Say “NO” to SEO Until your Website is SEO-Ready!
Before you embark on an SEO campaign (the process of adding researched, targeted keywords to the pages on your dental website), it’s crucial to make sure that your website is “SEO-Ready”.
What does :SEO-Ready” Mean for a Dental Website?
I equate “SEO-Ready” for a dental website to a bridge in temps, ready for an impression. If you have a patient in Alaska who is temporized from #22-27 and they move across the country and wind up in my chair to finish treatment, “SEO-Ready” means that I can take off the temps and take an impression right then and thee; no structural changes (refining the preps, adding core material or posts, etc.). I can look at the teeth and the healthy gingiva, and take the impression. The reason why we care about gingiva and caries control before an impression is the same reason your dental website needs to be structurally ready for SEO – because in either case, if these things aren’t done, you chances for success are compromised.
So implementing an SEO campaign on a website with bleeding gingiva, rough edges on the preparation, and inadequate reduction is a waste of time and money; a great impression of an improperly prepared tooth still doesn’t yield a great crown.
How Does one Make a Dental Website “SEO-Ready?”
The answer is as simple and complex as “How do we know when a crown is ‘impression-ready’?” After prepping countless teeth over the years, we all know when a tooth is ready for an impression based what we’ve learned in school, and from years of experience and refining of our techniques. So while you can list everything a student would need to check-off before taking an impression, experience and a developed technique have a lot to do with the decision-making process.
You can do a Google-search to get a standard list of what makes any website SEO-Ready. In fact, from a structural perspective, there’s nothing particularly special about a dental website compared to a website for any service-based business.
The Most Basic “SEO-Ready” Techniques
An SEO-ready dental website is one where (1) all of the <title> tags are unique (or getting ready to be unique), (2) where HTML header tags are used properly, and (3) where all critical text is selectable via copy and paste. Remember, your website is read by humans, but also “read” by search engines, so the computer code that is the underpinning of your website, must be implemented correctly.
An SEO-Ready dental website (4) does not use Flash, and (5) has <alt> tags in place for the most critical images. (5) The information architecture on an SEO-Ready dental website also needs to be designed so that a person (and search engines) can navigate from the home page to any sub-page on the website, and vice versa, and (6) the website must be mobile-responsive (responsive design).
Of course these aren’t the only factors that go into making your dental website “SEO-Ready”, but if you follow the above guidelines, and implement the techniques and suggestions above , you will be on your way to having an “SEO-Ready” dental website.