10 Myths About Dental Websites
Opinions are everywhere, and whether you’ve just begun shopping for a website or you’ve been in the market for a while, you’re bound to come across a web “expert” who will try and sell you on their services using outlandish claims. For the average person, it’s easy to get confused or mistake myth for fact.
To help you on your journey in purchasing a new website or upgrading an existing website, we have compiled – and busted – the top ten myths about websites. Want additional dental website best practice tips? Download the free guide here.
1. Myth: All websites are the same. I can just buy the cheapest one and be done.
Fact: Websites are definitely one of those important purchases where you want to know what you’re getting yourself in to. Hiring a tech-savvy relative or friend fresh out of design school isn’t always the best decision. You want your website to exude a professional image, and you want to make sure visitors can easily navigate your site to find the information they want. You also want to be sure you have the chance to view your website before it goes live for public viewing. Quality first impressions are critical, and you want to ensure your website is giving your prospective patients the right impression.
2. Myth: Once I have a website, I will immediately get new patients.
Fact: Having a website is similar to owning a vehicle. You first have to purchase the vehicle, but you also have to be sure there is gas in the tank before it’ll go. Your website is propelled by quality content that provides a reason for search engines to find your website useful to online searchers. The more quality content you provide, the more gas your website has. And, for those in highly competitive markets and large cities, you can always consider search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing (SMM) services to add even more fuel. Additionally, your content doesn’t only help search engines; it enables patients to determine what services you offer and supplies the necessary information for them to ultimately choose you as their provider.
3. Myth: I can’t afford a custom website.
Fact: A good website doesn’t need to cost $25,000 to work well for your practice. The cost of a website will range depending on the complexity of your requests, but a professional, branded website is within reach and costs 62% less per prospect than traditional marketing tactics. Just be sure to understand what the cost of your custom website includes. You’ll want to look for a designer that provides as many conveniences as possible, such as content, a CMS (content management system), and several rounds of revisions, to name a few.
4. Myth: My website will look the same on any device.
Fact: Are you sure of that? As more Internet users have transitioned from using their desktop computers to using tablets and smartphones, how your website displays on these devices is critical. Simply having a shrunken version of your website to fit a smaller screen will frustrate users on tablets and smartphones. If you think your website is fine regardless of where it’s displayed, you may want to reconsider – check out our blog article explaining why mobile matters.
5. Myth: Cheap hosting is the same as expensive hosting. The expensive hosts just want more money.
Fact: Hosting is definitely something that falls under the “You Get What You Pay For” category. Sure, cheap hosting is appealing and $10 per month sounds a lot better than $60 per month, but what does that $60 buy you? Often, more expensive hosting has built-in complexities to prevent you from dealing with spam or having to suffer the setback of your website being down. This doesn’t mean hosting should cost you upwards of $100 per month, but you should expect to pay around $50 each month for secure hosting. Additionally, some hosts charge based on the number of pages your website can have and how many email accounts you will be given. Check to see what your hosting fee includes.
6. Myth: I can reach just as many prospects by spending my money on marketing methods other than a website.
Fact: 78.6% of Americans use the Internet and use it multiple times per day. This means a website can potentially reach 246 million people per day. No alternative marketing method has that reach. Additionally, a website is one of the least expensive forms of marketing, second only to free social networking sites and business listings, and websites yield an impressive ROI.
7. Myth: I don’t know anything about computers, so I shouldn’t have a website.
Fact: Depending on the type of website you purchase, you may not need to know anything. There are numerous website providers that take care of everything for you, from renewing your domain name annually to providing the content for your website. The only thing you have to know is how to call and purchase the website. Some providers even have a customer support team that can assist you with any questions you may have regarding your website or webmail.
You can also find website providers that give you the ability to edit your website within their own CMS (content management system). A CMS will give you the ability to control nearly every aspect of your website without any web design know-how, including adding images, video, and editing content. Navigating these content management systems is extremely simple too, as most function similar to popular word processors.
8. Myth: My site needs to be Flash because I want my visitors to view video.
Fact: Flash is tricky. While flash is pretty impressive and was a hot topic for a while, Internet trends are now shifting towards jQuery and HTML5, which can display video equally as well. Additionally, jQuery and HTML5 will allow your videos to render on devices that don’t support Flash, such as the iPad or iPhone. That being said, if you want all of your visitors to view video, you definitely want to stick with HTML5.
9. Myth: A good website takes months to build.
Fact: An experienced designer can build a website efficiently, especially if they’re working at a larger, reputable company. The larger the team is working on your website, the quicker they can develop a working model of your website and provide you with mock-ups to approve. Some companies even have pre-designed website options which can be live within 24 hours.
Fact: Time is the one thing you can’t buy; however, you can purchase a website solution that takes care of updates and upgrades for you. Some website providers offer turnkey solutions complete with written content, videos, and contact forms. All you need to do is select which pages you want to display on your website. Many of these providers even have customer support teams that will assist you with making edits to your website. And just like that, your schedule is suddenly free.
Purchasing a website shouldn’t be scary or intimidating, and if you get stuck or confused, use these ten busted myths to guide your purchase decision.
For additional tips, download the free guide 10 Best Practices for Creating Great Dental Websites by filling out the form below.