Getting More New Patients With Organic SEO For Dentists
For the most part, you must have heard that search engine optimization (SEO) is meant for businesses that seek to grow their visibility in online directories and to give them a boost in their online marketing plan.
However, businesses aren't the only ones who need search engine optimization to grow their online presence. There are people who're not entrepreneurs but are self-employed. Dentists are an example of such people.
Dental Search Engine Optimization:
In order to excel in their careers, they need to perform a good amount of dental practices to prove their worth and become recognized. This gives a need for a different kind of SEO that has some similarities with regular SEO, but with somewhat different approaches for targeted visibility for dental patients. It's called dental SEO: to optimize your website such that your dental service's website ranks higher in search engines.
Yellow Pages is now the thing of the past and Google is taking over like a storm. People will search for the nearest dentist on Google. They probably won't bother going through some directory of numbers only to find someone near them, but rather, they'll happily find the best option through the search results of Google.
Is Dental SEO Really Different From 'Normal' SEO?
The reason we're mentioning dental SEO separately is that this is a more specific kind of search engine optimization. There may not be many differences between the SEO best practices required for any other business and dentists, because the end goal is still to improve online presence and visibility.
However, dental SEO is different in the sense that you need to focus more of your attention on areas where it's more likely to find more patients.
But You're A Dentist, Patients Should Come To You Rather Than You Looking For The Patients, Right?
It would be true if you're the only dentist in an 80-mile radius. People look for dentists, but it doesn't mean that they will look for you exclusively unless you have already established yourself as a talented and expert provider of dental services.
For that, you need more patients so that you can be better known and people look forward to getting their dental needs served by you.
The whole purpose of dental SEO is to get patients to know you better. If someone searches for getting a new set of dental implants, you should be the first that shows up in their search engine results, and they should visit you instead of anyone else.
Not only they should visit your website, but your search engine optimization should also be on point to that the extent that your website will help visitors book appointments with you.
Dental SEO Best Practices:
SEO strategy is important, and we just discussed how important it is for dentists, even though the nature of their profession doesn't necessitate being online.
Dentists need to poise themselves for a great career. Getting SEO right can be key to their success. The following are some of the best SEO practices, which every dentist must incorporate into their website.
Finding the right keywords is crucial in building effective online visibility. Your keywords should accurately represent the services you provide, to not only make it easier for search engines, but also new patients.
On the flip side, getting keyword research wrong can be detrimental for you. If you haven't optimized your web pages for the keywords that represent your profession and dental services.
In short, research for detail-oriented keywords. If you start off with the wrong keywords, this will put a huge dent in your SEO strategy.
Once you've gotten your keywords together, you should make sure that your keywords are now present in all the right places of your website. This includes having them in headlines, headings, URLs, content, descriptions, meta descriptions, alt text, and every place where placing relevant keywords seems fit.
You'll realize that the best keywords are those that drive the most organic traffic. You can hire SEO Agency for keyword research services.
DO NOT STUFF KEYWORDS!
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is stuffing keywords on your web pages.
Keyword stuffing is a black hat SEO practice. You shouldn't have keywords just for the sake of having keywords inserted in there. Keywords stuffing is a really bad idea.
If any search engine discovers that you have been stuffing keywords, you can even have your site blacklisted entirely. Not only you can lose potential patients this way, but also your website.
Your Competition's Keywords:
Analyze your competitors' keywords too. Other dentists might display their dental practice with a particular set of keywords. It would be a good idea to use their keywords too.
It may be that you have specialized in a certain practice, such as false teeth placements, but your competition is ranking higher because their keywords' usage is better. Dental SEO efforts require the best use and analysis of your competitors too.
Content Is King!
Maintaining a blog is important. You can tell about the tips in dental health and how you can be of use to returning and new patients. New patients will see you as more credible if you have more information to impart on your website.
For every website that a person has used a search engine for, the person visits your website for either researching, purchasing, or both. The more information you have on your blog, the easier it is for the person to make his decision, and in the end book an appointment with you.
