Collage of Kelsey going to the Pubcon SEO Conference in Las Vegas

You love continuing education. We do too!

Last month, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the premier Pubcon SEO Conference in Las Vegas. I listened to the best leaders in the industry, including Ben Morss, and Gary Illyes from Google, and got the scoop on the most important SEO trends and updates we should all be focusing on to stay relevant online.

In this blog, I wanted to share the top 6 SEO trends all dentists must know for 2019.

1) Be alert to Google’s biggest updates.

Here’s the deal:

There are three huge updates Google made that will have a huge impact on your rankings in 2019. Those updates include:

  • Mobile-first index: It’s no secret. Google has been stressing the importance of having websites optimized for mobile devices. Well, after a year and a half of testing, Google has finally announced that if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, your rankings will drop.
  • Mobile speed: People are always on the go and need answers quickly. Google knows this. It’s now using page speed as a significant ranking factor for mobile search. If your mobile site isn’t delivering a fast, user-friendly experience to your potential patients, then your rankings will suffer.
  • Make your website fully secure: Google has been stressing the importance of having a secure website for a very long time. In fact, if a user landed on a nonsecure webpage, he or she would get a warning message that the site isn’t secure. If your website isn’t secure, be prepared to face Google’s wrath. This is especially important for healthcare industry websites to show users they are compliant and secure.

What you need to do:

  • Get a responsive website: Make sure your site is mobile-friendly and optimized for speed. Not sure where to find a website company? Check out our blog of the 10 most important questions to ask before choosing a website and SEO company.
  • Make sure your website has an SSL certificate: How do you know if your website has a secure connection? Check your URL. Does it say “http” or “https”? HTTPS shows your website and browser have a secure connection. Talk to us today about installing an SSL certificate on your website.

2) Search is no longer just Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Here’s the deal:

“Just Google it!” 

That’s a phrase all of us have said once or twice to help find an answer to a question. It’s no surprise since google holds 73.7% of search engine market share (source). The thing is, Google doesn’t know the answer. Instead, it just shows the answer they think is right or relevant to your question.

But what about other search functions?

  • YouTube
  • Voice Assistant Devices (Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant)
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

They all have search functions too! For 2019, it’s time to think all search functions – not just Google.

Tim Soulo, Head of Marketing for Ahrefs sums it up perfectly:

“The year 2019 is the perfect time to realize that ‘search presence’ doesn’t imply Google alone. You should start expanding your efforts towards every big platform that has search functionality.”

What you need to do:

Don’t focus on being found on Google. Instead, think about how people are finding you on other search platforms.

  • Upload and optimize your videos correctly on YouTube. For example, post videos of you answering FAQs you often hear from patients.
  • Make sure your social media platforms look professional, consistent, and are active. Don’t just set up a social account and forget about it. Consistently create posts that answer your users’ questions, show what you’re doing in the community, etc.
  • Make sure your website and content are optimized for voice assistant devices. Talk to your marketing company to see what they are doing to adapt to this change.

3) Reviews still matter – more than ever.

Here’s the deal:

Don’t you want to attract patients from areas your office isn’t physically located in? Online reviews are your answer! When it comes to local search, the most important factor considered is the proximity of the search to your location. By getting more reviews in the areas you want to draw traffic from, you can rise in your local rankings.

Google depends on these signals to determine whether your website is worthy to rank well or not.

What you need to do:

You need to get reviews – the more, the better! It’s as simple as that. 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business, so I cannot stress the importance of online reviews enough.

We’ve partnered with BirdEye, one of the nation’s best reputation management platforms, to help collect those positive reviews on Google and 230+ platforms.

4) Videos will rule 2019

Here’s the deal:

By 2019, videos will be the driving factor behind 85% of search traffic in the U.S. (SOURCE)

Let me share a few more statistics:

  • Video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more. (SOURCE)
  • You are 50x more likely to get on page 1 on Google when adding a video. (SOURCE)
  • Right after Google, YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine with 3 billion searches per month. (SOURCE)

So, it’s safe to say:

Videos will be very important in 2019 (and beyond!).

What you need to do:

You NEED videos and you need to SHARE them everywhere (your website, social media, emails, etc.)

And here’s the catch:

You can do a combination of in-house and professional videos! We can even help you out. Check out our custom videos page to see what kind of videos we can make for you.

Prefer DIY videos? Download our FREE eBook Videos Made Simple: Everything You Need to Make Your Own Dental Videos.

5) Inbound links are a must – a popular must.

Here’s the deal:

Google STILL considers linking a 13-17% ranking factor!

Online marketing is a popularity contest. Inbound links are no different. An inbound link is when a credible website with a high-domain authority links back to your website.

When another website links back to your site, Google sees it as an online recommendation, also known as a backlink or link signal. This is one of the top four MAJOR ranking factors for Google because it determines the popularity and relevance of your website.

So what?

It’s simple. You are what you link.

The more websites that link back to your website, the more Google will see your content is relevant and worthy to be read on page 1. 2019 will emphasize more on developing powerful links that will be beneficial for the long term.

What you need to do:

It’s not an easy task, but you need to pursue links. Buyer beware: Google has learned to weed out the bad links from the good ones. While more links will still result in a higher score, it’ll only improve from a number of diverse and authoritative domains.

Here are some ways to get high-quality links:

  • Talk to your neighboring businesses and ask if they can link back to your website (and you’ll return the favor).
  • Write a raving blog about your favorite local businesses. Then, send it to them and ask if they can return the favor.

When your content earns a lot of high-quality backlinks, you hit three important ranking signals: number of backlinks, link authority, and link diversity.

Are you overwhelmed? Don’t worry.

We can help! Talk to us about inbound linking in your marketing plans at your next quarterly meeting! Our in-house team will scour the online web and pursue ongoing quality links. (We’ll even give our personal recommendations).

6) Voice assistants are the future.

Gif of Alexa Echo Dot looking for dentists in the area

Here’s the deal:

“Hey, Alexa! Find a dentist near me.”

“I’ve found four dentists in your area. Check the Alexa app for contact details.”

58% of voice assistant owners have used voice search to find local business information during the last year. The voice recognition market is predicted to be a $601 million industry by 2019. So, 2019 will be the year of voice search!

What you need to do:

Don’t worry! This won’t replace or harm your current SEO strategy. Voice search is just another cog in the SEO world that you must be aware of.

  • Talk to your marketing company to make sure they are optimizing your website for voice search
  • Make sure all your web pages are properly optimized for voice search.

Ready to crush 2019?

Attention Roadside docs: Make sure you have your QRM scheduled with your Account Manager. This is your time to revisit and reprioritize your marketing so it matches with your 2019 practice goals.

Stay ahead of the curve and kill it in 2019!