How to Get More Dental Patients with CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) for Dental Websites
At this point of your dentist website design and digital marketing program, you have: designed your website; built out your web pages; performed SEO on your site and web pages; done some link building; some social media and retargeting. But what about working on turning all of these website visitors into new dental patients? The old cliche, “build it and they will come” is partially true. You will get prospective dental patients onto your dental website, but there is no guarantee that any of them will actually pick up a phone and make an appointment or fill out one of our new dental patient forms online. So, how do you convince them to take action on your website? By implementing Conversion Rate Optimization strategies.
What is Conversion Rate Optimization?
Conversion rate optimization, also known as CRO, is a technique that increases the percentage of visitors who come to your website to perform an action that converts them into a customer. Your conversion rate is determined by taking your website traffic and figuring out the percentage that convert by desired action.
Some desired actions are:
- Signing up for a newsletter
- Filling out a form
- Making a purchase
- Becoming a customer
While achieving good rankings on the search engines and increasing traffic to your website is every dentist’s desired achievement, the ultimate goal of all of these rankings and traffic is to get new dental patients. And while it is important to concentrate on getting as much targeted website traffic that you possibly can, you really should also be working on increasing your conversion rate. For example, if you have 100 visitors to your website and 1% of them convert into new dental patients, that would mean that you get 1 new dental patient for every 100 visitors. If you were to increase your conversion rate from 1% to 2%, you would now get 2 new dental patients, thus, doubling your conversion rate! You have essentially doubled your new customer acquisition process without increasing traffic to your website.
If you haven’t determined your website’s conversion rate, you really need to do that as soon as possible. Within Google Analytics you can set up Goals which allow you to track users that complete a desired action, such as completing a form or signing up for something. You probably get a lot of phone calls for new dental patients. We will discuss how to track that later in this section.
CRO is an untapped technique that most dentists should implement on their website, but very few do. Perhaps if you only have your phone number listed and a contact button, you thought that was enough to get conversions, and sometimes it is. But have you tried to increase these conversions?
Here is an example of conversion rates for someone who filled out a new patient appointment form on a dentist’s website, with a baseline metric starting at 1% conversion rate:
|Website Traffic||Conversion Rate %||New Dental Patients||Conversion Rate Increase|
If you could do something right now that could increase the number of new dental patients by 100% or 200%, I am sure you would work on it right away. That is the power of Conversion Rate Optimization.
Benefits of Increasing your Conversion Rate for Dentist Websites
- Increase in dental customers
- Increase in revenue
- Cost per new customer acquisition is lowered
- Increase your ROI (Return On Investment) on your current marketing spend
- Most of your competitors are not doing CRO, giving you a competitive edge
How to Implement Conversion Rate Optimization on Your Dental Website
CRO relies on data, specifically from your Google Analytics account, in order to make educated changes to your website in order to increase your conversion rate. If you have a brand new website, you can still implement some of the following suggestions, but it is beneficial to have some website traffic in order to analyze your results.
Call-To-Action, or CTAs, are text or media elements added to your website that evoke a response from the website visitor to perform a desired action. Many times, these CTAs are set up as buttons or small graphical forms within your website. The more enticing the CTA, the more likely they are to perform the desired action.
Some examples of CTAs for dentist websites are:
- Call Now
- Contact Us
- Schedule an Appointment
- Sign Up For Our Newsletter
You should experiment with different CTAs, split test the different versions, then compare their conversion rates within Google Analytics and pick the best one. Then, you repeat the process and keep fine tuning your CTAs while improving your conversions over time.
Add Social Proof
You should add any and all social media accounts to your website in order to reiterate your branding and to increase trust from your prospective new dental customers. These are some examples of how to add social proof to you dentistry practice website:
Make sure you add your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts that we mentioned earlier in this guide. If you have a large Facebook following, then showcase the number of fans you have.
You should also showcase positive patient reviews along with your 5 star ratings. We discuss how to attain dentist reviews later in this guide.
Add Trust Signals
Trust signals are website elements that help evoke trustworthiness of your website and dental business, thus boosting confidence within a website visitor, making it more likely that they will feel comfortable to do business with you.
Adding social proof elements like social media feeds and patient reviews can help, and here are some other trust signals to consider using:
If you have a secure website with the HTTPS protocol, you should show the SSL cert’s seal on your website. This will help let your website visitors know that your website is secure, especially if they are entering in sensitive patient information on your website.
List any associations or memberships that you are a part of. For example, the ADA (American Dental Association), other dental memberships, local chamber of commerce, Better Business Bureau (BBB) or other memberships. Add their logo for easier identification.
If you work exclusively with certain dental brands, then list those here, along with their logos.
Mention What Sets Your Dentistry Practice Apart from Your Competitors
If you offer something that your competitors do not, you should not only mention it on your website, but emphasize it wherever you can. For example, if you offer dental services that are unique or you use the latest technology, you should mention that on your website.
Other CRO Strategies
New Website Design
The ultimate CRO project! Lets face it, if your dentist website was designed over a decade ago, it is probably time for a redesign. This can have the most positive increase in your conversion rate.
Improve Page Speed
Most users will not stay on a website that takes a long time to load or is very slow. Improving your website’s loading time can greatly increase your conversions.
If you implement strategically timed and placed popups on your website, this can help improve your conversion rate.
There are several other ways you can increase your conversion rate for your dentistry practice, but the above list gives you some good ideas to get started. The important thing is to always try to increase your conversion rate over time, so remember to test and fine tune all of your CRO campaigns.
Once you have implemented an effective dental conversion rate optimization strategy, and you are converting browsers into new dental patients, you need to gather up as many positive dental patient reviews as possible. You do that with an effective reputation management program, which we will cover next.
Guide to Dentist Website Retargeting
Getting Dentist Reviews and Reputation Management for Dentists