Dentistry is a highly competitive field. Consequently, dental practices are ratcheting up their marketing efforts to attract more new patients and retain the ones they have. Focusing on SEO strategies for dental practices is the most effective way to do that.
There are quite a few traditional ways to market your practice, such as print ads, TV ads, radio ads, direct mail, and social media. However, in the end, it’s your website that should receive the most attention. Why? Because that’s how people are most likely to find you.
There are dental practices out there that still believe placing ads in phone directories is all they need to do to promote themselves. Amazingly, some practices don’t even have their own websites. Others have websites but haven’t changed anything on them in years. Such dentists need to realize that their marketing techniques are outdated. In a technological world, being outdated can harm you. That’s why SEO strategies for dental practices are so important.
Imagine if you had a friend who still owns a VHS tape player, only watches old VHS tapes and insists the low-resolution tapes look as good as high definition Blu-Ray discs. Wouldn’t you find that a bit odd?
You don’t want people viewing your website like you view the friend watching VHS tapes. People don’t search for dentists by opening a telephone directory anymore. They use Google or some other search engine. As Dental Economics confirms, most patients look for a new dentist on Google. Dreamscape Marketing can confirm that this is happening across the entire spectrum of the healthcare field.
3 Practical SEO Strategies for Dental Practices
Without question, you need to have your dental practice website rank as highly as possible in Google searches. To do that, we advise you to begin with these basic initiatives:
Keywords & Keyword Research
The right keywords greatly influence the success of your dental practice website. Therefore, keyword research is an essential high-return activity that can’t be ignored.
Learning keyword demand in the field of dentistry helps you learn not only what terms and phrases to use, but it also makes it easier to understand your patients and their unique needs. Remember that it’s not necessarily bringing the most visitors to your site as it is about bringing the right visitors to your site. Effective SEO campaigns for dental practices will do that.
Keyword research can also help you:
- Predict any shifts in demand
- Respond faster to changes in the dental industry
Always ask yourself the following questions regarding keywords and your keyword research:
- Is this the right keyword for my website?
- Will users likely find my website when they type that keyword in their search?
- Is my website going to be what they were looking for?
- Will this result in increased production for my practice?
Concentrate on Content
As the top-ranked search engine by far, Google pretty much rules how your website is judged. Therefore, it’s best to understand how Google operates and why they do the things they do.
When Google “crawls” your practice’s website, it will assess its value to people doing searches. Your website is the sum of its parts. If your pages have been properly optimized for various dental keywords, your pages will rank higher than if you don’t. However, all SEO strategies for dental practices ultimately involve the quality of your dental content marketing.
Thin content is something that Google doesn’t want to see. Why? Because thin content provides little value to a person landing on your practice website. Therefore, populating your website with only a handful of pages that total 100 or 200 words each will not be appreciated by Google. You need longer, more detailed pages that will be of interest to patients.
For example, articles about popular elective services like tray whitening and various cosmetic dental procedures make perfect sense. People want to know more about things like cosmetic dentistry (whitening, veneers, etc.) They may also seek information on things like immediate load implants. Your branding strategy should involve creating well-written, easy-to-understand content on these subjects is an opportunity to show that you’re an expert on these services.
Links, Links, Links
Google wants to see websites linking to other websites of quality. When reciting statistics, for example, it’s appropriate to link to your source of information. You should always link to an authoritative source, just as you would include footnotes or end notes in a whitepaper. For example, linking to something like JADA, Compendium or Dental Economics obviously carries more weight than linking to some individual dentist’s blog.
A few cross links and outbound links are things that Google wants to see when it crawls your dental practice’s web pages. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing becomes a problem. Excessive links can make your page look undignified. Irrelevant links and unimportant text will annoy them. If readers sense that you aren’t giving them useful information on every page of your practice’s website, they’ll leave.
While you link from your website to others, you also want others (preferably others who are authoritative) linking to your site. If no one links to your practice’s website, Google will view your website as having lower value to people doing searches. SEO campaigns for dental practices include a number of link-building strategies, such as press releases, guest blogs on other sites, citations in dental directories, etc.
Is Your Dental Practice Website SEO-Friendly Enough?
To increase production in a competitive field like dentistry, you need to work with outside experts who know what it takes to improve a website’s Google ranking. Many marketers promise great SEO strategies for dental practices. Unfortunately, they don’t truly understand the healthcare field or dentistry, and that does you very little good.
As a Premier Google Partner, Dreamscape Marketing can leverage our extensive SEO experience for all healthcare clients. We’ve created hundreds of healthcare websites and authored more than 50,000 pages of web content. If you’re ready to take your practice’s website to the next level of success, we can help. Call us today at 888.307.7304 or email us at [email protected].