A five-step dental website design guide (that anyone can follow)

What are the most important factors of dental website design? Digimax gives us an easy to understand guide. 

Unfortunately, I hear from a lot of dentists that their website designer went down a process of asking the dentist what they like and don’t like and seems that more consideration has been given to the dentist’s own personal tastes than using statistics that tell us what patients want to see and how. A website is a business tool, a dental website design is meant to get you more patients so you can build a business that helps you lead the life you want.

Beauty, branding, colour, typography and imagery are extremely important factors of a website – but not at the expense of some key elements that constantly fail websites we see on a day-to-day basis. We simply don’t have the capacity to re-build every single dental website design we see, but we do want everyone to benefit from the research we have been doing for the last 15 years, which makes Digimax websites the most powerful dental websites in the world.

This five-step guide covers some extremely important steps you can follow yourself to see if you can improve your website and achieve improved patient conversion.

1. The five-second test

Stats tell us your patients spend a maximum of five seconds on average before they decide if they should click on further or leave your site. The industry average ‘bounce rate’ is approximately 70%. This tells us that, once you have spent your marketing budget – and once a potential patient reaches your website – 7 out of 10 visitors are failing to click further. Isn’t that alarming?

Think about at least five things your audience and target market would want to see within five seconds of reaching your website. Here is a list of essentials that you should be visible without the user having to scroll – some may sound obvious, but we see these important elements of information missing all the time:

a. Clear address or location at the top of the site
b. Phone number
c. Contact us link
d. Three to four treatments you offer
e.  Google reviews

a. Avoid using generic titles ‘Welcome to xxx dental care’ if you can use that space for something more useful, such as ‘[practice name] dental care offer general, cosmetic, implant and facial aesthetic treatments in [location]’
b. Don’t write ‘specialists’ (unless you are) or ‘pioneers’ ‘best’ ‘finest’ – these type of terms that suggest superiority over your competition are strictly not allowed by the GDC
c. Don’t place images of generic smile close-ups on your homepage – patients no longer buy dentistry, they buy into a perceived outcome of confidence and health. It is far better to use relatable lifestyle images.

The five-second test also needs to apply to your website when being checked on a mobile phone. The number of patients who visit your website using a mobile phone far outweighs those using a desktop. Ensure you have done everything you can to minimise how much a user has to scroll to see important information. If this means reducing line spaces by grouping items onto one line rather than on separate lines, then do so. Think about that patient sitting on train commuting who just wants to find your website, see where you are and click on a phone number to call you all within a matter of seconds – don’t make that patient work for it!

2. Contact button

Your contact link should be the last item on your menu. If you have a horizontal menu – this would put your contact link on the far right on the menu. You could also have an appointments button in the top right of the site. Your patients’ eyes are naturally drawn to the top right hand side of your site.

3.  Services or treatments?

You offer dental treatments, NOT services. You should only refer to these as treatments in your menu. Do not deep layer your treatment categories – if Invisalign and implants are a big part of your practice, don’t hide these pages away deep inside menus. Pull them out and make them their own page links.

4. Treatment content and animations

Are your ‘flagship’ treatment pages really making you look like the go-to practice for a particular treatment? Is the content answering all your patients’ questions without going into too much technical detail? The better this page is laid out, the higher chance a patient will want to come in to see you and take up treatment. Invisalign pages and implant pages could have videos demonstrating how the treatments work. We have designed a series of dental animation videos just for this purpose, so we can increase the chances of private treatment uptake.

5. Social proof and awards

If you are a practice that is in a position to boast excellent Google or Facebook reviews – or have won awards – make sure that can be seen on your dental website without the user having to work for it.

At Digimax, we have more than 120 points to which we refer at when we design a site. Those listed above are the biggest issues we face on sites that we come across. I hope you can improve your own dental website using our checklist.

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