1. Too Much Design… Not Enough Conversion on Your General Dentist Nassau County
Many dental web design companies will design a website that looks more like a piece of art than a functional dental website that is fulfilling its purpose. Most website developers focus on design alone, forgetting the real business objectives behind every dental website (in your case, establishing your practice image and attracting new patients). Although an online presence must be attractive, a dental website is still a means to an end, not an end itself. Dental websites must be designed to load quickly, welcome users, convince them to stay on the site, and ultimately lead them to a final action (to call to book an appointment). “Conversion” is the process of converting a website visitor into a potential new patient.
2. Dental Website Design and Amateur Photography
Nothing will make a potential patient question your professionalism more than amateur photos on your dental website. Many dental websites cut corners in this respect. As a first-impression tool, a website must put your best foot forward, and photos of your practice or staff must be professionally photographed and digitally enhanced for maximum impact. Alternately, the use of professional lifestyle photos also serve to create an emotional connection with prospects, increasing the likelihood that they will click or call your office.
3. Your Dental Website Design Shouldn’t be a Advertisement First, A Resource Second
No one likes websites that feel like they are trying to sell you something without giving back anything in return. Dental websites have a great opportunity to offer non-biased information about dental procedures and overall oral health, but many appear as a very one-sided sales pitch. By providing information in an objective manner, a dental practice website can build trust, and your dental practice is more likely to remain “top-of-mind” when it comes down to a final decision.
4. Dental Web Design Biggest Sin: Flash Intros
Animated Flash movies are a great way to draw the viewers’ attention to a message on your dental website, but their overuse is distracting and counter intuitive. Users come to a website to accomplish a specific task and if a Flash intro is a barrier to their desired action, they are going to leave your site very quickly. Flash intros take a long time to load on the screen, and delay the visitors ability to get what they came for, breaking the fundamental “free-interaction” style of the Internet. By forcing viewers to watch your boring (regardless of how cool it looks) Flash intro, you are taking control away from them, and wasting their time.
Even worse if your entire Dental Website Design is built in Flash
Flash sites can display very slowly on some peoples’ computers, taking up so much of the computers’ resources that the machine could grind to a halt. Many Flash designers create their own controls, like scroll bars, which confuse visitors because they are completely different than the scroll bars we’re used to. A site that is entirely Flash also breaks web fundamentals. The back button doesn’t work as expected (it takes you right out of the website, instead of to the previous state), link colours don’t work (you can’t see which links you’ve been to creating lack of orientation), the ‘Make text bigger/smaller’ function doesn’t work (forcing viewers to read the microscopic text in your design), and most importantly of all, Google cannot see your website (Google sees a Flash object instead of text, and information, so it’s therefore unable to add your website to search results, so prospects can’t find your site.). Updating Flash websites is costly and time intensive.
The solution is to weave the Flash into the overall design of your front page and is a great way to add a competitive edge and memorability to your dental web design without letting Flash get in the way.
5. Dental Web Design Not Tested for Compatibility
Web users offer a unique challenge to dental web designers in that they use a variety of different web browsers, and different computers to access your dental website. In addition, when one considers that every browser has different versions, updates, and plug-ins, it can greatly complicate the design of a dental website that looks and functions similarly on any computer. So the site looks fine on your screen, but have you considered what it might look like on a Mac, on a PC, in FireFox, Explorer, or Opera? Compatibility testing is an important step to make sure a potential new patient is not turned off instantly because the dental website does not load properly on their computer.
6. Not Including Enough Relevant Information on your Dental Web Design
Your website should be like a staff member who works for you, supplementary your own support staff and administrative assistants. You should include all relevant information about your dental practice including: methods of payment, specialties, payment plan options, accolades and awards, dental qualifications, address and an interactive map with directions, mentions in the local media and specific benefits of your practice. All these pieces of information help the web user build confidence in your practice’s online brand and this will later translate to your offline, “bricks-and-mortar” practice.