Don’t leave SEO practices to chance. Increase your website traffic and attract more patients to your dental practice website with these five dental SEO tips.
Is your dental practice website optimized to attract new patients? Are you utilizing dental SEO? You’re not alone if your answer to these questions was a resounding, I don’t know? But the answer, I don’t know, is just the beginning of your dental SEO journey.
Over half the US population currently uses internet search engines to find local businesses. And with over 200,00 dentists throughout the US, ensuring your dental practice stands out online is crucial in attracting new patients to grow your dental practice.
It isn’t enough anymore to simply optimize your website solely for a particular treatment keyword such as dental implants or periodontitis. Most patients are unaware of the specific names of the treatments they need, patients just know the problem they have. So it’s up to the dental practice website to find a way to connect with them by utilizing a strategy for optimizing the search engine algorithms, known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
SEO is an online marketing technique used to direct organic (non-paid) web traffic to your website by focusing on popular keyword phrases people are searching for in search engines online. The more relevant your keywords, the greater the chance of your website’s content appearing closer to the top of a search engine results page (SERP), making it easier for prospective patients to find you.
Including utilizing relevant keywords, here are our five top dental SEO tips for increasing your website traffic and attracting more patients to your dental practice website.
1. Start with Relevant Keywords
sing relevant key terms or phrases is the smartest way to unlock your website’s potential for attracting more patients.
Dental practices must be knowledgeable about the terminology patients are using when searching for dental services. Researching the specific words patients are using can help inform you as to which particular dental treatments and procedures people are searching for.
Discovering new and relevant dental-specific keywords can be done in several different ways. From simple to advanced, below are some of the most effective keyword research methods.
Google Autocomplete is a feature within Google Search that automatically completes search queries when you start to type. As you enter words into the search box, Google will predict your search which can help steer you towards finding new variations.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console (GSC) measures your website’s search traffic and performance. It shows how many times your site shows up for specific keywords, keyword ranking, and how often people click through to view the site. Integrate GSC with SEMRush, Keywordtool.io, Grepwords, or Ahrefs, for example, and you’ll be able to see all the stats in one place and gain better insights into what’s driving your competitors’ traffic.
Google Trends is a tool used for researching the popularity of searches and search topics over time. For dental practices, this means staying abreast with current dentistry-related keywords.
Trending search queries include those for dentists open on Saturdays or those offering 24-hour services, dentists accepting Medicaid, dentists for kids, teeth whitening procedures, and even DIY dental products for cash-strapped consumers.
Armed with your newly expanded repertoire of on-target keywords, dental SEO should be a breeze, right? Well, yes and no. Here are a few common pitfalls to be aware of when focusing on a keyword research strategy:
- Don’t cram your site with the same keyword in everything from the title and alt tags to the webpage text, meta description, and URL address.
- At the same time, try not to muddy the waters for Google by using too wide a range of keywords on one page (three should suffice).
- If you want to up your appeal to search engine algorithms, develop insightful content which uses semantically related keyword topics.
- Finally, get the balance right. Your keyword phrase needs to be broad enough to deliver a healthy search volume but sufficiently focused to capture traffic that’s appropriate for you.
2. Invest in Informative and Interesting Content
Content is the prime metric Google uses to rank your website and the primary factor that will elevate your dental practice above the competition. Content may include blogs, social media, reports and guides, newsletters, webinars, podcasts, videos, and more.
Your content must communicate your dental practice personality effectively and reinforce the key attributes of Expertise, Authority, and Trust (EAT). Engaging content, supported by effective keywords, will not only increase your website traffic but will in turn lengthen the amount of time visitors spend on your site, also referred to as dwell time SEO< or time-on-page SEO.
Think about how what you have to offer or your areas of expertise relate to what your present and prospective patients are searching for based on current search trends? This will help you to create tailor-made posts for the patients you’re targeting. A one-size-fits-all approach will not work, so carefully consider what you want to communicate as well as the platforms you want to deliver your message. Eye-catching infographics are very effective, as are informative newsletters, custom photos, and FAQs about your treatments and services.
