Table of Contents
- Success Factors Of The Best Dentist Websites
- 1) The Best Dentist Websites Have An SEO Strategy
- 2) The Best Dentist Websites Convey Authenticity, Honesty, and Personality
- 3) The Best Dentist Websites Make Strong Social Proof Statements
- 4) They Best Dentist Websites Have All The Required Functionality
Success Factors Of The Best Dentist Websites
Here at My Social Practice, we specialize in creating dental websites that not only look great but also help website visitors convert to scheduled patients. Because we only work with dentists we have a unique approach to dental website design and development. An approach that has allowed us to improve the website design and development process and significantly drop costs.
Building a dental websites is difficult to plan and prepare with the amount of content and rich media it takes to create a site that is authentic, professional, trustworthy, and converts to scheduled patients.
In this article we’re gong to break down some of the essential factors your dental site needs to stay have the best dental site possible and keep your dental practice competitive in your local community.
What Makes A Great Dentist Website?
We’ve narrowed the list down to what we feel are the most important factors in what makes the best dental websites. We’ve pulled our thoughts and suggestions from years of dental marketing experience and dental website design. If you focus on these attributes and follow the suggestions of how to accomplish them, you’ll end up with a website that would be considered a great dental website.
Our thoughts are time tested and based upon what has been successful. There is the old saying ‘Imitation is the best form of flattery.‘ Well…. why not see what is already working, right?
No time to wait… let’s get started.
1) The Best Dentist Websites Have An SEO Strategy
I know that you’ve probably heard about SEO, you may have even hired a dental marketing company to perform SEO on your website. Maybe that was a good experience… maybe not so good. Whatever you’ve experienced or not experienced, if you’re wanting to be found by patients in your community via the internet, then SEO is an activity that every dentist needs to understand.
SEO helps businesses to be found online. It stands for Search Engine Optimization and helps you to rank higher on the search result pages.
Why Does A Dentist Need SEO?
If your goal is to create a thriving practice, one that creates a consistent influx of new patients, then SEO should be listed first. When you look at all of the new patient marketing initiatives out there, SEO is one of the most cost effective ways to grow your practice. That’s why I’ve listed SEO first. If finding a consistent new patient influx is NOT the goal of your practice, then I would not put SEO first.
There are thousands of articles out there about the search engine algorithm and what you need to do to optimize your dental website. The SERP algorithms change so often and are so complicated that they can’t be gamed. Meaning, you can’t trick Google into better ranking results. You should implement a strategy that is long-term, ongoing and isn’t a quick fix.
SEO is really about making the website experience of the user, your potential patient, a great experience. If you accomplish this Google will recognize that your website does a better job than the others in your area.
There are a few things that we know improve a website experience and the search engines have asked that all websites do these things. I’m not going to spend a ton of time going into detail on website optimization. Check out this link if you want some great dental SEO tips.
- You want your website metadata structured properly for each page on your website. Check out this article from Google on how to structure your meta-data.
- Consistent new custom content added to your website. Writing new blog content as often as possible is a great way to do this. You should download these dental blog templates, they’ll get you off on the right foot.
- Internal linking is extremely importnat in order to tell the search engines which pages on your website are most important.
- Site functionality and mobile optimization are a basic requirement.
The Best Dentist Websites Optimize For ‘Discovery’ Search Phrases
Don’t let dental SEO vernacular confuse you. A discovery search phrase is a single keyword like ‘dentist’ or a phrase like ‘who is the best dentist near me’. Notice that I’m not talking about ‘direct search phrases’. Direct search phrases are like, ‘Dr. Adrian Lefler’ or ‘ABC Dental of SLC Utah’. Direct search phrases are phrases where the patient KNOWS what they want to find. There is very little website optimization that needs to be done in order to be found by direct search phrases. If you have a website and it’s been indexed by Google, you should be good to go.
So, what we’re talking about here is how to be found by patients who DON’T already know who you are. Make sense?
Once you’ve identified the discovery search phrases and keywords that you want to optimize for, you begin creating content related to those keywords.
We’ll talk about how to do this in the sections below.
The Best Dentist Websites Have ‘Relevant’ Linking
When you write new copy for your dental website you don’t want to just jam a bunch of discovery search phrase ad hoc onto the page. Years ago that used to work but it doesn’t anymore.
The search algorithm’s are super intuitive and get better with every update. In order to optimize your linking you need to make sure that the anchor text, which is the text that is linked, is relevant to the link.
Dental Website Linking: Bad Example
Here is a bad example of relevant linking. The anchor text is ‘social media caption ideas for dentists’.
– Check out these social media caption ideas for dentists. –
Go ahead. Click on the link and see where it takes you. Then ask yourself, does the content on that page answer the link anchor text?
Dental Website Linking: Two Great Examples
And here is a good example of relevant linking for the discovery search phrase, ‘social media caption ideas for dentists.’
Here is a second great example of a relevant link, ‘tips on SEO for dentists‘.
