Nearly 50% of all Google searches are location-specific. Meanwhile, 68% of all activity online begins with a search. Potential patients are already searching for local dentists and dentistry services online. With search engine optimization (SEO), you can ensure your web content appears for those searches. SEO for dentists can help you generate more brand awareness, web traffic, leads, and more.
Not sure how to develop your SEO strategy? Read on to learn everything you need to know about SEO for your dental practice today!
Before we discuss developing your SEO plan for the year, it helps to cover the basics.
What is search engine optimization, exactly? SEO is a series of digital marketing strategies you can use to improve your website’s organic search engine ranking. Appearing at the top of a search engine results page (SERP) can help you generate more traffic.
Attracting more people to your website can further boost your ranking, helping you appear ahead of competing brands online.
There are four types of SEO you’ll need to use to effectively boost your organic rankings:
Here are a few tips you can use to apply these four types of SEO to your website as you develop your SEO strategy.
On-page SEO involves tactics you can use on your website to boost your organic rankings. Google will then crawl and index your website content to determine where it will appear on SERPs. Of the four types of SEO, on-page SEO is the easiest to use on your own.
If you lack experience with search engine optimization, however, it can help to rely on professional SEO services instead. Working with an experienced SEO agency will ensure you boost your rankings without wasting time. It can also help you avoid black hat SEO tactics (which can get your site penalized off Google).
Google’s bots will crawl your website content to determine what information you’re providing. Then, it will determine which search queries are relevant to your content.
You can research the keywords your patients use during online searches to create content to appear for those searches in the future. You can use tools like SEMRush, Google Trends, and Keyword Planner to build a list of target keywords.
Choose a long-tail keyword (which features four or more words) before writing blog content. Then, feature the target keyword in the:
To avoid keyword stuffing, add synonyms and related keywords throughout the content as well.
The SEO title and meta description will appear on SERPs. Generating more clicks will boost your clickthrough rate, allowing your organic rankings to improve.
Optimizing your unique, branded images using your keyword will help you appear for image searches as well.
Off-page SEO is a little more complicated, as it involves tactics outside of your website (and therefore, sometimes outside of your control).
One of the most important Google ranking factors is backlink-building. Other websites can add a link to your web content within their posts. Consumers can click on the link to visit your website, allowing you to generate referral traffic.
Gaining backlinks from websites with a high Domain Authority (DA) can improve your DA, which could help your rankings improve. Remember, generating traffic can help improve your rankings as well.
Each backlink is considered a vote of confidence in your website.
Other ranking factors include:
You can start generating backlinks by writing blog posts for other websites, then linking to your content within the post. This process, known as guest blogging, can help you leverage the website’s existing audience.
Technical SEO involves tactics at the backend of your website.
For example, Google will review the mobile version of your website first (mobile-first indexing) before determining your organic rankings. If your site isn’t mobile-optimized, mobile users could struggle to explore your content. They might decide to leave without exploring other pages.
Your bounce rate will start to increase, which can indicate you’re offering a negative user experience (UX). A positive UX tells Google your website is easy to navigate, read, and use.
You can improve the UX on your website by:
Make sure your website appeals to Google Core Web Vitals‘ user-centric ranking factors as well.
Improving the UX on your site will encourage visitors to explore, which could help you generate more leads.
Local SEO can help you reach nearby patients who are searching for a local dental practice.
You can start optimizing your website for local SEO by updating your Google Business listing. Make sure the information is accurate and matches exactly what appears on your website. Optimize your profile by adding new photos, video content, and relevant updates.
Ask your patients to post their reviews on your profile, too. Positive, fresh reviews can boost your brand’s reputation. You can share these reviews on your website, too.
Otherwise, create content that targets location-specific keywords. Add a location page to your site as well. Make sure to embed a Google map onto the page, too.
How can developing an SEO strategy benefit your dental practice?
Higher SERP rankings will help your dental practice appear in front of prospective patients before competing practices. Ranking at the top of the page could help you generate more credibility. Establishing yourself as a credible resource in the industry could help brand trust grow.
The more people believe in your brand, the more they’ll buy. You can start turning one-time patients into loyal, recurring patients, too. One loyal customer is worth 10 single-appointment patients.
Appearing at the top of SERPs will help you generate brand awareness over time. With repeat exposure, brand recognition will grow. When people think of a local dentist, they’ll recall your brand and blog content.
You can also use your blog content to further demonstrate your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (EAT). Adding EAT to your content can boost your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness.
If you’re not using SEO services yet, however, there’s a chance prospective patients aren’t finding your dental practice online.
The more often you appear for relevant searches, the more website traffic you can generate. Generating more traffic will help more people learn about your dental practice and services. You can use a form or scheduling plugin on your website to turn those visitors into paying patients, too.
Here are a few basic tips you can use to develop your SEO strategy. Otherwise, consider requesting SEO services from an experienced agency this year.
As you begin to develop your SEO plan, start by gathering research. Define who your patients are based on demographics like:
Look into psychographics like pain points, buying behaviors, and online behaviors. For example, you might segment patients based on the dental services they need.
Gather keyword research for each buyer persona you’re targeting. Remember to focus on long-tail keywords. Targeting long-tail keywords can help you understand the user’s search intent (what they expect to find during a search).
Then, you can create personalized content that answers the reader’s questions or provides them with the solution they need.
Remember, a slow, outdated website can cause your bounce rate to increase. Instead, invest in web design and development services this year.
Make sure your site is fast, user-friendly, secure, and mobile-optimized.
Update your forms to make it easier for visitors to convert into leads, too. You can also add a lead magnet to encourage email subscriptions.
Develop a content marketing strategy based on the keyword research you gathered. Diversify your content with:
Different types of content can appeal to patients at different points in the buyer’s journey.
Once you start creating content, have a distribution plan in place. Share your posts on social media, through email marketing, or on other websites.
Make sure to keep up-to-date with the latest SEO marketing trends, too.
For example, you can target voice search queries or create more video content this year.
Once your SEO plan goes live, analyze the results of your efforts.
Determine which blog posts generate the most traffic and engagement. Consider what topics you covered or what content formats you used. Determine which posts are ranking highest, too.
Then, use the data you’ve collected to optimize your strategy to generate even better results.
Using SEO for dentists can help you expand your reach online. You can start generating brand awareness and website traffic before converting more visitors into leads. Since SEO is a cost-effective digital marketing strategy, your ROI will improve over time, too.
Remember, you don’t have to develop your SEO plan alone. Working with an agency could make all the difference.
Contact us today to get started.