The Skinny on Dental Practice Websites
Recently, I had calls with several docs who had either recently spent $9,000 plus with Einstein Dental on a dental practice website or were considering it. To be blunt–it’s utter nonsense to spend this kind of money on a dental practice website in 2016 be it with Einstein, Progressive, or whoever, and I’ll go into the reasons below.
Yes, I could sell dentists on a $20K dental practice website since after-all I’m the most recognized sales expert in the profession BUT it wouldn’t be right knowing what I know is important and not important about a dental practice website related to actually helping patients. Call it personal business ethics or simply having been involved in patient care for more than 20 years which means more about my colleagues compared to these countless marketing companies targeting us run by people who’ve never done a day of dentistry. Let’s charge reasonable fees for whatever it is we are doing be it clinical or non-clinical consulting work.
Now for these particular practices, we were discussing the All-on-4 Dental Implant Marketing Program and when I hear $9,000, I see 2-6 of months (depending on market area competitiveness) of a highly effective All-on-4 PPC ad budget being consumed by something that no patient will see unless it’s advertised.
For those who care, here’s the skinny on dental practice websites as of 2016:
1) Patients do expect your dental practice website to meet certain standards. We’ll call it Fortune 500 quality and appearance. A Fortune 500 quality dental practice website should cost no more than $4K regardless of how “special” or fancy you may feel your practice is. Knowing this, you probably can understand my “WTH?!?” moment related to the $9K-$10K price tag. Most practices can get away with spending less than $2K on a dental practice website and meet consumer expectations.
2) Google hates “content farms.” Content farming is writing content that gets used on multiple sites. Anyone with a dental practice website from a company targeting dentists (e.g. Einstein, etc.) that provides hundreds if not thousands of dental practice websites, be aware that Google’s algorithms push those sites automatically down in the natural search result rankings. Google doesn’t care if the site cost $10K or $2500, if the company is acting as a “content farm,” the algorithms recognize this. If you want to wind up on the first page of the natural searches or stay there, it’s a custom content forever. You can learn more about all of this in my latest guide.
Before you get depressed, it’s important to realize that most dentists don’t even need to worry about SEO because….
3) You may only need a very simple dental practice site. If you are a “bread and butter” practice (meaning no fancy procedures, regular dentistry, soloist, or father/son, father daughter, ), your “mini-dental practice websites” at Google+ and Yelp are actually more important than your real dental practice website. You also have the luxury of keeping your dental practice website design quite minimal.
4) Regardless dental practice website complexity online patient reviews are an extension of you and your dental practice website. Patient’s doing an area based search often look at reviews first before visiting any dental practice websites. If you are a “bread and butter” practice and have great reviews, many won’t even bother with your dental practice website since the reviews save them time. If you are not a “bread and butter” practice, then you do need a more content rich dental practice website, you need to be concerned about how patients needing your help will find your dental practice website, and you need to be very concerned about online patient reviews. Text2Review is hands-down the fastest technology tool to collect hundreds of reviews annually at the platforms that matter (Google, Yelp, and Facebook).
5) If your reviews are problematic, a great dental practice website and great online and offline advertising won’t fix that problem. Most patients will visit review sites before selecting a new dentist. If you are marketing costly niche procedures, you can be assured that every patient (or someone close to them) will be paying close attention to your reviews.
6) If you don’t market A LOT, almost no one will go to your dental practice website. Our All-on-4 Dental Implant Marketing Program puts PPC ads in front of hundreds of thousands of patients and in some markets uses TV and newsprint to put the same in front of millions. Traffic to these dental practice websites is high. That traffic is part of the first step in a special All-on-4 sales process, and, because of such, very specific sales content about the All-on-4 procedures is present. If you aren’t spending thousands each month on external advertising, your messaging can be far simpler on your dental practice website. If you are spending those sums, then your content matters and needs to be oriented towards what would make a patient seeing your help want to call.
7) Most dental practice websites are written to SELL other dentists on buying a dental practice website. Take a hard look at the content out there. In many cases, the terminology is written as if the dentist was trying to convince a patient to become a dentist. So much jargon that doesn’t generate a phone call. Beyond the copy, then there are the photos. It’s common to show lots of photos that don’t attract patients but actually repel them. Does anyone besides a dentist care about HD photos of operatories or equipment? No.
8) It’s not about how much time someone spends on a dental practice website that matters but IF THEY CALL. Give patients compelling reasons on the home page to call NOT to spend time digging in the site. It’s calls that matter not time spent on the site.