Orthodontists are not like dentists; you specialize in different services than a general dentist does and typically orthodontists have a more specific patient base. So why should your website look like your dentist colleague’s up the street? In two words: it shouldn’t.
While yes, a good orthodontist website is professional, eye-catching, informative, accessible on all devices, is easily findable in a Google search and converts visitors into actual patients in your chair, the same can be said for any dental website. What separates the good orthodontist websites from the great ones is simply a little attention to detail. Here is what orthodontists need to know:
Necessity #1 – Know your Audience and Speak to Them!
Even though your practice may offer orthodontic solutions for adults, your primary target audience will typically be kids, teenagers and their parents. What appeals to patients searching for dental implants and veneers probably won’t have the same effect on an orthodontist’s demographic. When choosing a website theme, make it fun (but not cheesy) and be sure to prominently feature your social media activity on your site. Oh yes, if you have teenage patients getting braces put on or taken off, you can bet they’ll want to take “selfies” of themselves in your chair and post them to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, so make sure they can tag your practice’s social media accounts and location. Google keeps track of those kinds of social signals and factors that into their ranking algorithm.
Necessity #2 – Make it Mobile-Friendly
According to a 2013 Pew Internet Research study, 67% of American adults between the ages of 30 and 49 own a smartphone and 49% of smart phone owners use their device to find local information. Does your orthodontic practice website show up correctly on a smart phone? If it doesn’t, you could potentially be missing out on dozens of patients who get frustrated when they can’t find what they need on your mobile site.
People just aren’t searching on their desktop computers as much as they used to – more and more, they are reaching for their smart phone or tablet to find what they need. We recommend that orthodontic practices adopt a responsive design for their practice website – which means you only have one site to update and maintain, but it adapts automatically to show up correctly on a desktop, tablet and smart phone. You can read more about that here.
Necessity #3 – Show them! Don’t tell them.
Words can only get you so far. Nothing is more compelling to a teen who wants a beautiful, straight and proportionate smile than a photo of another teen with a beautiful, straight and proportionate smile. Before and after photo galleries have the ability to work wonders for an orthodontic website and we recommend you snap as many photos of your smiling patients as you can, with their signed permission. TIP: Want added exposure? Post your patient’s before and after photos on your practice Facebook page and tag them with their permission. Bonus points if the orthodontist poses with them.
Necessity #4 – Multiple Service Pages Matter
Generic dental content just isn’t going to cut it for your patients who want specific information about which orthodontist to choose to align their smile. By giving each of your services (types of braces, clear aligner braces, etc.) their own service page, you get two benefits:
- Your potential patients can get all of the information they want on the specific orthodontic service they are considering
- Google has been known to reward websites that have multiple, well-written webpages that is updated often.
Once your services are separated onto a dedicated webpage, update and add content on a regular basis.
Necessity #5 – Blog! Blog! Blog!
Blogs are becoming more and more important for orthodontic websites. We’ve written about it here and here. Not only will a blog provide your website with the fresh content that Google bots need to crawl, index and give your site credit for, it gives your website added credibility when your potential patients are choosing an orthodontist. Here are five blog article ideas to get you started:
- What can I expect at my child’s first orthodontic appointment?
- Signs that your Child May Need Braces
- Top Five Foods to Avoid When Wearing Braces
- At what age should I bring my child in for his first orthodontic screening?
- Am I too old for braces?
Our dental marketing team has years of experience in designing and marketing orthodontic websites. If your website needs a fresh update, contact us today. We can help.