When it comes down to what separates the successful businesses from the unsuccessful ones, there is one logical factor that most reasonable people would probably agree on: having a product that people want and need. Any business-minded dentist who wants to build a career around his or her practice has already got this part nailed down pat. There’s no doubt about it, dentistry is a service that few western people want to go without. Let’s face it, bad teeth can bring severe consequences for those who have them; difficulty getting jobs, trouble in the romance department, and, of course, all the many health issues that come from having an unhealthy dentition. So there’s little doubt that a dental practice should draw customers.-
The Upper 10 Percent
Despite the obvious appeal of dentistry as a service, there is a strange disparity between the few very successful orthodontic practices and the rest. 90% of competent dentists are able to make at least a modest, but secure living plying their trade. But only 10% of them are able to build truly thriving practices. This stark contrast hasn’t always been the case. The disparity between the top dental practices and the rest used to be roughly 40% enjoying very lucrative practices, and the other 60% maintaining modest revenues. So why has the contrast become so much sharper?
Well, it isn’t anything to do with harsh federal regulations being imposed on the industry- it’s something slightly more subtle than that- something that has been made possible by the Internet. It all comes down to the skill and willingness to apply advertising savvy to developing an online pretense– it’s online dental marketing. Today, just about every business needs to have a digital footprint on the information superhighway. But not everyone is using theirs to the maximum effect, and as it turns out- there are five basic features that the top 10% of dental websites design experts utilize which raise them above the crowd.
The 5 Essential Features of a Successful Dental Practice Website
1. A Logical Flow Chart
Most commonly referred to as a site road map, your flow chart can be represented by a simple maze of choices which visitors to your site will follow from your landing page to content, features, and on to your a contact or point of purchase. This is also known as a ‘funnel,’ which by itself tells you what it’s meant to do- herd your visitors from landing pages to engagement points as smoothly and quickly as possible. That may not sound very nice, but the fact is- if visitors don’t find what they want quickly by following content which appeals to them, they will leave your site before that even realize they have lost interest in you. Winning medical websites design depends on very streamlined funnels which move visitors on in a way that is quick, pleasant, and which offers them something they want.
Avoid lengthy sign-up process at all cost.
2. Social Media Integration
Dentistry is an intensely social and personal kind of business. Dentists must have a good relationship with their local communities. They must have facial recognition- what some professionals refer to as Supermarket Presence- in other words, people recognize you at the supermarket. To keep ahead of the top 10%, a dentist not only has to be active in the local community- proper dental marketing requires that they must also have an active presence in social media. You should be spending, at least, an hour each week interacting with local networks of people via Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and similar sites in order to curate your supermarket presence. People like to be a part of a group, and as a respected local professional who serves the community, you represent an opportunity for people to be part of a group. In this case, the group identity you want to nurture is patients of the best dentist in town. You want to be like a feather in their caps.
Social interaction is an essential in a patient-doctor relationship.
3. Mobile Friendly Features
Most people are doing no less than 60% of their online surfing on mobile devices these days. Phones are not just phones anymore, they are pocket-sized computers- and people use them all day long every day. Most websites now have mobile friendly coding which makes them easier to use on smaller screens. Even Google recently announced that they would be promoting websites with mobile friendly features in search rankings preferentially ahead of websites which can only be viewed on full sized screens. If you don’t know what we mean, simply resize your browser window to 1/3rd it’s full size on your desktop. If the text wraps to stay within the edges, then it’s a mobile friendly site. If it does not, and things become obscured and a horizontal scroll bar appears at the bottom edge, then it is not mobile friendly. This is anathema to your online presence, and it makes visiting a site on mobile devices very unpleasant.
User experience is the most important element of any website. After all, websites are build for users.
4. Quality Hosting
Do not fool around with free website hosting like WordPress or Wix. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, but you need the kind of quality hosting that only a premium paid service with 24/7 technical assistance can provide. Sub-par hosting can hurt your business in numerous ways. It can cause your site to run slowly. Users have a low tolerance for that sort of thing, (especially if they have a nagging toothache). If your site fails to load, chances are you will lose that potential customer forever. Furthermore, the quality of a website’s hosting is another factor that Google takes into consideration when assigning listing ranks. Yes, they set rankings on a site by site basis- it can be a bit arbitrary, which means you do not want rank setters to have any reason to set you back.
Low-quality hosting attracts more problem in the long term. You get what you pay for.
5. Useful & Attractive Content
There’s a reason why users are called users- they expect useful content. When it comes to a dental website, this means answering pressing and common questions people have about their oral health. You want to offer an easy-to-find blog page that is full of easy-to-understand and quick answers to people’s fears and desires about their teeth. Your written content should be terse and simple to comprehend with minimal jargon. You should offer them information that they can use whether or not they become your patient. That way they will visit your site, again and again, each time they have a question about their oral health- and eventually when they really need a dentist- guess who they are going to call. They will call their trusted answer dentist- they will call you. This is the most important feature of any dentistry website, and everything else about your site should accommodate it, lead to it- and through it- toward your point of purchase.
Attractive content has values to consumers. A content strategy can help curating the right content for the right audience.
Finally, have good photos. They don’t have to be Pulitzer prize winners. Simply acquire a decent quality camera, and learn a few things about photography such as the rule of thirds. This will also offer you an opportunity to incorporate locals in your advertising campaign- and that will keep them coming back to your site for certain.