It’s pretty standard knowledge that a great looking and well-functioning dental website is a key part of any dental marketing strategy. Irrespective of how well your dental practice is perceived, it won’t reflect well if you have a shoddy or poor dental website design. Instead, it’s likely to leave you trailing in your competitors wake.
So the question is… what constitutes a great website design and one that’s going to convert visitors into enquiries? Let’s take a look at some top dental design strategies?
Going under the bonnet – The technical make-up of a great website
One of the key elements to a well-functioning dental website is something known as Hypertext Mark-up Language. You’ve probably heard it referred to as HTML.
HTML is the underlying code which pretty much dictates how a website performs. In other words, it’s the engine room of your website. Properly structured HTML should result in a fast loading and responsive website. This is a key design strategy for two reasons…
Firstly, before contacting you for a dental consultation or to book an appointment, potential patients are going to be checking you out. This means a visit to your website.
If your website takes an age to load, instead of portraying the message that your dental clinic is detailed and efficient, it has the opposite effect. Not what you want, when trying to get new patients through your door right?
The second reason is that poor HTML could also affect your Google ranking. Poorly structured HTML is likely to be less accessible to search engine spiders who crawl websites and gather information determining where your website is ranked. At least if your website used sound HTML strategies, it’s one thing less for you to worry about.
In essence, hosting is how your dental website is stored and served up for internet users when they put in a search. For a site to perform well, the server your website sits on needs to be robust, fast and secure. Very often, budget hosting can break one or more of these rules and usually leaves the website owner -namely you– at a serious disadvantage. So, while there’s no harm in shopping around, as with most things in life, you tend to get what you pay for!
Remember, it’s important to know what goes on under the bonnet of your dental website as this is one of the key design strategies.
Dental Website navigation – It’s all about the UX!
There’s no point in having an informative website if viewers are unable to navigate it properly in order to find that key info. You’ve probably been in a similar position where you were keen to check out a particular site. After clicking through you found it virtually impossible to navigate from one page to another, or to find the nugget of information you need. This is seriously frustrating, right?
For these reasons, the user experience (or in technical jargon, the UX) is key and should be heavily considered when planning out the best dental website design. Here are some pointers…
- Navigation should be consistent throughout
- Consider the number of clicks needed for users to find information – No more than three clicks is ideal
- Keep navigation/toolbars present when shifting from one page to another
- Keep navigation links to a minimum – too many will overwhelm the user
- Make use of sub links particularly when dealing with multiple dental treatments
- Always ensure a link back to the home page – irrespective of what page you land on
- Ensure navigational tools and toolbars stand out and are easy to spot
- Utilise common practices – This means having the navigation toolbar on the left-hand side or top of the screen
- Ensure good dental website flow – This means that the user can go easily from one page to the next without having to go back to ‘home’
- Above all, make it comprehensive, clear and concise.
Good navigation should be simple to understand and is likely to ensure the viewer sticks around a little longer. Just like HTML however, good navigation and the structure of page links is also critical for search engine spiders.
A good dental website will be crawled easily and ranked, whereas a badly navigated website that has no structure is unlikely to be accessed properly by search engine spiders and therefore, is unlikely to be ranked.
The aesthetics – Nailing The look and feel
Aside from a clean professional design, what does a dental website design need in order to make it appealing to viewers and, make them want to click through for more information?
Let’s take a look…
They say that ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ and it’s as true for websites as it is for a printed copy. Yet, while any picture has the ability to break up or accompany text to make it more palatable for the reader, it pays to be selective in the images you choose.
Low-quality images, for example, or those that take an age to load are unlikely to deliver a professional impact and instead will reflect badly on your dental practice. On the contrary, clear, concise, sharp images are visually appealing, more likely to enhance the user experience and, will match the professional ethos you’re seeking to portray.
Here’s a question…what would you do if much of the population feared your business, you only saw customers twice a year (on average) and you faced a ton of competition? Does this sound familiar?
This is what you as dentists face every day and this is where video can help.
When a potential patient is looking for a dentist they probably have a ton of questions. A question like – how painful will the treatment be? What will the dental clinic be like? Is the team nice? With the simple use of video as part of your website design, it’s possible to alleviate many of the concerns surrounding a visit to the dentist as well as lowering mental barriers and building trust.
Whether that’s an animated procedural video of how dental implants are fitted, a virtual guided tour of your practice, or a promotional video introducing your friendly dental team, a good short video has the ability to connect a viewer with the clinic in a way that plain text and photos can’t.
While stellar reviews and great dental website design can help, creating some kind of emotional connection via the medium of video is impossible to beat. Besides that, videos can also be optimised to aid SEO, which in turn helps to improve your search engine rankings.
Of course, text plays an integral part of a dental design strategy, but it needs to be planned and integrated with the right SEO strategy. In addition to Home and About Us pages, a good dental website contains treatment or service pages detailing what patients can expect when they have, say, a dental check-up or a tooth filling. These are best written in a friendly, non-technical manner and enhanced with either quality pictures or video.
In addition, it’s also a good idea to write dental profiles so the viewer can get to know a little bit about the dentist, their background and even their outside interests – This all helps to build a solid connection before the reader commits!
Finally, timely blog posts ensure that content is updated regularly and not left stagnant. As well as providing ongoing information, regularly updated and informative content also plays an important part in search engine ranking. So it pays to make it part of your overall dental website design strategy.
If you feel it’s about time your dental business had a boost, then you should consider contacting us here at Mediboost. In addition to intuitive dental website design, we also use the latest dental marketing strategies to ensure that you remain at the top of your game. Call the team today to book a consultation on 02 8073 8330.