Some elements of dental website design should be non-negotiable, but I strongly advise you to ask about them before you make a purchase. All of the “extras” listed here should be folded into the overall cost of your website. Don’t pay $500 or $1000 for elements that should be standard. It’s like buying a truck and having to pay extra for the bumper! (My father had to do that once. It was a Nissan.)
Instead, pay a reasonable price and expect these non-negotiables to be included.
- Responsive Design: This term relates to the ability of a website to have a consistently good user experience (UX) across all devices: desktop, tablet, mobile/phone. In 2017, no website company worth its salt will design a non-responsive website. It’s archaic.
- Unique Content: Many, many website companies will provide free content for your dental site. Being “free,” it will probably be stock, or duplicate, content – meaning that the same articles appear on all of their clients’ websites. This may be fine for your patients. I mean, a crown is a crown, right? However, it’s not fine for search. Not at all.Google will penalize you for duplicate content. Not only does your text need to be original to your website, but it must be well optimized for search. Your text needs headings and subheadings, keywords integrated into the titles and body content, and hyperlinks to related pages, embedded on keyword phrases. In addition, every page should be a minimum of 500 words long, and 750+ words is better. YOU may not feel that you need all of this text, but Google does. If you want your site to rank high in search, then original, optimized content is imperative, and your website design should be built around it.
- A Blog: You don’t know how many times I’ve seen a website company charge $500 or more for simply adding blog functionality to a website. Let me tell you, adding a blog is like flipping a switch. It takes mere minutes and should never, ever be considered an upgrade. Matt Cutts, a Google expert, says all websites need blogs these days. I agree.
- Contact Form Email: More than ever, people use their mobile phones to find businesses. And more than ever, people use their phones to email and text, rather than call. If you’ve never had email on your website, it’s time to step up your game. A good dental website design firm will include an email form on your site at no additional cost. The form not only gives patients an obvious and easy method for contacting you, but it will also weed out spam.
- Social Media Integration: We live in a world where Facebook is part of daily life. Most people who go to the dentist regularly are involved in social media, to some degree. Because of this, your practice needs a Facebook profile – and perhaps a Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Yelp!, and/or Instagram account, as well. Social media also includes Google+, which will have to do with your map and Google reviews. Your website design company should include all social profile links on your site, at no additional charge. It’s standard fare in today’s world of tweets and posts and follows and favorites.
Asking the right questions, and getting the right answers, should be high on your to-do list when purchasing a new dental website. There are many other factors to consider, like will you retain ownership of your domain and images, and will you own the actual site files – or if you leave the website firm, will you be forced to rebuild.
If you’re going to invest in a new website, get your money’s worth, please. I’ll be happy to answer all of your questions and provide a complimentary assessment of your current website. Call me, Shauna Duty, today at 940-395-5115. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.