There can be no doubting the importance of the internet, and the significant role it now plays in all our lives. With more and more patients now using the internet to search for dental practices, rather than traditional methods such as phonebooks or local directories, it is essential that your practice has a web presence that fully reflects your vision and the services you are able to provide.
Chris Neve is Business Manager at Queens Park Dental Team, Bournemouth, and has been responsible for overseeing the development of the practice website for over a decade. While the practice was one of the ‘early adopters’ of dental online marketing in 2004, with the surge in internet use across the country, Queens Park Dental Team now attracts more new patients through its website than any other method.
‘It all started way back in 2004,’ says Chris. ‘Back then we realised we needed a website, and we were really looking for that competitive “edge” to make us stand out. No other practices in Bournemouth had a website at that stage, so we thought starting our own would be an excellent idea.
‘At first we started out with a website company based in the local area. Because they were local we thought everything would be easy as we could pop into their office at any time and get things sorted. They did everything – sorted the domain, the hosting and put the website together. The problem was it never looked like we wanted it to, and some of the pages didn’t load properly. Whenever we asked for changes to be made, the company would get a bit funny with us, and so we knew that things weren’t right.
‘It was then a friend of ours introduced us to Krishan Joshi at Dental Focus ®. Our friend had used Krishan to design his own website and we saw what a good job he had done for our friend so we contacted Krishan and went from there really. Krishan was great – he sorted everything out really quickly and gave us the website we had always hoped for in a short space of time!’
To establish the design of the new website, Chris worked closely with Krishan, and was kept regularly updated as the design progressed. With each new ‘mock-up’ of the website, Chris and the team provided feedback on elements of the design so as Krishan could build the final website to their exact tastes and specifications.
‘We were all really pleased with the website,’ says Chris. ‘It was exactly what we were after – a much fresher look, and with all the latest features as it was back in 2004. A few years later in 2008, we then decided to have a major revamp of the site – a complete redesign. Our new website was so good we even won an award for ‘Most Improved Private Website’. We were very happy! This was great publicity for our practice and we even appeared in the local press as a result.’
In terms of marketing, in the past, Chris used to use a number of different marketing strategies for Queens Park Dental Team, but given the success of his new website, he’s found that many of the ‘old’ methods of marketing are fast becoming obsolete.
‘Our new website is absolutely great,’ continues Chris. ‘In fact we attract most of our new patients through our website. We used to be in the Yellow Pages. In fact we were the first practice in Bournemouth to have colour in our advert when colour adverts came in. Obviously that was quite a big draw at the time, but we started to do research into where our new patients were coming from and it seemed that Yellow Pages was providing very few results for the money we were paying. We used to be on Yell.com as well, but that didn’t really bring anything either. So we dropped both the Yellow Pages and Yell.com and decided to focus our marketing on our website and our search ranking on Google and Bing. Of course we do carry out other kinds of marketing as well. We do leaflet drops around our local area and other such things, but majority of new patients are by word-of-mouth or through the website. This is very cost effective in comparison to the “old” methods such as Yellow Pages.
‘All in all we’ve had a very positive experience working with Dental Focus ®. The team are always very quick to respond to any requests, and make updates very quickly. One of the big selling points for us is that the Dental Focus ® team work exclusively on dental websites. This means they really understand dentistry and they understand exactly what we’re talking about.
‘It’s nice – we were one of the first practices to work with Dental Focus ®, but still we’re never forgotten. We may not be the biggest or the flashiest practice in the world, but we are always treated as a valued customer, and if we need anything at all, the team are always more than happy to help.’
When it comes to dental online marketing, it really pays to trust the experts. This means choosing a web design and marketing company that understand dentistry, that has experience producing dental websites that work, and can offer you an unparalleled level of service and support when you need it most. With the internet now such an important part of any dental practice’s marketing mix, choosing a web design company that offers proven results time and time again, will help ensure your practice makes the most of the fantastic opportunity that online marketing provides.
For more information call 020 7183 8388, or visit www.dental-focus.com