I’m a BIG fan of SEO done right. I believe good SEO is some of the best money and effort you can spend on your website… to a point. Many, including myself, have preached that “content is king.” Ultimately, CONTENT is what CONVERTS (visitors into patients).
Three keys to winning with websites.
To review my tenets of dental website success:
- Get them TO your website (SEO, SEM, and other marketing).
- KEEP them ON your website (compelling content).
- Get them to take ACTION (make an appointment by calling or email contact form).
That’s it! Get those three things in place, and your website will perform! Unfortunately, some website designers (trying to keep dentist-clients happy) focus too much on one thing.
Too much of a good thing.
This blog article is about how one aspect of SEO can be over-done. Keywords are an important part of SEO. And, we want to pepper our website copy with keywords that will be picked up by the search engines. Keywords are, quite simply, what people are putting in the little box before they click the “search” button. The search engines then try to find the most relevant webpages. Naturally, the more times a web page mentions a keyword, the more “relevant” it appears to search engines… to a point. There is such a thing as “too much” when it comes to keywords. That’s called “keyword stuffing.”
There can be some downsides to keyword stuffing. The first is that Google will catch on to these efforts to trick the search engine into ranking a page highly. That can result in your website being demoted or delisted by Google. The second (and perhaps just as significant) problem is that the copy doesn’t read well to the HUMAN visitor on the website.
Website copywriting “don’ts.”
Today, my hygienist emailed me a link to a site she thought was poorly-written. She was right. I picked two pages from the site to illustrate how keyword stuffing just makes a website nearly unreadable gibberish to a human. At the very least, it reads awkwardly and forces the reader to filter a lot of the keyword-filler to get to a miniscule amount of usable or even remotely interesting information. The reality is that the reader will hit the “back” button, instead… and go somewhere else. People looking for a dentist on the web are looking for INFORMATION. Who is this dentist? Why should I go there?
Below is a page about x-rays on the website. I’ve blocked out the dentist’s name. I’ve highlighted the keywords in yellow. In this case, the keywords would be “Dental X-rays” and the geographic location. Mind you, these ARE important to have in the copy.
But, this is a very good example of being “overdone” or “keyword stuffing.” It might even work well to get the site ranked highly (for a while) in the search results. BUT, it simply reads awkwardly to humans. I believe it will fail to accomplish the primary directive of a website: attract and convert new patients.
More of the same.
And, here is the page about dental implants that follows the same pattern. Man! There’s a lot of yellow here!
Trying to be everything to everybody.
Yes… you should season your copy with relevant keywords like “dental implants” and your location. I would also caution against casting too wide of a geographic net. This case is an example of that, too. Consider whether it’s realistic that you’d attract patients from cities that are a good distance away. Also consider that by including distant geographic references, you may be diluting your SEO for the city you’re actually in. I’m not saying you shouldn’t cast a wide net. I’m simply saying you should weigh reality vs. trying to cover every conceivable location, and create your content accordingly.
Write for your human audience.
The main message here is that if you write good, readable, and coherent copy for your human website visitors, it will “automagically” perform well in the search engines. My point is that search engines will naturally like well-written copy. Don’t try to trick the search engines. It might work (for search results) on a temporary basis. But, even if it does “impress” the search engines, Google doesn’t have teeth and can’t sit in your chair. Ultimately, you need to impress real people with teeth that desire your services.
What do you think?
It’s difficult asking dentists to think like a consumer. But, try anyway and see how the copy in the two webpages above read to you? Are they compelling? Do they answer your questions (as consumer / prospective patient)? Do you get tired of reading and jumping over, “Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Wellington, and Jupiter?” Post your opinions and comments below!
PS…. Other articles I’ve written on the subject: