One of the most effective marketing tools a dental practice can utilize today is a powerful website. Does your website just say how great your practice is, or does it tell visitors what this practice does for its patients?
When prospective patients visit your website you want them to think, “Wow, this is the dental practice for me.” It must draw them in, capture their attention, engage them in some way and motivate them to take a further action such as requesting an e-newsletter, making a telephone call, or setting an appointment. Once they have become a patient, the website should then make the entire process easier.
The technical term for this is Conversion Rate Optimization, or CRO. This means creating web pages which move the visitor along in a specific process which results in a desired action. Convert interest to a website visit, convert that visit into engagement, and then convert that engagement into a patient relationship.
Your goal should be to convert between 3 and 7 percent of website visitors to patients. If you aren’t anywhere near that conversion rate, here are ten solid tips to increase your website’s conversion rate and make it work harder for your dental practice:
Think about how a typical person might look at a web page. In the U.S. we are accustomed to scanning from left to right, similar to what we do when reading a book. Have your practice name and logo at the top left of your landing page. Put your phone number and address in a different color on the right so visitors won’t have to search for your contact information. Make sure the phone number has click-to-call capabilities so people can easily call you if they want to set up an appointment or ask a question.2. Compelling Headlines:
We have become a nation of scanners, so people are probably not going to read every single word on your website. Therefore, you must have compelling headlines that relate overall concepts. On your landing page, you might want to say something like, “Caring Family Dentist in Frisco TX Creates Winning Smiles.” These keywords will also be helpful in boosting your search results when potential patients Google “family dentist + Frisco.”
3. Strong Graphics:
Again, since there is less reading and more scanning, your website must have strong graphics to present your message. Include a friendly picture of yourself on the landing page, and plenty of pictures of helpful staff and smiling patients. Don’t make them go looking through the “Meet Our Team” page to form a visual image of your practice.
4. Use Video to Tell Your Story:
It is easy and affordable to produce a quality practice video but, better yet, it is effective. People like to click on a video and get a visual presentation of your practice. It helps them get to know you and your staff, and gives them as idea of your personality. Video is a great way to use sight, sound and emotion to connect with site visitors.
5. Patient Testimonials:
Word-of-mouth is the best form of marketing, so make sure there are plenty of satisfied patient testimonials on your website. Ask patients to rate your care or tell a story about why they came to your dental practice in the first place.
6. Provide Helpful Information:
Don’t just talk about your practice. Provide helpful information on dental care. Your website should include an education area where visitors can click on articles or videos to learn more about specific elements of your practice. If you are an orthodontist, for example, you might want to have some information on the benefits of Invisalign braces. It is also important to have a regular blog, something on your site that provides frequent updates on the practice and dental care topics. This is also good for search results as the algorithms look for content that is fresh and topical.
7. What’s In It For Me (WIIFM):
The website is not about you, it is about the patient. Tell them what’s in it for them with plenty of benefit statements. How do your procedures, treatments, equipment and staff work to make their life easier, better or healthier? For every statement you want to make on your website, ask yourself “So what?” If it does nothing to enhance the visitor or patient experience, it shouldn’t be there.
8. Answer Questions:
Your website can’t answer every conceivable question, or somebody might have a concern that is unique to their specific situation. Have a way that site visitors can ask questions, and then make sure you get back to them with answers.
9. Set Appointments:
Maybe they are interested but in a hurry, or don’t like making telephone calls. Have a way to set an appointment on your site and capture their interest at the exact moment they are searching for a dentist.
10. Ask Them to Do Something:
Perhaps they are interested, but are just not ready to make a commitment yet. Ask them to do something so they will engage with you, and start building a relationship. Ask them to sign up for your e-newsletter, offer a white paper on dental health in exchange for an email address, or invite them to “Like” your Facebook page. You have done all that work to get them to your website, so now it is time to close the deal. Once you have their contact information, be sure to enter it into your database and follow-up on this lead.
Spend a lot of time working on your landing page. Most new visitors will barely look at it before deciding to move on. You must have something that catches their attention and makes them want to stick around to learn more. Stop using a website that just idly sits there, and make it work harder by converting interest into patients.