So, you’ve decided it’s time for a dental practice website – or a makeover of your current site. That’s awesome. Before you pass the power to your spouse, hygienist, or office manager, you should take care of a few items. Obviously, you don’t have time to manage every detail of your website or marketing efforts; you have patients to see! There are a few leadership duties you should attend to, though, so that the website design, development, and marketing process is a success.
- You should select your website and marketing company.
It’s fine to have an employee gather information about services and vendors, but you need to make the final decision regarding which company you prefer. First, define your objectives: why do you want a new website? What return do you hope to gain from this investment? How interactive would you personally like to be with your new website? What level of service will you need from your website hosting and support company so that you are not constantly struggling to get updates made?
- You should test the website company’s service.
In the beginning of your relationship with any vendor, you work with a salesperson. These people are very good at answering their phones, as their commission hangs in the balance. However, once your website is live, your communication will probably be with customer service. In some cases, you might even have to call a technical help line. Instead of investing in a website, then finding out that the support service stinks, call customer service and technical support before signing on the dotted line. Find out firsthand the level of service you can expect.
- You should select a contact person in your front office to coordinate the project with your website vendor.
Be sure to choose someone who will give you messages, forward emails, and explain options. Your point person should not make decisions about design and functionality for your website without your input. This means, you need to define parameters and expectations for your point person to refer to, or make sure she relays everything to you without injecting personal opinion. Keep one chef in your kitchen – you.
- You should personally attend the design, copywriting, and production meetings.
A dental website company that’s worth its salt will request an interview with you. The answers and opinions you provide will help the website development team provide you with a product that meets, or even exceeds, your expectations. Communication is key. If you don’t know what you want, experts at the website company should be able to guide you through a process of defining your goals. Throughout the process, you may need to review and sign off in order to move forward. These checkpoints are not intended to make your life difficult. On the contrary, knowing that your expectations are being met along the way will ensure a successful outcome.
- You should personally review everything before “going live.”
The state board and ADA have specific guidelines for advertising. You have your own techniques and preferences for dental procedures and customer service in your office. Ultimately, if misinformation or misrepresentation occurs on your site, your license is in jeopardy. An experienced dental website company can help you make wise decisions. An inexperienced or non-dental website company will rely on you to find all infractions and bad information. Before your website is live on the Internet, you must QC it yourself!
These tips will make your website design, development, and production experience easier. In my years in this industry, I’ve seen many projects either blow up or fall by the wayside – the investment lost forever. My goal with MDPM is to communicate well so that our team understands the client’s expectations and works diligently to exceed them.
If you’d like to discuss your online marketing goals, your dental website or blog, or if you have questions about search engine optimization and Google, call Modern Dental Practice Marketing for answers. We’re here to make you smile.