A Website is an Effective Patient Acquisition Tool
In today's digital age, your dental practice's website can and should be your most effective patient acquisition tool. It can function as a front desk 24 hours a day, seven days a week, welcoming potential patients, answering their queries, and, most importantly, persuading them to schedule an appointment. A conversion-optimized website that focuses on great user experience and adherence to best practices in online marketing can convert a considerable amount of your site's traffic into new patients.
However, it is critical to understand what constitutes a conversion rate 'good.' Conversion rates of around 10% are achieved by top-performing websites, but the average is between 3% and 5%. If your dental practice's online conversion rate is less than 3%, it's time for some serious action.
In this post, we'll look at tried-and-true methods for increasing your website's conversion rate. What is our goal? To assist you in transforming your internet presence into a new-patient booking machine. Are you ready to begin? Let's get started.
What is a website conversion rate?
A 'conversion rate' is a critical indicator in the digital marketing landscape that gauges how well your website converts traffic into actively engaged users or patients. Simply said, it is the percentage of visitors who do a desired action while on your site. For dentists, this 'desired action' frequently entails converting a casual visitor into a patient who schedules an appointment. The conversion rate is simple to calculate: divide the entire number of conversions (those desired actions) by the total number of visitors to your site, then multiply by 100% to get the percentage.
Conversion Rate = (Total conversions ÷ Total website visits) * 100%
Here’s an example: Let’s say you acquired 200 new leads last month, and 20 of them are now patients. You know your conversion rate for that month is 10%. You also know that you spent $2,000 on marketing that same month. That means you paid $10 for every lead (CPL) and $100 for every new patient (CPA). So that’s your baseline. Then you optimize your website, and you check your results the following month. The next month you’ve spent the same amount of money on marketing and achieved similar lead results. But your conversion rate for appointments is now 13% instead of 10%––meaning your CPA has decreased to $77. That’s how you know your website optimization efforts have worked.
Essentially, your website conversion rate reflects the success of your website in encouraging users to take the next step in their patient journey. A high conversion rate indicates that a website is effectively engaging users, addressing their needs, and persuading them to take action.
Why is it important to improve your conversion rate?
Improving your website's conversion rate is crucial to growing your dental business for the following reasons:
Maximizing Opportunities: Each visitor to your website is a possible new patient who could come through your clinic's door and help maintain your appointment schedule completely occupied. A higher conversion rate indicates that you are converting a greater proportion of these visits into actual patients.
Optimizing Investments: Consider the number of people who visit your website on a regular basis as well as the amount you spend on internet advertising. Your goal should be to maximize the return on these assets. Conversion optimization ensures that your time, money, and efforts are used as efficiently as possible to acquire new patients.
Increasing Revenue and Growth: By optimizing your conversion rate, you improve the potential revenue generated by each visitor to your site. This optimization can assist you in acquiring more new patients, resulting in improved revenue and further practice growth.
Focusing on raising your conversion rate is, in essence, a strategic decision that not only improves your online presence but also directly contributes to the successful expansion of your dental practice.
Dentist website examples
- Zen Dental: The Zen Dental website has a clean, professional look with a unique design showcasing their facility above the hold. It provides detailed information about the services they offer and has a clear call to action to book now, in which patients can self-schedule. Our recommendation would to include more video and imagery of their providers interacting with patients.
- The Smilist - The Smilist effectively uses their homepage to outline the procedures and types of care they offer. This is a great feature considering many potential patients are looking for specific services. They also offer the option to book online or via phone, making it convenient for potential clients to get in touch. Our recommendation would be to reduce the number of call-to-action buttons located above the fold. This creates choice paralysis for patients, reducing the number of website visitors who will reserve an appointment.
- River Run Dental - River Run Dental uses calming water to set a tranquil mood. This does stand out and create a peaceful mood in what is often a stressful environment. However, we think it would benefit the practice to showcase how they provide a stress-free service, show case team members to instill trust, and add more images on the services they provide. Additionally, it’s important to include a call-to-action button in the middle of the page.
