Common Dental Web Design and SEO Mistakes

Author: Brad Shorr
Brad Shorr

Brad Shorr

Brad Shorr is the B2B Marketing Director of Straight North, an internet marketing firm serving helping dentists all across the country build and execute inbound marketing campaigns to increase their online visibility. Brad’s work has been featured in Moz, Forbes, and Smashing Magazine.
11.19.15 / 4:09 pm

With the explosion in mobile internet usage, effective websites and SEO are becoming increasingly important to dental practices for attracting new patients, retaining current patients, and selling new services to current patients. Avoid these common mistakes, and more people will find you on Google — and when visitors come to your website, they will have a great experience and schedule appointments.

Website Mistakes

  1. Not having a mobile-friendly website. This is the big one. Lots of people use mobile phones to search dentists and schedule appointments. In 2014, mobile internet usage exceeded desktop usage for the first time, and the gap will widen. Without a mobile-friendly website, you could be writing off over half of your potential website traffic.
  1. Delivering a poor user experience (UX). UX is a critical web design discipline that makes websites easy for users to navigate, consume information, and take action (eg, scheduling appointments, requesting insurance information). If patients become frustrated and confused on your website, they may call to schedule an appointment — or they may find a dental website that is easier to use. It’s not a risk worth taking. For more insight, read this article about UX for lead generation a colleague recently published.
  1. Using outdated design techniques. Today’s internet users are sophisticated: they know an outdated website when they see one. An outdated website communicates a dental practice that is behind the times, out of step — it will repel rather than attract patients. Telltale signs of outdated web design include dull stock photography, overly complex design features, lots of information crammed into the top half of the web page, sidebars loaded with links, and content that reads like it was written by a robot.

Bottom Line: Get a professional, custom website. Just as you would not advise a patient to perform a root canal on himself, it is not advisable for dentists to perform website design without professional help! It’s just too complex, and there is too much at stake. Furthermore, DIY websites and templated, cookie-cutter dental websites are fraught with defects that undermine SEO.

SEO Mistakes

  1. Using a DIY or templated website solution. As I just mentioned, these simple websites usually have multiple issues that hamper SEO performance, including poor keyword targeting, poor URL structure, poor title tag composition, poor Meta descriptions, poor internal linking structure, thin content and duplicate content. A custom web designer with SEO skills can create a website for your practice that will serve as a strong foundation for SEO campaigns, enabling you to maximize your SEO investment rather than waste it.
  1. Hiring the wrong SEO firm. Unfortunately, the SEO industry has a lot of shady practitioners that promise great results for a small monthly expense. Beware: if an offer is too good to be true, it usually is — and in SEO, it always You can use this SEO checklist to help you vet agencies like a professional internet marketer.
  1. Not using best practices for local SEO. SEO best practices change continually, and local SEO best practices have been evolving at lightning speed over the last couple of years. Today, things like user reviews, local citations (mentions of your practice on local websites, with or without links), and strategic directory listings are extremely important, as well as a host of on-site features such as proper display of NAP (name, address, and phone number). Make sure your SEO provider is conducting an up-to-date campaign.

Again, the bottom line is to hire a competent pro. Trying to do SEO on the cheap, or dabble at it internally, will not bear fruit, because for better or worse, SEO for local businesses has become exceedingly complex. Don’t believe me? Here is an authoritative checklist of the top 2015 local search ranking factors — judge for yourself.

Is a Great Website and SEO Campaign Worth It?

First of all, having a custom website and professionally managed SEO campaign needn’t break the bank. It’s possible to get a very nice, customized website for an affordable price, and SEO campaigns can be targeted in scope to fit just about any monthly budget.

The real value of a great website and SEO campaign are what I mentioned at the outset:

  1. More new patients
  2. Better patient retention
  3. Better ability to sell new services to patients

The real question is: What are these three things worth to your dental practice? Businesses that do a great job of calculating the lifetime value of their customers are the most successful in setting the proper budgets for their internet marketing activities. Failing to do this well could be the biggest mistake of all — and correcting it will lead to the substantial growth for your practice.

Brad Shorr

Brad Shorr

Brad Shorr is the B2B Marketing Director of Straight North, an internet marketing firm serving helping dentists all across the country build and execute inbound marketing campaigns to increase their online visibility. Brad’s work has been featured in Moz, Forbes, and Smashing Magazine.

19 responses to “Common Dental Web Design and SEO Mistakes”

  1. Very good article! I actually learnt alot from the SEO bit of this article. I’ve learnt my lesson from hiring a SEO firm.

  2. The outdated design part, and the seo company part of this article really resonated with me. Go to craigslist for city and post a job looking for a website design professional, they are there, get a quote from a few of them to update your site, make sure you see examples of their work before hiring one. It shouldn’t cost you more than 1000$ for a redesign to make your site look modern.

    For an SEO company, you’re going to pay minimum 500$ for local seo per month, if someone offers it for less than that, you’re probably being targeted by a foreign seo company who isn’t going to do you any good because they take shortcuts. You get what you pay for in SEO.

  3. Great blog and helpful tips.

    I’m not sure I 100% agree with the templated solutions not working for SEO. We’ve actualy customized wordpress themes and have had great results with getting our clients located on page 1 of Goolge in some cases we got them in the top spot with a prebuilt theme.

    The best way to vet an SEO company is to straight out say “Show Me Your Results!” if they can’t show you clients and keywords they got them ranked for, than you better head the other way ASAP!

