dental website design Tag Archive

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How Little Do Users Read? 20% – Tips for an effective dental homepage

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RESULT OF EYE TRACKING STUDY ON A WEBPAGE

Summary: On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely.We’ve known since our first studies of how users read on the Web that they typically don’t read very much. Scanning text is an extremely common behavior for higher-literacy users…

I often see dental web pages that are loaded with text. Home pages will have four or five paragraphs extolling the philosophy of the office, endless treatment options and the educational accomplishments of the dentist and staff. I know that when I am faced with a sea of text I rarely read much. It seems I am not alone most people only read about 20% of the text on a web page.

The most important element a web page needs is to answer the question. Every user has landed on the page for a reason; they have a question that needs answering. The primary question is; where is the office and what is the phone number? This needs to be big, easy to see and above the fold on the home page.

Next avoid text and use images and graphics to tell the story and direct the user’s attention to items you want them to see. Do not write a sentence about treating children show an image of a happy child with nice teeth. Do not tell people you do cosmetics with a paragraph of text but show the photo of a happy patient with a gorgeous smile and a short testimonial beneath.

Make the next step easy and obvious.

New Patients Here

Pay Your Bill Here

About the Dentist

Your home page real estate is valuable use it well.

Some potential new patients will actually want to read all about the office treatment philosophy, the details of implant placement or the numerous post doc coursed the dentist has taken. Not many but some. For those people direct them to these pages but do not fill the home page with text.

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The Psychology of Social Proof & How to Build Trust in Your Business

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Everybody’s doing it. Sound familiar? It should. It’s brain science. People tend to do what other people are doing. Psychologists call this conformity, herd behavior, or the bandwagon effect. Marketers call it social proof.

The goal is to increase conversions by giving evidence that you are accepted by others. Visitors, influencers, subscribers, and buyers all trust you. This kind of “informational social influence” is a simple and powerful way to improve the initial value judgement of your landing pages, your site and your company.

Social proof makes any decision other than using your company seem outside the norm.

There are many web design tips based on brain science, but these seven are specifically designed to get your audience onto your bandwagon. Here is how to use social proof to improve your conversion rates.

1. Testimonials and Reviews

When you say it, it’s marketing. When your customer says it, it’s social proof.

This is why testimonials are so powerful. The substance is better; it’s an objective, third-party perspective. The style is also better; it’s more authentic, less polished.

Like all types of social proof, testimonials and reviews are great supportive content. Sprinkle them throughout the site. Ideally, add one to each page aligning the social proof with the product or service.

Never create a page of testimonials. They are far less effective when grouped together on a separate page. Why? Because no one visits websites to read testimonials. If you have one of these pages, just look at your analytics. It’s not a popular page, is it?

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The example above showcases a well-placed testimonial from an actual parent, building trust on a teen travel program website.

2. Endorsements from Influencers

Beyond the testimonial lies the expert and celebrity endorsement. The more relevant and influential the endorser, the more powerful the social proof.

If your business has ever received a compliment from a well-know person who is respected by your audience, go find it, and add it to your home page.

To make this more effective, add a picture of the person who gave the endorsement. Research shows that pictures (along with text) increase the credibility of the statement. This actually works for any testimonial.

Ian Cleary’s Razor Social prominently features endorsements, complete with pictures.

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3. Email List Subscriber Numbers

Signing up for a newsletter takes a lot of trust, so you need to build up confidence around your signup form. Of course, tell the visitor about the content and frequency (monthly advice for bounty hunters, weekly nuclear reactor safety tips), but also show some social proof.

If you have a big list, tell visitors how many people have already subscribed (join the 5,000 people who receive…). If you don’t yet have a lot of subscribers, use a testimonial quote from someone who got value from your blog and newsletter. You might find a few of these in your comments.

This really, really works. On the Orbit blog, improving the email signup form increased the newsletter subscriber conversion rate by 1400%.

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4. Social Sharing Buttons

It’s easy to add these to your blog to show the number of tweets, likes, and shares for every post. Each of those shares is a vote of confidence for that content.

Don’t try this at home if there are few or no social shares on a typical post. Social proof goes both ways. How is this helping your business? It’s better to have no proof than low proof.

Tweets: 0 Likes: 0 +1: 0 Share: 0 Pin: 0

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5. Social Media Widgets: Twitter Box and Facebook Fan Box

The Twitter and Facebook widgets can show three separate things:

  1. The size of your following
  2. Profile pictures of specific, relevant followers
  3. Recent posts and tweets

The first two are examples of social proof. If the widget shows the face of a follower that the visitor recognizes, it’s far more compelling. Suddenly, it’s about conforming to the behavior of someone they know!

