When a prospective patient is in need of dental care, he or she will likely visit your practice’s website following a Google search for dental offices in his or her location. Based on what the prospective patient sees (or doesn’t see) on your website, he or she could be prompted to call to schedule an appointment, or leave your website in search of another practice. For this reason, it is crucial to understand what a prospective patient may be looking for in a dental practice’s website, and also to have the knowledge of what it takes to make the conversion from visitor to patient. Here are a few things to look for on your practice’s website to ensure that prospects stay interested, engaged and informed throughout the conversion process.
Landing Page– The landing page of your website is the page visitors find themselves on as soon as they click the link in the search engine results page. Because this is their first impression of your practice, it is essential that you make sure your landing page is well-ordered, easy to read and navigate, and prominently displays important information including the name, address and phone number of your practice, a list of services offered, and office hours and location.
Ease of Use– A prospective dental patient may become frustrated if he or she has to click through to multiple pages in order to find the information he or she needs. Alleviate that irritation by making your website easy to navigate. This includes making your site mobile-friendly so that users of mobile devices are still able to access the information they need and successfully schedule an appointment without any inconvenience or difficulty.
Reviews- Businesses have always relied on word of mouth to advertise their company and build a good reputation. Dental and medical practices especially benefit from positive reviews, as prospective patients are eager to hear what current patients have to say about the health care professional they are considering. Thanks to online reviews, it’s now easier than ever to get patients’ impressions and opinions of their dental office. By making sure your glowing patient reviews are seen by prospects, be sure to display them prominently on your landing page or in an easily accessible page that is clearly marked “Reviews.”
Visual Appeal– Let’s face it- when it comes to websites we all tend to judge the book by its cover. Visual appeal goes a long way when trying to convert website visitors to patients. A site that is plain, with a hard-to-read font in a color that contrasts poorly with the background may denote, however unfairly, that the dentist at the helm of this practice leaves much to be desired. On the other hand, a website that is a little too visually stunning with animated Flash effects or elaborate transitional effects can take its toll on the bandwidth of any browser and be subject to crashes, freeze-ups and delayed loading time, which can irritate the prospect to the point of leaving the site altogether. It is best practice to aim for a nice middle ground with a nice, easy-to-read, well-organized website with professional-looking fonts, a few relevant photos, and working links to pages that load quickly.
Maintaining an attractive, engaging and informative website is the first and most important step to winning new patients for your practice. By sticking to these guidelines, you can have a website that makes visitors want to be patients!