Creating an effective website is an investment that requires time, effort, skill, and strategy. Having a web presence that generates traffic conversions is essential for any brand, but it’s a moot point if your website is confusing and ineffective.
These 10 commandments are key for anyone looking to build, optimise, and maintain an effective website.
1. Know your ideal patient avatar
You can’t be all things to all people, so it’s crucial to know exactly what your ideal patient is and what they need from you. Demographically, psychographically, behaviourally – who are they and what are they looking for in a dental practice? What are their hopes and aspirations, concerns and hesitations, as it pertains to dental care? Once you know this, you can communicate in a way that makes sense to them.
If you pull in some other patients along the way, that’s great. But it’s important to have that ideal patient in mind, and aim your brand communications at them. If you’re a bit stuck, it’s always a great idea to do some research or survey existing patients that you feel best represent your ideal patient.
2. Be consistent with your brand
Seth Godin aptly describes a brand as “the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” It’s more than just a logo or jingle, it’s how you connect and appeal with your audience emotionally.
Using consistent language across every web page and touch point will give potential patients a well-rounded image of who you are and what makes you stand out from the crowd. If you have disjointed or fragmented branding across different pages and sites, it’s much harder for them to know if you’re a good fit for their needs. As you build out your website and develop an online presence, it’s extremely worthwhile to consolidate your branding strategy to ensure you have that cohesion.
3. Content is king
No one goes online looking for advertisements, just waiting and excited to be sold to. And I can guarantee, your ideal patients don’t either.
A great way to capture the attention of your prospective patients, is to give them content that they actually want to see and consume. Building out your website with blog posts and pages full of informative and educational content is a fantastic way to increase your SEO, demonstrate expertise, and develop a relationship with your audience that is genuinely useful to them.
4. Build an Opt-In
This is crucial for converting web traffic once you’ve got their eyes on your page. Offer some sort of e-book, PDF, report, or lead magnet that can be downloaded or emailed out once visitors have entered their details.
Not everyone is going to come to your site and book an appointment, but you’ve got that opportunity to offer another step that provides value and allows you to remain in contact with the people who are interested in your services.
Once you have that ability to communicate with them, you can develop a follow-up sequence or next offer, that allows you to deepen that relationship with them one step at a time. The goal is that eventually, they will book an appointment but, in the meantime, you can keep the leads hot through genuinely useful content and resources
5. Research before you build it
“Build it and they will come” isn’t really the most strategic approach when it comes to building a web presence. It’s crucial to conduct keyword research before building your website, so you know where your ideal patients are and what they’re looking for.
By conducting research and being more deliberate with your content, you’re giving your website the best chance to reach your ideal patient avatar. It’s about dropping the line where the fish are biting, not where you hope one will wander by.
6. Have a Call To Action
Having a clear and direct Call To Action (CTA) is crucial for converting web traffic into active patients.
Using imperative language like “Call now” or “Make an appointment” is one of the principles of direct response marketing and it makes it easy for your visitors to know what their next step is
7. Be mobile friendly
Recent figures show 70% of your web traffic is likely to come from mobile phones, so it’s crucial that your website renders on mobile devices.
You can do this by building out a specific mobile site, where the URL begins with “m.website.com.au”. Or, you can create a responsive designed website that is able to detect what sort of hardware your website is being viewed on, and adjusts itself accordingly – this is a far more modern approach that means you don’t need to be building and monitoring two separate sites.
8. Use tech well
We have more tools than ever available to create an incredible web experience, so make the most of it. You can create functions where people can simply tap an icon and their phone automatically dials your practice to speak with a receptionist immediately. There are also some great tools out there that allow you to build a chat box or bot feature that can answer FAQ’s.
And of course, any web developer worth their salt will also be able to integrate remarketing features so you can re-target site visitors as they move around the web.
9. Your website should be living not static
Don’t just set and forget your website, it’s important to periodically review your content to ensure it is up-to-date and indicative of your branding, products and services, and practice details.
Make sure it is modern, up-to-date, professional, and clearly well-looked after. A website that hasn’t been updated since 2010 is unlikely to look very credible or reliable!
10. Make sure it is optimised for the user
Most users want to find what they’re looking for as quickly and easily as possible, so don’t make them click around for ages or scroll forever to find information. Have a clear and easy-to-navigate website, otherwise they’re likely to simply leave and find another website.
Also consider that users are increasingly trending towards booking online versus over the phone – this is a personal decision that every practice needs to make for themselves, but it could be worth it to capture more leads.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready …. here are 4 ways I can help you grow your dental practice:
1. Grab a free chapter from my book “Retention – How to Plug the #1 Profit Leak in Your Dental Practice”
The book is the definitive guide to patient retention and how to use internal marketing to grow your practice – Click Here
2. Join the Savvy Dentist community and connect with dentists who are scaling their practice too
It’s our Facebook group where clever dentists learn to become commercially smart so that they have more patients, more profit and less stress. – Click Here
3. Attend a Practice Max Intensive live event
Our 2 day immersive events provide access to the latest entrepreneurial thinking and actionable strategies to drive your practice forward. You’ll leave with a game plan to take your results to the next level. If you’d like to join us, just send me a message with the word “Event and I’ll get you all the details! – Click here
4. Work with me and my team privately
If you’d like to work directly with me and my team to take your profit from 6 figures to 7 figures …. just send me a message with the word “Private”… tell me a little about your practice and what you would like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details! – Click here