What are the key elements of a great dental website?
It’s accepted knowledge that a great looking website is the corner-stone of any dental marketing strategy so it absolutely fundamental to get it right first time. Irrespective of how great your dental practice is, publishing a shoddy website will leave you languishing at the back of the pack and firmly behind your competitors. So what are the key elements to a highly functional and great looking website that converts visitors to enquiries?
The technical structure – “under the hood”
Understandably, most users of the web have very little idea about what lies below the surface of a website i.e. the underlying code that translates the graphical images into an interactive medium. This is called “html” and how it is structured is critical to how a website performs. Properly structured html will result in a fast loading website – important for your visitors and more recently Google ranking. Poorly structured html is also less accessible to the search engine “spiders” that gather information and determine where your site is ranked.
Poor code = poor search engine placement!
Your website also needs to be “accessible” for users with disabilities – this is actually a legal requirement and particularly important for any professional advertising services on the web. Hastily constructed websites are likely not “accessible” which leaves the owner open to legal challenge under disability laws.
Hosting – this is the how the website is stored on a remote computer and served to internet users. For a site to perform properly the server it resides on needs to be robust, secure and fast. Very often “budget” hosting breaks all of these basic rules and leaves the website owner with a serious disadvantage. As with most things, you get what you pay for.
So its important to understand that what goes on under the hood of a great dental website design is as important as what is on the page.
The dental website navigation
All websites should be easy to navigate to ensure a great user experience. All too often we see confusing navigation that almost certainly causes users to move on to a different site. Remember that the desired outcome is to convert the visitor to a customer – so we need to make it as easy as possible for them to find the information they need and get to that all important enquiry form! “User Experience” or UX is a key factor for successful web design but often sadly neglected.
Navigation and how page links are structured within the site is also critical for search engine optimisation.
“Look and Feel” – the aesthetics
We’ve covered some of the critical technical aspects so now to the components of a dental website design that make it visually appealing to visitors.
Images – “a picture paints a thousand words” and this is as true for websites as it is for print. Often we are presented with low quality images that are just not sufficient to produce a professional impact – even after editing and enhancement. So we really do recommend using a professional dental photographer to give you a great portfolio to use on your website and in your print literature. We also provide a range of professional dental images to complement your own portfolio and treatment images.
Video – promotional video is the latest marketing tool and a great way to bring traffic to your website. You can find more information on dentist video marketing elsewhere in our blog and also on the main Dental Media website. We highly recommend the inclusion of short video clips in your website alongside some great static shots.
Text content – this is extremely important for any website. Not only does it have to be well structured and interesting for users but also seeded correctly with the correct key word density for search engines. Too often we get asked to build minimalist websites with virtually zero content that stand no chance in the search engine rankings. You may have seen this type of website where the designer has published but after 6 months of poor Google ranking, revisited to add several paragraphs of text low down on the page in a effort to recover the situation. This is very poor practice and looks particular unprofessional.
Great content for high Google rankings
Finally we must not forget the need to regularly introduce great new content to the dental website. Google loves fresh content and this is becoming one of the key determining factors for high ranking. We recommend that you regularly review and update the content of your website to keep it fresh, not just for your visitors but also for search engine ranking. Do this for you main pages but also via your website blog – another great way to bring fresh content and visitors to your site.
Dental Media – class leading dental website design
Hopefully our article gives you a summary of the key aspects to check when looking for a new dental practice website. However, you might imagine that each of these elements needs detailed planning and implementation to ensure a great result. This is where Dental Media can help – we have over ten years experience in building great websites for dentists and dental professionals so please contact us for free advice and a quotation