What’s In A Website?

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.

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