You should build your content around the keyword research you made. In addition, there is no hard and fast ideal limit to the frequency of the use of keywords, but there are tools that can help you with them. Again, you don't have to stuff keywords just to make your dental website more relevant.
Content should be helpful and engaging for prospective patients. If not patients, it should help those who are coming to your website, and in the best case lead to appointments.
The more updated content you have, the more chances you have to rank higher. Google has more than 200 ranking factors for relevancy and one of them is also how active the website is. Google's algorithms will favor frequently visited and active websites a lot more than those which aren't.
A lot of content is now being posted in the form of videos. Some people don't usually like to see entire dental procedures happening, but on the other hand, people usually search for dental procedures behind the scenes because the videos are oddly satisfying.
Video content contributes to your dental marketing, website traffic, and attracting internet users regardless of whether or not they need an appointment.
Local SEO For Dentists To Be Prioritized:
Most of your patients will be from your own geographical area. It's less likely that a patient will reach you from afar, but if you have a reputation of being a good provider of dental services, and your dental practice website displays that nicely, you can expect traffic coming towards you.
Your keywords will have to be on point for this. You don't necessarily have to target branded keywords here, but the keywords have a higher chance of being searched by the local populace. This is what local SEO is about; to target the local population.
For example, for a person who needs a dentist, he probably won't go outside searching for one, but he'll use Google and type "dentist near me".
For people who know about the services they need, you will have to position your keyword optimization accordingly. These include searches like "root canal in surrey", "wisdom teeth removal in tampa", "dental implants in melbourne", "dental scaling in sydney", "calculus removal in london", and other searches like these.
If you can rank better than your competitors for these searches, you can have patients visiting you over other dentists, regardless of where you are located. If you can successfully pitch your content in a way that can influence the decision of the patient. Such organic search results help drive business for dentists.
For example, if a better service or a better-made website can convince a patient to travel from Markham to Mississauga (places around Toronto in Canada), they would be willing to make the travel because their local SEO was optimized better. However, that may not always be the case, but it does happen.
Google My Business:
Getting a listing on Google My Business is easy and free. It comes with great benefits to your local SEO strategy.
- Claim your business address to be publicly visible on Google Maps
- Have a better way to display your contact information
- Have better access to Google Analytics
- Provide precise information about your services
- Make your business better linkable
- Display pictures of your clinic
- Publicly display patient reviews
GMB also requires you to post content regularly to keep yourself active in organic search results.
Encourage Reviews On Google:
The first time I had my dental surgery (wisdom teeth removal) appointment, I didn't go to my nearest dentist, but I went a little further because the search engine results for a particular dentist showed better reviews on their GMB profile.
GMB played a part in the search engine results to influence my decision and I'm sure that it would be the case for new patients as well. In a survey, 72% of patients look at online reviews as a first step in deciding on a doctor for themselves.
Whenever you have a satisfied patient, encourage them to leave a review on Google, because SEO for dentists will depend on the reviews and will contribute greatly to your dental marketing and organic search optimization.
If you're a new dentist, who's just getting started in their dental career, reviews would be an excellent way of attracting prospective patients and building a reputation at the start of your career.
To better understand the performance of your website and what kind of content is translating to appointments and leads, Google Analytics is your best bet.
Understanding analytics will help you gather valuable information regarding which areas and pages of your website are helping you gain patients, and which of them are lacking. Whether or not you're a dentist, analytics is an important part of all kinds of SEO efforts,
Backlinks are a great way to improve organic search results regardless of the search engine (Google, Bing, Baidu, or Yahoo). This is possible when you have great content on your website already.
Having backlinkable content improves your domain authority. To understand what domain authority is, suppose that a piece of content is posted on your website and a similar article is posted by the New York Times. Even if the SEO is better optimized for your website, the article in New York Times will rank higher because of the domain authority it has built over the years it's been in business. you can hire an SEO agency for link-building services too.
Have shareable and linkable content. Reach out to other dental and medical bloggers to ask if they can share your content.