Were you one of the first to jump on the dental website bandwagon? Do you have a website that’s 20, 10, or even just five years old? Did you shop for the lowest bidder and then accept your current design without fully understanding digital marketing strategy? If so, what was once a great move to improve your visibility may now actually be hiding you from potential patients. Here are three previous best practices that could be hurting your local SEO today.
The way individual web pages are created has changed drastically over the years. Today, you can use a main template and central administrator settings to change page titles, menus and background images across all of your pages. Previously, each individual web page needed to be created by hand. If you wanted to change your menu, you had to adjust every page. To get around this, developers started using frames. Each page might have two or more frames. You’d have the main content frame, a side menu frame, possibly a header frame and maybe even a footer frame. The problem was that search engines couldn’t put the frames together and saw them as separate web pages that didn’t have enough content to rank. If your website has frames, you need to upgrade it ASAP.
2. Image Header
Many websites had, and some still use, a nice image at the top of each page with the company’s name and logo in fancy font. The problem is search engines can’t read images. If your company name is in an image, a search engine can’t figure out who you are. If you want to come up in searches for your dentist’s names, your practice name should be included in text.
3. Fixed Layouts
As website designs got more sophisticated, developers needed new ways to control the layouts. One way was by assigning fixed widths and heights to web pages as a whole, as well as individual items within each web page. This worked when web pages were only viewed on computer monitors that were all roughly the same size. Today, your website needs to look good on a big desktop computer, a small laptop, and most importantly as a mobile site for a phone. Because so many searches are now done on mobile devices, search engines push you down in the rankings if your website doesn’t work well on them. Do yourself and your practice a favor and build a new website that is designed and optimized for mobile devices. Make sure your local registry information is correct and accurate.