Search Engine Optimization or SEO as it is widely known, is Essential for any Dental Practice that wants to get New Patients from the Web or Online in 2019.

The job of SEO is simply to get your potential new patient to see your Dental Practice on the Organic or Unpaid section of Google and the other Search Engines. In 2019 there are well over 300 Ranking Factors that Google takes into account. These factors are constantly changing in relevance and percentage of importance, as well as new ranking factors coming out regularly. Here are just a few of the ones that came in over 2018:

Google Medic Update: Google’s Core Search Update Had Big Impact On Health/Medical Sites: In the week of August 1, 2018, Google confirmed via Twitter (@searchliason) that it had “released a broad core algorithm update, designed to improve [the quality of] our results.

Google has said that this update was a “broad core algorithm update” and that it does these updates “several times per year.”

Several SEOs have tweeted at Google asking how to fix their site to better adhere to best practices. To which Google has replied, “There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously being under-rewarded” … “[so] remain focused on building great content.”

Rolling out Google’s mobile-first indexing:
On Monday, March 26, 2018, Google announced that after a year and a half of careful experimentation testing, they started migrating sites that follow the best practices for mobile-first indexing.

Mobile-first means that the mobile version will be considered the primary version when it comes to how rankings are determined. However, there may be circumstances where the desktop version could be taken into consideration (for instance, if you don’t have a mobile version of a page).

If you don’t have a mobile version of your site and your desktop version is not mobile-friendly, your content can still be indexed; however, you may not rank as well in comparison to mobile-friendly websites.

Google speed update has become a major factor in rankings:
Google announced that on July 28, 2018 a new ranking algorithm designed for mobile search would be deployed, named the “Speed Update”. Only pages that “deliver the slowest experience to users” will be impacted by this update, the company says.

Search engine users enter mobile queries differently than they enter desktop queries. For one thing, mobile queries are shorter. Queries in general have become more conversational as we’ve become more intimate with our devices. Factors that impact site page speed: Image size, taking advantage of caching, optimize JS and CSS files, eliminate website baggage.

Google says switch to HTTPS or lose Rankings:
HTTP basically allows unauthorized people to tap into your computer and steal all of your valuable information. Google wants to avoid that by strongly encouraging the shift to HTTPS.

Stats have shown that having an SSL Certificate on your site can decrease your page bounce rates significantly. Some results have shown a decrease as much as 50% in bounce rates. That equates to great increase in traffic. Bounce rates are equated in Google’s Algorithm, lower bounce rates equal higher rankings.

As you can see these have a high level of technicality. Done right, these factors will improve the ranking of your website. Done wrong they will be a huge factor in reducing your ranking and in some cases virtually blacking out your website and visibility on Google. Google never announces the specifics of the changes and additions being made to what they are doing with their search engine, and most of the time they never even announce them at all. It is up to the SEO community and SEO companies like Affordable Image to figure it all out after the fact. That is why even the best Optimized Websites will have ups and downs with their Rankings, but the goal is always to be trending upward.

The one thing we do know about SEO is that it is a constantly moving target and in reality, many, many moving targets.  We also, know that what your competition is doing for their SEO has a major impact on where your Practice Website will rank for the various searches. One thing I recommend doing every 6 months is an SEO Audit of your website. A good SEO Audit will tell you what is broken on your website and what are your weaknesses on your website, as well as other things not related to your website that you need to do to increase your visibility on the search engines like, get more Reviews for your Practice, clean up your directory listings or, add more directory listings, get more quality links back to your website, and disavow any toxic links.  SEO can be overwhelming but, with an SEO Professional, you can be successful.

– Mike Shoun, President and CEO

Originally published at www.thedentistsnetwork.net/dmktg13.html