Building a successful lead-generating dental website involves aspects of both design and marketing. Often times, dental practices only think about the design and aesthetics, rather than functionality and user experience, making it difficult for patients to request an appointment online or even find their phone number.
Dental practices can create both a user and conversion friendly website by avoiding these common web design and internet marketing pitfalls.
Common Dental Web Design Mistakes
Mistake #1 – Using a Directory Web Design Service or Website Builder
Directory dental web design services often create a template website on a domain they own and send traffic to that site. The content is typically copied from the original website, creating duplicate content, and the phone number is changed to a tracking number. These tactics can seriously hinder a dentists SEO, and cause their rankings to drop considerably. The inconsistent phone numbers can also be populated to other leading directories, creating NAP listings with incorrect information that can ultimately confuse Google and the other search engines.
Some dental practices decide to use a website builder to design and develop their own website. Usually these websites will not have their own domain, but will be a sub-domain of the hosting website – making the practice, and the site, less than professional.
Mistake #2 – Duplicate or Too Little Content
Having little to no content on a website will not only affect your SEO strategy, but also the conversion rate of your website. Google likes to show websites that provide useful information targeted to what the users are searching for. If your website is lacking content, or your content is not providing useful information, then you will not rank as high in the search engines. If your visitors are not finding the information they need on your website, they will go somewhere else.
When organizing your content, it is important to use location specific pages for your main dental service areas. This will give Google relevant, targeted information to show visitors who are searching for your services. If you have multiple locations, it is helpful to create a page for each location, and separate service pages for every location. Each page should have enough content to show users that they want to make an appointment at your practice.
Mistake #3 – A Weak/Non-Existent Call-To-Action
One of the biggest mistakes on many dental websites is a poor/non-existent call-to-action. A call-to-action is anything that gets your visitor to do something – whether that’s making a phone call, filling out a contact form, or signing up for your email newsletter. It is best to include at least 2 call-to-actions per page; one at the top of the page, and one at the bottom.
It can also be helpful to include a strong reason for your patients to contact you, such as a time sensitive coupon or e-book on dental tips for children.
Mistake #4 – Using Outdated Web Technology
Another common dental web design mistake is using outdated web technology. Mobile web browsing is over half of all searches, making the need for mobile-friendly content more important than ever. If your website is still using flash, or doesn’t offer a mobile and/or tablet version, than you are not giving your patients an optimum user experience.
If a patient is unable to view your website, can’t load your site, or thinks it is simple outdated, they will be more likely to find another dental practice who is keeping up with modern technology. Recently, Google has started checking to see which websites are optimized for smartphone and tablets, which could affect SEO and search engine results in the future.
It is important that your dental web design firm use the latest web technology, such as CSS3 and HTML5, to represent your business professionally online.
Mistake #5 – Not Communicating Your Dental Practice Effectively
Another major issue seen on dental websites is poor on-page copy. You have a very limited amount of time to grab your visitors’ attention when they are on your website. To have a powerfully converting website, you need to be able to communicate quickly what your practice actually does, AND why they should choose you. Often times websites will leave one of these out, and it ends up confusing patients who are on the website.
A visitor should not have to click through your website to find out if your dental practice offers the services they need. You should make your list of services easily available to new users, as well as the main features of your dentist office. Try to think about what your visitors are thinking when they are on your website:
- Will children feel comfortable in your office?
- Do you accept walk-ins?
- Do people have to wait a long time to see a dentist?
- Do you accept dental insurance?
- Do you have the latest dental equipment?
- Do your previous patients have good things to say about you?
- Have you been in business a long time?
- Are your open late or on weekends?
- Are your prices reasonable?
These are all questions that your visitors may be asking when looking for a new dental practice. If you can address these concerns effectively, you will be more likely to get their business.