A Strong First Impression: You Have Just Seven Seconds
While approachable staff and a warm reception area might have been enough to create a positive first impression in the past, today, potential patients use your website to decide whether to make an appointment at your practice.
Most importantly, research indicates that you have a brief window to convince a prospective patient – only seven seconds to be exact.
Digital marketing is the most effective channel for your business. That means a website is no longer a nice addition, but rather a non-negotiable tool to attract and retain clients.
CREATING THAT GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION
Before parting with their cash, consumers conduct a thorough search based on the information available online. Whether searching for travel deals or dental treatments, prospects want relevant information at their fingertips – on their mobile and desktop devices.
How do you organise your reception area to welcome patients? Think of your website as a digital reception – keep it tidy, display the most important information, and ensure a balance between contemporary and welcoming.
Think about the consumer. Develop a website that’s easy to navigate and gives the visitor the information they require without having to search deep within your site.
If you want to stand out from your competitors, then build a website that meets consumer needs. After all, the online experience needs to convince a patient to choose you over the competition.
UNDERSTANDING THE MARKET
In the age of digital transformation, creating a website that meets all the criteria to entice customers is a challenge. Technology and search engine algorithms evolve rapidly and keeping up can seem an impossible task.
Taking the time to understand developments in the online world gives your business the advantage and competitive edge you need to stand out.
KEEP IT CURRENT. KEEP IT TIDY.
An outdated website creates the impression that your business is not on top of the dental game.
Pay attention to pages that require updating regularly. Pages that introduce your dental team, pricing, dental events and current special offers should be updated more frequently than other content.
Additional pages to add to your site include a smile gallery, customer testimonials, and latest treatments – keep these up to date, too.
It’s not only outdated content that gives the wrong impression to patients. Obsolete website technology is just as damaging. Visitors to your site expect quality, meaning the look, speed and navigation must be excellent.
If your internet technology is not up-to-date, then how can a patient trust you to use the latest dental technology? A quality website reflects the quality of your practice to patients.
Hire a professional to guarantee your website sends the right message. A small investment allows you to focus on your dental business with the peace of mind that your website is bringing you new patients and not turning them away.
A well-designed infographic is an excellent and effective way to display information. With a combination of content, graphics and design elements, visitors to your site digest information in bite-sized chunks. Remember, easily accessible information is crucial to winning over new patients.
Not sure when to use infographics? These graphics are useful to explain complicated dental procedures or to compare different treatment options. Another idea is to display which treatments are included in your medical cover – NHS or private.
SIGNPOSTS YOUR VISITORS
Search engines favour easily navigable websites. With that mind, use clear signposts to help your visitors find their way to the right section of your website quickly. No one wants to search the depths of a website for the key information; visitors will move on to the next site.
VIDEO CONTENT IS THE WAY FORWARD
Videos are professional and fun. Have team members introduce themselves or tell the viewer why they love working at your practice. Maybe you can get patients to share a testimonial? They can give their treatment experience and why they are happy with the result.
With videos, you can create that great impression in 30 seconds. Often, people prefer to access information through audio and video content – so, ensure they have the option on your site.
And, don’t worry about expensive recording equipment, you can film quality in-house messages with a good smartphone camera, a willing participant and a quiet, neat corner in your office.
Considered a virtual office tour for prospective patients? With many patients who have dental phobia, a guided tour online before their first visit eases any fears attached to the dentist.
Choose a friendly colleague to show visitors around; it will give your patient that VIP feel before they’ve even stepped foot in your practice. Three to five minutes is all you need to make a viewer feel welcome.
SOCIAL MEDIA SUPPORT
A website does not operate in isolation. Social media is the best way to support your website and raise your profile among potential patients. Use your social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to direct the audience to your website.
Become active across these platforms and see which social media works best for your practice.
TOP TIP FOR SOCIAL MEDIA
Keep your social media posts concise, fresh and engaging. Consider short posts to answer questions your patients commonly ask or demonstrate the latest success stories – everyone enjoys a post that shows improvements to health and lifestyle.
Above all, post consistently, which is an indication to search engines that the source of information is reliable. However, there is a balance. Two to three posts per day, but no more, will boost your online profile in the eyes of search engines.
If you do not have an on-site resource to focus on your social media marketing, then outsource this task. Employing a dedicated individual with the right skills will boost your profile faster than anyone who posts incorrectly or irregularly.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
Nowadays, SEO – search engine optimisation – is the buzzword in digital marketing. The process uses several techniques to increase the visibility of your site in internet searches. Many factors make your website easier to find. Some of these include the way you manage your content, images, navigation and site hierarchy.
With the evolution of search engine algorithms, SEO practises are continually changing, too. However, with a team dedicated to following these developments, your business will be ahead of these trends. Most importantly, understanding these evolutions improves the ranking of your site over the competition.
MAKE THE RIGHT IMPRESSION
Make your seven seconds impactful. Potential patients want a website that accurately reflects your product and service – so, make it count. In those first seconds, a visitor to your site wants to understand the advantages and unique selling points of your practice over the competition. Employ the tips and techniques highlighted here and watch your dental practice grow.