You have seen advertisements for template-based website builders that promise you can create and publish a site in minutes. Maybe you found a designer or marketing company that promises an online presence within a week or two. Are these claims valid? Quite possible. Are the products likely adequate for marketing your dental practice? No!
One of the biggest mistakes dentists make in launching a website is looking for the fastest possible solution. In website development, quality takes time. While every project is different, you can expect the process to take at least a couple of months. Cutting corners, especially regarding content creation and design, can dramatically speed up the process. However, the price that you pay for speed is reduced quality and marketing value.
Writing pages of entirely unique content for every relevant procedure takes time. Once complete, you will need to review the content, and there may be additional time required for revisions. There are a couple of ways to cut corners here – but don’t do it. Why?
- Reusing content – Some companies offer pre-written articles, which you are free to use (if you are a client or subscriber). This is a fast and simple way to populate a site with general information about common dental procedures. Unfortunately, it is also a quick way to destroy SEO (search engine optimization). Google is designed to avoid showing duplicate results, so pages with duplicate content do not rank well. Even a few duplicated sentences can impact your search performance.
- Thin content – Another common solution is to design a site with minimal content. This might include a “services” page with no more than a few sentences about each procedure. In some cases, specific services are not even listed; a person has to call and ask what is offered. The problem here is that Google looks for content relevant to a search term. In fact, the algorithm favors long-form, in-depth, high-quality content.
Design and programming
The fastest way to create a new website is to use a template. With the programming already done, it just takes a few adjustments to customize the appearance. Some templates have a drag-and-drop interface, allowing the new site to be created with no coding. Like a factory mass-producing something from premade parts, these template-based websites can be churned out quickly. However, the quality will never match that of a unique website created just for your practice. Why?
- Customization – The first and most obvious problem with templates is that they limit your options. Some are more customizable than others, but they all have their limits. It may be something simple, like a menu design or specific photo placement. Maybe it is something important, like adequate space in text boxes or a header design that matches your branding. Whatever the case, odds are you will encounter parts of your website that cannot be precisely the way you want them. And it is not a temporary compromise. Future updates, changes, and redesigns will have to fall within the limitations of the template.
- Optimization – From a marketing perspective, this is by far the most serious problem with templates. They come with a lot of code and scripts, enabling a wide variety of features. Any single site cannot possibly use all of those features, leaving excess code. Of course, that will not affect the appearance, but it can significantly impact the site’s performance. A user’s computer must load all of that unused code, slowing down the entire website. In some cases, it can cause glitches and unexpected errors. All of this lessens the quality of the user experience. Equally important, Google notices. Speed is an important ranking factor, as is overall functionality.
If your webmaster or marketing company promises a great site with a super-fast turnaround, ask how they plan to meet the proposed deadline. Will you have all the unique content? Will you have a totally customized site? Will the site be fully optimized to meet Google’s standards? Will you have the opportunity to review and approve everything? Are they allowing time for any revisions that you may request?
Always remember that your website is the foundation of your digital marketing. If you sacrifice quality for speed, then you are building your entire online presence on a shaky foundation.
About the Author:
Naren Arulrajah, President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, has been a leader in medical marketing for over a decade. Ekwa provides comprehensive marketing solutions for busy dentists, with a team of more than 180 full time professionals, providing web design, hosting, content creation, social media, reputation management, SEO, and more. If you’re looking for ways to boost your marketing results, call 855-598-3320 for a free strategy session with Naren. You may also schedule a session at your convenience with the Senior Director of Marketing – Lila, by clicking https://www.ekwa.com/msm/ or simply send a text to 313-777-8494.
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