Hannah Daniel manages a dental health blog backed by 1Dental.com, and has recently worked on the Free Dental Care Finder project, a tool that helps people find free and low-cost dental care in their community.
First impressions are everything, so what does your website say about you? As a dentist, your website is no longer just a place to dump all your information in case someone happens to stumble across your page while looking for dentistry in your area. Your web page is typically where people go first nowadays, so you need to see your website as a marketing tool and make that first impression count!
Most people today do their research on the Internet. They want to be fully informed ahead of time to ensure they will be getting the best quality for the lowest prices at their optimum convenience. A quick Internet search can help them come to that conclusion within minutes. If they don’t like what they see after a brief glance at your website, you may have just lost a potential patient.
Just like with any other business, you have plenty of competition vying for the attention of anyone looking for dental work. Your website is a very important marketing tool, so make sure it accurately represents your practice. Invest in some quality page design – no one wants to visit a dentist who has a shady website. For all they know, your office might be just as shady. Make sure your website looks just as polished as your actual office – you don’t want your website to look like spam!
Beware of making it so high-tech that users get lost just trying to find your contact information, however. Information should be clear and easy to find. It’s often a good idea to include a biography page for the dentist, and sometimes even for the hygienists and office assistants as well. Let the web visitor get to know you. Relationships matter when developing/sustaining a practice, and the first steps to build them can often start on your website. A good first impression can make the difference for a potential patient to pick up the phone and make that first appointment.
Your website should not be solely self-promotional. Of course you’re promoting your own practice, but it’s important to provide something of value to prospective patients before they even step foot in your office. This might include:
• Fact sheet on dental statistics
• What to do in a dental emergency
• A blog page with updates on your practice or dental news
• Fun games to teach children about dental health
• Charts and graphics on tooth development or oral disease symptoms
• A list of dental terms with definitions
You don’t want to overwhelm visitors with additional information or they might forget that your website is primarily about your dental practice, but you should help visitors feel like their trip to your site was worthwhile. Take advantage of the opportunity!
Consider your website to be a useful marketing tool rather than a requisite contact page, and you can start connecting with future patients before they even walk into your office.
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