Is Your Dental Practice Not Showing Up on Google?

If you’ve searched Google for your dental practice name or your professional title, and no results show up anywhere, you have a serious marketing problem. Most dentists who can’t find themselves in search results suffer from one of these Internet marketing ailments.

Your Website/Blog is Not Indexed
For a website to show up in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs), Google’s indexing spiders, or ‘bots, have to know that it wants to be seen. A website can take three to six months to be indexed by Google, but a blog usually takes a month or less. I’ve seen blog posts on SERPs within 24 hours. You can jumpstart the process by submitting a site index and your URL to Google, Bing, and Yahoo. If your website or blog has been live for many months, the problem may rest in the code. You could have “no-follow” directives in the code. Your webmaster can tell you if this is the case by reading your code. On WordPress blogs, you can select whether you want the blogsite to be seen by search engines, so make sure you chose the “yes” option.

Your Website/Blog has No Live Text or is Flash-Based
Google’s spiders read what we call “live” text. You can test your website’s text by trying to highlight and copy a few sentences. If you cannot highlight and copy the text, you can assume that the words are part of an image, rather than characters that Google’s spiders can read. This is a common problem with Flash-based websites. Today, we don’t use Flash much because we have alternatives. We also have new ways to integrate movement into a site without compromising live text.

Your Website/Blog has Duplicate Content
If your site has text, articles, words, pages, etc. that can be found on other websites, it will not rank as high as sites with original content. Google tells us this again and again and has no plans to change its stance on the issue. You can determine whether your content is on other sites (duplicate) by highlighting a paragraph and pasting it into Google’s search bar. Sites with similar or exact text will show in the results. Please note, even if your site is an exact duplicate of another site, it should show up somewhere on Google – maybe on page 115, which is not ideal. If it does not show up at all, duplicate content isn’t the issue.

Your Website/Blog has a Poor SEO Strategy
Good SEO involves many factors: content, links, domain longevity, size of site, and more. A poor SEO strategy will keep a site’s Google rankings low. A solid SEO strategy will boost rankings dramatically and should land you on or around page one of Google SERPs.

You Don’t Have a Website or Blog
Doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and other licensed healthcare entities are listed on Healthgrades.com. If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you probably show up on Healthgrades, Google Places, and some local listings. However, the information a potential patient finds for you may not be what you would prefer. If you want the right information in front of potential patients, you need a website or blog.

Your Website/Blog Has Been Blacklisted
In rare cases, Google refuses to index a site or show it in results because the site has participated in black hat SEO tactics. These unsavory techniques will cause a site to be blacklisted for any length of time. All you can do in this case is change your ways, resubmit to Google, and hope to be let back into their kingdom. Examples of black hat SEO include: unrelated keywords and keyword stuffing or stacking, small or hidden text, hidden links, cloaking, spam or spam blogs called splogs, link farms, domain squatting, cookie stuffing or dropping. For more information, see this article: 17 Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid. In most cases, one can’t accidentally use black hat SEO tactics. They do it on purpose.

How to Get Your Dental Website on Google
I’ve provided some tips in this article, but if you’d like professional help with your dental marketing plan, call Jill at Modern Dental Practice Marketing. Our boutique Internet marketing firm caters to dentists and dental industry professionals. We can help you, whether you’ve never had a website or you’re ready to add microsites to your marketing plan. Call 972-781-8861 or email us today.