Websites aren’t something you simply create and then walk away from. Like your car, you will need to take care of them and conduct regular maintenance to ensure that they succeed in doing the job you need them to do. For your hearing practice, that probably means providing a great first impression for your potential hearing aid clients and keeping your website design and optimized to perform well in search engines.
Maintaining a healthy website is an evolving process, but a few simple steps can make a huge difference to your search engine rankings: making sure you have a secure website, ensuring it is mobile friendly, and fixing any broken links you might have. Let’s take a look at each one in turn.
Secure Website (SSL Certificate)
How confident would you be in a website if you were warned by your browser that it was “not secure?” If you don’t have an SSL certificate, that’s what will be displayed on your website future versions of the Chrome web browser. In 2019, if you own any website, SSL is crucial, and audiology practice websites are no different.
An SSL certificate adds an “s” in your web address which makes it “https:/.” This demonstrates that your website is stable and can be trusted by Google and your web users. Here are the reasons why you need one for your audiology website:
- SSL helps protect data: Each bit of information is encrypted when SSL is enabled. This means it is put under lock and key and can only be opened by the browser or server that is authorized to access it.
- SSL confirms you are who you say you are: An SSL certificate’s second role is to provide a website with authentication. In terms of web security, identity authentication is one of its most important responsibilities. SSL helps drive traffic to your real website and protects users from getting fraudulent websites posing as yours.
- SSL helps with search engine rankings: In 2014, Google made improvements to its algorithm to give an advantage to HTTPS-enabled websites. This means that SSL websites get a boost when it comes to search engine rankings.
- SSL builds trust in your customers: From a consumer trust point of view, SSL certificates are also important. The simple presence of the padlock next to your website’s address is enough for users to know that any data they input will be secured. This will make a huge difference if your visitors have to provide their personal information for consultations and hearing tests.
Mobile-Friendly Website Design
A mobile-friendly website is one that displays equally well on smartphones, tablets and laptops. Such website designs, also known as responsive web design, will ‘react’ to any device or monitor, whether it’s your cell phone or a large TV screen. This makes visiting a website a seamless process on any device.
This is particularly important as we enter an age of majority-mobile internet use – The latest figures show that mobile users have overtaken desktop users in overall internet use.
Mobile-friendliness is also good news for your SEO. While rating search results, Google uses a mobile-first approach, which means it now chooses how to rank your audiology website based on its mobile version.
Fix Broken Links
I’m sure you’ve put a lot of work and hours to make your audiology website a valuable resource for your customers. But if your links don’t work, all of that hard work can be ruined.
Broken links are links that send a signal that the website no longer exists to its users, triggering a 404-error page. They can happen for many reasons. Your website can contain two types of broken links: internal links and external links.
Not only are broken links irritating, it can also damage your SEO efforts. If visitors come across a broken link, they have been denied the information that they were looking for. It’s like going into the kitchen of a beautiful house and finding an empty room. If users spend less time on your site, search engines would see this as a sign that that your website is of low quality. This will cause them to rank you lower on search engines. Broken links will damage your SEO efforts and scare your visitors away. So, it’s best to repair them when you find them.
If you’re looking for help getting an SSL certificate, making your website mobile-friendly, or fixing broken links, talk to us! Our team of website designers have created secure, fast and mobile-friendly websites for hearing practices across the country, and we’re excited to help you secure more hearing aid patients through your website.