By Benjamin Suggs, Practice Treatment Plan
Being Dental Marketers, we come across many Dentists that have chosen to design their own website using a template, some type of WYSIWYG software, or their basic knowledge of HTML. While some of these websites turn out looking pretty good, most look just like what they are – a do-it-yourself website. So is a do-it-yourself dental website good enough? More often than not, the answer is no.
Why you ask? There are many reasons:
Lets be honest, it isn’t that hard to spot a do-it-yourself website when you come across one. Chances are, your prospective patients will be able to spot yours as well. Dentists take great pride in presenting a polished office space, hiring professionals and specialists to design and construct it so that when patients walk in they immediately feel comfortable. A dental website should be an extension of that experience. A website is an online representation of your practice. It can earn you new patients, but it can also cost you new patients. They say that about 58% of all purchases start online. That means that the majority of people do their research online first before purchasing any type of service or product. Prospective patients are no different, and if they see a sub-par website advertising your practice, they may keep right on searching.
The price of a do-it-yourself site is unbeatable, because it is usually $0-$100, depending upon the price you have paid for a template, software or website hosting. However, when you look back at all of the time that you spent working on it, you will find the actual opportunity cost to be much greater. What else could you have been doing in those many frustrated hours of trial and error at the computer? For most professions, especially Dentistry, time is our most valuable and finite resource. What do you think yours is worth?
Online Lead Generation
Having a website is one thing, driving prospective patients to it is another thing entirely. Search Engine Optimization is a science, and one that requires a serious time commitment and constant study, as everything in cyber-world is in a continuing state of change. The process of optimization starts in the design process, and continues well after the site has launched. Online ad purchasing is a similar story. Experienced professionals know the ins and outs, the tricks of the trade and how to produce results. And many times, organic SEO might not be the most effective method. Many dentists are having success utilizing Pay-per-click marketing online.
Follow the Trends
Professional web designers keep up with the popular trends and new technologies in website design. That is their full time job. Just as trends and technologies change rapidly in Dentistry, they also do in website design and management. Let a professional be tasked with keeping your website current and on the cutting edge.
There are many free web tracking solutions that a do-it-yourself designer can use to track traffic to their website. However, Merely acquiring that information is not as important as how you use it. Bounce rates, referring websites and other useful data points can help you determine how and where to further optimize your website. Working with professional web designers makes it easier to spot these potential issues and correct them.
These are just some of the reasons why you may want to consider hiring a professional to design and maintain your dental website. In the end, you need to make the best decision for your practice based on your goals and your current resources. But remember, hiring a professional can increase the chances that your website will generate income for your practice, which means it will pay for itself over time.