SEO for Dental Websites: A Quick Guide
Does your Dental Office have its own website? Have you ever tried Googling the name of your Dental Office? If you did and you did not find your website on the first page of your Search Results, then you need SEO help. To be more precise, you need help with on-page and off-page Search Engine Optimization as a Dental Office.
More often than not, the Search Engine in question is Google and here is why: Google handles more than 94% of desktop search traffic. Its closest competitor is Bing with around 2%; not very competitive!
People use the internet to search for information, goods, and services. They want to find answers to their questions. And they want to find solutions for their problems. Of course, sometimes those people are looking for the kind of solutions that you, as a Dental Office, have to offer.
Search Engine Optimization is better than a full page newspaper advertisement. It is better because with SEO, you are targeting people who are already looking for what you have to offer.
If someone googles ‘Sacramento Dentist,’ there is a good chance that they are, in fact, looking to procure the services of a Dentist in Sacramento. the three organic links below the map get over 45% of all clicks that’s why there is a vicious fight for the top three links, always!
Search Engine Optimization is a marketing strategy that employs several tactics to ensure that your website appears prominently among the search results for keywords relevant to your business. If you run a Dental Office in Sacramento that specializes in dental implants, you want to make sure that anyone in Sacramento who searches for ‘dental implants Sacramento’ will see your website on the first page of their Google search results.
Not many searchers bother with Page 2 of a Google search results. That is why SEO is so important.
A website that shows up on Page 2 of a search result is already leaving money on the table. On Page 3 you might as well be invisible!
You are probably wondering how on earth Google decides which webpages are good enough to show up prominently in search results? Google uses an algorithm to help searchers find the web pages that are most relevant to the keywords they are searching for. In other words, Google’s algorithm helps people find relevant content.
The algorithm can be a little tough to keep up with, because the company keeps changing it from time to time to keep up with changing demands. This means that businesses also have to keep on changing their tactics to remain on top.
Here are the latest updates to the algorithm from Google:
The algorithm is a combination of all the different factors that put together, make your web page the most relevant. Years ago, businesses would simply stuff their web content with keywords, and it would work like a charm. Today, it takes more than that. It take an SEO expert and a lot of work!
Stuffing keywords will probably do more harm than good. Google pays attention to other factors, like the overall user experience, how mobile friendly the website is, how fast the webpage loads, how good or bad the bounce rate is, and whether the website has multimedia content.
SEO is a complex marketing strategy that requires the intervention of an experienced SEO specialist. Here are some of the things that an SEO specialist will advise your Dental Office on:
More and more people are discovering the power of local search. In fact, ‘near me’ searches have more than doubled over the last one year. This makes local SEO a necessity for any dental office that has a physical presence. People who make a local search are highly likely to visit a store or physical business in the near future.
Any business that operates within a physical location must work to get the attention of local people. Google’s algorithm favours proximity. So if you are in Georgia and someone is looking for a Dental Office in Georgia, Google actually wants to show them your page. Not optimizing for local search is leaving money on the table.
Local SEO for Dental Offices is the effort to optimize your pages so that they appear in the search results when someone searches for a particular keyword in a particular geographical area. For example if your Dental Practice is in Sacramento, you are not really looking to be found by people in Los Angeles.
This means that you want to focus your efforts on being found by people who are searching for a Dental practice in or near Sacramento. This is because people who are not in Sacramento are not likely to visit your Dental Office and pay for your services. So any efforts spent on attracting to your website are likely wasted.
However, people who are in your city are likely to become patients, so it is worth it to attract them to your website.
Before starting to add keywords to your content, it might be a good idea to find out what words people use when they are looking for a dentist in your city. This might seem like a wildly complicated task, but luckily there are several tools that you can employ to do this quickly and easily. Use online tools like Keyword Discovery, Keyword Tool, UberSuggest, Keyword Tool.io, and Google’s Keyword Planner.
One more way to get keyword ideas is by paying attention to the suggestions that Google makes when trying to complete a query while you type. When you type in words like ‘dentist,’ or ‘dental practice,’ Google will already try to suggest completion to the query.
Those suggestions are key to what people normally search for. At the bottom of the Search Result page, there is also a list of related search words. These are all clues as to what people normally search for. If you are trying to achieve local SEO, always include the name of your city among the keywords. For example you can use ‘Sacramento Dental Implants’ or Sacramento Dental Practice.
To identify the right keywords, SEO specialists will evaluate different keywords on their search volume (how many people are searching for it), competition (how competitive the keyword is, if multiple competing companies are trying to rank for the same keyword, then it will be more competitive), SEO difficulty, Paid difficulty (how expensive it would be to run a paid search marketing campaign), among other factors.
Understand the possible user intent for each keyword. Some keywords are used by people who intend to buy, but others may be used by people who are just looking for information, like “how much” and “how to”.
Get your NAP Right
The NAP of your business refers to your Name, Address, and your Phone number. All these must be consistent on your website and all your social media pages. If your Dental Office is listed on Business Directories, then the NAP information has to be consistent there too.
Let the contact information on your Home page be the same as that on your Contact Us page. A Google Map widget placed at the bottom of your web page will do the trick, if it also has the same NAP information that is everywhere else.
Google My Business
Because Google is big on local search, it created Google My Business, a service that helps people to find local businesses. The service is free for any business that has a physical location. You only have to claim your spot and properly optimize your Google My Business page to get better ranking locally.
This is an absolute must.
Verify Your Business
The first step is to verify that you are indeed the owner of the business. This process might take a couple of weeks. Once your page is verified, you can now add categories to your Google My Business Page. The categories describe your services using more descriptive and precise words like ‘Dental Implants.’ The categories you choose have to be relevant to the services that you actually offer.
Fill in an accurate and compelling description that lets visitors know all the important information that they need to know about your clinic. Spelling mistakes or grammatical errors should be avoided here. Don’t make your description longer than 200 words.
Your Google My Business listing ought to clearly spell out your working hours so that people know exactly when to call you and when not to call. Clinics that are open 24/7 should also indicate that on their Google My Business listing.
Don’t forget to add images to your Google My Business listing. Pictures are great because they give a visual representation of what you are offering. Let the pictures be accurate and not overselling or underselling. If possible, get a professional to take good photographs. So many people lose out because they have a good product which they neglected to present in the best light. A professional photographer will take care of that.
The images you add should depict your clinic, both its interior and exterior as well as the kind of work you do, like dental implants, for example. Choose good quality pictures that are not too big or too small.
Of course the Google My Business listing is one more opportunity to plant a link to your website. Consider Guest Posting on Health Websites and Blogs as a way to build credibility and link back to your website.
Once you have a Google My Business listing running, the next step is to start getting online reviews, so that anyone who searches for what you are selling and ends up on your website will see that you already have many happy patients, and this will encourage them to seek help from your Dental Office. Most people do not choose a dentist lightly, without reading reviews from other people.
Testimonials on your website are good, but getting reviews on your Google My Business Page is even better because it is more credible to new visitors. Form a habit of asking all of your happy customers to write a review on your Google My Business Page. You can also have reviews on your Facebook page, too. Stick to Google first.
Get Mobile Friendly
Google’s all powerful algorithm favours mobile friendly websites.
In the US, Japan, and 8 other countries, more than half of all Google searches are made on mobile devices.
You can see why overlooking mobile is leaving money on the table.
Build a Social Media Presence
Being on Social Media is good for your SEO. When you set up your Facebook Page, LinkedIn, or Twitter, you can add the name of your Dental Office, Location, and Contact Number. If kept consistent, this information will help your SEO efforts.
When your Dental Practice is active on Social Media you will be able to run Social Media Advertising Campaigns in your specific locations.
Having relevant, quality content on your website will not only be helpful to your online visitors, but it will also signal to Google that your website has the information that searchers are looking for. After conducting appropriate keyword research, create quality, long-form content that will get you more engagement, links and shares.
Long-form content will help in link building and engagement, both of which send a signal to Googles’s algorithm that your content is worth reading and by extension, that your webpage has relevant content for searchers. This will improve the on-page SEO.
User experience is something that Google now rewards with greater visibility on search results.
Design your website in such a way that it is easy to navigate. Prioritize user experience. Poor user experience and website structure means that people won’t stick around for long when they get to your website. In other words, your bounce rate will be high, and your SEO ranking will probably go down accordingly.
How to Tell if SEO is Working for your Dental Website
If your SEO efforts are working, you might first begin to notice that you are ranking better for some keywords. This happens even when there aren’t yet any noticeable results. These changes are easily discernible after two months.
Use Google Analytics to check how many people come to your website through Google Search in recent months and identify any trends. You will start noticing changes after two months have passed. This is because SEO does not yield immediate results like Facebook Ads or even Search Ads. SEO is a long term game but it is absolutely worth it!
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