SEO Changes that Affect Dentists

You have a website that’s only three years old. You spent thousands on it. At first, the site brought you a good number of new patients each month, and the amount you spent on monthly support, SEO, and blogging was returned tenfold. The past six months, however, calls have dwindled. What happened? You didn’t change a thing.

This is the story with many dentists, and the answer is, SEO changed. In fact, search engine algorithms, Google in particular, change constantly. Because Google evolves continually, so must your search engine strategy. Otherwise, new patient numbers can drop dramatically.

Many things have changed for SEO. To name a few:

  • Exact match domain names hold zero value to SEO, whereas a few years ago, they were vital to website traffic.
  • Facebook and other social networks had no impact on a website’s SEO, but today, with the Hummingbird algorithm changes, social mentions and backlinks significantly impact a website’s rankings.
  • Having multiple microsites and a blog on a separate URL from your main site were highly effective ways to improve search engine rankings in the past. Today, placing much or all of your efforts into your primary website seems to be the key to success in search.
  • Another big change is that a mobile-friendly website is no longer as effective for SEO as is a responsively built site.

In short, a website built a few years ago has little chance of faring well on search engines. To compete, you need a solid SEO plan that caters to today’s indexing algorithms.

Don’t Throw Out the Baby                                                  

The good news is, you don’t have to start over unless you want to. If your website features original text, you should keep it. If you like your website’s design, keep it, as well. What you need is a makeover.

  • Rebuild your website on a responsive module.
  • Re-optimize your content and navigation, based on current keyword research.
  • Analyze your primary competitors in search, and determine where your SEO strategy is lacking.
  • Move your blog and microsites to your main website, under one URL. Redirect those domains to your main site.
  • Reinvigorate your social efforts. Update your profiles. Create a plan for weekly or daily interaction with the online social world.

Change is Inevitable, Success is Not

Have you looked in the mirror lately? Age creeps up on us, whether we like it or not. Similarly, we can’t avoid Google’s changes. To succeed in search, that is to rank high for targeted keyword phrases and to attract the right kind of patients, you must partner with professionals who understand SEO and stay informed about new developments so that your site competes 24/7, and your dental practice thrives.

If you have questions about Google, leave a comment or give MDPM a call at 972-781-8861. We offer our website clients assistance with Google+ and other social media profiles. You can also email us at

About the Author: Jill Duty handles SEO and operations for Modern Dental Practice Marketing Consulting. While she knows a lot about SEO, Google, and user experience, Jill’s passion is helping small businesses thrive. She comes from a long line of entrepreneurs and has made her career a mission to grow small businesses in America.