When it comes to attracting and retaining patients, word of mouth alone won’t cut it. Today’s dental practices need eye-catching, informative, user-friendly websites to better serve their current patients, engage new patients, and stand out from the competition.
Why do dental practices need websites?
Patients do their research online. Prospective patients aren’t going to flip through the yellow pages and make phone calls to find the right dental practice. If you’re not online, you may as well not exist. A good website with a wealth of high-quality content consistently increases your chances of finding new patients while providing a reason for existing patients to build an even stronger relationship.
A website is like a storefront that never closes. Unlike other appointment-based businesses (such as hair salons or tattoo parlors), dental offices can’t rely on walk-ins to generate additional revenue. No matter how great the location, foot traffic won’t help build a loyal, dependable customer base. A good website can serve the same purpose that an attractive storefront usually would. Customers can discover your practice, read up on the available services, and submit their contact information. Whether or not they go so far as to book an appointment, they may leave you with enough to reach back out and complete the process. Best of all, a website never closes. Any time of day, any day of the year, a website can educate both prospective and existing patients on what your practice offers and what makes it the ideal choice.
Websites attract new patients and engage existing ones. With an effective, attractive website, you’re just a few clicks away from bringing new patients to your practice for the first time or encouraging existing patients to book appointments for additional services.
What makes a good website?
Clarity. Your website provides the opportunity to make a strong first impression and build on the impression you’ve already made with patients. It should offer all the information patients need to make informed decisions without overwhelming them. Perhaps most important of all is a clear method for contacting your team and booking appointments.
Accessibility. Websites can lose patients just as easily as they attract them. If a potential client visits your site and finds a host of digital hoops, they’ll soon look for another competing practice. Existing patients may opt for greener, more convenient pastures if booking appointments presents a challenge. Make sure your site is optimized for mobile users and capable of serving users across a range of browsers and devices. Conduct regular assessments to ensure the user experience never falters and that all technical errors are promptly addressed.
Security. Trust is everything in your relationships with your patients. Don’t risk violating that trust by tying your practice to an unsafe website. Dental practices have fallen victim to numerous data breaches over the years. You don’t want to add your practice to that list.
How to build a good website
Outline your goals. What are you hoping to achieve by establishing or strengthening your website? Determining this end goal from the outset will focus your efforts throughout the initiative and should ultimately result in a better, more impactful website.
Conduct competitor research. There’s no doubt that your competitors are online, but how do they use the internet to set themselves apart? Visit the websites for competing practices and see what you can borrow (or steal) from their sites.
Consult the pros. Are you familiar with the principles of web design, digital marketing, and search engine optimization? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a novice’s skillset. Take some time to research agencies who specialize in designing websites for organizations like your dental practice. Be ready to discuss your practice, what makes it unique, and how you’d best like to connect with patients.
Creating a new website or optimizing an existing one is a great way to help your practice emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger and better than ever.