Just how important is your dental practice website? As it turns out, very important. The vast majority of people prefer going to a dentist’s website rather than calling his or her office. Consequently, how you approach dental practice web design has a direct impact on practice production.
Plenty of people would love to help you build your website. However, not all of them can deliver what you need. When looking for a professional to handle your website needs, consider the following:
Do they know dentistry and the healthcare field?
Not everyone can understand the unique aspects of dentistry. If people writing for you don’t know what pocket depth refers to or what root planing is, they lack the expertise to speak on your behalf. Clearly, not every company is qualified to deliver excellent dental practice web design.
Are they well-versed in best SEO practices?
A lot of people can build a pretty website. Fewer can build one that is geared to earn websites a good ranking by Google.
Have they built many websites?
Experience matters. A dental practice web design company that has well-developed systems for creating websites with a track record of success is what you’re looking for.
Can they write SEO-optimized content?
There’s content… and then there’s content optimized for the web. Plenty of good writing goes unseen because the creators never optimized it for the web.
Does the company have any certifications?
For example, are they a Google Partner? Google determines how your website ranks. You need people who understand this process thoroughly.
Are their people Google-certified?
If a marketing or web development company consists of multiple Google-certified people, you’ll know that they have the technical skills necessary to make your practice website competitive.
Requirements for Good Dental Practice Web Design
When choosing a web developer, remember that an effective dental practice website is essential to finding new patients and patient retention. So what are some essentials to keep in mind with dental practice web development? Based on its experience creating hundreds of websites for healthcare clients, Dreamscape Marketing recommends the following:
The First Impression is Everything
In 2013, a Pew Internet survey determined that 72% used the internet to search for healthcare information. And this was 2013… in the internet world, that’s forever ago. Rest assured that percentage is probably significantly higher by now.
This means that a typical patient’s first impression of your practice isn’t the nice staff member on the phone or how nice your reception area is. Their first impression of your practice is your website. Consequently, before they shake your hand for the first time, they’ve probably already formed their opinion of your practice. Needless to say, that puts a lot of pressure on your website to do a great job.
If, for example, your website’s design stays the same for five or more years, it may say to people that the practice doesn’t keep up with the times—a terrible thought to be associated with any dental practice.
Here are other signs that your website isn’t utilizing the best dental practice web design:
Webpages haven’t been optimized for SEO (search engine optimization)
The greatest content in the earth can go unseen if it isn’t optimized for Google searches. That may seem unfair but these are the rules of the road as laid down by Google and other search engines.
Website employs what Google considers black-hat tactics like invisible text or keyword stuffing
Unfortunately, more than a few dentists have worked with unethical marketers who try to game the system for quick views. Google is wise to these techniques and actively seeks to penalize websites that deploy them. Keyword stuffing, for example, was popular 10 years ago because webmasters could get away with it. Now, Google updates will red flag any website it finds doing it. As a result, these websites wind up with a lower ranking.
Broken links and outdated information occur throughout the site
Websites need routine maintenance to ensure links are still active and the information is still relevant. Nothing will annoy viewers faster than a dental practice website that is obviously not kept up to date.
No blog or videos are present
These are what make your website interesting. And both are important partners with social media. Without these elements, your dental practice web design feels dated and unengaging.
Design or content isn’t compelling
The patience of the average viewer is low. People have little tolerance for visually unattractive websites. They will also lose interest fast if the content doesn’t attract their concerns in a way that they understand easily. If your content is thin, there’s nothing there to interest the reader. Also, Google will know that your content is thin and will drop your ranking accordingly.
It isn’t mobile-friendly
These days, it is becoming unthinkable to have a website that isn’t mobile-friendly. If you’ve ever accessed a website on your smartphone that isn’t mobile-friendly, you know why. Usually, the text is completely unreadable because it’s so small. It’s not something you going to read. Now imagine viewers hitting your website on their smartphones only to encounter something nearly unreadable. It’s not going to get you many patients. It’s going to get you ignored because viewers will simply move on to a dental practice website that is mobile-friendly. A good dental practice web design includes being mobile-friendly.
Is Your Practice’s Website Helping or Hurting You?
Dental practice web design is serious business. It can make the difference between a practice that grows or one that just gets by.
Since most dentists have websites, it’s not easy to stand apart from competitors. Only a dynamic website, with regular updates, stands a chance to rank well in a Google search. Technology is constantly changing, and that means websites must change to keep up. Furthermore, refresh your website with new original content on a regular basis.
As a Premier Google Partner, we’ve built hundreds of websites for our healthcare clients. Dreamscape Marketing also created more than 50,000 pages of optimized original content. We know healthcare… and we know dentistry.