A clean design, an intuitive site map, and pictures of beautiful people with pearly white smiles — all are hallmarks of functional, aesthetically pleasing dental office websites.
And yet so many of these sites are fundamentally flawed.
A good dental website should be more than a digital brochure for your services and appointment scheduling. Does your dental website incorporate the latest online technologies? Is it hyper-relevant to people living in your service area? Does it make life easier for the folks who carry out your marketing strategy? Does it list your core services from a clinical perspective? Or does it also inform prospective patients “why they should visit you” for a specific service?
If you answered “no” to either of those questions, then you’re committing one of the three most avoidable dental website mistakes. Here, we’ll drill into these common missteps and explain why each is important.
Mistake #1. Not Using a Responsive Web Design
Forget how pretty your site looks on a laptop. If it doesn’t look good on a smartphone, then it’s failing.
Most people nowadays interact with the Internet from their smartphones. According to a report by Hitwise, an estimated 58 percent of Google searches are made from mobile devices. That number is even higher for health-related searches, with 68 percent of health-related searches happening from smartphones and tablets. And don’t fool yourself into thinking that mobile search is a fad, or that you can get by with the 32 percent of web users who’ve clung to their desktops. A recent Pew Research Center study found that 92 percent of young adults own smartphones. Those are tomorrow’s coveted dental patients.
Make sure your site is technologically relevant by incorporating a responsive web design. Responsively designed websites automatically reconfigure themselves to display as intended in all kinds of browsers.
Having a mobile-friendly website isn’t just creating a good user experience for patients. Without a mobile-friendly site, there’s a good chance people may not even find your site online. Google recently started indexing mobile websites with higher priority over desktop sites. Poorly optimized mobile sites are penalized in the rankings. That’s important, considering most Google users don’t click beyond the first page of search results.
In short, an aesthetically pleasing website that doesn’t display properly on smartphones isn’t worth its server space. Converting to a responsive mobile design is the best way to ensure your dental website stays current with ever-evolving technology. Learn more about our custom dental website design services.
Mistake #2. Not Optimizing for Local SEO
Smartphones didn’t just change how people view websites; they also changed how people search the Internet.
Back when desktop searches were more popular, people might search Google for dentists by typing the following phrases: “find a dentist,” “dentist reviews,” or “dentists in Seattle.” However, web searches from smartphones are fundamentally different.
For starters, a growing number of people search the web using voice commands and digital personal assistants, and spoken queries are more articulate than typed queries. In fact, Google has introduced AI (artificial intelligence) to help interpret spoken queries. This technology is currently processing approximately 13% of all voice searches and will change the manner in which the Google local search algorithm analyzes local SEO, which is defined as a 15-mile circumference around your practice location.
Second, people are more likely to search for goods and services in their immediate areas, sometimes down to the district, neighborhood, or street. Examples of typical smartphone searches might be “find a dentist near me,” “dentists on Broadway,” or “dentists near me that take Delta Dental.”
How can you adapt for this changing landscape? A good first step is evaluating your content and inserting specific references to your immediate location. Start a blog and post about your involvement in community events. Seek endorsements from local business organizations and think of ways to involve your clinic with localized news stories on dental health trends — local journalists love that stuff, and you can share those stories on your website, too.
Also, if you haven’t already, verify your dental office profile on Google My Business and the other high priority national directories that also have local intent (Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc). Make sure your contact information exactly matches what’s on your website. You should also start a Yelp page and invite patients to leave reviews. For more SEO tips, read our article: SEO for Dentists: How to Get Your Website Ranking in Google.
Mistake #3. Not Including Blogs and Videos
Blogs and videos play important roles in improving the overall quality of your website. On the surface, both types of content are significantly more engaging than standard descriptions of services. Videos of dentists and happy patients might persuade people who visit your website to schedule appointments. Blogs, on the other hand, can be shared on social media to bring more people to your site.
Worried about not having anything interesting to share on a blog? Don’t be. You can write about anything from parenting tips (tips for teaching young children to brush) to the merits of flossing. And, as we explained in the previous section, blogging about community involvement is a great way to bolster your local SEO strategy.
Investing in blogs and videos could also improve your website’s search rankings. Google prefers websites with unique, frequently updated content. A dental website with an updated blog and video content is more likely to be ranked higher than a static website that only describes office procedures and services.
A clean, intuitive website is important for any dental office. However, there’s more to a good dental website than what meets the eye. In this day and age, a website needs to be more than a shiny online advertisement. It must be a tool that enhances your marketing, attracts more visitors and stands out from competitors. You’ll get that kind of mileage from your website by sidestepping these common mistakes.