In an increasingly digital world, an online presence has become a must for dental practices, starting with developing and putting up a website.
While traditional ways of promoting dental services still have their uses, digital dental marketing is now the top approach dental practices use to attract new patients.
A digital custom dental marketing strategy usually has an SEO component. Short for search engine optimization, SEO is all about helping your website rank higher on the search engine results (SERPs) of Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and other search engines.
The higher your rank, the better your chances of generating clicks and attracting potential patients to your site. Considering that 75% of search engine users don’t go beyond page one of SERPs, you will need to do your best to rank high enough to be on the first page of search results.
Effective SEO can help you do that and more. Here are some SEO tips that will help you grow your dental practice.
Do Keyword Research
Every SEO strategy involves a lot of keyword research. People use these keywords to search the web for the products and services they need. You need to know what they are so you can target them when optimizing your site, and that’s where keyword research comes in handy.
In your case, focus on keywords that include words like “dentist” and all its possible variations, including ones with the name of your dental practice, the services you provide, and your location. With the help of keyword research tools such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz, learn what you can about those keywords, from their search volume to their click-through rate (CTR).
Study the data, choose the keywords you think will give you the best chance of ranking, and incorporate them into your page title, meta description tag, and body content, among other places.
Optimize for Local Search
Your dental practice relies on local clientele, who will likely use search engines to find dental services near them. To find your dental practice at the top of those searches, you will need to optimize for local search, too.
Creating and optimizing your free Google My Business (GMB) profile is one of the best ways of boosting your local visibility. With it, you get the opportunity to have all your pertinent business information indexed by Google.
So, make sure you add your dental practice’s name, address, phone number, description, business category, business hours, high-quality photos, and a link to your website when creating your GMB profile.
Other things that will help boost your local SEO include:
- Creating Yelp, Foursquare, and Yahoo Local listings
- Encouraging existing patients to leave reviews on GMB and other platforms
- Incorporating local keywords in your title tags
- Optimizing for voice search
- Offering up content related to local news, activities, and events
- Getting high-quality backlinks from local authority sites, business partners, and social media influencers
Improve Your Page Load Time
Internet users these days expect pages to load in three seconds or less. A few seconds slower than that, and visitors will likely leave.
Worse, your pages will find themselves in the lower rungs of search results, as page speed is a Google ranking factor. Simply put, slow page load time means lost potential patients who won’t see links to your pages in search results because they’re buried dozens of pages down.
You need to improve your page load speed if you want to rank high in SERPs. You can start by using Google’s PageSpeed Insights to identify what’s slowing everything down and fix it.
Other things you can do to improve page speed include optimizing your images, reducing redirects, and switching to the faster, more reliable servers of another Web hosting company.
Develop Quality Content
When people search the Web, they expect the pages they access through SERPs to provide them precisely the information they need. They must find the content you provide to be relevant, useful, actionable, and engaging, all at the same time.
In other words, your website must offer nothing but quality content all the time.
Since your audience would be interested in all things related to dental care, it makes sense to create content that will satisfy their curiosity, answer their questions about specific dental procedures, and solve their oral health-related problems.
Here are some quality dental content ideas to consider:
- Blog posts about proper oral hygiene
- Videos about your dental services
- Infographics detailing the steps of a given dentistry procedure
- News about advances in dentistry
- Images showing off new equipment
- Before and after photos
Since mobile-friendliness is a Google ranking factor, it’s only wise to make sure your dental practice’s website renders well on mobile devices.
Also, practically the entire world has gone mobile. You wouldn’t want your website to look cumbersome on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, because mobile users won’t have the patience to read content or tap on links they can barely see without zooming in hard. They’ll just move on to a more mobile-friendly site—probably that of your competitor’s—and give them their business.
If you want to win more patients among the ever-growing mobile user population, talk to your web design team, and see what they can do to make your dental practice website more responsive.
With responsive web design, your website should be able to adapt nicely to mobile device screens with different dimensions.
While SEO is only a part of your overall digital dental marketing strategy, it has the potential to play a massive role in getting the word out about your dental services to wider but more targeted audiences.
And while you can learn how to do SEO by yourself, your busy schedule as a professional dental practitioner could get in the way. To get the best possible results, you would probably do well to partner up with a dental SEO agency to implement an optimization strategy that will eventually lead to more new patients coming through your dental practice’s doors.
Mr. Byrne, founder and CEO, started My Digital Dentistry after years of developing and executing successful marketing strategies for venture capitalists and business owners in and out of the medical field. He saw a growing need for quality digital marketing specifically in dentistry, and he had the foresight to create an agency specializing in understanding and solving the unique problems of dentists and their practices from general dentists to endodontists.