Check your dental website for these four common errors
Many dentists (not all!) have now realised that it is essential to ensure that their practice websites are mobile-friendly. This is not just essential to ensure a good user experience, but also to ensure that Google doesn’t penalise your search ranking results.
It pays to remember that Google now creates its search results index using a “mobile first” methodology, i.e. they recognise that most users now access website using mobile ‘phones and consequently create the search index using mobile content rather than desk-top. So if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, then you are clearly disadvantaged!
However, even though many dentist’s websites are generally mobile-friendly, we still see lots of mistakes which can compromise the user experience and consequently lead to diminished enquiries. Don’t forget that web users are generally very fickle and will soon hop off to another website (your competitor?!) if you don’t deliver the browsing experience they expect.
So let’s take a look at four common errors we regularly see on mobile dental websites.
Slow load speed
This is a function of a few factors but typically a) poor design and coding and b) poor server performance.
Here at Dental Media, when we are designing client’s websites, we always think “mobile first” i.e. when we are creating concept designs, we don’t start with the large desk-top display but primarily look at the mobile layout first. This may sound a bit odd but actually it’s very logical when you consider that most people now access websites from their ‘phone or tablet rather than the desk-top computer. So it makes sense to start “mobile first”! Of course the other layouts need to be excellent too, but if there are any compromises required in the design, it’s always best to know this when you start with the mobile view.
Where we see other design agencies making big mistakes, it’s often down to leaving the mobile layout as a secondary consideration i.e. they start at the desk-top layout, refine that and then try to cobble together a mobile version latterly. But this isn’t the way of modern “responsive” mobile-friendly website design.
We also see designers trying to be too clever with designs; adding far too many bells and whistles which can look nice on a big screen but mess up performance and usability on much smaller ‘phone and tablet screens. A classic example is the use of background video which is always a compromise as we’ve discussed in an earlier blog here. If these are not handled very carefully, it’s very easy to trash your mobile and desk-top performance. This is just one example of ill-conceived design where form reigns over function but your users don’t benefit!
So watch out for any features which might look pretty but don’t actually work well on the mobile view of your website. There are tools to evaluate this so ensure you check in with your designer to make sure your mobile site isn’t compromised by poor design and content; and preferably before you go live!
The second factor which messes up load speed is where a design company cuts cost by using cheap servers or overloads them with too many websites. This is a regular occurrence unfortunately. Whilst you don’t need a dedicated turbo-charged server for most dental websites as they are generally relatively small and not resource intensive, you do need to ensure that the hosting infrastructure being used is not only secure but also fast and efficient too. Again there are tools to test this, so please make your designer aware that you are on the case and checking!
Poor placement of contact details
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