January 31, 2023

The World Wide Web has provided both existing and prospective patients with a shrewd tool to compare dentists without physically visiting the practice, meeting or talking to staff. It is essential for a private aesthetic dentist to demonstrate credibility through a reassuringly modern and up-to-date website in order to satisfy the expectations of existing patients and make it easy for them to choose to continue their custom, never mind recommend the practice to family and friends. Standing out amongst competitors on the Web is important for any dentist serious in attracting new aesthetic patients.

An easy way to stand out is to stand for something. A dental website should be targeted to a specific patient profile; every practice has unique patient demographics depending on the location, modernity and treatments of the practice so it is important to realise what type of patient the practice feels confident in successfully attracting and tailoring the website to do just this.

Some practices will find most of their patients are elderly whilst other practices will have younger patients; photos of smiling models should illustrate the desired patient profile.

If the dentist feels the treatments are most appreciated by the elderly then displaying photos of young families is not going to help the website stand out to an elderly audience.

Every cosmetic dental practice needs Unique Selling Points (USPs) and most importantly needs their website to be able to convey their USPs quickly and clearly. The average website visitor may only stay for 5 or 6 pages and within that time the prospective patient needs to grasp a significant feature to be able to remember you. Affordability is an essential message on the Web and a USP that every practice can adopt.

The Web has become known as the place to find the best price. Experienced surfers expect to find out information about fees and be able to include payment information in their decision making process when comparing dental websites. A new website visitor is most likely going to compare at least two or three dental practices. It is a good idea to consider visible adverts indicating special offers unique to your website. Information on interest free credit and discounts will help make your website memorable.

An indication of treatment fees should be displayed. The benefits of showing a comprehensive list of fees includes building credibility in terms of transparent pricing and the ability to divert telephone enquiries to your website for payment information and charges, thus freeing up valuable reception time.

The benefits of not revealing any fees is that the price-astute web visitor is unable to easily compare on the basis of price however this only stays a benefit as long as the practice is able to entice the visitor to attend a consultation to discuss individual treatment plans and affordable methods of payment. There is no point in shying away from stating fees on the website if all is revealed immediately over the phone.

Websites need to be kept up-to-date with opening hours, dentist and staff profiles, emergency information, and fees among other topics. Fees should be stated to be correct as at a specific date so that the dentist is not accused of misleading the patient if there happens to be different quotes within the practice without updating the website. Stating that prices should be used as a guide only; and are from a specific amount allows flexibility and helps screen patients who can’t even afford the basic treatment costs. However, if transparent fixed prices are adopted then even more regular and timely updates must be made.

An online cost calculator, which only works out the cost of the individual visitor’s treatment, is a useful means of providing transparent pricing without providing a fully accessible list of all fees; cost calculators can serve as a user friendly method as it provides the user only the information they require without overwhelming the page with information.