SEO. You know it’s important. Especially for a dental business. But what are the best strategies to improve your online visibility and rank higher on search results?
Search engines are the driving force behind most of your website traffic. Effective search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for gaining online exposure and capturing new market share. And it’s one of the primary ways you can convert digital visitors into new patients.
SmileShop Marketing works exclusively in the dentistry space to help businesses grow across all digital platforms. We partner with your business to showcase your brand and your practice to the communities that matter.
Here are 10 steps to improve your SEO strategy that will help your dental website rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Step 1: Make Each Page Targeted & Specific
Create separate pages on your website for each dental service you offer. Don’t have just one page that contains all of your services. Make a unique landing page with content tailored to each distinct dental service or resource.
If you do this, Google can figure out what each page is about and rank it more appropriately in search results. A page dedicated to “pediatric dental exams” has more relevance than a page listing all of your services, including “pediatric dental exams.”
Make sure each page of your website follows these guidelines:
- Use structured data (code that search engines like to read).
- Ensure the title, URL, and description are accurate and include dental keywords.
- Above all else, be designed for people.
- Localize each page and target your regional market.
- Have clear and concise page titles (ie. “Dental Exams & Cleanings in New York”).
Master Meta Titles
The sections of a web page that tell search engines what the page is about are known as meta titles and descriptions. These are significant for SEO and affect whether or not your site appears in search results. When web pages appear on a search engine results page, the meta title and description are the text you see.
These meta rules will help improve your website’s SEO:
- The title should be between 55 and 65 characters long.
- The meta description should be between 150 and 160 characters long.
- Use keywords where possible, but keep it natural.
- Always write for humans, not search engines.
Step 2: Create Inspiring Content
A site’s usefulness, as well as its reputation and traffic, are influenced by the material it offers. The content must be useful to readers. This is why Google and other search engines evaluate websites based on their relevance to a search. Simply putting keywords on a website isn’t enough; the page’s substance and context must also be engaging and informative.
Inspiring content will also help convert website traffic into dental patients. So producing relevant, quality content should always be your intent. Your content that ranks high and performs the best is called “skyscraper content.” This content should be showcased, updated, and promoted.
Follow these best practices when creating web page content:
- Answer the search term with compelling content.
- Include location tags.
- Make sure your content is original and unique, even within your site.
- Don’t duplicate content.
- Don’t publish thin content (content with no value to the user).
- Invest in long-form content, like blogs and animations.
Prioritize User Experience
Your bounce rate describes users who leave your site without taking any actions. A positive user experience (UX) will keep people on your website longer and lower your bounce rate. This is a key factor in improving SEO. Google values a UX that makes it easy for people to navigate your site and find the information they want.
Improve the UX for your visitors by:
- Using engaging visuals.
- Making sure pages don’t take long to load.
- Creating mobile-friendly web pages.
- Optimizing for voice commands.
Step 3: Offer Free Information to Everybody
Give your community free information. Expert advice is a great way to enhance trust in your brand. Newsletters, blogs, and eGuides can all provide information a future patient may be looking for. This not only increases downloads and shares on social media but also allows you to demonstrate that you’re an expert in the field.
High-value free resources are clicked, shared, and downloaded frequently. They should also:
- Include share-worthy content that earns links, citations, and amplification.
- Add value to your website.
- Be easy to share across all platforms.
Step 4: Claim All of Your Local Listings
It’s a great idea to have other companies link to your website, but make sure it’s only reputable ones that do so. Using local directories is an effective strategy for increasing the online visibility of your dental business. If possible, try claiming listings on Google My Business, Yelp, Yahoo! Local, Bing, and other platforms.
Your directory listings should always include the following:
- Your practice name
- Phone number
- Website URL
- Email address
Step 5: You Must Optimize for Mobile
The majority of users today go online with a mobile device. That’s why your dental practice must have a mobile-friendly website. You’re losing out on more than half of your potential patients if you don’t have one! Visitors will quickly depart from your site if it isn’t mobile-friendly or takes too long to load (more than 3 seconds).
