from portable devices such as smart phones and tablets. If your website doesn’t cater to this ample market then you won’t be achieving the maximum return on your marketing spend.

 

While size-responsive websites can be effective to a certain extent, the most effective dental practice websites will have a fast-action mobile version for patients who are searching on the go. These streamlined websites are far easier to browse on small screens, and will be optimised so they are easy to navigate and extremely fast to load. Typically, they will include just the core information and services from your main website, and will include a ‘call now’ function so patients can contact you in just the touch of a button.

 

Staying ahead of the game

Effective online dental marketing is no easy task, but is one that is vitally important if you are to stay ahead of the local competition. To achieve this, it is important that you have a website that is both appealing to patients and is ultimately something that you and your team can be proud of. This website should excel in areas such as design, content, compliance and mobile compatibility, and should fully reflect the quality of dentistry that you can provide. With these factors in mind, your practice website will be well on the way to online success.

 

For more information call 020 7183 8388, or visit www.dentalfocus.com

 

 

About the author:

Alfie Jones aka the Guru is Project Manager at Dental Focus ® ‘Websites for your profit’. Alfie has worked as a web designer, copywriter, college tutor and charity fundraiser in his time, and is called the Guru because he has a ‘guru-like’ knowledge of the web. As an expert in social media and website technology, Alfie is the first port of call for any dentist who is serious about their online marketing.

Design Is More Than Just Making Things Pretty

Friday 22nd August 2014

Web design should be empathetic to the problems of others and thus be used to solve them. This then drives value for everyone involved.

Design is as much about the process as about the end result.

Therefore it ought to be focused not so much on making things look pretty – as on problem-solving, questioning, and building confidence in a solution.

It’s good to explore and interrogate ideas and further develop them, working with the client. It doesn’t matter where the idea first comes from.

It could have been the designers idea, or the client may have seen something interesting, or there could be an established ‘look’ already in existence, needing to be further developed.

Nothing is truly original, as everything derives from something else.

Someone invented the wheel. Then someone else, the internal combustion engine. Before someone designed the E type Jag.

Design is about solving problems, listening to people and creating value – not just about making things pretty.

 

To speak to us about website design, contact Dental Focus on: 020 7183 8388.

 

Is Your Website Really Helping Your Practice To Grow?

Monday 4th August 2014

Often, practices that aren’t focused on their online presence don’t think enough about how a website can build brand recognition and how they could be getting more out of their online investment.

When managed correctly, a website can be a powerful asset to any practice that is trying to grow – by attracting more patients, generate more appointments and increase brand recognition.

Here are five important questions you should be asking yourself to make sure you are getting the most of out of your website.

Five things to ask:-

1) What kind of ROI are you getting on your investment?

2) Is your target patient able to find your website?

3) Is your website optimized for mobile devices?

4) Where does your website fit in to the rest of your dental business?

5) Are you able to give your website the attention it needs, for it to be truly effective? If unsure or if you are in need of some advice, contact Dental Focus on: 020 7183 8388 Also for an extended article, see this link:

http://www.sitepronews.com/2014/07/28/website-really-helping-business-grow-five-things-need-ask/?utm_source=newsletter+-+2014-07-29&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Article%2BUpdate

Keep your website compliant with Dental Focus ®

Thursday 17th July 2014

Compliant Dental Websites in UK


New GDC ‘Standards for the Dental Team’ became enforceable in September  2013. To make sure your website complies with all GDC standards, contact Dental Focus ® ‘Websites for your profit’ today.

At Dental Focus ® we have over 12 years’ experience creating high quality dental websites that are fully compliant with all relevant GDC, CQC and ICO standards. For your complete peace of mind we are offering solutions to ensure all our clients stay compliant with the latest GDC regulations.

  • Solution #1. Disclaimers will be automatically placed on all our 500+ client websites to protect you and ensure patients know not to send confidential medical details via email and website forms, which are not encrypted. This service is complimentary to all Dental Focus ® Customer Service Plan (CSP) clients.
  • Solution #2. We are offering Valident v-Form services, which have been specially developed to comply with GDC, DPA and CQC legislation. These secure, encrypted forms are incredibly important for online referrals and are available at a special discount to Dental Focus ® customers.

To find out more about website compliance and how we can help you meet the new GDC standards, contact Dental Focus ® ‘Websites for your profit’ today.

