Why does a dental clinic need a website?
As a dentist, your focus may be on the clinical aspects of your profession. However, if you want to flourish and succeed in the current competitive dentistry market, you must manage your career and your dental clinic properly, including all its marketing communication aspects. To begin with, make sure you have a good website. Just like any small businesses nowadays, if a dental clinic does not have a website, it is almost as if it does not exist.
When planning a website for your business, or examining your current business website, start by defining the roles your website should play. In principle, there are three major roles for a website that you should consider when defining YOUR website:
1. Branding Website
This type of website is designed to portray and promote your brand, to communicate to your customers (for example – patients and their relatives) what makes you special, different and better, what advantages you offer compared to other dental clinics (or dentists), and why they should prefer you as a dental services provider. Every website should have a branding role. The images, the atmosphere, the design, and the different pieces of content in the website should all serve this purpose. These components include the company profile, information about the team, recommendation letters, success stories, professional certificates and more. They are intended to portray a reliable and highly professional dental clinic, that can easily attract and retain customer.
2. Informative Website
This type of website is designed to provide relevant and interesting information to your customers and to additional target audiences (providers, journalists, colleagues you wish to collaborate with, employees, etc.). In this case, we focus on professional information in your field (dentistry) that is beyond the information related to your brand and business. The purpose of the informative parts of a website are to draw more customers to visit your website and to increase the exposure of your website (including to search engines like Google), and as result to increase the awareness to your dental clinic (or you, as a dental expert). In order to create an informative layer to your website, you can add professional articles, a newsletter, explanatory videos, dental hygiene guides, quizzes, infographics, etc.
Another purpose of the informative website is to make it easier for customers and providers to work with you. This means providing detailed information about the dental services you offer and how to work and collaborate with you. In this respect, you can add forms, contact details, map and directions to your clinic, a catalogue and detailed descriptions of your services, glossary of dental terms, description of work processes in your clinic, etc.
Adding a thick informative layer to your website is not a must, but it is always desirable and recommended: it will increase your website traffic, it will save you explanations, and it will also improve your image and present you as more professional. You can also develop this informative layer on different articles and posts to publish one at a time, so that a relatively small effort will accumulate over the years into a very impressive content website.
3. Online Shop
This type of website includes a virtual shop that enables to directly purchase products and services that the dental clinic offers. A similar online shop will mainly fit well-defined shelf products, such as books and software. Most dental clinics do not offer shelf products, and therefore a virtual shop is less relevant for them. However, if you do sell some well-defined products at your clinic – for example professional toothpastes, Waterpik flossers or Invisalign braces – it may help to include a virtual shop in your clinic website. This can, for example, be used by patients to directly purchase dental products, as well as related accessories and consumables from your website, without even visiting your physical location.
You should seriously consider selling high-quality dental products at your clinic. This will not affect your professional image. On the contrary, it may even enhance it as it can provide an additional revenue stream. If you do sell dental products, a virtual shop can help you sell more while saving logistics costs. There are various shelf software solutions you can use to add a virtual shop module to your website, but if you prefer you can also sell through a third-party platform, for example by opening a virtual shop on Amazon and linking that shop to your website. You may also want to promote your virtual shop in various marketing channels (Facebook, Google, etc.), and you can hire external help for that.
But what about selling dental services (e.g. implant procedures) directly through your website?
In most cases this is not recommended.
- If you do not offer the lowest and most competitive prices in your city, but rather concentrate on added value dental services (with average or higher prices), it is better to avoid advertising your price list online. Added value seekers are less concerned with pricing, while cost-oriented patients will not find your offer attractive.
- The actual price of the needed dental services may significantly vary depending on the medical condition of the patient who must be first examined at the clinic.
- Purchasing dental services requires the patient to trust the service provider (e.g. – the dentist), and such trust is mainly achieved by meeting the dentist in person.
So, if you are not offering the lowest prices or you are not focusing on Dental-tourism (where patients decide who to trust remotely) – it makes less sense to sell dental services online.
Example – A Dental Services Website
We will use our own website, DentQ.it, as an example. After all, we do provide dental services – we are the biggest network of Dental Imaging Centers in the world, with more than 40 branches in 6 countries. Our local website in Italy – www.DentQ.it, includes branding and informative sections, as well as online shopping to some extent.
Our branding sections include, for example, the Home Page, Team, Testimonials, Recommendations by Dentists, Clients’ Satisfaction Reports, and more. We tried to keep it short (our target audience are mainly busy dentists) and to complement it with impressive cover images, as well as demonstrating icons and illustrations.
Our informative sections include, for example, descriptions of our offerings – Services, Technologies (such as PACS and AI reports), Formats and Outputs. With time, we added more information about such offerings. For example – a brochure about AI Radiology Reports for CBCT (3D) scans. In addition, we included useful information and tools for patients and dentists who want to use our services, including sections describing how to refer patients to us, a support page with video guides and software manuals, a contact page (and form), an online booking page and a management system for doctors to keep their files in DentQ’s secured cloud, download and review patients’ files and scans.
Later on, we added a blog, with various informative sections that may interest dentists (for example – case of the month, and the growth corner that includes this article). Such blog will draw dentists to our website and it will also significantly improve our exposure within Google search results. Another nice aspect of a blog, is that you can share its content through several channels (we use our blog’s content for DentQ Italy LinkedIn and Facebook pages as well).
As for selling online, we offer courses in some countries, e.g. CBCT training for dentists. In addition, registered dentists send us online referrals, and can also pay directly though their accounts with us. So, in a way, the referral form includes a “mini-shop” of various dental imaging services within it.
Dental clinics (and dentists) need a website to be “present” themselves, to attract clients and to help their business grow. This website should, first and foremost, support and promote your brand. In addition, it is very helpful to also have a thick informative layer that will increase website traffic and improve your service. Finally, for some dental products and services, it might be beneficial to add a virtual shop as well. Whether you already have a website for your clinic or you want to build one from scratch, it is important to clearly define the website’s objectives, and which/how many of the three layers (branding, information, shop) to include in it. After this choice is made, it is important to design your website according to its objectives and to add content gradually to increase its reach and exposure.
At DentQ, we are proud to be the business partners of thousands of dentists around the world and to provide them tools, technologies and content that can help their business grow. Whether you work with us or not, feel free to re-visit our blog and join our Facebook to read similar articles that can help you increase your own dental business.