Behind-the-Scenes Look at Dental SEO

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Patient Attraction Episode 417

Unless you’ve done some computer programming, web design probably seems like some sort of computer magic. But it’s really not, and when we return, I’m going to pull back the curtain and show dentist how to understand the search engine optimization in the code. Stay tuned.

– Today is the last day of our look at websites that convert prospects into patients.

– Let’s get a little geeky.

– Anything that starts with the word “meta” may be intimidating if you are not a programmer.

– So a meta tag may not be very relatable.

– But meta tags are nothing but lines of code that provide search engines with information about their sites.

– That’s the explanation from Google itself.

– Meta tags are the title of the web page and the description that Google uses to understand what your web page is about.

– These are also what Google uses in the search results page.

– The title is the big line that comes up first in a result, and the description is the little block of text right under it.

– The title should be about 59 characters long, and the description about 156 characters.

– Both counts include spacing.

– You can usually set both yourself without knowing any coding.

– If you don’t set them, Google will do it for you.

– Another way to influence SEO behind the scenes is with the XML sitemap.

– It is called that because it is an .xml file that tells search engine spiders what pages are on your website and how recently they were updated.

– You don’t have to know how to code to create an XML sitemap, either.

– Free sites online will do it for you, and you upload it to your website’s root directory (or have your webmaster do it for you).

– Update your XML file regularly so search engines have the most recent data to crawl.

– Finally, nothing is worse than searching a term on Google, clicking the link and landing on a page with the dreaded “404 Page Not Found” error

– If you change domain names or move web pages to a different URL, be sure to set up what is called a “301 redirect” to maintain the SEO value on the moved page.

– This will also help search engines correctly index your site and send searchers to the right page.

– That concludes our series on using your website to convert prospects into patients.

– I hope you have found it useful.

– Please leave me a comment or send me one to

– If you’d like me to evaluate your website and tell you how it can be improved, go to, go to the Learn tab, click Products, and then click on The Swift Kick Dental Website Review about halfway down the page. You can order a customized 30-minute video critique of your site, social media presence, online patient reviews, dental videos and more using our 131-point dental web marketing checklist.

– Thanks for watching.

– Until tomorrow, keep moving forward.