I still get dentists who ask me, “Should I get a website?” And my answer is, “No, you don’t need a website. You need a time machine to go back five years and get a website.” A good website is the most basic element of practice marketing. And even if you have a website, if it hasn’t changed in a few years, you most likely need a new one. This is why I ask if your website is dynamic.
I’m not asking a general question; this is a technical question. There are two basic types of websites: dynamic and static. When a website is dynamic it means that you, the owner can make changes and add content to your website, simply and without knowing anything about computer coding. A static website has fixed content that can only be changed by the webmaster. If you have a static website, here’s the problem: Google has found it uninteresting. If you read my post a while ago about the Google Matrix, you’ll remember that search engines Google are looking for specific content in your site. And they also want it to change on a regular basis.
This was not always true. People building websites five or six years ago didn’t worry about adding new content all the time. All that mattered was if your website content was relevant to the search. Now what matters is if the content is relevant and fresh, meaning it changes continually. Reviews, testimonials, before-and-after photos, video, your blog, these are all items that can and should be changing on a regular basis.
Sounds like a lot of work, but really, it isn’t. If you use PatientActivator, for example, or one of the other digital communications applications, it solicits reviews from your patients automatically, and you can move them right up into your website. If you have a dynamic one, that is.
There are two other critical questions I have for you:
1. Does your website still use Flash (the moving image content)?
2. Is your website optimized for mobile phones (meaning, does the content adjust and fit the frame)?
If you are still using Flash, it cannot be seen on iPhones, iPads or on Samsung Android phones. And even on computers, many times people have to update their software to view it. And whatever you have put in the flash part of your website, Google cannot read, so it doesn’t give you any search engine optimization (SEO). SEO only happens when Google’s “bots” can read the key words in your website that tell it that your site is about dentistry, or whatever specifically the consumer is searching for. Flash, bad.
If your web designer did not specifically create a mobile version of your site, then people have to drag the page all around on the phone with their finger to see the whole image (we’ve all had this experience with a website–it’s annoying!) You need a website that reformats completely when it appears on a smart phone. People expect it.
Don’t grouse about the idea that you have to spend money on your website again–you need to look at this as an ongoing marketing expense in your practice. You should completely change the design of your website every couple of years, or it looks tired to the wired consumer. And it should be a regular activity to add new content to your website, at the very least on a weekly basis. Otherwise you are not even close to taking advantage of this powerful way to communicate who you are and what you do.
It also doesn’t have to be expensive. You shouldn’t be paying more than $3,000 for a dynamic website.
As patient testimonial videos become more and more important, you will want a separate page for them in your website. Don’t worry, patients can find them and Google will notice them. Google looks at every page of your website. Be sure to properly tag the videos with your practice name. The home page should have a button that links to the video page.
As you may have noticed, my company has expanded its range of services beyond providing new patients to include PatientActivator and WebDirector which builds websites. Our corporate goal is to be your marketing department, giving you whatever tools and services you and your team need so you can focus on doing great dentistry.
The WebDirector sites are all dynamic, naturally, with a mobile version included. We have a wide variety of really attractive themes with great SEO built in, and we can carry the look over to your Facebook, Twitter and blog pages. To learn more about WebDirector, you can call 1-855-234-6909 or click here. But whoever you use to create your site, make sure you specify that you want one that is dynamic, optimized for mobile and doesn’t use Flash.
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