What to Ask Before Getting a Practice Website
A practice website isn't something that most of us buy on a regular basis, so knowing what to ask of yourself and what to ask of a potential website host holds the promise of being a more educated consumer.
A practice website has become an essential business tool, as necessary as having a phone, fax machine, and business cards. Since acquiring a practice website isn't an everyday occurrence, here are some questions whose answers can better insure a good fit and a return on your investment.
We will take a step-by-step look at the three questions to ask yourself, and the three questions to ask of a webhosting company or website designer, before you commit to a new dental practice website.
Questions to Ask Yourself:
#1- What will be the primary purpose of my practice website?
Some of the more common purposes of a practice website include:
- New patient acquisition – Your website will have to be designed to rank well with search engines and may require additional horsepower based on your jurisdiction, especially if you'll be up against established websites with years of authority.
- Platform your skills or unique services – Perhaps you offer a specialty service, have unique experience or training, or appeal to certain types of patients. Your website can be optimized to target that particular aspect.
- Support the referral overtures of current patients – If the prospect of clawing your way to the top of page one is too expensive (or too time consuming), your website investment can be more modest.
- Solidify your authority and leadership – If this is your goal, think of your website as an online version of your curriculum vitae. If you're a published author, speaker or expert you'll want to be easily found.
- An outlet for your creative expression – As a thought leader in the profession, you'll want your blog to take center stage. Or perhaps you're a bit of a geek and love the ability to tinker with your website at 2:00 AM. Make sure you have console access to your website and that it's easy to use.
Can a practice website perform all of these functions? Of course. However, the key is to first have clarity about your own expectations so they can be properly communicated to the company you delegate to create and manage the Internet presence for your practice.