By Jackson Hadley
As an endodontist, your practice website is an integral part of your online presence. Now, with over 90 percent of consumers doing research online when choosing between healthcare providers, your website needs to immediately establish trust, spark a relationship, and motivate visitors to give you a call.
Plus, your practice website isn’t just important to potential patients; it plays a vital role in building your reputation with referring general dentists. If it’s difficult to navigate, low on content, or has poor design direction (or no direction at all), people will see your practice as outdated and inconvenient as well.
In 2020, having an elegant, content-rich, mobile-friendly website is no longer just the “cherry on top” of your endodontic practice—it’s a requirement.
Take a look at these top five things your practice website needs to be effective in 2020. Most of them don’t require major changes, but if your website looks and functions exactly the same as it did in 2010, you should consider hiring some professional help for a design overhaul. An efficient, user-friendly website is well worth the investment!
1. Mobile-Friendly Design
With well over half of all internet searches being conducted on mobile devices, having your website be mobile-responsive is an absolute necessity. Not only will potential patients immediately leave if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, but Google will also push your page down in search results.
Some guidelines for mobile-friendly website design include:
- Pages formatted to display all content without the need to scroll horizontally
- Separation between links and buttons so they are easy to tap on
- All text formatted to be legible without zooming in or out
2. Fast Load Speed
How long does it take for your practice website to load, both on a desktop/laptop and on mobile devices? According to Google, if it’s longer than three seconds, 53% of mobile users will simply leave. The reality is, every additional second your website takes to load lowers the number of potential patients calling you for an appointment. Poor load speed will also hurt your Google search ranking.
Thankfully, website hosting and design companies know how crucial loading speed is and have made it easier than ever to optimize. A good place to start evaluating your site would be Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool, which provides information on what could be causing your site to load slowly.
3. Detailed Service Pages
Create a separate page on your website for each procedure and service you offer. Provide details about why a patient would need it, advantages and risks, and your qualifications to provide the treatment.
Many times when people are searching for a healthcare provider, they have a specific need in mind. If they can’t confirm from your website that you offer the treatment they’re looking for, they’ll simply go somewhere else. Additionally, having an SEO-optimized page for every service you provide gives you a better chance of showing up more often in search result
Put a call-to-action button on each page prompting potential patients to request a consultation for each specific service. The more quickly and easily you can allow someone to progress from learning to taking action, the more effective your practice website will be.
4. Consistent New Content
Regularly publishing new content on your practice website is a great way to establish yourself as an expert, build trust, and introduce potential patients to your team and practice culture. This could be short weekly blog posts about relevant oral health topics, or cross-posted content from your practice’s social media pages.
Along with the SEO benefits, there’s a degree of transference that takes place in patients’ minds with practices that regularly publish new content. The assumption is that if you’re consistent and reliable in providing useful, insightful, personal content through your online presence, then you also likely provide the same consistency and leading-edge standards in everything you do—including the dental materials and procedures you use, the patient benefit-driven technologies you ascribe to, the way you respond and treat people, the CE you attend, etc.
5. Social Proof
What others are saying online about your practice has enormous influence on the level of trust you inspire in prospective new patients and referring general dentists. In the case of your endodontic practice, building social proof is one of the best things you can do to enhance your reputation.
One of the easiest ways to provide social proof in a highly visible way is to feature patient reviews on your website from popular reviews platforms such as Facebook and Google.
According to a recent study:
- 72 percent of people won’t take action until they read reviews
- 15 percent of users don’t trust businesses that don’t have reviews
- 57.5 percent of all reviews worldwide are on Google
Prominently featuring reviews and testimonials on your website increases the chances that prospective patients will see them.
Jackson Hadley is a marketing strategist with My Social Practice.