IDR – Chp 2 – The Importance of Having a Professional Website
With the world shifting to digital media, the idea of owning a website is something that is essential for the success of your practice. Without one, you’re missing out on substantial avenues for profits.
The perception of a website being a burden and a lot of work is an often seen and incorrect perception. When a website is set up properly, it can be updated easily, and cut down on calls to your clinic looking for information, as it will be easily available on your website. A well planned website will help you automate and streamline your clinic.
Imagine all of the competing dental practices in your area that have a website, they’re driving an insurmountable level of clients into their practices, this is mainly due to the fact that they are visible to potential patients.
of Dental Clinic's in Ireland have a website
28.3% do not have any website, and 11.82% of the websites have severe issues stopping them from loading
By focusing on inbound leads through your website, your marketing will be up to 62% less expensive.
That could result in a large increase of revenue by the end of the year if you can draw them into your practice.
Developing a website can be tough, as you need to know what important information your clients are looking for and how to convert them into clients. But at the end of the day, you could be part of the 87% of dental practices that use their website to improve the success of their business. My advice is simple here, if your car is broken, you probably will bring it to a mechanic to get fixed, developing a website properly, is just as intricate: ensuring that it looks professional, has a nice design, attractive optimised pictures, designed for usability, quick loading, mobile friendly…the list goes on. After many discussions with dentists who have tried to build their own website, and as much as I admire this, I really think if you plan to do create something this important, do it properly. Sometimes it’s better not to have a website than to have one that is outdated, not mobile friendly, scary pictures etc., as this will be your first point of contact with a potential patient, they will compare your services and quality with your website.
What is a Website?
Let’s start with the basics, a website is a general hub of information that can be mutually beneficial for businesses and average website users. They typically offer several pages of information for a variety of purposes. As an example, a dental website will give patients information about their offered services whereas a clothing website gives shoppers the ability to purchase clothes online.
There are several types of websites that you can get developed including static HTML, e-commerce sites, and ones with a built in Content Management system.
The majority of websites on the Internet use a specific mark-up language called HTML to help create their webpages. In most cases, unless you have website coding experience, you will need to hire a professional developer to create a HTML business website.
With a static HTML website, all of the content of your site is stored in static files which eliminates the need for dealing with servers and databases such as MySQL and PHP. They also offer minimal maintenance throughout the years.
The only concern with HTML sites is that they are difficult to manage without the help of a professional. But this coding language is essential to creating a clean, fresh, and professional website.
Content Management Systems
As a dentist it is imperative to have the ability to log into your website, upload a picture, change text, write a blog post, or change a price. A content management system offers exactly that.
They are very easy to use, secure and simple. Its possible to have different access levels for your staff. These websites are connected to a database, and are slightly more complex to build so they are more expensive.
The content management systems are often built on open source software such as Drupal, WordPress and Joomla. The great thing about these is that you can add various modules and functions to your website to increase user interaction. An example would be a module for live chat, so you or your staff can speak to website visitors instantly via your phone or desktop.
The possibilities are endless, picking the right setup and functionality to engage your website visitor is the key.
You will be able to have more control over the site’s functionality such as being able to add reviews, testimonials, and case studies.
Owning a CRM based site is essential for dentists that will need to update images, content on their pages, add some of the latest news about their practice, update entries on their blog, and more.
By developing a website with a strong basis in CRM you’re going to notice a substantial amount of growth in your practice. Patients will be far more likely to desire your dental practice if you show that you are engaged and interested in the answers they are looking for.
E-Commerce and Online Booking
E-commerce has quickly become one of the most popular types of websites because it gives people the ability to browse through an online store, shop for the items they need, and then have them delivered to their home. As a dentist, you typically won’t need to worry about developing an e-commerce website unless you intend on selling toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other dental hygiene products through the Internet. If you were selling online products, you would have a shop open 24/7 to customers all over the world, a great benefit compared to brick and mortar shops.
What is interesting about e-commerce websites is that they are similar to booking websites that people use when they plan on going on holiday. Now imagine being able to give your patients the ability to book and pay for their dental appointments entirely online.
You would be able to manage your time much more effectively and your patients would surely appreciate the ease of use, considering that 37% of potential patients would be interested in contacting you online about their dental concerns anyway.
Why You Need a Website
Even though owning a website can be a lengthy venture, it is a necessity in today’s day and age. People on the Internet are searching for absolutely anything and everything and dentists are no exception. 81% of the Irish population use the internet, close to 4 million. When these people look for a Dental clinic, if you do not have a website you will make it very hard for them to find and choose you. They may find your email or phone number on a directory, but they will not be able to read any information regarding your clinic! No images, no testimonials, no idea of your services, no prices… while your competitors will have all of the above.
Internet use in Ireland
of the Irish population use the internet.
84% of studied consumers decided that small businesses were far more credible when they had a website compared to when they didn’t.
Helping Patients Find Your Practice
When you take a look at the search volume statistics alone, they’re the number one reason as to why you need a website. Over 100 different dentist-related keywords are being put into search engines throughout Ireland and the UK on a monthly basis. This gives you the potential to reach over 100 new clients that might be interested in what your practice has to offer. Also, 20% of patients that visit oral surgery clinics in Europe stated they found information about their condition online through their dentist’s website.
