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It’s 2024. Is Your Dental Website Up To Par?

It’s one thing to have a visually appealing dental website you like. It’s another to have a great dental website that performs and converts.

To set your practice up for success in 2024 and beyond, your website (and online presence) must hit all the (moving) targets to reach and attract new patients, build credibility, and engage visitors to maximize new patient flow and production. If you’ve been feeling like your website needs some extra oomph, I recommend starting with an online audit – you can get this as a free service from our team – to assess your current status and to highlight which opportunities are available to improve your web presence.

So, what matters when it comes to your dental website in 2024, and what does it take to create – and maintain – a stellar online presence? Let’s discuss!


Did you know that Google likes and ranks FAST sites better than slower versions, that it takes consumers just half a second to form an opinion about a website, and that slow-loading pages are the #1 reason people abandon a site? For these reasons and more, it’s crucial that you prioritize having a quick, beautiful, well-structured, and easy-to-navigate site – on desktop and mobile – to avoid experiencing issues with high bounce rates and low engagement stats.

Go ahead and open your website on desktop and mobile now. Does it take too long for the hero section/image/video to load? Does the site look wonky on mobile? If you find yourself feeling impatient or disappointed in what you see, imagine a new patient’s experience.


Research shows that an incredible 70,000 health-related searches are performed each minute, every day, in the U.S. alone. Because Google is focused on highlighting helpful content that makes “visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience,” it’s imperative that your website features content that Google will recognize as relevant to search queries, user pain points, and goals.

In addition to subject matter expert (SME) content, keyword-rich text, and off-page verbiage – Google uses each to rank your site’s authoritativeness – it’s vital that your website communications are never duplicated from another site. Older websites are often plagued with duplicate content, which is problematic since Google works hard to index and rank pages with distinct information. And since Google owns almost 84% of the search market share, your website needs to market to the search giant almost as much as it needs to market to new patients!

In addition, your dental website content should:

  • Provide a frictionless navigation experience, meaning prospective patients can easily and seamlessly navigate your site as they expect to, otherwise they will move elsewhere. 94% of consumers say a website must be easy to navigate, so this is one of the most important elements needed to provide a better patient experience, reduce bounce rates, and decrease the odds that prospective patients will move on to a competitor.
  • Be well-designed, organized, and clean, and include your unique value proposition, brand story, and information about your doctor(s) and team. This will improve SEO because search engines can easily index this type of organized content.
  • Offer educational, value-added information that resonates with healthcare decision-makers (primarily female head-of-households).
  • Have a consistent tone and message, and address issues/challenges/questions your audience is likely to have.

And, speaking of content creation, how do AI tools like ChatGPT, Jasper,, etc. factor in? While these functionalities can help busy dentists produce content, they have a reputation for generating text that’s often inaccurate, outdated, and inarticulate. For best results – and to rank on Google’s coveted first page – ensure that all AI-created content is fact-checked for accuracy and readability, and that it includes E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness), the criteria Google uses to measure and evaluate the credibility and relevance of web content.


While it’s commonly believed that search engine optimization is a one-and-done production, the reality is that there’s no end to it. Why? Because the local-specific keywords that rank well with Google one day will certainly need to be tweaked in the future as the algorithm updates and evolves.

To set yourself apart and consistently win the most searches, clicks, and bookings in a highly competitive market, in addition to prioritizing E-E-A-T content, you must stay informed about which keywords prospective dental patients are searching for in your area. Once you have that information and have incorporated these keywords in easy-to-access, read, and index formats, your site must also be listed on Google Maps Platform and Google Business Profile to boost your visibility and build trust with nearby prospective patients. These foundational steps support SEO link-building activities to increase the likelihood that your site will be viewed as highly relevant for dental searches in your community.


While SEO requires a long-game focus, paid ads can have an instant impact on your website’s performance when you want to stand out in a crowded online market. Highly targeted and trackable, paid media (or pay-per-click/PPC) ads put you in front of your ideal audience based on preferred demographics, locations, interests, behavior, and more. These ads are also highly measurable, allowing you to track their performance in real-time.

Having a great online presence means including a variety of strategies that work simultaneously to expand practice awareness, increase traffic, and help convert more new patients. Paid media ads are an excellent digital strategy for dentists who want to boost new patients!


While it’s a must for dental websites to include links to their social sites within their website footer, it’s also important to note that having an active social media presence can offer dental offices many benefits, including practice growth and awareness, increased referrals, additional high-value new patients, and more.

Though we understand that producing short-form content on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and especially TikTok is not everyone’s cup of tea – Patient NEWS® client Dr. Ben Winters (aka The Bentist on TikTok) is a phenom who sets the bar pretty high! – don’t let that keep you from showing up. Staying active with consistent posts that share your team’s personalities, highlight your brand reputation, and offer value-added information can support and foster trust with existing and potential patients while also keeping your web presence at a modern standard. Not sure you’re up to the task? Find out who’s active on social within your team; they may just love taking on the role of social team lead!

