Search Engine Optimization or SEO for dentists is the smart way to promote your business online. SEO works to read your Web site and ultimately lets users find you via search engines. In markets heavy with dentists, it’s imperative to make your Web site stand out above the rest, and understanding and utilizing SEO can help you do that. A study conducted by Kelton Research/Bazaarvoice in 2011 found that 32% of consumers said they would never choose a healthcare provider without reading at least one piece of user-generated content about that provider. What does that mean for dentists? You’ll need to utilize SEO to get your Web site on the first page of search results, and working with user-generated content, like reviews on Healthgrades.com, will help you do that. By having an understanding of how SEO works, you can expect to capture more page views, and more patients.
SEO Tips and Strategies
Before you begin your journey into SEO, step back and do some research into your competitors. Start by doing a Google search to see what turns up in your area. Next, choose a keyword that is really important for your business, like “dental implants.” Google it and look for your competitors in the top 20 search results and compare your ranking against that of your competitors. Is it too busy of a space, or wide open? If it’s too busy, you may want to consider marketing one of your other services more aggressively, like braces.
According to a recent HubSpot survey, inbound marketing is more cost-effective than outbound marketing. The new trend that’s here to stay is shifting the funds in your marketing budget to cover inbound marketing activities, such as social media, virtual events and SEO.
1. Play with your keywords. As mentioned above, the first step in determining your dental practice’s keywords is to conduct research into the competitors in your local area. Once that is determined, you’ll need to walk a fine line between plastering your Web site with those keywords and using them appropriately. The best thing you can do when writing the content for your Web site is to write in a meaningful way for your patients, not for the search engines. While keeping your keywords in mind, focus your writing in a natural tone of voice. Good writing will do its part to drive your Web site’s popularity.
Do keep in mind that the more specific you can be, the better. For example, be sure to list your location on your Web site, so that people searching for “Dentures in Brooklyn” can find your site. Next, consider listing any relevant brand names that your patients and potential patients may look for, like “Invisalign dentists Brooklyn.”
2. Post new content frequently. A HubSpot report from 2010 found that the more often a company posted blogs to their Web site, the more leads were generated. Search engines are looking for new content on your Web site all of the time, so blogging is one way to ensure you’re posting at least once a week. Each new page that you create will add to your indexed page listing, thus making it easier for the search engines to find you. There’s other ways besides blogging to add content. You can create landing pages and subpages for your various practice areas and individual bio pages for you and your colleagues. Keeping in mind the importance of organic keyword mentions, your site will face positive climbing in the Page Ranks.
3. Engage in Linkbuilding. As referenced earlier, Page Rank is important because it’s a measurement of how important Google thinks your Web site is relative to your competitors, and it also helps determine your rank for many search terms. Page Rank is determined by the number and quality of links to your Web site, so it’s important to get links out there. Make sure that your links are on high-quality sites; link farms and low quality business directories exist to assist SEO, but are search engines are able to see through the low quality of those sites and will actually penalize your site. When it comes to linkbuilding, remember that quality of links matters more than quantity.
4. Hire the best SEO company. When someone is considering hiring a New York SEO company, for example, choose one that has a stellar reputation for producing high-quality promotions of Web sites. Make sure the company understands the rules and regulations that dentists face when marketing to potential patients. Be wary of the “affordable” SEO companies, as they may actually engage in sneaky SEO practices. Look for a company with a wide portfolio, and most of all, great writing skills to enhance your Web site’s content.