- May 20, 2015
- Posted by: Graham Onak
- Category: SEO Tips
A video review of a major Officite web hosting issue.
Officite’s web hosting issues and alternatives.
An overview of my entry into dental marketing
My dentist recently started her own practice. Knowing I help businesses make important website decisions, she told me she was on the verge of launching her site but she was interested in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) options. Shortly after our initial conversation her site launched I began combing over it to find improvements to her website. What I found was shocking. Officite’s approach to web design is very bad for SEO.
Officite templates content which is not a good thing for getting found on Google.
The way Officite works is they have pre-built templates for different industries and you can edit them to personalize your website. This sounds great initially because content development is one of the most time consuming parts of web design. But in order to have over 20,000 happy clients as their website claims, you’ve got to take short-cuts and these short-cuts are incredibly damaging for SEO.
Why is duplicate content bad?
Duplicate content has been a confusing term in the SEO world. Some people take it to mean if you have any sentences that are exactly the same on your site, then your whole site is going to suffer. Others think it’s if you have a page that is too similar to another page on your site. But really, Google is smart enough to filter out the occasional issue here and there. What is a big red flag to Google is when different domains have multiple pages of the same content. To them, this screams spam. Spammy sites were really, really popular in the early days of the search engine game. There are still some out there but with Google’s most recent Penguin update they absolutely wailed on spam sites. You may be wondering, “why would anyone build spammy sites?” or maybe “what is a spammy site?” Here’s some more info on that.
A brief history on spam sites
If you want people to see your pages in Google’s search results, you need to get links from other sites. It used to be fast, cheap and easy to build a bunch of websites with similar content or content that is scraped from other websites and have them point to other websites. So one could build a network of spam sites that funnel links to eachother and then to a client’s website. This was still an effective technique up until somewhere around late 2014 when Google updated their algorithrim. This update just decimated spam sites and websites that had links from them. At the time I was working for a computer rental company that had good non-spammy SEO and they saw a 30% increase in visits for computer rental pages due to the rankings drop for a competitor that had a spam network propping up their site. So, in short duplicating content across numerous websites is a strong indicator of spam which can get your website buried in search results.
What does duplicate content look like?
Let’s take a look at what duplicate content looks like. Here’s a dentist in Michigan offering cosmetic tooth bondingHere’s a dentist in New York offering cosmetic tooth bondingHere’s a dentist in Massachusetts offering cosmetic tooth bondingNotice the text is exactly the same or nearly identical. Looking through other pages on the sites it appears almost all of the pages are duplicated from site to site. If your website is almost 100% duplicate content you will likely only rank for your brand name. This is what happens when Google finds duplicate content:That is what happens when Google buries your website.
How do I know if my site has duplicated content?
It’s very, very easy to check if your site has duplicated content. Simply copy 2 – 4 sentences and paste them into Google Search with quotations around what you pasted in. If that doesn’t return results, try searching again without quotations. You’ll see pages that are not your site pop-up.
Update after contacting Officite
I talked to Officite’s support team and they put me on hold for awhile but came back and told me they have an internal search team that can optimize pages. So having them optimize your website for search is an add-on feature. However I don’t consider that an add-on when the alternative is penalized rankings. Not just neutral rankings. Penalized rankings. So your choice is either coming out of the gate penalized or paying extra for an SEO add-on package so you’re not penalized. I think it’s a little unethical to let paying customers launch websites like this. I get wanting to package services, but you can’t break someone’s site before they even launch it, then charge to fix it. That doesn’t seem right. Additionally if you use dental SEO services from Officite they’re at a flat rate. Meaning, if you are your competitor both use Officite with duplicate websites, and both pay the same for dental SEO services, who is going to rank higher?
Alternatives to Officite for dentists
I’d recommend considering alternatives to Officite’s web hosting and SEO solutions.
Build your Own Website
Solutions like Wix and others offer simple “do-it-yourself” website builders. I would only consider sites like this if you aren’t counting on search traffic to drive business. These sites are notorious for having poor built in optimization. In fact, I’ve helped clients move off of these website builders to gain search rankings.
Hire a website developer
Your website is the digital version of your dental practice. It needs to be considered as a strong investment in your future. Building a dental website right the first time is going to save you money in the long run and help generate business.
A chart showing increase search presence after migrating a dental website from Officite to a custom WordPress site.
Work on providing unique, helpful content for your patients.
Unique content will help you draw visits on search engines. Focus on helpful dental topics that would be shared. Checkout this article on whitening teeth naturally. Over 50,000 shares! Build a website that has a blog feature so you can post content on your website. Then share the content on social networks and your email list to distribute it.
If you’re in need of dental marketing help, I’m here for you.
I’m a digital marketing consultant who can help you rank better on search engines in the dental services market. I have experience migrating from Officite to private hosting. I can help you spend your marketing dollars better and help you compete in the crowded dental market.