In today’s complicated internet landscape, proper SEO is a must for any dentist looking to increase website traffic, and subsequently, their patient acquisition rate. As dental marketing specialists, we here at WEO Media implement supreme, and more importantly, transparent SEO tactics that drastically improve your online presence. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a marketing technique designed to raise your ranking among major search engines like Google.
Google Is the New Yellow Pages
In the past, prospective patients would typically use the yellow pages to find a new dentist, especially if they were new to the area. Since the advent of the internet, most people now turn to Google as the new yellow pages. Researching and choosing a dentist (or any other business) has never been easier!
Recent statistics have shown that:
20% of search queries are for local businesses.
40% of mobile searches are for local businesses.
97% of consumers search for local businesses online.
Unfortunately, the internet is also more competitive than ever before. Establishing a higher Google ranking with the right SEO can give you a leg up on dentists in your area. Websites that land at the top of Search Engine Results Pages, or SERPs, attract significantly more traffic than those at the bottom.
Google My Business Optimization
Along with SEO, a successful online marketing campaign involves the use of a powerful, yet free service from Google known as Google My Business, or GMB for short. GMB helps small business owners, such as dentists, manage and navigate the many complexities and utilities of the internet’s most popular search engine. Simply put, Google My Business is an invaluable tool designed to boost your practice’s exposure online.
GMB that is fully optimized helps you effectively target local consumers, or potential patients in this case. Creating a Google My Business listing allows a business owner to refine pertinent information displayed on SERPs and map results, information that includes your practice’s name, location, photos, and hours of operation. These details serve two main purposes:
Help Google provide users with more relevant search results
Help potential patients determine your office is the ideal choice for their needs
Over the last few years, Google has rolled out a wide-variety of GMB features, making it harder for any one person to effectively optimize every aspect of this free tool. Google My Business optimization is a service we provide, so you can focus on running your practice. Our optimization tactics generally include:
Ensuring your NAP (name, address, phone number) is correct
Creating and claiming an effective short name for your practice
Writing an engaging, authentic, and concise description of your practice
Establishing an appropriate category and sub-category for local search rankings
Uploading photographs that showcase your practice in a captivating manner
Generating, monitoring, and responding to Google reviews
Utilizing a feature called Google Posts (essentially tiny blogs) to boost local search visibility
Building a wealth of information through Google's Q & A feature, which attracts more local patients in search of a new dentist
Linking social media profiles to your GMB listing
Utilizing GMB features unique to the dental industry, such as a specific website link that takes people straight to your appointment booking page
Localized Keyword Optimization Throughout Website
Specific and targeted keywords are a vital component of well-executed SEO. In fact, there are many methods that can help your website rank better when it comes to competitive, dental-related keywords. That being said, implementing localized keywords is often the most overlooked aspect of SEO.
Local SEO, as you can probably guess, helps to promote your practice and services to potential patients in your specific area. This can be achieved through a number of tactics, some of which differ greatly from general or dental SEO. However, localized keyword optimization throughout your website is paramount.
According to Google, roughly 46% of searches have “local intent.” In addition, 76% of people searching for something nearby on their smartphone visit a related business within 24 hours. As Google continues to work towards providing more localized search results, these figures are only expected to rise. This also means Google now favors businesses (including dental practices) with a local listing in proximity to the user performing the search.
Targeting localized keywords throughout your website is one of the best ways to satisfy Google’s ever-evolving search algorithms. A strong SEO campaign involves a combination of general, dental, and local SEO keywords. Our team of specialists here at WEO Media are well-versed in all three.
Unique Content Written by Experienced Writers Within the Dental Industry
Keywords are only effective when implemented properly through the use of “white hat SEO.” White hat techniques improve your ranking on SERPs while preserving the integrity of your website. Target keywords should be used throughout your site in an ethical and organic fashion, which typically involves unique, long-form, and informative content.
Thanks to improvements in Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), which scans your site for relative information, keyword cramming and spammy content can actually hurt your ranking on Google. For this reason, unique content on your site is of vital importance. Luckily, our agency employs talented writers with significant experience in the field of dentistry for our premium SEO services.
Google only rewards sites with content they deem authentic and useful to the user. The content on your site should also establish you as an authority figure within the dental industry. Our writers will provide your site with the content you need to optimize your digital marketing campaign, each page written from a unique point of view!
Citations and Links
Another way to establish the online authority of your practice is through citations and links. A citation is an online reference to your practice’s NAP (name, address, phone number). You can also include your website URL to the information displayed on citation sites, such as local and business directories.
A partial citation, which is less advantageous than a full citation, is one that only includes part of your NAP. Regardless, citation building is a key component of any SEO strategy. However, it is important to note that citations are only effective when the NAP on your site matches the one listed on directories and your Google My Business page. Your NAP needs to be 100% consistent across the web to avoid confusing Google’s algorithms and hurting your ranking.
Next to unique content, relevant links and backlinks are the second most important factor for your website’s ranking. Simply put, if you want better rankings, you need better links. The three main elements of strong link-building include: quality, quantity, and diversity.
