As a dentist, your goal is to run a successful dental practice with the highest degree of professionalism. It’s therefore imperative that you stay in touch with current and prevailing trends and reach out to your existing and potential patients via your online presence. A dental website will teach your patients about you, your practice, and will enhance your credibility.
But a static website on its own isn’t enough. As a dentist, you are a qualified professional with a high degree of ethics, standards of conduct, and one that keeps up on the scientific and technical aspects of dentistry. Similarly, your Dental Web presence needs to reflect these standards. A thriving and dynamic presence on the World Wide Web will position you above all your competitors, and in turn make your practice grow.
Browsing the websites that other dentists have spent a great deal of money on, you will
notice that some of them lack ‘the professional touch’. They are either single web pages with just the practice contact information, often lacking the vital information that potential patients are seeking in order to make informed choices. Many are built using outdated technology and hamper rather than enhance the prospects of the dental practice’s growth.
Research has proven that when potential patients view your website, it can be the
deciding factor in whether or not they call you. It is therefore important that they see you
positively and that your online presence incorporates best in class web site design features,
supported by various marketing tools.
A well-designed website with an appropriate domain name is one of these tools. It creates
a professional image and shows your commitment to your practice. A well-optimized
website also stands out amongst your competitors’ in search engine results, attracting
more potential customers. On the other hand, a poorly-designed website, with a poorly chosen domain name (or linked to someone else’s domain entirely, e.g. www.myfreesite.com/drsmith) has the potential to project the image of a dentist that is either not committed to their practice, or simply has not bothered to keep up with current technical advancements. “If the dentist’s website is this bad, how behind the times is he in his dentistry?”. Fair assessment? Perhaps not, but nonetheless, truly how the public will view and judge you.
So what are the features that make up a well-designed website? Firstly, it should load almost immediately. Although this factor can be attributed to the end-users own Internet connection speed, the load-time of a website is primarily a function of how it is constructed. Secondly, it should be built using the latest technology and software. It should contain photographs, diagrams, simple explanations of complicated procedures (both in the form of easy to understand written content, plus streaming, professional movies or static, high quality images), the types of products and services you offer, and contact information. The site should also profile your academic qualifications, the range of dental products and services that you offer, and more. A potential patient browsing this kind of website will feel like they’re being given a guided tour of your clinic or office.
Additionally, social media has become one of the most important facets of the Internet
and a professional dental web presence should include you on websites like Facebook, Orkut
and Twitter. Enhanced Link Popularity also means that your website is being ‘pointed to’ (or ‘linked back to’) via banners and links on various blogs, microblogs, social media sites, online directories, and health review sites that would attract more potential patients to you.
With a professional web presence, you will find it far easier to connect with existing and
potential patients where the new global norm is online search and reviews, as well as being a more efficient means to educate and communicate important information to new and existing patients.