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Before we discuss Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and how to apply it to your website, the first question should be, ‘How effective is your website?’

Website Effectiveness

Your website is your “shopfront.” It would be best to invest as much in your virtual shopfront as you would in your practice’s reception area. It is incredible how dentists spend £10,000 on their waiting and reception rooms but begrudge spending money on digital marketing to fill them!

Your website needs to attract potential patients to your practice. Open your website. Pretend you are a customer; answer these questions as honestly as possible.

  1. What does the site say about your company?
  2. What does it not say about your company?
  3. Does the website stand out from the crowd? Or competitors?
  4. Where does the menu or navigation take the customer?
  5. Can the customer get where they need to be in under four clicks?
  6. Where are your eyes drawn to first? What stands out?
  7. Does the website SELL the service or product?
  8. Does the website do the same for laptops, iPads, iPhones, etc.?

You only have 2.3 seconds

Is the necessary information “above the fold?” The fold is at the bottom of the screen. Does the user see the message without needing to scroll? If they don’t, this simple change will reduce your bounce rate. If they do see something they like, the time they spend on the page to make a purchase or an enquiry is over 20 seconds. Read more here on dwell time and engagement.

What is unique about your business?

Make sure that your Unique Selling Point (USP) is spelled out. A USP is not fast service or the best prices. One of our clients was located in a palace in London. The building was incredible; however, their last marketing company neglected to mention this for some reason. When we changed the images and copy to reflect this, the site conversion rate went up 0.2%. (About a 100 new patients a year!)

Communicate benefits to the customer

Can the user easily find the benefits of your treatment, product or service? A visitor wants to learn as much as possible about WHAT IS IN IT FOR THEM or simply the benefits of being a customer of your business. For example, can you offer…

  • Late opening hours
  • Open weekends
  • Online bookings
  • Free essentials
  • Finance and easier ways to pay (like Apple Pay)

Is there a clear call to action?

If potential customers like what they see, it is essential to move them along quickly. There should be a prominent, easy way for them to contact you, book or buy. Your CTAs should also be varied and backed up with evidence (i.e., a review) or an incentive (offer, free consultation, etc.). CTAs of a button saying book now or a phone number is sometimes insufficient.

Does your website look good? Are you proud of it?

Are your website’s corporate colours and images aesthetically pleasing? You will lose visitors if your website is too busy or full of Instagram feeds and large sections with pictures but not content. Take a little time to coordinate colours and add high-quality photos that tell the story of the practice, not randomly bought images of models.

Are the fonts easy to read?

Make sure your font is easy to read and is not distracting. Don’t get fancy; stick with a simple sans-serif font contrasting with the background. Is it the correct size across devices? Mobile is critical; can people even read what you have written? If a paragraph is over 5 lines on a mobile device, it is too long. Look at your BBC or Sky News App to see how they present pages to make them readable.

Are there bulky sections of a copy anywhere on the web page?

Long paragraphs are likely to get scrolled past. Try breaking up your copy into smaller, easy-to-digest sections using headers or images that get the point across quickly. The best advice is to look at your website on your phone. Can you read the information, or do you skim-read? Do the important points stand out?

Navigation is key. Are the menus clear, or will they take users down rabbit holes where they disengage? Site design and UI/UX are essential considerations that often get overlooked. Google now rates them as a ranking factor, and users expect an easy, intuitive journey.

keyword results perfect smile

Think Empathy

Can your users resonate with what you are saying?

Visitors who feel personally connected are likely to reciprocate and reach out with a question or book an appointment. Do you talk about their toothache, difficulties affording Invisalign, or the embarrassment of crooked or short teeth? Empathy sells.

Corporate or conversational?

Is your writing style corporate or conversational? Corporate speak is suitable for…well, big corporations. However, a small business shouldn’t pretend to be a significant, formal entity disconnected from the public. Your ability to relate to your customers is a big reason they will eventually choose you – start immediately with an engaging, conversational tone in your copy.

Multimedia elements

Multimedia elements on your site increase browsing time. Is there multimedia? Think of videos, podcasts, and ways patients can test their smiles. The longer visitors connect with your brand, the more likely they will trust and buy from you.

Active on social media?

Are you sufficiently active on social media? Social media can show a softer, friendlier side to the clinic. However, there is no need to overdo it.

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