Notice the difference? The first link goes to a website page about dental marketing and the copy on the page is relatively broad. The page does not answer or solve the search phrase ‘social media caption ideas for dentists.’ If you take the time to read down that dental marketing page you’ll find information about social media caption ideas, but it’s way down on the page.
If you were the person searching ‘social media caption ideas for dentists’, you’d probably bounce off the first example because you didn’t find exactly what you want. And guess what? Google and the other search engines record that session and information. High bounce rates are NOT GOOD for dental website SEO.
In the second and third examples you land on a page that was designed to provide the person searching exactly what they want. It’s very unlikely that after landing on the 101 Dental Captions download page, or the 12 Tips article, that the person searching will bounce off the page. Most likely, they’ll stay on the page, read and download the material.
Here is an SEO trick. Once you’ve decided which discovery phrases you’re going to go after, reverse engineer the content on the landing page. If the discovery search phrase is ‘what to do about tooth pain’, then you’ll want to have a page that is answers that question. You might even call the page, ‘What to do about tooth pain.’
The Best Dentist Websites Have Custom Location Pages
Now that search results provide consumers with location based recommendations, like the Google maps section of SERP’s; location related copywriting and other forms of content are a vital factor in digital dental marketing and dental SEO.
If you only have one location, it should be relatively easy for you to optimize your website for location specific pages. Google, Bing, Yahoo, Duck Duck Go and social media platforms like Facebook allow your dental practice to be easily discovered by local users.
Example Of A Dental Practice Location Page
When preparing to build your website you’ll want to lay out specific pages for each area you’re attempting to draw patients from. What this means is creating content that speaks directly to each local audience. The search engines recognize location based content as extremely valuable and your local website rankings will improve over time.
The pro-tip here is super simple, create location based pages of content on your website. These pages will show the search engines as well as your audience that you’re serving patients in those areas.
In the graphic I’ve screen shot a location page from Smith Cosmetic & Family Dentistry. They wanted to rank better in Henderson NV. You can click through Dr. Smith’s site to see how we’ve added a few location pages to help her rank in specific areas.
2) The Best Dentist Websites Convey Authenticity, Honesty, and Personality
If you’ve had the chance to look around the internet at dental websites, eventually you’re going to realize that there is very little variation in design. You’re going to run into a few websites that haven’t had an update in ten years, and they’re going to look pretty lame, but almost every dental website design built in the last 2-3 years is going to look similar.
You’ll find that recently built dental website designs are going to have almost the exact same functionality. They’ll probably have a long vertical scrolling home page, parallax options, meet the doc page, before and after functionality, book an appointment form, cost calculators, price list pages, booking forms, and many other dental related functionality.
How To Get One Of The Best Dentist Website Designs
In the last few years dental templated websites have blown up in a good way. Ten years ago you couldn’t find a dental template that had everything that you needed. You would get a very basic layout but almost no functionality.
Now, there are literally thousands of WordPress templates that you can purchase for less than $100, and they have the building blocks of everything you would need for a great dental website.
Just to give you an example of how easy it is to find a great dental website template; it took my approximately 37 seconds to find the WordPress template examples below.
Why The Best Dentist Website Designs Begin With A Template
The biggest cost in building a dental website is time. The time that you have to pay a professional designer to create what you want. And, usually what you want is an idea stuck your head. A designer then has to create something, show it to you, and hopefully they’ve gotten close to the image in your mind. This type of web design is a disaster.
Templates solve potential disasters. A template helps set the stage and the initial creation. It helps the designer and the dentist get on the same page. You can look at a template and say, ‘I don’t like that but I do like this.” That type of feedback is direct, succinct and actionable.
A template isn’t going to get you all the way to what you want. It’s not like you’re going to purchase a dental office website template for $49.95 and it require nothing else. Templates without some additional love and professional design are not going to convey authenticity, honesty, and personality? So, don’t go out a pay a ton of cash for dental website design.
Sometimes you’ll hear the catch phrase ‘we built custom dental websites’, which creates picture of a website being built from scratch. For some reason people assume that there is some aesthetic that can’t be reached unless you start with a blank slate. Any professional web designer that builds a site from scratch, not using any previous template, is wasting money. Your money.
Steps To Building Your Best Dentist Website
- Find a couple dental website that you like. One’s that’s already online.
- Send those examples to your website designer and tell them to find templates close to the examples.
- Review the templates with a designer and estimate the additional design and photography that will be needed.
- Do a photo shoot.
- Review the first draft of your website.
- Go through a couple iterations and you’ll be done.
The key here is to reduce the amount of time to a first draft of your website. Once you have a first draft the iterations from there to the final product is usually pretty quick. We’ll typically go through one to three iterations after the first draft, and iterations may only take a few days to a week.
Remember, focus on great photography. Here is an example of a website that we built with fantastic photography.
One Last Super Important Tip To Dental Website Design
Focus on photography. I’ve looked at at least twenty thousand dental websites over the years. And frankly the great looking sites all have custom photography. If you have great photography you can make any template look amazing.
