Writing a dental website brief
Creating a dental website is one of the most critical aspects to starting a new business. In order to create an effective dental website, there are certain perameters that need to be followed, which is why using this template to write a dental website is one of the best ways to create your new site. The following information will help you learn how to use a template in order to get every needed element included in your site. This is a cursory list of things to include and your site may include elements not covered. This is a basic template.
This information will be the introduction on your dental website. First things first; introduce your dental practice to your visitor. Create a couple of paragraphs about your practice, its goals, who it serves, and why people need to come and see you for dental procedures. Include the size of your dental practice so your visitors know what to expect from you.
This is a good place to include your dental practice mission statement. Include the date your dental practice was established and where your central office is located. Finally, wrap up your intro with a tidy statement that describes your company in less than a dozen words.
Waste Not Want Not
So you already have a website, but want to re-write it. Don’t underestimate the value of your old dental website. You have valuable information there that you should transport to your new site. If you are working with a website design agency, then they need your URL. Make a list of what you like about the old dental site and what doesn’t work for you at all. Also consider how old it is and who built it. This information should also be given to your web design agency. Consider how much traffic this site generates and where it is originating: i.e. are people visiting you using their smart phones or is it mainly computer users that visit. If you don’t have a way to measure this, then include one in your new site.
Next, compile a list of the top five browsers platforms being used to reach your site. For example, how many visitors use Google Chrome, Firefox, etc. to reach your site, and how many were Mac users as opposed to PC, Android or iOS.
Another important factor is what is the ‘conversion’ rate of your current dental website . In other words, how many visits result in a successful new patient or enquiry? How many authentic leads are generated by your site, how many appointment do you receive as a direct result of web traffic?
Finally, how is your dental website being updated–or is it? One of the worst mistakes dental websites make is not updating their site. Guests expect to have up to date information. If your guests experience dead links, missing information and outdated information, the likelihood of turning them over is nil. On the other hand, if you have been keeping it updated are you using an in-house employee or do you have a maintenance service from your dental web design agency ?
In a nutshell, in order to build a better dental website, your design agency needs to know what worked well on the old site and what didn’t work. What did you like, what did you not like. What was your patient feedback about the site? If you don’t have feedback, there are a number of visitor surveys that prompt visitors to give feedback about your site. These are an invaluable tool to use to improve with your new or revised site as they let your designer know exactly what is working and what isn’t. If you haven’t had one, your designer may ask you to have your site surveyed.
Your New Dental Website
Once you have discussed the positives and negatives about your old site with your web agency, you are ready to begin setting up an outline for your re-write. Your site should be multidimensional and each area is important. Deciding where to start causes many to not start at all so make it easy on yourself and your designer; start with an outline of what you expect from your re-write. How will your new site benefit you? What do you need from your website? Asking these questions will help you focus and make the goals clear to everyone on the team.
Outline the specific goals of your site such as increasing traffic and new patients. Other things that will affect your re-write is whether you are introducing a new product or service. Next consider the demographic you wish to attract. Are you marketing to young adults, families, mature adults or perhaps all ages? Also consider the socioeconomic background your service or product is geared toward. For example, do you wish to target retired home owners, or young people renting a flat for the first time? These facts are critical in focusing your dental website content.
Socioeconomic factors to consider include but aren’t limited to:
- Economic background
- Income level
- Geographic location
- Education level
Additionally, how your target audience will primarily access your site will influence how your site will be re-written. Each day technology is moving toward providing more access to web content via phones and is shifting web design toward a phone oriented accessible world. However not all applications are phone appropriate, generating a lot of PC and Mac traffic.
Another consideration is whether the re-write is in correlation to a product introduction or a complete re-branding exercise. Also consider what is unique about your dental practice and your services and include this information in the outline. l.
It is very important that the area you are targeting is not an already saturated market, and if it is, that your dental practice offer something completely unique to that market. Competition is brutal so breaking into an already saturated market is risky, so including several competitors’ sites for your developer to review will help them build you a better site.
