Myth: If I don’t submit my website to Google, it won’t show up in search results.
Reality: Your blog or site URL will appear in search results regardless of whether you manually submit it to be indexed.
However, it must be indexed before users can find it using a search engine. How long does it take for your dental website to be indexed? Google’s response is noncommittal, saying only that the process “can take some time.” Based on experience and comments from other Webmasters, this can take anywhere from a matter of days to a few weeks. A few claim to have seen results within hours of uploading a new URL or content, citing the best practices described below.
As for speeding up the process, there is no single best way to ensure timely indexing. Again, Google offers no guarantees for those who choose to manually submit URLs. Does this mean you should skip this step? Not quite. In this respect, Google is quite clear in encouraging you to submit your URL using Webmaster Tools. Doing so won’t affect your ranking, but it’s one of several steps you can take to tip the scales in your favor.
Use Google Webmaster Tools
Signing up for Google Webmaster Tools is easy. You’ll need to verify ownership of your website before accessing all the features in your toolkit. The verification process can be completed in one of four ways: Through the provider of your domain name, editing the HTML code of your homepage to include a meta code, uploading an HTML file to your server, or submitting your Google Analytics tracking code. Obviously, the last option requires you to have an existing Google Analytics account.
Using Google Webmaster Tools to create and submit an XML sitemap of your website is a win-win. Google likes sitemaps because they provide a clear, easily categorized overview of your site and its content, allowing it to deliver more relevant search results. You win because your sitemap presents your website accurately and thoroughly, making it easier to find once indexed.
We also like Webmaster Tools because it includes the helpful Fetch as Google feature, which allows you to notify Google when you’ve added fresh content and new webpages. Google “fetches” the new information, which you can then submit to be indexed. Using your toolkit, you can also monitor the index status of your website.
Other Ways to Speed up Indexing
If you prefer not to submit your URL manually, you still have options. It can be a matter of who you know—that is, who’s linking to your website. Quality links from relevant, frequently crawled sites make your website more likely to be crawled and indexed in a timely manner. Optimizing each page and their respective elements (text, images, etc.) for your target keywords helps, too. Focus on specific keywords and phrases rather than broad ones. For example, is your audience looking for a “dentist,” or are they looking for a “cosmetic dentist”? Take it a step further. Are they looking for a “cosmetic dentist” or are they looking for a “cosmetic dentist in [your city, state]”? Remember, search engines crawl billions of webpages. Specificity helps you stand out from the crowd.
Having your dental website indexed is just the beginning. Once you’ve made your presence known to Google, Bing, and other search engines, you can move forward with sharpening your SEO strategy. Next, we’ll debunk myths about SEO and what it can accomplish.
As always, we encourage you to call or text MDPM Consulting at 972 – 781 – 8861 with your dental SEO questions, or email us at [email protected]