Dentists rely on their websites for finding new patients. Even patient referrals often stop by the website to see what the dentist and the office are like, but more than that, they want to know if you understand them. They want to know if they like you and feel they can trust you. A lot is riding on getting your dental website. In 2022 the best dental websites will include these features.
A Simple Process For Dental Patients To Follow
I am passionate about helping dentists leverage storytelling elements in their marketing. This doesn’t always mean a lot of flowery language. Usually, it’s the opposite. For the past couple of years, when we’ve launched a dental website design project, we’ve tried to emphasize the journey that patients go through.
The average prospective patient can have various needs and fears, none of which are comfortable. Those problems have them looking for a way out, and if someone can show them that they know the way and can make it simple for them, the patient is much more likely to choose them as their new dentist. That’s the idea behind including a 3-step process on the website’s homepage.
It can look something like this:
Of course, there can be many steps involved in every step included in the 3-step process. You’ll be there to guide them through those mini-steps too, but you want to give them a general idea of what it’s like to work with you.
Some dentists might say, “But our office is different. We’re very thorough. We have multiple diagnostics we use. This says nothing about our dedication to healthy occlusion, to our biologic dentistry, or the dramatic effect our temporaries have!” When you go on and on about your process—really about you—you take the focus away from the patient.
A Patient-Centered Focus in Dental Website Design
The user’s point of view should be your focus when you build a marketing plan for your dental office. The best dental websites of 2020 will feature design choices that complement or accent the main goal: connecting with your patient about what they want.
You understand the needs of the patient. You treat them every day. How often do people call and ask how nice your office decor is or what technology you have in practice? Patients may be interested in the training that a doctor has, but if that’s the first question out of their mouth, I think we have to wonder if that patient will be a giant pain in the butt!
Patients have other concerns, and when we focus on those needs, questions, and pain points, we win. Patients say ‘yes’ to appointments and ‘yes’ to treatment.
Google understands that serving the needs and interests of the patient is paramount. That’s why Google tailored its algorithms to learn the user’s intent and serve results that align with those needs. Google’s ideal dentist is quick to answer basic questions and get patients the help they need.
When we get into the weeds about how special or different the office is, we risk sacrificing search visibility and new patient opportunities.
Relevant, Striking Imagery
A patient-centered focus in the design means patient-centered imagery. Include striking images that communicate either the problem your treatment solves or the outcome your treatment brings. Patients respond well to outcome images because they get excited to think of themselves on the other side of this dental journey.
Relevant imagery depends on the page of your website. You still need to include an image of the doctor, but probably not in the website’s banner. The doctor photo is most relevant further down the page and on the doctor’s bio page.
Whether custom photography or stock photography, think about how it will make the patient feel and don’t skimp on quality. Make sure that the images on the website grab the user.
Strategically Placed, Relevant Video
The best dental websites in 2022 will feature videos based on the content that surrounds the video’s screen. By complementing the text and images near the video, the motion graphics, testimonials, and maybe even music will move patients through the buying cycle.
The best video producer understands that if a video will live on a dental website, it should be patient-focused and include storytelling that shows the patient the process and outcome they can expect when they trust the dentist.
Videos on internal pages—not just the homepage—can boost user engagement and make them more likely to turn into phone calls and emails.
Interactivity for Added User Engagement
Engagement could be the key dental marketing concept of 2022. When a prospective patient sees your content, whether it’s your website, an ad, or a social media post, that’s a win. Still, engagement is the key stepping stone between them seeing your content and taking action to ask about an appointment.
The best dental website design will include features that entice the user to interact with the website, including:
- An intuitive navigation
- Design elements that encourage visitors to go to critical pages of the website
- Design elements such as tabs, “accordions,” or carousels that encourage visitors to click or swipe for answers or additional content on the page.
Here is an example of an accordion element:
You can view the example websites above in full at these links:
Michael T. Rosen, DDS, MS, FAGD, LVIF
Broad Visibility with a Clear Target Audience
Your office can’t be everything to everyone. You shouldn’t try to be. Neither should you be difficult to find. Your website should have good visibility via organic means using Google and other platforms. Still, you should also have a comprehensive digital ad strategy that incorporates paid visibility on Google, Facebook, Instagram, and potentially other platforms depending on your practice’s focus and target demographic.
Online visibility is a balancing act. Too niche a focus will mean that your office is starving for new patient opportunities. Targeting that is too broad will mean that you are turning away patients left and right and that people will be confused as to why they even found your website or called your office. As with any balancing act, regular adjustments back and forth are to be expected as the market shifts and your needs change.
What About Virtual and Messaging and Widget XYZ?!
When I speak with dentists about their websites and the potential redesign someday, I always point to virtual reality as the hypothetical next big thing in websites. There are always tech innovations that throw marketing for a curveball.
Are virtual consults the new norm and here to stay? The jury is still out, but they will not make or break you in 2022. Whether it’s a button for a virtual consult, a new messaging widget, an online scheduling widget, or a virtual balloon animal widget—there will always be dentists who are successful with them and without them.
They are communication tools. If you’re good at communication, you’ll be good with whatever tool you use. My only concern is that I never want my client’s website to appear cluttered or confusing. I always want patients to call. That’s the main goal, and anything that potentially distracts from calling is suspect in my book.
Improve Your Dental Website in 2022
If you need help with your dental website, whether it be a new website design or a redesign project, or if your marketing is unbalanced, call Pro Impressions Marketing at (970) 672-1212 now to speak with me, Jonathan Fashbaugh, or schedule an appointment.