What Is Dental SEO (In Simple Terms)?
How will my dental website rank on the first page of Google?
A 2-Part Series
By Grant Gooley | November 10, 2018
Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing must decide which websites are the best to serve up to patients searching for a dental practice. In a 2-part series (on Page SEO and off page SEO), I am going to break down Search Engine Optimization (SEO), drilling the concepts down using simple terms.
Knowing the basics is important so you can make educated decisions when choosing your SEO partner.
How can dental SEO help my dental practice?
If you have great dental SEO, your practice will get referenced on popular search engines like Google when a patient is searching for their next dental appointment. The better your SEO, the more visits to your website … the more phone calls … the more appointments … the more beneficial to your bottom line!
How will my dental website rank on the first page of Google?
If any dental SEO partner says they can guarantee first-page results, be concerned. Dental SEO is made up over 200 factors and 10,000 subfactors! Guaranteeing the success of first-page results is impossible. Ask for case studies, testimonials, and proven results.
I am going to pull apart the most important aspects of a great SEO strategy. There is no magic potion to make your website rank well, but there are best practices.
On-Page SEO (NB: Watch this blog for the second part of this series – “Off- Page SEO”!)
On-Page SEO is determined by the tactics you use on your website that influence search engines like Google when they are ranking how your dental website will be displayed in search engine results.
A great On-Page SEO Strategy – The important elements include architecture, content, links, and keywords.
If I had to say which one element of SEO was the most important, it would be the keywords. Having a strategy in place is key (no pun intended ;).
What are keywords? Well … I’ll start my explanation by saying I wish they were called key-phrases.
When someone is searching for you on Google, they will type something into the search box and hope Google gives them the result they need. Keywords are the key words or key phrases that people type. What are the keywords for your practice? “Dentist in Chicago “or “Dentist Young and Eglinton”? Maybe there are lots of families in your neighborhood, so people are typing “family dentistry near me.”
If you were Google and you had to provide these searchers with results that best fit their keywords, how would you know what dental websites to display for them? You would probably look for websites that contained words relevant to the searcher’s inquiry. And that’s exactly what Google does.
Little spider bots (cool name, eh?), search every website, including yours, and reference the keywords or phrases on each.
Because of these two things – relevant words and spider bots – you need to fill your site with keywords or key phrases that people IN YOUR BACKYARD are searching.
At Patient News, we do the keyword research. We find out the actual words that people are keying in to find your website. Then we optimize those keywords by using them in context in your website content (in headings, subheadings, and body copy) to achieve the most “wins,” giving you fuel for a high ranking in search results.
How many keywords should be included in my dental SEO strategy? Hundreds, thousands, heck… MILLIONS!
As more content is written and more blogs are posted, more keywords will be referenced by Google. These too need to be optimized, but that can be difficult with 100s of keywords!
Here’s the good news: because when people in your area are looking for a dentist are typing very similar keywords/phrases, for example “Dentist In New York” or “Best Dentist New York,” don’t dilute the strategy and go after every keyword you can think of.
Concentrate of 5, 10, or 15 keywords or key phrases to get on page one of the search results, then once you’ve secured and maintain your spot, begin working on more.
At Patient News, we use world-renowned SEO tools to perform thorough research on what keywords people are entering into Google. We optimize your site for those keywords and key phrases, and report to you monthly on the results.
A linking strategy is one of the most important “authority factors” for a good ranking with Google’s algorithm.
In the beginning, Google had to decide how to quickly determine which websites to “trust.” They decided that the more links on other website pages that point (or link) to your website means the more authority your website holds, because the more people who link to you, the more people support your site. And when that’s the case, Google says, “This site has authority” and subsequently increases your ranking.
How do I get more links pointing to my website?
I wish I could say that it’s easy. It’s not. Here are some options (if you do it yourself)…
- Call all your old dental school classmates who own dental practices and ask if they would link to your website.
- Begin emailing all the dental associations and ask them to link to you.
- Keep going until you develop a network of a few 100 high-authority links.
OR call Patient News. We will make this process easy and get you ranking quickly, without you having to lift a finger!
Google wants to present great websites to people who are using the Google search engine. The way your website is designed and set up makes a difference to Google who decides where they want to rank you.
Foundational architectural basics like speed, security, and mobile optimization will give users a good experience when viewing your website. They are a few of the things that Google looks for.
Remember, if it’s a poor – or even bad – experience for the user, why would Google rank your page high to encourage more people to experience your website? Why would they put you on the first page of search results?
Content refers to the text and images presented on your website. How is it organized? An easy-to-navigate user experience that presents your content in a simplistic way will keep people on your website longer.
Don’t clutter the website with medical jargon that nobody reads.
List your services in bullet points for quick referencing.
The most important content that your website should have (to help you get better SEO results) include:
- Services – List in bullet points for quick referencing.
- Blog Posts – Provide ongoing up-to-date information monthly. (Blogs are ideal!)
- Articles & FAQs – Show your audience that you are the dental expert in their neighborhood.
- Meet The Doctor – Take the step and introduce yourself. You have the chance to speak directly to your new patients when they want to hear from you!
- Video(s) – Take advantage of this top engagement tool, but make sure it reflects your style … and make sure you smile!
Is Your Content Customized?
I am not surprised to see so many dental websites with identical content – the exact same words on the page – about teeth whitening or dental implants, for example.
Dental Marketing companies must write a lot of content for their clients. The easy way out is to copy-&-paste. The three-fold problem with this is:
- You are not speaking with the unique voice of your practice
- Google doesn’t like it, and therefore it negatively affects SEO
- You look and sound like hundreds of other dental practices – you don’t stand out.
At Patient News, we have been writing for dental practices for over 25 years. When developing an online campaign for our clients, custom content is a critical part of that strategy.
Your Next Step? Getting a healthy ROI on your website!
Now you know the four main tactics to win at On-Page SEO strategy – architecture, content, links, and keywords.
And now you know what to do to get proven ROI for your website... Speak with one of our digital marketing experts at Patient News. They’ll help you determine how to pump up your online presence so that your website starts making you money.
Look out for part 2 of this series. I’ll be talking about dental SEO and how it relates to off-page elements. What’s that? Come back December 10th to find out! ;)