Before and After Photos Could be Costing You Dental Patients
In a previous article, we reviewed a case study suggesting that before & after photos on your dental website will actually reduce your conversion rate in most cases. But we understand that old habits die hard. So, if that case study didn’t convince you, we’d like to offer you even more proof that before & after photos may actually scare away more patients than they bring in.
We recently conducted a user experience test on one of our new Invisalign landing pages to better understand what types of images or other content motivated prospective clients to contact the practice.
A user experience test is a test in which different people who fit the demographic profile of your target audience are asked to use your website and the websites of your competitors. Afterward, the test group is asked what they liked or didn’t like about the sites. Their answers help you to learn more about what the public thinks and how they react to different elements of a website.
In our experiment, we showed our new Invisalign landing page, along with two high-quality Invisalign pages from other competing dentists in the area, to a group of people who we didn’t know and asked them a series of questions, such as:
- “What do you like or not like about each page?”
- “Which dental practice do you trust the most based on what you see?”
- “Which dental practice do you think does the best job with Invisalign?”
We wanted to get into the heads of potential patients to better understand what they look at when choosing a dentist.
One of our competitor’s landing pages featured numerous images showing how their patient’s teeth looked before and after the Invisalign treatment. They probably thought that showing patients before & after pictures would help them stand out from all the other practices in the area that also offer Invisalign.
This is a common trap that dentists and dental marketing companies fall into. They think that by showing before & after pictures, they are highlighting the experience of the dentists, demonstrating the quality of their work, and setting them apart from everyone else in the area who offers the same dental services.
However, our test revealed that people don’t actually think this way when looking at before and after photos. On the contrary, the photos often ended up scaring patients away!
Beat the Competition, Don’t Join Them
There is often a disconnect between what dentists feel is important to show on their website and what will actually motivate prospective patients to call and book an appointment.
Many dentists and dental marketing companies build a website by following what other dentists are doing. They see that another office features before & after photos on their site, and they think
“I should do that too!” Unfortunately, this is a case of the blind leading the blind.
At RevUp Dental, believe that a data-driven approach is essential if you want your dental marketing to bring in more new patients. That means you must be willing to question what everyone else is doing and put their methods to the test instead of just accepting them as dogma.
Understand Your Patients
Remember, the goal of your website is not to impress you, it’s to impress potential patients. When building your website, consider the following:
- Patients aren’t dentists. They don’t have the clinical skills to evaluate dental work by simply looking at before & after photos.
- People often make decisions based on emotion, especially when it comes to dentistry. It’s important to be conscious about how an image or a video or a piece of text can make someone feel or how they may perceive it differently than you do.
So, if you feature before & after pictures on your website, you may want to think about taking them down, or at least running tests with and without the pictures to see which version yields better results.
We know that seeing things from the patient’s perspective isn’t always easy. But, if you want your marketing strategy to outperform the competition, it’s essential to put yourself in the patient’s shoes and ask the tough questions about what works and what doesn’t.