Blogging is one of the most effective ways of sharing your dental practice’s messaging. Successful blogs are aimed at answering patient questions. Do this consistently and it will establish your website as an authoritative source of information. Sprucing up your posts with colorful visual content is very effective as well. A list of FAQs about your practice and what to expect from particular dental treatments is also a great way to enhance the relationship between patients and dental practices.
3. Get More Reviews From Existing Patients
Reviews are important for dental SEO because Google’s algorithm uses them to rank sites.
Perhaps more importantly, a review delivers social proof, which people tend to turn to when they are unsure of a course of action or decision. In marketing, it underlines the importance of personal recommendations in choosing dental treatments and services. In fact, 79% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as they do in taking advice directly from friends or family.
Attracting positive reviews for your dental practice is easy when you include a review request in your dental software platform. You can invite patients via text or your email marketing campaign to leave a review. Alternatively, try adding a review request at the end of your monthly newsletters. This could be a short questionnaire or a direct and easily clickable link to your website, or to a Google or Facebook link review page. Just asking is half the battle here. Satisfied patients will be more than happy to share their experiences.
Once your practice is listed on Google My Business, it will automatically pop up as part of a listing on Google maps when someone enters a search query for local dentists, displaying key information, along with those all-important patient reviews.
Having a Yelp profile is also a good idea to help increase traffic to your site. And if it’s social media kudos you’re after, a Facebook review is just the ticket. Patients just need to click on the review tab and write a recommendation. Include a few hand-picked reviews on your website or build a page dedicated to patient testimonials.
Get specialist advice on reputation marketing and review management.
4. Optimize Your Website for Better User Experience
Dental SEO does not revolve solely around keywords.
Website optimization also entails checking for gremlins such as slow load times, broken links, or spam or duplicate content. Any and all of which can dramatically reduce your rankings on the SERP. Google’s algorithm also favors websites that are updated regularly.
Each of these factors plays a significant role in where your website ranks on the SERPs.
- Is your information organized in a logical manner?
- Is it easy for visitors to find the information they’re seeking?
- Adding headings and subheadings to organize content helps improve your visitors’ experience, as well as optimizes it for the Google algorithm.
- The most dynamic websites ranking high on the SERPs contain multiple pages of interconnected content with over 1000 words per page.
- It’s also a good idea to embed a Google map with your dental practice’s address onto your contact page. With mobile devices accounting for more than half of web traffic worldwide, it’s critical that your site is optimized for mobile browsing.
- Backlinks from reputable websites are important too as they improve your search ranking. Examples include links from educational sites, being quoted in an online news source, or writing guest posts on highly rated websites. Make it a habit to double-check your backlinks.
5. Attract Patients Around Your Area With Local Dental SEO
Improving your website’s local dental SEO is all about fine-tuning your online presence, so create a Google My Business (GMB) listing that is accurate, complete, and verified. Include a detailed description of your practice with your treatments and services offered, with your dental practice name and contact details.
GMB allows you to choose your primary business category, as well as up to five secondary categories. The location of your practice should be distributed organically throughout your website and if you have dental practices in multiple locations, create a separate landing page for each. Reinforce your keyword list by including appropriate geolocation-targeted terms.
As a rule, listings for your dental practice should appear on relevant citation sites, online business directories, and dental associations. Regional sites are particularly important for raising your local SEO profile. If you’re already listed, make sure the information is accurate, and check it regularly for out-of-date information.
Grow Your Dental Practice With PBHS
If you’re looking to grow and retain your dental practice patient base and improve your website search rank, then consider starting with a SEO website evaluation. PBHS is a dental-specific marketing agency, and one of their services is SEO optimization. Schedule a PBHS SEO evaluation today, and start improving your website visibility.