- Tend: Tend's straightforward navigation is a big plus, making the website user-friendly for both new and existing patients. The website design is modern and inviting with a muted color palette and a prominent storefront picture. A video on the homepage gives visitors a clear expectation of what to expect with Tend. Our recommendation similar to Zen Dental would be to show the providers and front office managers to instill a feeling that Tend is a local business.
- Sky Dental Tuscon - Sky Dental Tuscon does a great job. Above the fold, they feature a looping video that shows off the location, team, and happy patients. Website visitors know they are in the right location. The content on the site is excellent including a list of services, an about us where patients can “meet” the doctor and team, and Before & After showing off patient success stories. However, when you click to Request an Appointment, it brings you to a form in which the staff from the location will have to call you back. Ideally, your online patient scheduling syncs with your EHR, automating the patient scheduling process entirely.
Your conversion rate checklist to design the best dental practice website
- Over 50% of web browsing happens on mobile devices. If your website doesn’t accommodate mobile users, you are losing new patients.
- A mobile-first website meets these basic requirements:
- Responsive design that adapts to the device it’s viewed on — phone, tablet, or computer
- Most important information first (like phone numbers, contact buttons, and info about your practice)
- Limiting clutter, visual noise, or confusion — keep it simple
Modern, easy-to-navigate website design
- Your site should be attractive, easy to read, and simple to navigate
- Ensure your site loads in 3 seconds or less on both desktop and mobile. The average webpage takes 87% longer to load on mobile vs. desktop. 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load a page
- The best dental websites are built with WordPress. WordPress sites are flexible, scaleable, and look and perform just as perfectly on mobile as they do on a desktop.
Patient testimonials and reviews
- Increase your reviews. Reviews matter to potential patients! 90% of dental patients consult online reviews before booking an appointment. 70% of patients say online reviews are as important as a dentist’s credentials, and 42% of people won’t go to a dentist with less than a three-star rating.
- Add patient reviews throughout your website, ideally video testimonials. Video has a 95% retention rate, while people only remember 12% of textual information. Video testimonials also provide SEO value and drive more traffic to your site, giving you even more conversion opportunities. Check out Brad Newman’s advice on the benefits of adding Trust Signals when he joined our podcast, How I Grew My Practice.
- Have your above-the-fold header video showcase the practice's uniqueness and increase conversion rates.
- Focus on creating content that answers patient questions to build trust and compel a visitor to book an appointment. Make sure your website copy answers common patient questions like
- Does the dentist accept my insurance?
- How much will an appointment cost?
- Does this dentist offer a new patient special?
- What are the dentist’s hours, location, and contact info?
- Can this practice handle my particular dental health concern?
- What is it like to be a patient at this office?
- How do I schedule an appointment?
- Create content that highlights your team
- Add content that shows your facility
Online booking options
- Offer online scheduling. Over 50% of people are still making appointments over the phone, but 31% would seriously consider switching dentists if that provider offered online appointment booking. Online appointment scheduling offers instant gratification.It makes it easy for patients to get started right away without any unnecessary waiting.
Compelling calls-to-action (CTAs)
- Make sure your CTAs are easily findable and outline exactly what action to take and how to take it. Good examples are Contact us, book online, call us, message us
- Try add a promotion or offer to sweeten the deal by providing an offer that a potential patient can’t resist such as a free consultation, complimentary teeth whitening, $99 new patient special or Save $200 on your first visit
Convert web traffic into patients with NexHealth
In conclusion, while the tactics we've discussed are key to turning website traffic into new patients, utilizing a dedicated patient experience platform like NexHealth can significantly amplify these effects to increase your Google Reviews and improve website conversion with patient online scheduling. By combining these strategies with the power of NexHealth, dental practices can truly maximize their potential in the digital landscape.