In 2000, the average person saw over 200 ads a day and advertisers had 12 seconds to capture their attention. In 2016, the average person now sees as many as 5,000 a day and advertisers now only have 8 seconds before they lose the attention of that person.
What does your website say about you in 8 seconds? Do you like how it reflects on your practice? Can a user find exactly what they need, and are they finding it where they look?
These questions can help you to assess if it’s time to consider making your website not only capture the attention of your potential patients, but giving them the information they need before they decide to contact your practice.
Great Dental Websites can help you evaluate your website and see if it is effectively encouraging patients to make that first appointment. You can also learn more about what to look for in your dental websites’ design.
Depending on who you ask, and what your goal is, there are many factors a person will take into factor when analysing your websites. But there are a few foundational items that should be on every dental website, regardless of who you ask. These factors, considered best practices, are shared among the industry and are basic standards in website design.
One of the most common problems we see with dental websites is that they hide contact information, including phone numbers and addresses. Since so many users want to make sure that they select a dentist within a close distance to their home or place of work, providing this information can make it easy for users to make sure that they are contacting an appropriate office. It can cut down on wrong number calls as well as encourage patients to easily contact you.
If a user makes it to your site, do they know what to do? Just like a good front desk can tactfully turn someone “just shopping around for info” into a scheduled appointment, a gentle yet encouraging website can turn the shoppers into buyers.
When they user is on your site, are they prompted to call you or email you? Are there clear indicators that they can learn more information or book an appointment? Remember, you have 8 seconds to convince them that you are worthy of keeping their attention. Make sure you are focusing them with the right directions.
How often have you given directions that sound like the following?
“And then when you turn left, there’s this green building on the right, then you pass a Wooley’s, and then you turn left after the store with a big red sign.”
Branding and colours play a large part in people’s’ memory. If that person drove by your office, and even unknowingly remembered your signage, it can help in future research. They know they’re looking for that nice looking new dental office past the green building past the Wooley’s past the red sign, but what was the name of that place again? And then they get to your site and realise that yes, they were searching for your practice, the one that had blue geometric tooth signage on the building, and now they see it on your website, and your Facebook page, and they know they’ve found the right place. And they can browse your site to find the information they need before they call you.
We have clients that choose to use their website to showcase their brand new, modern offices. We have some that prefer to focus on their family friendly office. But if you have an up-to-date practice with a brand new CEREC machine, and a website that hasn’t been given a second thought since 2001, are you properly representing what type of practice you are? Or if you are a warm and welcoming practice for your local community and your website features an image of a woman so unlike your local demographics, will people be able to relate to your practice? Probably not.
Use your website as a way to let people understand what they can expect to see, who they can expect to meet, before they walk through your doors. Bio photos for your staff, office tours of your practice, and other custom images all help patients start to build a relationship with you from the second they find you.
Perhaps one of the easiest areas to overlook, an easily organised and simple to use website navigation can be the difference between keeping a user on your site or losing them to a competitor. Having 1 navigation bar, horizontally either immediately above or below your header area, with 1 level of drop downs or fly outs, creates the most effective navigational structure.
Think beyond just your desktop users. With most dentists seeing 40-50% of their website traffic from mobile users, with certain areas seeing up to 70%, those tertiary flyouts or sidebar navigation can deter an important and short attentioned user. Make it easy for them to navigate between the service they are interested in, the About section (the 2nd most visited page on a dental website!), and the contact page.
In 2017, it’s hard to believe that we are still having to mention responsive designs as an important factor. But unfortunately, many practices still have websites which do not adapt for mobile or tablet devices, alienating a large user base.
If your website isn’t keeping up with the demands of a patient, why should they trust you to provide current and up to date care?