Defining Your Budget
The importance of this step in the process cannot be stressed enough. Giving your developer an accurate website budget will result in more accurate project and website features. Your website budget should include the monies available for development and design of your re-write and money for on-going support and website maintenance.
Beginning the Build
Now it’s time to begin thinking about what your website will look like. Will it be edgy and modern, laid back and approachable? Your dental practice website should seamlessly incorporate aspects from your other marketing materials, especially if you are re-branding. In a re-brand all your materials will be redone, so it is important to get copies of your mock ups to your developer so they can get coordinate your site. Often developers ask for a few sites you like and what it is that you like about them, what you wish to have incorporated into your own site, etc.
Perhaps that hardest part of the build is letting go of your current site. Even though it isn’t working for you, it is familiar and that makes it difficult to let go of. Let go of it.
Don’t put this off. Start thinking about the information you want to display on your site based on the evaluation. If you don’t have an in-house copywriter then you will need to hire one. Often the developer has a copywriter on staff who can provide the text you need. You will need to have a content audit conducted, which can also be done by someone at the development agency (something that Deseo has in-house). At this stage determine how your content will be generated, again if you don’t have someone in house, you will need to find a copywriter. If you need to have copywriting, supply your copywriter with perameters such as voice, phrasing, point of view, and other instructions relevant to the content.
Providing company photos, brand imagery, video, drawings, graphs, etc. adds fullness and depth to dental websites. If you don’t have these, discuss with your web developer how to obtain them. The developer will also need your logo, press packet and background info in pdf, eps, or psd form.
Now the part you probably hired a developer for, the part where you reconcile your expectations with your technical limitations. Things to consider here include setting up a domain if you are launching your first site. Do you need a host? If so, your agency will have their favourites and can recommend one for you. It is important to let your agency know whether your site is an internet site, an intranet site or an extranet site. If your site is an intranet site are you going to be a windows only environment? Your developer will also need to know if you are using Linux or Windows.
Next you should consider if your site will offer tools for the disabled such as braille readers and audio web browsers. Some sites are text only. This is a good time to discuss if your site will be attracting people with disabilities such as mobility issues. If so, your site should be user friendly for these individuals.
Plan for Scheduled Maintenance
Maintenance is one of the most overlooked aspects to building and operating dental practice websites. Just as you need a mechanic to keep your car running, you need someone to care for your re-written site. Do you have a skilled person in your company and if so, what is the contingency plan for maintenance in the event this individual leaves? Consider hiring your developer to maintain your site as they are already familiar with it and have the skills needed to keep it running and updated.
Ironically, when creating a website digital marketing is often overlooked. Digital marketing is very important. Getting traffic to your website often begins with digital marketing so make this a part of your website re-write outline. Digital marketing campaigns will require one or all of the following:
- Content Marketing- use blogs, social media, video and social media
- Email– we all get spam, but once in a while something relevant filters in
- SEO — use search engine optimisation
- Social media campaigns–Facebook, twitter and other networks
- Pay-Per-Click, paid listings and display network advertising
Obviously if your targeted audience doesn’t engage in social media then that avenue would not work well. Use the tools that benefit you. If you have run a social media campaign, review what was effective and what didn’t work in creating your new campaign. Use your cookies to understand your audience and target them.
During this phase of development, decide on your website launch, digital marketing budget and how much your ongoing marketing budget will be. Make sure to include costs such as agency fees and your pay-per-click budgets. It is important to communicate your experiences and ideas about digital dental marketing with your website developer.
Also called offline marketing, planning your traditional marketing campaign also includes mailings, brochures, billboards, public relations promos, sponsors and vehicle magnets. Using traditional marketing helps bring in traffic that hasn’t seen your online marketing.
Lastly, create a conclusion for your dental website brief that lets the developer know what you expect from them. Typically your developer will provide you with a cost analysis, a timetable for completion, and a full proposal outlining each step and what is provided.
Now that you understand what goes into redesigning dental websites, get started today by selecting a reputable and reliable agency like Deseo. Call us today for a FREE consultation.