Your prospective patients have a lot of options when it comes to choosing their dentist. According to a study conducted by the ADA Health Policy Institute, there were 60.7 dentists per 100,000 people in 2020, and it’s projected to increase to 67.0 in 2040. With more dentists practicing, it means that your practice has to stand out if you want your practice to grow. One way to do that is through your dental marketing efforts. There are many strategies and channels you can invest in, but in this post, we’ll focus on dental search engine optimization (SEO) – a building block for getting your practice website noticed on the search engines to attract more patients.
SEO is a set of strategies and tactics to improve your dental practice’s online visibility in search engines. It can include a combination of on-page and off-page activities. On-page SEO relates to activities you implement on your practice site to capture the right traffic to convert. Off-page SEO is the set of tactics you use outside your website. When executed correctly, it can help you stand out in your community, drive more traffic to your website, and increase conversions.
In this post, we’ll do an overview of the main sections you see on a search page, some on-page and off-page tactics and strategies, and how long it takes to see results. Keep in mind that there are many dental SEO tips you can implement, but these are foundational elements all practices should have and fine tune.
What you do for SEO determines where you’ll fall in Google. Google takes keywords that it knows about a business and industry and serves up a series of pages for people to view.
When you type a query like ‘dentists near me’ into Google, you’ll get a mix of paid ads and organic results.
The first set is Google ads. They’re shown based on specific keywords a business bids on and what people are searching for.
The next section is known as a local pack. It shows businesses in your vicinity based on your search criteria. It can be a combination of ads and organic results.
The third section is the commonly asked questions people enter into Google. This content can be pulled from various sites depending on if you have the right content that answers these questions. Appearing in this section can raise awareness about your practice and reinforce your reputation as a trusted dental expert.
The final section is the organic results. Google ranks these results based on how relevant your site content is to the user’s search query. Other factors that help determine site ranking include but aren’t limited to domain authority, website structure, user experience, and more.
You might see some practices focus all their efforts on driving organic traffic, so they won’t appear in the ads section. Or you might see other practices doing a combination of paid and unpaid activities to improve their website ranking. You can decide what works best for your practice based on your practice goals and budget.
Your potential patients won’t schedule an appointment without visiting your site. It’s one of the many places they explore before they make an appointment. This is why on-page dental SEO matters.
Here are some high-level dental SEO tactics that should already be on your website.
RevenueWell has a dedicated SEO team who partners with dental practices to create a comprehensive strategy that includes your practice website, content, directory listings, and more to attract the right prospective patients to your practice. Learn more here.
You’ve probably seen some horribly designed, hard to navigate websites. And chances are, when you landed on those websites, you either left immediately or struggled to find what you were looking for. It can be a frustrating experience and cause you to wonder if it’s worth doing business with that company. You don’t want your dental website to drive potential patients away. Here are some must-have elements to keep people on your website.
If your website has these elements, then you’re already ahead of some practices. Make sure to regularly audit these items because your website shouldn’t be stagnant. It should evolve as your practice does.
Content is a driving force for having a high-converting website. And SEO plays an integral role in helping content appear high in the search engines. Here are a few tips for website content.
Most importantly, create content that’s beneficial and useful to your patients. What you might think is valuable may not be to your patients. After all, what’s the point in creating content if it isn’t helpful to your patients?
Don’t forget to regularly refresh your website page content. If you manage your website in house, set a reminder every few months or once a quarter to do a content audit so information stays current.
Looking for more content ideas and other ways to bring more patients to your practice? Download our ebook Your Dental Marketing Guide: Using Funnels, Channels, and Analytics to Get More Patients today.
Taking both an on and off-page SEO strategy can increase your rankings. Here are three off-page SEO activities to elevate your online presence.
Maximize your Google My Business Profile. An active Google My Business profile can give your future patients a strong view of your practice if you’ve taken the time to fill it out. It’s another way to add credibility to your practice and increase your chances of appearing in the local pack. The more complete and descriptive it is, the more likely you’re helping patients to choose their dentist. Here are a handful of tips to maintain your Google My Business Profile.
Remember that anyone can potentially make edits to your Google My Business Profile. Even more reason to make sure your practice owns your profile and keeps it active and up to date.
Focus on local SEO. With local SEO tactics, you can tie your practice to your location. This can help you show up in the local pack. A few effective tactics include:
Be diligent with your patient reviews.
Another way to increase your practice exposure and boost your search rankings is with Google reviews. This is possible when you have many reviews, including mostly positive ones, and having an automated process to gather them. It’s worth nothing that even if you have some negative ones, that shouldn’t cause you to shy away from responding to them. As long as you adhere to HIPAA guidelines, it’s in your practice’s best interest to reply to patient reviews. Also, take the time to implement feedback that’s actionable. It shows a willingness to accept constructive feedback and make a change to improve your practice.
RevenueWell’s Marketing Platform has a Reputation Management feature which enables practices to generate more patient reviews. You can potentially double your reviews with an automated process while managing and monitoring your reviews from one place.
The results of your dental SEO efforts will depend on a few factors.
Remember SEO takes commitment and dedicated time to see the results.
You don’t have to manage your dental SEO alone.
There are countless ways to incorporate SEO into your practice marketing strategy, but these are the essential items you need to start. You’d be surprised how many practices don’t have these in place or don’t consistently keep up with them. Understandably, it’s a significant time commitment and is a full-time job in other industries. But SEO can give your practice an edge in an increasingly competitive dental market. Whether you decide to do it in-house or partner with an agency, it’s beneficial to understand the SEO basics for your own knowledge. Plus, if you decide to work with an outside partner, you’ll be able to ask the right question and have a 2-way conversation to help you make the best decision for your practice.
RevenueWell offers a variety of digital marketing services including SEO specifically for dental. Our SEO team will come up with a holistic strategy based on your practice goals to help you rank higher in the search engines and bring more patients to your website. Schedule a consultation with our team today.