Time to redesign?

RedesignA new patient’s first impression of your practice is likely to be your website. Amy Rose-Jones asks if it’s time to revisit and redesign?

Whilst re-designing a website requires thought, time, and money, the upside can be enormous. I’m absolutely certain you’ll be able to think of a few reasons not to redesign your website, but here are five great reasons why you should get your redesign plans off the ground:

1) The wrong results

Is your website gorgeous, functional, and pixel-perfect? Excellent! But if you still aren’t getting the results you want, it’s just useless web real estate. Your website exists to meet your specific marketing goals.

Judge for yourself. Here are a few questions about your website when contemplating a redesign:
•    Given that this might be the first impression a patient gets of your practice, are you happy with the precedent it sets for yourself and the practice?
•    Are the treatments / services you are trying to promote clear, obvious and attractively presented on the website?
•    Is there a strong call-to-action for patients to make contact with you, via telephone or e-mail?
•    Does the website guide a patient along the desired journey?
•    Would YOU want to visit the practice?

2) Just not working

Functionality should be a paramount focus for you. How you, and others, are able to negotiate the website and draw information from it will prove a key indicator as to whether you need a redesign (and may go some way to explaining why your website hits aren’t turning into new patients):
•    Is the navigation easy-to-use and follow?
•    Does the website load quickly?
•    Is key information easily accessible?
•    Are there any broken or dead links?
•    Is the information completely up-to-date?
•    Does it meet all of the expected legal; requirements? (GDC, CQC, EU, ICO, etc.)

3) Your site isn’t responsive

Everywhere you turn, people are face down, staring into a mobile device. Mobile users (your patients) expect and ultimately demand a great user experience on their mobiles which now account for upwards of 40% of web traffic. If you are contemplating a re-design and you’re website is not responsive, this is an absolute deal-breaker. It’s not only your patients that will thank you, but Google will reward you with higher search engine rankings.

4) Change of purpose

As I touched on earlier, it is important that your website has specific marketing goals and objectives. If you don’t have any, start now! Let’s assume that you do have marketing objectives, these have to be considered a moveable feast. For example, the summer is often seen as ‘wedding season’ so it makes sense to actively promote cosmetic treatments, especially the likes of tooth whitening. Whereas over the winter, perhaps you want to focus on prevention and general dentistry and are keen to increase your patient numbers on private dental plans? Your website needs to reflect this.

5) The competition got better

Obviously, you don’t need to give your site an overhaul every time one of your competitors changes theirs. Having said that, if they make changes that improve their rankings and end up pushing you down in searches, it’s time to make changes. If you spend some time on a competitor’s site and realise it could meet your goals far better than your own site does, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get busy. Maintaining an edge in search shouldn’t be your only goal, but if you’re not near the top of Google because a competing business is keeping you from there, analyse what SEO adjustments you can make to your site.

In conclusion, your website is meant to deliver new patients. If it’s not doing that, it’s time to determine why not and make necessary changes.


Amy Rose-Jones is marketing manager at Dental Design Products Ltd, a website design and marketing agency for the dental profession.


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