The #1 way your dental website costs you new patients is if they struggle to find what they are looking for.
There are many reasons that can happen, but the result is the same: Potentially wonderful patients jump ship, hit the back button, and find another dentist.
Remember, your website has less than three seconds to convince someone that they want to stay. So, what they’re looking for must be obvious to them in the time most people take between blinks.
That’s why when we build amazing websites for our dentists, we provide large visual cues so prospective patients can find what they are looking for immediately. Those world-class dental websites are the hub of our industry-leading Patient Attraction System™ that is helping our doctors get more and better patients.
A lack of immediacy isn’t the only way dental websites go wrong. Here are some of the top problems dental websites have that are killing their user experience:
1. No or incorrect contact information. This is one of the dumbest mistakes a website can make. If your copy is good and your prospects see what they like, they should be able to immediately find your local search information: location, hours, phone number, and a “contact” button or form.
2. Contact forms are too long. Speaking of that “contact” button, don’t make a potential patient give their life history if they want more information. A name and email address should do to get free offers, and a phone number and their problem if they want to schedule an appointment. The more you ask for, the lower the percentage of prospects who will complete the form. The more opt-ins you get, the more prospects you can stay in front of with your dental email marketing. And that leads to more new patients.
3. Broken links. If no contact information is the dumbest mistake on a website, this is the most understandable. It’s understandable because most dentists aren’t updating their site often enough to know when links are broken. Having broken links on your website makes potential patients question how on top of things you are. And it makes them click away from your site.
4. Slow loading. Research shows that people begin abandoning loading web pages at two seconds after they click on them. Google also includes load time in its ranking algorithm. Make sure your website loads quickly on all browsers, including mobile devices.
5. Autoplay videos. Video is a rainmaker for dentists. But autoplay video is a deal-breaker. Few things drive potential patients away faster than a video that starts as soon as you load a page. Some people just don’t want to watch it, and you shouldn’t force them to. The same goes for autoplay audio. Just don’t do it.
6. Poor readability. Too often, websites use text and background colors that blend together or clash horribly. You also want a stylish, modern font that is highly readable without causing eyestrain.
7. Illogical/confusing navigation. This issue may be last on this list, but it could be the biggest problem. A web designer has to make a lot of decisions, such as the number of buttons, tabs, and links, that affect how well a potential patient can navigate a page. There are literally thousands of possible combinations. When faced with so many options, it’s easy to see why so many dentists get it wrong.
Taken together, these problems can affect your dental search engine optimization, which in turn impacts your ranking on search engine results pages.
You can review your website using this list and try to decide where you might have gone wrong. But do you really need or want to add another hat for yourself – web guru? You don’t make money by redesigning your website. You make money by seeing patients and solving their dental problems.
Here’s a better idea: Help yourself not be one of “those dentists” by requesting a free Dental Website Audit from SmartBox. It will tell you and us what your website does well and what you need to fix to attract the patients YOU want. We provide world-class, HIPAA compliant dental website design for our doctors.
Need more information? Feel free to look around our website at the topics that interest you most, or see the results we’ve achieved for hundreds of dentists. You’ll see why our industry-leading Patient Attraction System™ is transforming dental practices on three continents.