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I am often intrigued when a colleague searches their medical or dental practice name and is confused when it does not appear on the first page of a Google search, yet they do no SEO.

What you need to realize is that Google is not the Internet. So, if your website does not show up on the first page of Google search results does not mean that it is not visible on the Internet. However, it is important that it does show up on the first page of Google search results. With 76 percent of us accessing the Internet each day for medical services, it is critical to have your website listed on the opening page of a Google search. But what can you do if it does not? Well, in this article, we’ll talk about just that.

How does Google work

Google has automated search systems working around the clock. This algorithm randomly visits websites all over the Internet, taking snapshots of each page and then files these away in a massive database.

Google’s system reads every word of text and content on a web page in order to determine the specific subject of the page. Google then uses this collected data to determine which web pages to show, and in what order, for a particular keyword search. They assign a rank order to every website for every keyword search term. Your goal is to have your website rank at the top of your target keyword search terms.

Google’s computer algorithms dynamically determine which web page on the Internet is the most relevant for a specific keyword or key phrase and displays it first. It then displays the second most relevant phrase, and so on. The resulting list of web pages is known as Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Why your site may not rank on Google Page 1 in search results

There are several reasons why your website may not rank on Google Page 1:

  1. Google has not indexed your practice’s website yet (it’s too new)
  2. Your practice website is not optimized for search engine crawling
  3. You have no content on your home page
  4. Your title tags are not descriptive
  5. You are using the wrong keywords on your website
  6. You have put all of your products and services on the same page
  7. You have some technical problem on your site, or have an all-Flash site
  8. Your keyword market is very competitive
  9. Your website has “no index” tags
  10. Your website has been penalized and removed from Google

What you can do to fix this

It is important to recognize any penalties or deficiencies in your website and correct them. You will be awarded more Google Rank Points then start to work your way to Page 1 on Google search results.

  1. Conduct a thorough SEO audit: You can conduct a SEO audit (see my previous article on this). Some of the factors you should look at during the audit include Traffic Overview, Accessibility of your website, On-site optimization, Off-site optimization, and Search Engine Inclusion.
  2. Seek out backlinks: This is one of the most important things you can do. A big factor for search engines is quality organic backlinks. This is what search engines look for. For example, if you were mentioned in a newspaper or periodical, confirm this backlink is listed as this will absolutely increase the position of your Google Rank.
  3. Add keywords to your website content: Keywords can be a single word, or a short phrase of up to four or five words. These keywords should be terms that are relevant to your site and which people are likely to use when they search Google. You can even survey your patients to determine what terms they search to find you or review your Google Analytics page.
  4. Use meta-tags to add more keywords: Meta-tags are hidden code that you can add to your website, if you know HTML coding, or have a web design program. When you include meta-tags, Google search engine “bots” that scan your site will pick them up and your website stands a greater chance of being listed on Google Page 1.
  5. Find keywords that are not overly competitive: You can use Google’s free Keyword Planner to figure this out. Using this tool, you can gauge the popularity of certain search terms, as well as the level of competition you face by using them. Highly competitive keywords can have thousands of websites fighting over them, so if you use these, you are less likely to list on Google Page 1.
  6. Create a listing for your website on Google My Business: Let’s face it, Google loves Google products right? Google My Business links your website to a map listing, so that when people look for your business, or search using keywords linked to your business, they will find a Google map listing. They can then click through to your website for more information. Add as much information as you can to this site, such as office and staff photos, practice hours, and correct address.
  7. Have content that is relevant to your business: Use articles, blogs, and other content that is specific and relevant to the products and services you are providing. Do not use filler material. Google’s algorithm ranks sites with original, relevant content higher than sites with content repeated elsewhere.

Once you use these tips and your website climbs to Google Page 1 of the search engine rankings, it will require continuous monitoring and SEO review to maintain your ranking. Your competitors will try to use their own strategies to climb the search page rankings. In such a scenario, not only do you have to use these tips and techniques, you cannot afford to become overly complacent.

If this sounds like a lot of work, then you may want some help from a professional marketing service that specializes in healthcare. The importance of your website being listed on Google Page 1 increases every year as more patients are choosing their provider online!

For more information on how you can ensure that your website ranks on Google Page 1, contact Kristine Grace DDS, MS, MBA at kristineg@intellahealth.net.

by Kristine Grace, May-4-2017

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