Your Laboratory Website: Asset or Liability?
Originally published in Spectrum Dialogue, Vol. 11, No. 6 – June 2012
Written By Bill Neal, CDT, CEO of AMG Creative
Just as dental technology has experienced a tremendous evolution in the past five years, the internet, and specifically websites, has morphed into becoming an invaluable partner in growing your business. In the past, many dental laboratories started their websites to stand out from their competition and offer something unique. Today however, many of those same laboratories may be carrying a huge liability when it comes to their website.
The internet evolution has transformed what was once just another tool into one of the most important aspects of how companies can grow their brand and business. Many companies started their websites years ago and may have neglected to change with the times.
Websites first entered the dental laboratory industry in the early 90’s and unfortunately they were looked upon as being an online image brochure. Much of the information was fixed or static, rarely updated and full of too much information. Landing pages were not in use, e-blasts had not developed and Social Media had not even been invented. The first websites that were developed used old standards by today’s technology and most had to be custom built. Then website developers got the idea that they could reach more potential customers by offering site development based on templates and obviously the prices came down.
This evolution was great in that it brought more potential customers to the internet, but unfortunately as techniques and design capabilities evolved many companies failed to improve their site. This contributed to the feeling that websites didn’t do much for their business.
Over the past few years the fact that a company has a web presence doesn’t necessarily mean that they are successful at using it to grow their business. Websites should create leads for your sales people and they should provide your clients with pertinent information vital to their doing business with you. You should be able to track usage, see promising results and hear positive comments from visitors and clients. Most of all it should be a way to find out more about your company in an easy, presentable way-if none of these things are happening then you have a problem.
Hence the question: Asset or Liability? So, where does your website stand? Let’s start by asking yourself some questions about your website.
• Site not search engine optimized (SEO)?
• Does your site reflect your brand or image?
• Do site pages load slowly?
• Is navigation cumbersome (hard to access entire site)?
• Are news pages current and updated?
• Does the site list seminars from last year?
• Does contact info list employees no longer there?
• Does your site offer a “search” option?
• Site will not work with some web browsers?
• Will your site view on mobile devices?
• Do all links work perfectly?
• Do all PDF downloads work properly?
• Does your site link to Social Media such as Facebook?
• Does your site contain white papers, prep guides and
other useful technical information?
• Does your site have a proper contact form?
• Can you obtain customer email addresses in your
• Site ranking is high
• Use of Google ads in conjunction with site
• Links are current and relevant to technology utilized
• Social Media links
• Current and relevant data in news section
• Technical guides and prep information for doctors
• Scheduling capability
• Seminar registration and credit card payment capable
• Use of before and after patient photos
• Good FAQ section
• Site has been updated in last two years
• Pleasing color palette & eye-catching graphics
• Simple ways to engage with company (links to a getting started page from all
• Options for STL file submission
Obviously there are many more liabilities and/or assets that could be mentioned. The idea is to get a handle on what you should do to make sure you are using one of your most important branding assets to its full potential.
Positive Website Strategies
• Continually optimize your website
• Provide current and relevant information and news/technical white papers often
• Case studies
• Consider a Blog
• Link to your company Facebook page
• Utilize e-blast campaigns with landing pages to your website
• Optimize for mobile web browsing
• Consider providing coupon or technical article downloads with a direct mail
• Include your URL on every piece of printed material
• Send out e-newsletters with “Read More” link to website
• Embedded video usage
This list is not complete but you get the idea. Your website can be your best marketing partner but only if you look at every aspect of how it fits into your marketing strategy. So, if your website fits in the liability category, change what you
are doing and make it an asset that works for you, not against you!
This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 at 4:11 pm and is filed under Recent. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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