From Fillings to Fonts: Top Features of Great Dental Websites
Great dental websites stand out against the white, clinical backdrop of most healthcare websites. Your website is one of your biggest tools to improve your dental marketing and attract new patients, which is why getting it right is so important. If you spend the time and resources needed to build a website that is strong in both design and functional elements, you can successfully convert website visitors into new patients and grow your practice.
Standout with Custom Photography
So many dental websites are full of stiff stock photography that, eventually, it all starts to look the same. To website visitors, it can feel stale and unoriginal because there’s nothing there for them to connect with. High-quality, custom photography takes your website from run-of-the-mill to uniquely personalized.
Using a photographer who specializes in healthcare can help you capture both professional and casual photos that tell a story; and people connect with stories. You can showcase your personality and the friendliness of your staff right on your homepage where it can make the most impact.
Pro-tip: Combine the power of custom photography with patient testimonials. Display both in prominent areas of your website. This enhances relatability and authenticity.
Build a Site With Speed in Mind
It doesn’t matter how pretty your website is if it’s slow. A clunky website will cause you to lose traffic and rankings quickly. Get to know the 7 ugly truths about dental website design—which includes the common failure of many who focus too much on aesthetics and not enough on functionality. Both users and search engines prefer faster-loading websites, which means you can benefit from both lower bounce rates and higher rankings.
Choose a simpler design, if needed, to improve load times on your website. Make sure you are properly optimizing images and not bogging down your site with a heavy amount of coding. You can see how your website speed stacks up with Google PageSpeed insights.
Need help? Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to help carry the load of your website’s data.
Boost Your Site Performance With a Blog
You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that blogging for dental SEO is one of the best strategies to strengthen your website’s performance. When you write fresh, relevant content for your blog, you are signaling to the Google algorithm that you are an authority on those subjects. The more you blog, the more opportunities you have to showcase that authority to Google, making it more likely to place you as a primary search result.
Blogging performs best when done consistently. Create a calendar for regular blog posts and focus on topics relevant to your field of care. Think of great, engaging blog topics like commonly asked questions or misconceptions about dental health. Dental SEO blogging can become a valuable resource not just for your website, but also for social media, email newsletters, and collaboration opportunities.
A lack of time and resources seems to be the biggest hurdle for many practice owners when it comes to blogging. This is a great example of when hiring a dental marketing company to write consistent and SEO-friendly content is advantageous.
Hot take: Boost local traffic by using keywords related to your local area to get found by the right people.
Keep SEO Top of Mind
Look at your dental website design through the lens of search engine optimization. By implementing the latest SEO best practices and strategies, you are already going to give your website an improved chance at outranking your competitors.
An SEO-focused design has simplified URLs, strong meta tags, and alt tags that are full of important keywords. These keywords should be used wisely throughout your website. For example, endodontic dental websites should be optimized with keywords that are both procedure and location-specific:
- “Root canal treatment”
- “[City] endodontist”
- “Infected tooth symptoms”
Finally, your design should be responsive and mobile-friendly in order to boost SEO. Most Google searches are done on mobile devices so make sure that your website looks great and functions well on any device.
Get help: Read the latest in SEO trends and standards in this Dental SEO guide.
Use Creative, Custom Copywriting for Better Results
Again, personalization beats the unimaginative every time. Using custom copywriting on everything from your homepage to the perfect dental practice mission statement gives your website more life. This translates into a more positive experience for your website visitors and more opportunities to connect with them.
Custom copywriting distinguishes your practice from all the standard, dull dental practice websites in the industry. It also improves your search engine rankings. You can tailor your content to reflect the unique personality and tone of voice of your practice and communicate that consistently across your website.
This is why you should outsource dental blogging and copywriting services. You’ll get polished, yet relatable content for your entire website that can help tell your story and sell your services clearly and effectively.
Bonus point: Don’t forget to use local language and references to connect with your audience.
