Your orthodontic website is the first step in your patient's journey. It's where they'll go to learn more about you and your practice, and it's a critical part of the patient experience.
That's why it's so important to make sure your website is up to par. There are a few things to keep in mind as you design and develop your site. We'll review them in this post to help you get started!
First, What Does "Patient Experience" Mean?
The patient experience is the sum of all interactions that a patient has with your practice, from the first time they hear about you to the moment they leave your office after their final appointment.
It encompasses everything from your branding and marketing to your website design and in-office customer service. In short, it's how patients perceive your orthodontic practice.
Patient experience includes the journey each patient takes from potential patient to a patient successfully completing treatment. Along this journey, your website serves them at multiple points. Without considering the website's role in that experience, you can lose business and frustrate your patients.
Potential New Patients are Forming First Impressions Based on Your Online Presence
When potential new patients are looking for an orthodontist, they'll likely start with a Google search. They'll read through the top few results on the first page, and if your website is one of them, that's their first impression of your practice.
Your website needs to make a good impression once they open it, too! If it looks outdated or unprofessional, potential patients will move on to the next result. On the other hand, if your website is modern and informative, you're more likely to earn a new patient.
Their First Visits Online Lead to Their First Visits in Person
In addition to looking good, your site has to prove you know who your customers are and what they need. If a patient in need of treatment lands on your site and does not find any information about treatment plan options, types of braces, or ways to improve his smile, he's going to find someone who does have that information.
If your site doesn't seem to have your patients in mind, they'll assume you are not a good fit for their needs.
Your Site Has to Match Your Patients and Your Office Environment
The appearance also helps patients decide if they will fit in and feel comfortable with you and your team. New patients will expect your practice to match the "vibe" you exhibit online, so if it's boring and detached, they won't expect personalized care.
On the other hand, if your target patients are seniors and your site utilizes styles and pictures that give the impression you work with teenagers, that will also lead your patients away from the site. In short, your website must match the patients you serve and the personality of your practice.
How Does Your Site Compare to Other Orthodontists' in the Area?
Today's consumers shop around for everything before making a decision. Your orthodontic services can set you apart from other practices. But if you have the same services as your competitors, your website really has to stand out more.
Your website is the first thing potential patients will see when they search for an orthodontist in your area. If it doesn't stand out, you're likely to lose business to practices with more modern and user-friendly sites.
Photos and Styles Can Help Set You Above and Apart
If you do have the same services as other practices near you, don't be shy about checking out their websites! You may notice immediate ways you can differentiate your site from theirs, maybe by using different fonts or layouts.
Better photos are a huge way to stand out in the medical community online. Many health and medical sites use stock photos that people have seen everywhere. Having someone take professional photos of you and your team in action adds personality and realism to your site. This will lead visitors to feel like they know you better than your competition.
Showcase the Quality of Your Office Through Your Site
Give people more confidence in you by making sure your site matches your superior patient care. When choosing someone to perform oral treatment, a patient wants to feel confident more than anything. If your site is outdated or cheap, potential patients will assume your practice is too!
Be sure to share your practice's quality services with pride! The more a visitor to your site can read about your medical accomplishments and your practice's quality care, the more likely they will be to call your office and make an appointment.
Your Site Continues to Serve Patients Once They Start Working With You
The patient experience begins on your website, but it continues there as well. Whether looking for contact information or preparing for an upcoming procedure, your throughout their time as your patients.
Easy navigation continues to build on the positive first impression your site made that brought the patient into your practice. You can make sure they have a positive experience every time by keeping your site updated with relevant content.
The More Information, the Better
Make it easy to find information about your practice, your team, your services, payment options, and advice for healing after treatment. The more value you can add through the features on your site, the more confident a person will feel trusting you with her smile! If you can add a blog or resource section for those hungry for as much information as possible, that will encourage patients both new and current to stay on your site and keep coming back!
Where the Journey Begins and Ends: Success Stories Can Help New Patients Feel More Confident and Current Patients Feel Special
New patients love seeing pictures of other, real people from their community you've treated. They want to see what kinds of results they can expect. Add "before and after" photos as well as galleries of patients throughout treatment to show off your work.
You can also include testimonials on your site from past patients. These act as social proof that you're an expert in the field and that you treat every patient with respect. You are a trusted smile expert, be proud to share it!
Pictures Tell the Story for Your Patients
Seeing pictures of success stories not only helps set expectations for your site visitors, but it also makes it easier for patients to picture themselves working with you! The people visiting your site are dissatisfied with some aspect of their smiles or teeth. They want to be free of discomfort or embarrassment.
Seeing pictures of people who have found that freedom by working with you gives them hope! Scrolling through patients who are proud to live life without the same woes proves to them they can also have that experience. Picturing themselves on the site next can make them excited to get started with you.
Let Them See Their Dream Come True
After they work with you, ask if you can share their pictures on your site! For some, this will be a happy ending they will want to share. This is a good way to continue the relationship between you and your patient, even after they finish treatment.
Adding them to the site will encourage them to forward your page to their friends and even share it on social media. It will also give them a sense of pride in their new smile and make them want to tell others about their positive orthodontic treatment experience.
If Same-Day Starts are Part of Your Practice, a Good Website is a Requirement
Same-Day Starts are a huge benefit for patients. They offer instant gratification, but require a leap of faith! That is why your website needs to have information about how to begin this process, what the appointments will look like, and answers to common concerns.
Discuss the Benefits
Listing the benefits of same-day start orthodontics will help patients feel prepared to make the initial appointment. Keep your audience in mind when listing the benefits.
Parents considering the option will want to understand how this will impact their children's health and how quickly they will see changes in their teeth. Adults researching this option as a faster way to start treatment will like the idea of skipping the consultation and jumping straight into dental care.
Include strong arguments backed by data and research for each benefit and example timelines to help patients decide to schedule their first visit.
Include an Easy Way to Book an Appointment
Once the patient is ready to begin, you don't want him struggling to call or find a form! Allow patients to book their appointment easily from your site. Make it obvious where to click or call to make an appointment. Ideally, give them the option to book the entire visit online!
This convenience will reassure them that you care about their comfort and time. It will also make them more likely to come in, because they will able to commit to a visit while they are still excited about what they read on your site.
Lean Heavily on Testimonials and Transparency
When it comes to new procedures, testimonials and transparency are key. If you have patients who have undergone the same-day start experience, make sure to include their stories on your site. Photos and reviews can be a great asset here as well.
For those considering the procedure, offer as much information as possible. Answer common questions and concerns. Be open about the advantages and disadvantages.
Ready to Build the Orthodontic Website Your Practice Deserves?
If you are ready to improve your orthodontic practice's website or create a new one from scratch, we at The Diamond Group can help!
Our team understands how important first impressions are. We have years of experience working with medical and dental practices. We will work with you to develop a site that accurately represents your office and helps you attract the patients you want.
Get Started with The Diamond Group Today!
Don't delay on improving the first step of your patient's experience! Set up a free consultation with us today to learn more about our digital marketing team. Fill out this form to tell us more about your practice, then learn more about our experience here.