There are so many possibilities when it comes to designing or if you’ve been around awhile, “re-designing” your website. Which color schemes should you choose? Which photos of your office should you add? How much time and money should you invest in your format headshots for the “About the Doctor” page? While that last decision may seem a little tongue-in-cheek, there are so many decisions to consider when creating your website; some dentists can get overwhelmed by it all.
When it comes to successful and effective dental websites, you really only have to please two people; your current patients and your potential patients. Of course, your website should always be optimized in the manner preferred by Google and keep up to date with any changes they make to that preference, but for this article, we’ll focus on what your patients are looking for when they visit your website.
They want to view it on all of their devices – perfectly. – We’ve been saying this for a few years now, but your patients are using their mobile phones for just about everything these days – from keeping up with their friends on Facebook, to work email, to searching for anything from deals on children’s clothes to finding a new local dentist. Consider these 2014 statistics from The Search Engine Journal:
- 1 in 4 online searches are done from a mobile device.
- Americans spend 2 hours a day on the smart phone.
- 57% of people will not recommend a business if they have a poor mobile site.
The bottom line, your patients want to be able to find your website, easily access the information they want and book an appointment right from their smart phone. Have you viewed your website from a smart phone lately? If it doesn’t show up correctly for you, it won’t for your patients either. We recommend that dentists use a responsive design when designing or updating their website – it will give you just one website to design and update, but it will adapt to the device it’s being viewed on.
They want photos – but not too many clinical photos. – There is no better way to convince a patient that they can trust you with their smile than to show them photos of happy, satisfied and smiling current patients. With their permission, you should certainly use as many photos of your current patients on your website as possible; however, keep the clinical photos to a minimum. While yes, your dental expertise can be best showcased by taking photos of your procedures and showcasing them on your website, your patients simply won’t understand them. All they will see is blood and being uncomfortable in the dentist’s chair. As you know, that is the LAST thing you want to do.
They want to easily find exactly what they’re looking for. – When it comes to your website, simpler really is better. While a complicated website can impress the savviest of technology pros, your patients want a website that gives them what they want before they really know they were even looking for it. Here are the high points:
- Simple Navigation – A simple horizontal navigation is usually the most intuitive and gives your patients the best user experience.
- Calls to Action on Each Page – Each webpage should include how someone can book an appointment. It should be the easiest piece of information for them to find, so don’t be shy about it.
- Separate Service Pages – When a patient is searching for something on your website, they want to be able to find it and aren’t really paying attention to anything else. So if your patient is interested in veneers, they expect to find a single webpage that discusses veneers and why they should choose your practice. Make sure your site has separate service pages for each of your procedures. You’ll not only please your patients, but you’ll please Google if you set up your website this way.
They want it to reflect you and your practice – There is nothing more confusing for a patient than viewing a website that doesn’t reflect your practice. If you’re a pediatric dentist – make your website fun and kid friendly! If you’re an oral surgeon – go for modern and high-tech, or if you’re an orthodontist – create a site that speaks to teenagers. The bottom line is, don’t forget your target audience and then give them a website that appeals to them.
Your practice’s website is important. It should reflect your personality, your practice’s personality and be something you can be proud of. If you are a new dentist who needs a website or a long-time member of the community that needs a website redesign, contact our office today to speak with our design team.