The typical dental practice collects just over a million dollars in annual revenue, spending roughly 3% or about $30,000 a year on marketing. That’s equivalent to the annual salary for a dental assistant or a full-time marketing coordinator, not a small investment. When you spend that kind of money, you want it to work. And yet, most dentists get caught up worrying about how high their website ranks online instead of making sure prospective patients are scheduling.
Don’t get me wrong. SEO is vital. If your site isn’t ranking on page one, your practice will be forced to spend money on marketing that commonly has a lower ROI, but getting to the top of Google is just part of the battle for new patients. If your website does not do everything possible to drive conversion (form submissions and phone calls), you have wasted your investment, or at least not captured every lead you could have.
Luckily, there are tested, proven changes you can make to your website to improve your visitor conversion. Check your dental website for these seven easy conversion strategies.
Call Attention to Your Contact Information
By the time a prospective patient has made it to your website, they are close to the bottom of the marketing funnel. This is often the last stop before they choose a dentist, so make it easy for them to find out how to reach you. Too often graphic designers want contact information to blend into the design so that it looks attractive. Instead, use iconography to draw attention to your contact info, as well as sticky navigation to ensure it stays visible no matter where the user is on your site.
Add Online Scheduling
Based on the data from close to a million tracked new patient calls, patients call when it’s convenient for them – early morning, over lunch, and at the end of the day, times when many offices are closed or not answering the phone. Statistically, 35% of all calls will go to voicemail, and of those calls, 75% will hang up without leaving a message. By adding online scheduling to your website, patients can move forward with their decision to appoint with your office at their own convenience, regardless of your team’s availability.
Add Social Proof
Nobody wants to be the first one to try something. Being the first implies there’s inherent risk, and few people love the dentist enough to want to be somebody’s “first.” Social proof gives your website visitors confidence that other people or organizations endorse this provider, and the patient can relax. Add patient testimonials, association logos, case studies, before and after photos and other types of social proof to show your prospective patient that lots of people believe in your care.
Add Live Chat
For people who prefer an online option to ask questions (vs picking up the phone), 42% prefer live chat to waiting on an email after submitting a form, or waiting for a response to a social media inquiry. While there are many monitored chat options available to dentists, they can be expensive and impersonal. There are a variety of free chat options (our favorite is Tawk.to) that can be added to your website. Your team simply opens the Tawk.to app in a web browser each morning, and when a chat starts a bell will ring to alert them to a live visitor with questions.
Answer Objections Before They Arise
More often than not, the first questions a potential new patient asks when they call are actually their primary objections. “Do you take my insurance?”, “How much is a cleaning?” and “Do you see patients on Saturdays?” are actually objections, disguised as questions. By addressing these common objections right on the home page of your website, you’ll make the prospective patient more comfortable and more likely to move right into scheduling.
Change Your Pronouns
Purchase decisions are made based on feelings and emotions, not facts. Using first-person pronouns in your call to action leverages this action by helping visitors feel the personal benefit of clicking on your link. A study from landing page company Unbounce saw up to a 90% increase in conversion simply by changing pronouns in the call to action.
Personalize Your Call to Action
Patients seeking high dollar procedures such as cosmetic or implant dentistry typically want to speak to someone in the practice. Email, contact forms and online scheduling are too impersonal. Try adding the name and photo of the person that your prospective patient will speak with next to your call to action and watch your calls increase.
These strategies are not exclusive to websites, they can be applied to any of your marketing. Direct mail, pay per click landing pages, and social media posts are all worth evaluating for conversion effectiveness. Put just as much effort into improving conversion as you do in getting to the top of Google, and your practice should see significant improvement in new patient calls.