Google, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, has 65% of the business when it comes to search engines. They are the leader in search. A beast. Our goal at MDPM is to build attractive websites that rank high on Google. The whole point of online advertising for dentists is to get new patients in the door, and if your website can’t be found, your investment will produce naught.
What can we do to please Google? First, we have to understand what the company’s doing, then we have to get involved. Let’s look at some interesting Google innovations and what we at MDPM recommend:
Google Caffeine: Fresh Content Every Morning
This is an indexing initiative to make search results more relevant and timely. To you, this means that your web content should be filled with fresh, original, news-worthy content. A blog is the number-one way to make it happen. But, unless you post to your blog regularly (once a week or more), don’t expect stellar results.
We Recommend: Everyone needs a blog. Period.
Google Organic Rankings: GOOD Content is Still King
This is the list of results you get when you search for keywords in Google. The organic results show up in the center of the search engine results page (SERP), beneath the grey box (paid listings) and map (Google Places listings).
We Recommend: Because most dentists start blogging, then become inconsistent with posts, then stop blogging altogether, the MDPM dental and SEO copywriters can blog for you. It is important in the first few years of a blog that you post weekly, if not daily, to boost SEO. The content has to be original (not taken from anywhere online), relevant to your blog’s focus (dentistry, for instance), and it should be tagged, categorized, and optimized properly. Attractive photos (which you must own or rent) make blogs eye-catching and can really help spark initial interest in visitors.
Google Pagerank: Get Popular, Rank Higher
This is a longstanding ranking system that is based primarily on backlinks. When other, relative sites (dental, health, or community related) link to your site, you get a type of credit. These credits add up and your Google Pagerank goes up accordingly. Pageranks are listed as a ratio: 5/10, for instance. Zero means there are so few backlinks to your site that you don’t have any credit. The higher the first number, the better your Google Pagerank. And, the better your Google Pagerank, the better your organic Google listing will be. Google only indexes for Pagerank quarterly, so it will take time to establish a moderate to high ratio.
We Recommend: Don’t get antsy. It’s going to take time and work to get your Google Pagerank up. Keep plugging away at blogs, blog commenting, and social networking, and in time, you will secure a good Pagerank.
Google Places: Your Interactive, Informative Google Page
Personally, I really like Google Places. It’s a free listing on Google that includes a lot of information about a business: map, hours, type of payment accepted, public transportation, logo, website link, updates from the owner, testimonials from clients, and more. At Google Places, you will choose tags to describe your business. This will help Google understand what your company is and does.
We Recommend: Claim your Google Map. Complete your Google Places listing. NOW!
Google Tags: Highlight Your Business
If you already have good organic rankings and you’re on Google Places, for $25 a month, you can get a tag. Basically, your map pin and sidebar listing on the Google Places SERP will show an obvious yellow highlight that makes your listing stand out. On the “everything” Google SERP, tagged businesses are listed with highlights just under paid advertising. Google tags does nothing to enhance organic rankings. It is simply a highlight mark. And it does stand out! There’s a 30-day free trial right now, but you do have to subscribe with credit card info, then cancel the service in 30 days to avoid billing.
We Recommend: If you rank high on SERPs for keywords that are competitive, but you just can’t work your site up any higher, Tags are a good idea.
We all know there aren’t any saints in big business. Google is big business. They’re out to push their business forward and will do whatever it takes to stay on the search throne. It is not in Google’s best interest to share everything with the public. However, Google is a good company, and it’s not too, too difficult to rank well on search engines if you follow their rules. It just takes time and work.
Because some folks try to trick Google by using “black hat” tactics, Google does not release a checklist of what will make your site rank high. Some things we know, like website traffic is what it is. If your site gets a lot of traffic, Google can’t alter that. So while we need to please Google to push your rankings up, up, up, we should also pursue drawing an audience that doesn’t originate with a search engine, ie: social networking, local listings, blog commenting, etc.
There’s much, much, much more that we could go into here. Google Analytics, for example. But this blog is long enough. If you want help with your dental practice website, blog, or social media, give us a call. Our affordable, hassle-free Internet marketing services require little to no work on the client’s part. We have expert dental copywriters, designers, and IT guys who will be your Internet marketing team, so you can focus on taking good care of your patients!