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Create a dental website that works in six steps

Convert website visitors into patients with Mark Oborn’s six ways to make your dental website more effective.

As an online marketing consultant for the dental profession I get to see many dental practice and laboratory websites, none of which I have built myself (as I don’t build websites), many of which work and many of which don’t.

As I work closely with these practices I’m able to see the conversion rates from the websites and have drawn up my top tips for ensuring that your website converts and actually does what it’s supposed to do.

Don’t bother with fancy gimmicks 

I see so many dental websites with this scrolling image thing at the top, what is it all about? From a user point of view the chances of anyone sitting there and waiting for the image to scroll is highly unlikely, and from a search engine optimisation point of view sometimes these images look to Google as though they are lots of images stacked on top of one another. Google could then question why are you trying to hide images?

My advice is to go with a small, relevant image or your laboratory logo and be done with it.

Ensure your 'contact us' link is at the top-right

This seems to be where our eye is drawn to look for the contact details. A look at some of the bigger sites and you will notice the 'contact us' link is always top right. Whilst standing out and doing things different is great, sometimes it’s good to stick with what people are expecting. So in this instance, don’t try to be clever, just put your 'contact us' link in the top-right.

Make your telephone number selectable text

I’ve recently been looking at statistics on websites and many of them have about 30% of the visitors viewing the site from a mobile device. The recent 2013 UK Digital Future in Focus Comscore report shows that it is mainly between the hours of 10:00 and 17:00 that we are using computers, outside of this time mobile devices dominate the share of page traffic on a workday.

If you want to take advantage of the commuters on the train or bus on their mobile phone, then having your website mobile compatible is a good idea – also many people view from their tablets in the evening so it’s equally important to have a mobile compatible site for this reason.

Of course, the best solution is a fully mobile site, or at least one that has an adaptive design to different device formats. And if you want to really be making use of the mobile browsers, then having a click to call the number on the homepage will be vital.

Have a call to action with a signup box on the right-hand side of the page, viewable without scrolling

By incorporating some form of direct call to action, where the visitor feels as though they have achieved something and got something from your site, will greatly increase conversions. I suggest you offer some form of free information (implant E-courses or PDFs are great) in exchange for an email address.

Then drop these leads in to a robust and continuous gentle email-marketing program, which sets you up as the expert and demonstrates that you care.

You will of course need an email marketing software to manage this and my recommendation is Aweber.

Use an engaging video to keep visitors on the site longer

Having a video on your homepage is a great way to interact and engage with visitors, it also has a tendency to keep people on the page longer, which will have an impact on your Google ranking. It is an indicator that people like your site if they stay on the page for a while before bouncing back to Google for another search.

Create content around the four elements of why, what, how and what if

As a technical person within dentistry, the chances are that you think very analytically and are interested in the detail. Not everyone thinks this way, and if your webpage launches into the precise way that you deliver your service, many people may not engage with it.

By starting off with ‘why’ they need to listen to what you have to say and that way you will engage a wider range of people.

Then go in to ‘what’ you will do for them, followed with ‘how’ you’ll help and finishing off with ‘what if’ allows your website visitor to ‘try on’ emotionally the results of solving their dental problem.

This list is not totally exhaustive and there’s a huge amount of scope for a designer to create a fantastic looking and functioning website around these parameters. If you follow these six steps you will find that your website converts improve and you end up with more patients, assuming that the actual design of the site is great too.

Mark Oborn spent 25 years as a dental technician working exclusively within the high quality sector of the private market, after 15 years of running his own laboratory he now also has a masters degree in business administration (MBA) majoring in marketing, innovation and creativity. Mark is also a master practitioner of neuro linguistic programming, master NLP coach and master practitioner of hypnosis, which further assists him in the skillful art of marketing communication.

He now works with a select handful of UK dental practices, developing online marketing, website conversions and social media marketing, helping to attract the right patients into the practice.

What makes Mark different? 25 years as a dental technician, an MBA and master practitioner of NLP.

For more information please call 0845 259 1232 (local rate) or visit www.markoborn.com.

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