Updated: May 30, 2018
By: Matt Haley
Importance of SEO for your Dental Practice
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Put simply, it’s the process of helping your website rank higher on search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. If your website ranks higher on those search engines, you will attract more customers and get more click throughs to your site.
If you’re a dentist, SEO marketing might not be high on your list of priorities. However, without search engine optimization, no one will be able to find your site. Studies show that the top five search results account for 67.6% of all clicks. If your practice’s site achieves this kind of ranking, that means more website traffic, more qualified leads, greater credibility, authority, and, ultimately, more patients for your practice.
OPTIMIZE FOR LOCAL SEARCHES
According to Google, roughly four out of five consumers use search engines to conduct local searches. Yet many small businesses have not claimed even a single a local business listing online, which is a huge missed opportunity.
It’s vital that you get your business listed correctly and consistently on top online business directories, like Yelp. Another path you should take is to contact local directories, such as Newspapers, to get your business listed in. It’s also important to get your business’s Name, Address and Phone number (NAP) on the major citation data aggregators like Infogroup, Neustar (aka Localeze), Acxiom and Factual.
Always make sure that your company’s NAP is consistent across as many platforms as it is listed on. Discrepancies like misspellings, abbreviations, lack of information can create havoc. If Google’s not sure what information is correct, they may display it incorrectly — or not show your business at all in search results.
For SEO, keywords are the connector, they are what link you and your prospects. Users search on words or phrases, and based on those keywords, your pages turn up in those search results. The starting point for SEO is having a clear and thorough understanding of which keywords are relevant and will perform for your practice.
In other words, you need to know how people are looking for your services in order to make it easy for them to find you. Using the right keywords can differentiate you between your competition and give you an advantage in online conversion.
When using SEO it’s recommend that you include relevant keywords in a number of high-attention areas on your site, everywhere from the titles and body text of your pages to your URLs to your meta tags to your image file names. Some websites can have thousands, even millions, of keywords. However it’s about finding a balance. If you load a ton of different keywords, it will be harder to rank on all of them. So it is better to pick the keywords that are most relevant and you feel will help pull people to your practice and focus on those.
START BLOGGING AND CREATING
Every blog entry you post gives you a new opportunity to use SEO keywords in your content. By performing keyword research, finding the keywords and phrases that searchers looking for a company like yours would most likely use, and then using those keywords strategically in your blog posts, you can really improve your search engine optimization results.
Other examples of content you can create to build your practice would be original videos, photographs and infographics. Building a catalogue of original content, published by yourself, can build trust in the community and make you a magnet to, not only clients, but other reputable organizations and websites. It pays to build relationships with other organizations because collaboration can help you generate even more web traffic that you couldn’t otherwise generate on your own.
LINKS LINKS LINKS
As we just discussed, links can be a very important signal that the search engines use to determine rankings. So, we know that increasing the number of high-quality links pointing at your website can significantly increase your chances of ranking well and here’s how:
Link building can often involve outreach to other relevant websites and blogs in your industry. This outreach frequently relates to the promotion of something that you've just created, such as a piece of content or an infographic (for example, like we just talked about, a blog). A common goal of outreach is to get a link, but there is much more to it than just this.
Outreach can help you build long-term relationships with key influencers in your industry, and these relationships can mean that your business becomes highly regarded and trusted. This in itself is valuable, even if we forget link building for a moment, because your placing yourself in the same realm of other thought leaders in your industry while also creating genuine evangelists and advocates for our business.
Building Your Brand
Good link building can help build your brand and establish you as an authority in your niche. There are some link building techniques, such as content creation, which can highlight the capabilities of your company and further build your brand in the online community.
With any kind of content, if you create something based upon industry data and publish it, you may have a chance of becoming known for it in your industry. All of this helps when you do outreach as you are showing your expertise and asking other people in your industry to help spread the word and show others the same.
Following these steps will assure that your SEO ranking will improve. SEO’s main goal is to bring in web traffic, which if properly utilized, can be converted into customers. Having constructive, personal content (blogs, videos, etc.) will give people more confidence in your brand and give your business a more intimate feel, in turn helping your conversion rate and bringing in more clients!