January 28, 2019
by Naren Arulrajah, Ekwa Marketing
Online marketing is one of the cheapest, easiest and most effective ways to expand your dental practice. As an independent dental professional, you can attract more patients from your local area and gain a competitive edge over others if you have the right online marketing strategy and good execution.
To get the best out of your digital marketing campaign, your dental website must be informative, interesting and engaging for the patients. Further, it should specifically be focused on the local patients in order to drive maximum conversions.
Designing your website with these goals requires creativity and hard work. You should be willing to analyze your website development efforts at each step and make changes along the way as required.
Here are some proven methods which will help you drive more localized traffic to your dental website and deliver more value to your patients.
1. Update Patient Forms: This is the first important step. Your website must allow for online filling of forms, but these forms must also be periodically updated. If the patient downloads an earlier version of the form and presents it at your office, they could feel frustrated if they are told that the form no longer applies.
Focus on the following areas:
2. Maximize Google’s Local SEO Pack: You must register your practice name, address, and phone number in that order on Google My Business. This is important for your practice as new patients often tend to search for a dentist on Google before they make a choice.
Registering on Google will help push your name up in the search results and Google’s algorithm will drive the local traffic to your website through geo-tagged searches.
You should also list your hours of operation as potential patients would like to know when they can visit your office.
3. Bio Pages for Dentists: Your website should have individual bio pages for all dentists or other dental professionals working at your office. After the homepage, the bio pages of dentists are the most popular web pages on dental websites.
The individual pages must have a photograph of the dentist, preferably in the professional, details of their qualifications and experience, accomplishments, awards and honors, and testimonials from their patients.
If your website doesn’t have the bio page, you’re likely to miss out on the search rankings. Moreover, a patient tends to be more comfortable walking into a dentist’s office with familiar faces that they have seen on their website.
You should also provide a search option on your dental website so that patients can easily find what they are looking for.
You can also have pages for other supporting staff to present a more human face of your organization.
4. Content and Procedure Pages: When people visit a dental website, more often than not, they are looking for something very specific. Therefore, it is necessary to provide them with the details of all the procedures you provide, including their benefits, potential risks and other details through individual web pages for each service or procedure.
5. Maintain a Blog: A good way to get an edge over your competitors is to maintain a regularly updated blog, whether on your website or anywhere else. Blogs are more likely to be shared than your other website content and procedure pages. In any case, most of the dental websites would have service pages, but not all of them have blogs.
By maintaining a blog, you can harness the power of social media to popularize your practice in your local area. Your blog should ideally be updated at least twice in a week.
6. Quality of Server: The loading speed of your website has a direct correlation with its success in terms of search ranking, visitor engagement and conversions. If your website takes more than three seconds to load pages, you are likely to receive lower traffic and earn the dissatisfaction of your visitors.
It is better to invest in hosting services to provide an end-to-end seamless experience. You can also use free software solutions and plug-ins to compress your images and cache your website to make it even faster.
7. Easy-to-access Contact Form: Phone and voice calling are gradually becoming less popular. Millennials especially are more interested in getting their jobs done through digital engagement and online chats instead of calling.
It is paramount to have an easy-to-access contact form with email address of one of your employees who is responsible for handling appointments. The form’s link should be displayed prominently on the top of your homepage itself.
An additional benefit of using this tool is that you can track the appointments and perform a statistical analysis of how many website visitors actually ended up visiting your office.
8. Videos: Just as voice calling, textual online content is also facing competition from video content. Modern patients want to read less and watch more on your dental website. Thus, it is important to embed videos on your blog or website.
Videos of patient testimonials are highly effective for a dental website. A good testimonial video can be used on multiple platforms such as your website, social media pages, blogs and even online advertisements. This will have a positive effect on a prospective patient and will help your practice grow.
An additional benefit of the videos is that visitors tend to stay longer on your website, which helps improve your website’s search rankings on Google, thus giving you a competitive advantage over others.
While creating a video, you must ensure a few things:
9. Include Maps: The objective of creating a dental website is simple – to provide the relevant information to potential patients and to promote your practice in the process. But to achieve these goals, a pre-requisite is easy site navigation. Embedding a site map will make your website more navigable for readers as well as search engine bots.
Additionally, you can use Google maps for location on your website. These are absolutely free. It will help your prospective patients visit your office more easily because Google map can provide them directions.
In all likelihood, a patient is already stressed due to their dental health condition. So they may want their experience to visit and consult the dentist to be least frustrating. For this reason, the location page of a dental website is one of the important web pages.
10. Use Large Fonts: You should look at your dental website from the perspective of your patients. If your patients include older people, it may be a good idea to use larger and simpler fonts which are easy to read for the end user.
You must also take care to maintain a strong contrast between the background color and the font color to make the content more legible and pleasing to the eyes. While creating your dental website, you must make these points clear to your website designer.
11. Color Scheme: The colors used on your website have an instant psychological appeal for the patients. The look of your website should be consistent with your other forms of practice branding.
The colors used on your website should be pleasant. If you use certain colors on your flyers, printed materials and advertisements, you should consider using similar colors on digital media.
As an example, if you use green and yellow on your prescription cards and logo, you should use the different shades of these two colors on your website. In this way, your practice appears more professional and it adds to your brand value.
12. Set up on Google Webmaster Tools: Registering on the free online Google Webmaster Tool is important. It will help index every page and every content bit of your website, which could potentially push it up in the search results. If you are not sure of how to do it, seek help from the website professional who maintains your website.
Your website serves as an online face of your dental practice. Therefore, it is important to create the best possible website to maximize your brand value online.
About the Author
Naren Arulrajah is President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, a complete internet marketing company that focuses on SEO, social media, marketing education, and the online reputations of dentists. With a team of 180+ full time marketers, www.ekwa.com helps dentists who know where they want to go, get there by dominating their market and growing their business significantly year after year. If you have questions about marketing your practice online, call 855-598-3320 to speak one-on-one with Naren.