For more information call 020 7183 8388, or visit www.dental-focus.com

What’s In A Website?

Monday 14th July 2014

Dental Website Designers in UK

A good website is at the heart of any successful marketing campaign, and is an excellent way of showing patients just who you are and what you do. You website may for example include patient testimonials, picture of your team, or even before and after photos from completed cases. Whatever you choose to include, visitors to your website will experience a fantastic ‘snap shot’ of your practice, and what they see, and what they read will persuade them either to call you, or search elsewhere.

Detail in the design

The design is an important part of any website, and in dentistry in particular, an eye-catching design helps to establish a strong first impression. The best websites will work as an extension of the practice setting, and will even use the same branding and colour scheme. Aside from the branding element, you should also be sure that your website isn’t too cluttered, or overwhelming on first glance, and that menus are clear and easy to follow. Remember, your practice website is reflection of your practice, and if your website doesn’t look professional, then rightly or wrongly, patients will assume the same is true of your dentistry.

What you say matters

Content is vitally important to a good website, and is one of the key determining factors behind how well your website ranks on Google. Content should be easy to read and professional, you should avoid jargon wherever possible, and you should never copy and paste text from another source. You should also ensure that your text is up to date, and ideally, you should add new content regularly. One of the best ways you can do this is by writing a practice blog. Blogs are an excellent way of engaging with patients, and making your practice seem ‘real’. Not only that, but Google loves blogs, and you will find your search ranking rises as a result.

Online compliance

While you will be familiar with the need for strict compliance protocols in-practice, you may not be aware of the need for a similar level of compliance when it comes to your practice website. In addition to the requirements outlined by the GDC and CQC, you should also ensure your website meets the ICO’s policy regarding the use of cookies. If you’ve never heard of the ICO regulations then it may well be worth your while to call in some expert support. After all, you may be an excellent dentist, but that is not to say you are an expert web developer, and factors such as ICO compliance should not be overlooked.

Staying ahead of the game

Effective online dental marketing is no easy task, but is one that is vitally important if you are to stay ahead of the local competition. To achieve this, it is important that you have a website that is both appealing to patients and is ultimately something that you and your team can be proud of. This website should excel in areas such as design, content, and compliance and should also be fully compatible across all mobile devices. With these factors in mind, your practice website will be well on the way to online success.

For more information call 020 7183 8388, or visit www.dental-focus.com

About the author:

Alfie Jones aka the Guru is Project Manager at Dental Focus ® ‘Websites for your profit’. Alfie has worked as a web designer, copywriter, college tutor and charity fundraiser in his time, and is called the Guru because he has a ‘guru-like’ knowledge of the web. As an expert in social media and website technology, Alfie is the first port of call for any dentist who is serious about their online marketing.

The mobile web – why having a mobile website is crucial to online success

Friday 4th July 2014

 

Mobile technology is everywhere these days, and is continuing to grow with each passing year. According to the U.N., out of the world’s estimated 7 billion people, 6 billion have access to mobile phones.[1] If this figure wasn’t astonishing enough, Ian Carrington of Google has said that there are now ‘more people on earth that have access to a mobile phone, than have access to a toothbrush’.[2]

A startling statistic I’m sure you will agree, and one that has a significant implication for the way you market your dental practice to patients. This is because many people nowadays will use their mobile phone – or ‘smartphone’ – to surf the web. So, while it is still essential that you have a dental practice website, it is also just as important that your website is ‘mobile-friendly’. If it is not, then you stand to miss out on the many people who now prefer to search for services such as dentists online using their mobile device.

What the research tells us

At Dental Focus ® ‘Websites for your profit’ we’ve conducted our own research into mobile websites and the traffic our clients receive from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Our research tells us that on average 1 in 3 of your website visitors are now using a mobile device, and this figure is fast approaching 1 in 2. So not only do we know that more people are now using mobile devices to surf the internet, we also know that more people are using them to search for dental practices online.

This is important as it means there is no better time to embrace the mobile internet. If you’re website isn’t already mobile-friendly then now is the time to upgrade so you are in the best position to take advantage of the growing market for websites that are quick and easy to navigate from a mobile device.

