What follows is a 216 point article listing how Google actually evaluates your website…

Yeah, no. No one really knows all the ways Google evaluates your website with any certainty, and there will be even less certainty tomorrow…and the next day. Google constantly changes the parameters its algorithms (yes, plural algorithms) use to decide which websites it will display and in what order when someone types in a dental search. They implement a change and keep moving. They gather information from how people use their systems and continue to evolve their search engine and company. The best-ranking dental offices are ones that either naturally fit the criteria Google selects in the moment, or that continue to evolve alongside Google, adapting as Google changes. We can help you do both.

Is Your Dental Practice’s DNA Aligned with What Google Wants

You need to know if you’re the type of dental practice that Google is going to naturally be more inclined to list in its rankings. What does Google want? Again, this is always changing. For example, were you aware of this little tweak to Google’s recommendations they announced in December 2022?

Since then, Google’s algorithm has changed something like 4,745 times according to Search Engine Land. But what has changed more slowly is how Google thinks about its role in online information retrieval. If we internalize this point of view, we can get a rough idea of what Google is looking for in a dentist.

Check out this video Google posted in June 2016.

They want to help the user in the moment by providing the best results from the most trustworthy people who have the utmost ability to solve their users’ problems. They want the experience on Google to be fast, simple, and indispensable.

Is it any wonder that Google is vetting dentists on Google Ads and that they want dentists featured in Google Local Services Ads, but only after doing background checks and assuring that they are insured against malpractice? Google’s doing everything they can to ensure dental searches yield results that the people at Google might give users personally, only they are letting the bots do the selecting and positioning of the dental offices.

To that end, you need to take a hard look at your office and be sure that your marketing, your practice goals, and truly, even just your motivation for coming to the office every day are all in alignment with what Google thinks of as the definition of the ideal dental office. If those things don’t align, then you need to adjust your plans and expectations or you’ll likely be frustrated.

Google ‘dentist near me’ right now in another tab. Check out the results. Chances are that the offices listed advertise the following:

  1. Family dentistry
  2. Insurance and medicaid acceptance, especially in-network coverage
  3. New patient specials

So, if you’re trying to maximize your organic visibility in the general dentistry space, but you’re a fee-for-service dentist, be prepared for an uphill battle.

For specialists and niche dental practitioners, this is kind of bad news, but there’s good news too: if you paint a clear picture of what you’re known for and don’t muddy the waters trying to be all things to all people, you’ll naturally rank better for those specific services. You may still have some deja vu, seeing some of the same competitors if they are in-network providers and they are advertising something like ‘dental implants’. Those will likely out-rank you if you’re a purely fee-for-service dentist.

This could just be a kind of feedback loop as people call and email at a higher rate on websites that seem like they’ll provide a less “expensive” service.

screenshot of a google search

Google may take note of this increased conversion rate on these dental websites that market low-cost, insurance-driven care and give them a boost. Per details gleaned from various legal testimony records, Google has been incorporating information satisfaction signals as part of their complex algorithms for years. 

How Google Evaluates Niche Dental Websites

We deserve better care, but collectively we’re still in a delusional state that believes we should be able to get the best while paying pennies. Until that prevailing spell is broken, the best that high-end, fee-for-service practices can do is one of these things (or a combination thereof):

  1. Pay for visibility.
  2. Focus on services that maximize profitability.
  3. Mimic insurance with member benefit plans.
  4. Present yourself as a specialist (niche practice) and stick to your guns.

For niche services, Google is still looking for many of the same qualities they look for in a general dentist, but through a more specific lens. They want to see that you have:

  1. A convenient location
  2. Recent, positive reviews
  3. Photos and testimonials that show you know what you’re doing
  4. A great bio page that proves you know your stuff
  5. A fast, mobile-friendly website with great content that people love

When people like what they see, they’ll spend longer on your website before they click back to the search results or, even better, won’t leave your website before clicking on a call or email button. Again, those conversions are a strong signal to Google that they did a good job in sending their precious user to your website.

Google Evaluates Entities—Not Just Websites

Google has evolved beyond evaluating dental websites and has really begun evaluating dentists and dental practices. They look at available indicators that might tell them how often people visit your office…

screenshot of a graphic depicting popular times

Do people have a good experience while you’re there?

screenshot of a five star rating

And yikes, do you have some ghosts from your past that keep haunting you? How many?

Again, these are issues that make organic positioning easier or harder just depending, but not impossible if you work on them. They can also impact the rates you pay for pay-per-click fees charged by Google because Google knows that they can get more clicks for practices whose online identity will make people click and be glad that they did.

A Great Dental Website is a Great Start

If your office’s website is more than a couple of years old, it’s probably time to look at revamping it, or at the very least, tuning it up. Evaluate the website’s speed, content, and conversion ability. We can help with professional dental website design at Pro Impressions Marketing. Schedule a no-obligation website evaluation with one of our team members. We’ll let you know if things are looking great or, if they need help, and what we can do to help you get back on track. Call (970) 672-1212 now, or schedule an appointment online.