Today I’m going to explain the best way to build a website for a dentist.
So if you run a dental practice and you want to update your existing dentist website or create a completely new one, here’s how you do it.
Here’s what you’ll discover in this post:
- The best web design tools for a dentist’s website
- How much a new dentist website will cost you
- Template Dentist Website or Custom Designed Dentist Website – which is best?
- The best way to structure your dental practice website and the best content to use
- Tips for marketing your dental practice online
- The best software for a dental practice
OK, so let’s get stuck in.
What’s the Best Web Design Tool for a Dentist Website?
If you’re a new dental practice and you’ve got a tight budget then you can start off with a Do It Yourself Online Website Builder.
They’re low cost and pretty easy to use.
They’re template based and whilst they offer a good, fast, cheap alternative the end result won’t look super polished.
But as a Dentist would you recommend that your patients do their own dentistry? Of course not. Sure, they can clean their teeth but when it comes to the important aspects of dental health they’re going to get the best results in the hands of a professional dentist like you.
And it’s the same with a website. You’re better off in the hands of a professional.
Because despite what people might say, potential customers will make a snap decision on you based on how your dental practice website looks.
If it looks smart, clean and professional the chances are they’ll think that reflects you and the service you offer.
But if it looks uncared for, scruffy and full of gaps you’re not getting off on the right foot are you?
So my advice is to consider building your dentist website using a tool called WordPress.
It’s called a Content Management System and it’s by far and away the world’s most popular web design tool. In fact over a quarter of ALL websites nowadays are built using WordPress. That’s a huge number so you’re in good company.
And the reason it’s so popular? Well, there are loads of reasons but the main ones are as follows:
- It’s a free tool – so no licensing costs
- It’s relatively easy to use and has a gentle learning curve
- It performs well from an online marketing perspective
- It’s not an exotic tool so you will always find skilled WordPress developers who can help you
- It has loads of features so you can add lots of functionality to your dentist practice website
- There are a ton of high quality dental practice wordpress templates (called Themes)
How Much Will A Dentist Website Cost?
If you use Website Builder the costs are around £5 or £6 a month (£55 a year) if you use Pickaweb Hosting.
If you’re going down the WordPress route then you’ve got a couple of options. You can either use a ready made Dentist WordPress Template or you can get a custom Dentist website design.
The Dentist WordPress Templates cost from £40 to £60 and then you’ll need to provide the content and get the site built for you based on the template. All in all you’re looking between £300 to £500 depending on the number of pages you have.
A custom built Dentist’s website is going to set you back around £1000 to £1500.
Personally, I think WordPress templates offer the best balance of price and quality. My reasoning for this is as follows…
Dentist Website Templates vs Custom Dental Practice Web Design
So if you’re convinced of the merits of using WordPress you just need to consider whether to use a ready made WordPress Dental Template (called a Theme) or use the services of a professional Web Designer to build a Dentist website for you from scratch.
Let’s consider both options to help you make an informed decision.
WordPress Templates for A Dental Website
The principal advantage of using a pre-made Dental WordPress Template are in terms of low cost, functionality and speed of build.
Pre-made WordPress Templates for Dentists cost around £50 and the quality is exceptional. You can also see what you’re going to get right from the start which is important.
Most Templates are built using Responsive Design which means that they’re mobile friendly. That’s really important these days because increasingly people are browsing the internet via mobile devices like phones and tablets.
You’ll also get a faster turnaround. Typically a template based dental website will take a few days to build as long as you provide the content in advance.
One slight downside is that another dental practice may already be using this template so you might not have a 100% unique design. But you can check your main local competitors and as long as they aren’t using the same one you’re fine.
Building a Custom Dentist’s Website
An alternative is to get a complete custom built website. The costs for this can range from £1000 to £1500 for a good quality, responsive (mobile friendly) website.
We recommend Maxima Local for affordable web design.
The beauty of this approach is that you get exactly what you want. You can even use a service where you have a web design competition and various designers submit their designs and you only pay for the winning design.
The negatives are really timescales and cost. It takes longer purely because someone has to build something for you and it takes up your time to provide feedback. This means that realistically it will take several weeks for your dentist website to be completed.
How Should You Structure A Dentist Website and What Type of Content Should You Create?
Once you’ve decided on your web design you can turn your attention to the structure of your website and which content you need to add to it.
A common mistake that I see with lots of Dentist Websites is that they don’t have enough content.
The most common error is not creating service specific pages. What I normally see is websites that have a general ‘Services’ page which lists all of the services and treatments they provide.
Now that’s a big mistake and the reason is simple.
Basically you’re not giving Google enough of a chance to understand what it is that you do and which services you offer. If all of your services or treatments are kept on just one page you aren’t casting a wide enough net for Google.
You see people usually search for very specific terms relating to their immediate needs. Things like ‘Dental Implants Windsor’ or ‘Mercury Filling Removal Edinburgh’.
So start by creating a list of all the services and treatments that you offer.
Next you need to create a page for each of these and write at least 500 words for every treatment or service you offer.
Now 500 words sounds a lot but it’s an important one off exercise. The reason is that Google loves long pages and it loves websites with lots of content.
So just think that you’re sitting down explaining each treatment to a prospective patient. They’ve got a load of questions that I’m sure you’ve heard and answered dozens of times.
- How long does it take?
- How much does it cost?
- What’s involved?
- Are there any alternative treatments?
- Is it a painful treatment?
- Why is the treatment recommended?
- Are there any side effects?
- What materials are used?
- Do you offer a guarantee?
Just a sentence or two for each of these questions and you’ve probably already got 500 words.
