The importance of a strong web presence to the success of any dental practice cannot be overstated. This is why I’ve decided to write a follow-up article to one we published earlier this year on how to maximize your web presence with a strong site. This time, I’m putting a deeper focus on the technical side of things.
As I constantly tell my colleagues in the dental industry, it’s not enough to simply have a site anymore. In order to compete today, you must put in the work to have your online presence noticed and to ensure its relevance week after week and month after month.
Not every clinic has the money to allot big budgets toward paid advertising and so it becomes all the more vital to make organic efforts. But what many people don’t realize is that to achieve organic results, you need to understand what’s going on under the hood, so to speak.
To ensure your site’s success, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and/or use third-parties that specialize in improving the look and functionality of websites.
Luckily, there are many different ways to engage with users and to build your audience – read on to learn more about how to improve your dental practice website:
1. Update Your Site’s Look and Functionality
Internet content is evolving at an increasingly rapid pace and what looked good three years ago might not cut it today. A dated website won’t inspire prospective patients to take the next step and get in touch. The first step toward improving your site means conducting an overhaul.
The first thing you’ll need to do is to make sure that everything on your site is working as it should be. You’ll want to conduct a thorough audit of your clinic’s website, going through each page looking for:
- Out-of-date content
- Missing or poor-quality images
- Plugins or themes that require an update
- Broken links
- Style or formatting inconsistencies
While this may seem like a lot of work, updating your website will pay off in major ways, starting by maintaining your relevance in the dental services marketplace.
You can also improve your site’s performance by checking your analytics – these will help indicate where you may need to make changes. This may seem like a hundred-dollar word, but this simple tutorial will show you the basics:
Once you’ve learned how to access and use analytics, you can start to track:
- Which pages are the most popular
- Which pages are engaging users and keeping them browsing
- Which pages your users find uninteresting or unnecessary
2. Invest in Search Engine Optimization
Some companies swear by what’s known as search engine marketing, paid advertising such as Google AdWords that boost your site’s visibility through a cost-per-click model. While effective, this can get very pricey.
Search engine optimization (SEO) on the other hand tries to increase rankings organically. This is done by identifying which words are most associated with your field, and then using those words – or keywords as they’e called – to buff up your site’s content.
By sprucing up your homepage with keywords, and by running a regular blog (see below) that also includes keywords, your brand will slowly become tethered to the most popular search terms in your industry. This will help your practice climb to the top ranks of a Google search – making it easier to entice new visitors. Although it might seem obvious, make sure your website includes applicable keywords such as:
Dental Exam, Dental Emergency, Dental Cleaning, Teeth Polishing, Perio Scaling, Dental Implants, Teeth Whitening, TMJ, Mouth Guard, Root Canal, Tooth Extraction, Dental Crowns, Family Dentistry, Periodontics, Orthodontics, Oral Surgery, and Child Dentistry.
3. Start a Blog
Speaking of blogs, creating one that’s accessible through your website and posting weekly content will help you to connect with your audience about topics or issues relevant to your business. It also gives you a reason to spark engagement on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Furthermore, it humanizes your brand, allowing an authentic voice to come out and build brand loyalty. Finally, by including keywords like those mentioned above into your content, you’ll increase search engine rankings at the same time.
If you don’t already have a blog, it can be easier than you think to generate some great content. Here are a few basic blog topic ideas to help you get started:
- Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Smile
- 5 Tips for Improving Your At-Home Dental Routine
- A Simple-to-Follow Guide on Teeth Whitening
- 3 Signs That It Might Be Time to See Your Dentist
- Does it Matter Which Tooth Brush or Tooth Paste I Use?
4. Maintain Up Time
Whether you’re a multinational corporation, a simple blogger, a not-for-profit organization, a news outlet, or a dental practice, traffic must reach your website otherwise it is partially closed for business.
If you are using an unreliable service provider and your site goes down, you’ve effectively disappeared off the internet radar. Essentially, dental practice seekers can’t find or reach you when they need to – causing your credibility to plummet and making it seem to search engines like Google that you’ve received zero clicks or visits during that period and are therefore losing relevance.
Host your site with a credible provider – one who can ensure 100% up time guarantees as part of their hosting package.
I’ve talked before about cyber scamming, and the best way to stay safe is to find a hosting provider that can also help you protect your site from hacking attempts. While you should stay educated and regularly test your site for functionality, also make sure that your provider guarantees automatic updates and maintenance to prevent data leaks.
Staying up and running is integral to maintaining a strong reputation – especially for those who are looking to boost their SEO.
When it comes to websites, remember that a little goes a long way.
Hopefully, these tips will help get your practice noticed and engaging with more of your present and future patients. Continue to visit the ABELDent blog for more on this and other topics.