We've Manually Analyzed 1,000 Dental Websites

We've Manually Analyzed 1,000 Dental Websites

Most of the SEOs and internet marketing people are aware that Google is currently using around 200+ ranking factors to determine a ranking position for a query that is typed into Google.

With 2021 being considered one of the most “algorithmic-updated years,” our team decided to do a massive case study about Google ranking factors in relation to dental industry websites.

Dentistry is our niche of choice, and we’re climbing to the top in order to dominate the dental market. At this moment, DreamChasers is working with over 15 dental offices around the United States. This case study was designed to ensure total superiority of the SEO rankings for our current dental clients, stay ahead of the competition, and permanently establish number one rankings for our clients in regards to both organic and map positions.

Without further ado, here is what we’ve decided to do:

  • Figure out what REALLY makes dental websites rank on first page of Google.
  • The sample data was 100 biggest cities in the United States based on population.
  • The query used was “dentist + city”, ex. “Dentist Chicago”
  • 1,000 URLs were used in this sample.
  • We’ve exported the top 10 dentist ranking websites from page 1 of Google.
  • We’ve exported the top 10 dentist ranking websites from page 1 of Google.
  • We’ve exported the top 10 dentist ranking websites from page 1 of Google.
  • We’ve exported the top 10 dentist ranking websites from page 1 of Google.

It would be impossible to evaluate each website with around 200+ ranking factors, so we decided only to use the ones that are the most critical at the moment (based on our experience).

Our Criteria

Here is full list of what each website was evaluated on:

Ranking URL

Is the homepage or a specific URL ranking for the query?

Domain Age

How old is the domain, what year was it registered?

Keywords in domain

Does the domain contain the keyword “dentist”?

# of Domains

How many referring domains does the website have? (ahrefs.com)

# of Backlinks

How many backlinks does the website have? (ahrefs.com)

UR

What is the authority of the URL (ahrefs.com)

DR

What is the authority of the Domain (ahrefs.com)

Pages Indexed

How many pages/posts/other have Google indexed under that domain? (using site: as an operator)

CMS

What kind of content management system is the website on?

On-Site SEO:
  • Keywords in title Does the title contain Dentist + City as the keyword?
  • Keywords in h1 Does the h1 contain Dentist + City as the keyword?
  • Subheadings What is the number of sub headings the ranking page contains?
  • Keywords in meta Does the meta description contain Dentist + City as the keywords?
  • Word Count What is the word count of the ranking page?
Google Page speed

What is the page speed on Desktop and Mobile?

Cross Two Data Points

New Criteria that has been evolved based on this study (cross two data points)

Think of ways you can analyze and combine data pieces

Based on the findings above, we have decided to extend the case study and look at data that includes the length of the title, meta descriptions, and other observations we found interesting.

Ranking URL

For the last couple of years, we’ve noticed that the Homepage of a website is still one of the site’s strongest pages. Naturally, this depends on the SEO strategy for a given website.

Observation

Observation:

Looking over the data, we can see that out of the 1,000 websites we analyzed, 999 of them ranked with their homepage. This means only one page ranked with a landing page.

Observation

Recommendation:

Our recommendation is to optimize your homepage by using “Dentist + City” as the main keyword - the profile Google demands.

Domain Age

A recent article from the Search Engine Journal stated that domain age is not a ranking factor. While we agree with this 100%, it is important to review the data and what was being done with the domain over the years.

Age Domain

When considering the graph above, you can see the majority of the domains are older than 10 years.

Average Age (Days) vs. Domain Position graph

Again, it can be seen that having an older domain can help with a higher ranking, but the correlation is uneven and very close between rankings. Ranking 5, for instance, has less days on average than ranking 6.

Age of Domain per Search Engine Rank Graph

The importance for the age of the domain is relatively insignificant until it gets to the point of being over ten years. Even then, those that are over ten years have less representation the further down the rankings go.

Observation

Observation:

The average domain age of each domain URL was 11 years. Only 39 domains on the first page of Google were younger than 3 years.

Observation

Recommendation:

Google itself has denied that domain age is a ranking factor. While we agree with this statement, looking at our data we can see that domains that are older tend to rank better. This is primarily related to SEO and not because they have been active and purchased for years.

