One huge missing link to the majority of dental websites is image optimization. I’m going to try not to get too technical, but this is important stuff, and if you really want to get more patients from the Internet you’ll want to read this entire article.
One of the biggest issues I have with most of the dental websites is their cookie-cutter look, which in regards to images are the same stock images that are on thousands of other dental websites.
If you have to use these types of images, at a minimum you must optimize them which I’m going to explain below…
Images must be relevant to the topic of each page of your website. It’s not a matter of slapping a stock image of a beautiful woman on every page of your dental website.
So for instance, if you have a teeth whitening page, then it should be a before and after image of one of your patients having gone through your teeth whitening procedure. This type of image(s) is impacting to the visitor on your website, and will lead to a conversion (them calling your office).
If you don’t have a before and after, then use an image of the product itself, which most of the companies provided as part of their package, when you use their product.
This is one of the first things google looks at when they crawl your webpage. So if you have a staff page, with an image of a hygienist, the file name should not beDSC7203.jpg, but hygienist-suzan.jpg. You could even get more descriptive like dental-hygienist-suzan.jpg, but google knows a hygienist is related to dentistry.
I know this is a ton of work, but you would do this for every image on your website, to develop an authority website, that will outrank all your competitors and get all the phone calls and new patients.
Many times I have analyzed a dental website and the pages took forever to load. One of the ranking factors in google is load time, as google wants the best user experience, and if a web visitor has to wait for a page to fully show up, they know that is a poor user-experience, and will be a red checkmark in regards to your SEO.
There are lots of free tools to take any image and reduce the file size. Tools like ImageOptim; or you can go to a website like PicReSize. The quality of the image for the web will not be altered to the human eye, but will greatly increase the speed of your website.
Because google does not recognize image in a textual sense, you need to optimize each image with a unique alt and title tag. In fact, wikipedia has described in detail the benefit of this for google, as well as the visitor to your website.
The neat thing about a title tag is it shows up when you scroll your mouse over the image, which the majority of web browsers do without even thinking about it.
This is a great opportunity to put your topic keywords in there, and a call to action with your dental practice phone number. You will see higher conversions of phone calls if you implement this right away!
Brian Dean of Backlinko did a study of over one million websites, and one of the ranking factors is to have at least one image on each content page. Websites ranked higher with one image over pages that had none. But…adding more than one image had no significant effect. So the takeaway is adding one image to each page of your website.