Last week we turned our attention to the common mistakes we see with dental website designs, and explored five mistakes related to design and functionality. If you missed those tips, click here to read Mistakes to Avoid In Your Dental Website: Part I. Today, in part II, we will cover the next five mistakes to avoid, all related to the content and presentation of your website. This blog series is based off of the Sesame Guide to Practice Success (GPS): The Top 10 Mistakes in Building a Dental Website—And How to Avoid Them.
What makes new patients browse your website in the first place? They visit to learn about the treatments you offer, as well as learn more about you as a doctor and your practice. Prospective and existing patients want to connect to you, as a clinician and not necessarily to learn about your hobbies or things that are unrelated to your role as a dentist.
Think about it this way: you have less than 90 seconds to engage a prospective patient and persuade them to further explore your site. Thus the content on your website should emphasize how much you and your staff care about your patients and their families’ well-being. A positive attitude such as, “I love my patients!” or “We love our community!” can go a long way in building trust with patients.
Impersonal doctor and team member bios
The most viewed page on a practice website is the “Meet the Doctor” page. Patients love getting to know their doctor, and spend a lot of time finding out “who you are.” When getting ready to compile photos and bios for your staff, think about someone who has never stepped foot in your office, or perhaps feels nervous about visiting a dental professional. Most patients may not be eager to visit a healthcare practitioner. Your bio gives you a chance to show them, not just tell them. A photograph of you with a family member, child or pet can reinforce your commitment to treating not just the patient, but their entire family as well. Instead of merely listing your and your team’s credentials and using medical terminology, tell them in easy-to-understand terms what your credentials, experience and continuing education means for them and their family.
Doctors also love individual photos because they are easy to update—they don’t require re-taking group photos and are more personal than group photos; just add a new photo or swap one out. Simple.
Clinical images and photos
When choosing photos for your bio, it’s important to keep it personal, but not too personal. In other words, less photos of a hygienist reaching into a patient’s mouth, and less photos that are too clinical. Tools, scrubs, blood or masks may scare off someone who is already apprehensive about visiting a dentist or orthodontist.
Since patients will be spending one-on-one time with your staff, they like to see who they will be working with—they want to “pre-meet” you and your team before booking their initial visit.
Including happy, cheery photos of confident people throughout the site—and especially on the home page—underscore the office’s warmth and approachability while helping your patients relate to you. In fact, featuring actual patients or photos that feature people who look like your patients, gives the personal, unique touch. Photos of actual patients also not only show off your work, but also show a strong relationship between you, your patients and the community. Warmth always wins!
Buried contact information
Imagine visiting a website and being unable to find the phone number or other contact information. Remember, the name of the game is to get patients to call or email you. Make sure your office’s contact information is readily available for new patients to be able to book that first appointment.
Research shows patients are more likely to call rather than email to schedule their first appointment or consultation, and they’re more likely to do so if they easily find the information they’re looking for on your website. And what’s more helpful and convenient than having the number available to them displayed at every click?
A lack of a “call to action”
Once a prospective patient reaches your website, it’s up to you to compel them to learn more about your office and pick up the phone to schedule an appointment. Adding a “complimentary consultation” or “schedule your regular checkup” button on your homepage or one that is prominently displayed within your website compels patients to make that first move. If your office targets the working demographic or a particular area, a button that reads “We’re in the heart of Manhattan!” may also be a good idea.
Again, the point of your website, besides your virtual introduction to a potential patient, is new patient acquisition. It’s all about the patient. Avoid sounding salesy or gimmicky with text such as “50% off teeth whitening – summer special!”
For the full list of mistakes to avoid, click to download a copy of the latest Sesame GPS: The Top 10 Mistakes in Building a Dental Website—And How to Avoid Them.