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SEO: How Does Your Site Rank?

Optimize website content for greater online reach

Inside Dental Technology
July 2019
Volume 10, Issue 7

Terry Fine

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a term thrown around constantly in the world of online marketing. By its most basic definition, SEO is the use of keywords that, when placed into an online search engine, allow your website to be brought up as a search result. This optimization improves your dental laboratory website’s results based on organic search, which is unpaid and uses natural rankings. This differs from paid search, which allows you to have your business website displayed at the top of a search results page as “sponsored content.”

SEO goes beyond cherry-picking popular words and placing them throughout your site. Google is responsible for 63.5% of desktop searches and 93% of mobile searches, but its algorithm and method of ranking websites remains a mystery. According to long-term observations by marketing experts, Google’s sophisticated algorithm seems to prioritize content that is understandable, relevant, and original.

The way your website is coded is important. Similar to how a poorly written sentence can be incomprehensible to you, a confusingly coded website can make it difficult for Google to judge the quality of its content. SEO is the strategy of optimizing content to ensure it is understandable, relevant, original, and unobscured by needlessly complicated code and design.

If one of your main goals is to reach new clients, utilizing SEO will often be the deciding factor in a successful online presence. Optimized content is your best bet to increase visibility and grow your business without having to pay for ad space. The following are three ways to optimize your website for improved visibility.

Fresh Content

A website cannot be built and then forgotten. Google will count stale content against your search ranking. Since information evolves so quickly these days, Google may consider even 30-day-old content outdated and no longer valuable to online discourse. One of the best ways to maintain a fresh website is to regularly post dental technology-related articles, videos, or images. A news page, gallery, or something as simple as a blog can provide monthly content. Frequently updating your website with relevant information that concerns current trends in the dental industry will also entice users from other websites and social media accounts to link back to your site. In addition to increasing traffic, each link will also benefit your Google ranking.

Quality Backlinks

Backlinks are the bridges that connect websites through shared information. They are different from URLs as they are clickable links embedded within the code. Google’s algorithm considers backlinks a validating factor in the quality and value of the information found on a website. Links to your website are perceived as more valuable by Google than links found on your website. For example, anyone could link to a popular article, but the true sign of informational authority is when an article links to your site as a source. However, both types of links still have value in the face of Google’s algorithm.

It is important to try to have numerous backlinks to your website, but add them gradually; Google will consider the rapid buildup of links as a red flag. Having high-quality backlinks is often more successful than having a large number of them. Some quality backlinks can come from your laboratory’s social media accounts and articles that either you have written or in which you provide more insight into a product, service, etc.

Enhanced Speed

A slow website can severely impact visibility. Google may lower your ranking if your website takes more than 2 seconds to load on a desktop or more than 1 second to load on mobile. In addition, a slow site can frustrate visitors and cause them to exit quickly. This high “bounce” rate will also be marked against you in Google’s algorithm.

One way you can increase your website’s speed is to switch to a faster and more reliable hosting service or upgrade to a better package. Distance is also a factor in speed because it takes time for data to travel, even electronically. To combat this, you can utilize a content delivery network (CDN) to store copies of your website on servers in various locations. When someone visits your website, the CDN will pull the site from the nearest server, increasing download speed.

Additionally, you can compress all the images on your site—such as those showing examples of your client work or even case study photographs—into smaller file sizes. This will increase download speed while maintaining visual quality.

At its most difficult, SEO can seem like a guessing game. After years of trial and error, online marketers have compiled data into a list of factors believed to contribute to a site’s ranking on Google; in total, around 200 ranking factors are thought to be used. Updating content, utilizing backlinks, and enhancing speed are SEO tactics believed to help sites rank more favorably. Ensuring your laboratory’s website is fully optimized will take some time, as well as dedication to maintain, but this effort can result in improved visibility and, ultimately, increased business.