What makes a good dental office website? What should you do when it comes to things such as hosting? And, what shouldn’t you do? In this episode of Dental Marketing Mastery, Mark and Howie explain.



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Podcast Highlights

  • Ownership of your site’s domain
  • The page most moms will visit
  • The importance of your “meet the dentist” page
  • How to properly do a “meet the dentist” page
  • What to highlight, how to be approachable
  • How to do a personal video
  • Services: Which ones are important?
  • How to appropriately mention pricing
  • How to display technology and conveniences
  • SEO and social media marketing for dentists
  • The importance of attracting vs. educating
  • Why your site shouldn’t be a dental journal
  • Show off your operatory? No way!
  • How much should you invest into your dental clinic website?

Podcast Transcription:

Hello, and welcome once again to the Dental Marketing Mastery series. This podcast is brought to you by DentalWebContent.com and New Patients Incorporated. I’m Howie Horrocks, the Founder of New Patients Incorporated, along with me once again, as my friend and partner and the President of New Patients Incorporated, Mark Dilatush.

Howie: Well, hello, Mark, how are you doing today?

Mark: Hey, Howie, how I’m doing just fine. It’s actually a beautiful Monday here in the northeast, we, we got rid of our 98 degrees and 99% humidity. And we traded in for 89 degrees and about 60% humidity. So

Howie: well, that’s much better.

Mark: Yeah, everybody here, it’s sort of like the first warm spring day when all the bears come out of the cave, and they start walking around. And so yeah, so we’re, I don’t know if it’s the beginning of fall, but it’s, it’s a sign of the end of the crazy yes of summer. Awesome. Well, let’s, we have a lot to cover today, or at least in this in this segment. Um, we and then this is probably one of the, if not the number one questions we get. And it’s also fortunately, or unfortunately, one of the first things that we have to go fix when a brand-new client engages us. Remember, in the old days, how we were, you know, we get a new client and they wouldn’t even have a website? Yes. Well, now they almost all have websites, but their internet strategy is poor.

Howie: Correct.

Mark: So, today’s segment is going to be basically dental office websites, do’s and don’ts. And we are purposely not going to get technical, where this is going to be all about the marketing side, we may we may get as technical as say, hosting or something like that. But there’s really nothing that technical because honestly, Howie and I don’t understand the technical side, we have a whole team of dental website designers that handles that.

Howie: Right,

Mark: right Howie?

Howie: Yep. A very good team too.

Mark: exactly. All right. So, I think at the very beginning, one of the don’ts is never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, under any circumstances allow anyone else other than you to sign up for and own your domain. Do you agree Howie?

Howie: Oh, absolutely. We’ve had numerous problems over the years trying to wrestle.

Mark: Yes.

Howie: Wrestle away

Mark: Yes, wrestle.

Howie: Some, somebody that the client hired to set up his domain. And it’s just a nightmare.

Mark: It is. It’s a nightmare. And on it, this is probably old advice. And some of you more progressive dentists who are on this podcast are sitting there going, Okay, come on, come on. I know that I know that. But it has cost dentists just 10’s, just thousands of dollars in real dollars last time, anxious, stressed, whatever. And it’s needless you don’t have to.

Okay, you go log on to good, GoDaddy, whatever, whatever hosting service you want. Put in your own credit card, put in your own name. Set it up so that you get the notifications when you get the notifications, pay attention to them renew your site, and your hosting when it comes in. And you’ll be fine for the rest of your career, it’s one of the easiest things in the world to do. Never, never, never give it to somebody else, because they will in most cases hold you hostage.

Now, there’s the other side of this is, which is you know, a lot of times life gets busy and you get the notification, you delete it or it goes into your junk folder, it goes in your spam folder. What we do with our clients, is we have our clients own it, but they make one of us, Heather (Heather’s our Vice President of Operations) make her the admin. So, that she along with you gets the notifications so that if you ignore them, okay, she won’t, she will ride you until you do something with those notifications.

And honestly, with hundreds of clients that we have, we probably I’m going to say 40-50 a year. That and that’s a pretty conservative estimate we have to chase after to get them to renew their domain. So, it’s not we’re not like we can do it for him. But you know, you got to do it. Anyway, we will watch your back for you. So that’s the first, don’t ever give anybody access to controlling your domain admin, no problem.

