What will make your website stand out? When does it need a refresh?
Here we are … 2021. Hope the door doesn’t hit 2020 on the way out!
Let’s bring some positivity into 2021 with these awesome design tips and tricks for dental websites. In this blog, I am going to cover 5 new dental website design trends and why they are important.
Your dental website is a strategic marketing campaign directed at prospects and patients to enhance practice visibility and promote your expertise as an authority in your field. We know it’s hard to face a refresh of your web presence – but my team at Patient NEWS makes it super-easy. Take advantage of a free consultation and find out what we might be able to do for you!
5 Tips to Improve Your Website
- Professional Vibe
- Clean & Comfortable
- Custom In-Office Imagery
- A Professional Vibe
An element of value that patients always look for when choosing a dentist is professionalism. Patients want to know that they are making a good choice in a dental care provider and this means choosing a dentist who exudes a professional image. Your website must include design elements that align with convey your expert vibe.
- Ensure clear, crisp imagery. Busy images and designs will look unprofessional
- Use a favicon (an icon or logo that is associated with a URL and displays in the browser address bar or next to the site name in a bookmark list)
- Choose large memorable images that tell a story or add a component of emotion (happy patients with their family, a mom and daughter that resonates emotionally with the female head of household, people smiling into the camera, family members hugging).
- Clean & Comfortable
Clean and comfortable means a simple UX (user experience) that removes question marks from the user’s mind when they are browsing your site. When a prospective patient reaches your website, they are far enough along in their patient journey that they are close to making a decision on what practice to call. If your website is the opposite of clean and comfortable (messy, jumbled, illogical, or overwhelming), you will lose the patient long before they even think of making the phone call to your practice.
What is a simple, clean, comfortable user experience?Use whitespace. It allows the important items to stand out. Steve Jobs said that the best designers know what to remove, not what to add. “Simplicity,” he said, “is the ultimate sophistication.”
Make sure buttons are in a contrasting color so that they stand out clearly and are consistent throughout the site. This will ensure they are instantly recognizable as “action items.”
Easy-to-find phone number, map, appointment request, and services.
No images of sharp tools or dental equipment – scary or not. Your potential patients are interested in what you can do for them – benefits – and not how you do it. Always be sensitive to dental anxiety; it must be taken into consideration.
- Use Custom In-Office Imagery
Use your own excellent professional photos as much as you can to personalize your site. Stock images must be used sparingly… The days of stock-imagery-only websites are getting old, predictable, and cliché. And there’s a very good chance they look like (or are even on!) your competitors’ websites. True-to-life in-office imagery on every webpage is proven to win more engagement which means potential patients will spend more time on your site and are more likely to engage with you by calling your practice.
- Use practice images that introduce elements of emotional warmth to your website. Carefully composed imagery and design will translate to prospects the feeling of what it will be like for them to be in your practice. If you include a front-desk shot, be sure to have your smiling team (albeit behind PPE) in the photo. You don’t want to show an empty practice!
- If you have a gorgeous office, reception area, or operatories, don’t feature them completely empty. Get in there with your team with big smiling faces to make patients feel like they will be welcomed into that gorgeous space.
- Include real-life scenarios or action shots of your team and doctors. Be sure to get a written patient image release or have a staff member pose as a patient.
- People want to know what to expect. Use photos of the practice that show off your carefully designed environment that prospective patients are curious to see and that they’ll want to experience!
Parallax scrolling has been around and popular for a few years now – I’m sure you’ve seen it. It’s where, in a website layout, the background of the web page moves at a slower rate than the foreground, causing a 3D effect. Introducing a parallax element into your website, when done right, can give a nice, subtle, and distinctive depth. Quickly though, this technology becomes overbearing and causes nausea if you’re not careful. The goal is to use this design style with a light hand … and class.
Why is Parallax a nice feature for a dental website?
When parallax is done right, it will guide your visitors through your website towards a call to action using the depth feature, or it will tell a story with the design features on the page.
- CAUTION: Use parallax sparingly! A dental website is a service-based information engine. Much of the time users know what they are looking for, they just need to find it! We don’t want the patient to be scrolling through a site filled with over-used and distracting story-telling elements, especially when using parallax, just to find an address!
Website accessibility for people with disabilities has always been important, and now in 2021, it is critical! Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) both provide guidelines that incorporate the standards necessary to make websites accessible to people with disabilities. Not only is this about avoiding possible lawsuits; it’s about better serving your patients and prospects.
Some website accessibility standards to consider:
Navigation: Clear navigation is an important component of any website. Be careful when using new types of navigations. They may be sleek and modern, but are they accessible? A professional web designer understands this clearly.
Text: Use an ideal font and the font size that makes your text readable on all platforms, devices, and browsers. A professional designer will nail this.
Forms: Make sure to add labels to each field to make forms more accessible.
Buttons & Links: Avoid using images for buttons. And make links with clearly legible text, use consistent stand-out color, and ensure URLs are correct and functioning.
Website Refreshes – The importance of keeping your site relevant, modern, and up to date!
Is your website a part of your business that makes you proud? Are you embarrassed to show it to your friends? Frustrated with your current provider? Looking for higher interaction and conversion?
Keeping relevant content tells your prospective patients that you are on the leading edge of technology and that you care about the image your brand is projecting. It tells them you’re serious about keeping them informed, communicating clearly, and that you want their business. By staying modern and relevant to new design technology, your website will begin to build patient trust before patients even arrive at your practice.
With Patient NEWS, a website refresh will improve some of its most important aspects, increasing the value of this critical marketing tool.
Patient NEWS Website Refreshes Include…
- Up-to-date content & messaging
- Navigation that is clear & easy
- Modern look that reflects your modern practice – equipment, techniques, skills, mission, & more!
- New services & supporting educational content
- Your personalized tagline, motto, or mission
- Updating old messaging you’re no longer in love with
- Assurance that your website looks great on all devices for the best UX
- Call tracking & call scoring for real-time, data-supported performance & conversion results
- Links to current patient forms for patient convenience & ease.
Have you heard of digital empathy? This is when your website uses compassion, cognition, and emotion to enhance user experience. That’s what a Patient NEWS website refresh does, plus it eliminates digital friction (the unnecessary effort exerted by patients and potential patients to get the information they need from your website). Put yourself in the patients’ shoes. They don’t want to be scrambling to find information they are looking for. And you don’t want them to be scrambling to find information that “clinches the sale.”
When you refresh your website to speak your brand voice and eliminate digital friction, you will win over patients. Patient NEWS can help!