Quality backlinks from well-respected dental sites and blogs helps Google recognize your site as reputable source of information in the dental industry. Maintaining the integrity of your site also involves removing dead links and adding current ones. In other words, the links on your site must be clickable and applicable.
The number of links we suggest varies from practice to practice. As a general rule of thumb, your SEO campaign is off to a good start with at least 30 links. For even better rankings and visibility, these links should be diverse, targeting a variety of different keywords.
Excellent SEO begins with research, whether it be for targeting certain keywords or competitor analysis. SEO and online marketing is a highly competitive domain. For your website to move up in rank, another one has to drop down. Competitor research helps us better understand the underlying factors that influence higher-ranking practices.
Competitor analysis helps us answer important questions, some of which include:
Which keywords should your site target?
Who are your competitors, specifically in regards to SEO?
Which topics should our writers cover?
Which links should we pursue?
What does your site need to outrank other practices?
Researching and recognizing which keywords to target, links to build, and content to include leads to superior online marketing techniques. Instead of guesswork, competitor research allows us to reverse-engineer the most effective elements of other sites. We then incorporate these strategies into your own SEO campaign, building upon the success of your competitors.
Proper research and site maintenance usually involves SEO keyword gap analysis. Keyword gap analysis refers to the process of identifying keywords that help other dental websites ranker higher. Improving your ranking for these valuable or high-volume keywords should lead to better online visibility.
Similarly, a link gap analysis helps us identify competitor links you may not have, but could also obtain. It is nearly impossible to rank high without links, and good links are hard to achieve. A link gap analysis can help ups find and earn relevant, quality links from established pages.
Lastly, good research should include competitor content analysis. Ultimately, we want to identify your competitors’ top-performing content. This allows us to create unique and improved content for your site, which is favorable for both Google’s algorithms and prospective patients.
Conducting thorough research can be a daunting, enormous, and tedious task, especially when you have a practice to run. This is where WEO Media comes into play. Our comprehensive research techniques are just one of many award-winning services we provide.
If Google is the new yellow pages, patient reviews are the new word of mouth. These days, a person who has recently moved will typically turn to the internet to find a new dentist. On top of that, patient reviews can dramatically improve your SEO.
Much like your content, citations, and links, patient reviews establish authority in the eyes of major search engines and website visitors. For this reason, generating positive reviews on sites like Yelp, Google, and Healthgrades is crucial to your online visibility. At WEO Media, we offer online reputation management through the use of a powerful and unique service we call Online Review Generation.
Major search engines like Google are always trying to provide better results for users. Because users are more inclined to trust online reviews, Google’s algorithms reward practices with:
A large volume of patient reviews
A high overall star rating
Recent and relevant reviews
Up-to-date responses to both negative and positive reviews
In regards to better SEO, there are several ways to leverage patient feedback. It may be helpful to view feedback as an opportunity to improve your patients’ experience. Addressing and correcting negative comments can lead to more positive reviews in the future, which helps you attract and maintain loyal, high-value patients. And, of course, more positive reviews leads to a better ranking.
On top of everything else, patient reviews are the best form of user-generated content. Patients that leave reviews act as an online marketing army, building links and using keywords that organically improve your SEO ranking without us having to intervene. User-generated content is also unique and relevant, signaling to Google that your website is active, and your patients are satisfied.
According to a recent survey on local consumer habits, about 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses. That figure jumps up to 95% for people between the ages of 18 and 34. Roughly 91% of this key demographic also stated that they trust online reviews, especially recent ones, as much as word of mouth recommendations.
Tracking (Analytics and Metrics)
An important, and often overlooked aspect of SEO for dentists is tracking. You may be surprised to learn that many SEO and online marketing “experts” are less transparent with the methods and techniques they use. Often times, they even struggle to identify what they actually did to raise your rankings.
At WEO Media, we frequently review the analytics and metrics of your website to help measure the success of your SEO campaign. Metrics like website traffic, demographics, behavioral trends, and bounce rates help us determine where your site is succeeding and which areas need work. Ultimately, this information will be used to calculate your return on investment, or ROI, a major concern for most dentists.
As a 4x recipient of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award, we here at WEO Media provide a remarkable ROI, one of the best in our industry. However, we want to stress that it can take months to see significant results from your SEO campaign. The SEO process is also an ongoing one, which is why tracking analytics and metrics is so important.
Effective SEO for dentists is not just about improved rankings and increased website traffic. In the end, it’s about conversions. A conversion is a blanket term used to describe a specific action you want website visitors to complete. For dentists, the goal is to get new visitors to schedule their first appointment.
WEO Media offers conversion tracking to determine how many new patients you are attracting with your SEO. Our analytics and consumer research can also help you attract and convert the right kind of visitors, high-value patients that consistently schedule appointments. If you are interested in taking your practice to even greater heights, we are here to help!
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WEO Media - Dental Marketing 8625 SW Cascade Avenue Suite 300 Beaverton, OR 97008
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