Dental SEO Part 5 – Conversion Rate Optimization
Welcome to our final video in our dental practice SEO series, and we’ve saved the best for last. Today we’re going to talk about the final piece that brings everything together with dental SEO, the part that will actually help you grow your practice and that’s conversion rate optimization. This is the part of the process where you take all of those website visitors you’re attracting with SEO and make sure they actually turn into patients. So let’s dig in!
The point of investing into doing SEO or any kind of marketing is ultimately to get more butts in the chair. You want to attract more patients. Just generating a bunch of website clicks doesn’t really do you any good. Ranking #1 on Google is worthless unless that ranking directly translates into more patients in your schedule. This part of the process is called conversion rate optimization and it deals with turning website visitors and leads into real, tangible, new patient opportunities.
If you’re investing money each month into doing marketing and you get a report from your marketing company about of how many website clicks you got, or how many Facebook likes you got… this is like investing your money with a financial advisor and each month they send you a report on how much Monopoly money they made you.
You can’t pay your staff with website clicks, you cannot pay for your dental supplies or your practice lease with Facebook likes. This isn’t a currency. Every dollar you put into doing SEO or marketing in general needs to translate to a very measurable and tangible return-on-investment or else you’re just throwing money down the drain.
There is a HUGE difference between what dentists think will impress patients vs. what actually really does impress patients
To generate a good return-on-investment for your marketing spend, you need to make sure all of that traffic you are driving to your website actually gets people to pick up the phone and call your practice to book an appointment. You need to remember that most of your potential patients are going to check out a few different dentists in your area so you need to make sure your website leaves people with a great first impression where even if they visit multiple other dental websites they are left feeling like you are the best choice. So how do we do this?
The first thing you need to understand is that there is a HUGE… and I mean HUGE difference between what dentists think will impress patients vs. what actually really does impress patients. The reason many dentists do not get great results from their marketing is because ultimately they have a website that was built from the ground up to impress them, the dentists, not the patients they are trying to attract.
What I mean by this is that when a dentist hires a web design company to build a new website, because the dentist is signing the cheque, that company wants to make sure the dentist is happy with the website. They’ll change the colors, and pictures, and different elements of the website to what the dentist likes, what the dentist thinks looks good.
The problem with this approach is that often what dentists think looks nice or will attract patients is really not what will actually impress or attract patients. A good example of this is before & after photos. A ton of dentists have before & after photos on their website because they think this will impress patients but we’ve run numerous experiments and have proven these photos will lower your conversion rate. If you haven’t seen those videos I’ve linked them below and trust me will be shocked at how much these types of photos will hurt your ability to attract patients.
Another common mistake dentists make is they build a website talking too much about themselves. They talk about their education, and all of the different degrees and qualifications they have, they talk about all of the CE courses they’ve taken, they think that this will actually impress patients and it really won’t. It will mostly just confuse and bore people or it will make you come across as you are trying really hard to impress them and it will actually have the opposite effect to what you want.
Another mistake we see all the time is dental websites that talk about their equipment. They want everyone to know that they have a CBCT scanner or a CEREC machine or a fancy new laser or intraoral scanner… but honestly guys… nobody gives a crap. If you want to have a dental website that gets the phone to ring, the website needs to be more about the patient, and very little about you or the practice.
Give them all the information they are looking for WITHOUT you trying to convince them to pick you
When someone is looking for a dentist, maybe they’re doing some research on invisalign or dental implants and want to see what their options are, these are people that are simply beginning to do their research. They’re not really looking to buy, they are looking to inform themselves. What your website needs to do is educate them on how the different procedures work, what their options are, the pros and cons of these different dental procedures… basically give them all the information they are looking for WITHOUT and I cannot stress this enough… WITHOUT you trying to convince them to pick you.
You are not going to be effective by singing your own praises, this needs to be done by other people, in the form of Google Reviews, or patient testimonial videos, or your staff talking to patients about how amazing of a dentist you are. When someone visits your website they need to walk away with a feeling of “man… this is a really useful / helpful website… and it doesn’t feel like they are trying to sell me on anything like other dentists.”
If you can do this effectively, this will build trust and rapport with people. You need to approach your website design and content with the mindset of “I just want this to be a helpful resource for people, even if they decide to go to a different practice down the street.”
If people feel like you’re not trying to sell them anything, you’re just legitimately trying to be helpful, give them unbiased information with this feeling of “we’re just giving you all the info you want, you make the choice that you think is right for you, we’re not judging” then inevitably they will begin to trust you more and more and once they do they are going to wonder “well… what do you recommend?” and then they will actually be open to listening to what you have to say.
So what does this look like in practice?
Well let’s say you want to attract more Invisalign cases, what you want is a website that helps the patient understand the pros and cons of Invisalign, the other types of procedures they may want to consider like traditional braces or functional appliances, what the pros and cons are between those procedures, who may or may not be a good candidate for each procedure, common questions people often have about these procedures…you know… does it hurt? Do I need to take time off work? How long does it take to recover? Do the results last?
What you don’t want is a website with an Invisalign page that pretty much only says “Looking for Invisalign? Give us a call!” and then the majority of the page is all about you, your biography, and your education, and all of your equipment, and how fancy your office looks, etc. That is not going to convince many people to call you.
So what type of content would people find really useful and engaging? What is going to make people like and trust you?
Be honest about how much different procedures cost
One of the best things you can do is actually be honest about how much different procedures cost and what affects the price. So many practices try to dodge this question both on the website and when the person calls. Rather than trying to avoid this question you should embrace it and have a great plan for how you’re going to talk about it with patients both on the website and when they call.
Many people look for information on the prices because they need to budget accordingly, it doesn’t mean they are not serious about doing Invisalign or implants or that they are just shopping around for the cheapest price. They are just trying to better understand what it’s going to cost and what the difference is between what everyone offers. This is an amazing opportunity for you to stand out by actually being honest and open with them instead of doing what almost everyone else does which is avoid the question.
The next best thing to do is to answer the most common questions people have with each dental service. In our part 3 video we talked about on-page optimization and we looked at how to find out what the common questions are that people go online to search for when it comes to dentistry. If you missed that video you can find it down below in the description. Don’t talk about why you think you’re great or why they should pick your practice, just help them better understand their problems and the different solutions that could help them, regardless of if they come to you or another dentist.
One of the best ways to do this is with frequently asked questions videos, as this gives people a chance to virtually meet you, simulating what it would be like if they were in your chair asking you these questions directly.
Lastly, if you really want to stand out from the 5 or 10 other dental practices that your patients are probably checking out before making a decision of where to go to… focus on Google reviews and testimonial videos.
Every dental practice website talks about how amazing they are, and how they treat patients like family, and how the dentist is really smart and really experienced… but you know what’s really going to convince patients any of this is true? If I see your practice has 300 Google reviews, and your competitor down the street has 50… then yeah… I’m going to believe you. If I see that you have a wall of patient testimonial videos, people who were so impressed by you that they were willing to go on camera and talk about how good their experience was… then yeah… I’m going to believe that you’re good practice.
If you want to turn more website visitors into patients, focus on talking less about yourself and your practice and more on just being helpful to people who are looking for specific dental procedures. Do an excellent job of answering their questions without any sales pitch. Give them a chance to virtually meet you using FAQ videos, explain things to them as if they were in the chair beside you asking you those questions. And finally, if you want to stand out from other dentists in your area, you need to get your patients to sing your praises for you in the form of reviews and testimonial videos.