10 Features Every Dental Practice Website Should Have

By Whiteboard Marketing

In today’s marketing world there are many ways to get the word out about your dental practice, but your website is the most important tool in your marketing arsenal. Your website helps educate current and prospective patients about you and your team, the procedures and services you offer, and unique qualities that set you apart from the competitor down the street.

While it is important to focus on attracting potential patients to your website, an even more vital component is converting them to new patients once they visit the site. This concept is known as conversion rate optimization (CRO), which means optimizing your website to ensure visitors are filling out forms or picking up the phone to call your office. 

Follow these 10 best practices to ensure your website is converting as many potential patients as possible. 

1. Have Clear Calls to Action.

More than 55% of your website visitors will leave your website within 15 seconds. This means you have 15 seconds or less to get your visitor to convert. Having clear calls to action (CTAs) will help guide a patient to call, schedule, chat, contact or complete forms. The most effective CTAs are brightly colored buttons that stand out from or compliment your brand colors and provide easy-to-understand directions. The key to a successful CTA is creating the right wording, style, size and even the location of them on your pages.

2. Add a sticky navigation.

The navigation of a website is the menu at the top that lists the pages a person can visit on your site, such as the About or Services sections. Having a clear, easy to understand navigation allows site visitors to find the information they are looking for quickly and easily. While it is great to structure the navigation with an efficient layout, it is also important to build a “sticky navigation.” This means that the navigation bar scrolls up and down the page with the user as they move throughout the site. Sticky navigations are an essential component to a website because it allows users to quickly switch among pages without having to scroll back to the top of the page. Having a sticky header also means there is a CTA visible all the way through the site, so that it allows a person to convert at any time.

3. Add live, streaming patient reviews.

Our own client analytics show that the practice reviews page is the third most viewed page on dental websites, behind the home and team pages. Online patient reviews are an effective tool to reassure potential patients they will have a good experience when they visit your practice. While it is important to receive a consistent stream of reviews on Google, Facebook and other sites, your website also is a perfect platform to display your reviews. Promoting your reviews on your website allows patients to quickly and easily learn more about you. This is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate why your practice is the best fit for their dental needs.

A live reviews feed from your Google, Facebook and Healthgrades channels also impacts your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, because it views incoming reviews on your website as new content.

4. Use white space!

One of the most controversial topics of website design is about the use of “white space” on a website. “White space” is a term for any space that does not include content or images, even if the background is another color besides white. At Whiteboard Marketing, we recommend including a few sections of white space within your website. This separation of content and color is important to ensure that you are not overwhelming the user. In order to convert visitors to new patients, your site should guide the user’s eye to the content you want them to see. This also highlights the importance of having a clear CTA that stands out. If a website visitor is unable to differentiate between your content and the CTA, it will be more difficult to direct them what to do or what actions to take. If there is information that you feel is important to add to your website, our designers recommend adding it to a relevant spot on the homepage and into the navigation as a link. This ensures that the information does not take away from the main CTA.

5. Add images of your practice and team.

As mentioned above, your practice’s team page is typically the second-most visited page on your website. Adding professional images of your office and team will help prospective patients get a feel for your practice culture and commitment to dental health. Make the investment to use real images of your practice rather than stock photography.

6. Embed Google Maps on your website with the ability to “click” for directions to your practice.

Adding a Google map to your website lets Google know that your practice is located where your practice Google My Business (GMB) profile says it is. This will help with your SEO. Be sure the address on your website matches your GMB profile. When you add clickable directions from the map, patients can get directions in a simple click from their desktop, tablet or phone.

7. Modernize the patient experience by adding important patient resources.

We live in a society of immediacy where website visitors want to communicate, schedule, pay bills and more online on their time. By adding these “modernization” opportunities to your website, you will convert more new patients and keep visitors on your website longer.

  • For prospective patients, consider adding features like online scheduling and live 24/7 chat.
  • For new and current patients, consider adding online forms and online billing links.
  • For all patients, make sure you have clickable contact information, including a click-to-call and email and Google Maps directions to your office.

The more assets your site can offer to patients, the better experience they will have when visiting your site. These resources add additional opportunities for you to convert a patient or collect contact information.

8. Write unique, rich content.

Google considers content to be “rich” if it is filled with unique information about valuable topics, news and materials. Rich content provides a deeper understanding about your practice that you cannot find anywhere else on the internet. Some of the things that you can provide to help develop more rich content are team biographies, photos of your team and practice, and all the services that you offer. Not only will this help visitors develop a better understanding of your practice, but it also will provide better SEO potential.

