Is your website really working?

Ian McNickle, MBA, discusses how to convert website visitors into new patients

600x300_pd_mcnickleThe world of websites and online marketing can be confusing. Dentists and their staff often feel as though their website could be doing more for them, but aren’t quite sure how to determine this or what to do about it. The goal of this article is to help you understand how to get more value and new patients from your website.

The goal of online marketing
Online marketing is primarily concerned with the following two objectives:

  1. Driving traffic to the website
  2. Converting that traffic to take the actions you want them to take

Driving traffic to your website is achieved by the use of search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) paid ads, social media, review sites (Google+, Yelp, Facebook, Healthgrades®, etc.), and other methods. Once people arrive at your website, you’ll want them to take action to contact your office via phone call, email, or filling out an appointment request form. These actions are called “website conversion.”

The ultimate marketing goal of the website is to drive new patients to the practice. This is achieved by maximizing both traffic and website conversion.

The focus of this article will be on website conversion, and our next article will focus on driving traffic.

Improve your website conversion rate
Far too many dental practices use common, templated websites with stock photos and stock content. This does not differentiate you from other practices and does not reflect the unique personality of your practice. In addition, the calls to action are often poorly implemented.

Instead, consider implementing the following items to improve your website conversion:

  • A custom website design should properly reflect your practice.
  • Phone number should be easy to find at the top of every page in large font.
  • Appointment request button (or form) should be easy to find on every page and be located further up the page (not at the bottom).
  • Use actual photos of the practice, staff, and equipment with minimal use of stock photos.
  • Write unique content that is specific to your treatment philosophy and approach.
  • Embed an overview video of the practice on the home page to help communicate who you are/your personality, what is unique about your practice, highlight technology and training, etc.

Track and optimize results over time
In order to properly track conversion, we always recommend using a phone call tracking number that routes to your actual office phone. Using a tracking number will allow you to more accurately understand how many calls are coming from your website. We also recommend recording the phone calls for training purposes.

Dental practices that want to get the most from their online marketing efforts should make it a regular monthly activity to review website traffic and conversion. Plotting these trends over time will allow practices to understand if their activities to increase traffic are working, if their conversion rate is getting better or worse, and to determine the return on investment (ROI) for this portion of their marketing.

Marketing consultation
If you have questions about your website, social media, or online marketing, you may contact WEO Media for a consultation to learn more about the latest industry trends and strategies. The consultation is FREE if you identify yourself as a reader of this publication.

Receive your free marketing consultation today: 888-246-6906 or

mcnickle_headshotIan McNickle, MBA, is a national speaker, writer, and marketer. He is a co-founder and partner at WEO Media, winner of the 2016 Cellerant “Best of Class” Technology Award for Dental Marketing and Dental Websites. If you have questions about any marketing-related topic, please contact Ian McNickle directly at, or by calling 888-246-6906. For more information, you can visit

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