It seems like just yesterday, we were all planning our New Year's resolutions for 2018, but this year has come and gone. Now, it's time to look toward 2019, and the new digital trends it will bring. We're sure it's got some great things in store. If you're planning to create a custom website for your dental practice this is the perfect opportunity to start the new year fresh.
With that in mind, here are the essential elements your dental website should encompass in the coming year:
1. Mobile Responsiveness
Responsive web designs used to be considered a brand new phenomenon that only a handful of websites actually had. Mobile responsive web design quickly turned from a luxury to an essential. In fact, as of 2017, the number of web pages served via mobile device officially surpassed the 50% mark, which is only expected to continue to rise. In fact, Google will rank your website higher when users search for your site on their mobile devices if your website is responsive. Subsequently, websites that are only mobile friendly or not optimized for mobile use at all will be ranked lower.
Your website has to be responsive to all devices. There's no way around it.
2. Voice-Optimized SEO
While we're on the topic of mobile accessibility, you should know that more than 20% of people currently rely on voice-activated commands to assist with their digital search needs. These commands come from virtual assistants like Apple's Siri, and Amazon's Alexa. By 2020, that number is expected to be as much as 30%.
People speak differently than they write. This is why it is important that you not only optimize your site for keywords, but you also need to ensure it's capable of capturing voice-driven SEO.
One thing to recognize is that voice search phrases are typically different than traditional desktop queries. For example, a desktop search might be "best dentist near me", but a voice search could be "which dentists are open now?".
Voice search is likely to contain questions. Answering who, what, how, and when questions with your content can improve your site for voice based search.
Blogs are the quintessential place for you to showcase yourself as an authority figure in the industry. Blogging is also an important aspect of content marketing, which is a strategic marketing practice that focuses on creating valuable, relevant content that attracts patients to your practice without coming off as a sales pitch.
In dentistry, blogs are particularly important because they convey the personality of your practice. People are often afraid of the dentist—as you're likely quite aware—so finding ways to help patients and answer their questions in a manner that's not intimidating is incredibly important.
Your blog should be a place where you can have a voice and communicate the important information your patients need to know. Keep SEO optimization in mind as you write, and your blog will be a digital slam dunk.
Video is the most-consumed format of online content. In 2019, it's expected that internet video traffic will account for 80% of all the content that's consumed digitally. As a dentist, you can make the most of your online real estate by creating videos that help patients understand who your employees are, why oral health is important, and how certain procedures are performed.
HubSpot offers free video hosting built into its platform, which can be extremely helpful for customers who aren't familiar with video creation.
A website that is built with growth driven design will include video in sprints, so there is no pressure to have a dozen videos before you launch your first one.
Technology today allows you to customize your website in a way that your patients can enjoy a personalized experience every time they visit. You should be taking advantage of this technology in 2019. Personalization is critical to making patients feel comfortable and safe when they consider making an appointment at your dental office.
Dental offices typically have three primary buyer personas. Adding personalization to your website allows you to connect with each persona individually and personally.
Another way to add personalization is to segment visitors by patients and leads. I think we can all agree that patients and leads are interested in different information on your website. Personalized content recognizes this difference and delivers the content that is most relevant at the right time.
6. Live Chat
Live chat is an ideal way for your patients to contact you on your website in a setting that is convenient for them. Contact forms are quickly becoming a relic of the past as live chat is quickly becoming the way most people prefer to communicate. It's a wise decision to add a live chat feature to your website. In an instant, you can start a conversation that could result in a patient for life.
Branding isn't just for big-box stores; every business, including dental practices, should establish a brand identity that offers a consistent look and feel across every page of its website. If you're offering a new experience on every page, your brand is likely getting confused from your patients' points of view. When you brand your dental practice correctly, patients will recognize who you are easier, and trust in the experience your dental practice will deliver.
It's important to give website visitors a consistent message and feel from one page to the next.
When patients opt into communications from your dental clinic, your website should be able to automatically communicate with them through email. Automation is one of the most important online marketing tools you can use. It gives patients instant feedback while simultaneously freeing up your administrative staff to do other tasks.
9. Easy Access to Analytics
To make data-driven decisions simpler, you need all of your data to be in one place. Websites should be constantly improved, and analyzing their performance helps you understand what needs to be improved. Host your website alongside your CRM and service portals to gain a deeper understanding of the ways your content is interacting with patients.
When your website is hosted on a platform that has easy access to analytics, it will be easier for you to decide how to change layouts, why people are bouncing from your pages, and what types of information people are finding most valuable.
When dentists need beautiful websites that attract new patients and keep existing patients coming back, they look to The Diamond Group. Our team offers a full suite of web design services that are specifically suited for the dental industry. We know what people are looking for, and we know they're looking for you. Our job is to help them get there. Check out our website assessment tool, or simply contact us if you're ready to boost your dental business!