Comprehensive Guide to SEO for Dentists
Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical for any business nowadays. Whereas many years ago, people would flip through the Yellow book to find dental services, now they are hopping on Google immediately. The new trends have paved the way for the demand for SEO for Dentists and dental services. Most of your patients will come from online search results, so you want to make sure you are at the top of the page. Dental SEO is how you do that.
There are many components to SEO for dentists, and it has become even more complex in the past couple of years. But it can be done. In fact, it is quite simple once you know the basics.
The most basic type of SEO for dentists is keyword usage. This is when you include commonly searched words or phrases in the content of your website. So, when people search for these keywords or phrases, your page is more likely to come up as a match.
There are plenty of paid and free sources for keyword research, so you need to find one that works for you. You can start by simply Googling “keyword research” or a related phrase. Make sure you include both the target keyword or phrase and any related searches it may come up under. For instance, “SEO for dentists” and “dental SEO” are sometimes used interchangeably in Google searches.
In your page content, you should also try not to spam the keyword. What this means is that you should not overuse it. Google actually penalizes you for this by lowering your search ranking. Most experts agree that a 1-2% keyword density is ideal. For example, if you have a 500-word blog post, your keyword or phrase should be mentioned 5-10 times.
Optimize for Google My Business for Local SEO for Dentists
Showing up in Google rankings is great, but not for patients searching on the other side of the country. Someone may Google “dental exams,” but results from other areas or states are not going to help them. So, proper dental SEO uses local keywords to optimize search results for your specific would-be patients.
For example, let us say you want to rank for dental exams. Your key phrase should be something like “dental exams in ‘CITY NAME.’” Specific keyword rankings differ from one area to the next, so make sure you include this structure in your own keyword research.
Start a Blog
Blogs are a great addition to any dental office’s website for two reasons. First, they give you an additional space to utilize keywords and phrases. Second, they help to catch your audience’s attention and guide them through your website. You can use this platform to demonstrate your qualifications and experience through sharing information about oral health maintenance. Be sure to include links to your homepage and service pages in the blog posts as well.
Make Sure Your Website Is User-Friendly
It cannot be stressed enough that dentists’ SEO is only the first step in bringing in new patients. If your website is a mess and difficult to navigate, people will click the back button immediately. Google tracks how many times users click on a site and how much time they spend on that site. This includes reading through the initial page they clicked on and clicking through the website using internal links. You could see your ranking fall if people are clicking away immediately. Even if you maintain a high ranking, clicks do not get you, new customers.
First, make sure your site is optimized for all platforms, such as PC, mobile, and tablet. Second, make your site visually appealing to patients. Choose a calming and organized color scheme and layout. Include headings like H1, H2, and H3, as this helps to organize your page for viewers and is also included in Google’s algorithm. Use images when appropriate.
Expand Your Links to Other Platforms
If you rely solely on internal links, it defeats the purpose of dental SEO. The goal is to bring in viewers from outside sources. You do not need to target viewers within the site any more than a basic guide through your site to keep them interested.
Instead, get yourself listed in other places. Talk to industry leaders and those who already have dental blogs. Ask them to share a link to your site on theirs. Make sure you are listed on Yelp and similar sites and ask your patients to leave reviews. You should be listed in industry-specific and local business directories as well as these general sites.
Also, maintain a social media presence. This helps you engage potential clients but also gives you another platform for keyword dental SEO. For example, tweets and Facebook posts can appear in Google searches for keywords.