The medical field, particularly dentistry, is not lacking competition. Taking out radio or TV spots and a few display ads in local newspapers just isn’t enough anymore to set your practice apart.
You know your practice needs a well-designed website with quality content to be competitive. (If you’re wondering if it’s time to update or redesign your website, read this). For 71% of patients, their journey to find a dental practice starts online.1 So how do you make sure that journey leads your prospective patients to your practice?
Getting into the top spots on the search engine results page (SERP) is a proven method for increasing conversions. While any given search could produce numerous results pages, three out of four people never go to the second SERP,2 and the top three search results command 75% of all clicks.3
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to unlocking the top spots on the SERP. Here are four strategies to help you improve your SEO and drive conversions.
1. Target the Right Keywords
Every SEO strategy starts with keywords. Google’s keyword algorithms are dynamic, so the keywords you used five years ago probably aren’t the keywords you should target today. A cohesive, strategic list of keywords targeted to your ideal patients is the foundation of a solid SEO strategy. If your keyword list is out of date, take the time to update as soon as possible!
The purpose of SEO is to get your name in front of searchers looking for the services you have to offer—so target your keywords toward what you want prospective patients to know about your practice. Some examples of dental keyword searches include “best place to get a crown in [location],” “top dentist in [location],” or even “dentist to get fillings in [location]”. If you need more help identifying keywords, check out this keyword generator.
Multiword phrases, like those used in the example above, are known in SEO terms as “long-tail keywords”. Long-tail keywords are useful because they provide additional context around the searcher’s intent and generally have much better conversion rates than a word or two. Sites found using long-tail keywords convert 36%, while the top 10% of sites convert at just 11.45%.4 Think about how you use Google to search, and you probably won’t be surprised to learn that 70% of all searches are considered long-tail!
Once you’ve identified your target keywords, you’ll need to integrate them into your website’s content in a way that makes sense. Jamming as many keywords into your website as possible just to have them there—a practice known as “keyword stuffing” —will negatively impact your ranking on the SERP. Google’s algorithm takes user experience into account, so while you want to incorporate your chosen keywords you need to do so in ways that aren’t disruptive to the user’s experience of your website
2: Create a High-Quality Home Page
You know that first impressions are everything. A fact that is just as true in the digital world as in the real one. Remember the last time you visited a messy, incoherent website? You probably didn’t stay too long before leaving.
Dwell time—the length of time you spend on a website you’ve explored—is a known ranking factor. This means Google considers the average amount of time users spend on a page when determining which sites get the top spot on the SERP.
Don’t confuse dwell time with bounce time, which is not a ranking factor. Bounce time is the amount of time users spend on your homepage without exploring any other pages on the site. Dwell time is triggered once a user gets to a page on your site, then navigates to other pages on the same site.
What does this mean for your dental practice? You need a website design that invites users to click around and stay awhile. Patients who find your website should want to stay when they get there and navigate to other pages to learn more about your practice. Clean design, easy-to-understand content, helpful information, photos, and videos help increase dwell time.
3: Optimize Your Site for Local Search
The importance of paying attention to this type of query can’t be understated. Just under half of Google searches have local intent.5 This means the searcher is looking for a good or service in a specific location.
You can safely assume most searches related to finding a dentist will be local. So, make sure you’re weaving location into your keywords and mentioning every town or area you serve. You should also take advantage of online business listings. These listings are usually free and very localized.
4: Design Your Site for Mobile Use
An estimated 90% of potential patients will find your site while using a mobile device.6 For this reason, simply optimizing your site for mobile is no longer enough. Your site should be designed for mobile. User experience on a mobile device should be the primary focus of your website design as most potential patients will interact with your site on their phones.
Sites not created for mobile use are challenging to navigate, have slow loading times, and deliver little SEO value. To beat your competition, you need a well-designed mobile site people can easily access and understand.
Interested in improving your website’s SEO? Dreamscape’s team of dental digital marketing professionals will work with you to create and execute a custom digital marketing strategy to optimize your website, attract new patients, and grow your practice. Contact us at 888.307.7304 to get started.