Most dental practices trying to grow their businesses are investing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google AdWords, Facebook and beautiful websites. The problem with a beautiful dentist website is it can also be very slow. Unfortunately, speed matters more than ever before for dentist websites and getting found in Google.
More and more website clicks are coming from mobile phones with slow connections. In fact, more than 60% of Google searches are done with mobile phones. But, instead of dental websites getting smaller and faster, more and more often dentist websites are elaborate of bloated.
Why Dental Practice Website Are Slow
There are a few reasons why dentist websites have gotten so chunky. As web design has gotten cheap and simple, web design companies (trying to show more value) have made sites fancier, more complicated and slower. Dentist websites have larger image files as stock photos are easy to access and cheap. Also, more dental practices are using real photos taken from iPhones and DSLR cameras that produce large image files.
The first step is to figure out if you have a slow dentist website is to test the speed. There are a number of free page speed tools available online that will almost instantly tell you how fast or slow your dentist website is. We recommend https://tools.pingdom.com and www.webpagetest.org.
How fast should your dentist website be? Well, that’s a hard question to answer. It should definitely not be slow and it should be faster than the competing dentists in town. Not only do you want your users to have a good experience, you can count on the fact that Google is keeping track of how fast your dentist website is and punishing you with fewer clicks if it is too slow. Not only does Google take speed into account for SEO, you should also expect it is part of the AdWords quality score for Google AdWords Dentist ads. Want a real number? OK, your goal should be that your web page loads into 2-4 seconds.
Speed Up Your Dentist Website
So, how can you speed up your dentist website? First, keep it simple. Are there any extras on your website that provide no value to a prospective dental patient? Forget about looking cool to your family and to competing dentists – if there are any extras on your website that do not improve the user experience for the prospective dental patients get rid of those extras.
The next thing you should do to speed up your dentist website is to reduce the number and size of images displayed. Are there any extra images that don’t provide value? Get rid of them. Sometimes web designers like to show text as images – if you can switch those images to real text you can both help the speed up your website and help those words get found by Google. (words embedded in images are not seen by Google crawlers!)
Once, you find some images you have a couple of options. First, you can reduce how much space the images take up on the screen. Some images might be bigger on the screen than they need to be because nobody bothered to reduce the size. There are plenty of tools online to help you resize images. You also can likely dramatically compress the image size without it being noticeable to someone viewing your website. Here’s a tool the can help with both resizing and compressing images. http://compressimage.toolur.com/
How Speed Impacts Google Adwords
If your dental practice is using Google AdWords, make sure you have speedy landing pages where your Google ads are pointed. You are spending lots of money on Google AdWords and two bad things can happen if your landing page is slow. First, Google might not show your ad as often and might charge you more money per click if they think your landing page is too slow. Second, you might pay for a click and your new prospective dental patient might disappear forever before the landing page ever loads! Don’t let this happen to your dental practice. Make sure your dentist Google ads point to a speedy page that helps prospective patients.
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