It’s normal to expect that your website will function well indefinitely. Unfortunately, as with most things in life, websites have a shelf life! Websites crash because they are out-of-date, or because plug-ins have either stopped working or take too long to load. In some unfortunate cases, cybercriminals have taken over.
Many website owners don’t give the necessary love and attention to their websites, and when things get grim, they get all too shocked. Customers are turned off, and their search engine ranking may suffer.
But with regular maintenance, your website can keep your online web presence strong. A few necessary adjustments can make a lot of difference to your search engine rankings.
Make sure you have an SSL certificate.
An SSL certificate adds the “s” to “https://” in your web address. It shows Google and your web visitors that your site is secure and can be trusted.
Four years ago, Google recommended all website owners use HTTPS in their website address. This was part of their quest to build a safer internet. Not everyone heeded the call. Fast forward to today, and HTTPS is still not used by the majority of websites. However, this is a significant improvement from approximately 7% of websites using HTTPS back in 2014 when Google launched the drive for a more secure web.
SSL certification is a must, even if you are not an e-commerce website. If your customers cannot trust you, they will not feel comfortable when visiting your website. The best way to show your customers that you care about their security is to get your website an SSL certification. Your customers will see your dental practice as a professional company and will be more likely to give you their contact information and set up an appointment.
Use Mobile-Friendly Design
Most Americans use their smartphone multiple times a day. Whether responding to emails, keeping track of the news, or connecting with friends on social media, you probably rely on it too. Mobile internet use exceeded desktop use for the first time at the end of 2016, tipping the scale from 51.2 percent for mobile to 48.7 percent for desktop.
Responsive web design has made mobile optimization simpler and more available to all. This means that website visitors have started to expect this level of responsiveness when surfing on their mobile devices.
Google prioritizes websites that are mobile-friendly over those that are not in their mobile search results. The change in the Google algorithm in 2015 tweaked the way Google shows mobile search results. Websites that are optimized for mobile rankings will do better than those that are not.
Fix broken links
A broken link is a link that doesn’t work or takes you to the page that you were expecting to see.
Imagine your potential customer searches for “root canal.” They then click on one of your pages in the search results, hoping to see a web page with the dental services you provide. Instead, they see a ‘404 not found’ error page, which tells them that the page you are looking for is not available. As you can see, this does not create a good first impression of your dental practice.
What was the last time you tested all your links to ensure that they were functioning correctly and that they were not broken? If you’ve ever updated your site, removed pictures, and images, or modified the product page URL, then you’re likely to have broken links that you don’t know about. It will make both Google and your web users happy if you went ahead and cleaned up all your 404 errors.
Like our physical health, websites need some care from now and then to stay at maximum fitness. We know you’d rather focus on the health of your patients, which is why our team is here to help! If you’re wondering about your website’s health, contact us at Dr. Websites today!