The way your website is organized influences how your audience perceives and experiences your dental practice. Additionally, your site structure can affect how Google classifies and ranks your site in local search results. It’s imperative that your website be easy to navigate, and easy to use. Below, we discuss how Google views your website and the most common website pitfalls to avoid.
A Poorly Organized Website Creates a Poor User Experience
To help your audience enjoy your website, it needs to be organized and easy to navigate. Having a well organized website creates a more positive user experience for your site readers. A better user experience can increase the amount of time that people spend one your website – and not because they’re stuck hunting for the information they can’t find. In SEO terms, we call this dwell time. Higher dwell time indicates to Google that your website is valuable to your audience, and in return, Google improves your local search rankings. Dwell time is an important ranking factor to Google, and the longer that your audience spends on your website, the better.
Tip: Watch a friend or family member, who is unfamiliar with your website, look for basic information such as your bio, directions to your dental practice and appointment request. This will help you determine how easy it is to navigate your website.
A High Bounce Rate Tells Google That Your Website Isn’t Interesting
Better site organization also decreases your site’s bounce rate. A bounce rate is essentially the percentage of site visitors who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. A higher bounce rate indicates to Google that your site isn’t valuable and that audiences are not interested in the information posted on your site. A lower bounce rate tells Google that your site visitors are interested in your content and browsing around your website. If your information isn’t easy to access, or if your navigation doesn’t make sense, then your site visitors will leave and seek a different source of information.
Tip: Login to Google Analytics and check your bounce rate. Talk with your web designer about ways to keep people on your site longer. For example, you should consider adding a blog to your site.
A Poorly Organized Site is Difficult for Google to Crawl, Hurting Your Organic Search Results
Site organization also influences your local search results. When Google scans your website, it observes the information architecture and classifies your website as it relates to the information it contains. The easier it is for Google’s crawlers to navigate and classify your website, the better your local search rankings. As you show up higher in local search results, your website will receive more traffic and your reputation and authority will continue to rise.
Tip: If your website is more than 5 years old, it’s possible that it was built on older coding that could be improved. Talk to your web designer to see if there are any issues that appear in Google’s Search Console.
A Confusing Navigation Creates Confused Website Visitors
Your homepage should feature your main navigation menu – usually located at the top of your website or on the left side. The main navigation acts as a map that leads visitors to the most important parts of your website. Typically, the main navigation links to your dental practice’s contact page, about us section, blog, and services. Your site visitors should be able to access the rest of your website through the main navigation menu, and the pages to which it points.
Tip: It can be tempting to unleash your creativity and make a unique navigation menu, but if it’s not simple and straightforward, your website visitors won’t be able to easily find what they’re looking for.
Strategic, Thoughtful Interlinking
Interlinking your important pages is a great way to make it easier for your patients to click thru and find the information you want them to find. For example, if you write a blog post about the benefits of teeth whitening, you could place a link in the story that leads readers to a page on your site that describes your teeth whitening services. By doing this, you give more exposure to your popular pages and increase the amount of clicks those pages receive.
Tip: Look for places on your website where you can create connections and use hyperlinks whenever appropriate.
Is Your Website Guilty of any of These Pitfalls?
If your website is confusing to you, then it’s confusing your audience and Google. If that’s the case, then give Smile Savvy a call. We offer a variety of comprehensive website services that are aimed at positively influencing your local search results and increasing the value that your site offers your patients.