Congratulations! You have a brand new dental website. Everything has been reviewed with a fine tooth comb and is absolutely PERFECT!
But, unfortunately, that won’t last.
Your website will slowly begin to become outdated the second it is launched. That’s just how it is. Information changes. Software gets updated. Technology evolves. If you don’t stay on top of those things, your website will gradually become inaccurate and possibly even non-functional.
How often should you update your dental website? It’s a good idea to have a schedule in place to verify and update your website’s content and user experience to keep it as good as new. The frequency of your check-ups will depend on how important your website is for your practice. If you depend on it heavily for new lead generation and conversion through online scheduling, then you’ll watch it more closely than a practice with a more static website that serves more like an online brochure.
Below is a general schedule you can follow, but feel free to adjust to your own needs and comfort level.
You should be in the habit of at least visiting your website on a daily basis to verify that it is up and running. If you do get an error message, hold off on immediately hitting the panic button. Web servers and internet service providers do have temporary outages. Give it a fair opportunity to resolve itself before reaching out for the appropriate customer service assistance.
Once a week, you should run a test of any online forms you have, especially if you notice that you haven’t received any submissions in a while. Simply use the form the same way that a normal visitor would so you can see exactly what they will be experiencing. Losing your lead flow or online appointment scheduling for a week or more could be quite costly to your business.
Weekly is also a good cadence for adding content to your dental blog. Frequent updates help to keep your audience engaged, and show search engines that they should be crawling your site frequently.
If you’re collecting reviews and testimonials from your patients (you should be), then each month make sure you have all of your best ones added to your website. This would also be a good interval to spot check to be sure your phone numbers, contact information, and hours of operation are still accurate. It may not be likely that there is an error, but if there is it can quite frustrating to your patients.
Annually, it’s a good idea to refresh your team members’ biographies and photos. New photos of the office are also a good idea if you’ve remodeled or redecorated.
A thorough review of your content should also be conducted at least once a year. Even if nothing has really changed, freshening up the wording can add a little new life to your pages and, as mentioned earlier, give Google a nudge to crawl your site again.
Also use this time to browse all the pages on your site on a phone or notebook. Sometimes layouts will look just fine on a monitor, but don’t format well on a hand-held device.
After a few years have passed, it can be a good idea to sit back down with your dental website design team to evaluate your website in terms of visual appeal, content, SEO, technical features, and user experience. You may simply need a simple reskin or a full-blown redesign. Either way, you’ll be better off keeping your site as current as possible rather than letting it degrade into an eyesore.
Again, how often you should update your dental website is up to you, but do make sure you have some sort of plan in place. Only making changes “as-needed” can let a lot of things slip through the cracks.
Is it time to reassess your dental website? Contact us today to discuss a full website audit.