Do not use these widgets (or even social media icons) if you are not active within that social network. Why send visitors to a dead social account? You’re just inviting them to leave your site. People don’t get onboard empty bandwagons.

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The Moz Blog uses a social widget to show off their huge following to new visitors.

6. “As seen in…” Media Logos

If you’ve ever gotten covered by the media, you have a chance to improve your credibility and conversion rate. Right there on the homepage, show logos of news media and websites that have mentioned you.

This works great for businesses involved in PR, but guest bloggers also have this opportunity. If you’ve ever guest posted on a well-known site, add the logo to your homepage or your bio page.

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The Edo Interactive home page shows both current and past press mentions.

7. Trust Boxes

Here’s a way to put a lot of credibility into a small space: create a “trust box” of social proof icons and logos on your home page. Here are some things you can put inside:

  • Association memberships: industry associations and chambers of commerce
  • BBB membership / ratings
  • Yelp ratings: local businesses
  • Security certificates: technical and ecommerce sites
  • Awards: any company that’s won anything
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By adding a trust box filled with awards to the footer, Nitel builds credibility on every page. Also notice the testimonials, which name the industry, but not the specific client.

Keep the Bandwagon Going

Keep a file of all the social proof you can find. Here are a few ways to not let the good stuff slip by:

  • Use an email folder to save emailed compliments.
  • Use the favorite button in Twitter to save complimentary tweets.
  • Take screenshots to save other complementary social media posts.
  • Use a big envelope to save those handwritten thank you notes.

Keep putting them out there. Try to put something on every page of your site. Pull quotes from LinkedIn recommendations, and add them to your team pages. Even your thank you page is an opportunity to build more credibility. The music on this bandwagon never stops.

About The Author

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 is the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, a web design company in Chicago. You can find Andy on  and Twitter.
» More blog posts by 

Originally posted here: The Psychology of Social Proof & How to Build Trust in Your Business

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5 Quick Tips For Website Improvement

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Your website is continually evolving. It always needs updating, just like your dental office. There are always improvements you can make, things you can change, and features you can add, but the process can be cumbersome and just thinking about it can be exhausting.

So rather than trying to do a complete makeover, consider these five quick minor improvements for your site. It is amazing how a few small improvements can put you on the path to greater goals.

Use visual indicators:  Icons

Icons provide a great visual indicator of what to expect in the text to follow. Icons and/or titles are especially useful in areas with paragraphs of text where a heading and image can provide a visual pause. Dental practice website content can sometimes be boring for the reader;  you can use an icon to improve your audience engagement. To break up the complexity of language, be sure to use icons that coordinate with your website’s color scheme – the small details can make a major difference in your website’s overall appeal.

Use thumbnail images for your posts

Thumbnails make lists stand out more and images communicate faster than words. Content is more easily found when you use thumbnails, which allows your readers to quickly scan your page. Images break up the content and provide supporting emotion to your posts and are just another way to improve your overall user experience. As a side note, this requires that you have images in each post, which is another requirement in my book.  On WordPress, there is a simple setting for thumbnail displays.

Quick fix SEO ideas

I know there is an over-abundance of information on what you should be doing for SEO. To make it simple, check only a few things. To keep it fewer than five minutes, email your Webmaster the following questions:

  • Insert your site’s main keywords in the <TITLE> of your homepage
  • Insert your site’s main keywords in the <BODY> of your homepage
  • Confirm that your website’s robots.txt allows search engines to index the homepage
  • Confirm your website has a sitemap, and create and submit an XML Google Sitemap.

Use a favicon to set you apart

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A favicon, is a small square icon associated with a particular website or webpage that shows up at the very top left corner of your screen as well as on your browser tabs.  It is also known as a shortcut icon, website icon, URL icon, or bookmark icon. Your brand will stand out with this minor detail.  A favicon makes it much easier to differentiate one page from another if you always have a number of open Internet windows.

To create a favicon, visit the Favicon generator.

Use a footer to work wonders

A footer greatly impacts your website with function and graphic design. A strong footer has great contrast to differentiate it from the main content.  The footer steers your attention toward the content within the footer when you use a drastically darker (or lighter) background color. It is important to use this space effectively by including items that can be quickly read. Contact information, address, sitemap, and main sections are often found in the footer. Other functional items such as RSS-feed, e-mail-subscription and tag clouds can be placed there too.

