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Insights on Dental Practice Websites – Jeremy Hedrick

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  Posted by: The Probe      7th June 2018

Many practitioners understand the importance of establishing a professional website as an essential marketing tool. With approximately 77% of internet users in Britain currently choosing to shop for products and services online, an informative and user-friendly website is quickly becoming the most effective means by which to connect with potential patients.[i]However, some dentists are yet to realise how much their practices could benefit from a powerful, engaging website.

As people are becoming increasingly reliant on the internet to seek out dental services, it is vital that practitioners seize the opportunity to utilise online marketing as an effective way of reaching out to the largest pool of potential patients, with minimal cost. The challenge begins with developing a website that will prompt internet browsers to pick up the phone and book an appointment at your practice. Like a well-organised library, a practice website must be designed around the reader, giving them easy access to the information they need, when they need it, and there are some key elements to consider in this regard.

Services You Offer

 It goes without saying that patients will want to know what services you can offer them, so there must be a dedicated section on your practice website that details these. Potential patients will be looking for information on:

  • The most up-to-date procedures available
  • How treatment is carried out
  • Whether or not treatment is effective in the majority of cases
  • The approximate recovery period of procedures
  • Potential risks and side effects of treatment
  • The estimated cost of services

The website should also include information on the latest technology and equipment used in the practice, as this information gives a good indication of how much you invest in patient care.

Profile of the Dental Team

 Most patients will seek further details about the dental team before they ever decide to contact you. Therefore, the practice website should provide all relevant information regarding each member of the staff, such as their:

  • Qualifications
  • Certifications
  • Experience
  • Specialisms
  • Awards and achievements
  • Media features
  • Community involvement
  • General background

Interestingly, consumers perceive that some brands have “personalities,” which are communicated by marketers through visual imagery and the types of words used to describe the brand. Just as you may find certain individuals’ personalities attractive, consumers are drawn to some brands more than others.[ii]It is important to remember that you and your dental team are representatives of a unique brand, so the website should present the practice as a personality that potential patients can trust and have confidence in. Profiles are the first step towards doing this successfully.   

Reviews

 Consumers are often influenced by what other people have to say about a particular service or product, and for dental practices, this is no different. The vast majority of potential patients can find it difficult to judge the quality of a dentist’s skills and whether or not they are trustworthy, so online ratings and reviews are currently playing a major role in influencing patients’ choices of dentists.[iii]It makes sense then that testimonials can be an incredibly valuable inclusion to your practice website.

From the perspective of a new patient, appreciative comments and recognition from existing patients are one of the strongest forms of endorsements available. It helps address the concerns of the patient in a more authentic manner, enabling them to make an informed decision on whether to choose you as their dentist. You could use before-and-after photos of successful clinical cases that existing patients have commended you for. These are effective in demonstrating your skills and expertise as well as the results that can be achieved from treatment. Reviews with photographic or video evidence of satisfied patients provide a more eloquent testimony than any marketing material the practice can create itself.

Offering Promotions Online

 Never underestimate the power of good deals, which are an excellent way to publicise your brand. While price remains the most influential factor in a consumer’s decision to purchase a product or service, offering discounts is an excellent way to spur both existing and potential patients to spend.iiiHowever, you should not bombard them with aggressive advertisements on your website, as consumers are more likely to ignore them, and they can also give the impression that your services are substandard.[iv]

Instead, be clever about how you promote discounts. Rather than simply advertise a deal on the homepage of your website, post engaging news articles or blog posts relevant to the dental industry, and then link them to any promotions you offer which might peak the reader’s interest. Munroe Sutton’s Healthy Discounts package, for example, can help patients save 20% on various dental treatments. Price offers like these must be strong enough to compel, but reasonable enough to ensure your business retains a profit.

Your practice website is no longer a URL where you simply state the existence of your business online. It is often the first and most prominent representation of your practice: who you are as a brand, the services you offer and why you eclipse all other competitors. To stay relevant in today’s consumer-driven world, it just takes a little time and effort, and few simple changes, to ensure you create a website that can successfully attract new patients to your practice.

For more information, please call 0808 234 3558 or visit www.munroesutton.co.uk.

 

 [i]Statista. (2018) Share of individuals who made purchases online in Great Britain from 2008 to 2017. Link: https://www.statista.com/statistics/275968/online-purchasing-penetration-in-great-britain/. [Last accessed: 14.03.18].

[ii]Murray, P. N. (2013) How Emotions Influence What We Buy: The emotional core of consumer decision-making. Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/inside-the-consumer-mind/201302/how-emotions-influence-what-we-buy. [Last accessed: 14.03.18].

[iii]KPMG. (2017) The truth about online consumers: 2017 Global Online Consumer Report. Link: https://assets.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/xx/pdf/2017/01/the-truth-about-online-consumers.pdf. [Last accessed: 14.03.18].

[iv]Estrada, M. (2017) What is Aggressive Advertising and How it Backfires. Link: https://www.smallbizdaily.com/aggressive-ads/. [Last accessed: 14.04.18].


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