Dental SEO Ranking Factors in 2021: Part Two

Part Three of our Dental SEO Information Series

Excerpt: Welcome to Part 3 of our informational series on Dental Search Engine Optimization (Dental SEO) programs. If you haven’t read the previous two entries (Part one – The State of Dental SEO in 2021, or Part two – Dental SEO Ranking Factors in 2021: Part One), we highly recommend you start with those. In this ongoing series, the technical team at DIGI Search will be highlighting the ranking factors that have positive effects on your performance in search results. We will also be looking at factors that were previously important but have now been phased out by Google. This Rankings Factor breakdown will focus primarily on rankings factors related to your website’s domain.  DIGI Search is an expert in Dental SEO and can help you choose a URL that is best for your practice.

Does my Website’s Domain Affect my Dental SEO program?

The domain you choose for your website is an important decision, and there are elements of your domain that can influence your placement in Google.  There are also several factors relating to your domain that used to be important to search engines and are no longer as critical. We will highlight these factors below:

Domain Ranking Factors for Dental Search Engine Optimization

SEO Ranking Factor: HTTPS (Important)

Have you ever been browsing a website and noticed a message in the address bar that says, “Not Secure?”  If so, you have seen a website that has not properly set up its SSL certificate for encrypted browsing through HTTPS.  While this previously was only a requirement for stores that collected secure information like credit cards, Google has recently put a strong emphasis on HTTPS as a ranking factor for all websites. Your website company should already be on top of this, but if they are not, reach out to them and see about having an updated SSL certificate installed. SSL Certificates are a minimal cost and fairly easy to set up, so make sure your website company isn’t overcharging you for this service.

SEO Ranking Factor: Domain Age (Not Important)

Maybe you’ve heard this line before “Don’t change your website’s domain, you’ll never rank with a new URL.”  This myth makes it seem like the single most important factor of your website is how long your domain has been registered.  Like most of the Ranking Factor myths, this one has an element of truth to it, Google formerly emphasized the domain as a major factor of ranking.  Since Google can now audit website content more accurately, they no longer put the focus on factors like domain age, meaning your new domain can rank just as well as a 10-year-old domain. You will still need to do the SEO work for your new domain, and it may take a few months to optimize, but your practice can very quickly recover from a new domain and rank above your competition.

SEO Ranking Factor: URL Structure (Important)

Your website can be set up in any number of ways, especially how the links look for your site’s pages. Many people wonder if having your keyword in the page URL is important for your dental SEO program, and Google has recently revealed that they do use the URL as a ranking factor, especially when your site is first published.  The first time that Google crawls your site, they use the URL to get an idea of the page’s content and how it is grouped on the site. This means the site hierarchy, how your pages are nested under parent pages, can be an important factor as your site is starting out. Once Google has fully analyzed your site’s content, this ranking factor becomes much more minimal.

SEO Ranking Factor: Domain Name (Not Important)

When it comes to your website’s domain, the actual domain name doesn’t need to include primary keywords for it to be beneficial for your dental SEO program. For many years the prevailing wisdom was to try and include the term dentist and your town in the domain name for the best SEO boost. Google has revealed that this is no longer the case, and your domain name can be whatever works best for your practice. We encourage our clients to choose a domain name that is easy for their patients to remember instead of trying to stuff keywords into the domain.

SEO Ranking Factor: www vs. non-www as Primary (Not Important)

When you visit your website, do you see www. in front of your domain? In Dental SEO, it has long been a topic of debate on whether having www. in your domain is better than not having it. Google’s data show that no matter which option you pick, Google will still choose the version they feel is best to display in search results. You will have some aspect of control through the Google Search Console, but don’t spend too much time deciding as the effect on your rankings will be minimal.

In Conclusion: Domain Ranking Factors for Dental SEO Programs

The domain you choose for your website is an important factor and is often the first thing new patients will see when they are going to your website. By knowing the factors that can positively and negatively affect your dental SEO program, you can make sure that your site ranks well above your competition. Are you unsure of the best domain to use for your mobile responsive dental website? The team at DIGI Search can help you find the best domain for your practice and get started with a correctly optimized dental website. Contact us today to get started!