Any one that knows anything about search engine optimisation for dental practices, knows that local search is key to success. Whilst reviews and social signals are regularly spoken about, they do not come close to the weighting given to local ranking signals in Google.
We can expect that Google will continue with its mission for local relevancy well into 2014 and here are three things that dental practices should be focussing on to help their websites be at the top.
1) Improve brand authority
Last year, Google saw a shift from keywords to context, which initially started with the panda update in 2011, proliferating with the hummingbird update in 2013. Therefore, websites with microsites or pages targeting specific keywords with thin content, which had previously been seen as a great seo tactic, saw their sites penalised. It is predicted that this will be even more prevalent in 2014.
Google will now ‘ask’ when crawling a website questions such as: does the website offer the information searchers need? Will users visit again due to the content? Or do the pages just serve to manipulate search results?
2) Making websites mobile friendly
Smartphone penetration reached 65% last year and it’s been predicted that it will rise to 75% by the end of the year. We know from our own clients statistics, that around 40% of visitors to dental websites view from mobiles and tablets- can you really afford to miss out on 40% of potential business?
Matt Cutts of Google reiterates the need for businesses to have responsive websites, if they wish to compete in both local and organic search results.
3) Correcting inaccuracies on maps
It’s important to correct any inaccuracies on social networks such as foursquare, in addition to fixing other maps such as google places. This is important because mobile searches often incorporate a user’s location as a ranking factor. So having an incorrect address, will make users think that a dental practice is further away than it actually is which will prevent the dental practice from showing in results.
If you would like further information about how we can help with optimising your dental website for local search, or if you are interested in responsive design; give Dental Design a call on: 01202 677 277 and we’ll be happy to help you.