Alright, next, biggest mistakes, do’s and don’ts. So, we’re going to start with another don’t. This is specifically for your dental practice website. And that has to do with the first place a mom from the top half of the dental market goes when she hits a dental office website. Where is that Howie?

Howie: Well, after the landing page, I believe our tracking ship tells us that the second most visited page is the meet the doc or meet the team page,

Mark: Exactly. Okay, so here’s a do not and do. Do not hide meet the dentist. And obviously the do is make sure you have a meet the dentist page. Make sure it is clearly visible in your navigation your links at the top. And make sure that that page when it appears, without scrolling, a picture of the dentist. Okay? Don’t hide, okay? Because she wants to meet you. So, don’t hide behind a bunch of words or pictures of your, you know, accolades or your CEs or whatever. Okay? You have to have a picture of yourself and you have to have a well written story, a well written story about yourself.

Now here’s some more do’s and don’ts. Don’t make your words about you all about dentistry and all about the CE’s you’ve taken and how much you’ve oh my gosh, how much you’ve sacrificed for the, you know, for the human beings in your town. Because you went to all to see that will bore the heck out of Mom, what mom wants to see is, Are you a family person? Do you have children? Do they go to the schools and your community? What are your hobbies? Are you up an approachable, human being?

Howie: Right? That that’s the key. You want to in fact, when you go to sit for your photographer to take the photo, you tell them that you I want to look approachable and friendly. Right? Okay, and a good photographer will have you get those concepts in your head as they start snapping the pictures.

Okay, it’s a weird thing. But that’s what she’s looking for. Another thing if I might interject, you know, what better way to increase that trust and that approachability and friendliness factor than actually putting a video of the doctor on the meet the doctor page, which is the second most visited page in the website? That’ll do it every time.

Mark: Yeah, as long as it’s done. Well, yes. Yeah. we’ve, we’ve, we’ve seen, we’ve seen some examples of the opposite.

Howie: There are some dentists out there that just shouldn’t be on video. They’re already you know, don’t worry about it, but

Mark: right, no big deal.

Howie: You know, most dentists can come across if they’re coached properly. And if they do it right, they can come across in a friendly, approachable manner.

Mark: Right. Right. And that’s, you know, that’s all right. So, do’s and don’ts do have a meet the dentist nav up in your navigation do have the right words about the dentist making you approachable human arm and potentially even video introduction of the dentist on the meet the dentist page. So that’s those are three or four really good do’s and don’ts. I’m going to move off the often meet the dentist page. Now we’re going to go to the pages that you have for your services. Now. Anytime you build a dental office website, you are well, logically, logistically, you are not limited in size, space and scope. You could eventually have a 11-37 page dental website. Okay. But that website will not do you any good. You agree Howie?

Howie: Absolutely.

Mark: Okay. All right. So

Howie: It will harm you actually,

Mark: Exactly, it will absolutely harm you. Anyway. Um, so with that in mind, what you have to do is you have to begin to prioritize the information that you put on your website. So, and this might be a good introduction or segue into the marketable attributes scorecard that we have available on our website.

If you, well, actually it’s, it’s on our new website, it’s under, it’s dentalwebcontent.com. It’s under resources, download our free downloads, I think it’s under. And there is a marketable attributes scorecard there, that actually gives you the score of each item, as the consumer scores them not as me and Howie scored them, not as you scored them, not as your staff scored them. But literally thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of dental consumers telling you how they feel in numeric version of each of your services, your amenities, your technologies, your price, your public relations, assets, everything is all line item down on that scorecard. So, I would encourage the people who listen to the podcast to go on there and grab a copy for yourself.

Anyway, getting back to your dental office website, you do have limited space on a website. And you have limited navigation at the top, especially if you’re going to make a responsive website that shows up well on any mobile device. So, you don’t have a lot of room for a whole bunch of those top line navigation links. So, you have to consolidate them.

Now, here’s the mistake, we see people doing dentists doing all the time. It’s like everything is a service. It’s like that’s the only thing you offer are services. And that is just not true. And honestly, if you look at the scorecard, you’ll see that services is actually the fourth most important main category. Okay. So, so a lot of dentists are building websites based on what they think the consumer wants to see in here. But they’re missing. They’re missing the target. Right? Okay. So what are the other things?

