Years ago it worked well for a dental practice to be recommended, and gain new business, by word of mouth alone. If you were a great dentist, it was easy to have your happy clients pass on your name to their friends and family. But thanks to the digital age it now takes more than word of mouth for a dental practice to stay ahead of the competition.
If you are a dentist and you want to have a strong business model, then you need to have a good website and online presence.
The whole world is online now and even industries like dentistry are unfortunately not able to escape this fact. But it isn’t as difficult as you might think to have a good website and dental SEO, or ‘search engine optimisation’ strategy.
Building A Good Website
There are many services online to help you build a great website. People who have no web design experience are able to fairly easily create a professional looking website.
There are of course knowledgable and dynamic companies that will help design your website for you. But either way the fact is that your site may be the first thing that any potential customer sees. Just as the entrance to your building and reception area should look professional and create a great first impression, so should your website.
There are three things a great website should have: a user friendly and simple design, accurate and up to date information, and contact or booking information. If you don’t have all these three things then you can bet your competition does, and they will be taking your business for themselves. There are many bad dental websites out in the world.
Thanks to the modern age and the ease by which we can access information, people have become more impatient about getting what they want. The world is open 24 hours now at the click of a button. It would be impossible for your dental surgery to be open 24 hours, but if you have an informative website where bookings can be made, then really it is like having your reception open 24 hours a day. And without anyone having to wait in line.
Showcasing Your Work
You can also use the pages to showcase your work. Many dentists take before and after pictures and this is a fantastic way for your customer to see the results that they would want for themselves. Not only that, but you can encourage your happy customers to write reviews themselves.
Thanks to the growth of review websites such as Yelp, Trip advisor, and Google, it is very easy to quickly find reviews about a business. There is nowhere to hide on the internet now. But this can be a strength as well as a weakness.
If a customer searches your work and can see themselves first hand unbiased positive reviews, they are going to feel more confident to book with you.
What Should a Good Dental Website Contain?
There are some things that a great dental website must have. It should have information about who the dentists are. Thanks to social media, we are able to quickly search for and find information and a picture of almost anyone in the world. People now expect to know what you look like and who you are before they meet you. Use at least one page to introduce your staff and say what makes you guys unique.
We have already mentioned the importance of a booking system, but there should also be information there about how they can pay and even the costs of some treatments where possible. These are all key questions that someone may want to know, but may not have the time to ring up and ask. If they find the information online, it saves them time and it saves your receptionist answering unnecessary phone calls.
Word of mouth is still an important part of growing a business, apart from now it is done in the form of reviews online. Dedicate a section of your website to the testimonials of your happy customers, using their consent to also post before and after pictures.
Last but not least, the website should be up to date with all contact and address information. If they can’t find you then they will not become your customer. Having a Google places and Google+ account will ensure that your dentist office appears on Google maps, and you are also able to put Google Maps on your website showing where you are.
Promoting Your Website With a Strong SEO Strategy
So already we can see why having a professional and engaging website is key to surviving in business. But unfortunately that is only half the battle. This is where SEO comes in.
SEO, or ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ is the task of ensuring your website shows up as one of the first matches on a keyword serch on Google. You could spend months creating the most dynamic and interesting website in the world. But when someone searches for information relating to you, if you aren’t ranked highly on the Google search, then your customer base simply isn’t going to be able to find you.
If someone types in the key words “dentist” in your area, you want your business to be the first one that appears on the search engine.
A higher ranking on the search engine means more people find your website, which results in more customers and business.
Unless you have a moving clinic, dentists operate from a set location. If someone local searches for a dentist, you want them to be able to find you first and not your competitor. SEO is very important for businesses to attract local sales.
Have a Website That Works
This may be an obvious point, but your website needs to work. The website needs to run fast and be responsive. Any bugs in the website may put off potential customers and need to be fixed quickly.
Another important factor to consider when building a website is how compatible it will be on other devices. Many people rarely use laptops now and instead solely use their mobile or table device to access the internet. Your website should look good on all devices.
If someone is out of their house and has a dental emergency, they are going to use their smart phone to search for a good dentist in the area, and you want your website to be the top match.
We can see the many benefits of having a strong SEO strategy. If this still seems daunting, contact a great website design and SEO company to find out more.