Every dental practice is unique, yet it’s often hard to tell one from the other. When the main goal of your practice website is to attract new patients, it needs to stand out from your competitors in a way that encourages new patients to choose you.
Before we add a new feature or design element to our website service, we ask ourselves ”Will this help produce more new patients for our clients?” Because having the flashiest website doesn’t equal new patients. Having the perfect shade of blue for your homepage menu doesn’t equal new patients. The latest “bling” does not automatically equal new patients.
So how exactly do you make your practice website stand out in a way that encourages new patient conversion? Here are a few suggestions…
1. Focused Dental Website Design
Your practice website is the hub of your marketing efforts. And remember – your website is not for you, it’s for prospective patients. It needs to reflect your practice philosophy, personality, and clearly illustrate your ideal patient.
For instance, when a parent goes to a pediatric dentist’s website, it needs be immediately clear that they are in the right place. From the images to the content, the site should say…
“I am the right dentist for your children.”
Many dentists are surprised to find that trying to appeal to all patients may actually backfire. What will really make your practice website stand out is being authentic, transparent, and compassionate. Something that’s difficult to do if you’ve been deceived by the popular notion that showing up as beige and neutral as possible is the best way to attract the greatest number of new patients.
Say you are looking for a new dentist, but you struggle with dental anxiety. You’re looking for a comfortable office environment to help you stay calm during checkups. Upon first glance at each of the following dental website designs, which one would you choose?
While Example A is a nice design, the practice is trying to be too many things to too many people. This creates the feeling of a busy practice without a particular specialty. Example B on the other hand speaks to it’s ideal patient – a person looking for a luxurious, comfortable environment where they can get personal attention at each visit.
By trying to market your practice as the right place for everyone, you may actually end up losing new patients to the dentist down the street who specializes in exactly what the new patient is looking for.
2. The Benefit of the Sizzle
Michael DiFrisco, the Chief Marketing Officer at the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, offers the following advice for setting your practice apart:
Being relevant to your patients is about understanding “the benefit of the benefit.” You’ve likely heard the old advertising saw, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak,” right? It’s not just sales and marketing 101; it seems that most people are familiar with the power of selling benefits rather than features. But if most dental practices sell the “sizzle” of their offering, to make your practice stand out, you should be selling the benefit of the sizzle. I call this the benefit of the benefit.
“Sell the sizzle, not the steak,”
Start with your featured offering, or the main feature of your offering. You’re not selling veneers or bonding, it’s about improved facial esthetics. But it’s not even about improved facial esthetics; it’s really about happiness.
The dentist is really providing happiness, not veneers.
Consider short-term orthodontic treatment. The “steak” or feature, if you will, is Invisalign or Six Month Smiles or some other ortho solution. The “sizzle”—the benefit, then—is “reshaping your smile.” Not a bad sizzle. But again, dig deeper. What’s the benefit of the benefit? In this case, I would say it’s not about reshaping your smile; it’s about improved self-confidence.
So in order to remain relevant to his or her target audience, a dentist must provide happiness, self-confidence, and hope. Not veneers and Invisalign.
Thank you, Michael, for sharing your wisdom!
3. Be the Social One
Do you participate in social media? Are you posting daily on your practice Facebook and Twitter accounts? If not, you should be. Social media may not be a top source of new patients, but it plays an important supporting role in your overall online presence.
Having up-to-date social profiles that match your dental website design and practice branding shows that you are current. It shows that you are keeping up with trends and technology, which translates to an initial reaction that you’re also keeping up clinically.
It is also commonly thought that “social signals” can help your website’s search engine rankings. Actively engaging with your followers and posting content that links to your website, signals to Google that you are an authority. This can boost your website above your competitors in the search results and shows your patients and prospective patients that you are engaged with your patient community. It’s a win-win.
Learn how to make the most of your social media efforts by downloading our free eBook “The Dentist’s Guide to Facebook.”
Set Yourself Apart, Get More New Patients
When trying to get new patients from the Internet, blending in is not an option. Try implementing the suggestions above to differentiate your dental website from your competitors.
Looking for more ways to get new patients? Download “10 Ways to Get New Patients from the Internet” today.