Website Tips By Denver-Based Healthcare Marketing Firm
I work with a lot of you and I’ve come across a few things in the industry that worry me. I pray you pay attention, because this could save you a lot of headaches, time, and money. You’re busy people doing important things with your patients, and these are frankly, annoyances that you shouldn’t have to deal with. I’m talking about your website.
You can’t ignore your online presence these days, and so a website is a must-have. We all know this by now. But here’s the thing…some of you are getting taken advantage of by companies that “specialize” in the dental industry and it makes my blood boil every time I hear about it.
You see, I work with dentists, specialists, and even other private practice medical industries like optometry and gynecology and plastic surgery. We build websites a lot, but we also do things like content creation, social media management, and other online marketing strategies. Why do I tell you this? I tell you this piece of background because while I work with your industry, I’m not EXCLUSIVE to your industry, and therefore see a lot more of what’s happening around the digital world. And, sadly, I’m seeing more and more companies that specialize in “only” your industry taking advantage of busy doctors who trust that this company knows that they’re doing.
So, this is my public service announcement to all of you who are thinking of having your website built, wondering if you have been taken advantage of, or frankly, just want to be informed. Regardless of who builds your website, there are a few things you should know and have access to as the business owner.
- You should own your domain name. A domain name is the www.yourdentistofficenamehere.com type of name and I recommend you purchase it directly, whether through something like Godaddy or Bluehost, or somewhere else. If your web designer buys it for you, just make sure it goes directly to your credit card, or that you have documentation that it’s YOUR purchase. Then, make sure you have the information to access and renew this down the road.
- Get administrative access for all aspects of your site when it’s done. Make sure your web designer is okay with giving you the logins (once the site is finished and paid of course) before you start working with them. Whether you plan on doing anything or not, it’s a good idea to have access to this longterm. This includes getting access to the ftp site as well as the admin side of your website.
- Ask your web designer if there are any fees associated with leaving their services. Some companies hold their clients hostage and charge a hefty fee for “leaving” them or moving your site off their server. This is not ethical practice for a web designer, and I say, “question this” before you start working with them.
- Get administrative access to the Google Analytics or web analytics on your personal email as the practice owner. Make sure they give you the highest level of administrative rights to this, and not just someone who can “read” the results. One, this ensures that you can take your historical data with you if you ever leave. Two, this allows you to manage users and give other people within your business model access to see the results. You may want to give access later on to someone who is helping you with social media, SEO, or even Adwords.
- Ask for reports. If your web programmer is doing regular work on your site, ask for reports from Google Analytics on web traffic. If they are doing any ongoing advertising on your site, demand reports. Any upstanding company will be able to provide reports easily to show growth or progress.
- If you have to pay extra fees for your site to be mobile-friendly or responsive, just say no. In the website world, it is common practice and just the right thing to do to build a website to be mobile-friendly/responsive. Unfortunately, many industry-specific companies have not gotten the memo, or have just realized that this is something they can charge extra for. In today’s mobile world, it’s just the right thing to build a site to be responsive on various mobile devices. Period.
- Get a couple quotes. Just because a company says they specialize in dental websites, doesn’t mean that they are the ONLY option. Shop around. You may find that other web programming companies can give you better customization, more up-to-date designs, and better pricing, even though they don’t do ONLY dental websites.
- Get Second Opinions. It’s worth paying a few other programmers or marketing folks (though many might do it for free) to look at what’s been built for you or what’s being proposed and tell you if it’s the most current in best practices for websites. It’s no secret that the medical industry as a whole is a little behind in software technology (just look at the dashboards of many of the current practice softwares today). Companies that have a hold on a particular industry can sometimes get comfortable doing what they’ve been doing, and don’t innovate like the rest of the digital world.
- Store your passwords and login information in a safe, and easy-to-remember place. Your front office staff may change, and you as the business owner, should know where to access this information at all times.
I actually work with a handful of awesome companies that only work in dental and they’re doing the right thing by their clients. It’s the bad ones that I have come across more times that I would like that have caused me to get so fired up about this issue. I don’t want you and your practice to make a wrong move when you go to make your website. I want you to be informed and to be able to make the smartest move possible so that your practice can be as successful as possible!
Here’s to your success,
Here’s to a fabulous website for your practice! If you have questions about your current setup or a company you’re considering working with, I’d be happy to answer any questions or help you get a second opinion (either by my team or other web experts I know of). If I can be a resource to you or your practice, I would be honored.