Is Your Website Build to Be Found in 2014?
“Page one of Google” is a moving target with changing factors. Smart businessmen and women are looking at their 2013 numbers and expenses, trying to determine what to change for the coming year. What tactics will improve profitability, patient numbers or number of customers, and visibility? Of course, we all want to be on page one of Google, but for what keywords? A solid SEO strategy requires time and effort. It also requires looking at what Google considers important. In today’s blog post, I’ll give you three things Google considers high priority, and I’ll explain how to tell if you’re compliant, what these things really mean for your business, and what they mean to Google.
Compatibility with all screen sizes.
Two people. According to studies, one shops for services and products on his smartphone.
Is your website built to rank high in online search?
If you aren’t sure, test it out here: Responsive Site Tool.
- What it means to your business: With half of your potential new patient base searching for your services online, you cannot afford to go another month without a responsive website design. MDPM Consulting builds all of our custom websites on a WordPress content management system, with completely responsive capabilities. Our designers actually build out the site design according to how it should look on desktops, tablets, and smartphones, prior to site development.
- What it means to Google: When Google’s algorithm indexes your website’s code, it can determine whether your site is responsive. Those sites that are responsive get more credit in mobile search, because the site owners are providing Google’s search clients with what they need.
Image appearance across all devices.
A potential patient finds your website and is immediately instructed leave the site and download new software that will make your website function properly on his smartphone. He has no time for these shenanigans, so he visits the next dental website listed on his search engine results page.
iPhones, iPads, and iPad minis do not allow Flash files to show up on screen. Instead, a black square renders where the slideshow or motion element should appear.
Does your site have Flash? Install SEO Quake in your browser to test your site for Flash files and other SEO elements.
- What it means to your business: You could lose potential patients. When a person visits your website on a tablet or smartphone and sees “you must download Adobe Flash Player to see this image,” you’re making a bad first impression. After all, if your website doesn’t work properly, will your dental care be modern or outdated? Furthermore, if that potential patient decides to go ahead and download Adobe Flash, but runs into any errors, you might be blamed for his frustration. Let’s say Adobe Flash downloads properly. Will he go back to your website, or will he have lost interest?
- What it means to Google: Flash files are outdated, and Google does not like outdated websites. Today, savvy website developers rely on HTML5 or Java Script for elements of motion on a website. These two options allow images to render properly across all devices, and images will also load fast – both attributes have a positive impact on SEO credit.
Reputation, social mentions, and backlinks.
In September 2013, Google launched a set of algorithm updates called Hummingbird.
Did this update help or harm your search rankings?
Whether you’ve seen your rankings drop or you’ve seen no effect yet, you should proactively redirect your search optimization efforts toward the focal points of Hummingbird, which include, primarily, social mentions (including reputation management), authentic links (not paid links), and public perception/authority. The latter is gauged, in part, on what you author and add to the Internet, such as blogs, images, videos, etc. I’ve noticed that those sites with an active Google Authorship, Google+ Business Page, Facebook Business Page, YouTube Channel, and Twitter profile seem to do well.
- What it means to your business: You have to become more involved in your overall online presence. No longer will a website, alone, provide you with first-page rankings for multiple keyword phrases. In addition, negative reviews on Google, Yelp, CitySearch, Yahoo Local, and other review sites will hold your rankings down. Are you mentioned in a positive light online? Do you maintain business profiles on the major social sites? Hummingbird is just the beginning of the search optimization trend toward social influence and reputation impacting Google rankings.
- What it means to Google: As the search engine leader, Google has a reputation to uphold. Sending consumers to disreputable businesses would mar Google’s reputation as a good source of information. Think of it this way: If you asked your neighbor whether he knew any good mechanics in your area, and he sent you to a shop that swindled you, would you trust his opinion in the future? Of course not! The same is true of Google. If you ask Google for a referral, and you have a bad experience, you may no longer ask Google for referrals. To address this issue, Google relies on social feedback, ranging from how often a brand is mentioned on Facebook to how many good reviews a business has on Yelp.
About MDPM: Modern Dental Practice Marketing is a Dallas-based dental marketing and SEO firm that focuses on original copywriting and website design. While MDPM originally worked solely for dental practices, today the marketing firm serves clients in the medical, construction, fitness, and service industries. Contact Jill Duty, COO, or Jill Nastasia, CEO, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 972-781-8861.