Website conversion rate optimisation (CRO) for dentists

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How many of your website visitors end up calling your practice? If the answer is less than 10 percent, then find out how conversion rate optimisation can help you talk to prospective patients more effectively. 

What good conversion rates looks like

Your site’s conversion rate is the number of times patients complete a goal (such as making an appointment), divided by your site traffic. So if you have 100 visitors and get five enquiries, then your conversion rate would be five percent.

Average lead conversion rates for dentists are one to two percent. But you should aim for 10 percent or more.

Scrutinising the patient journey

It’s likely that your prospective patients will hear about your practice through referrals.  Most patient journeys begin like this, with next steps including checking your practice website and reading patient reviews. 

If a prospective patient has a dental problem, they may search for educational information to help them identify what is it, how it may have been caused and what they can do about it.

In today’s Google-driven world, the focus of dental marketing is frequently on helping patients take their next digital step towards solving their challenges. 

This is where conversion rate optimisation comes in. CRO is the process of improving how effective your website is at helping prospective patients to take that next step.

Key points to consider

Think about what people look for when first arriving on your site. Is it treatments and pricing, for example? Do they want to know if you’re taking on new patients? 

Prospective patients at the first stage of their patient journey are more likely to be looking for educational material to identify their symptoms while those carrying out more advanced searches are closer to conversion and may be looking for pricing information, so they can compare your practice with others. 

How well does your website answer the patient questions at each of these stages? 

  • Is the information relevant: Does your website closely match their needs?
  • Is the information clear: Are your main message and call-to-action easy to grasp quickly?
  • Is the patient likely to be anxious: Do you include language to soothe nervous patients?
  • Do you point out the benefits that your treatments and practice offers: Do you address costs in terms of benefits to the prospective patient?
  • How do you encourage prospective patents to take the next step: Does your website prompt visitors to take action and make an appointment?
  • How effective is your website’s design: Is your homepage distracting? Will a visitor move on to another site because friction makes it hard to find the information they need?

Your homepage attributes

Often your homepage is the first touchpoint your prospective patients have with your practice. So the information needs to build trust and convey the patient experience that you have on offer. 

To do this effectively your website should contain the following attributes:

  • One dominant photograph at the top.
  • Your value proposition.
  • Logos of partners and organisations that convey trust.
  • A section of text boxes for each major treatment – implants, dentures, etc.
  • A ‘new patients welcome’ section.
  • A section for testimonials. 
  • Social media icons for social proof.
  • Main menu in large font, i.e. Treatments, Membership, Testimonials, Our Practice, Contact Us.
  • A ‘Book An Appointment’ button in a bright colour so it stands out.

How to organise your treatment pages

Organise your treatments into categories. If you offer multiple types for braces, for example, then you need one Orthodontics page plus boxes at the bottom for each individual type – Invisalign, and so on.

The ideal treatment page content layout:

  1. Describes the problem.
  2. Talks about the solution and use images.
  3. Includes prices at the end.
  4. Features testimonials.
  5. Highlights other treatments in a specific category, such as orthodontics.
  6. Has all the required information on one page, so the prospective patient doesn’t have to hunt around.
  7. Lets the reader access the main menu from each treatment page, so they can easily navigate the website.

High performing 'Contact Us' forms

Contact Us forms (also known as lead capture forms) are key to converting patients. Ideally, one should appear on each treatment page. 

Nowadays, dental marketers aim to create patient journeys that are frictionless as possible. One of the ways they do this is by keeping the number of questions they ask on forms to an absolute minimum (ie, five questions or less). This ensures forms are quick and easy for prospective patients to fill in and encourage in a greater number of enquiries.

These are the essential elements of a high performing form:

  1. Use ‘Get in Touch’ as your call-to-action. This is less promotional than ‘Make an Appointment’ or ‘Arrange a no-obligation appointment’, and doesn’t infer that a financial commitment might be required.
  2. Address the challenge your prospective patient could be facing in that moment. For example: “Looking for a better smile? Want to see how we can help?”
  3. Include a photo that illustrates the outcome they’re likely to be striving for.
  4. Use compelling text and a colour that stands out for your ‘Submit’ button.
  5. Add a drop list so they can select the treatment they’re interested in.

Over to you

To find out if your changes are going to generate the results you’re aiming for, try A/B testing your website pages to see which version performs the best. Agencies like Somnowell Marketing that special in the dental industry, can help you do this and put in place a programme for continually monitoring and optimising your website’s performance to ensure it delivers the best results. 

In the meantime, to discover more actionable ways to market your dental practice more effectively, download The Ultimate Guide to Dental Marketing below.

Loran Simon

Loran Simon

Loran Simon is the Founder of Somnowell, one of the UK’s leading oral appliances to help to cure snoring and sleep apnea. Over the past 10 years, Somnowell’s growth has been mainly achieved using the digital marketing services of Somnowell Marketing, an agency that Loran Simon also founded and manages. The agency consistently generates thousands of new patient enquiries for Somnowell’s network of dentists.

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