If your dental website needs a redesign, you probably have some anxiety about going about it the right way. What if you choose the wrong provider or build a website that is already outdated the day it launches? That’s a lot of money down the drain because you’ll need to rebuild the website sooner rather than a few years down the road.
What’s worse is that whether you’re launching a new website for a new dental practice or having just purchased a practice, or you’re redesigning your existing dental office’s website, if the website isn’t designed with the proper features, it could cost you even more money in the form of missed new patient opportunities. That’s an expensive website!
With all of these concerns floating around, you have probably come up with some questions. You may have been pitched by a dental website design company and now have more questions because of their technical jargon. That’s why we’ve created a list of the most common questions that dentists and dental industry professionals ask us when they’re considering a new dental website design project. We’re going to simplify things for you.
How Much Should a Dental Website Cost?
This is tricky because you can truly spend as much or as little money on a website as you want. The real question is: how much do I have to invest in order to get a website that works? This comes down to the features that are included but a dentist should plan on spending somewhere between $7,000 and $15,000. Any less than $7,000 and you’re likely getting a fully templated and/or horribly outdated website that is unlikely to get you the results you need to attract new patients. If you’re spending more than $15,000 you may be paying for additional features beyond just website design. Those features may be worth the price tag, but you want to know exactly what you’re getting for your money.
Dental organizations will likely need to spend more than $15,000 due to the need for database functionality such as a secure member login, payment gateway and shopping cart, member locators, and perhaps training modules of some sort. These added features require additional planning, design, and programming that add to the cost of the website.
What Features Should My Website Include?
Dental marketing companies frequently add bells and whistles to their websites to try to make their offerings unique. The problem is, as a dentist, you may not know what is really necessary. As a best practice your website should include:
- A modern design (custom or pre-existing designs will work)
- Custom-written content (meaning that the text was written for your office and has not been used on other websites)
- Mobile-friendly programming (so that your website looks and works great on a device your patients use)
That’s really it! Companies frequently package in features like video production, logo design, or chat but those are separate services that are likely nice-to-haves for you.
How Long Will It Take To Finish The Project?
Your website design company should give you an estimated timeframe based on the complexity of your project. For a website with the best practice features listed above, at Pro Impressions Marketing, we launch websites in 2-4 months depending on the amount of design and programming work involved.
You, the client, can affect the speed with which your website is launched. You can speed up (or slow down) the project based on the number of:
- Days it takes to schedule important phone calls in light of your schedule.
- Days it takes to get approval on project milestones such as mock-ups.
- Revisions required due to the amount of feedback and direction-changes in design or content.
- Changes or additions required after the website is constructed before going live
These speed advantages or delays are all dependent on quality communication and decisive leadership—both on the part of your website design company and your own abilities. Be clear, thorough, and decisive, and you can usually see your website launched ahead of schedule.
Are The Dental Website Design Company’s Websites Templated Or Custom Designed For Clients? Does It Matter?
Dental website templates have been popular for years because they shave off time and expense for a dental website. There are positives and negatives to templates. Never settle for a fully templated website or a do-it-yourself website based on a template. These websites will perform poorly due to:
- A lack of content
- Duplicate content found on other websites
- Poor design that leaves your practice feeling cheap or unreliable
Google doesn’t actually look at design in the same way you might. The only ways that it evaluates a website’s design is in how humans interact with it and in its ability to move its bot through the website for indexing. If your website works well and humans seem to like it, Google will not care if the colors, layout, and images are ones that it has seen before.
The text, however, does seem to matter some. Google doesn’t like to risk recommending a low-quality website. If the text it finds on your website doesn’t seem to be original and there are no other indicators that you are a trusted author or publisher of the text, then it may hinder your ability to show up in Google search results for the keywords that you are targeting. Also, “canned content” is unlikely to be the best representation of how you practice dentistry. It will also lack specifics that might help patients get to know you and trust you.
Imagine playing a guessing game, and trying to get someone to guess a famous person based on your clues. If you say, “They have two eyes, a nose, a mouth, and they are a man. This person was the president of the United States.” It could take a lot of guessing to get the correct answer.
If instead, you said, “This person has a great smile, was an innovator in campaigning for office using social media, and was the first black president of the United States. His wife’s name is Michelle.” Almost anyone would be able to guess that you’re referring to President Barack Obama.
Your website content should not just describe dentistry but should describe your approach to dentistry and how you change your patients’ lives. It should even mimic the way that you speak to your patients. You can’t get that from a cookie-cutter website that repurposes the same text again and again.
At Pro Impressions, we offer a middle ground for dental websites that we call semi-custom website design. We have a selection of pre-existing dental website designs that can be customized to use your branding, colors, and images. Most importantly, the content for any website we launch always includes custom content written just for you. It has never been used before. Learn more about our design work here.
Should I Use A Local Website Company Or A Web Company That Specializes In Dentistry?
Because the marketing for your dental office will hinge heavily on a knowledge of dentistry and a clear understanding of what makes a good patient for your practice, a company with at least a focus, if not a complete specialization in dental marketing and website design will mean that you have to do less work educating and guiding the company to achieve the best results.
Local marketing companies can be somewhat easier to work with due to being able to meet face-to-face (less of a benefit in the current social climate) and to be available during your normal business hours since you share a time zone. But these benefits are highly unlikely to outweigh the drawbacks of working with a company that is less likely to understand how dental patients think, and how to create content that includes the nuances of dentistry and patient psychology that will make you highly successful in marketing and advertising.
If you are shopping for a dental website design company, call us at (970) 672-1212 or schedule a consultation online now. We understand how a website can bring in new patients when it’s done correctly, and have been doing it for over a decade. Let us help you!