9. Focus on Search Engine Optimization.

One of the most important resources you can have with any website is SEO. SEO is a way of optimizing your website to make search engines, such as Google, understand exactly what your website is providing to anyone searching for that type of content. When a person searches “dentist near me,” Google will know that your website fits that description, and it will include your website in the top of the search results. Search engines also will grade your website on a range of factors based on how well the website is built. The better the grade, or score, that your website receives, the higher you can be placed in search results. This provides your practice with the opportunity to be seen before your competitors.

10. Make sure your website is mobile responsive.

In today’s age of technology, phones and tablets have become a primary platform to search for information and view websites. That’s why Google switched to a “mobile-first” index in 2019. This means that your practice’s mobile website is being crawled and indexed before the desktop version of your site. In 2020, the number of users who viewed websites on mobile was the same amount of people who viewed it on desktop. As the use of these devices continues to increase, it is important to keep in mind how your website looks on a variety of different screens. If you do not have a mobile responsive website, there is a good chance that you are losing half of the potential patients who visit your website. Check to see if your website is mobile responsive.

There are many things that you can do to improve your practice website, but these 10 best practices are essential to include in your website update or redesign. It’s important to work with someone who fully understands the web design and development standards so they can ensure your website will be set up for success.

Written by Whiteboard Marketing team members Alex Francis, lead web developer, with input from Sara Wehrle, local SEO specialist, and Kristi Simone, CMO. Whiteboard Marketing is a dental practice marketing firm that partners with 200+ dentists nationwide to develop and implement practice marketing strategies that increase new patient acquisition and build brand awareness.

How In-office Plans Can Help Free You from Insurance and Benefit Your Patients

By Landon Lemoine

If you’re a motivated dentist looking to separate your practice from mundane and outdated work brought by traditional insurance, incorporating in-office plans into your practice could well be the way to accomplish this — as well as bring in new patients and increase your income.

Even better, their subscription-based model not only benefits the practice, but also its patients. Here’s how.

How Patients Benefit

Provides the Uninsured Financial Options

Roughly one-third of the adult population has no dental insurance. According to the American Dental Association, almost two-thirds of uninsured patients have no plans to go to the dentist in the next 12 months.[1] Unemployment brought on by the pandemic greatly increased the number of people who have no coverage.

Without coverage, the idea of paying upfront for the needed work can be financially daunting, and in some cases, impossible. Membership plans equip practices with tools to provide financial options to their patients that enable to pay for and receive the care they need.

Patients needing expensive treatment can sign up for a monthly or yearly payment plan that allows practices to break up the cost of treatment for the patient into manageable monthly amounts. This is a better alternative to credit agencies with high interest rates or insurance companies with lofty coverage.

More Cost-effective than Traditional Insurance

More Americans are leaving traditional dental insurance behind and are looking for more cost-effective alternatives. In-office plans can help your practice keep these patients and keep them away from phony discount cards and inadequate insurance plans.

Because in-office plans are easily customizable, they can provide a better, more personalized treatment plan for a patient. Patients can avoid paying for coverage they may never use, because these plans enable them to pay a manageable monthly cost for the services they need.

How Practices Benefit

Creates Recurring Revenue

Converting uninsured cash patients to an in-office plan generates more recurring revenue for a practice and can bring uninsured patients in the door more often. In-office plan members also are far more likely to show up for their second visit, knowing they’re getting the care they need without taking on a large and immediate financial risk.

Creates the Ability to Work with Local Businesses

In-office plans allow practices to go beyond working with individual patients by enabling them to work with local small businesses. While practices can increase their patient base by working with these businesses, they’ll also be helping by enabling them to provide true benefits for their employees without the cost and hassle of working with a traditional insurance plan.

Decreases Admin Work

As a practice increases its in-office plan membership, the practice’s admin work will decrease. This is because the more individual and uninsured patients purchase the in-office plans, the less pre-authorizations and claims it will need to deal with.

In short, in-office plans provide a real benefit to a practice’s existing patients, can drive new ones in the door, and help free dental offices from haggling and battling with traditional insurance companies.


