SEO Basics for Dental and Medical Professionals
Let’s be real, it’s late 2017 and everyone understands that having a website is essential to success in today’s business world. Dental and medical practices are no different. There are dentists out there who believe that marketing isn’t necessary because everyone needs health care. While this may be true, there is still competition in the dental profession. Because new dentists are retiring or leaving the profession at record rates, it is important that dentists have an effective dental website design to attract and lure in new patient. And this means making the most of search engine optimization. For those unaware, search engines have certain criteria that they use when rankings websites on the results page. Practices should work hard to show on the first page because people rarely click past the first page of results on a search engine results list.
With this in mind, there are a few strategies that anyone consider a new dental website design should keep in mind.
1. Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Because many web pages are long and full of text, it is not unusual for websites and web pages to take advantage of title tags and meta descriptions. These are the blocks of text that wind up on the search engine results page beneath the website URL so that people can view what the website is about before clicking on the link. These need to be within a certain character limit to fit on the actual results page. Any title tags or meta descriptions that go over this limit will not fit on the page and will be punished by being pushed down the rankings list on the search engine results page.
2. Alt Tag Your Images
While adding images and other forms of multimedia is great for improving the ranking, it is just as important to make sure that these images have alt tags. For those that don’t know, an alt tag is attached to an image and often provides a description or information regarding when the images or video was first published. This is important to the search engine because the engine is deciding how relevant this information is. The absence of an alt tag will push the website farther down the list.
3. Blog, then Blog Some More…
One of the keys to dental website design is to make sure that the website has an integrated blog. This blog is going to be regularly updated which will help the blog to boost its ranking. Furthermore, this blog also provides an opportunity for a website to invest in internal links that will also help the website to improve its ranking. Finally, it also provides relevant information for the visitors. Visitors will like what they read and see that it is regularly updated. This makes them more likely to convert visitors into customers. Website designs for dentist should include an integrated blog. This is one of the keys when designing a website.
4. Custom Content, Custom Content, Custom Content
It is not unusual to find websites that fill their web pages with generic content. This is because the generic content is easy to find and easy to add to a website. While this might be the easy way out, it doesn’t do anything to help a website with its search engine optimization. In addition to rewarding websites that use custom web pages, search engines also reward websites that use custom content on their web pages. Custom content demonstrates that the web page has taken the time to invest in its website design. This makes the website more relevant to people who are searching for that product or service. Furthermore, visitors will also see the extra effort that went into designing the website and are more likely to call and schedule an appointment.
5. Avoid Broken Links on the Web Page
Part of making sure that a website stays relevant is to make sure that the site is regularly updated. Therefore, search engines are going to look to make sure that the site is well-maintained. Part of maintaining a site is making sure that there aren’t any broken links. If there are broken links, this tells the search engine that nobody is maintaining the site and therefore it isn’t likely that the site is relevant to the needs of the visitors. Therefore, make sure that the site doesn’t have any broken links. If there are broken links, then fix them as quickly as possible. Maintaining the dental website design is one of the essential parts of search engine optimization.
6. Include a Sitemap In Your Dental Website Design
The search engine is going to examine the website to make sure that it is easy for the potential visitor to navigate the site. If the site isn’t easy to navigate, it is less relevant to the visitor and will be punished by being pushed farther down the results ranking. Therefore, every dental website should include a sitemap. A sitemap is simply a banner or drop down menu with links to relevant parts of the page. This includes buttons that will take the viewer to the blog, the “about us” page, and of course a link to schedule an appointment. Whatever the practice feels is relevant to the needs of a potential patient should be included in the sitemap. Just make sure that the site has one. It will be rewarded in the rankings.
7. Want New Mobile Patients? Have a Responsive Design
Back when web pages and the internet were young, practices would design a separate web page for the mobile site and the computer site. Now, people have realized that it is beneficial to the viewer to have a site that is responsive to both devices simultaneously. People often bounce back and forth between their computer and phone or share the links with their friends. Therefore, the search engine is going to prioritize the pages that have a web design that is responsive to both mobile and computer devices. Make sure that the dental website fits this category.
8. Use H1 Headers Correctly
Part of designing a website is making it easy for readers to digest. This means properly using headers in a manner that makes it easy for people to read. People often like to scan the page for what’s important. Search engines know that visitors prefer these header styles and will reward pages that use these headers correctly. For people struggling with the proper use of headers, rely on a professional website designer to help with dental website design. This will help ensure that all of these search engine optimization tips are followed properly.