December 5, 2017
According to the Google AdWords keyword planner, “Windsor dentist”, “doctors in Windsor”, “chiropractic office Windsor” and “Windsor optometrist” are searched over 100x each month in Windsor-Essex County. This is a clear sign that patients are becoming more and more comfortable finding their healthcare professionals online. That means that having a healthcare website, or more specifically a dental office website, that is well-designed, functional and informative, that much more important.
While preparing a website strategy for Windsor-based Coscarella Family Dentistry, I took much of this information into account. I also reviewed several best practice blogs and competitors to educate myself on what type of must-have elements I should implement. Of course, the must-have elements varied greatly in much of what I read, but I was able to collect the information, use some of my own experience and decide on my 5 must-have elements. Here they are…
As I completed some of my initial research, I couldn’t believe how many similar stock photos I came across. I can understand using a few stock photos for services, backgrounds etc., but your featured content slider should include custom photos of your practice. Whether it’s a few photos of the exterior of your practice, the interior, or just photos of staff, your featured slider should be custom, not stock.
Utilize some type of appointment booking system to allow patients to request or even book an appointment. If you allow them to book an appointment, be sure to connect it directly to your internal booking software. If you’re not sure about connecting to your booking software, setup a simple “request an appointment” form and have staff respond to requests and manually add them to the booking system within 48 hours.
This may seem like a no-brainer but every dental office website should have a full listing of all services provided. Ideally each service would be listed on its own page with a full description but as long as all the services are listed somewhere, that’s a good start. Adding full-page service descriptions doesn’t only help educate your potential patients on the services you provide but also has added SEO benefits.
Adding a review/testimonial section to your website isn’t something I just recommend healthcare professionals and dentists do, I recommend adding them to nearly every website I develop. A recent BrightLocal survey found that positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business more, so if you have happy patients, why not ask them for a quick review or testimonial? Whether you decide to allow patients to review directly on the website or ask for reviews offline and then add them to the website later is totally up to you. My personal preference? Make it as easy for the patient as possible, allow them to add reviews directly on your website.
Similar to adding a service listing to your website, adding a blog has a dual purpose. First, it allows you to position yourself as a thought leader in the industry. Sharing articles and insights on the latest technologies and treatments is a great way to educate your patients and share your knowledge. Second, it helps with search engine optimization. Search engines love content, especially uniquely written, thought provoking content that gets shared on social media.