LOCAL SEO EXPLAINED So You Can Maximize Dental SEO
Why your dental SEO savvy (or lack thereof) impacts new-patient conversion
Search engine optimization (your dental SEO) has existed since the beginning of the Internet. Simply put, its function is to make a website rank well in Internet search engine results.
Search engines (like Google) function purely to make users’ online experiences relevant and effective while searching for online content.
For people searching a LOCAL BUSINESS (e.g. “dentist near me”), search engines promise to provide searchers access to relevant answers. Quickly and easily.
What does this mean for your dental practice?
A new family moves within 3 miles of your practice. When it’s time to find a dentist, Mom hops on the Internet (using one of any number of connected devices) and enters a search for Family Dentist.
In the past, Google would provide many options for dentists who had dental websites with the words FAMILY DENTIST in it, regardless of how local they were to the person searching. Results were based on whether or not the search term appeared in a website and not much more.
This led to “keyword stuffing” – resulting in everyone and everything matching the search criteria regardless of relevance ... making the user-experience difficult and frustrating … and reducing the value of dental SEO. Search engines had to become “smarter.”
Because Google’s goal is to improve a user’s online experience, relevancy and consistency of your dental website’s online information is critical – as critical as knowing the search terms people are using to find you.
Whether or not your website ranks with Google as a trusted site for users depends on many variables within its content.
Dental websites will rank #1 in local searches with these 5 things:
1. Correct listing information. Name, street address, and phone number must be correct and consistent on your dental website, on Yelp, Google, Apple Maps, Facebook, and in the other 300+ citations across the Internet. Information must be updated across the board when any business information changes.
2. Accurate operational hours. Business hours are current in all listings and on your website.
3. Consistent online identity. Website address is included in all listings.
4. Complimentary reviews. Practice reviews are on multiple review sites with 4- or 5-star ratings.
5. A visual presence. Website and listings have a picture of your practice.
In many cases, your independent Google My Business listing will get more traffic than a local business overview website such as one hosted by your local BIA or municipality.
If your competitors’ local dental SEO is up-to-date, but yours isn’t, you are losing patients to them every day.
A recent study of 15,000 healthcare online listings exposed troubling statistics.
If these results reflect your dental practice, not only will they have a negative impact on your online search rankings, they will hurt your dental practice reputation and undermine the critical trust you are working so hard to build in your practice neighborhood.
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