I’v consulted with hundreds of dentists who are frustrated with the lack of results from the Internet (and their website). When we look at their website, the first thing we do is do a 5 second brush-over of their homepage to see what the general overall feeling is.
I’m looking to see if the website connects with me as a visitor who is searching for a dentist, most likely because I have a tooth issue, or recently moved into the area and don’t have a dentist.
I often tell dentists their website (homepage) is the storefront for their practice on the internet. It’s an interesting way to view your website, but when you do, it makes more sense when we discuss the glaring issues we see on the majority of all dental websites.
In the rest of this article I am going to cover guidelines for website usability and the homepage content (ie. text, images and videos). There are many variables that will define a successful page, based on the nature of your business and its goals, but we know for dentists, the main goal is a phone call, secondarily is to fill out a contact form requesting an appointment.
What type of patient do you want to attract? And equally important, is who do you not want to appeal to? Your content and design is laid out with a clear understanding of who your ideal patient is. Whether it be cosmetic, orthodontic, sleep apnea, or any other procedure.
You may think this is obvious, but you’d be shocked how often dentists overlook their audiences needs, and take up the entire homepage talking about themselves and their practice.
For example, you may tempted to tell them you have been in business for 30 years, you use cutting-edge technology, and you are warm and friendly. Why should they care? You need to tune into channel WIFM.
That’s all people care about plain-and-simple!
Your homepage should convey, “We get you. And, more importantly, you belong here. We understand your fears, your pain, and your desires. We’ve got your back.” We’re hear to give y0u the result you’re looking for, and eliminate the pain y0u are experiencing.
Tip: Do NOT use the word Welcome on your homepage. This word is a wasted, non-meaningful word that should never waste valuable homepage real estate.
On any webpage, the area you see without doing any scrolling is referred to as the “first-fold”.
If the goal is a phone call, or a contact form fill, you must have your phone number, a call-to-action, and your contact web form in the first fold of your homepage. Other than that, maybe an image of an “actual patient” with a beautiful smile, as well as your practice address (location), so the visitor can easily find where they would need to go.
What we see time-and-time again is a huge image of something non-dental related taking up the entire first-fold of a dental website.
If you have a homepage like the above mentioned, you will have a very low conversion rate from your website, even if you have a good ranking in google.
Lastly, in the first-fold of your homepage, you could have a small image of you, the dentist, as well as a paragraph of what you can do for the visitor. Not listing out your services (procedures), but resonating with them regarding their desire for a beautiful smile, or to get rid of pain.
Everything I’ve been talking about is referred to as website usability. According to Wikipedia, the definition is “Web usability is the ease of use of a website”.
The most critical page on your website in terms of usability is your homepage. It’s typically the first page a person will land on, so if it is not easy to understand, you will lose that visitor quickly. They will hit the back button and go to a competitor of yours. We say…“gone forever!”
Most of the dental websites we see, mention the term “us” or “we” at least 10:1 to the term “you”.
Don’t fall into this trap. When you are writing dental content, see how many times you can replace us or we with “YOU” on your homepage. You will be shocked at how many times you can achieve this in your website copy.
When your website copy utilizes this approach, you will be resonating with your visitors and they will reward you with a phone call.
Near the bottom of your homepage, you can increase your trust factor with logo’s to the dental organizations you belong to, like ADA, AACD, ASDA, as well as state organizations.
If you have a high number for social engagement like Facebook page likes, you can show this as well.
Lastly, it is never too late to fix these glaring issues, but most of the time, it requires a site redesign.
We’ve fixed these issues with our Dental Website Redesign team. The difference can be getting no new patients each month, to getting 20 or more!