practice marketing DENTAL WEBSITES THAT CONVERT VISITORS INTO PATIENTS by Marc Fowler Are you different than the dentist down the street? How would a prospective patient know? Before a new patient calls or steps into your office, research shows that they will already have a first impression of your practice. It’s probably why they called you. Sometimes it is from word of mouth, but increasingly that impression is formed online. Most dentists understand that their physical office is important to their brand image. You want it to be pro- fessional, clean and make patients feel comfortable. So, you invest a lot of time and money in your office, rightly so. Yet, the majority of your new patients will visit your website before they ever step foot in your office. So, it would make sense to invest in your website just as you do your office. Your website is as large a part of your brand image as your office. 20 NORTH TEXAS DENTISTRY | www.northtexasdentistry.com Your website IS your virtual front office. Stop reading for a minute. Put down this magazine, open your computer or pick up your phone, and go to your website. If you were a new patient, would you be impressed by what you see? Would you call? Now do a Google search for dentists in your town and visit the first few websites that show up. How does yours compare? Simply having a website isn’t enough. To beat the dentist down the street, your website must connect with potential patients and show why you are a better choice. Your website IS your first impression. Wouldn’t it be nice to meet all potential patients before they choose a dentist and have a conversation about why you are the best provider for them? While you can’t do that in person, it happens every day online. Today people connect online, watch TV online, work online, shop online, date online, and yes, choose their dentist online. Your website IS NOT an online brochure. Choosing a dentist is often a personal decision. Do they feel com- fortable that you will be right for them – quality, service, con- venience and cost? The purpose of your website is to connect to your ideal patient and to convince them to make an appointment. When building their website, many dentists fall into the trap of listing every service they ever have or ever may provide in an effort to appeal to as many patients as possible. Be careful trying to be all things to all people, or you may end up appealing to no one.