What many internet search experts are calling “Mobilegeddon” has finally arrived. April 21st, 2015 marked the beginning of the biggest change in how Google ranks and indexes search for mobile devices. Here’s a sample of what major news outlets have been saying:
If your dental practice website hasn’t been affected by this huge change, it most likely will be soon. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Test your site to see if it passes Google’s mobile-friendly test.
First, you’ll want to see if your website is mobile-friendly. We’ve set up a page that includes more information on making sure that your site passes Google’s new guidelines. Take the mobile-friendly test.
2. Know that this test only affects searches performed on mobile devices…for now.
Google took the first step in encouraging mobile-friendly standard by adding a “mobile friendly” label to search results in late 2014. That standard has been further enforced through this dramatic change to the search algorithm. Most experts agree that the trend will only continue, with a greater emphasis on responsive websites. This simply means that your website is designed to adjust pictures, text and graphics to look great regardless of the device they’re being viewed on. The site literally changes its features and appearance based on whatever device your potential patients are using. Responsive websites essentially “future-proof” your website by providing the most current coding standards that should keep your search results safe for at least the next three years.
3. Prepare for search to continue to be hyper-local.
Google has always attempted to make search results local. In the early years of the internet, that meant Google would focus primarily on words that hinted at geography in a search query. “Pediatric Dentist in Dallas”, for example, would hopefully return results that included websites optimized with that location. Google then shifted towards using personalized browser settings, cookies and even IP address as indicators of local intent, giving the user search results that are based around a specific geographic area. More recently, the prevalence of mobile search has caused Google to focus on the user as the center of search, so called “hyper-local” search.
You can take advantage of this by focusing on local search and local content. Your local search listings should be claimed, optimized and contain positive reviews. Social Media accounts should include events in your local community and locally focused news. Blog posts might mention your neighborhood involvement. Any local signals that point to your business as part of your town will help to influence search that is increasingly hyper-local.
Please contact us so that we can help you work through a plan that will keep your dental practice relevant as the internet continues to change.