Your website is the hub around which all of your other marketing rotates, so it’s important that your site works well with other tools and sites and is flexible enough to adapt to new resources as they gain prominence in the marketing world.
Here are some basic things that you need for a site that will work today and for years to come. Your site needs to:
Be Able to Manage Your Content
It must include a CMS, or Content Management System. A CMS allows you or your staff to add pages to your site, change menus, add photos, blog posts, videos…all of the goodies that make a successful website. If you don’t have a CMS for your website, that means that your webmaster is the only one who can make changes to your site. That’s not a good thing, because sometimes you need to change something immediately on your site or (and we’ve seen this happen before) your webmaster vanishes!
Be Able to Customize Meta Tags
Your site’s meta tags can help Google and Bing index your site correctly. It’s critical that you can customize the meta tags for each page on your site.
Be Able to Share
Social media sharing buttons should be available on your site pages so that patients can easily share your videos and articles with friends and family. Social media is only going to get bigger, so make sure you make it easy for people to share your site.
Be Able to Change Site Style Dynamically
It’s important that your site stays up-to-date in terms of design. What looked good in 2001 isn’t going to look good today, and what looks good today isn’t in five years. By including design themes, you can completely change your site design without having to start from scratch. (Our WaxwingCMS includes theme-switching tools that allow you to change your site in seconds.)
Be Responsive, with Mobile-Ready Design
Each year, more and more site traffic is coming from phones and tablets instead of desktop computers. You must have a website that can detect the type of device and provide a perfect reading experience for the site visitor. This is called responsive design and all modern sites use this concept.
Be Able to Add Video
Video for patient education and for showcasing your practice is powerful, so make sure your site includes video hosting. Yes, YouTube has it’s benefits for improving your search engine exposure, but there are some really good reasons NOT to include YouTube videos on your website. Make sure that your hosting provider includes video hosting or get yourself an account through the best web video hosters around, Wistia. (Waxwing Dental sites include video hosting, and we use Wistia, because they’re the best.)
Be Able to Blog
A blog can be a powerful tool for SEO, so make sure that your site includes a real blog. This means that you can adjust meta tags on blog posts and includes an RSS feed. Most important of all, make sure that your blog is on the same domain name as your website. By doing that, your entire website benefits from search engine rankings.