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dental practice website

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What a Dentist’s Website Needs to Have in 2018

by Naomi Cooper December 6, 2017

Have you ever tried to access a website that is slow to load? Or have you ever been on your smartphone and pulled up dental practice website designa web page that’s hard to read because half the text is shifted off the screen? Chances are, you quickly clicked off that site. This is a prime example of a website that hasn’t been updated recently.

You likely invested a decent sum of money when initially building your dental website. Don’t let that money go to waste! A website needs to be regularly updated to ensure that it is reaching the right patients and functioning correctly. After all, this site is your digital representation online.

Here are 5 key components your website needs to have in 2018 in order for it to be as effective as it should be:

Responsive Design/Mobile First

The site needs to be designed to function across all devices, which is especially important as smartphones recently surpassed traditional desktop computers in terms of users accessing the Internet.

Branding

If you’re still using a tooth in your logo, it’s definitely time for a branding update. And even if you’ve worked with a graphic designer on a more modern and professional strategy, double check that the branding, logo, tagline and practice name are consistent across all online profiles: the website, social media and third party directories.

Contact Information

Make it as simple as possible for patients to get in touch with the office. Keep the phone number and address in the header and footer on every page. Having a click-to-call or online appointing features go even further in helping patients contact the office.

Links to Social Media and Third Party Sites

Offering links to sites like Facebook, Instagram, Yelp and Healthgrades helps establish social proof for prospective patients. While having positive testimonials on your website is a good idea, patients also give credibility to reviews left on third party sites like Google, Yelp and Healthgrades. And social media sites help to personalize the dental office and keep patients engaged with the practice in between appointments.

Visual Appeal

There’s no doubt that patients are still fearful of the dentist, so having a visually appealing website help to give a more friendly vibe. Pictures of the dental team and videos of the dentist addressing common patient concerns, for example, can go a long way in helping to build trust in the practice. And designing the website with aesthetics in mind – having enough white space and even adding a textured background to the theme – can help provide a modern, clean and welcoming impression to all patients.

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What Does Your Dental Website Say About You?

by Naomi Cooper January 5, 2017

Did you know? 97% of patients prefer to visit a dentist’s website than to call the office for information.dental practice website design

This means your practice website is often a prospective patient’s first impression, so you need to make sure it’s a great one. However, if it has been awhile (read: 18 months or more) since you last updated your website, that first interaction could be saying you are slow, frustrating and out of touch…not exactly the impression you want to be giving.

To ensure your website is providing an accurate reflection of your practice, make it sure it incorporates these critical components:

  • Keep the site updated with mobile-friendly design so that anyone can easily navigate the site regardless of the device they may be using (desktop, mobile or tablet)
  • Make it easy for patients to get in touch with the office by having the contact information prominently displayed on all pages
  • Feature links to social media and online review sites to showcase everything your practice has to offer
  • Utilize blogs and video to make the site more engaging and informative

The most important thing is to remember that your website should be designed with the user in mind. For more ideas on what you can do to optimize your website – and 5 tricks to absolutely avoid – check out my article in Dental Economics.

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5 Online Marketing Hacks for Dentists

by Naomi Cooper September 7, 2016

You went to dental school, not business school. You specialize in exams and extractions, not marketing and social media. So how do you even begin to build a savvy online presence for your dental practice?

Online marketing hacks for dentistsHere are 5 tips to demystify online marketing for every dentist:

  1. Perform an online audit – Google your name and then your practice name. What comes up? Take note of where in the search results your website appears, as well as bookmark any sites with incomplete or inaccurate information to go back and fix sooner rather than later.
  2. Claim online profiles – Business listings may already exist for the practice on sites like Google and Yelp without your knowledge. Be sure every online profile has up-to-date practice and contact information.
  3. Update the practice website – If you haven’t touched your practice website within the past 18 months or more, schedule an appointment with your web designer to talk about updating the site for modern convenience (responsive design, SEO functionality, user-friendliness).
  4. Actively ask for patient testimonials – It NEVER hurts to ask! In fact, asking patients to post online reviews actually helps spark word of mouth for the office.
  5. Don’t forget about social media – Build your presence on sites and apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram…and encourage patients to check in and tag the office.

