Dentists running their practices lead hectic lives, so it’s understandable if you have put off getting into SEO. However, SEO is vital for any modern business’s chances to succeed. Consumers are increasingly likely to use a search engine to help them locate a local dentist, so you could be losing out on a lot of potential patients without an optimization strategy. Here are seven tips that will help you improve your search engine performance:
- Claim A Variety Of Local Listings
- Using Local Keywords
- Ask For Reviews
- Inform The Public What You Do
- Ensure That Your Listings Are Consistent
- Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
- Write A Blog
1. Claim A Variety Of Local Listings
The first step in getting search engines to prioritize your business is to claim a local business listing on platforms such as Google My Business, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local. Search engines smile upon business owners who have filled out and verified their listing on these services, and doing so is 100 percent free of charge.
While you’re filling out your company’s information, it is essential to be both thorough and accurate. Be sure to update all of your listings if your phone number, address, or any other critical information changes.
2. Using Local Keywords
The average private dental practice has no chance of rating highly for extremely competitive search terms such as “dentist,” but thankfully you don’t need to. Individuals almost always seek a dentist in their local city or neighborhood, meaning that it is good enough to rank well for “neighborhood name dentist .” For example, a dentist in Richmond, BC would be more interested in his ranking for “Richmond BC dentist” than he would be for “dentist” or even “BC dentist.”
It is important to remember local neighborhoods and alternative names when selecting your local keywords. For instance, the dentist above may need to rank highly for “dentist downtown Richmond BC” if he wants to attract patients just in the downtown area of Richmond, while a more specific listing such as “dentist Steveston” may appeal to a hyper-local prospective customer base. The best way to know which terms are essential for you is to see what your competitors are using.
3. Ask For Reviews
Positive reviews have the apparent benefit of reassuring prospective patients of your skills and reputation, but they can also boost your SEO. Positive reviews on sites such as Yelp feature prominently on Google as well, so they are read by many who would never visit the source site. Reviews posted on your local listing above are also extremely prominent, especially since Google’s search engine algorithm considers reviews for its rankings.
The best way to get a patient to leave a review is to just ask for one. Reviewers tend to stress the courtesy of your office staff and how long they had to wait before you could see them, so excel in these two areas if you want the most favorable reviews.
4. Inform The Public What You Do
It may be tempting to provide a link to your website and expect potential clients to visit it, but this does not always happen. Instead, try to include all of your information in every listing you have. Not only will this entice more people to visit your site, but it will also appeal to patients looking to limit the hassle on their end.
For example, a dentist with a specialty in pediatric dentistry should mention this fact in every online listing they can. This will help them rank well in searches for their area of specialization while simultaneously encouraging prospective clients to give them a closer look.
5. Ensure That Your Listings Are Consistent
Search engines are smart and getting smarter, but they’re still prone to dumb mistakes. For instance, if your NAP (name, address, phone number) information varies between listings, search engines assume that it is two or more separate practices! This is true even if the discrepancy is silly, such as writing out Avenue in your address on your website but shortening it to Ave. on Google My Business. Make sure that every listing is perfectly identical for the best SEO performance.
Another common problem for dentists is an inconsistent name. John P. Smith, DDS and Smith Dental Associates, Inc. could well be the same company, but search engines may not realize it. Pick one name and use it throughout your entire digital footprint.
6. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
As more people browse the internet on a tablet, smartphone, or another device, it is becomingly increasingly important for your website to run well on these devices if you hope to secure their business. One easy way to do this is to ensure that the guts of your site use responsive design, guaranteeing that it automatically adjusts to any screen size. Click here to see a dentist’s site that is mobile-friendly.
It is also easy to test your page’s performance on mobile. Google offers a Mobile Friendly Test to give you a baseline of what customers can expect. You should also try to access your site using a variety of devices and internet browsers for firsthand knowledge of what prospective patients are experiencing.
7. Write A Blog
Finally, a blog is a great way to help Google’s algorithm find you. It loves content that updates or changes over time, so a site that lists only critical business information can start to feel stale. A maintained blog ensures that this never happens to your site, keeping it relevant indefinitely.
Dentists have a broad variety of topics to blog about, including mouth maintenance tips, scientific breakthroughs, and dietary information. Topical keywords or your areas of specialization are also strong subjects to consider writing on. Your blogs will also add additional keywords to your site, helping search engines respect you as the authority figure in your industry that you are.
The seven tips above can help transform a dental practice with mediocre SEO ratings into a leader in their local market. Good luck!