Search engine optimization (SEO) often seems like a daunting task, but when done correctly it can greatly help your site’s visibility. While you might not have the time or money to implement a full SEO strategy, there are some recent changes at Google that can get your website in the best shape possible for organic search. So if you are just creating your dental website or already have one, you’ll want to take this information into account.
With Google’s recent updates a greater emphasis has been placed on having answers to questions. While this may seem like a complicated subject, what it ultimately means is that a rise in mobile phone use and voice searches has led to searches like “where’s the nearest dentist” as opposed to “dentist Salt Lake City downtown”. What this means for website owners is that you will want to make sure you have an easy to find (and index-able with text, not an image) address and phone number located on your site. Best practices would be to list your phone and address in your footer so that it shows on each page of your website, along with any other contact pages or banners with your contact information. Incorporating your city name and location into headers and around your website provides search engines with not only what you do, but where you are located so that your site can be properly accessed when answering a user’s question.
Blogging is a little more time intensive but it is highly recommended. Search engines love content and adding a blog to your website allows you to build in other searchable terms that might seem “forced” by placing them in your main website’s pages. A good tip is to always write for your readers first and SEO second. Don’t just stuff keywords into the blog to the point that it loses readability. Instead, think of what your patients would like to read about or share and then work search terms into the header and body of your articles.
Not sure where to start? Look around on some other dentistry blogs and see what types of articles get shared a lot (you can usually see social media icons with numbers next to them showing shares). Write about some things that your practice offers but aren’t represented on your website. A blog will take some time and effort to build up, but it can increase visibility and even help strengthen patient loyalty.
Time for a little bit of a refresher on the bread and butter of SEO. Take all the keywords that you want to be noticed for online and double (triple) check your pages so that they are optimized correctly. If you are building a page around a specific service, say invisalign, there’s a few areas that you’ll want to make sure that the phrase “invisilign” is included in. First make sure your headers have the keyword located in them, along with the first couple sentences of the page. The earlier on the page the keyword appears the better.If you have any images on the page, make sure their file names also include the keyword.
It’s important to remember that just “stuffing” the keyword into the page as many times as possible doesn’t work anymore, as search engines realized sites were just repeating the word as much as possible to try and trick search engines. So always make sure the page reads well to your patients first before worrying about how many times the keyword appears.
The Right Tools
Having multiple ways to tackle situations is good and SEO is no different. If your search results aren’t where they need to be, you can look into solutions such as LeadFire marketing portals. LeadFire works along with your website to capture new patient leads, automatically building specialized and targeted online portals based on the dental services you choose. These online portals are built to rank on the first page of Google, Yahoo and Bing search results, making sure your services are the first ones seen by new patients.