Since April 21, Google Search rankings have been notably irregular, to say the least. Some big-name sites, like LinkedIn.com, CreditKarma.com, and Legoland.com have seen rankings fall. These companies spend a mint on marketing, yet their rankings dropped.
If you’ve noticed a dip in your dental practice website’s rank, perhaps it’s due to the Google Update of May 4. Google’s recent core update didn’t impact medical sites as updates have in the past. If your rankings fell in April or before, then the update’s not to blame.
A drop in a dentist’s Google rankings and traffic can have many causes, including but not limited to:
- a Google update
- new competition for keywords (newly published or refurbished dental websites)
- lack of publishing fresh content (blog, site updates)
- fewer people searching for keywords you monitor (as is the case during shelter-in-place orders)
- bad or spammy backlinks (you may not know about them)
- duplicate content (can be someone using your content without permission)
- not keeping up with trends (like using longer meta descriptions on blogs and pages)
- Note: a drop in map rankings can be caused by the number of, quality of, and timing of Google Reviews, among other factors. Tip: keep your Google Business profile up to date and completely filled out, with photos, hours of operation, about section, etc.
IMPORTANT: Doing a search for your top target keywords won’t show you actual results—the results your patients see. Even Incognito is inaccurate.
In the past, using Google Chrome in Incognito Mode gave pretty accurate results, so you could easily see how your site ranked for certain keywords. This is no longer the case. With Google’s intense focus on localizing results, Incognito has become outdated and unreliable.
How’s a guy to know where his site ranks?
The best tools for finding accurate results aggregate various data to come up with an average ranking. At Identiwrite Creative, we use Google Analytics, SEMRush, and GoDaddy ProSites for site ranking and traffic analyses. Sometimes we also turn to Ubersuggest. By looking at reports from these different resources, we can get a good idea of where a site truly ranks for a certain keyword phrase.
How’s a dentist to push her site up to page one, position one, and Map 1?
Let’s say we have an orthodontist in Dallas who wants to be on page one Google results for Dallas orthodontist. Our data shows that he’s on map position 5 (only the top 3 show on page one) and organically, he’s on the top of page 2, we’ll say position 12 (which is #2 on the second page of results).
Let me run through how I’d come up with a plan of action, a strategy for achieving page one rank.
I would first find out the most important keywords for the dentist’s office, based on services and symptoms treated.
Next, I’d evaluate the dentist’s on-page SEO strategy: content, meta, image tags, links, headings, etc.
If the on-page tactics are top-notch, then I’d move to off-page SEO: incoming links, reviews, citations, etc.
Many dentist SEOs fail to evaluate competitors. I think this step is vital. How can you fight a battle without knowing anything about the competition – even who your competitors are? You can’t. So, we’ll research which dental offices in your area show up on page one for the keywords you value. Then we can assess the competitors’ sites to see how your site measures up. We’ll identify holes in your competitors’ strategies, where you can get a foothold.
From all of this information, we can develop a plan of action that will help your site move up the search results to page one organically and rank in the top 3 of the maps section (we call this the 3-pack).
Identiwrite has an advantage over other SEOs. Because we’re a copywriting firm, we can create content that will answer some of the most common questions potential patients ask in Google Search. Google puts Q&As at the top of the results these days. Our writers also compose content that’s structured to be favored by Google for featured snippets, which are the white cards that provide information at the top of search results. Featured snippets are taken from the text on websites, and Google determines which text best answers a searcher’s query.
How much does it cost to rank on page one organically?
After a complete evaluation, I’ll send you a detailed proposal with strategies and associated fees. You can do as much or as little as you like, but of course the more you do, and how quickly you do it, will have a great impact on:
- how fast you achieve ranking on top of page one
- how fast your site ranks in the 3-pack of Google Maps
- how many keywords you rank on page one for
- whether your content is featured for snippets or Q&A
- how long you maintain your high ranking
If your site rank has dropped, or if your site traffic has plummeted, you need a strategy to bring up the rankings and traffic. In addition, you need to review your ranking and traffic data monthly and amend your strategy accordingly. If Google rolls out a new feature that could benefit your dental office, you should take advantage of it quickly and completely.
This is what we do at Identiwrite Creative. We help dentists get more new patients.
To discuss your site’s on-page and off-page SEO, site design, or copywriting, call 940-395-5115 today and speak with me, Shauna Duty. You can also email me at [email protected].