Medical Dental

Competition for patients is escalating. Dental professionals are hoping their websites will help them expand their reach, increase their case acceptance and reduce their advertising expenses. A carefully-formulated online presence can accomplish each of these goals. The problem is, few dental practice websites deliver lasting results.

Your website should position your dental practice as being professional, personable and proficient. It should encourage new patients to contact your office without the need for aggressive sales tactics. In order to do that, it must follow a proven set of design rules. Here are five tips for creating an effective dental practice website that will attract prospects and convert them into patients.

#1 - Integrate Intuitive Organization And Navigation

The main goal of your website is to convert visitors into patients. Few factors have a greater influence on conversions than your site's organization and navigation scheme. Visitors must be able to find the information they're looking for. When they arrive on your home page, they should see clearly-marked links to internal pages that describe the services you offer. Each internal page should provide a quick path back to your home page.

The more information your dental website offers to visitors, the more comfortable they'll feel toward contacting your office. The key is to make certain they can find that information.

#2 - Educate New And Current Patients

Not only are most patients unaware with regard to how many dental procedures are performed, but they seldom hear of the latest technologies. For example, millions of people cringe at the thought of enduring a root canal, though sedation techniques all but eliminate the discomfort. Uncertainty and fear discourage patients from making appointments.

Your dental website can bridge the chasm of uncertainty by educating both prospective and current patients. Your site should include a library of helpful information that describes the benefits of crowns, veneers, implants and other services your office provides.

#3 - Design Your Dental Website For Search Engines

Your website is only as valuable as patients' ability to find it. While there are several strategies for driving targeted traffic to your site, search engine optimization is one of the most effective. When people visit Google, Yahoo! and MSN to search for local dentists, they visit the dental websites that appear in the top positions. The higher your site appears for your main keywords, the more visibility your office will enjoy. And that visibility leads to higher case acquisition.

In order for your dental website to climb the search engines' organic listings, it must be designed for easy crawlability, indexing and ranking. These are some of the core principles of SEO. While it is a complex strategy, SEO can deliver an unparalleled boost to profitability.

#4 - Build Patients' Trust In Your Dental Practice

Earning the trust of new patients is critical to growing your dental practice. Once a patient trusts you and your staff, he or she will happily refer others. The question is, how can you encourage that trust?

Include a smile gallery on your dental website that highlights your work. Include testimonials from satisfied patients; peer reviews have an enormous influence on conversions. A library of descriptive information, including articles and videos, can also play a key role in building trust. Provide details about your dental practice and your staff. Consider uploading a short video that introduces you and your staff to prospective patients. Each of these elements builds upon one another to encourage patients' trust in your dental practice.

#5 - Allow Patients To Request Appointments

Most people work during the day. Calling your office to schedule an appointment may be difficult for them. Allow patients to request appointments directly through your dental website. This can be done through a simple email form that is forwarded to your office. When your staff receives the request, they can contact the patient to confirm the details. If you give patients the flexibility to request an appointment on their terms, they'll be far more likely to visit your office.

Many dentists use their websites as online brochures. Unfortunately, that does little to attract patients, educate them, build their trust and encourage them to schedule appointments. Use the five tips above to create a dental practice website that leads the charge toward dramatically increasing your case acquisition.

Chris Harmen writes for Officite, a medical website design firm that creates medical and dental web sites that are user-friendly and search engine optimized.

Other than medical, dental, vision, 401k etc, What would be a great new employee benefit?

Beyond the normal average to great benefits many companies provide, as a worker, what type of benefits would you appriciate the most? Gym membership, once a month spa treatment, comedy night etc.

If you really wanted to make your employees feel appriciated, how would you reward them beyond bonuses, compliments or promotions?

The best employers I ever had went out of their way to allow us to have lives. That meant flexible work schedules to allow for kids, travel time, spousal schedules, etc. We stayed and worked for less than we would have other places because we were treated as valued contributors to the team and we gave more than was ever expected of us because we were grateful and knew what a gift their flexibility was.

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