Not ranking on Google 

Why is my medical website not ranking on Google?

Not ranking on Google is a frustration we often hear about when we talk to prospective clients. It is a challenge for many practice owners and a challenge that we love taking off your plate. I will explain the most common mistakes we come across when we analyze medical websites. We offer a solution for each of these mistakes.

Not ranking on Google

Why is my medical website not ranking on Google

Els van der Veire - Co-founder Digital Practice

Els Van de Veire

April 7, 2021

Ranking mistake #1. Hardly any content

Not ranking on Google

Lots of doctors, specialists, and surgeons have been told that they need a website. These websites often aren’t anything more than a digital business card: they show your name, your title, your address, and your phone number. Whilst this is all essential information, it won’t make you rank on Google. 

Let me make my point with a non-medical example. 

Let’s say you are in a city you haven’t visited before and you are looking to have lunch in a vegan restaurant. You’d probably google “city name  + vegan restaurant”. Imagine Google shows you 10 non-vegan restaurants on page 1. How would that make you feel? 

You would be seriously annoyed. 

Luckily, when you google “vegan restaurant” you usually get a list of vegan restaurants or places that offer vegan meals. That is because Google detects content on their website that proofs they are offering vegan lunches. If the restaurant website was nothing more than a digital business card, and the word “vegan” isn’t mentioned anywhere, even when they do offer vegan meals, this restaurant will never rank for those search terms. 

Now let’s delve a bit deeper. Why is one vegan restaurant ranking much better than another one ā€“ than the one everyone agrees on is the very best vegan restaurant in the city? 

Wellā€¦ it is the combination of all ranking factors discussed in this article, that make the difference. Content, however, does sit at the top of our list for a reason. The best-ranking websites simply have the best content.

Back to your business. Do you treat endometriosis? If so, do you mention this on your website? If so, do you educate your patients about endometriosis? In other words, do you have a full page on endometriosis that talks about what it is, the symptoms, the causes, and treatment options offered at your practice? 

Most websites that we analyze fail in the content department. What we often see is a services page, listing the treatments but not offering anything more on individual pages.
Now go back to the vegan restaurant example when we were surprised when the best vegan restaurant wasn’t best-ranked. Do you now understand why that is?

If you want to rank better, create pages for each treatment you offer. Start blogging. And do it consistently. If that’s all too much, why not talk to our consultants? We offer content writing services for obstetricians, gynecologists and fertility specialists.

Ranking mistake #2. Not on Google My Business

Not ranking on Google

When you google your own name or your practice name, and you don’t show up in the Google results on the right-hand side of your screen, chances are you didn’t sign up with Google My Business

Listing your business means it will show up on Google Maps and potentially in the local pack results (for example when someone googles “obstetrician near me”). When you register with Google My Business, Google will prioritize your ranking to the position of other businesses that are not registered.

If ranking in the search engines is important to you, listing your business with Google My Business is a no-brainer. It is free, so you don’t really have a reason not to do it.

If you don’t have the time to list your business with GMB, please ask our support desk to do it for you. 

Ranking mistake #3. Not mobile-friendly

Not ranking on Google

If you do have great content, and you have registered with Google My Business, and you still don’t show up, check if your website is mobile-friendly. 

There is a test for this: submit your URL and find out if your website is built for mobile. 

The bottom line is: if you have to zoom in to read content on your website, it means that it is not mobile-friendly. 

Since a lot of people search for answers on their mobile phones, Google moved to mobile-first indexing in 2016. It means Google checks your mobile website first, then your desktop version. 

If your website is not mobile-friendly, please make an appointment with our team. We are experts in mobile web development. 

Ranking mistake #4. Large images, slow website

Not ranking on Google

Now here is the elephant in the room. Are you the type of doctor who prefers to upload content yourself?

I get it. You want some form of control and you don’t want to bother people like me all the time. 

The thing is, you might actually ruin your website without knowing it. Compare it to driving a manual car in first gear at 60 miles an hour. 

What I have seen time and again is images that are either too small (and look pixelated) or way too large (1MB and above), slowing down your website, and basically screaming to Google “Do not rank me!”. 

When your images are too large, your website will load slower. When your website is slow, people move on and leave your website. 

Think about the vegan restaurant example. If you have clicked on a web result, but the website takes 6 seconds to load, will you wait that long? Some people do. Most people don’t.

However, Google doesn’t want to take any risks: slow website? Low ranking. 

So why not talk to one of our consultants? We can check your website speed and loading times at no cost. Book a free one-on-one consultation today

Ranking mistake #5. Not on social media

Not ranking on Google

Are you active on social media? 

Why does that matter to rank well on Google ā€“ I hear you ask. 

Well, Google needs to be sure that you are in business. Or to say it bluntly: that you are still alive. 

And there’s no better way to find out than by checking your social profiles. Google actually uses social signals to determine which websites are active and which ones are not. This tells them which websites should rank higher.

So here is an example of what we do at Digital Practice with our own content. 

You are reading a blog article that will show up multiple times in our social feeds. We will create five different social media posts, all linking to the same article, and we will spread the scheduling of these posts over the next 12 months. 

Because we know how time-poor many of you are, we have created multiple sets of social media posts. Whether you are an obstetrician, gynecologist or fertility specialist, we have a range of posts that will fit your practice, captions included. Visit our shop to learn more.

Ranking mistake #6. Not indexed

Not ranking on Google

If you have only *just* created your page and it doesn’t show up on Google: do not panic. That is completely normal. It may take days, sometimes weeks or months, before Google indexes your page (or entire website). 

Only when your pages are indexed can they start ranking. 

But how do I know if my website or pages are indexed? 

There is a little trick: In Google, type “site:yourwebsite.com”. If no results are showing up, your website has not been indexed. 

If that is the case, you should ask your web developer to look into the issue. Across my career, I recall two instances of prospective clients who complained about not ranking. Upon checking, we found out their previous web developer didn’t index their websites in Google. 

If that is the case for you, you could simply ask them to solve the issue. Or you might see it as a sign of unprofessionalism and move your website away. If I may speak my truth here: I would do the latter. It is a mistake you cannot forgive and how do you know it is the only one?

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Not ranking on Google

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