When it comes to advertising and running any business, the importance of a strong and useful website can hardly be overstated. The internet has been a hub and home base of insights and information for some time now. It’s the first place people go when they aren’t sure about something or want to double-check a detail. Your dental practice website needs to marry form and function, information and insight, people and process. How do you do this? We’ve got your back … here are six ideas for your dental practice website:
1. Incorporate a Call to Action—And Repeat!
What do you want visitors to your website to do once they get there? The answer to this question is your Call To Action. We (and many website-building experts) recommend putting the call to action in the center of the home page as it first loads. This is often overlaid on a hero image (more on that next).
But it should also feature in the navigation bar, as a separate button to the left or right of the main navigation. Ideally, header with the navigation and CTA button will scroll along with the page so that it’s always visible.
Here are a few ideas for calls to action:
- Call to Book an Appointment
- Learn About Dental Membership Plans
- Pay Your Bill Online
- Sign Up for Our Newsletter
2. Use a Hero Image and Simple Design for your dental practice website
When a big, beautiful image takes center stage on a web page or magazine print piece, designers call it a “hero image.” You can likely find or create home page layouts that feature a lot of text at the top or a collage of several images. We advise against those visuals. Layouts defined by a hero image are pleasing to the eye because they are simple and don’t risk overwhelming the brain.
Speaking of simplicity, it’s key in general! While we all love the nostalgia of thinking back to the web pages of the late 90s and early 2000s, with their fun motion graphics and bright colors, it isn’t the move for your dental practice website in 2022. Keep these tenets for a straightforward and digestible web page in mind:
- Keep the color palette on brand but simple. Use neutrals mixed with accent colors from your logo.
- Make it easy to use, with the navigation bar clearly visible.
- Ensure that you don’t have too many moving features that make the page feel chaotic.
- Don’t overdo the amount of copy. Usually, less is more.
3. Place Your Phone Number Front and Center
“Above the fold” is a term used among the website savvy to describe the area you first see when a page loads, before you scroll. (Fun Fact: The phrase stems from the portion of the newspaper you would see before the point where it was folded in half!)
When designing your website, you want to make sure, above all else, that your phone number is “above the fold.” Many of your patients, existing and newly inquiring, will visit your website repeatedly for the specific purpose of clicking the number to call you. If they have to look for it, they might get frustrated or distracted and stop in their tracks. Will they come back to it later? Probably. Would it have been better if they could just make that appointment the first go? Yes!
4. Don’t Overdo the Home Page of your dental practice website
While the scroll-centric home page with a lot of sections has been popular as of late, you don’t want to overdo and overwhelm. It makes sense to have a home page that scrolls down the following. Navigation > hero image > mission or vision of your practice > advertisement of current special > patient testimonial > latest blog post.
What doesn’t make sense is having the full biographies and head shots of every staff member, all of the information on which insurance companies you are in network with, etc. Where you draw the line is up to you—it’s subjective. But just remember that sections requiring ample copy might be better served with a link via navigation.
On that note …
5. Take Advantage of Navigation Space
This is the place to build out more content without cluttering your home page too much. If you have a lot of information to impart, you can even create navigation buttons that have their own dropdown menus. In that type of design, your “Payment Information” button might actually reveal two other buttons when the visitor hovers over it: “Insurance Information” and “Dental Membership Plan Center.”
Then, when they click on those buttons, it takes them directly to the information they need. They don’t have to sift through anything they aren’t looking for!
6. Consider Mobile Viewing
Nowadays, most of us access the internet predominantly via our smart phones. You do want your dental practice website to look beautiful on a desktop browser. But you also must make sure it translates well to mobile browsers. If you use a website builder like Squarespace, this will be adjusted and visually optimized for you, and you can view the previews for every format. But whether you use that, another platform, build it yourself, or hire a developer to do so, be sure you investigate the mobile angle.
The No. 1 factor in a successful website design is to consider how it will appear and function for the user. Remember, if your website is too cluttered and confusing, you could lose a potential patient.
Avoid that mishap, by keeping our six ideas for your dental practice’s website handy!
- Incorporate a Call to Action—And Repeat!
- Use a Hero Image and Simple Design
- Place Your Phone Number Front and Center
- Don’t Overdo the Home Page
- Take Advantage of Navigation Space
- Consider Mobile Viewing
And if you’d like to see some of these tips in action, visit our own website!