Once upon a time, dentists didn’t really need to market their services on the internet. Instead, they were simply found in the Yellow Pages.
However, in order to find and keep patients today, you need to appear in the search engine results.
By building a website and marketing it correctly, you can attract new patients, maintain communication with current ones, and increase brand visibility.
In order to remain competitive in the dental industry, dental SEO is imperative. If your website and web pages are not properly optimized for search engines, you are losing out on a sea of potential customers that your competitors may be lapping up.
Below, you will learn several dental SEO tips that will help you improve your online visibility and grow your business — all of which can be done on your own without the help of a professional (unless you want it, of course!).
1. Build Your Site on WordPress to Design a Beautiful Dental Website
Some of the absolute best websites are built with none other than WordPress.
These types of websites look great, perform well, are flexible, and are scalable (so it grows with you).
WordPress websites work well on desktop and mobile. They are also SEO-friendly, which is imperative for ranking high in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and above your local competition.
WordPress doesn’t use Silverlight, flash, or other outdated tactics that focus primarily on media.
As a general rule, you can manage your own website when it is powered by WordPress, which can save you money in the long run.
The platform is easy to use, allowing you to publish blog content, update images, or add pages without the help of a professional developer.
WordPress makes it easy to design a beautiful dental website that will not only make a good, quick first impression, but will also enhance the overall user experience, which is an important SEO ranking factor.
Ultimately, as you design your dental website through WordPress, you want to ensure your website is mobile-friendly with a fast page load time.
Most people use smartphones today, and no one wants to wait more than a few seconds for a page to load.
2. Develop Original, SEO-optimized Content
A great design will only take you so far in this fast-paced digital world. You must also have original, valuable, and SEO-optimized content.
Original content is important for several reasons.
First and foremost, if you copy content from somewhere else, your website will be penalized, keeping it from ranking high in the SERPs.
Second, your clients want to hear from you. Therefore, the content should be unique in terms of wording, voice, and tone.
Valuable content is important since you want to provide information to your clients that will help them. You want to answer some of the most commonly asked questions, address issues they may be experiencing, and offer a solution to their problems.
SEO-optimized content is important to ensure your website gets ranked in search engines.
This will require some keyword research on your part and ensuring that those keywords are placed in the copy, as well as the headings and meta data.
When your content is SEO-optimized, it will appear in the search results for the given keyword(s).
If keyword research has you overwhelmed, there are keyword planning tools that you can use, such as Google Keyword Planner.
This will allow you to see the keywords that are ranking high and that your competitors are using.
You can also use the suggested search option in Google and other search engines to give you an idea of what people are searching for in your industry.
3. Add Your Practice to Google Maps
Although you are a business owner yourself, you have likely gone to Google to search for either a local business or a particular service.
Therefore, you know that the first thing that pulls up is the Google Map business directory. This is referred to as the Local 3-Pack.
Your business needs to be on Google Maps, and it needs to be optimized so it will rank as high as possible on this directory list and hopefully make it to the top 3 options.
When you have a Google Business Profile, the chances of ranking higher in Google SERPs are enhanced. This is because Google utilizes both location and proximity as primary ranking factors.
In order to add your dental practice to Google Maps, these are the steps you need to take:
- Claim your business listing on Google Maps.
- Add information pertaining to your dental practice.
- Make sure you add a local phone number.
- Upload professional photos of your dental practice.
Don’t forget to include some of your most relevant keywords in your description, as this will help in your ranking.
This may seem like a minor step to take to grow your dental practice, but it can be incredibly powerful in doing so.
4. Link Your Pages Internally
Although backlinks (links to your website from other websites) are always beneficial, you also need to take the time to link your pages internally.
This means that you will link to one page of your website from another page.
Basically, this process will create a network that search engine crawlers, as well as searchers, can use to navigate your website.
It also helps to maintain organization and encourages visitors to visit multiple pages on your website.
Just make sure that your internal linking makes sense. For instance, on your services page, you could have a link to your pricing page.
If you mention a particular service on your home page, make sure to link to that dedicated service page.
Another idea is to link your blog posts to the pages on your website, which will allow visitors to gain more information about a particular subject.
5. Optimize for Local Searches
When it comes to the health, medical, and dental industries, people are looking for service providers in their local area.
They don’t want to find a web page of a dental practice that is five hours away.
Therefore, if you are not currently focusing on local searches in your dental SEO plan, you are missing out on these local customers.
The easiest way to improve your local SEO results is to simply add the name of the town that your practice is in, along with some nearby towns/cities, to your website copy.
These locations should also be added to all page titles, URLs, and meta descriptions (see below).
And it is worth noting again that you should ensure you have registered your dental practice on Google Maps and claimed your listing.
You should also register on local directory sites, as this will further improve your search engine visibility.
6. Optimize Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
While it is important to place keywords strategically throughout your content, it is vital that these keywords are also included in your page titles and meta descriptions.
This information is displayed on SERPs, providing web users with an upfront idea of what that page is about.
When creating your page titles and meta descriptions, they need to remain below 60 characters and 156 characters, respectively.
They need to be unique to the specific page being published. In other words, you don’t want to have “teeth whitening” as the keyword on a page that is about “wisdom tooth removal”.
In addition to the keywords on that page, you should also include the name and location of your dental practice.
Now that you are familiar with how important dental SEO is and what steps you can take to begin, it is time to get started.
By implementing the aforementioned tactics, you can attract more patients and grow your dental practice much easier than before.
Once you have your website built and designed through WordPress and have followed the other tips outlined above, you will need to keep track of conversions, which is a lead turning into a customer.
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