Secrets to success

If a patient is searching for a dental practice on-the-go, then they will have a very short attention span. This means they have different requirements to desktop users, so need a website that caters specifically for their needs. Ideally your mobile-friendly website should auto-detect that the patient is on a smartphone or tablet and then show a special mobile version which loads quickly and is optimised for the screen size with just the right of information.

Speed and ease of use are two incredibly important factors here. As consumers, we are impatient at the best of times, but if a patient is searching for a dental practice then they are going to want to see almost instant results. Therefore it is absolutely essential that your website is simple, fast loading and easy to navigate. If it isn’t then many patients may be tempted to move on and search elsewhere.

Six key pages

For the perfect fast-action mobile website, you will need six pages. These pages should include a home or welcome page, an appointment form, and information about your dentists and members of your team. There should also be a treatments menu, a ‘fees and offers’ page, and finally a page for patient testimonials. If your mobile website has more than these six key features you will run the risk of bombarding the reader with too much information and too many menus to navigate on a small screen.

Remember, creating the perfect mobile-friendly website is all about giving patients the information they need as quickly and simply as possible. Because they are ‘on the go’ they have less time, and will so also appreciate easy contact features such as ‘click to call’ telephone numbers and ‘click to find’ addresses linking to Google maps for directions.

Marketing matters

Social trends are changing. For a number of years now the internet has been the single most cost-effective way of marketing for dental practices. The good news is it still is, however more people now prefer to surf the web ‘on the go’ than on their desktop computer. This trend is so significant that mobile internet will actually overtake fixed internet at some point this year.[3]

All of which means that if your practice doesn’t have a mobile website, you may well miss out on attracting new patients. Not only that, but if your competitor has one but you don’t, then these patients are much more likely to book with them than with you. This means you will be losing out on two fronts: the missed opportunity of the new patient, and the business lost to your biggest rival.

To help you make the most of your online marketing efforts, contact an experienced online marketing team today to see how you can make your dental practice an online success.

For more information call 020 7183 8388, or visit www.dental-focus.com

About the author:

Alfie Jones is the resident Mobile Web expert and Sales Manager at Dental Focus ® ‘Websites for your profit’. Alfie has worked as a web designer, copywriter, college tutor and charity fundraiser before finding his niche with the team at Dental Focus. As an expert in social media and website technology, Alfie is the first port of call for any dentist who is serious about their online marketing.


[1] ‘More People Have Cell Phones Than Toilets, U.N. Study Shows’, Time.com, 25th March 2013 <http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/03/25/more-people-have-cell-phones-than-toilets-u-n-study-shows/#ixzz2pdawgps3> [accessed 6th January 2013].

[2] ‘More Mobile Phone Access Than Toothbrushes, says Google’, Mobile Marketing, 21st October 2012, <http://mobilemarketingmagazine.com/more-mobile-phone-access-toothbrushes-says-google/#ZoDQuiITk7JQfDQt.99> [accessed 6th January 2014].

[3] ‘Mary Meeker: Mobile Internet Will Soon Overtake Fixed Internet’, GigaOM, 12 April 2010 <http://gigaom.com/2010/04/12/mary-meeker-mobile-internet-will-soon-overtake-fixed-internet/> [Accessed 6th Jan 2014].

Emotional Branding

Tuesday 24th June 2014

We believe Emotional Branding is central to responsive dental marketing, i.e. understanding people’s concerns, fears and aspirations (especially as dentistry is a lot about appearance, confidence and trust).

Interestingly, we note that now SoftBank in Japan have developed a robot that is capable of deciphering emotions. 

It can tell if you’ve had a bad day and are feeling stressed or if you’re feeling sad and need a shoulder to cry on.

All very well – but for your dental marketing you’d be better off talking to Dental Focus, who as part of their strategy, interpret and understand how human emotions can drive dental patients.

For now, we do not rely much on human-like robots using proprietary algorithms and voice recognition technology. 

Call Dental Focus: 020 7183 8388

See more at:

http://www.sitepronews.com/2014/06/06/pepper-robot-can-read-human-emotions/?utm_source=newsletter+-+2014-06-07&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Article%2BUpdate

 

Make Polling part of your Social Media strategy

Thursday 29th May 2014

‘Polling’ is a very powerful tool that dental practices can use as part of their social strategy (to market the practice).

Big brands often pay a lot of money to have outside services and companies survey customers to get product feedback. Others use social listening tools to see what people are saying about their products.