The FDA knows the frustration its members have with third-party payers. That’s why we’ve partnered with Bento to support adoption of a dental benefits administration technology that allows dentists and patients to remove artificial barriers to care and reduce administrative costs while improving oral health. Bento is a modern alternative to traditional dental insurance by enabling employers, groups and individuals access to comprehensive dental coverage through an advanced AI-based digital platform. Unlike traditional insurance companies, Bento works directly with dentists and provides solutions for practices, patients and employers. When creating in-office plans powered by Bento’s tech-enabled platform, dentists have complete control from plan design, pricing, and Bento even provides the tools needed to start selling plans to patients. Creating a plan powered by Bento is completely free, only takes minutes and FDA members receive a discount on administration. Visit floridadental.org/bento for more information.

5 Reasons Why Your Practice Website Needs a Blog and How to Get Started

By Whiteboard Marketing

Every dental practice website needs a blog. Blogging helps improve the overall quality of your website and increases opportunities to rank or show up on search engines when a patient is searching for a dentist in your area. Outlined below are the five most important reasons why your practice website needs a blog and some tips to get started writing a blog of your own.

1. Blogs improve your overall website content by focusing on key search terms for your practice.

The goal of your overall website content is to attract new patients and make it easier for them to discover you when searching on Google. Good website content strategically incorporates important keywords while covering who you are, why you’re different from other dentists, services and procedures, and how to contact you.

Adding a dental blog to your content strategy provides an opportunity to:

  • Continue adding new and original content to your website.
  • Target specific keywords or terms that you want to show up for on Google during a patient search.

For example, a Florida periodontist who wants to attract All-on-4® patients may want to write a blog on the difference between All-on-4® dental implants and traditional dental implants. Or, a general dentist who wants to attract more hygiene patients may want to write a blog about the five reasons why you should schedule regular dental cleanings. Blogs are an opportunity to increase the number of keywords that you appear for in search results. More impressions lead to more clicks onto your website, more clicks lead to more conversions, and more conversions lead to more patients scheduled.

2. Blogs are a great way to add internal links to your practice website.

Internal linking is an on-page search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that links one page on your website to another. The goal is to create a structure where Google can easily understand the relationship between different pages and the content. Blogs help highlight the most relevant content by linking certain words to pages. For example, if you write a blog about the most commonly asked questions about teeth whitening, you would link your first mention of teeth whitening to the practice whitening page. High quality blog posts demonstrate authority through topic recency, inbound external links and user traffic. “Link equity” is then passed to key pages through an internal linking strategy, meaning that links are able to pass authority to the pages they link to. 

3. Blogs help generate important external links to your website.

An important part of building a website that ranks well in Google is “off-page optimization.” The goal of this strategy is to build links from other websites that link to your site. Links from other sites, such as the Florida Dental Association, American Dental Association, or even your local chamber of commerce or high school boosters website, convey to Google that other websites see your website as important or valuable. If your practice donates custom mouthguards to your high school football team, write a blog about the importance of wearing mouthguards for contact sports. Ask the school to post a news article on its website and link back to your practice website.

Writing guest blogs also is a great tactic to acquire external links. Write a blog for a local pediatrician’s office about the best age for a baby’s first visit to the dental office and ask the pediatrician to link to your practice website in the post. External links are still one of the most important ranking factors in Google’s algorithm.

4. Blogs highlight your expertise and credibility.

You are a dentist who stays on top of trends, you attend continuing education and you are considered an authority in the industry. Google’s uses E.A.T. (Expertise, Authority, Trust) to display high quality search results. By communicating your expert opinion throughout your blogs, you can elevate your authority to Google and your patients. Consider adding a quote from yourself or an associate dentist in your blogs, and explain your expertise.

5. Blogs are perfect to post on social media and in patient emails.

Blogs establish you as a knowledgeable leader in the dental industry. Where better to highlight your experience and expertise than on social media and via regular patient emails? Reposting your blog on social media allows you to create consistency across digital media platforms. As you build your practice’s brand, this allows you and your practice to build trust and brand advocates among your most loyal patients.

Social media also is a great place to repost charts, images and videos contained in your blogs. Social media is a visual medium, even more so than your website. Charts and images can be real attention grabbers.

How to Get Started Blogging

Getting started is always the hardest part of blogging. We’ve outlined some steps below to help you along the way.

1. Decide how frequently you will blog.

Ideally, we recommend posting twice a month if possible, but start with a goal of one blog a month. Then, if you think you can post more consistently, go for it.

