Learn to Master Dental SEO
included purchasing expensive yellow page ads or changing your practice name
to AAAAAAAAA Dental Care so you would appear first on a page. But with the
advent and popularity of the Internet and local search, website optimization –
also known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — has increased in relevance
and prominence for all small business, especially Dentists. The following is a list
of the top things your practice should be doing to optimize your web presence.
Keyword Research (Web Expertise Level: Low)
Keyword research simply means researching the terms that people search for
in relation to dentistry, then including those keywords in your website content.
Whether you have an established site or are just beginning to build one, be sure
to include keyword research as a step when creating or updating web content.
Focus keywords on local terms that are most likely to reach patients in your
demographic. Don’t spend a lot of time on a general term such as “Dentist” as
this will yield well over a million(!) results, making it impossible for your site to
show near the top. Instead, research keywords that include local terms like zip
codes, city names, neighborhoods, shopping centers and local attractions.
Profiles (Web Expertise Level: Low)
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of websites dedicated to providing
businesses with a contact/landing page. Search engines tend to love these
pages — especially in local search — and all you have to do is claim and confirm
your business to get started. The most popular of these pages is Google Places.
A page on Google Places for Dentists is easy to start and content edits are a breeze. You can even include your own photos, social media links, maps, hours and much
more. Other websites you might want to consider claiming your business on
include: Yelp, foursquare, bing, Yahoo, and Merchantcircle.
Website Pages (Web Expertise Level: Moderate)
happen to provide search engines with a vast amount of highly differentiated
website. It provides search engines with keywords and phrases that can help
trigger organic search results. The page should include your educational
background and years in practice, your practice philosophy, and anything else
you feel makes your practice unique and helps set it apart from local competitors.
page with a visible address allows Google to more accurately return search
results in a given geographical area. Having an up-to-date “Contact Us” page
helps ensure potential patientsin your demographic area will see your practice!
-Services – Creating separate pages for the types of services you offer is one
of the best ways for patients to find you organically through search. Imagine a
patient is having severe tooth pain, and would like to find a dentist that uses
sedation dentistry. If you have a “Sedation Dentistry” page, search engines will
find and return that page for that search term, and you’ll reach a potential new
Technical Optimization (Web Expertise Level: High)
– Title Tags tell the search engine what each page of your website (and the
internet for that matter) is called. Title tags are one of the top SEO ranking
factors. Be sure your title tags are descriptive, contain localized keywords and
are shorter than 70 characters. URLs and Domain Names with the keyword included are very strong SEO
indicators. i.e. agavedental.com/about-us
– Image Title and Alt Tags – All images need three key things in order to be
ranked well in image search:
1. File Names – all images should have an image description in the file name. i.e
<img src=”http://www.yourwebsite.com/images/toothdecay. /> from this one URL
you might have a pretty good idea of what the image is about.
2. Alt Tags – All images should also include an alt tag. The alt tag is used when
the image cannot load, or is unavailable. It should be purely descriptive and
contain keywords similar to the image file name. i.e <img alt=”Tooth decay
casued by drinking soda src=”http://www.yourwebsite.com/images/toothdecay. />
Now we are really starting to see a picture develop, all without the image.
3. Title Tags – Title Tags provide additional information about the image when
a user hovers their mouse over it. i.e <img title=”This is what drinking soda
everyday does to teeth. Avoid tooth decay!” alt=”Tooth decay caused by drinking
soda” src= ”http://www.yourwebsite.com/images/toothdecay. /> That gives a very
clear description of what this image looks like without even having to see it!
This is what search engine and patients are looking for: honest descriptions of
the images on your website.
Whether you do it yourself or hire someone to help, remember to always write
and code your website for humans. SEO rankings are great, but not at the
expense of losing potential patients to a bad interaction or user experience.
Search engines are dedicated to spotting and removing “spammy” websites from
Think about the information your patients will be searching for and write and code
for that. As you do so you’ll see an increase in organic traffic — and revenue!