But dental practices can be more direct and go straight to patients on a social media channel.

Please see this (please just read ‘patients’ instead of ‘customers’):

http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2346906/5-Reasons-to-Include-Polling-in-Your-Social-Media-Strategy

Getting the right website for your referral practice

Friday 2nd May 2014

Dentistry can be a challenging environment at the best of times, but with competition for patients so rife it can be a challenge in itself to make your practice stand out. For Specialist or referral practices in particular, this challenge can prove particularly tough, as you’re not only selling your services to patients, but you’re also selling yourself to fellow professionals as well.

Given the massive change the internet has brought about in our world, it’s fair to say if you want to market your practice successfully, you really do need to have a practice website. While some dental practices may be happy with a simple “nuts and bolts” website – one that contains just basic information and contact details – to really make a success of your referral business you should endeavour to create something that sets you apart; something that “sells” your practice and your practice team to fellow professionals and patients alike.

There are many ways you can achieve this, and with the services of a professional web design team, you will find this far easier to accomplish than without. In essence, for your referral practice to become an online success, your practice website needs to be unique, it needs to be exclusive – it needs to embody everything that is unique about your practice, but in digital form. For your website to be truly exclusive, it needs to be a number of things: it needs to look appealing, it needs to contain lots of interesting and engaging content, and it needs to be optimised for the web.

In order to fully realise your practice vision, the very best websites will consist of a strong blend of eye catching, intelligent design, and content that reflects who you are, and the core values you practice team hold dear. For referral practices this point is particularly important – both for attracting patients, and practices seeking to refer.

To meet the needs of these two different groups, many websites will now be split into two sections: one for patients, and one for professionals. In each section you will need to include content suitable for the target market you are seeking. This may include video, or written testimonials (from patients and/or dentists), treatment guides, and even a practice blog.

Though of course, creating an exclusive practice website is a significant task, this isn’t a task you need to achieve on your own. After all, you’re a dental professional, not a web designer, and you should rightly spend your time concentrating on that which matters most: your patients. To make the most of your online marketing efforts then, it pays to trust experts with experience in dentistry to help you achieve the best website to help your practice grow.

The first thing anyone sees when they open a new web page in their internet browser is the design. If your website looks cheap or poorly designed then chances are the user will choose to look elsewhere. Remember, your website is a 24/7 “shop window” for your business. How you present yourself through your shop window says an awful lot about you and your business. It’s therefore vitally important that what you display looks good!

Compatibility is also another important factor to consider for any practice website. Poorly designed, static web pages will not display very well on portable devices, and can prove particularly difficult to navigate if viewed through these mediums. An experienced web design team will know that good web design is much more than just what a website looks like – it also includes the technical elements that many people will just take for granted. If a potential referrer visits your website and either can’t see or can’t navigate their way around it easily, then you may well find your website turns away many more referring clinicians than it attracts!

The third “pillar” of good website design is content. Good content is absolutely key to all successful websites, as ultimately people visit websites in order to digest information. Content is also extremely important from a technical perspective as well, as high quality, regularly updated content can help boost your search engine results and can also influence your “conversion rate” – that is, the number of people who contact you as a result of visiting your website.

Indeed, many practices nowadays will run a practice blog as a good way of engaging patients in issues relating to oral health. As a referral practice, you might also like to consider posting case studies and examples of complex or particularly difficult cases you have treated. This can be a great way of demonstrating your commitment and skill, and will show colleagues the type of specialised service you can offer.

To help you make the most of your online marketing efforts, employing the services of an experienced web design team really can make all the difference. Companies such as Dental Focus ® Web Design for example can really help make your referral practice stand out with an exclusive website design that is search engine optimised, GDC compliant, and fully compatible with all internet browsing devices.

In this highly competitive age of dentistry, it’s absolutely essential that you market yourself effectively to the world. For referral practices, this is especially important, and it is crucial that you make use of all the tools at your disposal. To make your practice an online success, invest in an exclusive website, and see your referrals grow.

For more information call 020 7183 8388, or visit www.dental-focus.com

Creative Thinking

Tuesday 15th April 2014

Dental Focus design web sites for dental practices. To design, we think ‘creatively’, not ‘subjectively’. Thinking creatively is not “thinking outside he box”, but instead “thinking from firmly within the box”. We need to know the objectives, the relevant imagery, your treatments, the practice’s “Point of Difference” etc, before starting to design. Designers (many assume), can be tortured, cynical, self-conscious souls. But we are not really.

