The speed of your dental website can have a big impact on your dental SEO and dental PPC campaigns.

We realize that dentists are way too busy worrying day to day dental practice stuff to worry about the speed of their dental website. Sorry. We hate to tell you. You have to worry about the speed of your dental website because nobody else will.

Who is going to tell you your dental website is slow?

Do you really think your dental web design company is going to tell you that your dental website is painfully slow? Nope, they just want you to see how beautiful and “functional” your website is. Are your dental patients going to bother telling you that your main page took 5 seconds to load? No, they didn’t really care and suffered through it because they love you and your dental practice. Do you think prospective dental patients are going to tell your dental website is too slow? Ummm, sorry but when your website took too long to load they moved on a competitor dental practice and forgot that you exist? Do you think Google is going to tell you that your dental website is too slow? Well, yeah kind of. Google will eventually push your website down in search results because they don’t want to give searchers a bad experience. Google also provides tools to check your website speed – we’ll get into that later in this post. Will your Mom tell you your website is too slow? Yeah, probably but she complains about everything.

Why Dental Practice Website Speed Matters More Than Ever

The old days of Yellow Pages ad, newspaper ad and you’re done with marketing are over.  Dinosaur dental practices that are not using digital marketing to find new patients are going out of business while upstarts with little experience are  “crushing it” finding new dental patients day in, day out.

Dental Patients Are Using Mobile More To View Your Dental Practice Website

Fancy websites are nice and can be very impressive.  You know what’s more impressive? Consistently getting new patient leads and growing your dental practice.  Today, you have to expect more than 50% of your traffic is coming from mobile devices.  A big bulky website might load up great on office computer with a fast internet connection. However, if it does load fast on a typical mobile device with a slow connection your dental website needs work ASAP.    What’s the cost to your dental practice (and lifestyle) if only 20 times per month (less than once a day) a would-be dental patient abandons your dentist website because it was just too slow on their mobile device?  You can learn more about why Mobile Matters here.

Google Will Punish Your Slow Dental Website

How does Google know you have a slow dental website?  Are you really asking that? They’re Google – they know everything! 

Seriously, probably a few times a week a Google crawler/robot scans every page of your dental website.  They are looking everything from images, keywords to site speed.  They consider all of these factors plus a whole bunch of other things to determine where your dental website will rank in the Google search results.  Google also monitors how quickly a searcher returns to the Google research results.  If someone clicks on your website in the search results and gets frustrated and immediately returns to the search results because your website is too slow – Google will notice and they will hold it against your website in the future.

Google Robot Test

Let’s do the Google Robot Test.  Pretend for a moment you are a Google robot.  Your job is to rank 10 dentist websites that seem very similar.  (Sorry dentists we’ve looked at thousands of dental websites for the most part they are all the same!) Where do you rank the slowest dental website #1 or #10?    Good robot! You are right the slow website will be ranked #10.

Why Does Google Care About The Speed Of Your Dental Website? 

Google continues to be the #1 search engine because people search Google and plan on getting a quick and accurate answer by doing a simple Google search.  Guess what happens to Google if their front page is loaded with slow websites that take too long to load.  Eventually, people start using other search engines to see if they can find better results.     Do you really think Google is a going to let that happen?  Sorry Charlie – if your dental website is slower than the rest of the pack (no matter how beautiful) you will be relegated to page 2 of Google results.  Page 2 is essentially “Internet Siberia” – you don’t want that – believe us you don’t want that!

How To Check The Speed Of Your Dentist Website?

First, do a real-life test.  Check your site from a friend’s mobile phone or a new phone that has not visited your website and is not on a WIFI connection.   Is it super quick?  Great.  You are probably done.  Is kind of slow?  You have work to do.  Is it painfully slow?  Sorry, you have you just discovered you have a huge problem that needs to be fixed asap.  (you’re welcome!)

Use An Online Tool To Check Dental Website Speed

We like a website speed tool from Pingdom. The tool tells you a few important things including 1) Performance Grade 2) Load Time 3) Faster Than 4) and Page Size.  Performance grade gives you a letter grade to easily tell you where you stand from A-F.  Load Time tells you how many seconds it took your website to load from a particular geographically located server.  You can choose different locations but obviously would want to choose a location near your dental practice.  Fast Than tells you how fast you are compared to other websites on the internet.  Keep in mind your dental practice website does not need to be the fastest website on the web but it certainly needs to be faster than competitors dental websites. Page Size literally tells you how large your web page (how many MB) is which obviously impacts how fast a page load.

There are all kinds of other website speed tests you can you use including one from Google…

How To Speed Up Your Dental Website?

We will do an entire blog post about how to speed up your dental website but for now here’s a list of things you should think about and work on to speed up your dental practice website?

1)  Do you have a fast web host?  If you are paying $5 per month you probably don’t.

2) Who is hosting your website? If your web designer provides web hosting for your dental practice that’s fine but you deserve to know what web hosting service is being used.   Is a speed upgrade available?

3)  Do you have lots of images on your dental website?  Have they been compressed properly?  Digital photography is awesome today but a new mobile phone can produce one photo that is 10 times bigger than your website should be.  Make sure your images are small and compressed.

4) Are you using video?  Try the same video with different videos hosts.  Use the video host that loads the fastest on your dental website.  At the time we write this blog post we are using YouTube – not because we love YouTube but because we found it loads the quickest on our website.

Does Slow Dentist Websites Impact Dental AdWords Campaigns 

Slow AdWords Landing Pages Hurt Quality Score

Yes! A slow page can negatively impact your dental AdWords campaign in a very direct way.  Those pesky Google robots will monitor your dental landing pages where you send AdWords traffic.  (You are using landing pages for AdWords, right?  Please God, tell us you are not sending traffic to your main page!)  If the AdWords landing page is slow, the AdWords robot we possibly penalize your site by giving worse page placement at a higher cost.   Google considers landing page speed as part of the “landing page experience” which is part of the AdWords quality score.   You can learn more about AdWords Quality Score from Google directly Quality Score: Definition

Slow AdWords Landing Pages Cost Money, Dental Patients

So, you just got a new dental patient to click on your Google Ad.  Awesome! Hooray!  Uh-oh.  The prospective dental patient just left.  The page was too slow or maybe they were too impatient.  Whatever. They’re gone.

Here’s why this is bad.  First, you just lost a few bucks on a wasted click.  That stinks.  Worse than that, you also maybe just lost a new dental patient that might have been a great customer for 10+ years.   But it gets worse.  Your AdWords management just got harder and more expensive. When the prospective dental patient clicked back to Google after a few seconds they effectively let Google know your website is not helpful for someone searching for that keyword.   If this keeps happening you can expect AdWords to give you worse placement and higher priced ads.  Sorry.

ConversionSmiles is NOT a dental web design company. 

At ConversionSmiles, we focus on helping dental practices getting found with dental AdWords campaigns and other dental PPC strategies.   If you work with a  great dental web design company let us know.  If you are a great dental web design company let us know – maybe we’ll refer you if you do great work.

ConversionSmiles is a Dental PPC Company