No one has to tell dentists that dentistry is a competitive field. Today, the web plays a crucial role in deciding where individuals go for dental services. When people are buying products or services, they Google what they’re looking for. Consequently, the higher your pages are in a SERP (search engine result page), the better. That’s why dental practice SEO (search engine optimization) is such a big deal. Your practice success may depend on it.
SEO is the path to better search results on Google. While there are other search engines out there, Google gets the vast majority of search requests. Therefore, Google will be our main focus here.
There’s a reason web developers talk about dental practice SEO strategies so much. And there’s a reason many dentists’ eyes glaze over when that happens. It seems tedious, which it is. However, it’s important for dentists to understand some of the basic elements that go into SEO so that they’ll better comprehend the procedure. In addition, this knowledge will help you better able to find the right web developer who understands dentistry as well as the technical demands of SEO.
Dental Practice SEO – An Introduction
Any SEO effort for dental practices requires research, planning and careful coordination in order to succeed. Among the factors that have to be examined include:
During a case presentation, you’re guiding a patient through the process. If you gave the patient a confusing case presentation, would that case be accepted? Probably not. In a similar way, a website’s navigation guides the viewer through your website. If you don’t have a functional website design, the viewer will leave and look at other practice websites. If your dental practice website has confusing menus that made it difficult to navigate, you’re likely to lose the viewer’s interest.
A website that never changes and rarely adds new material isn’t doing you any favors. Google wants to see websites adding new and original content on a regular basis. If you’re not doing that, your Google ranking will likely suffer. Whether it’s pages on popular elective services like tray whitening or other cosmetic dentistry procedures, you want to find engaging content marketing to inform viewers and keep them entertained when they return to the site.
Search engines jump from one website to another using backlinks. The more links from reputable sources to your site tells Google you can be trusted as a valuable source of information. As a result, you’ll rank higher than you would if these backlinks didn’t exist. Linking strategy can be difficult. For that reason, make sure you work with marketing companies that know how to execute an effective linking strategy.
Analyzing Your Dentistry Website
Like an initial exam on a patient, it’s necessary to look at your website for any obvious signs of problems as part of a dental practice SEO campaign. For example:
Are there orphan pages and dead ends?
An orphan page is one that the rest of your website doesn’t link to. It also doesn’t link back to your home page. It’s basically in limbo. These pages don’t add value to your website. Unfortunately, it’s easy to forget that they exist, especially if you’ve had your website for awhile.
Do you have enough internal links?
Internal links, as in links from one of your pages to another one of your pages, help make your website easier to navigate. Google will know if you have no internal links on your website. If they don’t find any, your ranking will likely be affected to some degree. Any effective dental practice SEO strategy takes this into account.
Do you have enough external links?
There should be some links from your practice’s website to other authoritative websites. Google wants to see this when it crawls your site. It’s also important that authoritative websites are linking to you. It’s another factor that tells Google your website is respected and useful to others.
Many dentists put together web pages with 100 or 200 words per page. Google considers that to be “thin content” and they will deem those web pages to be of little value to viewers. In other words, your ranking will suffer. Google wants to see pages that offer comprehensive information. Consider the absolute minimum word count for a page to be 300. However, they should ideally be significantly longer than that for the best content marketing.
Dental Practice SEO KPIs
You probably evaluate the success of your practice by looking at key performance indicators (KPIs) like case acceptance, fee-for-service vs. insurance, single-tooth appointments vs. comprehensive care, etc. These KPIs give you a snapshot of how your practice is doing at any given moment. In a similar way, SEO key performance indicators analyze your website’s structure and link profile, telling you how your SEO efforts are going at a glance. This information enables you and your marketing partner to access strategies and analytics related to web traffic to your site. SEO KPIs tell you whether you’re on-track or if tweaks need to be made to the overall marketing strategy.
Dental Practice SEO – Does Your Website Measure Up?
Dentists don’t have time to worry about maintaining a website. There’s plenty to do each day in the practice. To be successful, dentists must spend more than 90% of their time providing patient care. You’re dealing on a regular basis with things like case presentation, average production per patient and scheduling issues. You don’t want to get bogged down with things like, is your robots.txt file in order? Or do you have any internal 404 error codes on the website? That’s for your web developer to deal with.
You need a webmaster who knows dentistry and knows how to make dental practice SEO work in your favor by driving traffic to your website. More visits means more new patients and better patient retention. The key to increasing production in your dental practice has everything to do with driving more people to your website.
Dreamscape Marketing has created hundreds of websites for our healthcare clients. As a Premier Google Partner, we’re in a unique position to leverage our extensive search engine knowledge to optimize your website for better search engine rankings.
Are you ready to see what effective dental practice SEO can do for your dental practice? Call us today at 888.307.7304 or email us at [email protected]. Let’s take your practice’s website from good to great.