  4. Hi Brad Shorr ,
    Most of dentist are dont know to choose the website designers and SEO firm thats the main reason their are all out of new updates of website , Pretty good article , Useful to dentist .

  5. Really Fact that SEO is a fast changing industry and what worked a few months ago may not work today so we need to stay update and aware with mistakes.
    Thanks for share good insight article about common SEO mistakes to avoid and what to do instead to give our rankings a boost. It will be helpful for our team.

  6. Hi Brad

    Indeed a great post about SEO mistakes.

    According to me, Search engine optimization is something which can make our future If we do it the right way.

    You have listed most common seo mistakes which almost every blogger is doing.

    In order to rank instantly in SERPs, people are trying un-ethical SEO strategies like keyword stuffing, building low quality or spam links.

    Keyword stuffing is the most common and worst SEO mistake I have ever seen. People think that filling the article with so many keywords will help them to rank fast.

    But It is wrong, Nowadays Google is very much strict for such webmasters and rolling regular updates to kill these webmaster’s work.

    Copying articles from other site is also a most common seo mistake and I had also did this mistake when I started my blogging carrier But now I have completely avoided it.

    I am completely against keyword stuffing and copying content.

    Thanks for listing all the mistakes here so that people can learn about these mistakes and can try to avoid them. 😀

  7. Hello,

    Well, Greatly described points about SEO mistakes, we make or have made in our past.

    When it started my career in blogging, the only thing I know, was writing article and building links, but majority of my articles were full of keywords and the links I was building was just spam links with optimized anchor texts.

    Also, I was not aware of internal links important, but with time everything has improved and these days, I rarely make any SEO mistake.

    But, still a huge number of newbies are making these mistakes and I sadly say, that they are wasting their valuable time.

    So, considering this, a brilliant post written, it will help many out there, searching for this.

    Keep up the good work.

    Cheers.

  8. All the points you mentioned in your blog are good and really notable before making a business online. Most important is UX/UI as it is said first impression is last … your client will judge your services instantly on basis of your website. He must be able to find quicky what he is looking for.

  9. Great article Brad! I have seen so many dental offices that stop updating their websites , simply don’t finish their website, hire a horrible web designer or try doing everything themselves. The majority of patients these days check out everything online before they decide to buy and that includes when they search for a new dentist. If your dental site looks unprofessional they will hit the back button and keep browsing the web for an office that looks great online.

  10. A solid website and SEO campaign can definitely yield a good return on investment, but most businesses make the mistake of trying to cut costs. Its best to pay a fair amount to someone who knows what they’re doing and not try to DIY. SEO is an art, and a tricky one at that. It is best to pay a pro and not try and do it in house or hire the cheapest firm possible. A solid website with good SEO will pay for itself 10x over, but a bad attempt at both will not.

  11. If you are owning a dental website, it is very important to make it user friendly and as mentioned in above blog that number of mobile users has exceeded number of desktop users. It is very important to make it mobile friendly. Not all SEO agencies will give you the results you wish for, again it is very important to choose a right SEO agency or an SEO expert, who has years of experience in this sector with proven results.

  12. Great post about SEO mistakes.

    Search engine optimization is important as much as doing regular exercise by a person.

    Regular exercise keeps a person healthy and in the same way, proper SEO is must to keep a website healthy.

    But nowadays people are trying to fool Google by over optimizing their website. They think that filling lots of keywords and building spam links can increase their rankings but they don’t know that Google is smart enough and they never let such people go up in SERP’s.

    The SEO mistakes which you have mentioned above are very much common and most of the webmasters doing these blunders so that they can achieve higher positions.

    In the past 6 months, I have noticed that Google is making it difficult to rank a website in SERPs and rolling regular updates.

    People should must avoid these mistakes If they really want to keep their sites at safer sides.

    Thanks a lot for sharing these SEO mistakes with us. 😀

  13. HI there,

    Hi there,

    we have just uploaded our website for the first time. Let me say that I don’t understand a lot about the SEO, and many thanks for this nice overview over the topic.

    We have just given the SEO and google Adwords to a person to look after it. He said in our area almost every search is “dentist” nothing else. Can this be possible? We have this keyword on the SEO description, of course!

    shall we give our “SEO business” to someone with a specific dental background?

    thanks
    😉

  14. Thank you for sharing this article on SEO. I run a family dentistry practice in Fargo, ND, and I’ve seen the benefits that local SEO can offer, especially when we were on the Google map. One of the problems I didn’t anticipate was falling off the map after a year of not continuing with our SEO vendor. Pay per click has become essential for acquiring new patients to our practice while our new SEO vendor helps us get our rankings back. Has anyone else experienced this?

  15. I have found that having somebody that knows their SEO is very benificial for our local web presense. There is just too much to keep up with since Google keeps rolling out new updates and changing their algorithms. What worked for SEO 6 months ago may not work 6 months from now!

  16. Time is very precious for any professionals. Dental practice almost takes your time, and so it keeps you from doing some marketing techniques. SEO takes time, and I would suggest getting a firm to help you with the setup process is a wise decision. You can leave these things out to your SEO company while you can focus in your practice and in building personal customer relations. http://www.spargoconnect.com

  17. This is really an Awesome and informative post! Getting traffic to a newly blog depends on many factor. Mainly the blogging niche and the quality back link. It always takes some time to get organic traffic, but as a blogger what we can do is just keep doing what we can do best. Thank you for this wonderful share.

    I Just Loved it.
    Thanks once again

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