There’s a war raging in cyberspace, as you sip your morning coffee and review your appointment book. In this cutthroat battle, Google’s throne is being threatened by the stealthy young insurgent, Bing. You won’t notice the battle cries and guerrilla tactics as you greet Mrs. Jones, fill her cavities, and remind her to floss daily. However, competition for the search engine crown does affect your dental practice. Unless you remain abreast of news from the battlefield, and strategically amend your SEO marketing strategy, you could be exiled to the bottommost search results in one fell swoop.
News from the Front Lines
This time last year, Google felt great, holding over 90% of the search market for PC and mobile. Google provides search results for smaller engines, like Ask.com, and the only true competitor that compiles its own results is Bing. Starting with television commercials a few years ago, Bing hit the market with high hopes and some serious financial backing. Bing and Yahoo share a database for search results, and Yahoo has long been a player the search engine market. This year, Bing took a big step, entering agreements with airports and educational institutions, and the result is, Google now holds just over 66% of the search market. Bing has increased its influence and, while still in the shadows, with 17.9%, it is making forward progress, and quickly.
The A-Bomb: Reviews and Social Mentions
For almost anything Google changes in its indexing algorithm, you can expect Bing to take similar steps. Google is now placing heavy focus on unsolicited, unpaid consumer reviews, like those on Google+, Yelp!, and Yahoo Local, as well as social mentions. It’s hard to say what counts as a social mention, but most experts believe that Google considers a social mention to occur when the name of a company is linked back to a page that company owns, whether on Facebook or a private website. For restaurants, retailers, and airlines, consumers often make posts and mentions. However, this isn’t the case for dentists. In fact, many people only post a review about their dentist to report a negative experience. Dentists, and dental SEOs, are going to have to get creative and strategic when it comes to reviews and social mentions. Keep in mind, private site reviews, like those on Demandforce and Rate a Dentist, don’t count in Google’s algorithm change. Demanforce’s contract with Google ended last year.
Reduce Risk: Ranking on Bing
At MDPM, we’re going to work ahead of the curve, when it comes to preparing for Bing’s potential growth. In addition to gathering data from Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics for our SEO reports, we will now begin collecting ranking and traffic data from Bing, using the company’s parallel products, Bing Webmaster Tools. Our reports cover the two important aspects of SEO: traffic and rankings. By checking this data regularly, we can truly gauge the success of our copy-centric SEO strategy for each of our clients. The timeframe between data analyses is determined by our clients’ packages, and they range from annual to quarterly to monthly. After analyzing the data, we alter strategies as necessary to foster continued improvement.
Data Review and Strategy Analysis
If your dental practice needs a better strategy for SEO, call the experts at MDPM Consulting today: 972-781-8861, or email us at [email protected].