Here is an example of a website that we built with fantastic photography. The site was built from a template but it doesn’t look anything like the template because the photography is so good.
3) The Best Dentist Websites Make Strong Social Proof Statements
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that encourages a person to act in accordance with the behavior or others. The term was coined by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence.
Here is a simple example; you’re looking for a dermatologist in your community and you’ve found one that has a Facebook page with 2300 followers and 78 reviews. The second dermatologist has a Facebook page with 410 followers and 12 reviews. Which one do you call?
Obviously you’re going to call the one with more followers and reviews.
Make it easy for patients to find your social proof. If you’ve got more Google reviews than any other dentist, make a statement about it on your homepage. If you’re an Orthodontist with 600,ooo TikTok followers, make a big deal about it.
Potential patients are looking for social proof to help them make a decision. Make it easy for them.
The Best Dentist Websites Have Case Studies
One great way to build social proof is through case studies. Case studies are kind-of-like before and after photos but with a story about the patient’s experience.
Make sure that you use a HIPAA authorization form before you post anything online about the patient. Consent is absolutely required.
A case study is a deep dive into the patient’s experience and the goals of the procedure. You’ll want to document pre, during, and the post experience of the patient. To beef up your case study and make it look great, you’ll want to take photo’s and/or video throughout the entire patient journey. It may sound difficult but with a little preparation you can create a story that will resonate with potential patients.
The format for the case study could be one of several. You could turn the case study into a downloadable PDF. It could be a blog post, email, or you could add these case studies to your website.
The Best Dentist Website Have Reviews & Testimonials
If you’re a forward thinking practice you’re probably asking your patients for reviews. If you just thought, ‘That’s not me.’, you had better start.
Reviews are one of the most important ways to create social proof. All reviews are great, but Google reviews are by far the most important type of online review.
Google reviews are tied to your Google My Business listing in Google’s business directory. When someone searches online for a local dentist your listing will pop up in the Google maps section of search results and your reviews are tied to your business listing. What do you think happens if you have less reviews or not as high ranking reviews as your competitors?
Download the complimentary Google review campaign materials and get started acquiring more reviews today.
If you’re the type of practice that simply doesn’t have the time to ask your patients for reviews, you’ll want to get a demonstration of our Google review automated software.
My Social Practice’s software has integrations with Google My Business, Facebook, Healthgrades and many other medical related review sites online.
You should also take a look at our local dental SEO annual report.
The Best Dentist Websites Use Social Influencers
Consumers are being exposed to so much content marketing and advertising online every day, breaking through the noise is more difficult than ever. Organic reach of business posts on Facebook is below 1%. And, more people than ever are simply blocking ads outright.
This is the reason many companies have started to work with social media influencers to promote their products and services. If you follow any celebrities online, you know what I’m talking about. It’s called influencer marketing, and leading brands are quickly discovering that it’s the most effective way to advertise, hands down.
For digital practice marketing, now more than ever potential patients don’t trust what YOU say about your practice online. They need recommendations from a member of their trusted social network to consider giving you a call and scheduling an appointment.
A dental influencer on a social media platform is a person who has established a brand reputation and have built followers that trust the influencers opinion about products and services. They’re similar to celebrities. In exchange for money, free items, or dental services, a dental influencer will promote your product and services to their social media audience.
Working with dental influencers has several advantages. They produce stunning user-generated content for your marketing. Many professional Instagram influencers collaborate with professional local photographers to develop polished and well-considered content.
The Best Dentist Marketing Leverage Micro-Influencers
Big influencers, the ones with millions of followers will be extremely expensive. We recommend that you focus on micro influencers, who have less followers, are less expensive to work with, but their audiences are usually localized.
You should be looking for influencers with less than 10,000 followers. We’ve seen fantastic success in influencers who have less than 3,000 followers. You probably have several of these influencers in your database already.
If you have questions about Influencer marketing, reach out to us and schedule a social media demo.
4) They Best Dentist Websites Have All The Required Functionality
Functionally, the best-ranking dental practice websites are responsive, seamlessly compatible with mobile devices, and load quickly. Great dental websites are designed to guide users to helpful information and ultimately, creates a strong call-to-action. Keep in mind that the most important page on your dental website is your homepage. Specifically, the information “above the fold” or before a user scrolls down.
Is the information that you want to give patients on your homepage before any scroll or click takes place? You don’t want potential patients to have to go searching for the information they are looking for. For example, your practice name, doctor’s name, contact information, and purpose needs to be “above the fold” on your dental website’s home page.
You can get a fabulous, functional website without outrageous dental website costs.
About the Author: Adrian Lefler is an expert dental marketer and a key member of the dental marketing team at My Social Practice. My Social Practice is a dental marketing company located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Adrian is passionate about helping dental practices grow. If you’d like to book one of the members of My Social Practice’s speaking team, you can do that HERE. Interested in learning more about the benefits of SEO for dental practices or our dental websites service, you can learn more here. Also please read our Google My Business reviews.