You stress the importance of regular check ups to your dental patients, but do you practice what you preach when it comes to maintaining a healthy website?
Many dentists get a shiny, new website that looks and works great for a while, but then gradually degrades from neglect.
If you want to keep your site in tip-top shape, here are seven things you should be examining at least bi-annually.
Slow load times aren’t just frustrating for users, they also affect your search rankings. If your site is moving at a snail’s pace, it could be a hosting issue or a problem with the site itself. To check your dental website’s performance, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool or Pingdom.
Broken links also have a negative impact on user experience and search rankings. Users who reach a 404 (page not found) error page can quickly become frustrated and leave your site. You can track down your broken links by using Google Analytics or a free online service like BrokenLinkCheck.com. (By the way, it’s also a good idea to have a customized 404 page on your website so when your visitors do get lost, they can easily find their way to what they were looking for.)
In addition to creating new content on a regular basis, you should also review all of the content on your website to ensure it is still accurate and relevant. For example, you may have updated your dental office’s services or policies during the pandemic, but forgotten to reflect those updates on your site. Your blog content should also be kept fresh and posted weekly to keep search bots coming back on a regular basis.
If you have issues with any of the three items above, then you may also notice a drop in your search rankings. (Of course, there’s always the challenge of keeping up with Google’s algorithm changes.) Use a rank tracking tool like ahref’s to check your targeted keywords and compare where you rank now with how high you were 6 months ago — or at least the last time you reviewed your website and rankings.
Open your site on various devices and browsers to make sure it is still displaying properly. Software updates can sometimes break layouts and make your web pages display incorrectly or even difficult to use. Don’t forget to check the mobile version of your site, since formatting issues seem to happen more frequently on smaller screen sizes.
Do test submissions for all contact and lead generation forms to make sure they are processing correctly and leads are getting through. Also remember to check the thank you page, automated notification emails that are sent to your team, and the automated reply emails that are sent to the people who submit the forms to make sure the message they receive is accurate.
You’d be surprised how often this gets overlooked. Incorrect or outdated phone numbers and email addresses can cost you a lot when new dental patients can’t get in touch with you easily. Your NAP (name, address, phone number) should also be listed consistently everywhere it appears, including social sites and directories, to help your local SEO. While you’re at it, make sure your hours are also correct, especially if you temporarily changed them during the shutdown.