The internet has opened up a new avenue for small businesses and large alike to market their products and services. Dentists are among those who are turning to the internet to generate leads and for digital marketing purposes. The key to a successful practice lies in being among the first, if not the first, dental practice to show up in an organic search.
There are countless numbers of dentists to choose from, which is why a practice must differentiate themselves from their competitors and captivate their niche market. But what are the ways to best achieve your online presence both locally and nationally to grow your dental practice?
Perform and Plan SEO Research
One of the most difficult things to do for many business owners is to identify the keywords that people are searching to find their product or service. SEO should not be a trial and error practice where you throw things out and hope that something works. Search engine optimization requires using real and quantifiable analytic tools to find the keywords that will drive the most traffic.
The key to finding the best keywords is pinpointing commercial intent. You want to find keywords that indicate that a consumer is doing a query in which they intend to make an appointment. Queries relative to tips and tricks alone do not indicate that a consumer is ready to spend money or commit to an appointment.
When researching keywords, you want to find those that drive traffic that is convertible from viewer to customer. Some viewers are looking for answers and information only, which can be fine because those searches add value to your website ranking. But if you are going to aim to answer questions, make sure that you do and quickly, or they will bounce to another site. And a high bounce rate will put a dent in your rankings.
When using keyword search tools, keep in mind that the main purpose of them is to generate ideas and determine their search volumes from month to month. Dentist keywords are usually harder to rank, but if you find the correct ones, it will increase your traffic.
Keywords related to dentists are usually location specific like “dentist in Charleston”, or “best dentist in Charleston”. After you have a healthy list of them, you can start to incorporate keywords and key phrases into your content via blog posts, being careful to use them in subheadings, titles, and throughout the body.
New Dental Website Development and Design
Most websites have basic static pages like Home, About Us, Contact Us, and Services. But to have a successful website, adding more pages is recommended that capture more long-tailed or key phrases that people are searching like:
- Dental checkup
- Emergency dental
- Cosmetic dentistry
- Invisalign dentistry
Using keywords as titles to your subpages is important for Google to read them in the titles, URLs, and header tags. Each page of your website should showcase one keyword or key phrase, therefore, incorporating more pages than the traditional About Us page, like FAQs, location pages, or blogs that a customer might be interested in reading about, will help increase your online visibility.
Next, you will want to organize internal links. Link your dental secondary pages to the main navigation menu, which is located at the top of each page. That will help funnel Link Equity from the secondary pages to the homepage. You can also link keywords to authority sites, but be careful not to link too many keywords, or Google might flag your webpage as “spam”.
Technical SEO: How to Audit Your Existing Dental Website
If you already have a website up and running, there is likely still a whole lot of work to be done. You must be continually auditing your site to see where it stands and where there are areas that can be improved. If you neglect bugs or errors in coding, they can severely affect your Search Engine Results Pages or SERPs. Some common dental technical SEO things that might require your immediate attention are:
- Crawl Errors – these are errors that make it impossible for search engines to reach pages on your website
- XML Sitemap – Is a list of all of the URLs coming from your website
- Robot.txt File – Is a file that is meant to teach search engine crawlers against crawling to specific files
- Toxic Links – Are unnatural or unsecured links that point to your website
- Page Load Speed – Your page load speed is highly critical to reducing your bounce rate and session timing
- Duplicate Descriptions, Titles, and Headers – When possible, eliminate duplications
- Broken Links – Broken links happen when URLs addresses change and don’t update or they have added or are missing URLs
Google has now launched a mobile-first index, so finding a mobile-friendly design has become critical. And as a business owner, machine-friendly data is essential too. Google has a mobile-friendly testing page that helps to analyze if your site offers an appropriate mobile experience to meet the standards of search engines. They will help to pinpoint pages that aren’t compatible with various mobile devices.
Having a mobile-friendly design is important, but you also have to have the correct content and information that help search engines classify your practice like promotions, events, phone numbers, addresses, and reviews. Make sure to have local elements that will help rank highly in local search results, so that when people are searching location-specific they find you first.
Implement Dentist On-Page SEO Best Practices by Optimizing…
Image ALT Text
Dental images can significantly help your search engine optimization. Whether it is a blog or a landing page, every page of your website design should contain a relative image. Once the image is placed, you also have to optimize the alt text. The alt is also referred to as the alt tag and it is a brief description of what the image displays. When possible, include the primary keyword in the image alt to get the highest ranking.
Word count does matter, so optimizing it is critical for ranking purposes. Webpage content should ideally always be more than 400 words, but try not to add filler content that isn’t accurate or relative, or Google will flag it as spam. Your dental homepage should include things like the services you offer, where your practice is located, and a call to action that allows people to either phone or email you.
And don’t forget to include your primary keyword, which should be embedded in the first paragraph of your text, and then at least two times in the body with slight alterations to get full SEO coverage.
H1 headings are what main titles are called and they help to identify the content located on the page. They are meant to give a little more information about where the focus of the content is. In H1 headings, always include primary key phrases and keywords.
In practical terms, the meta description is the most essential component of each web page. The meta description is used to give a heightened explanation of what the focus of a web page is about. It should be kept to between 130 to 160 characters, which includes any symbols or spaces for Search Engine Results Pages.
When writing meta descriptions, focus on writing a very concise and poignant summary of the main page purpose. When possible, include both the primary keyword as well as a CTA to get the maximum benefit.
Title tags are a very critical component for SEO purposes. A title tag should only be about 65 characters in total and include the keyword, or key phrase, or both. If you exceed the character limit, it might get cut off, so be careful to follow the guidelines.
Site URL Structure
Keep URLs keywords short and stick to lowercase letters and dashes.
Let Fu Dog Media Help
This is just a quick overview of things you can do to maximize your Search Engine Ranking, but devising the overall strategy should not be completed by trial and error. There are a vast number of hidden opportunities to increase your online presence if you understand what Google is looking for and how to make each page of your website count.
At Fu Dog Media, we specialize in SEO strategies to catapult your dental practice to a high ranking and get you noticed. And once we drive traffic, we work hard to convert visitors to customers for the success of your business. Contact us to help create, design, or revamp your existing website today!