Posted on: 27 January 2015Share
While most business owners know that it is important to have a modern, functional website to pull in new clients, many fail to see the ways that their websites can be an extension of their physical office. This can be even more difficult for medical professionals who cannot offer products or services online. However, there are many ways that dentists can update their websites to make them more user friendly and more useful for their patients, improving the quality of their overall dental service.
Use Current Photos of Your Office and Team
Instead of using stock photos and graphics on your website, you should have high quality photographs of your current waiting room and exam rooms as well as your staff. This allows people considering your office to get an idea of what they will experience when they arrive, and it can reduce anxiety about dental treatments. This is especially important if you treat children, patients with autism spectrum disorder, or patients with high levels of anxiety.
While you should integrate photos of your office throughout your website, you should also have a dedicated photo gallery that explains each room and staff member.
Post Your Prices and Payment Options
It is not common for dentists to list their prices on their website, usually because prices can change based on the difficulty of each procedure. However, the modern consumer is used to a high level of financial transparency, and may opt to go to health care providers that clearly state how much procedures cost and which types of insurance they accept.
While you do not have to list all of your procedures online, you should create a list of the most common procedures first time patients will be seeking and list a price range for them. On this page you should include the cost of patient intake, such as a full exam and x-rays, and state whether they are mandatory or recommended.
Offer Online Payment for Services
If you offer payment plans to patients without insurance, it is a good idea to accept those payments online. It will save your patients a trip to your office and the convenience may help you get your payments on time each month.
Make Sure Your Site Is Optimized for Mobile Platforms
31% of Americans primarily access the internet with their mobile devices, and many of these users only have mobile access. This makes it extremely important for you to have a website that has a proper mobile display and does not lose functionality when your patients access it through their telephones or tablets.
For mobile design, you can chose to have a dedicated mobile site, which costs less initially but requires more updates over time, or you can switch your entire website to responsive design, which optimizes your website for whatever screen size it is being displayed on.
Include an Emergency Question Line
Although dentists cannot offer many online services, one service that can put you ahead of your customers is a dedicated contact form for emergencies. You can set up your website to push emergency messages to your cell-phone, and your clients can ask questions when they are in pain without feeling like they are disturbing you. It is a less intrusive way to set up appointments during non-working hours. However, you should also keep your emergency telephone number visible for patients to call if they need a dentist immediately.
Other updates, such as a patient-friendly blog and detailed explanations about your services can also make your website more useful. However, if you start with these five, simple changes, you will be well on your way to a modern, useful dental website design.