Maximizing your website’s effectiveness with great content

Your practice website tells patients a lot about who you and your staff are, what types of services you offer ...

By Glenn Lombardi

Your practice website tells patients a lot about who you and your staff are, what types of services you offer, and why your practice’s standard of care is unmatched by other providers in the area. Much of what patients will learn about you and use to derive their impression of your practice will stem from the quality and availability of content on your site. To make a lasting impression on patients and convey your expertise, website content must offer them value that appeals to their wants, needs, and challenges.

Your website home page

When new and current patients visit your website, the first page they’ll see is your home page. In addition to an attractive layout and design, your home page must instantly engage and captivate patients with its content. When a prospective patient arrives at your website, you have only a few seconds to answer the question, “Why should I choose this dentist?” Use your words wisely to convince visitors that they should stay a while at the site and learn more about your practice.

Use other pages on the website to make a statement about your practice as well. The staff page is a great place to highlight your educational background, academic achievements, special training, or certification and awards. Showcase your latest treatments, procedures, technologies, and equipment on your services page to demonstrate your commitment to staying at the forefront of the newest trends in dentistry. In telling your story through carefully and concisely crafted words on the pages of the site, patients will recognize your experience and expertise as a leader in dental care.

Patient education

People seek information for all sorts of reasons. When it comes to dentistry, patients want to learn more about their symptoms and options for treatments. A patient’s dentist should be his or her primary resource for any questions related to oral health. Since the Internet is such a popular medium to find health information today, a dentist’s website provides the perfect avenue to deliver this information to patients after regular office hours.

Your website can host the helpful dental resources patients need to make informed decisions about their oral health. This may include a vast library of educational content, or videos related to dentistry, oral diseases, and treatments.

When choosing educational components for your site, select content from the most trusted providers in the field. This will ensure that patients are gaining the best possible information, and they will know your practice follows the highest standard of care. Choose a website provider that offers trusted online patient education that can easily be integrated with the site.

Blogging

There’s no better way to become established as an expert in your subject matter than with a blog. The draw for patients is that blogging continually provides fresh, new content with which to interact. It is a dialogue between two individuals rather than a one-way process.

The premise of blogging is that if you offer visitors valuable information on an ongoing basis, they will come back again and again until they are loyal readers, patients, and promoters of the practice. As you take on your voice, patients will witness a human side of your practice that they can trust and relate to.

For dentists who want to build a website that achieves long-term success, one of the primary goals should be to develop a website that becomes recognized as an authority. Start by revisiting the content on your website. Does it reel visitors in as soon as they land on your home page? Your site should also be a trusted source for oral health information, offering reliable education to patients when they need it.

Finally, how are you regularly contributing fresh, engaging content to the site? A blog may be the perfect way to connect with readers while conveying your expertise. Building an authority site with quality content takes time and work, but the result can yield a website that is truly a valuable asset for your practice and patients.

Glenn Lombardi is president of Officite, LLC, a provider of dental websites and Internet marketing strategies, such as social media, search marketing, reputation management, and mobile websites. Officite has built more than 7,000 websites that have generated more than half a million new patient appointment requests since 2002. For more, visit www. officite.com or call (800) 908-2483.

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