How to Improve Your Dental Website’s Rankings in 2016 and Beyond – Part 5
Up until this point in our five-part blog post series on search engine optimization (SEO), we’ve explored all of the factors that help and hurt your SEO. However, search engine optimization does not happen in a vacuum; your competitors are likely doing the same things that you are to optimize their online visibility. If you’ve been following and implementing the recommendations outlined in this series, yet find yourself just outside of Google’s Snack Pack or still not ranking to your liking on search results pages, you’re probably up against some fierce competition.
To get an edge over your competition, prioritize the 6 following items:
1. Generate high-quality backlinks. Claim your business on online directories, put your website on social media profiles, and ask your professional associations and societies if they can list your website on their membership directory. Ultimately, the more credible and authoritative backlinks to your website will help you see better rankings.
2. Have a consistent name, address, and phone number (NAP data) in your online directories. Remember that searchers and search engines use NAP data to learn who you are and what you do. Look for hidden duplicate listings that may appear under an old address, name or phone number by taking advantage of free tools such as Moz’s Local Listing Scanner, which will give you a consistency score. It will also tell you where you could add more information within your online directories, where your NAP data is inconsistent, and if you have duplicate listings so you may report them.
3.Improve your website’s domain authority. Your domain authority (DA) should gradually increase over time, but it will largely depend on the quality and quantity of websites linking back your site. Here’s how you can increase your website’s DA:
• Ensure technical SEO is in place – improve aspects of your website such as site structure, ease of navigation, breadcrumbs, URL structure, meta tags, header tags, word counts, keywords, and alt tags. At times, some of these items may be difficult to implement depending on who your website provider is or your level of comfort with website design. If you’re with ProSites, these aspects are taken care of for you.
• Link internally – linking internally on your website from one web page to another creates a network that searchers and search engine crawlers can use to get around your website and it helps keep your content organized. For example, on your services page, have a link that goes to your pricing page (where it makes sense).
• Remove bad backlinks – your website is scrutinized by search engines based on your backlinks. That’s why removing bad backlinks from your website is important. Although time-consuming, it’s worth taking the time to remove these links so that you reduce the risk of being penalized. Identify which links are pointing back to your website with free tools such as Open Site Explorer or Search Console and identify any that are pointing to your site that may not make sense. For example, a website from another country that does not mention a topic related to your business is an irrelevant link and should be removed by disavowing it – which essentially tells Google that you have an unwanted backlink and they should disregard it when evaluating your website.
4. List your most important categories first on Google My Business. Google categories largely dictate which keywords your practice will show up for within Google’s snack pack. Ensure to include the correct categories on your page, listing the most important category first.
5. Increase your number of Google reviews. Implement a strategy to garner more online reviews from your patients, naturally over time. Regularly encourage patients to leave reviews for your practice online through email, after you’ve helped them, and on social media. Make sure that you respond to any and all reviews in a professional and genuine manner!
6. Improve your click-through rate from search results. Click-through rate is a behavioral factor that Google will look at to determine interest in a specific page i.e. how often searchers choose to click on a listing from a search engine results page matters. You can influence whether someone will click on your webpage by optimizing your each page title and meta description across your website’s pages.
Remember, the larger your market, the more work it will be. Check out our previous posts in the series for more information on optimizing your website. Read part 1 to understand overall ranking factors affecting your website. Parts 2 and 3 examine how to optimize your website for Google’s snack pack and organic listings, respectively. Finally, part 4 lists pitfalls to avoid that could negatively impact your website’s online rankings.