Some common elements you might consider for your footer include:

  • featured work or content
  • dental links (disclaimers, privacy policy, terms)
  • site map
  • newsletter signup form
  • search form
  • social media buttons
  • recent news or Tweets
  • tag cloud
  • summary of “about us” section
  • contact information and/or contact form
  • awards and commendations

For more ideas, a few examples of creative footers can be found here.

 

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Marketing 101: Be Unique to Make your Dental Practice Stand Out

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Your brand is not just a logo – it is commonly defined as your customer’s experience with your dental office. A brand is what your customers think of you and IS a reflection of everything you do: the way you send emails, your website, your Tweets, how you describe your business, and the logo on your business cards. It’s a complex mixture of feelings and personalities that make your customers love your work.

Therefore, your first plan of action should be to make define the difference that makes your practice unique, then create your identity pieces to coordinate. Here are some specifics on how to accomplish a successful and unique brand.

Step One – Determining your Brand’s Identity

First you have to define your market position – the features of your office or services that makes you different – also known as your Unique Sales Position. What follows is to create pieces such as a logo, business cards, website, and other marketing materials that are representations of that position.

For example if your dental practice specializes in state of the art surgery, your website would seem more credible with images of a sleek and shiny dental tools and equipment. An image of a dental chair with a retro dental chair in an old school setting would be contradictory and create brand confusion for your potential clients.

Your dental practice will need a logo, tagline and color scheme to define its professional identity online. Fortunately there are some online resources that can help you do just that –

Kuler is a website that includes some beautiful color schemes that you can use to create your brand’s identity

Logo Pond has an impressive collection of logos. Click on the search option at the top right corner for immediate results and search for “dentist” for immediate results.

Step Two – Your Letterhead and Business Card

Once you have created an online identity for your brand, the next step would be to use certain resources to produce a physical expressions of your brand. You cannot afford to be cheap with your marketing, be sure to hire a professional designer – a professional designer will have a considerable amount of experience creating business cards so it is best that you hire their services instead of trying to design these items yourself. Your business card, like your online identity will be what your clients will associate your dental practice with. This in turn will have a bearing on your status as a professional service.

Offer your clients an elegant, thick letterhead, business cards, or appointment reminder cards that gives them a tactile experience of high quality and contrasts with all of the digital contact that is increasingly common.

Here are a few places to find inspiration for business cards:

  • Flickr Art of Business Card Pool and Inspiredology simply give you a pool of images of business cards.
  • Corporate Identity Designs and All Graphic Design have images of sets of cards, letterhead and envelopes to give you ideas of how to put it all together

Market your dental practice by investing in items that will help you express your unique position and be memorable. Spending time thinking abut your branding is a valuable exercise that can reveal and redefine your business to be best positioned to set your dental practice apart. It is never just the logo or business card and should always consider the overall customer experience you want to offer.

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Is Your Dental Website Getting Results?

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I’m amazed at the hundreds of dental websites I have looked at that are difficult to navigate, make me work to take action, and are basically wasting air space on the Internet.

If you have a website already, I want you to really take a look at its EVERY page, and ask yourself this question. “What’s the goal of this page, and am I making it easy for visitors to take action”.

When you take this approach to your dental website, you’ll have an awakening. You’ll soon realize there is a ton of room for improvement, which is a good thing, as it means with some changes you’ll get more responses.

What’s Your Main Goal

If you’re like all the dental clients I work with, you want your phone ringing correct? If so, does your website make it easy for a visitor to contact your office?

You may think it is, but I’ll bet you it’s not. You see…most of the dental sites I review do not have a prominent phone number. And worse off, many pages don’t have it at all! This makes your dental site a complete waste!

With any marketing, you are paying to get more patients, and that is the same goal of your dental website.

The Second Goal Is…

When someone is looking for a dentist, they want to know how to contact you (phone number), and where are you located (address and map).

With that in mind, you MUST have a map on your dental website! There’s no negotiating on this one! If you don’t make it easy for visitor to see where you’re located, you’re dead in the water. Toast!

I would say of all the dental websites I review, 80% of them do not have a map.

If you don’t, I want you to contact your webmaster right now and get a map put on your homepage ASAP! Don’t put this off! Get it up there and you’ll see a boost in the number of phone calls you get.

So if and when you decide to update/redesign your dental website, don’t go for pretty, go for functional. Make it easy for people to call you and find out where you’re located. Do this and your practice with prosper.

I hope this article has opened your eyes to what your website should accomplish.

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