This post originally appeared in August, 2017… but it’s still accurate. In the hyper-accelerated world of search engine optimization, that’s a rarity and means this is very important. Avoid this discredited, kiss-of-death strategy for your website.
Content is and probably always will be king as far as Google is concerned, but dentists should be wary about adding content just to try to score higher in search engine results pages (SERP).
That’s not to say that content doesn’t need to be kept fresh; that four-year-old article on dental implants isn’t likely to score well. But Google is far less concerned with the quantity of content than with the quality. Quality content is Expert, Authoritative, and Trustworthy and does an excellent job of answering searchers’ questions.
If you’re loading down your website with additional content that doesn’t meet the criteria listed above, stop. You’re doing yourself more harm than good in search results.
Variations on a Theme
There are any number of ways to describe dental procedures and the benefits of those procedures. Arguably, your website only needs one really good description for each service you offer. Adding subpages that basically regurgitate the same information in a slightly different way adds nothing of value for searchers. Repurposing your biography in numerous places on your website is also valueless for your prospects. If you have multiple practices, adding separate pages that basically repeat information available elsewhere on your website is futile.
Google has been onto the “variations on a theme” tactic for some time. You can expect to draw a penalty in search results by trying to game the system, so to speak, if you’re adding content just to draw more search engine traffic. And if that extraneous content is hard to navigate to, expect to take an even harder hit.
A Better Way to Score Well
It’s not as difficult as you might think to keep your website fresh with quality content. By adding your blog to your website, you can satisfy Google’s quality criteria. You don’t necessarily need to produce blogs on a daily basis; one to two times per week is adequate. And that’s a good thing for more than one reason. Just as with “filler” pages, you don’t want your blog posts to basically rephrase existing information, adding little or nothing of value for your patients and prospects.
You can also add patient testimonials, case studies of your patients that show how you solved a particular dental problem, and other unique, relevant content. That doesn’t necessarily include photos of your staff holiday party, although some of your prospects might find those interesting.
When you take a quality approach to your content, Google is much more likely to reward than penalize your website in search results.
Offer Value to Your Prospects as Well as Patients
You’re a professional who studied through four long years of dental school to learn to make people’s lives better. What you and your staff do has great value for the patients you treat.
Your online marketing has to convey that value to your prospects and to Google. Don’t fall for a now discredited means of trying to score higher in search results. Give Google and your prospects the high-quality content they’re looking for, and you’ll do well in search.