If you’ve got a dental practice, you know that your website is key to getting your message across to potential patients.
It’s often the first point of contact for anyone interested in becoming a patient of yours.
You can think of it like a brochure that lets people know about who you are and what you do.
It’s supposed to encourage people to call your office and schedule an appointment or consultation.
But many practices don’t follow the basic rules of web design.
That’s why I’m here to help! Today, I’ll cover three things your practice website should have – at a minimum. They’re all things that are simple to implement but will have a big impact on how easy it is for potential or current patients to go from viewing your website to making an appointment.
The three rules I’ll be covering today are:
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly or responsive
- Include a click-to-call link
- Have a call to action, and put it above the fold
If you’d rather get this information as a video, you can watch it here.
Otherwise, keep reading!
Rule #1: Make sure your website is mobile-friendly or responsive
In 2017, worldwide internet traffic finally made the long-prophesized shift from originating mostly from desktops to more than half coming from mobile.
So if your website looks great on a computer screen but is wonky on your phone, I’ve got bad news for you: you’re probably alienating over 50% of your website visitors.
There’s some debate about whether websites should be responsive (meaning website features like images and videos adapt to any screen size) or just mobile-friendly (meaning that the content is already simple enough that it doesn’t need to adjust to different screens). You don’t have to worry about that distinction, though.
Just visit your website from your phone and see how it looks. Do different lines of text run into each other, or do visitors have to scroll left and right to see the full page?
Next, rotate your phone to view the website horizontally – how about now?
If there’s anything off about the look of your website from your phone, you need to fix it.
How to do it
If it looks fine either way, great! You’re right on track.
If not, consider using a different theme on your content management system or ask whoever built your website about making it mobile-friendly. (Still not sure how to do this? No problem. Schedule a strategy call and we’ll help you out).
Rule #2: Include a click-to-call link
This is a bit of an extension of the mobile-friendly point, but it’s so important that it deserves its own section.
Have you ever clicked on a phone number on someone’s website and your phone gave you the option to call them right then and there?
That was a click-to-call link. And it let you automatically get in touch with the business you were looked at with the touch of a button.
How to do it
Some website providers and content management systems make this easy and automatically turn your phone number into a link. If not, it’s as simple as adding a hyperlink: hit Control + K (or Command + K if you’re on a Mac) and type in “tel:” and then the number without any spaces. So for example, you can put in “tel:18005551234” – so simple, but it can make a real difference for people looking to get in touch.
Rule #3: Have a call to action, and put it above the fold
As I said above, a website is just a brochure with information about your practice. The difference between a website and a brochure, though, is that someone can take an action directly from your website that brings them closer to becoming a long-term patient.
So… does your website actually do that?
Ask yourself this question: What do I want people to do when I visit my website?
The answer is probably to get them to book an appointment, right? That’s what your Call to Action, or CTA, has to get them to do.
How to do it
The CTA doesn’t need to be complicated – just a button that says something like:
- Schedule an appointment
- Contact us
- Learn more
- Call now
- Request an appointment
The trick is to use an action word that tells them exactly what you want to do – call, schedule, request, etc.
Where the link leads is also up to you. It could be:
- a click-to-call link;
- a contact form that lets them inquire about appointments – in this case, you would have to call them back to confirm the appointment;
- a booking tool that lets them book an appointment themselves.
Where you put the call to action can be just as important as whether it’s there at all.
Remember reading print newspapers back in the day? They were always folded, so you could only see the top half of the page when you picked it up.
The placement of what was above that fold was always strategic.
Why? Simply put, because many people would only glance at the headlines above the fold, and that determined whether they were willing to purchase the newspaper.
Similarly, what appears on the screen when a webpage loads, before someone scrolls down, is called “above the fold.” And you want to make sure that folks visiting your website immediately have the ability to book, without getting bogged down with any other details.
So put your CTA near the top of your home or landing page, and preferably above the fold, so that your patients can find it easily and immediately get in touch with you.
The bottom line
So to sum up, here’s a simple checklist of the most critical aspects of your dental practice’s webpage:
- The website is mobile-friendly
- There’s a clickable phone number on the page
- There’s a call to action on the page
- The call to action is near the top of the website (above the fold)
These are all easy to implement and increase the effectiveness of your website to potential patients.
However, if you want help bringing more people to schedule appointments with you, it’s not enough to just have a great website and hope people come across it. Instead, you need to reach out to people in the right place and using a trackable, data-driven campaign. If you want to learn how to do this yourself, sign up for our webinar to learn where to find new dental patients, how to take a complete stranger and turn them into a lifetime patient in 3 simple steps, and how to create killer advertisements that work every time.
Did you find this article helpful? Are there any website rules that surprised you? How many were you following already? Let us know in the comments below!