They say the truth hurts. But they also say that it helps to know the truth because you can use your knowledge to make positive changes. While this applies to life in general, it really applies to your dental practice. After all, how would you like to create a marketing piece for your practice that you think is exceptional, only to find it looks outdated and turns people off of your practice.
If you haven’t stayed on top of today’s marketing trends, chances are your dental website sucks. Not sure why? Here are some reasons why your website might not be meeting the expectations of your visitors and is hindering your practice’s growth.
- You don’t invest in SEO | Search engine optimization is the process of creating content that answers questions people are searching for answers to. Every search performed on a search engine is a question that needs an answer. By creating content that answers these questions you’re attracting visitors to your website that already have some interest in what you have to offer.In the case of a dentist, someone in your area might search “dentist near me”. If your website is optimized for local SEO, search engines will know where you’re located and deliver your listing as an option for that person to click on. Read more about local SEO for dentists in this article.Search engine optimization is about more than content, though. It also requires technical skills that ensure your website meets the standards of search engines.
- You don’t understand the importance of organic rankings | Organic rankings on search engines are the listings that appear right under the paid ads (PPC). Organic rankings are an important part of your long-term SEO strategy and, once you achieve high rankings, your cost per acquisition will be much less than what it would cost using traditional marketing methods.
- You don’t blog | A blog is the best way to create fresh content that’s relevant to your audience. Blog posts are indexed by search engines, thus they help improve your rankings, but they also make for great content that is shareable.The more people see your blog posts and relate to them, the more likely they are to share them on social networks. This increases your visibility by leveraging the social networks of people who already follow and trust you. And because they trust you, their friends look at that as an endorsement and are more likely to trust you with their dental needs. Read more about dental blogging here.
- Your website isn’t responsive | A responsive dentist website is absolutely crucial to your success. Why? Because a responsive website literally responds to the device it is being viewed on. This means that everything on your website looks good regardless of the device it’s being viewed on.Search engines, particularly Google, favor responsive websites and use them when considering how to rank a website. Additionally, a responsive website improves your website’s engagement rate – how long people stay on it and interact with it. This is yet another factor taken into account when it comes to ranking your website.
- You don’t have business listings that are up-to-date | Local search engine optimization play a huge part in driving traffic to websites. But it’s only effective if your listings on websites like Yelp, Google, and Facebook are up-to-date.Make it a point to not only create listings but also check them regularly to ensure information is still updated. Each listing should point back to your website and your website should point to your listings so that people can find your outside profiles and leave reviews.
- You don’t have a lead capture form or lead magnet | Your website is a marketing tool. It should be designed to capture leads that ultimately become patients and grow your practice. If you don’t have a way to securely capture visitor information, then you’re doing yourself a disservice.Typically you’ll offer some sort of lead magnet to get people to fill out a form and give you your information. This might be an offer for a free exam or a free teeth whitening session. The “lead magnets” don’t cost much for you to offer, but can lead to a lifelong patient who becomes an evangelist for your practice.
- You abandoned your social media accounts | According to the Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice social media is used in 52% of dental practices, with the most popular network being Facebook. While social media isn’t technically a part of your website, it still is a part of your entire online presence. All of your social media accounts should be linked to from your website’s header or footer. Because this is where you can truly interact with fans of your practice, it’s important that you keep your social profiles active. Learn more about social media for dentists in this blog post.
- You use popups | Popups are annoying and a surefire way to turn a visitor who is seriously interested in what you have to offer away. Why? Because they waste people’s time. With most people visiting your website from mobile devices while on the go, you don’t want to inconvenience them by forcing them to exit out of a popup.
- Your website is slow | Since more and more people are visiting websites from mobile devices, your website needs to be snappy and work well on their device. If it’s slow, they’re likely to bounce from your site and over to a competitor’s faster than you can say “dentist.”
- You use a template | Sure, a template based website is cheap, but you’ll look like every other dental office out there and have a hard time setting yourself apart. A custom built website that’s designed to capture and communicate your practice’s personality is a great way to differentiate yourself from other dentists in the area.