By Jeff Gladnick, Great Dental Websites
Whether you’re creating your first dental website or your tenth, it’s important to make sure the website not only performs well in search results, but also that it is user-friendly for patients and potential patients. In the thirteen years we’ve been in business, Great Dental Websites has seen the continuous evolution of best practices for user experience (UX), but there are certain things that never seem to change.
Let’s talk about a few foundational factors to keep in mind when creating a great dental website.
Website load time
Your website should not only be responsive so that it loads correctly on all devices (computers, tablets, mobile devices), but it also needs to load quickly. Otherwise, users will leave the website before the content has fully loaded. There are plenty of tools that will give you “grades” or “scores” to help you understand your website’s load time, but many of those tools can give scary-looking reports that aren’t actually that bad if you look a little closer. If you have a developer or website company that can review those reports with you, great. If not, try a few tests of your own.
To get a better idea of your website’s load speed, take a look at both mobile and desktop results. Test your mobile speed on your phone using data and Wi-Fi, and try your website on the different browsers on your laptop. See what you experience. Does the site load quickly, or is there a noticeable lag before the website can be used? Do certain images seem to load much later than others? You may be able to resize those images to decrease your load times.
Don’t forget to direct a user’s attention to your calls-to-action (CTAs). The most common ones for a dental office are contact requests such as “Call Today” or “Schedule an Appointment” and can also include other desired actions, such as “Get Directions” or “Learn More.”
You don’t need to overdo them - the more CTAs you have in one area, the less likely the user is to follow through with the conversion. Having one or two visible CTAs on each page of the site should encourage more users to complete those activities. Lastly, check your site on your phone or tablet to ensure that those CTAs are easily accessible on smaller devices.
Make scheduling convenient for users
Online booking has matured a lot since its inception, and there are several reliable options now. What’s more, many Millennials and Gen Z users prefer online scheduling over making a phone call. If they are your main demographic, you need to consider catering to their habits to increase new patient bookings.
In addition, make sure it’s easy for users to find your phone number, address, and at least one way to email your office (a contact form is sufficient). More importantly, someone needs to be available to receive these contact methods so you don’t miss out on anybody trying to book appointments.
Offer online forms
Similarly to online booking, people want to save time (and avoid having to find a printer). By offering online forms, you are not only saving time and paper, but you’re also making it easier on your own practice. How many times have you tried to figure out someone’s handwriting, whether they meant to mark that checkbox, and so on? With online forms, you make it easy to read and store their information.
Online forms also give your staff time to thoroughly review the health history of a patient before you sit down with them the first time. Be sure to check that the forms integrate with your practice management system and are HIPAA compliant before rolling out to your practice.
Group your content
Another way to help your users save time is to group related content. If you want to convince potential patients that your practice is the best in the area when it comes to veneers, show off your veneer before and after images, related blogs you’ve written about them, a video about you talking about your process, and veneer-related FAQs. With a variety of related content, users will become more convinced that you are the dentist they want to work with (and contact you via your CTAs!).
Of course, these aren’t the only things to think about when making your new dental website, but you’ll already be better off than your competitors if you check these boxes. If you’re interested in learning more about creating an effective dental website, we’re always available to chat at Great Dental Websites.
Register for our webinar with Hushmail
Join Hushmail’s Jarred Bolen and me tomorrow for a new webinar: Your website as your patient hub. We’ll be discussing the many different ways you can use your website to help manage your practice in a way that protects both the health and privacy of your patients. Here are some of the topics we'll address:
- How the patient experience has changed over the years
- How websites have evolved from online brochures to a practice’s business hub
- The importance of keeping your site up to date and correct
- How you can integrate your software with your website
- Maintaining security, even as HIPAA rules are relaxed during the pandemic
- When e-signatures are a must
- What emails need to be encrypted?
- What not to do when creating your intake forms
Your website as your patient hub
Jun 26, 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Mountain Time
Jeff Gladnick is the founder and CEO of Great Dental Websites. Although he comes from a family of eight dentists, he has been working on website development and marketing for two decades, with 13 of those years focused on marketing dental practices. Jeff lives in Denver with his wife, two children and two cats.
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