A DSO’s dental practice websites are the focal point for all of its digital marketing efforts. In fact, practice websites are the very foundation for all DSO marketing success. Your websites serve as the first impression most prospective patients will get of your dental practice locations. However, are they getting the right impression?
Every DSO needs to ask these questions about its websites as part of its DSO marketing plan:
- Do they do justice to your locations?
- Are viewers captivated by the content?
- Do your pages and blogs Inform them?
- Does your content keep viewers on the website?
- Are prospective patients motivated to take further action?
If all of the answers to these questions aren’t “yes,” it’s time to look at your websites with fresh eyes and consider what changes need to be made.
Website Designs Must Do Your Practice Locations Justice
A website design can make readers feel at ease or cause them to navigate away to other websites. It all depends on whether or not the job has been done well. Excellent website design puts prospective patients at ease and gives them a highly favorable first impression of your dental practice locations.
When it comes to launching websites and maintaining them, some dental practices (particularly solo and small group practices) are tempted to create and maintain websites internally in an attempt to lower costs. Unfortunately, that is problematic.
In fact, their sites are competing for attention with many highly sophisticated websites. Don’t forget that those websites have been designed by some of the best graphic design professionals in the country.
In the on-going battle for site ranking, sophisticated, tech-savvy websites have the advantage. They are the ones most likely to take the top positions in search engine results. Therefore, a smart DSO marketing plan can overwhelm more low-level competitors every time using innovative website design.
DSO Websites Need to Pass the “Scan” Test
Can viewers land on any of your practice websites, scan each page very quickly and get a good idea of what that page is all about? If not, it’s probably time to rethink the web development strategy for your DSO websites.
Although informative text is an important part of your dental practice websites, visuals, subheads and bullets do a lot to inform readers of the general idea of what each web page is all about. Visuals aren’t there just to look pretty (although, yes, they should look pretty). They should also help illustrate what you’re trying to get across to readers.
Whether it’s visuals like 360° panoramic views or videos that show what your office locations are like or graphics that drive home important points about the need for good oral health, make sure your dental practice websites are visually dynamic. Web pages that catch the eye get noticed—and read.
In addition, subheads need to be attention-getting. If they aren’t, people aren’t likely to read what follows. If some viewers are just skimming your landing pages, they need to get what you’re trying to say at a glance.
The whole idea, as always, is to keep readers on your dental practice websites as long as possible. That way, they will become more engaged and are more likely to pick up the phone and call for an appointment.
Website Navigation Must Steer Viewers in the Right Direction
Designing the navigation of your dental practice websites for viewers is similar to creating a floor plan of a new house. In either situation, it has to be done the right way.
Imagine walking into a house that’s for sale. As a buyer, you have certain expectations about what the layout will be. For example, if you opened the front door of a house for sale and suddenly found yourself in the bathroom, you’d be confused and likely annoyed. At that point, you would undoubtedly head out to look at other houses with more normal floor plans.
Web navigation bears many similarities to a house layout. Viewers have certain expectations of how websites are navigated. This is based, of course, on their experience of visiting literally thousands of websites. When they find something that doesn’t match their expectations, they become confused.
If visitors are disoriented or put off by the navigation on your practice websites, they will likely move away to competitor websites that more closely meet their expectations. At all times, DSO marketing depends on highly effective website navigation.
Websites With Ineffective Content Won’t Rank
As important as web design is, the quality of your content plays a huge role in visitor engagement and ultimately your Google ranking. Google knows whether people stay on your websites or whether they leave quickly.
If your websites engage visitors, Google views your websites as a valuable resource. That is a contributing factor for a higher ranking.
As DSOs strive to increase the effectiveness of their websites, they should keep the following objectives in mind regarding content:
Content Should Stir Emotions & Motivate Viewers To Take Action
Although providing information through your websites helps viewers, this isn’t their primary purpose. Clearly, DSO marketing depends on readers doing more than simply reading website content. They need to take action.
For example, if one of your websites were to post a page about a particular type of elective treatment such as dental implants, it should obviously impart important information that readers will find useful. However, the page must also start putting the idea in readers’ minds that this is a service that should be pursued at that practice location.
With something like periodontal disease, the consequences of inaction couldn’t be clearer. People can lose teeth and suffer subsequent bone loss. As a result, their facial appearance can change, which is an unsettling thought for most people.
Clearly, this page is trying to touch upon their fears but that’s OK. Creating a sense of urgency about good oral health is entirely justified.
Stress the Importance of Regular Hygiene Visits
If your content has already told readers about the consequences of poor dental health and why they need to do something about it, have your websites done their job? No, not entirely.
Now it’s time to tell prospective and inactive patients why good dental health is the best solution for good overall health. And, of course, maintaining that good dental health is best accomplished at one of your office locations.
None of your websites can guarantee that patients will never have issues if they keep up with regular hygiene visits. However, your content can certainly be clear that regular visits to the dentist are the best possible way to maintain good oral health.
Your websites can also paint a picture about what viewers’ lives will be like without the pain or embarrassment associated with poor dental health. They should see dental treatment as a way to avoid all of that. Does your current website content do this effectively?
Are Your Websites Helping Or Hurting Your Production? The Success of DSO Marketing Depends on the Answer
The more mistakes a practice website makes, the less it’s visited, and the lower Google ranks it. The result could not be more clear: that website is less likely to drive new patients to make an appointment. It’s just that simple.
If you aren’t sure how your websites stack up in the competitive world of DSO marketing, find out. Work with digital marketing specialists and determine how effective your present websites really are. The answer may surprise you.