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10 Mistakes on Practice Websites for Complete Dentistry

Virginia BusseyDesigning and putting together a website can be extremely challenging. It becomes too easy to get caught up on a single element of your website, such as images. Sometimes we forget the end goal—to make our website easy to use for our patients and potential patients. This is especially important because your website could be a first impression of your practice to some.

The following are 10 of the biggest mistakes I have witnessed on dental practice websites and positive examples of each element.

10. Office Hours: Your website is one of the resources your patients and potential patients use to see when they can schedule an appointment. Not having your office hours & being difficult to find can leave your patients frustrated.

Good example: http://www.drleonardhess.com/

9. Social Media Links: Having social media accounts is very important because not only is it another link pointing search engines to your website, but our culture has become so extremely social. Your links need to be easy to find on your website.

Good example: http://www.gentlingdental.com/

8. Services: If you do not have your services listed and explained, how are potential patients supposed to know what you can do? And maybe even more importantly, how are search engines, like Google, supposed to know? Make sure to list and explain in layman’s terms what exactly you offer.

Good example: http://www.annapolissmiles.com

7. Timeliness: Keeping up with your website can be difficult but it is extremely important to keep your patients up-to-date and to keep your website relevant to the search engines. Search engines, specifically Google, favor websites with more recent content.

Good example (blog at bottom): http://www.stephenkristdds.com/

6. Number of Pages: Having only your homepage and no other pages is almost as bad as not having a website at all. Information often gets missed when it is all lumped into one page and once again, I’m going to bring up search engines. Search engines favor websites with more pages to them because they have more content. This isn’t a popularity contest with how many pages you can possibly make, but rather providing detailed content on who you are, what you do, and where you are located in an organized manner.

Good example: http://www.newbernsmiles.com/

5. Fonts: Having a difficult font to read can seriously hinder your website and the visits you get to your website. There are two general types of fonts – Serifs and San Serifs. In layman’s terms Serifs look like the letters have feet on them. An example of a Serif font is Times New Roman. San (meaning without) Serif lacks feet and a common San Serif font is Arial.  Generally using a San Serif is the way to go when it comes to easy to read fonts online.

Good example: http://www.dupontwilkerson.com/

4. Colors: If your color scheme is difficult to look at, your patients and potential patients are not likely to stay on your website and look at the information they were originally interested in. Harsh contrasting color combinations, such as black and red or black and yellow, are very difficult to read on a computer screen.

Good example: http://www.dg-dentistry.com/

3. Contact Information: This should be at a prominent place on every page, such as at the very top of the webpage or in a left or right column.

Good example: http://www.smilenewportbeach.com/

2. Office Address & Map: Your patients cannot come to an appointment without knowing the address. Make it as easy as possible for them to get there and on time by giving them the address, a map and phone number in case they get lost.

Good example: http://www.cobbdentistry.net

1. Not Having a Website: If you do not have a website—this should be a major goal in 2012. More and more people, of all ages, are going online for information. If you aren’t there, you are losing potential patients.

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Virginia Bussey is the Director of Marketing & Communications at The Dawson Academy, an international dental continuing education provider based in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is the 2016 marketing co-chair for St. Pete Young Professionals and serving on the marketing committee for Engage St. Pete. Bussey has been published on Yahoo Small Biz, Business2Community, Social Media Today and HubSpot for her expertise in Inbound and Digital Marketing. She is currently writing a marketing workbook to help small to medium-sized businesses easily create effective marketing plans that bridge both traditional and digital marketing channels. She is a proud alumnae of the University of Florida's Journalism and Communications College, where she received her Bachelor's of Science in Advertising.