Your website is your practice’s digital storefront: it’s what people “pass by” as they surf the Internet looking for the information or services they need. Ideally, your website’s home page offers enough information and value to keep visitors from passing at all, but that’s only half the equation. Getting them there in the first place is the other half.
So how is your website doing? Is it attracting new online visitors each week? Is it translating to increased patient inquiries at your physical location? Do you see your site show up on the early pages of online search results?
If you answered “no” to any of the above, then you might be left wondering where you’ve gone wrong. Perhaps you’ve spent a significant amount of time or money (or both) setting up a sleek and functional website for your hearing practice. If so, you’re likely frustrated if it’s not getting the attention it deserves. Just like the sign outside of your physical practice, your website is fairly useless if it’s not catching the eyes of potential patients moving about online.
Making your website an active vehicle for patient inquiries is a much bigger topic than just getting people to your site in the first place, but it’s hard to deny that it’s the most important step. If your website seems to be invisible online, consider some of the most common reasons below.
Search engines like Google are looking for websites that offer a good experience for its readers. They also are crawling through websites searching for specific keywords being used in a search query. If your website is lacking in detailed content, and specifically lacking in those commonly-searched keywords relevant to your field, then you can expect your web pages to rank poorly in the search results—potentially ending up too far down to ever be noticed.
Luckily, this is a fairly easy issue to fix: simply add more keyword-rich content to your website. This becomes especially important on main pages like your home page and your services page. Even better would be to create a distinct page, full of informative content, for each service you offer. It’s worthwhile to note that content that has been intentionally (and often awkwardly) “stuffed” with keywords does not fare well in the world of search result ranking. A golden rule is to approach everything content-related on your website with your visitors’ best interests in mind. “Would they like more information about this topic?” Likely yes. “Do they want this information well-organized and not crammed into one long page?” Yes, yes they do. In general, any site that is providing great value and rich detail for their visitors will be ranked better than sites that are not.
Keywords are those specific words and phrases that people are searching for on Google and other search engines. It’s possible (and highly recommended) to research the most common keywords related to your field and then target those specific keywords and phrases (called “long tailed keywords”) throughout your website (which we discuss in depth here).
Keyword research is a topic that can go as deep as you want—or have time for. Consider that keyword optimization is its own specialty within search engine optimization (SEO) practices. Fortunately for the world of hearing health, the related keywords are fairly straightforward and obvious. Choosing the wrong keywords for your website might not be so much about using an unrelated word as it is about using too broad of a word. For instance, placing a very common word such as “hearing” throughout your content would be much less effective than placing “hearing aids” or “rechargeable hearing aids” in your content. If you have yet to use keywords to optimize your website’s ranking in search results, be sure to visit this post to get started.
Broad Page Titles
Page titles (also called title tags) are the main text that describes each page of your website. Besides the main content on each page, page titles are the next most important text for search engines. Your page title is what shows up in your browser’s URL bar (or title bar), on the search results page of a query, and in any external links back to your website (i.e. on social media websites, etc).
To make the most of this commonly seen description of each page of your website, it’s important to craft keyword-rich titles that give just enough information about the page’s content. So instead of naming a page a general title like “hearing information,” consider a more descriptive and savvy title such as, “hearing loss and hearing loss treatments.” The latter incorporates two common keywords and also gives more detail about what content exists on that specific page.
Search engines are able to effectively search the enormous amount of information online by a process known as “indexing.” This is when search engine software collects, categorizes, and stores information about each website. Websites that have been correctly indexed will be easy to search through when keywords present in their content are searched online. But what if your website hasn’t been properly indexed? Or worse, not indexed at all? You guessed it—your website will be hard to find, so this is an issue you’ll want to resolve immediately.
To see if your website has been indexed or not, simply type “site:yourwebsite.com” (inserting your website’s domain) into the Google search bar. The number of search results should roughly reflect the number of pages your website has. For instance, if your website has 12 pages, you should expect to see at least 9-10 search results. If there’s a large discrepancy, however, your site might not be properly indexed. This can be a tricky issue and potentially related to any number of things like errors in your website’s root files, an outdated sitemap, incorrect URL parameters, connectivity or DNS issues, and more. Unless you feel equipped to explore further, we recommend reaching out to professional help if it seems your site isn’t being indexed properly.
Making sure that your website is easily found online is just as important as having a website at all. At audiologyplus, it’s why we package complete digital marketing solutions instead of just building websites. We know that you’re going to need a lot more to have a successful presence online, so why not get it all at once? We also have several a la carte services to provide support for businesses that already have websites. If your website or practice could benefit from some enhanced digital strategies, be sure to contact us to learn more.