Here is Part 2 of our series, we dive into the technical elements in your website that you can control to improve your site’s rankings. 

In Part 1 of our series on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) fundamentals, we looked at what SEO is, why it’s important, and where you might use it to improve your website’s standing in relation to other orthodontist websites. 

Now that the hood has been opened, so to speak, let’s move to some tune-up essentials.

In this article, Part 2 of our series, we will offer some Objective SEO advice that can move your orthodontic practice website up in the rankings and get noticed by more orthodontic consumers.

Objective SEO covers technical elements in your website that you can control. Let us expand on two of these elements here:

Title Tags

Simply put, a title tag is an HTML element that communicates the title of a web page. It becomes the clickable headline for a given search engine result, telling visitors what to expect in the content of the page. It also helps Google and other search engines determine where the page belongs in searches.

For these reasons and more, every page on your site should have a title tag. It is regarded as the single-most important thing you can do to improve SEO effectiveness.

Here are 5 tips for creating effective title tags:

  1. Keep the length of the tag to 65 to 75 characters or less. If it gets longer, it may be truncated (or cut off) by the search engine.
  2. Capitalize the first letter of the first word in the tag, but don’t capitalize every letter in every word.
  3. Put your most important keywords at the front of the title tag.
  4. Write using words and thoughts your patients and prospective clients will understand.
  5. Include your orthodontic practice name in as many title tags as possible.

Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions provide a brief summary of a web page. Usually up to 160 characters long, these descriptions give a slightly longer, more detailed summary of what visitors can expect from a page. If the phrase they use in their search is included in the meta description, it doesn’t necessarily mean your website will get a higher ranking in search results, but when more people click on your site as a result of their search, search engines consider it to be a good result—and may move you to a higher position for similar searches in the future.

Below are 5 tips for formatting your meta descriptions:

  1. Keep descriptions at 160 characters or less.
  2. Be accurate in summarizing the description of what is located on the page.
  3. Write in an active voice and use unique language.
  4. Include your most important keyword.
  5. Include a call-to-action (ie, “Learn more about clear braces on this page.”).

In Part 3 of our SEO Fundamentals series, we’ll look at how to use images, videos, and audio content optimally on your orthodontic practice website. OP

Tracy Henry, MBA, is a digital marketing expert with over 12 years of SEO experience. After years of corporate and agency practice, Tracy now leads 3M Health Care search marketing strategy.

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