Pre-Designed Templates Can Still Perform Well
If you need an opportunity to save costs and/or time, opt for a pre-designed dental website template. You can still create a beautiful, high-performing website with these templates as long as you implement the right dental SEO secrets.
Choose a template that is high-quality and from a reputable provider. From there, have fun customizing your template with your practice’s branding colors, fonts, and unique features.
Design Secret: We generally avoid red as a main color for any dental practice’s branding, but we love to see pediatric dental websites inject fun and color into their websites and practices. It builds excitement and confidence around going to the dentist.
Rank Higher on Google Maps
If you have a practice that operates in different areas, having specific pages dedicated to each of those locations can enhance your local SEO. This means that you’ll be able to perform better on Google Maps when people search for phrases like “orthodontist near me.”
Fill these pages with relevant information, such as: areas served, local services, and any community involvement. Use those powerful local keywords we mentioned earlier and update your website pages with any area-specific content as needed. For example, orthodontic websites could use before and after photos and/or testimonials from each location to boost credibility and local appeal.
Start here: See how well you’re ranking on Google Maps compared to your competitors, both before and after you implement changes to your website. Then you can successfully track your improvement!
Support Your Staff and Add Managed Live Chat
Great dental websites also have live chat. A consistently managed live chat is not usually run by your staff but is outsourced to a dental marketing agency. This helps your staff save time and your patients feel heard. Reduce the number of phone calls handled in the practice while still promptly responding to patient questions online.
Live chats can be some of the first positive interactions a prospective patient has with your practice, so choose a reliable live chat service that is tailored for healthcare providers. If you choose to manage it in-house, hire a dedicated team member to manage chat interactions. They should be friendly, knowledgeable, and able to follow the necessary HIPAA guidelines via the chat.
Bonus tip: The types of conversations you have on chat can tell you a lot about what information patients are looking for. Use this to improve your website content.
Run Quarterly Google PageSpeed Insight Tests
No website is “set it and forget it.” Plan to assess your page speed at least quarterly and look for opportunities to improve performance. This way, your website will remain fast and efficient, and you won’t have to overhaul everything to fix problem pages. Remember, fast page speeds mean better user experience and better Google search rankings.
You can audit your site for errors and slow load times with our website grader. It will help you pinpoint what pages or functions are slowing down your page speed. Google PageSpeed will also give you some recommendations, so by implementing both, you should be able to improve your website performance successfully.
Pro-Tip: Set up automatic reminders to check and manage your website page speed four times throughout the year.
Clearly Define Your Mission Statement and Value Proposition
You didn’t spend all that time coming up with a dental mission statement to let it hide on a forgotten page of your website. It should be incorporated, in part or in full, throughout your website. A great mission statement can also help define your unique value proposition as a provider, and your practice goals for patients. Connect with the right patients who are looking for your specific type of services.
Work with your team members or trusted advisors to draft a mission statement that is succinct and clear. Then work to incorporate it into the main design elements of your website. Your homepage is a great place to let it shine. Also, consider how it can help you write an “About the Dentists” page that really connects with your patients.
Bonus: Use these statements as a guide for all your website content to keep your messaging consistent.
Don’t Try to Be Too Fancy
In the end, a straightforward, user-friendly website design can be your most effective tool for growing your practice. Too many functions, pages, or additional elements can bog down your site and confuse website visitors.
Avoid overly complex menus and make sure that the design and “flow” of your site are intuitive. You’ll be continually making small improvements to your site, so listen for feedback from your patients about what would make it better for them.
As you finalize your great dental website design, you can focus on building quality links for better rankings, which is supported by your increased blogging efforts.
What Makes a Great Dental Website
Each of these elements combined will help you build a great dental website that connects with and converts new patients. Your website should serve your practice as a valuable tool for the overall patient experience, support your staff, and help you build networking opportunities.
In an era of digital information, you can no longer ignore the impact that your website makes on the success of your practice. Let it thrive with a first-class dental website design.
About the Author: Adrian Lefler is a dental marketing expert 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 practices grow through SEO for dentists. 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 dental SEO or our dental website service, please give us a call.