DIY Dental SEO Playbook
DIY Dental SEO Playbook
Steve Brown of DDSRank offers tips, tricks, insights, and tutorials on SEO for your dental practice website.
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Let Speed Happen

Let Speed Happen

4/23/2017 7:23:39 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 128
"When you remove layers, simplicity and speed happen." - Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM

One of the areas that is frequently overlooked when designing a dental practice website is speed.  That is understandable, as most dentists creating a new site are more concerned with the look of the website and how well it represents their office visually.  But when it comes to optimizing a website for search engine rankings loading speed needs to be addressed.

Does Speed Affect Rankings?

There are many articles on Google's ranking factors, although no one but Google knows all the elements that go into determining where a site will rank.  But most of them agree that page speed is an increasingly important factor.  And that is especially true for visitors hitting your site from mobile devices, which are comprising upwards of 60% of the search traffic on Google.  People searching on the go with a mobile device want fast results, or they will bounce.

If you need any other evidence of the importance of site speed, how about this:  Google built a free tool to help webmasters measure and improve the speed of their sites.  The Page Speed Insights Tool will show you how fast a page loads for both desktop and mobile devices, and give you suggestions to help you speed things up.  

There are other free tools available as well - GTMetrix has an excellent scanner that will give you both their own measurement and the YSlow score for your site.   Web Page Test also does a thorough review of page loading speed, and our free Dental Website Audit Tool includes loading speed as one of the measurements checked.

Three Ways To Improve Your Page Load Speed

There are a number of factors that contribute to how quickly a page loads, and many of them are beyond the abilities of a non-technical person to address.  However, here are 3 strategies that can significantly improve how fast your website loads.
  1. Optimize Your ImagesPhotoshop has a “Save for Web” option that will drastically reduce image size. It includes an image quality slider that lets you adjust the visual compromise between graphic file size and crispness.   Or you can use an on-site optimization tool like WP Smush-It or Imagify to significantly improve image loading speed on your website.
  2. Leverage Cacheing - WordPress and other content management systems offer plugins that will create a cache version of your pages and show it to visitors.  With a cache version their browser isn't required to dynamically generate the page, making for faster delivery. Plugins like WP Rocket or WP Super Cache can take a serious bite out of page load times.
  3. Utilize A Content Delivery Network - Not all hosting providers are created equal, and some (like GoDaddy) are downright terrible when it comes to speed. That is especially true if you are using a low-end shared hosting account for your practice.   Adding a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to the mix can bypass that slow speed by moving large portions of your site off to high-speed servers run by companies like Amazon CloudFront.  Not only do they carry your content on their high-speed servers at little or no cost, their system works by serving pages depending on where the user is located. Faster access to a web server close to their geographical location means they see your content quickly.

Get A Pit Crew

In the racing world it takes more than a great driver to win.  The devil is often in the details, and having the right technicians to squeeze the most performance out of the vehicle is necessary to compete.  Even though most drivers can turn a wrench, at a professional level they need to surround themselves with technical experts so they can focus on their primary job: driving.  

When it comes to optimizing and ranking your dental practice website you certainly can jump in and make some improvements if you are inclined to do so.  But when the time comes to hire a professional dental SEO company we'd be glad to give you an in-depth site analysis for free.
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