Is your dental practice website delivering the results that you want? Have you had a website for a year or two and find that you are getting fewer enquiries from it? A website is the start of a journey, not the end…
If your website isn’t delivering the results that you had expected, then it is very likely that this is due to static and staid content. When a website is launched it is new and exciting, and it is not difficult to get patients to visit the site. However, what reason do they have to keep coming back? If the content isn’t changed, then it is unlikely they will return however good it looks!
Fresh content will also benefit new and potential patients visiting the site. When patients search for dental terms such as ‘whitening’ or ‘dentist Dublin’ they may not always act upon the information immediately. They may be researching for future reference or have just
heard something that has triggered their interest. If your website is regularly updated, when they return there is something new to see and read.
Even better, if you include the ability to sign up for an email newsletter then you can communicate with these potential patients on a regular basis. (This type of email sign-up is part of what is termed ‘permission marketing’ – more on that in a future article.)
News and blogs
Does your website include news or a blog? A news or blog section can add great value to your website and engage visitors. In a news section you can inform patients of items of interest, offers and discounts that you may be running. You can even run personal interest stories about staff at the practice; this really helps emotionally engage with patients and adds a ‘human’ face to your practice.
A blog will require some commitment on your behalf. To be truly effective, they should be written regularly – at least twice a month. What should you include? Well, it has to be interesting and not about trying to sell treatments. If you like, it’s your online diary and a chance to engage with your readers. Make it funny and personal. And, when you update your website with it, you may want to consider posting a link to it on sites such as Twitter (see my previous column for more information on this subject).
Search engine benefits
The more that you update your website copy, the more that it will benefit your Google ranking. To Google, new content is king and the more that your site is updated, the more it will visit and update your search listing. Make sure that you bear search engine optimisation in mind when you give your news, blog and new pages headings – make them specific and relevant. For example, if you are promoting tooth whitening in a practice in Walkinstown, Dublin, then call the page ‘Tooth whitening – Walkinstown, Dublin.’ This is a likely search term and Google will quickly see your page as one of the most relevant.
As I have stated in many of my previous articles, this is a massive area of marketing, and it is difficult to cover in one page a subject matter that has been covered by many books. However, I hope that I have got across how key it is to view your website as a journey rather than a destination.