Well, price, so you have to say something about price, you have to say something about insurance. Whether you participate or not, you still have to say something about it. You can’t just like ignore it, because if the if you ignore it, the consumer will ignore you. It’s obvious, right? You have to say something about your technology, because they love technology. You have to say something about your conveniences? Because let’s forget fear for a second. What’s the most inconvenient professional on earth? A dentist.

Howie: Exactly.

Mark: Okay. Open from nine to five, Monday through Thursday, which are the worst possible hours for anyone who works?

Howie: Yeah, we often ask our clients convenient hours? And they say Oh, sure. Sure.

Mark: Yeah, yeah.

Howie: They’re completely wrong. Almost 100% of the time, the only the only people those hours are convenient for us, for the dentist and the staff.

Mark: Right. Exactly,

Howie: Exactly.

Mark: So anyway, getting back to your website. So, let’s say that you had a website and top nav was meet the dentist, our services, our conveniences, our technologies. Right?

Howie: Yeah

Mark: That would be cool. Right, then then, then no matter what you’re looking at, you have room, you know, when you’re looking at a phone or an iPad, or you know, a laptop, it’s going to look great. And remember what the consumers looking for, they’ll be able to find it right.

Now, when you go to services and you come up with a sub menu of services, because you’re not going to have one service page that is what a 15-foot score with a mouse. That’s insane. And they certainly wouldn’t want to do that with a mobile. With a mobile visitor, that’s…no mobile visitors going to scroll as much on their phone as they would on your PC. So, you need sub menus. So, when you create the sub menus, you might want to create sub menus, like dentistry, for children, dentistry, for busy families, dentistry, for seniors dentistry, for whatever.

And then once those open up, then you have separate pages for let’s say, Invisalign, sleep apnea, sedation, what have you. Okay, so everything that I’m discussing here, you might think about it and say, Wow, this sounds like a big website that sounds like a 19-20-21 page website. And Howie and I are sitting here going, “Yeah, that’s, that’s the right way to do it”

Okay, I mean, there’s a wrong way to do everything. There are very few right ways. And I’ll tell you what your SEO professional if you walk in, and you know, with that with a certainly with us, our SEO department loves the fact that they have individual pages to promote for each of those service items. Okay? Because there’s just that much easier, and that much more content to promote, to position the website.

So, so there’s some do’s and don’ts. Don’t put all your services on one page. Don’t ignore conveniences, technologies, public relations, assets and price on your dental office website, because if you do, then you’re missing 75% of the top half of the market, you have to have all those things there. And another thing is don’t ignore video, don’t ignore the power of video, don’t ignore the power of social media, have your social media channels established and have links to them? on your website. It’s amazing how consumers, especially female consumers like to feel connected. And you know, your existing patients will connect with you if you allow them and encourage them and they in turn, will expose your business to their friends and neighbors as well. So, it’s sort of like a little referral engine.

Howie: I’ve got another don’t if you if you

Mark: no, go for it.

Howie: Yeah, well, in fact, there’s two don’ts. Some, some dentists get the idea that they’re trying to educate the consumer and, and that’s true. Okay. But more than education, what you’re trying to do is attract, right versus advertising isn’t educate, necessarily, it’s to attract. So, in an effort to, to educate the consumer humor, some Dentists have basically tried to put a wiki leaks, or a Wikipedia style website together where there’s every possible dental topic that anybody could ever know about. And it’s this vast library. And it’s not, it doesn’t work. No, it doesn’t work at all. And, and you won’t get very many page views, if any. And that’s an example of building a website for your colleagues rather than your public.

So that that’s a very big No, no. Another one that pops to mind is it’s related to this is your dental clinic website is not the same as a dental journal. You’re not there to show the consumer isn’t there to look at surgery? No, they’re absolutely not there to look at surgery, bloody implant surgery. They don’t want to see titanium posts sticking out of gums. You know, this isn’t for your colleagues. It’s for your consumers. And they’re not at all interested in seeing the steps along the way. They’re interested in seeing the result.

