Good vs Bad Dentist’s Website
How do you know if your website is good, bad or indifferent?
It’s recognised by most people that a company website is a critical cornerstone for gaining new business from the web. For dentists, this means new patient enquiries. Indeed we know from many years of experience and from running all types of promotional campaigns, that web enquiries are typically only second to word-of-mouth when it comes to gaining new patients.
So it’s very clear that a good website is an essential part of the dental promotional tool-kit; but how do you know if your site is good, bad or indifferent?
To help, here are the key bullet-points you can use as a check-list when auditing the performance of your dental practice website:
- Modern and appealing – dentistry is increasingly competitive and in this fairly fickle world, you need to present a professional and appealing image. Fail to do this and it’s likely that potential new patients will simply look elsewhere. So it’s essential that your website is up-to-date and represents you exactly as you would wish it. But a word of caution here. As well as lots of dental websites which are old and stale, there are also too many which are either way too generic, or try too hard. By this I mean they look far too ‘glitzy’ and simply don’t look anything like the business they purport to represent. This is more off-putting than you might imagine, so unless your practice warrants a super-fancy website in line with your business model and target demographic, don’t be tempted to overdo it.
- Your Google ranking is poor – even if your website is decent, if you are languishing in the search engine results, then your investment is failing you. Fewer than 2% of people searching for services or products on Google actually bother to look on page two. It’s also worth noting that the difference in traffic between the top and bottom positions on page one is around 20 – 30 fold, so you really need your website to be up in the top three positions and also for multiple search terms.
- Your website is aesthetically pleasing but its technical performance is dire – this is increasingly common and can easily result in frustrated users and also sub-standard search ranking results. Slow loading web pages and overly complex navigation structures etc on a website will lead to it failing faster than you’d imagine. Websites which are technically sub-standard occur because designers often take the easy route, for example using commercially designed WordPress templates which are full of bloated code and unnecessary functionality. The analogy would be driving a sports car with a Mini engine. It’s now extremely important to ensure that your website is excellent both aesthetically and technically, so please make sure that your designers are working to a suitable specification for both aspects.
- You have no analytics installed – many dentists have no clue when it comes to knowing how their website is performing. One of the simplest ways to achieve this is to install Google Analytics which is a very comprehensive, free program which tracks all of the visits to the site and presents numerous sets of statistics accordingly. Not only can you see lots of traffic data, for example which channels delivered most visitors etc, but also lots of technical information e.g. how long people remained on-site, which pages they visited, whether they completed your contact form and more. This data is essential for monitoring and maintaining your website, ensuring that you have the information you need to make improvements.
- You haven’t maintained your website for months – for a website to perform optimally, both for users and in Google, you need regular interventions. This is not just to add new, useful content, but also to audit and improve technical performance in line with Google’s ever changing technical requirements. If you’re not maintaining regularly, it pays to enlist the help of a suitable dental web professional who will be able to assist not only with your SEO and content generation, but technical performance aspects too. Indeed these elements are all interlinked and all contribute to overall website performance.
- You don’t promote your website – here I’m not specifically talking about SEO to promote your site in Google, more about other techniques you can use to make sure your web address is prominent and picked up by those you want to see it. For example, make sure that your website address is displayed in the surgery, on your stationery and on any other suitable promotional materials. If you regularly use e-newsletters (and ideally you should be), then make sure to include your web link there and to draw user’s attention to any new and useful updates you make on your site.
- You don’t receive any positive comments about your website – many of our clients comment to us about the regular positive feedback they get about their websites. If this type of feedback isn’t forthcoming for your own site, then you might wonder why. You also need to take action if you receive adverse comments of course!
If you’ve had a website built, either recently or so time ago, it’s very important to realise that it’s not “fire and forget”. A business website is an extremely important asset and deserves due care and attention if it is to fulfil its potential. So please be prepared to invest a reasonable amount of time to ensure that your practice website performs well, now and also into the future. The return-on-investment from a well-designed and well-promoted website can be exceptional, so please don’t neglect it!
Need any help to get an under-performing website back on track and delivering? Please get in touch on 01332 672548 and the web team at Dental Media will be pleased to offer a complementary audit.Google+