Creating a dental website [properly] can be a time intensive task for any dentist. So much so, that numerous companies exist selling rent-a-site websites for dentists that let you plop in your logo, write up a brief bio, and check a few boxes to indicate which services you offer. Problem solved, right? Mmm, maybe not.
Perhaps you went a different route and had your uncle’s cousin’s half-brother, who kind of knows how to set up a website, offer you a bargain basement price. Sad to say, but saving money in the short-term with either of these two options has caused a lot of long-term strife for some of the dentists we work with.
Rent-a-sites, a cautionary tale
Do you own your website? Might sound like a silly question, but it’s the first question you should ask any potential developer or dental marketing agency who tackles your web presence. If things go south, and you’re not liking what you’re getting from [FILL IN THE BLANK] Dental Website Company, what happens to your site? Do you walk away with the keys, or do they shut off the lights in the dark of the night, leaving your patients wondering, “hey what happened to Dr. Smith?” Believe it or not, there are still companies out there that develop websites with the intent to hold you hostage to their services.
Be unique, google loves it
Google likes unique copy. It rewards you for your unique copy. While rent-a-sites are quick and easy, they are cheap for a reason. Hint: reused content. Ok, maybe your doctor and team bios, and your about us page add a splash of uniqueness, but 99% of the content on a rent-a-site is likely shared with the other practices they service.
It’s tough to earn SEO gold-stars for using the same description for cosmetic dentistry as every other dentist in the tri-state area. No dominating the search results’ pages for you. Custom content could be the difference between being ranked #1, and being invisible. (And by being invisible I mean, being on page 2 or lower – because honestly, who goes to page 2, right?)
Billy-bob buddy developer
The price was right, but what about the follow-up? Here are the questions I promise you’re going to be asking yourself when it’s all done:
- How do I make updates to my site?
- How long can I expect said updates to take?
- Is the site easily edited by myself or my team?
- What are you going to charge for the updates?
- Are things going to get awkward at the family BBQ if you’re not delivering on your promises?
- What if you get a new job, or your wife has 3 babies, do you have anyone to run backup QB?
Chances are, you know someone who knows someone who does websites. Trust me when I tell you that there are some very well-intentioned people out there, who do websites for dentists. If I had a nickel for every client whose family friend has gone dark on them in their time of need, I would have like $4. (I mean seriously, Peggy Sue has not worked in your office for 8 months, when are you going to take her off of the site?)
Evaluating expense vs. investment
The moral of the story is, your short-term financial gain by pursuing either of these options, does have some very real long-term consequences. These dental websites have their place, and if you’re opening up shop tomorrow, go ahead and tap that family friend or rent-a-site. Just know, the long-term game plan [in my humble opinion] should be to create something uniquely yours. Your site should reflect your practice philosophy, your personality, in other words – it should look and feel like YOU. Stock photos and standard descriptions can only take your practice so far.
Your dental website is one of your biggest opportunities to impress potential (and existing) patients. We encourage you to think of it as an important investment, as much as it is a necessary “expense.” When you are ready to graduate from your rent-a-site or break it off with Billy Bob, you should totally talk to us. We can give you an idea of what that investment looks like, whether it’s with us or with one of our competitors.