Nevertheless, here for some light relief, are the top ten common mistakes supposedly made by designers (I can relate to these, being the ex-Creative Director of a Design consultancy). These points can be worth applying to any thought process that you are about to undertake.

1. Flogging a dead horse

Sometimes when a client rejects an idea we go back one too many times trying to persuade them otherwise. Learning to tear up your own ideas and come back again with a better one is a right of passage for any great designer. And trust me, I’ve learned this the hard way.

2. Killing a great idea too early

Of course, it works the other way too. If it’s a good thought, let others know and don’t be afraid to fight your corner. Sometimes tweaking, rather than binning, works wonders. We’d have lost so many design classics to the wastepaper basket had it not been for the bravery and tenacity of good designers with a bee in their bonnet.

3. Underestimating yourself

Designers are an insecure breed. This can lead to a lack of confidence when starting a new brief, presenting work or even when selling yourself to a potential employer. But the trick is to learn to love the fear – after all, if it wasn’t so scary, would it be so rewarding? It’s worth embracing your anxieties and the adrenaline rush that creativity provides. Turn nerves into pure nerve and you’ll be surprised at the effect.

4. Bad spelling

A letterform is a beautiful thing to a creative. We don’t write letters, we draw them. So often we’re so focused on the way they look that we neglect to make sure that they’re in the right order, at the despair of every copywriter we work with (not to mention the eagle-eyed client). Just don’t forget that good design can be completely demolished by poor spelling. Get friendly with your dictionary, or failing that find a decent proof-reader.

5. Using a favourite typeface too often

Isn’t it better when a typeface is used because it’s right for a particular brief, not just because we like it?

6. Being precious about awards

Ah, the glory of standing up there, award in hand, eyes ablaze at the prospect of an evening spent drunkenly dancing whilst grinning from ear to ear. But for every victor, there’s a grumpy designer at the back of the auditorium lamenting his loss to anyone who’ll listen. Design awards aren’t the be-all and end-all. There will always be an element of subjectivity in judging design work. The fact is, if a project is the best that you could have made it then you should feel proud to have it in your portfolio – silverware or no. And you’d only leave the award in the taxi on the way home anyway.

7. Missing talent

I’ve interviewed graduates in the past and offered them a placement only to see them get snapped up by another consultancy in a permanent role. When you wholeheartedly believe in someone, you will never regret employing them. (And always, always hire people better than yourself).

8. Getting overly emotionally involved in a pitch

When we win, it’s sheer joy. When we lose – deepest despair. If only we could pitch without exposing ourselves to potential agony. But then would that take the fun out of pitching?

9. Shelf-stacking

OK – so this is one for the packaging designers. We often find ourselves standing in supermarkets, rearranging shelves or displays, making our designs look neat and tidy – drawing confused glances from our fellow shoppers. Some would call this a mistake, I call it good marketing practice.

10. Trying to ‘Apple-Z’ real life

This keyboard shortcut is now so ingrained in our brains that when we accidentally knock over a glass of water we try to ‘undo’ real life. Note to self: keep the keyboard shortcuts to the keyboard, and always have some kitchen-paper handy.

11. Designing inappropriate leaving/birthday cards

When a brief isn’t real, it’s all too tempting to cross the line. Rumour has it that designers have lost their jobs over such things. Leading to more leaving cards, and yet more opportunities for offence. Be careful, and get yourself to the nearest Paperchase if needs be.

12. Poor numeracy skills

Hmm, yes, you’ll have noticed the deliberate mistake here. Ten design mistakes? Well, I’ve never been able to restrain myself from throwing more ideas into the mix. Which leads me onto number 13… no, sorry, I’ll stop there. But in all seriousness, mistakes are what make us human, perhaps even what makes us creative. So maybe we should be less self-deprecating, and a little more accepting of our foibles – after all, don’t we creatives take enough of a beating? So my advice is this; go forth, make mistakes, fail, come back the next day, learn. But whatever you do, do use spell-check along the way.

 

adrian-blogAdrian Adler is “the Wizard” at Dental Focus Web Design.

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