A recent conversation with a prospect inspired this post. Dr. F had a dental website that was created for the specific purpose of attracting new patients online. She was told that with enough emphasis (in her case, money to her website company) on dentist search engine optimization, she will get better rankings and generate increased website traffic which will lead to new patient requests.
Unfortunately for Dr. F, her website company was wrong.
While her rankings were pretty good (1st or 2nd page for most relevant keywords) and her website traffic was higher than normal in her area, she just wasn’t converting any patients through her website. After nearly a year with the same results, she finally had enough.
She gave us a call and we had a nice conversation about why ignoring the patient conversion aspects of dental website design was ultimately hurting her ability to convince patients to make an appointment.
Her problem, which is fairly common, was the result of poor dental website design. I’ve condensed our conversation into the following areas which was killing her patient conversion chances.
Calls-to-action. One of the first things I said to Dr. F was “if I was a patient and I just landed on your website, what do you want me to do?” Websites aren’t magical portals that beam patient information to your appointment scheduler. Your dental website design is a tool that you use to convince patients that you are worthy of their family’s business.
Call-to-action buttons give patients a direction to go on your website. They landed there for a reason. Give them the push to make an appointment online (if your website has that feature).
Appointment request feature. It’s 2015. Patients want to take care of everything online and making dental appointments is certainly one of them. If you don’t allow patients to make an appointment in a few clicks of a button, there’s a good chance they won’t wait until your practice opens the next morning to do so. They’ll visit the next website in line and make an appointment with a competitor.
Content. Dr. F had a single page that listed all of the procedures she can do at her practice. None of them linked to other pages or demonstrated examples of her work. This is bad for several reasons. What if they want to learn more about a dental procedure they know they need done? What if they want to view past procedures you’ve performed?
An individual page for each procedure offers benefits to patients and your website’s search engine rankings. For the patient, a page on teeth whitening, for example, can go over the benefits of the treatment, what it entails, and links or pictures to actual cases. At the end, you can have a call-to-action to direct them to a contact or appointment request form. For search engines, this page of content provides additional opportunities to optimize your website for various keywords, locations, and more.
Patient peace of mind. It’s hard for patients to visualize a dental office if they haven’t been there in a while (or ever), especially if they are scared of the thought of going to a dentist in the first place! Pictures of your office, your team, and your smiling patients can go a long way. Dr. F’s website didn’t have any of that and didn’t offer patients anything they can differentiate from any other practice in the area.
Mobile optimization. Patients visiting Dr. F’s website on a mobile device had no choice but to hit the back button and visit the next. They couldn’t make out the words on the screen or even find the phone number since the website wasn’t properly optimized. Besides tanking your patient conversion numbers, dental website designs that aren’t mobile friendly will also tank your search engine rankings, thanks to Google’s most recent major algorithm update. You can learn more about mobile-friendly website design here.
While there are other patient-conversion red flags in website design, these are the most common and the ones I’d recommend correct first. If you don’t, you’ll be left with a website that sits there doing little else than having your name on the internet.
To learn more about dental website designs that are built to attract new patients, give me a call at 800-227-2513 or email me at [email protected]