Addressing the needs of your patients in the modern world reaches far beyond the dentist's chair. It is critical that you meet the needs of your patients both offline and online. As much as you want them to feel at ease in your practice, you also want them to feel at ease navigating through your website.

In every great practice, information is easy to find and provided in a clear and concise way; you must have the same approach online. Much like your practice, your dental website should be designed with the user in mind: modern, comfortable, friendly and somewhere they will return to time and time again.

Patients will come to your website for a number of different reasons such as seeking advice, looking for your address, making an appointment and so on. Ask yourself the following questions and see if your dental website is addressing the needs of your patients.

Is your dental website mobile responsive?

Search engines take notice of the amount of people that now use their smart phones to search for things online, and mobile rankings have become increasingly important. Your dental website needs to be mobile responsive if you plan on keeping up with competitors and keeping your existing patients happy and new customers finding you! Remember, mobile phones are not going away and people rely on them to find your website and your practice.

Is it easy to navigate?

Your dental website should be easy to navigate no matter what device your clients are using. Ensure that your navigation is clear and keep your menus simple. Using breadcrumbs is a great way to ensure that visitors to your website never get lost. You might also consider a search box to make it easy for your clients to find what they are looking for.

Can your patients easily contact you?

Consistent placement of your contact information across your website is crucial in terms of the user experience. The header and/or footer of your website is a great space to highlight information such as your practice address, phone number, email, fax or to perhaps display a map highlighting your exact location, or the best place to park for practices in more populated areas.

Online forms are useful for patients who may wish to make an appointment online. This is becoming more and more popular for practices as we move further into the digital age of dentistry. Of course, you must have systems in place to monitor these online booking systems, emails, etc., to be sure that all appointments are confirmed and honored.

Are you offering useful information?

Patients will come to your website looking for useful information and advice regarding dental procedures and hygiene. It's very important that you don't fill up your dental website with material that isn't useful for your patients. You want to be sure you are including content that they feel is beneficial to their experience, whether it be tips on flossing or just a general overview of what they can expect from your practice.

Be sure you offer your patients useful, actionable advice through articles, videos or infographics on your website.

These questions are a great starting point in determining whether or not your dental website is meeting the needs of your patients. Follow these simple guidelines to improve your dental website, better the user experience and keep patients coming back again and again!