Category: Author: Lindsey Bouffard
Search engine optimization companies will tell you they can get you results. They talk about higher rankings and more page views, and speak in the language of data that a lot of dentists simply don’t understand. I talk to prospective clients every day and I hear what other companies are telling you. I want you to understand our approach to conversions and how we differ from other marketing companies
When it comes to rankings, too many marketers and dentists thinks that’s all there is. While there was a time that this seemed to be true, today’s consumer is more discerning. For several years we have been surveying patients who are making appointments with our clients, and we are finding that, over time, they are looking at more and more websites before they make a decision on a dentist. Where maybe three years ago they would check two or three websites, now it isn’t uncommon for them to check five. It is true that some patients are less discerning and are simply looking for a dentist who is inexpensive and close to their location. But most patients are looking through several websites, reading the content, and checking reviews, looking for quality care. So we are finding that some websites that rank well still don’t convert.
Rankings do matter, of course. The first step in conversion is to be found. But it is much less important today than it was ten years ago to be ranked number 1. If your website is in the top three to five for a particular search term, you will be found and prospective patients will then be visiting that website and sizing you up against the competition.
As far as ranking, it’s also really important to understand that there are numerous search terms that might be helpful for your practice. We work with our clients and choose search terms that makes the most sense for the type of patients they want to attract. Many SEO companies focus on what we would call the primary search term, for example Plainville dentist. But we are finding that with many of our clients, a large portion of their patients are finding them by looking for specific procedures or other search terms. In some cases, these are how the vast majority of patients making appointments find them. We find patients searching for terms such as Invisalign, dentures, teeth whitening, implants, emergency dentist. There are also creative search terms such as new teeth, chipped tooth, dentist for anxiety, top rated dentist, and even, with one patient, “What is the least expensive dentist office, in order for me to replace a front tooth#9.” There are also searches for dentists taking a specific insurance plan.
Many dentists assume that design plays no role in conversions. They think they just need to get people to the website to increase conversions. The problem with this is that the website is the first impression a prospective patient has of your dental practice. We have case after case where a change in the website design has dramatically affected both the numbers and the qualities of new patients calling for appointments. We even have cases where launching a new website design has increased the number of referrals. Studying these referred patients shows that when a prospective patient receives a referral from a friend, that doesn’t “close the sale,” so to speak. The prospect may actually have received conflicting referrals from different friends, and will make the final decision after checking the website and the reviews.
Your website design is the first impression patients have of your practice, and you know how important first impressions are. If you cannot convey a feeling of trust, the conversion rate drops. We build websites that are designed around the type of dentistry that is being performed. We also create a calm, user-friendly experience that allows prospective patients to trust a dentist from the initial viewing of the website. It’s amazing the effect that this has on results.
And then there are the reviews. Our data shows that about two-thirds of patients will check your reviews before asking for an appointment.
At Infinity Dental Web, we definitely pay attention to the data. Data matters. However, we are careful not to over-analyze data or jump to conclusions because of data—something that is common in the marketing world. Instead, we make smart decisions and focus on conversions because that is what is most important to our success and the success of our clients. And our track record shows that what we are doing is working.