Best Practices for Using Photos on Dental Websites, Blogs, and Facebook

Let’s talk about dental website pictures for a sec. Someone (no doubt an artist) once said, A picture’s worth a thousand words. Well, the writers of the world (including yours truly) and search engine spiders disagree. However, I have to give pictures their props… People really like to look at pictures, diagrams, photos. So here are my professional recommendations regarding photos dentists should use in online marketing.

Website – To maximize the personality of your practice on the web, use real photos of your real practice, real team, and real patients.

  • The building: Take pictures out front, from the road, with and without the team. Also, snap some good shots of the interior, the lobby and back office. I like to see close-ups of things in the office, too, like a gloved hand holding an instrument, a 45% angle shot of a vase of flowers, or your sign on your front door.
  • You: A professional picture of the doctor(s) is nice. You don’t have to wear a tie, but you can. Just dress like you do every day. People want to see the real you, not some made-up version. You might also add a family photo to use further down on your bio page.
  • The team: This includes you and your partners. Take a group photo, photos by department, and photos of each person. It’s nice if everyone is wearing the same general color scheme; nothing too flashy or bland. Be sure to take pictures of the team in action.

Patients: I would ask patients if I can use their photo online before slapping it up there. You can offer to NOT use names or to use a first name and initial… or just initials. It’s nice to have before-and-after clinical photos, both close-ups and full-face shots. I particularly like the patient photos that don’t look like Glamor Shots. The ones where patients are holding a prop or have more than one person in the picture are nice to sprinkle throughout the website. The best patient photos have case studies and testimonials with them.

Blog – I think all blogs should feature pictures or diagrams. You can use photos of your team and office, but mix it up with some royalty-free photos, as well. You can subscribe to a photo site, like Shutter Stock, but if you have a web design company, all photos should be included in your package price. At MDPM, we include unlimited photos with our monthly blog service. *DO NOT snag photos from other sources online, even Google’s photo search. I’ve seen dentists get slapped with thousands of dollars in fines for using a photo without rights.

Facebook – It’s a fabulous idea to use photos on Facebook. The pictures you upload to your photo albums should be yours, not stock, and they need to show your team and patients in action – in the office, at community events, at the company picnic, or enjoying Halloween Candy Buy Back day!

Google Places – Please load photos onto Google Places! Use your logo, curbside shot of your office building, a photo of you and/or the team, and pictures of your team in the community. Before-and-afters are okay, too. You have to choose 10, but you can change them out whenever you want.

And here’s a tip about storing pictures. Photos take up a lot of memory in a computer. I recommend uploading your photos to a website like Flickr, then keeping the original files on a removable hard drive.