As a dentist, having your own website can be both a blessing and a curse. A properly set-up website can easily bring new patients into the office and make the dental experience for your existing patients much smoother. However, a poorly designed website can easily be a headache for both you and anyone who visits it. The following offers a few tips for making your website work for you:
Content is Always King
What good is a dental website if it's devoid of content? Besides, search engines love original, unique content that's relevant and up-to-date. Along with filling your website's home pages with unique content, incorporating a blog on your website offers a way to deliver fresh and useful information that keeps it ranked high in the search engines.
It pays to know the ground rules of content, especially since you want to maximize your success:
- Don't skimp on the content. Too little content is a turnoff to both visitors and search engines. Strategies such as location-specific pages and hosting fellow dentists as guest bloggers can help you beef up your content war chest.
- Never duplicate content. Copycats are easy to spot, especially when website templates are used. Search engines frown upon and penalize websites that use copy lifted directly from other websites that have also been indexed. Keeping your content 100-percent original seems like a pain, but it ensures that your website won't be mistaken for anyone else's.
- Keep it relevant. Any content you add to your website should remain relevant to your profession. For instance, an article about cutting hair isn't relevant to your website. However, an article exploring how barbers often served as dentists during the Middle Ages offers a significant degree of relevancy.
Clear Communication Counts
As you sell your services, you'll want to have on-page copy that clearly communicates your skill set and the type of procedures you perform. In essence, every question your visitors want to ask should be answered as concisely and professionally as possible. Example questions include:
- How long has your business been in existence?
- Is my dental insurance coverage acceptable?
- Does your office handle walk-ins and small children?
- What do prior patients have to say about your dental service?
It's Better to Have Your Own Domain
Not only does your dental website reside on the builder's servers, but it's also hosted as a subdomain of the hosting website. While it seems convenient and perhaps even cost effective, it can also throw a wrench into your SEO strategies. Most search engines track top domains first, with the subdomains to follow. A website whose subdomain plays second-fiddle to a main website isn't ranked as high as a website with its own domain.
Having your own domain is always the better option when it comes to SEO. According to Sedo, the average cost of a .com domain name was around $2,800 as of the second quarter of 2014. However, for every domain that costs a fortune to buy, there are hundreds of others that cost as much as $10 to reserve.
Strong Call-to-Action as an Attention Grabber
A call-to-action is what encourages a visitor to reach out to your business, whether it's through a contact form, direct phone call or even something as simple as signing up for an email newsletter. Many dental websites make the mistake of having a bland or weak call-to-action, while others have no call-to-action at all.
To create a strong call-to-action, there has to be a strong incentive for your visitors to take the initiative. Limited-time offers such as a coupon or a special service can help rouse interested visitors into action. Visitors can also take advantage of e-books, limited access articles and other time-sensitive offers and materials to achieve this goal.
There should be at least two calls-to-action on your website – one located near the top of the page and a second call-to-action near the bottom. This essentially reminds the reader that they should contact you as soon as possible.
For more information about creating your dental website, visit www.progressivedentalmarketing.com.