Optimize your mobile load speeds by::
- Compressing images before uploading them.
- Removing unnecessary plugins.
- Minimizing redirects.
- Enabling caching.
Step 6: Enhance Pages With Video Content
Video content on a dental website can improve rankings and encourage more visitors. Dynamic content is an excellent tool for keeping people engaged and curious. Plus, Google enjoys websites that include videos. Use a responsive design to ensure that your videos look great on a variety of screen sizes.
Follow these tips when adding videos to your website:
- Make them accessible for all by including captions and a video transcript.
- Use an eye-catching thumbnail.
- Always include a meta title and description.
- Highlight videos and make them a focus.
- Have your video hosted on YouTube.
Step 7: Target High-Traffic Keywords
Keyword research is one of the most essential elements in any SEO strategy. When people are looking for an answer on the internet, their search terms are known as keywords. Good SEO means determining which keywords to target for your website and improving your content and web pages around those themes.
Ask yourself, what do people type when they search for dentistry?
Google’s Keyword Planner is a research tool (amongst others) you can use to research keywords. Use these keyword research strategies:
- Ask yourself how people would search for a topic.
- Find trending keywords.
- Research competitor keywords.
- Use geo-specific tags.
- Learn what questions are being asked about dentistry.
Keyword Do’s & Don’ts
You know that keyword usage is crucial for SEO. But you should be careful how you use keywords, especially if they’re more generic ones. Don’t “stuff” your web pages with keywords. Keywords should be used just as you would during normal conversation. Here are the three key principles when it comes to using keywords in your website:
- Keywords Should Be Natural
- Keywords Should Be Relevant
- Keywords Should Match the Intent of the Search
Step 8: Have Lots of Internal Links
Internal links send users to other pages of your website. They help keep people on your site longer by giving them easy access to other content they are interested in. Internal links are also a great way to integrate a call-to-action.
Google believes your content is more relevant when internal links connect similar information. When you use internal linking, try to link to related service pages or posts with the same topic.
Some advice on including internal links:
- Link to older posts on the same topic.
- Include keywords in your anchor text (the words that users can click on).
- Link to relevant pages, not just homepages.
- Make sure links are active and lead to the correct page.
Step 9: Activate Your Google My Business Account
A Google My Business account will help improve your SEO. You can create a free business listing for your dental practice on Google Maps using a Google My Business account. Potential patients will be able to find you sooner as a result of this. The more information you include in your ad, the better.
Your Google My Business account should include:
- Phone number and email
- Hours of operation
- Photos of your practice
- Website address
Google My Business accounts are free so it’s a total mistake to not have this set up. Learn about the other top marketing mistakes dental businesses are making with this eGuide.
Step 10: Create Rich Snippets
Snippets are the collections of data that appear after performing a search. They contain information about a web page, such as the meta title, description, and URL.
A rich snippet is a more thorough search result for a certain website or web page. Rich snippets might include pictures, reviews, prices, and other information that can help visitors decide whether they want to visit your site. Enhanced snippets are created using schema markup, which is specific code that specifies how the snippet should be composed.
There are many types of rich snippets, so pick ones that are most relevant to your dental practice. The following are some of the top SERP snippets to include or link to:
- Favicons (little square icons you see in a browser)
Winning SEO Strategy
The intricacies of SEO may be intimidating. But you’ll be well on your way to improving your website’s position and visibility with these 10 steps for success.
To learn more about a strong digital marketing plan for 2022, read this strategy for dentists and dental professionals. SmileShop Marketing specializes in helping dental practices expand their online presence to build their business.
SEO strategy is a dynamic field that is constantly changing. But the right steps and strategies can make your website a winner. Reach out to our SEO experts at SmileShop Marketing to book a free website audit or inquire about any other marketing needs.