Keywords in Domain

For years, it has been a common strategy to buy domains with keywords you want to rank for. Depending on the niche, companies used to buy thousands of exact domain matches (EDM’s). I myself was managing about 1,000+ domains in the garage door repair niche where the strategy was to simply buy a domain and create a new website for a specific city, such as: garagedoorrepairchicago.com.

Google did pick up on this and devalued lots of websites that were simply spamming Google with domains like that. John Muller himself that keywords in the domain are not needed.

Domain Contains the word dentist pie grapg

As can be seen above, less domains contain the word “dentist” than don’t.

Domain Contains the City Name pie graph

While more include the city name, a slim majority does not.

Domain Contains Both the Word Dentist & City Name pie graph

There is a large majority of domains that do not contain
both the word “dentist” and the respective city name.

Broken down individually above ^ in Pie Chart or Combined below v in Bar Chart.

Combine bar chart
Does the URL Contain the word Dentist graph

Above shows the search engine ranking, and whether or not the URL contains the word “dentist.” The majority do not contain the word “dentist.” The word “dentist” does not seem to make a significant difference in ranking, if any at all.

Does the URL Contain the City in it graph

Those URLS with the city appear to have better results with ranking. As can be seen, the top SE rankings have a majority containing the city in the URL.

Does the URL Contain Both the City and the Word Dentist graph

As with the word “dentist” by itself, using the word “dentist” seems to kill the momentum when using the city in the URL. Having both seems to create diminishing returns.

Observation

Observation:

We wanted to see if this is tactic still holds any value, or was it applied in dentistry so we’ve scanned all the domains against the following criteria:

  • Dentist - How many domains have the word “dentist” in them?
  • City - How many domains contain the city where they are located in them?
  • Dentist + City - How many domains have both “dentist + city” in them?
  • 325/1,000 domains have the word “dentist” in them. That’s 32.5%.
  • 474/1,000 domains have their location city in them. That’s 47.4%.
  • 201/1,000 domains have the word “dentist” + their city in them. That’s 20.1%
Observation

Recommendation:

  • While years ago it was a good idea to have the keywords that you want to rank for inside your domain, we highly advise you don’t do it anymore and concentrate instead on building your dental office as a brand name.
  • Coming up with a catchy name and building a brand around it will work much better than having “DentistNewYork” as your domain name ith this statement, however looking at our data we can see that domains that are older tend do rank better, yet it is mostly to do with them in terms of SEO and not ONLY because they have been active and purchased for years.

# of Domains

Backlinks and domains are still the hottest SEO topics and ranking factors. In our opinion, they still have a tremendous amount of value and might be in the top 3-5 ranking factors. For this particular observation, we’ve used one of the most popular backlink analysis tools (ahrefs.com).

The majority of referring domains is between 20-100, with a slim majority being around 20-50.

Count Grouping of Referring Domains

The graph above explains the same data as the pie graph. The majority of referring domains being 20-100.

Referring Domains

The information above is where things become a bit more interesting. The search engine ranking position seems to correlate with having a larger number of referring domains. The top three ranking positions have a slim majority in either the 100+ or 50-100 range, with 20-50 not being far behind. Those ranking highest seem to have at least 20, but often 50 or above.

Observation

Observation:

Having backlinks/domains or simply link mentions on other websites is crucial for your organic and local rankings.

A big factor with Local SEO (ranking in the local map pack) is NAP. NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number which needs to be listed on other websites and directories.

For Referring Domains, the higher a URL ranks the more referring domains it will be associated with. The top 3 ranked results consistently have over 20 referring domains.

Here is the breakdown of what number of domains linking back to each dental office website are needed…

  • 85 websites had 20 or fewer referring domains.
  • 325 websites had 20-50 referring domains
  • 332 websites had 50-100 referring domains
  • 258 websites had 100+ referring domains

The average number of referring domains was 98.

Observation

Recommendation:

Link building and having your website listed on other

  • Websites
  • Social media profiles
  • Guest posts
  • Directories

is very important. The link clicks that you get should always be acquired in natural ways…by simply producing amazing content that is worthy of other websites linking to it.

The most successful link-building strategies that we offer utilize our “Power Page” techniques. We create amazing pieces of content and reach out to potential clients that will find it very beneficial.

This is what Google wants, and they will reward you with higher rankings if everything is done naturally and without breaking any Google rules.

DR

What was the average DR?
Can the data be grouped into averages DR?

DR (Domain Rating) is a metric that is used to measure the strength of a website backlink’s profile. It was developed by Ahrefs and involves the use of a scale that goes from 1-100.