To dive deeper into these strategies, and discover 5 more simple yet effective methods of improving your online marketing, check out my recent article in Dental Products Report to ensure you stay in the driver’s seat of your online reputation.

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3 Secrets for a Modern Dental Practice Website

by Naomi Cooper May 2, 2016

3 Secrets for a Modern Dental Practice WebsiteThe practice website is the most important component of any dentist’s online strategy. But with so many self-proclaimed experts in web design, it’s difficult to figure out what you must have, what to avoid and what technology needs to be incorporated.

Here are the 3 most important features every modern dental website should have to ensure it’s attractive to patients while working to build your online presence in the most effective way possible.

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Online Marketing Tips for Dentists in 2015

by Naomi Cooper December 17, 2014

Online Marketing Tips for DentistsDental patients are modern, tech savvy consumers. They inevitably use the Internet when researching local dentists, and much of what they find online will determine whether or not they pick up the phone to make their first appointment.

Be sure that the information they find online about you and your dental practice is a true representation of who you are and how you and your team can help them. Focus on these 4 online elements that are crucial to building and maintaining a strong online presence:

  1. The dental practice website should be professionally designed and easy to use. The website also needs to be optimized for mobile devices, preferably using responsive design so that patients can easily access & read it whether they are on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
  2. Incorporating an on-site blog can benefit the practice in multiple ways. First, it helps with the website’s SEO, helping to make it more visible to patients. And a blog also helps maintain existing relationships with current patients in between visits.
  3. Social media profiles should be current and updated regularly.
  4. Patient review sites such as Yelp, Google My Business and Healthgrades should be claimed & completed with up-to-date practice contact information. And everyone in the practice should be asking patients to write online reviews on a daily basis.

Online marketing is just one component of a dentist’s marketing strategy – one that is guaranteed to continue growing in importance. Take action today to ensure that what patients see online is an accurate reflection of you and your practice in 2015.

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6 Questions to Analyze Your Dental Practice Website

by Naomi Cooper August 6, 2014

6 Questions to Analyze Your Dental Practice WebsiteAccording to Google, 97% of all consumers search for local businesses online. It’s important for dental practice owners to make sure their website is easily found when local patients are researching the practice online.

The dental practice website can be a powerful marketing tool; however it cannot be a static one. That is, the practice website needs to be constantly evolving along with the world of online marketing. Keeping up with the latest online marketing trends will ensure that the website keeps your practice at the top of the search engine listings.

I recently came across a very helpful article from the marketing experts at MarketingProfs, titled “Is Your Website Dead or Just Sleeping?”. In the article they outline 6 important elements to energize your website. Here is a quick summary:

1. Is it usable? – A website needs to be easy for users, and search engines, to navigate.

2. Is it responsive? – Traditional website design does not always function properly when viewed on smartphones and tablets. Make sure your website incorporates responsive design so that all patients see the best version of your website, regardless of the device they are using.

3. Is it focused? – Your website should be more about giving your patients the information they are looking for, and less about flashy design. Streamlining your website will actually make it more usable and can decrease load times.

4. Is it sociable? – A great dental practice website is engaging to patients. Pictures and video of the dentists and staff help welcome new patients into the practice. And linking the website to social media profiles and online review sites make it easy for patients to share your content and get a full, rounded picture of the practice.

5. Is it direct? – You should have a clear call to action all across your website, along with having your phone number and email address easy to find. Make it easy for patients to get in touch with you.

6. Is it fast? – People are impatient these days. In fact, 40% of people will abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Work with your website design team to streamline your website.

If it has been a few years since your website was designed, it may be well worth it to contact your web designer to see if any improvements could be made.  How important do you feel your website is to the success of your dental practice?