SEO for Dentists
At one time, you relied on word-of-mouth advertising for your dental practice. You knew that providing the best service to your patients was enough to get the word out that you are a dentist they can trust. You might have added a listing in the Yellow Pages, as well, but that was all that was necessary. Times have changed, though. Now, 90 percent of consumers use search engines like Google to find local businesses, including dental practices. Search engine optimization, or SEO for dentists, will help you reach those new patients online.
What Is SEO for Dentists?
If you were to go to Google and search for “dentist near me,” a list of results would come up. Google selects these results based on SEO. Basically, it matches the keywords typed into the search box with websites that optimize for different ranking factors.
The better the search engine optimization strategy, the higher the website shows up in the results. You want to be on the first page of Google’s listings, so you can get as much organic (free) traffic as possible. Your position makes a big difference in the number of clicks you’ll receive. More than 70 percent of searchers click on one of the sites listed on the first page of the results. Websites on the second and third pages only receive 5.59 percent of the clicks, so the first page is certainly coveted.
To make it to the first page of the results, you need to address the different SEO ranking factors. If your marketing campaign addresses each factor, you can reach the front page of Google and other search engines, as well. This is the key to driving more traffic to your website and getting more appointments at your dental practice.
What SEO Factors are Important to Know?
Search engines look at on-page and off-page ranking factors when determining where your site will show up in the results. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
On-Page Ranking Factors
On-page ranking factors refer to the search engine optimization tactics you employ on your website. Search engines regularly crawl websites, gleaning information. Your SEO strategies help search engines understand what your site is about and where it should rank when people conduct online searches.
The best websites optimize the:
- Title Tag
- On-Page and Outbound Links
If you’re new to SEO for dentists, this can be confusing, so let’s break down each on-page ranking factor.
Content is King
The best SEO strategy regarding website content has changed a great deal recently. Until several years ago, dental practices would stuff their websites with keywords to move to the top of the search engines. Search engines realized they were not delivering the best content to people when they put the keyword-stuffed websites at the top of the list. Because of that, dentists have to find a balance between keywords and high-quality content. You need to choose keywords that your patients search for and use those as a starting point for providing valuable content that will help readers.
Your content should be relevant, timely, and shareable. Along with content on the main webpages, you need to have a blog that provides up-to-date content published on a regular basis. Another great idea is to include long-form guides and eBooks as they are typically more comprehensive and rank extremely well online.
Title tags are also important for your on-page SEO. You likely already have a website, but if you don’t have title tags, the search engines will have trouble gleaning the necessary information when crawling your site.
Title tags show up in the search results. Go back to the example where you typed “dentist near me” into Google. The hyperlinked sentence in blue is the title tag. You need a descriptive, keyword-rich title tag.
In the past, SEO experts recommended using exact-match domains. For instance, if you have a dental practice in Dayton, Ohio, your URL might read “DaytonDentist.com.” Exact match domains aren’t necessary anymore. Some unscrupulous marketers used them to spam readers, so now, Google associates exact match domains with spam.
Instead of focusing on exact match domains, you need to spend some SEO capital on your URL hierarchy. This refers to the URLs that display as people travel through your website.
Assume the URL for your website is “example.com.” Someone visits the homepage and then clicks on “treatments.” The URL should be “example.com/treatments.” If they dig a little deeper into treatments and click on “root canals,” the new domain should be “example.com/treatments/root-canals.”
These URLs don’t just look better to the human eye. When you use a URL structure, it’s much easier for search engines to see how the pages are related. This will help you move up in the search engine rankings.
Your dental practice should use lots of images on the website. People are visual by nature, and if they only see a wall of text on your website, they’ll get overwhelmed and leave the site. Images do more than keep your visitors interested in your website. You can use images to boost your SEO campaign by using alt text. These tags tell the search engines what your images are. The best alt text tags contain descriptive keywords, so the search engines will match your images to searchers.
On-Page and Outbound Links
Your dental practice website needs to link to authoritative sources as part of its SEO campaign. When your content links to an authoritative source, you build credibility with Google and other search engines. For instance, linking to the American Dental Association will boost your SEO for dentists.
You also need to incorporate an on-page linking strategy. Link to relevant pages on your website, so Google understands how the pages are related.
What Is On-Page SEO for Dentists — Technical Factors?
There are also technical factors to consider with your on-page SEO campaign. Google wants users to have the best experience, and if the technical aspect of your website isn’t up to snuff, you’ll take a hit.
Technical SEO factors you need to address include:
- Site Load Time
- XML Sitemap
- HTTPS Status Codes
- Crawl Reports
This can be very confusing if you aren’t experienced in search engine optimization. It’s wise to get help with your SEO campaign, so you can ensure it’s running smoothly.
What Is Off-Page SEO for Dentists?
Off-page SEO refers to the actions taken off your website to build your SEO campaign. You might think these actions are out of your hands, but that’s not the case. With a properly managed SEO campaign, you can control these factors, as well.
Link building is one of the most important off-page SEO factors. Remember how you want to link to authority sites to build credibility? You will also build credibility by having those sites link to you. Having and promoting quality content is the best way to make this happen.
Other off-page SEO techniques include:
- Social Media Marketing
- Influencer Marketing
- Brand Mentions
Are You Ready to Reach More Patients? Learn more about SEO for dentists!
Our digital marketing services will give you an advantage, even if you’re competing against corporate dental practices. You can stand toe to toe with corporate practices in the online world and get a large share of the clients with the right search engine optimization campaign.
Contact us today to learn more about our search engine optimization services for dentists.
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