Myth: The more webpages per site, the better.
Reality: It’s what’s on your pages that counts.
As far as the Internet is concerned, the objective is always more, more, more: more Facebook friends, more re-tweets, more comments, more posts. Maybe that’s why so many of our clients are surprised to learn that the “more is more” rule doesn’t necessarily apply to the number of webpages that make up your dental website—at least not in terms of search ranking. You’ll recall our discussion of quantity vs. quality as it relates to content and links, and we can revisit it here.
On one hand, you want to include enough valuable content and information to meet your visitors’ needs. On the other, you don’t want to cram it all onto one or two pages. But the fact remains that too many pages makes navigation difficult, which adversely impacts user experience. As you’ve no doubt learned by now, user experience is more important than ever for dentists’ websites.
Don’t believe us? Maybe you’ll believe Matt Cutts, the man at the helm of Google’s webspam team. Cutts recently explained that, yes, websites with more pages generally rank higher—but probably not for the reasons you might think. He went on to clarify that it isn’t the actual number of pages that improves ranking, but rather what’s on those pages.
Why Too Few Pages Is a Bad Idea
For example, suppose you’ve just cobbled together your first dental website. You’ve taken a minimalist approach, combining information about your preventive, cosmetic, and restorative treatments on a single page. You don’t want to get too fancy with your copy or service descriptions, knowing that it would require endless scrolling down the page. Instead, you add a bulleted list of your available services—no descriptions, just “teeth whitening” or “porcelain crowns” and so on.
Cutts cites two explanations for the relationship between number of pages and search ranking. First, a website that has more pages will generally have links on each page; the total number of links for the site will be greater than the number of links on your hypothetical one-page website. And even though link quantity isn’t the primary objective in modern SEO, it remains important nonetheless.
Second, more pages implies more keywords and relevant terms. Nothing that could be considered keyword stuffing, of course, but certainly more than you would find in a bullet point. Instead of just ranking for “teeth whitening,” you could potentially rank for “bleaching your teeth,” “professional whitening,” or any number of similar words and phrases.
The takeaway here is that the number of pages on its own has no bearing on your ranking; it’s how you use them.
Why Too Many Pages Is a Bad Idea
At the other end of the spectrum is a website with too many pages. Remember, user experience is more important than ever in SEO. Ideally, visitors to your site can easily locate the necessary information in a matter of mouse clicks. You want them to spend time on your website. The length of time a visitor stays on your website—search engines call this dwell time—can actually help or harm your ranking. Search engines assume that someone who spends only a few seconds on your website does so because they didn’t locate the desired information, or that your content is not relevant to the search term. A longer dwell time suggests otherwise. Realistically speaking, however, it’s unlikely that a user will continue to click multiple links in search of answers.
Next, we’ll examine a pervasive myth about local SEO.
As always, we encourage you to call or text MDPM Consulting at 972 – 781 – 8861 with your dental SEO questions, or email us at [email protected]