2. Identify the services, procedures or treatments you want to show up when a patient searches for a dentist.

Before you start writing, determine what procedures will increase your practice revenue. If you want to focus on attracting more fee-for-service patients and you have a dental membership plan, then you will want to write blogs on dental membership plans and cosmetic dentistry procedures. Developing this initial treatment list will help keep you focused on the end-game of your blog strategy — to rank during a search and acquire new patients

3. Create your blog topic list.

  • Start a list of most commonly asked questions by your patients.
    This is a great way to get your staff involved. Post a sheet in your break room and ask staff to add the most frequently asked questions. What are some ways that you can cross sell or upsell services, such as teeth whitening? These questions translate into the best blog topics because it is information potential patients are most interested in.
  • Use Google auto-complete.
    You don’t need Search Engine Optimization software to come up with great topics. Simply start typing your services into the Google search bar. Google will auto-complete words and information that other people are searching for. Give Google what it wants and use this as material to write blogs.

4. Write your blog.

Take the time to sit down and write your blog. Plan to spend one to two hours writing, so block this time out on your calendar to write.

  • Record yourself speaking and get it transcribed.
    If you are a natural orator, record yourself as the basis for your content. Transcription software exists to help minimize the time it takes to transfer a digital file to text. This is one of our favorite ways to generate blog content for our dental clients, because it allows us to use accurate content in the dentist’s actual voice and tone. 
  • Consider hiring a third-party partner to write blogs.
    Find a subject matter expert and let them do the heavy lifting. Life gets in the way of writing, but there are great writers out there that can keep you on schedule with a regular blog cadence.

Overall, adding a blog to your practice website will boost your online presence and build trust among current and potential patients. The effects are seen, not just on your own website, but in other media across the web. Take advantage of the opportunity to share your knowledge and improve the visibility of your practice. Read more about how to add a blog page and blog to your WordPress website. 

Written by Whiteboard Marketing team members Jon Cahen, Director of SEO, with input from Sara Wehrle, Local SEO Specialist, and Kristi Simone, CMO. Whiteboard Marketing is a dental practice marketing firm that partners with 200+ dentists nationwide to develop and implement practice marketing strategies that increase new patient acquisition and build brand awareness.

12 Tips to Engage with Your Patients and Respond to Reviews Online

From your social media platforms to your online reviews, it’s important to keep a pulse on what your patients are saying and engage in positive dialogue. Proactively engaging with patients on your online platforms helps you keep your practice top of mind, highlight services and products, and get feedback from your patients. The following are best practices for engaging on your online platforms:

1. Check your social media platforms at least once a day and aim to respond to messages and questions within 12 hours. This shows your audiences that they are valued and ensures you are handling any issues quickly.

2. “Like” and respond to positive comments — even a simple “Thank you!” or “You’re welcome!” The commenter will appreciate it, and it keeps positive comments at the top of the thread.

3. Ensure that all posts and responses are on-brand, professional and respectful.

4. Hide or remove comments with inappropriate language, threats, HIPAA compromises (such as photos where individuals’ faces are shared without consent) or negative mentions of a specific doctor. Consider including these community guidelines in your “About” section.

Now, you might be wondering what to do when a patient or follower shares a negative review, comment or complaint. You may be tempted to delete the post, respond tersely or even fire back. But remember that the rest of the online community is “watching” your actions. It’s critical to show professionalism and respect and to take the time to think through the question and best response. While you can’t control every comment or review, your response may help prevent further negative feedback. The following are tips to keep in mind for negative reviews:

5. Identify sensitive questions or comments and determine the best course of response. This could include patient complaints and questions on cost, billing or office policies. A good practice is to take the conversation in private via direct message.

6. Decide whether it is worth it to respond on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, it may be best not to respond, depending on the content of the review, the volume of reviews for your practice, etc.

7. If you respond, do so in broad “all patient” terms and office policies versus getting into a direct dispute.

8. Do not get into an online debate over the incident that prompted the negative review. Doing so can look defensive or confrontational.

9. Invite the negative reviewer to contact you directly to discuss the issue further.

10. Make sure that any response represents you as a compassionate, concerned and understanding professional.

11. Consider this example response: “Our office strives to provide the best service to all patients. We would like to learn more about what happened and hope you will contact us as soon as possible.”

12. Negative reviews should not be removed, unless they include profanities or statements of hate, reference a specific provider or violate any privacy policies.

Consumers don’t expect businesses to have 100%, five-star reviews. Engaging with positive online comments and reviews, while thoughtfully handling any negative feedback, will help your practice strengthen your relationships, reputation and service to your patients.

Reprinted from Today’s FDA, Sept/Oct 2020. Visit floridadental.org/publications to view Today’s FDA archives.