Google has demonstrated, yet again, their commitment to helping businesses and consumers meet through Google search results. Over the years, Google has implemented metrics and previews to help users find the content they want quickly. Below, we’ll explain the new Google search results feature and how the update may effect your dental practice.
Google Search Results Update
To help users find businesses easier in Google search results, Google has added the business’s logo along with their name above the title of the preview. Below is comparison from Google’s announcement on May 22nd, of the previous and updated Google search results. This sounds small, but it’s not. To understand the impact of this update, let’s talk about the loopholes in the previous Google search results.
What’s Wrong With The Current Google Search Results System?
When potential patients search for, “dentist near me”, Google search results will list previews of related web pages. Currently, website designers have the ability to set the title, description, and the appearance of the url, also called a slug or permalink. From these small previews, potential patients can determine which webpage contains the content they want. So, what is wrong with the current Google search results system?
Well, there is a lot right with the current way Google search results are listed. However, there are still ‘loopholes’ web designers can take advantage of. For example, some web designers keyword stuff. This is when a website overloads the Google search results preview with keywords unrelated to the content of their page to increase web traffic. This leads the user to click on and off the page quickly, making their search process longer. This is not what Google wants for its users. From Google’s point of view, keyword stuffing goes against Google’s goals and, consequently, Google works to minimize keyword stuffing.
Minimizing Keyword Stuffing
From the information above, you may assume that keyword stuffing leads to more web traffic and a higher Google search rank. This is wrong. Do not keyword stuff. To prevent websites from keyword stuffing, Google created metrics to essentially ‘punish’ websites that keyword stuff. One of these metrics is the bounce rate.
Google’s Bounce Rate
The bounce rate can act as a penalty for websites. Think of a bounce as the amount of times a user clicks on your website and then immediately clicks off your website. The more people click on and off of your website, the higher the bounce rate. Generally, Google views this action as the user saying, “Oops, I clicked on this website, but it is not what I want”. It is important to note there are legitimate times users may click on and off a website and find what they want. For example, when a user is quickly looking for a phone number or address. However, in broad terms, a high bounce rate can act as a deterrent for websites and encourage them to stop keyword stuffing.
Google Search Results Summary
The goal of Google search results is to match customers with businesses. Each preview in the results describes the webpage to help the user select the webpage they want. Current metrics, like bounce rates, penalize websites that keyword stuff.
Google Search Results Update and Dental Marketing
At this point, you may be wondering, what the update has to do with your practice if you are not a web designer that keyword stuffs. With this update, Google is giving businesses another way to distinguish themselves in the Google search results. If you emphasize brand recognition in your marketing strategy, potential patients in your area are more likely to recognize your logo and click on your practice.
To exemplify this, the photo below shows the Google search results for the search “dentist in Dallas, Texas”. As you can see with the new update, practices with unique logos and complete names, such as West Davis Dental and MINT dentistry, are more recognizable than generic logos and url names, such as Perfect Grin. What does this mean for your dental practice?
Stronger Emphasis on Branding in Dental Marketing
If you have been waiting for the right time to update your logo and invest in search engine optimization, now is the time! With this new update, a generic logo, such as a tooth for a dental office, will probably not be recognizable enough for patients to click on your practice. Additionally, if you are not optimizing your website for Google search results, your website will lack metadata and descriptions to help it rank on the front page.
Google’s new search result preview update can feel overwhelming! However, you are never alone in your dental marketing journey. If you have any questions about Google’s new update or dental marketing, send us a message! We’d love to talk to you.