For your dental practice to attract new patients, it needs to be found. And since most people start their search for a dentist online, increased search engine visibility can be the key to attracting countless patients to your office doorstep.
Effective SEO and social media marketing help advance businesses across industries, but it can be transformative for a dental practice. If you’re not yet working on digital marketing ideas that can land your dental website a spot on the first page of Google, you’re missing out on almost every prospective new patient.
New and existing dental practices stand to benefit from ranking well on search engines.
Here are 10 simple but useful practices to help you rank your dental website.
1. Local SEO
Millions of people use local search every day to find local business, and some of them are looking for dental services nearby.
Like most brick-and-mortar businesses, your dental practice’s target audiences are the people living near your geographical location. The best way to boost your chances of getting noticed by these potential customers is by focusing, first and foremost, on local SEO and ranking well on major search engines.
The initial step to boosting your local SEO is claiming your Google My Business listing. Once you’ve done that, create and optimize as many online listings/business directories for your practice as you can.
Consistency is key in local SEO, so make sure that the business information you publish online (name, address, phone number) is accurate and consistent across platforms. Doing so will help strengthen your website’s location signals and boost its rankings in related searches.
2. Responsive and Mobile-friendly Website
Google prioritizes websites that provide remarkable user-experience. This means that slow-loading pages and poor interface can ruin your chance of making it to Google’s top recommendations.
Investing in good website design and structure is a must for businesses not only because of the ranking standards and criteria set by Google, but also to satisfy their customers. Even if your dental website has great content, if it’s difficult to navigate or takes ages to load, users will leave within seconds and lose interest in what you have to offer.
Improving your website’s speed, ease of navigation, and mobile-friendliness will make visitors stay longer and encourage potential patients to take action.
3. Keyword Research
At the forefront of every digital marketing campaign is keyword research – the process of looking up for keywords related to your niche/business and understanding how you can rank for them on search engines.
Keyword research is essential to the success of dental SEO strategies, and is the foundation upon which all subsequent work is laid.
Search engines can only rank your website if they know what it is all about. Knowing what your audiences are looking up online, and the keywords your competitors are using, will make it easier for you to create a content strategy that will improve your position in search engines.
4. Online Reviews
Online reviews are essential in establishing a business’s reputation and credibility. They say Google is the new yellow pages; if that is so, then online reviews are the new word-of-mouth marketing strategy.
Statistics show that online reviews influence 67.7% of purchasing decisions. But aside from that, they also contribute much to your website’s SEO. Reviews are the best form of user-generated content and Google takes them into consideration when ranking web pages.
Reviews help establish your online authority, so don’t be shy to request your patients to post a review on Google, Yelp, and your social media platforms. As long as they are happy and satisfied with your services, it wouldn’t be too difficult to ask them to vouch for you online.
5. Quality Content
Quality content is crucial to the success of your dental SEO, so don’t just add content for the sake of having something to post. Before you publish anything on your website or social media, ask yourself first, “What value does this provide to my consumers?”
You see, search engines rank individual pages; not websites. When Google returns search results for specific keywords, it analyzes the relevance of your content based on visitors’ time-on-page, which is the average amount of time users spend on that web page.
Pages with higher time-on-page tend to rank higher in search results. And as you already know, the best and most effective way to encourage visitors to stay longer and actually read what’s on the page is by providing them original, accurate, and relevant information about the topics they’re searching for.
6. Authoritative Links
Links do not only offer users with context and details, but also give value to your pages.
Google views reputable and authoritative links as votes of confidence. So, whether you’re linking internally, to other sites, or obtaining backlinks to your website, make sure that all these links can be trusted.
Choosing outbound and inbound links wisely will benefit your SEO and allow you to rank higher in the SERP. However, this is not to say that you can just add as many links as you’d like or whenever you want to. Only add links when necessary and when you think they can be helpful to readers.
7. Schema Markups
Google has to understand your web pages first before it can rank them for related searches. This is where schema markups come in handy.
Schema markup, also known as structured data, is a code that helps websites provide search engines with more information about a specific page or content and then return more informative results for users.
Websites that use schema markup tend to rank better in the SERPs than those that don’t. Without schema markup, search engine spiders will only see a bunch of text without a defined purpose when they crawl your website. You’ll want to make sure, though, that the information you use is consistent throughout your schema.
8. Social Media Ads
It’s no secret that social media is all the rage these days. That being said, cultivating your dental practice’s social media presence is more important than ever to the success of your digital marketing campaign.
While social media may not have a direct impact on SEO, it can help you accumulate social signals, which contribute to your search engine ranking.
Investing in paid ads and sponsored content is an efficient way to enhance your social media presence. There’s nothing wrong with organic content, but they don’t have the same reach and impact anymore.
What sets sponsored content from organic ones is that they allow you to reach people outside your network – those who do not follow you or have not even heard of you. You can also set your campaign to target specific areas or demographics to maximize its ROI.
9. Video Content
Whether it’s short form videos like the ones you see on Facebook/Instagram stories or the longer ones posted on websites and YouTube, posting video content on your website and social media platforms is a great way to engage potential clients and whet their interest while giving your online presence a boost.
People are more likely to visit your website by watching a video on YouTube or other social media channels than any other type of content. The more quality video contents you create, the more traffic you can drive to your pages, which will benefit your overall SEO in the long run.
10. Influencer Marketing
Dabbling in influencer marketing is a sound move for dental practices. Influencers are not only great for getting word about your business around; they’re good for your SEO, too.
Used the right way, influencer marketing can help you produce quality content that targets long-tail keywords and earn links from high-authority domains relevant to your site. Moreover, having influencers write about and vouch for your dental practice on their blogs and social media will build your credibility and make you more appealing to a larger audience base.
Maintaining an online presence can be a boon for your business, but let’s face it; no one has the time and energy to keep up with an ever-changing minefield of SEO trends while running a dental practice.
Luckily, you don’t have to do it all on your own. You can always enlist a reliable and experienced dental SEO agency to help you plan and implement digital marketing strategies that will amplify your online visibility and take your practice to greater heights.
About The Author
Shawn 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 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.