Before scheduling an appointment, 71% of patients run a search to find a dentist. 70% of these searchers don’t have one provider in mind. Eager to capture these undecided patients? To do so, dental service organizations (DSOs) and dental marketers need to optimize their websites to build trust, differentiate themselves from competitors, and increase organic rankings.
Below, we provide 9 tips to help you increase your dental website conversion rate.
1. Ensure Your Site Pages Load Quickly
According to a recent study on page speeds, a mere one-second delay in load time can cause a 70% drop in conversion rates. In addition, Google says site speed is one of the indicators its algorithm uses to rank pages. Therefore, in order to both drive conversions and increase your organic rankings, you need to ensure your pages are loading quickly.
It can be a daunting undertaking to audit your site speed, but keep in mind that these are some of the main culprits slowing it down:
- Large images or images with complex file formats
- Slow hosting speed
- Too many redirects
- Excess apps, widgets, plugins, and third-party scripts
2. Follow Google’s EAT Guidelines
Google’s algorithm identifies websites that can directly impact a user’s money or life and puts them in its “YMYL” (Your Money Your Life) category. Google has higher standards for content and site quality for YMYL sites, which include industries like medical, healthcare, financial, and legal. Dental websites fall within the YMYL category.
Google judges YMYL websites based on its EAT guidelines—EAT stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. Since these sites have such a direct impact on visitors’ health and finances, Google vets their credibility more carefully.
To communicate your site’s expertise, authority, and trustworthiness to Google and increase your ranking, you can follow these best practices:
- If you have a blog, include author bios that mention any credentials that demonstrate the author’s expertise
- Pursue high-quality backlinks and disavow spammy backlinks
- Make sure your website has up-to-date information on your About and Contact Us pages
- Have qualified experts write all content directly related to YMYL (like medical information)
- Cut or edit low-quality EAT content
- Regularly review and update your site to keep pace with Google’s EAT algorithm changes
3. Optimize Your “About Us” Section
In addition to meeting EAT guidelines and helping your site rank, an “About Us” page is a valuable opportunity to showcase your expertise and build trust with your customer base. The “About Us” page is especially important since it’s the second-most visited page on the average website.
Below are some elements dental marketers should include on their “About Us” pages to create a good first impression and build trust:
- Information about parking and transit
- Differentiators you bring to the table, such as a kid-friendly waiting area with toys
- Answers to FAQs
- Professional photos of your office or a virtual tour option
Atlanta Dental Spa offers virtual tours of their offices
- A headshot of your dentist
- A bio of your dentist that mentions their expertise as well as humanizing information about their hobbies and family
An example of an effective dentist bio and headshot from Commonwealth Dental Group
4. Use Customer Testimonials
Testimonials are another tool to help you meet Google’s EAT guidelines and demonstrate trustworthiness to your website visitors. Below are some tips for creating high-converting testimonials:
- Make sure your testimonials are brief and direct (2-3 sentences is ideal)
- Ask patients to be specific. For instance, “Dr. Allen’s Invisalign and whitening gave me new confidence in my smile” is far more persuasive than “Dr. Allen is great.”
- Let patients know that upon giving you their testimonial, you may make tweaks and edits—without changing the meaning of what they said. Have them approve the final version before you publish
- Include patient names and headshots under their quotes
- Place each testimonial next to the service it mentions
An example of powerful testimonials from Timber Hill Dental
5. Include a “Contact Us” Section with Up-to-Date Information
An additional EAT ranking factor, dental marketers need to ensure their “Contact Us” pages are optimized to convey trust and capture leads. Below are some tips:
- Make it a top-level menu item so it’s easy for visitors to locate
Des Moines Family Dentistry includes “Contact Us” as a top-level menu item
- Include up-to-date mailing addresses and emails for each of your locations
- Include a trackable phone number (more on this later)
- Use a CTA that communicates your value and why patients should contact you
- Include a contact form patients can use to reach out. To reduce abandonment, avoid unnecessary fields
A straightforward contact form on the Grand Street Dental “Contact” page
- Link to a “thank you” page after patients fill out the form that lets them know how and when you’ll get in touch with them
6. Add Trackable Phone Numbers
In addition to tracking the patients who convert through your online forms, you need to track how many patients convert via phone calls. If you don’t track call conversions, you’ll miss a crucial segment of your patient base, since 70% of dental patients schedule their first appointment over the phone.
To clear up this blind spot, DialogTech for Dental provides trackable phone numbers that allow marketers to attribute calls to the specific webpage that drove them and track conversions with an industry-trained, HIPAA-compliant AI model specific to dental. Then, DialogTech automatically integrates these insights with your website optimization tools so you can make the necessary tweaks to drive more conversions for your practice—both online and over the phone.
Include trackable phone numbers and prominently displayed call buttons
7. Keep Your Local Listings Up-to-Date
A recent study found that nearly 49% of all Google searches are now no-click. This means that almost half of those searching Google get the information they need directly from Google’s listings—without visiting a website.
As a dental marketer, you need to ensure your listings are up-to-date—not just on Google, but on any other third-party sites where customers may search for your practice, such as Yelp, YellowPages.com, Bing Places for Business, Waze, and more. Otherwise, a large cross-section of your patients will have trouble getting in touch with your offices.
You can, of course, manually input your current address, email, and a trackable phone number in every individual third-party site. However, to automate the process, marketers are using Yext, which syncs your contact information across all major third-party listing sites. In addition, Yext’s DialogTech App allows marketers to automatically create and synchronize trackable phone numbers across all locations and listings, so you can track call conversions.
8. Manage Your Online Reviews
According to BrightLocal, 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses. And, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. There’s no denying that online reviews are a critical part of a patient’s vetting process. If your reviews aren’t up to snuff, many patients won’t even bother visiting your website.
Below are some tips to help you improve your online reviews:
- Educate patients on how to leave a review
- Provide incentives for patients to leave reviews
- Showcase good reviews on your website (with the reviewer’s permission)
- Continually monitor your reviews
- Respond to every review promptly and honestly
- Provide outstanding service that gives patients a reason to review you
9. Continually Test, Measure, and Retool Your Site
Optimizing your dental site for conversions is not a one-time process. Even when you’ve achieved a lift in conversions, there could be an optimization that could yield even more. To achieve the best results, dental marketers should continually test, measure, and retool their site elements.
To learn more dental marketing best practices, check out our DialogTech for Dental Toolkit.
To learn more dental marketing best practices, check out our DialogTech for Dental Toolkit.View Toolkit