Your dental website might be the only part of your dental practice that is working for you 24/7, and as such you want to make sure that it is optimized for getting potential patients to not only read your content but also to sign up for a tooth cleaning or root canal. Once you get your patients in your office you can prove to them that you are the best dentist in your area, but getting them these can be the hard part, especially in growing or densely-populated locations.
Listed below are some time-tested ways to get your dental website to get you what you really want: more appointments so you can grow your dental practice!
Dental Marketing 101 – the “Why”
Surprisingly, the first thing you should do when considering how your website can help your dental practice more has very little to do with your website itself. The very first thing you should do when trying to get more dental appointments is to make a S.W.O.T. analysis of your own practice. SWOT stands for:
- Strengths- What are the things that your practice does better than anyone else. Why do your current patients come to you?
- Weaknesses- What do your patients not like about your practice, office, or website? This section requires a bit of honesty, as it’s never fun to catalog your weaknesses!
- Opportunities- What can you do in the immediate future to help grow your dental practice. Since you’re reading this article you already know one opportunity: a better-optimized website.
- Threats- Are there any imposing challenges on the horizon for your practice? These could be anything from moving offices to losing staff to technological and regulatory changes.
This sort of analysis might seem simple, but merely thinking through these things can allow you to better see why your patients come to you and what you should emphasize on your website to get more dental appointments in the future.
Data, Data, Data – the “Where”
The second thing you should do, after analyzing your practice as a whole, is to make sure that you are equipped with the right tools to track how potential patients are engaging with your current dental website. There are dozens, if not hundreds of these tools online, but by far the most important is Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is a free offering from Google that allows you to see reams of data about your website’s visitors, including such juicy tidbits as where they came into your site, where they stayed the longest, and the path they took to change from site visitors to potential customers. At TheeDigital we call these changes “conversions” and they are the goal around which your entire site design and marketing strategy should be built. Do you have a particularly successful page (or a service that your customers like that you discovered from the SWOT analysis above)? Make sure that page gets attention and updates!
Google Analytics allows you to see where your potential patients are going and gives you the ability to read the strengths and weaknesses of your website, so you can shore up the pages where people leave your dental website and emphasize the pages where they become conversions, getting you more business!
Call Today for your Pearly Whites! – the “How”
If you’ve seen almost any advertising, you’ve seen phrases such as “call today for a free sample” or “contact us to learn more” or “this offer ends soon, call now!”. These are called Calls to Action, and they are the proverbial fish hook at the end of every piece of marketing in the world. These phrases are the ones that convince your reader to change from a prospective to a future dental patient. We’ve written about Call to Action best practices before, but a few hints for your dental practice would be:
- Use action verbs and strong language- Strong language has been proven to attract more visitors than vacillating or passive language.
- Make it time sensitive- If you give people a reason to call now (such as a time-sensitive promotion) they’ll be more likely to do so.
- Give the customer an easy form to fill out, so you don’t scare them away at the final hurdle.
Another way to convince the customer to convert into a patient for your dental practice is to offer referral bonuses. These referral programs can motivate patient engagement and encourage further conversions from their friends and neighbors.
Home Sweet Homepage – “When” and “What”
The cherry on top of this ideally-delicious (but not too sugary!) offer for your prospective dental patients is your web page itself. Is it well-designed? Does the navigation make sense? Do the services that your clients like (found from Google Analytics and the SWOT analysis above) stand out? Do you rank for the services you want? Do you have any time-sensitive offers or promotions that can serve to create a sense of urgency in your potential patients? All of these are vital questions to answer in order to make your home page better and drive more people to convert from being visitors into being dental patients.
There are dozens of ways to optimize your website, and applying all of them is usually the ideal solution. However, usually only experienced digital marketing firms know how to do this without significant time researching. What you can do as a dental practice, however, is to make sure that your content is readable. When you write about the dental services on offer at your practice, make sure to convey the expertise and enthusiasm you have for your career to your clients. Write your pages so that they’re informative and compelling without being bogged down by the sorts of details only other dentists would know. Answer your clients’ questions. If you can do this, not only will your get more conversions out of your dental website, but you might also start to become an online knowledge resource!
Curious Patients = Potential Dental Patients
If you really want to get more appointments from your website, remember to always have the answers to “Why, Where, How, When, and What”. It allows you to understand your potential patients better and allows you to optimize your website to make sure that you are reaching them in the most effective and engaging way. If you can answer these questions honestly and apply the solutions that they suggest, you will truly have a property that works for you 24/7.