Effective Dental Websites

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Some Thoughts on Effective Dental Websites

By Bruce Stephenson, DDS, FAGD

A successful dental website is neither difficult nor expensive.  But it does require a little understanding of what is needed to turn you website into one of your cheapest but most effective new patient referral sources!

Dental Website SEO

  1. Metatags: title, description and keywords are very easy to change and still very important (IMHO) for dental websites; keywords are not used by Google but may still be used by Yahoo and possibly other search engines. I see no reason not to use them. Think of the title and description as “headlines” readable by Google and each page of your site should have its own metatags.
  2. Content: “Content is King” is definitely true; each page should have unique content (not duplicated on other sites) with carefully thought out copy to rank well with prospective patients and with Google
  3. Traffic: the more people click on your site, the higher Google ranks it; this is why some people recommend “adwords” to drive traffic to your site; adwords are expensive and almost never necessary (IMHO).
  4. In-Bound Links: these are other sites such as Yelp, Google Plus, etc., that have links back to your site; there are approximately 50 “business sites” that can be linked back to your site for free or almost free; care needs to be taken that all back links have exactly the same information; you cannot be “Dr. Jones” one place and “Bill Jones, DDS” another place – Google gets confused.
  5. Age of Site: Google gives preference to “mature” sites as opposed to a brand new site
  6. New Content: Google likes “fresh content” meaning some new material on your site; this is the reason so many people recommend “blogs” – they “count” as fresh content if they are correctly linked to the site. My preference is to add and change pages on the site because it keeps it fresh as well as improving the site for “real people.”

 

“Conversions” from Dental Websites

This is much more subjective and a lot of this is personal opinion and experience.  Even the best, top-ranking website is worthless if patients don”t “convert” by calling your office and then actually sitting down in your chair!  This is why the true value of your website SEO is the count of the actual number of new patients who say they came into your office because of what they saw about you on the Internet!  Always track your referral sources!

  1. Easy to Read: no black background! Good contrast of type against background; not too cluttered
  2. Easy to Contact: prominent telephone number; top of the page in a big font
  3. “Make an appointment” link: you need to monitor your office email so you can respond promptly to people who make a request.
  4. Credibility:  patient reviews: “Read our 5-Star Reviews” with a link to Google Plus, Yelp, etc. These are very high credibility patient review sites that improve your page ranking and make it more likely that people will call your office
  5. Attractive Graphics:  that convey trust and authority: really subjective! And I am an admittedly terrible graphic designer; I often get help and recommend help on the appearance of the web pages from someone with a better esthetic sense than I have!
  6. “Real” Pictures: IMHO, “stock photos” do not belong on your dental website!  Patients want to see what you look like, what your staff looks like and what your office looks like!  “Real Pictures” add to your credibility!
  7. Call to Action: such as “call now for an appointment,” etc.  Very old concept in advertising that works!