Did you know that your website has approximately seven seconds to engage a visitor? Sounds crazy, but it’s true!
Prospective patients are impatient (see what I did there?) and will not spend time reading your entire website. Instead, they will scan your homepage to find what they are looking for before even thinking about visiting other pages. And if they can’t quickly find what they need they may give up and leave your site for a competitor.
So, what are patients looking for? I’m glad you asked!
1. What do you do?
It may seem obvious that visitors should know what you do when they land on your home page, especially after Google searching “dentist in [your city here],” but that’s not always the case. For example, if you are a family dentist who enjoys working with patients of all ages, but there are no photos with children on the home page and the design appeals more to the baby boomer generation, 30-year-old moms with young children may assume you are not the right practice for their families.
To avoid this from happening, we recommend clearly communicating to the visitor what you do, how that helps them and what action you want them to take, right in the “hero” section of your home page. The hero section is located at the top of the page, right below the navigation menu, and typically includes a headline, perhaps a sentence of supporting text, a relevant image and a button that encourages a specific action (such as schedule an appointment, call your office, or learn more).
2. Why patients love you
Because website visitors are scanners, not readers, we have learned it’s highly effective to summarize why they should choose your practice over the competition in a special section towards the top of the page.
How is your practice unique? Why do you have so many loyal patients? How long has your practice been open? These are all points you should add here, typically represented in a creative way so it stands out and is easy to read.
3. Patient reviews
Tooting your own horn is a good thing, but when happy patients confirm what you say by taking the time to write a positive review about your practice, that is pure GOLD! Almost everyone reads online reviews these days before making a purchase. Scheduling an appointment with a new dentist is no different. Always, always include at least several 5-star patient reviews on your home page. Bonus points if you have a patient testimonials page on your website where visitors can read more. Interested in making this happen? We can help you!
4. Featured dental services
This section is a continuation of “What do you do?” but with a very important differentiation. This is where you get to explain what you LIKE to do. What are your favorite dental services? Which services do you wish you could do more of, but your patients aren’t aware you offer them? Choose your top 3–4 dental services and promote them here. We recommend writing a brief description of each one and adding a link or button that directs them to a separate page, explaining each service in more detail.
5. Where are you located?
6. How to contact your practice or schedule an appointment
Last, but certainly not least, how can visitors reach out to you? Your phone number AND a button to your contact page, where they can fill out a form to schedule an appointment – both of these should be featured on your home page. They should be bold, obvious and appear in multiple places. If your ideal patient cannot quickly figure out how to contact you, they probably won’t.