Optimising a dental website to boost conversions
Doubling new patient contacts with web page layout and content optimisation
Have you ever wondered how many people who visit your website actually go on to contact you and enquire about treatment? We call this action a conversion which can be a ‘phone call or completion of an online contact form.
Improving the rate at which website visitors get in touch is known as conversion optimisation and is a fundamental activity when ensuring that your practice website is working as hard as possible on your behalf.
What might surprise you is that most dental websites have sub-optimal levels of conversion optimisation, ranging from dire to barely adequate. So there are usually some good improvement opportunities to be had at relatively low cost.
But why are so many dental websites inadequate when it comes to onsite conversion; even new ones which have only recently been launched? Surely all designers know the requirements and follow a set of core standards to ensure at least a good level of conversion optimisation? Unfortunately this is not the case at all, often far from it. You see, most designers are not well-versed in optimisation techniques and whilst they may have an eye on aesthetics, they miss key layout and content elements which encourage users to get in touch.
So what are the key conversion elements of a dental website – let’s take a quick look.
Clear contact details in the header and footer of the website
It may sound obvious that you need to include the practice contact details in prominent positions on your website, but many still don’t. Clear navigation is critical to ensure that website users can reach all of your information quickly and efficiently, and perhaps at the top of this list should be your contact details. Remembers that users are quite fickle, so you must have your telephone number and links to your contact page easily accessible from all parts of your website, typically in the header and footer sections but also at key points within the body content.
Also make sure that your contact information is mobile-friendly; for example that your ‘phone number is configured to be click-to-call from mobile screens and that when your content rearranges for mobile viewing, that the contact details remain prominent.
Replace stock images with bespoke practice photographs
You’ve likely seen the dental websites which use glitzy stock images of models to represent their services? This seems to be a trend amongst some dentists who believe that this type of visual is best to target a certain demographic of patients; however it is much more nuanced than that. Our advice would be to consider if that type of imagery best suits what your practice represents and what you are actually able to offer in terms of services.
Experience suggests that the use of personalised, bespoke images are much better for engaging new patients than a plethora of stock images which can tend to look rather unrealistic. So please choose your website imagery wisely and make sure it resonates with the patients you can realistically attract. As I’ve written before, too many dentist’s websites look more like those of Dubia hotels these days and I’d encourage you to avoid falling into that trap.
Showcase your practice differentiators
Evaluate your business and determine where you are different to your competitors. Then make sure that those differentiators are clear to see when users land on your website. Have you placed 100’s of implants successfully? Is your technology a cut-above the rest? Then make sure that your users know as this demonstrates credibility and competence. Avoid the clichéd phrases that many dentists use and really zero in on what makes you different – and showcase it clearly!
If you are fortunate enough to have beautiful surgeries, advanced scanning equipment and/or any technology which will enhance the experience of your patients, then include the information and preferably some great images too.
Use your reviews
Hopefully you have been striving to build a good history of great reviews for your business and if so, then you should definitely include at least a selection of these prominently on your website. Whilst it’s important to incorporate reviews prominently on your home page, you should also use them on the internal information pages too. So for example, where you are detailing your implant or Invisalign treatment, reinforce the message with a prominent review from a satisfied patient.
Believe it or not, third-party reviews are treated with a similar degree of confidence to word-of-mouth recommendations, so why waste this very important validation of your services?
Showcase your offers
Whilst offers aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, experience suggest that lots of potential new patients are shopping around on price, particularly for expensive treatments such as implants and orthodontics. This is where a credible, attractive offer will certainly help.
So if you have attractive options for a selection of your treatments, be sure to make these as clear as possible for those seeking out dental services. I understand the objections some business owners have when it comes to offers, for example “cheapening” services and revealing prices to competitors, but overall, our experience suggests that great offers can be really successful when presented correctly.
Book online and virtual consultations
The Covid-19 era has forced most businesses to examine their operational procedures and dentists are no exception. We are seeing lots of creative ways being implemented to help patients and dental team members stay safe during their treatment journey and on-line booking and virtual consultations are two cases in point.
Demonstrate that your patients can have treatment with you safely and effectively and you will certainly help to give them confidence to proceed. For example, we have helped many clients implement new virtual systems and then helped to showcase these services on their websites, via e-newsletters and with video.
Key learning points
Dentist’s websites can look pretty but still miss all important ‘conversion’ features which make it easy for new patients to get in touch. Simple elements like prominent contact details and ‘phone numbers can make all the difference. Remember that fickle users don’t want to scroll through your site looking for a contact form – you need to make it as easy as possible for them.
Don’t forget to leverage the power of reviews and if you have features of your business which differentiate you from your competitors, then make sure to showcase them. Similarly, show your technology and facilities to best effect and if you have a decent offer or two, let your users know. If you don’t, you can be fairly sure that one of your competitors will.
If you’d like help with a great looking website which also works hard too, the team at Dental Media will be pleased to help. See how we’ve maximised the returns from hundreds of websites by getting in touch today on 01332 672548. We’ll be pleased to help!Google+