Domain rating measures the quality of the source, as well as the quantity of backlinks that the URL has. It is a scale of authoritativeness and helps determine the trustworthiness of a URL. In terms of SE rank, the majority of URLs in the top 10 had a rating between 0-10.

Count vs Domain Rating

The graph above refers to the sum (number) of domains that fall within their respective grouping. There are 674 that rank between 1-10 in regards to domain rating. The average DR is 6.9. As the DR goes up above 10, the count in turn goes down.

Count of Domain Rating
Domain Rating

The results indicated that there were significant diminishing returns after achieving a Domain Rating of 1-10, while 15.6% of all URLs studied had a DR score of 0.

Pages Indexed

Indexed pages are pages that have been discovered by search crawlers and determined to have enough relevant content to be added to its database.

Pages aren’t immediately indexed by search engines like Google. If your pages are very new, it’s likely that Google hasn’t gotten around to crawling and indexing your pages.

In order to speed up the process of your pages being indexed, you can request for search engines to index your pages.

Count of Pages Indexed Categories

The amount of pages indexed is correlated to the number of pages on a website.

Pages Indexed Groups

The data above shows the search engine rankings of sites in relation to indexed page count. The top 3 pages have a majority count of 150 or more pages.

Observation

Recommendation:

  • The top 10 ranked URLs have an average of 143.81 pages indexed, with the majority of sites having over 150 pages indexed each.
  • In terms of rankability, the top 3 ranked URLs have on average 58.7% more pages indexed than the 4-10 ranks.
  • Create quality content that customers will want to share.
  • Contact search engines and request pages to be indexed.
  • Be patient with new pages–they are going to take a little time. Consider all of the pages that are created each day.

CM

What was the average DR?

Can the data be grouped into averages DR?

A CMS (Content Management System) is software that allows you to build and develop a website without having to build it from scratch. With a CMS, you’ll be able to build an entire website without having to code at all.

Below is more information about which CMSs are the most popular and their correlation with search engine ranking:

Count vs CMS

It’s not even close. The most popular CMS by far is WordPress.

CMS Breakdown

The highest search engine rankings belong to WordPress pages. With that said, WordPress is also the most popular CMS, so this isn’t much of a surprise.

Does the url contain both the city and the word dentist

Again, the majority of the top 10 search engines rankings are WordPress. Even when compared with the other top competitors in the space, WordPress wins out by a mile.

WordPress is by far the most popular choice amongst CMSs. It has become an almost industry-wide household name.

Additionally–when search engines scrape websites in order to obtain a URL’s ranking factors–the easier it is for that SE to scrape through your website, the better off you will be.

WordPress most likely meshes with SE scrapers and collaborates more efficiently with them–giving their owners a slight edge compared to other CMSs. This can be seen more in-depth when looking at the top 5 most used CMSs for ranked dental websites.

Observation

Recommendation:

  • Choose a CMS that is easy to navigate.
  • Often the most popular CMSs are the easiest to use. With that said, WordPress consistently performs well and is extremely popular for a reason.

Speed

Page speed is a pretty simple concept–it’s how long a page takes to load. This involves the complete render of the page, though, not just the page opening.

The real question is whether page speed is an important metric for the top ten spots on Google.

Count vs speed on mobile

On mobile, lower speed has a lower count.

Count vs speed on desctop

On the other hand, on desktops, higher speeds seem to win out.

Mobile Speed Categories

The speeds vary when it comes to search engine ranking, with units of 25-50 being predominant (only slightly) across all 10 top search engine ranks. With that said, the consistency suggests that it isn’t a major ranking factor.

Desctop Speed Categories

When it comes to desktop speed, the top count is in the 75-90 category. With that said, it is so spread out among the top ranks that it doesn’t seem to make a huge difference.

Average Lifespan

In terms of the average lifespan of a google ranked search result URL, there is a slight correlation between the average age of a website and its google rank:

Count vs speed on desctop

However, this data can be biased as the websites themselves can change over time. Thus, these changes would have a greater effect on SE rank than age specifically.

Count vs speed on desctop

For help with your Dental SEO and marketing needs, reach out today! We’d be happy to speak with you about how we can get you to the first page of Google and other search engines.

Ready To Grow your Business Make It Special

Contact Us to work with a results-driven digital marketing agency