Improving Customer Engagement
Internet users are characteristically impatient and they’re always looking for the easiest way to do things, such as get in contact with you. When you decide to develop a website you’ll be giving potential patients a sure-fire, quick, and efficient way to get in contact with you.
You’ll want to make sure that you offer a phone number, email address, and contact form so potential patients can choose their desired method of contact. The easier it is to get in touch with your practice, the more likely they are to reach out to you. We will talk more about usability in a later chapter.
You can also integrate your social media into your website, allowing your patients to follow you, stay up to date with the latest updates in your practice, and quickly send you direct messages through Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
We will talk about social media in a separate chapter, but if you want a quick advice, set up a Facebook business page for your dental clinic, its quite simple, and will open your clinic to a wide range of new patients.
There are over 1 billion people using Facebook alone and 40% of these users say that information found on social media influences their healthcare choices.
Having a Clinic Website is Important
of patients that visit oral surgery clinics in Europe stated they found information about their condition online through their dentist’s website.
Showcasing Your Services
Much like making a purchase through a retail store, customers are going to want to know what you have to offer before they commit to your practice and this is where your website becomes more valuable than ever before.
Your website should be designed to give potential customers an insight into what services you have to offer, such as crowns, orthodontics, teeth whitening, etc.
You can easily accomplish this by either setting up a dedicated “Services” page or discussing your services on your blog. According to HubSpot, approximately 57% of small businesses and independent practices have acquired a customer through their company’s blog/website.
Lowering Marketing Costs
The average dental practice will spend approximately 15% of their gross revenue on marketing annually. This can include everything from brochures to pens that clients can take at the end of every visit. Instead of allocating a large chunk of your profit to marketing, why not consider lowering it with the help of a website?
With a website you won’t be required to spend regular amounts to maintain a marketing scheme. Instead, you will only have to pay one-time fees for the services you need. Typically you’ll want to hire a website design firm for the layout and a SEO expert for the content. By focusing on inbound leads through your website, your marketing will be up to 62% less expensive.
Since all of the work on the website will be outsourced you won’t have to worry about hiring full-time employees to deal with your marketing efforts. Instead, once the website is fully designed and operational, you’ll only be responsible for paying for the hosting service you choose. This can help lower that 15% to approximately 5%
Why Potential Patients prefer a Clinic with a website
Providing High Quality Information
According to the British Dental Journal, 7.9% of surveyed adults noticed the information they found on the Internet about dental procedures was of low quality, whereas 18.6% decided they had access to high quality information. Of that 18.6% everyone contacted the Dental Clinic with the most useful information available on their website.
It’s important to not only ensure your website has enough information, but that it’s useful and informative to potential new patients. High quality information has proven to be much more profitable than a mass of information, quality vs. quantity.
Finding healthcare practitioners is a difficult job for prospective patients as they want to make sure they choose the most reputable practice. When you own a website, 84% of potential patients will find that you’re more credible when compared to other businesses that don’t own a website.
You’ll want to make sure that you showcase your professionalism through your website as it helps to build trust in your brand and will entice more patients to try your clinic and your services..
The Most Important Information to have on your Clinic’s Website
Detailed List of Services
By far the most important information you’ll need on your site includes a detailed list of your services. Clients are going to want to know if you can help them with their particular issue. Typically its a good idea to create a dedicated page to showcase your services.
Dentists must display private fees in a place where patients can view them before consultation. So a pricing page, with as much information as possible is very advisable.
Understandably the cost of each service depends on the severity of the condition. Potential patients will appreciate having a general idea of the cost of each procedure.
There’s nothing better than having a page of testimonials from past and current clients that enjoy your dental office because 61% of customers read through online reviews and testimonials prior to making a purchase decision. With the help of testimonials you’ll be able to build trust without making your website too “sales-y” for the average visitor. We will talk about why these are vital in a later chapter.
Another great way to build trust in your brand is to give website visitors a clear idea of who it is they’ll be working with. Team biographies are the perfect way for clients to put a face to a name, which will encourage them to consider coming in for a consultation or for dental work.
In your team biographies you can include first names, a small blurb about your interests, and a professional yet fun photograph of yourself.
According to a study conducted by Verisign, 84% of studied consumers decided that small businesses were far more credible when they had a website compared to when they didn’t.
People Search the Internet First
of people search online when searching for a Dentist or Dental service
Low Quality Content
of surveyed Adults thought that the information on Dental Clinic websites was of poor quality
Owning a website has never been more important than it is today with 62% of dentists claiming print advertising hasn’t added to the success of their business. Without the help of an online portal to lead potential patients into your sales funnel, you could be looking at a massive decrease in annual revenue.
Adding to this it’s very important to mention that if you do decide to develop a website for your clinic, look for Dental Marketing Experts, with proven results. The reason for this is, a website which is set up perfectly to gather results online, may look similar to one that is set up incorrectly (It’s what is under the bonnet that counts). You may pay a lot less for an inexperienced person to generate a website for you, but the chances of this generating new clients for you will be very slim.
I would not leave an inexperienced dentist near my teeth, and you need to treat your dental clinic with the same regard. A proper website needs planning, attention, expertise and hard work from the developer.e.
If you need help setting up a branded professional website, please get in touch with us today!