And remember: You don’t have to be the next “Bentist” to rock social media! Here’s some advice from Dr. Winters: “Continue to work on short-form presence as it’s the only form of media that can be shared across all social media platforms with the work of one post. Education is big! Try educating people on cool things about your job and provide value. Not only will this educate and inspire your patient base, but it could bring some new patients for free!”


Patients and prospective patients are emailing and texting you via your website. In fact, the reason we implemented two-way texting for our clients’ call tracking lines (over five years ago now) is that we saw new and existing patients were sending text messages to the direct mail or website campaign numbers, which prompted us to give our clients a way to respond – quickly! Speaking of which, do you prioritize fast responses to web, text, email, and phone inquiries? This is a biggie!

Per a recent survey, the average response time to an email request is 12 hours, while consumers expect a response within four hours. And when it comes to online texting, 82% of consumers expect a response within 10 minutes. (The same goes for voicemails, if you’re lucky enough to have a new patient leave a message.)

While there’s no denying the reality of email fatigue, the fact remains: patients like some digital communication from their dentist, and consumers expect a fast response. With so many businesses being slow to respond to new clients, being responsive to inquiries can truly set you apart in your marketplace. There’s an old stat that found that while 80% of companies felt they provided a superior customer service experience, only 8% of customers felt they received one. Be sure to deliver on this front.


A great website must present a good flow of patient reviews, and when they flow live from Google and Facebook, it shows you are confident in your reputation, which then bolsters new patient confidence. If you’re not focused on procuring a steady stream of positive reviews, consider that:

  • 98% of people read online reviews before visiting a business
  • 94% of patients use online reviews to evaluate healthcare providers
  • 54% of consumers use patient reviews to form their own opinion of a healthcare provider
  • 88% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

Reviews help establish trust and demonstrate your proficiency to potential patients, differentiate you from the dentist down the block, enhance your local search engine ranking and practice visibility, and help solidify your reputation in your community, further boosting new patient acquisition. Stats also show that they influence an incredible 97% of consumer buying decisions!

Google “dental office in <city>” for your location and see what your practice looks like. While writing this article, I googled “dental office near me” and immediately saw a practice stand out – with a 3.9-star rating. ☹ Here’s the thing: While you definitely want to generate more 5-star reviews and get an average rating of 4.7 or higher, the fact is that consumers will sort by low ratings to see if the issues others complained about actually matter in their buying decision. In this practice’s case, when sorting by lowest ratings, I saw that this office has been combative with low-star reviewers on Google rather than redirecting the conversation to the office. This is not the way to handle poor patient reviews. Patients like to see lower reviews because they add legitimacy, but be sure that your review provider offers guidance and encouragement to redirect these patients back to the office. Being professional, polite, and avoiding disputes on review sites demonstrates quality service and superior care to prospective patients.


Are you one of many dentists still on the fence about including online scheduling on your site? Consider the fact that, when done well, it can add convenience, boost patient satisfaction, help fill schedules, increase patient engagement, and so much more. Research also shows that:

  • 94% of consumers are more likely to choose a provider that offers convenient online booking (the key here is convenient – make sure you have new patient appointments available within 48 hours to a max of five days, or patients are likely to move on to a competitor)
  • 21% of patients are already booking appointments via their computer or phone
  • 77% of patients say they choose providers offering online scheduling.

Online scheduling can reduce cancelations and no-shows, free up more of your team’s time, and positively impact the patient experience – all while contributing to a thriving and profitable practice! If you can’t set up an automated online scheduler that will enhance the patient experience by quickly getting them the appointment they want, then consider an online request form that can be managed by your team to better service new patient inquiries.


Web visits, time visits, bounce rates, conversion rates, organic, total, and new visitors, visits from mobile, reviews, average rating, impressions, clicks, conversions, leads, calls, forms, missed opportunities, new patients … there are so many aspects to effectively tracking and measuring your digital marketing efforts, and all are critical to gaining the full picture. You want this detailed information to see what’s working, what needs improvement, and what could be canned. Insights into call scoring, analytics, and marketing attribution per campaign (with production generated) allow you to invest in campaigns that will continue to resonate with and engage your audience and ultimately drive a steady flow of high-value new patients.

Harnessing these data-driven insights can also help you make informed decisions that can benefit production – and boost patient satisfaction – in the short and long term.

Are you interested in learning more about updating, fine-tuning, or transforming your digital presence? For years, our Patient NEWS team has been helping dentists across North America jump-start their online success with beautiful, customized, and HIGH-CONVERTING WebLift® websites and SEO, targeted paid media campaigns, social media support, ZEBRA Hello email & text, Review BOOSTER® reputation management, eZ Online Scheduler, and Practice ZEBRA® dental marketing software for accurate marketing attribution (down to the penny!) on what patients spend in production.

BONUS: Schedule a FREE CONSULTATION today and get access to your customized 24-page Market Research Report that includes information on your digital presence, competitor locations, buyer personas, and much more!