What does your website say about your practice and how can you ensure it makes the right impression to potential new patients? Here, our very own Les Jones talks about how you can achieve this with the three second brand and the importance of making a connection with patients.
It might surprise you to know that most potential new patients visiting your website are not going to be swayed to choose your practice because of the dentistry you can provide. The fact that you can do all the ‘dental stuff’ is pretty much a given. The question they are looking to answer is, ‘Do you feel right for me to make the connection with you and join your practice?’
Three seconds to make an impression
Imagine that I am a potential new patient. I’ve just moved into the area and I’m looking for a new dental practice. I’ve Googled local dentists and come across your website. When I land on your website homepage what are the key messages you want to get across to me? Specifically, what emotional response do you want me to have to your website? Malcolm Gladwell, the American author wrote a book called Blink. It was all about how people make decisions these days, not by analysis, not by research, not by lots of information gathering, but by gut feeling. And they do that within two or three seconds.
You may recognise this from your own experience. If you’ve ever walked into a shop and as you’ve walked in and taken a quick look around you’ve immediately thought to yourself, “No, this isn’t happening. This is not where I want to be. I’m not going to get what I want,” and you’ve turned around and walked straight back out the door, you’ve made that decision, consciously or subconsciously, within two or three seconds.
And the same is true for websites. It’s your shop front and people will make three second judgements about a practice from its website, too. If they don’t get the right emotional response to your brand within the first three seconds, then they’ll go elsewhere. Your website has to make a great first impression and convince people that your practice is the one they should join, so it needs to work hard.
Avoid common mistakes
When it comes to websites, typically the mistakes that practices make is to talk too much about the dentistry and not enough about the emotional stuff. So here are two or three things to think about.
Firstly, less is more. There’s so much of a propensity these days to try and cram loads and loads of information onto your homepage on your website, when actually, two or three really succinct messages and images will probably do it for me.
The second thing is to use testimonials, either written testimonials, or even better, video testimonials, where patients talk about the wonderful experience they’ve had at the practice and the fantastic impact you’ve had on their lives. They’re not going to be talking about the technicalities of the actual dental treatment, but what difference it’s made to them in an emotional capacity. That’s what I want to hear. I want to make that connection and feel as though your practice is the right one for me.
Is your website a three second brand?
Take a look at your website; be very critical about what it’s saying and ask yourself, is it projecting the kind of emotions and messages that you really want to get across to a potential new patient? Because if you don’t get those things across within two or three seconds, the most likelihood is, someone will bounce off and try the next one on that Google search. And you might lose that potential business forever.
So, think about it, the three second brand, how do you make a fantastic first impression, the first three seconds that someone lands on your website?
If you’re looking for more from your plan provider, a team who will help you develop your plan and business, why not see if we can help. Find out more here.
Les Jones is the Creative Director at Practice Plan, the UK’s number one provider of practice-branded dental plans. He has over 30 years’ experience of working within the creative and dental sectors in the fields of design, marketing and strategic consultancy.