Mark: Exactly. And I would go so far as to say that I mean, we have we have data that tells us not to put pictures of opportunities. Oh, yeah, the one of the most scariest things. You know how some people are afraid of clowns, right. Like I get it. And some people are afraid of dolls. My daughter is afraid of dolls. Like she’s 32 years old. She’s afraid of dolls, right? I don’t know why. But what opportunity dental chairs are scary as hell to people.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: Okay. They don’t want to see that. Even though you have a flat screen hanging upside down, they can watch TV from they don’t want to see it.

Howie: Yeah. Because what’s the first thing that goes through their minds? Tell you what it is? It’s a sound and it sounds like it’s the first thing and the smell to the smell of burning enamel. And they might they won’t appreciate your beautiful opportunity as much as you do. So, don’t go there.

Mark: No…good idea. So, here’s do’s and don’ts. Don’t put a picture of a dental chair. Okay, on your website, but do take a picture out front with your whole team. Everybody smiling, waving Hello.

Howie: There you go.

Mark: That’s a good idea. Your reception area, if it’s warm and comfortable and inviting, maybe have a fireplace or big fish tank or whatever, that’s fine. Or maybe the person at the front desk saying hello and you have a nice, you know, semi circular front desk and it’s got whatever plants and cactuses laying around. Great. Take a picture of all that stuff.

Howie: Yeah

Mark: Put all that stuff on your dental clinic website, along with the great patients that you have. But the wonderful outcomes that you have some testimonials, your reviews, whatever, put all that stuff on your website, but don’t put you know, your work in progress. It doesn’t. It doesn’t definitely does not help.

Howie: Right

Mark: Other do’s and don’ts before we finish up with this segment of the website, and I think one of the big ones is expectations, I think. I think there’s a lot of dentists out there who have opened their wallets. And they keep pouring money, hundreds and thousands of dollars a month into the internet as if it is the Holy Grail.

The internet, your website, your website specifically is a very passive marketing medium. Your website just sits there. Unless you drive traffic to it with an offline promotion. Or you position your website so that when someone types into Google to find dental services, your link pops up along with 15-20 others. Or you pay money to Google and AdWords to get under the sponsored ad area in a Google search. Your website basically is just very passive, it just kind of sits there on it is not the end all be all.

But it is definitely one of the best supportive mediums and its own primary medium, available one. And the reason why it’s so wonderful, is its relative low cost, doesn’t cost much to do a really great website, do the SEO setup and get it positioned every month, it really doesn’t. And then it’s sort of like, remember, the old days when there was a yellow pages and you pay $3,000 a month. You know, for the Yellow Page to position you somewhere in the top three in the dentist section.

Okay, a great dental office website, great SEO, social media platform, work management, all that stuff doesn’t cost near that. Okay, so you can get that same result better result actually, for far less money now than you used to, you know, in the Yellow Pages. But still, it’s not the end all be all. But it is a wonderful supportive medium for any other promotion you ever do, whether it’s online or offline. Um, and it can be its own wonderful primary medium. A primary medium is a medium that generates a phone call to your office by itself. And a supportive medium is a medium that uses a different promotion to collect people and then get them to call from there.

So, a website that’s really where most of the money comes into a dental practice from a website. It comes from offline promotion. There’s some that comes from online promotion, but the online promotion dollar is getting more and more expensive. And it’s getting more and more clouded in its in its effectiveness.

We’ve actually transitioned customers off of let’s say Google AdWords pay per click over to Facebook, simply because more and more dentists were doing AdWords and the cost per click were they’re going through the roof, at $80-$90-$95 per a click. It’s gonna be some drunk guy in Ireland who’s clicking your website, you’re still paying 85 bucks, right? With Facebook, you get a little better targeting a little better, a lot better targeting and a little better bang for your buck. So, but the bottom line is, is that, um, your website is two things. It is a tremendously wonderful supportive medium. And it can be reasonable. A reasonably effective primary medium. Um, you got anything else Howie?

Howie: Well I think we bought covered it for this segment that that sounds pretty good

Mark: do’s and don’ts song for your website. We probably have another one of these because I have about 12 more in my head.

Howie: Okay.

Mark: All right.

Howie: All right. Well, until next time, then.

Mark: Thank you.

Howie: Thank you.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our podcast today. You can find more podcasts on our YouTube channel, on Stitcher and iTunes. Also on our websites, dentalwebcontent.com and newpatientsinc.com.

Don’t let these mistakes ruin your dental office website