How Do I Market My Dental Practice Online?
That’s a great question I hear a lot.
The first thing to make sure is that you target your local market. Most dentists realistically will target an area of 5 to 10 miles maximum. Probably much less than that in an urban area.
That means that you use your local town or area in the keywords that you choose. These will come into play in the first part of your marketing plan which is the On Page Optimization of your website.
We rcommend Maxima Local online marketing services.
Let’s look at that in more detail so you understand what to do.
On Page SEO for A Dentist’s Website
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization and is just jargon that means making your website Google friendly.
Its called ‘On Page’ because you’re making changes to your website. You are in control of your own content and that’s the main point here.
What you’re doing really is applying best practice to your website. For example, when you run a search in Google you see a few lines of text describing the website and that enables you to make a quick decision whether to click on that result or not.
This text is what is known as ‘Metatags’ and that’s just more jargon for saying code that appears in your website that Google can read.
The main metatags are called the Page Title and the Page Description. With the Title you can use about 65 characters and with the Description it’s around 170.
On every page of your website you need to include a relevant Title and Description which tell the visitor (and Google) what that page is about. The point here is don’t just copy and paste the same ones onto every page.
So if you have a page about dental implants and you’re based in Worcester you should include these in the Title and Description. Then change it for the page relating to non-mercury fillings.
Once you’ve done that you need to move on to Headings. Now headings are a bit like Headings in a document. They help to give a document structure and hierarchy.
So for example the heading of this section is called ‘On Page SEO for A Dentist’s Website’ (see above). That’s all it is – a heading.
Now in the language that websites are written in (html) there is a hierarchy of Headings, i.e. H1, H2 and H3 being the most important.
The general rule of thumb is to use one H1 heading at the top of the page and to include your main keyword for that page in there. You can then use H2 and H3 Headings further down the page. No need to go crazy, just a couple is fine.
Then include your keywords in the URL of each page. So for example if you are in Brighton and you have a page about dental implants call it something like www.domain.com/dental-implants-brighton
You also need to link between your pages using anchor text that includes your keywords. So when you link to the page for ‘orthodontic services’ don’t just create a link saying ‘go to this page’, rather use the actual keyword for that page as the text for the link, i.e. link from the text ‘orthodontic services’.
Finally, as we discussed above, make your pages long – around 500 words if you can and use those Frequently Asked Questions to help you if you get stuck.
Off Page SEO for Dental Practice Websites
So we’ve covered On Page SEO, now let’s turn our attention to Off Page SEO.
The difference here is that we’re focused on things that are happening ‘Off Page’, that is to say on other people’s websites.
This is about getting other websites to link to you. This is called backlinking.
Now this practice has been abused in the past by people and businesses trying to ‘game’ the system and using unscrupulous methods to get backlinks.
But really as a local business you don’t need to go crazy trying to get links.
You can start with some easy ones like claiming your Google My Business and Bing Places listing.
Then there are social media accounts like Twitter and LinkedIn which allow you to link to your site.
Consider getting listed in reputable local listings like Yell and 118. There are loads of these websites and Google uses these as important signals to validate your website.
Also consider whether you are a member of a professional dentistry association or do you have a particular qualification which allows you to get listed on a website. These types of backlinks are really powerful as they come from recognised and respected industry bodies.
Finally once you’ve got started try to get a few reviews from your customers in Google My Business. The reason is simple because the businesses that get Google reviews tend to have a higher ranking than the competition.
Just start with your best customers and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. No need to go crazy – just three or four a month is perfect.
Just doing these activities is usually more than enough to get a good ranking.
Looking ahead the best thing you can do is to carry on getting the monthly listings in the local directories and to keep asking for reviews.
Also I would create a blog and add content on a regular basis. Address common issues to do with Dental and Oral Health and just keep answering those Frequently Asked Questions. The reason is that Google tends to prefer websites that create content on a regular basis.
Best Software For Dental Practices
Now that you’ve got your website set up and optimised for success you might want to consider using specialised Dentist software that you can improve the way you work and manage your dental practice.
Here are some of the things they can do for you:
Dental Imaging and Charting – just click and save images of your patients’ teeth safely to the cloud for better reference and management of patient records.
Front Desk/Reception – keep accurate records of all your appointments in one place and use automatic reminders to reduce missed appointments.
Patient Records – Improve the speed, accuracy and security of your patients records by storing them securely in the cloud.
Patient Billing – Keeping your patient’s payment history and card records securely held will improve your cashflow as well as making it more convenient for your client.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – An integrated CRM offers your staff and your patients a ‘single pane of glass’ where details of appointments, billing records and even health advice can be centralised. This means your patients can access your system at any time and from any device whether mobile, desktop or laptop.
Practice Analytics – Get a quick overview to understand at a glance how efficiently you are running your dental practice. Understand how well you are managing your key staff members time as well as seeing financial data too.
Email Marketing – Keep your patients up to date with your latest news and offers
Here are some great Dental Software Options for you to consider:
Building a Dentist Website involves a few key decisions.
You can build your own website but for a more professional outcome you might want to consider using WordPress – either a template or a bespoke design.
For best results you should optimise your website for the search engines.
That means creating a page for every service you offer with at least 500 words of content on every page.
Then include keywords relating to dentistry in every page in the metatags and content of your site.
Also get backlinks from authority websites such as local business listings or professional dental bodies that you are a member of.
Finally consider using a professional, specialised Dentist’s Software to make your Dental Practice more efficient and more profitable.
Can you recommend any tools to build a dental website? Comment below.