For many years, countless dental practices have heavily relied on referrals to keep their practices busy and have never had the need to truly brand themselves online and seek out new patients. Just the world we live in is constantly changing, so is the way that potentials patients choose their healthcare providers.
Generating leads online and building positive dental branding should now be the foundation of your business. Modern patients are all online, and are becoming more and more comfortable coming to their own decisions rather than just blindly following a referral.
When those potential new patients are doing their own research, they will often decide on the practice that is well branded online and provides them with the trust they need to take action and book an appointment. Here are 8 must-haves that will help you promote your dental practice as an authority and generate more new patients.
1. A Clear Call To Action
Clear call to actions are the gold standard for both business owners and potential patients. Unfortunately, from a practice owner’s point of view, the average attention span of a website is user is becoming less and less, this means that if your website visitors are lost or unsure on what to do next even for a few seconds, you will most likely lose them.
Many people depend upon a clear call to action at the end of a page to tell them what to do next. Even if your website content is well written and the visitor is fully engaged in your brand, if they are unclear on what the next step is, you are going to shoot yourself in the foot. Clear call to actions works both ways, they will help you as the business owner generate more leads and it will help guide the visitor, making their user experience that much better.
The location of your call to actions is also crucial as you want to appease to the three types of ways visitors tend to browse a website:
This type of website browser will land on a site and take action right away if they like what they see. To appease them, you will want to have a clear call to action or form on the opening fold of your site so they will be able to action without hesitation
This type of website browser will land on site and start reading the opening blurb and then will skim through the main headers of your page and likely make their decision mid way through the page. To appease them, you will want to have a clear call to action some where near the middle of the page so that once they have read enough they will be able to take action right away.
This type of website browser will land on a site and read every little bit of information you have to offer. Therefore, the best way to appease them is to end every page with one last call to action so that once they have read all of the information on that page they don’t have to scroll all the way back up to decide what to do next.
2. Well Structured Service Pages
A huge faux-pas that I often see when browsing through dental websites is having all of their services highlighted on one single page. Instead, your website should have unique pages for each of the core services you offer.
Having unique service pages is essential in the eyes of Google as well as for providing a high level user experience for your visitors.
When Google is trying to rank your site, it looks at over 200+ ranking factors but one of the most important ranking factors is how well your content matches a desired search keyword. Google’s end goal is to provide the best user experience for its users so if it is not confident that your page will do just that it will not rank you well.
If you have all of your services jam packed into one page, Google will have a hard time understanding what exactly that service page is about and in turn won’t feel confident ranking your page highly. On the other hand, if you have a unique page that highlights your teeth whitening service, outlines how your practice does it best, has matching headers (H1, H2s, etc) and has clear call to actions, Google will be more likely to rank you higher as it is confident that if a user is searching for teeth whitening, this page is perfect for them.
From a user stand point, a potential patient wants to feel comfortable that you are the experts in what you do and that teeth whitening (for example) is not just something you do on the side. Having a unique page that outlines teeth whitening will ensure that you are positioning yourself as the expert in that service and will build trust with your potential patients.
3. Professional Photography and Branding
Websites are much more than just blocks of text and information. There is a whole visual art side to a high converting website and it is becoming ever more important than ever. Your website should tell a story with the text as well as with the images and each when looked at alone, should tell the story about you and your brand.
That’s exactly where professional photography and branding kick in. To really grab people’s attention and get them to act, your brand needs to encompass a tangible, intellectual, emotional, and most importantly, highly visual experience for each customer.
Professional photography helps establish a consistent brand image that establishes an emotional connection with each interaction. More importantly, such branding will help to build customer loyalty.
In the end, outstanding visuals will give compelling reasons to your patients to choose you over your competition. Make them meaningful and informative, as they can help with website traffic, brand awareness, and lead generation.
4. Meaningful and Easy to Read Content
Content plays one of the most vital roles in your online marketing. To succeed online, drive more traffic, and increase your lead generation, you need to have meaningful content.
Creating meaningful and easy to understand content isn’t simple, but if it’s done properly, it can help you reach a large audience. As I mentioned earlier the average attention span for a website user is becoming smaller each day, so if you are packing your pages with a wall of dry content, you are going to be setting yourself back a step. Similar to this blog 🙂 keep the content in short concise paragraphs and be direct with what you have to say.
Furthermore, meaningful content helps create a personality for your brand and allows your patients to connect to your brand. That connection leads to customer satisfaction, which brings brand credibility, respectability, and visibility.
Lead generation and brand reputation are the name of the game, but as Google loves high-quality content, you also have a chance to improving your ranking in search engine result pages.
5. Real Images vs Stock Images
Images are meant to give your potential patients a sense of brand, context, scale, size, and texture.
Great images can affect the mood of your website visitors and make them choose you over the competition. The simplest solution is to go with stock images.
The only problem is that your competitors have probably done the same thing. Instead of risking your brand reputation with free stock images, it’s better to hire a professional photographer to take great photos of you and your dental practice.
Stock photography is a great placeholder if you don’t have any personal images as they look fairly professional but website users are becoming more and more aware on which images are stock and which are authentic. Well shot real photography is always better than stock!
Modern online users have a very short attention span and are often quick to jump to conclusions, and all it takes for them to change their minds is one bad stock photo.
While all the aforementioned things will undeniably help you rank higher, nothing is as important as reviews.
6. Answer’s to People’s Questions
Being able to answer questions that arise in a potential patients head without them having to ask is an immensely valuable strategy. Every question you can answer, the more confidence and trust you are instilling with them.
As I mentioned before, your content should be meaningful and have a purpose. You should not be writing content just to fill your page, it should be there to help your website visitors and answer their questions. Aside from the actual content on your website, there are two other great ways to answer the popular questions that are on the minds of your potential patients.
A blog gives you an opportunity to keep your patients informed, answer the most common questions new patients have, nurture existing relationships, and create new ones. Blogs are a platform that allows you to dive deeper into a common problem or questions and provide meaningful insight that can help them understand a complicated process… kind of like I am doing now!
The second option that I would HIGHLY recommend is to create an FAQ page, as this can help you to cope with an increasing number of interactions. This is the best way to provide quick answers to the questions that you know have been asked 100’s of times in the past.
All in all, being able to answer your potential patients’ questions in a meaningful, friendly, and timely manner will help you generate more leads, increase conversion rates, and drive more traffic to your website.
7. Integrating Live Chat
People will have questions before they choose who to hire your dental services. On the other hand, most of them prefer to avoid the hassle of picking up the phone and having to verbalize their questions and most don’t want to wait a few days to hear back from a contact form message. This is where live chat is a perfect solution.
Live Chat provides immediate responses to all website visitors, and allows your practice to right away leave your mark with potential patients with your high quality customer service. With most live chats, you can create triggers that will start a conversation with your website users letting them know that you are there and available to help. It is not until the user responds that you are notified and pinged to join the conversation.
Through our experiences, incorporating live chat into a website is one of the simplest and efficient ways to increase your website’s conversion rate.
8. Clear Header Structure and Menu Navigation
As most online users almost never scroll past the first page, make sure that your first page has a clear header structure to grab their attention and engage them from the first moment. Having a transparent website with clear menu navigation will only help point your potential patients in the right direction.
Keep in mind that modern online users love websites that are user-friendly, easy to navigate, consumer-centered, and with clear header structure that provides information when they need it.
Menu navigation should never create any confusion with a potential patient, regardless of how deep into the site they have ventured, the main menu navigation should be their lifeline to bring them back to exact page that is going to give them the information they need and then take the next steps to reach out.