If you’ve decided on the DIY route to building a results-oriented dental office website, include these smart website design principles in your digital plans.
What makes a dental website design great and which drives new patient acquisitions? The constantly evolving nature of effective, responsive website design makes it difficult for dentists with little or no experience to spearhead such an incredibly important initiative.
The good news is there are options aplenty to mull if you’re going to attempt to tackle it yourself. Although hiring a web development and digital marketing firm to get you the online presence you want and the web traffic you need is the best option, it requires an investment. Think of a smartly designed, navigable, and professional-looking website as a clinical crown: it’s the part of your business everybody sees.
However, if an adequate budget to hire a firm or an experienced, independent pro is a problem, then simplify the cheaper, do-it-yourself route. Begin by determining what the focus of your dental practice website is, and then document all of the required steps to design and develop your site from start to finish.
That includes mapping out the entire site and knowing where to host it. You need to choose the fonts and stock photography images you will use, write high-quality content for every webpage, and – when you’re nearing completion and are ready to go live online – ensure your website performs as expected in multiple browsers and on different mobile devices.
Must-Have Website Design Features
Here are eight design features your dental website should have:
- User-friendly, intuitive navigation. Your dental practice website needs to be easy-to-use, simple to navigate, and it should feature shortcuts to the important information your patients and prospective patients can find quickly.
- A consistent look. Across your website, use the same colors, fonts, and layout style. Avoid using dark backgrounds. Dark backgrounds with white fonts strain the eyes. You’re attempting to create a dental office website, not a Jackson Pollock-inspired digital painting.
- Limit the number of images and photos you use. A digital photo album of beaming people with sparkling pearl-white teeth can help people relate to your site, but ultimately it’s the quality of your content and breadth of services that will help you acquire and retain patients. Moreover, too many images will affect how quickly your website fully loads in a browser (not everyone has top-tier high-speed internet access) and will use more data for mobile viewers.
- Ensure all hyperlinks work and don’t change webpage addresses. Check and recheck whatever webpages you link to throughout your site. You don’t want your site’s visitors smacking into a 404 error page or going to a webpage that is no longer relevant to your practice. Also, once you have decided on a working webpage address scheme, don’t invariably change those page addresses as others will link their sites to some of them. If you change your webpage addresses, those links will be broken, and the search engine optimization (SEO) value lost.
- Have a homepage link on all webpages. It’s easy to get lost online. Make is easy for anyone visiting any webpage on your site to return to your homepage by providing a visible link to it on every page.
- Include a clear menu. Include a dropdown menu to group your content and make it easily accessible across your site. Doing so keeps navigating your site a breeze, and it too helps prevents visitors from getting lost.
- Provide a visible email contact address. Basic HTML programming allows you to hyperlink a word or words to open a reader's built-in email application automatically on their desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device by typing “mailto” in the applicable field. However, not everyone uses their system’s email application. Err on the side of caution and write out what your email address is on your “contact us” page.
- Use call tracking and scoring. Every marketing initiative must have a call tracking number with call scoring and that includes your website. Most new patients will look you up online regardless of how they heard about your practice. You need to know how many people call as a result of visiting your website, if those calls are being answered promptly, and and how effective your team is at engaging callers and converting them into appointments.
Need professional assistance marketing your dental practice? We can help. For more than 24+ years, Patient NEWS has specialized in representing, promoting, and marketing dental offices across the U.S. and Canada. Find out why thousands of dentists rely on our services. Call us now at 1-888-377-2404 or request a callback.