SEO for Dentists: How to Reach More Patients Online
Dentists are quickly learning the importance of marketing their practices online. They’re redesigning their websites to keep in contact with patients and attract new ones, and some of them are even adopting content marketing strategies to get more shares on social media. However, these creative marketing efforts will go unnoticed if they aren’t optimizing for search engines. That’s where search engine optimization, or SEO, comes in.
People used to search for dentists in the Yellow Pages, but now they go online. They usually don’t look beyond the first page of results, so sites that don’t rank highly are ignored. Whether you’re new to the profession or run a longstanding dental practice, SEO is essential to finding new patients—and keeping them.
On this page, you’ll get an overview of SEO and why you need it for your practice, as well as a few basic SEO tips to help you get started.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Put simply, it’s the process of helping your website rank higher in search results on sites like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. When your website ranks higher, you stand a better chance of generating clicks and attracting visitors to your site. Of course, you'll need to have a quality site in place for this to work. If you don't, head on over to our page on web design for dentists.
It takes a lot to boost search engine rankings. Some of these methods are relatively simple, such as revising copy or updating the “behind the scenes” code that powers your website. Other methods take more effort, and you may have to rely on help from web designers and other SEO experts to get them done properly.
SEO isn’t something you think about once and then ignore. It takes regular maintenance and monitoring to adapt to changes in search engines, as well as the changes in consumer needs. To generate more interest in your dental practice, ongoing SEO management is a must.
What’s the Importance of SEO for Dentists?
If you’re a dentist, SEO marketing might not be high on your list of priorities. Then again, without search engine optimization, almost no one will be able to find your site. Consider these findings compiled by Search Engine Watch:
- Up to 60 percent of website traffic comes directly from organic (natural, unpaid) search results.
- Organic search is the largest driver of revenue, even surpassing paid advertising.
- Websites that aren't mobile-friendly cost businesses 68 percent of search traffic they could have received otherwise.
In addition to these statistics, Search Engine Journal reports about 37 percent of searchers click on the top result, while 60 percent click on one of the top three. If your practice’s site achieves this kind of ranking, that means more website traffic, more qualified leads, greater credibility and authority, and, ultimately, more patients for your practice.
It's also important to keep in mind that your competitors are likely already investing in search engine optimization. This means that they are already benefiting from the exposure that SEO brings them, and attracting local patients to their practices before these consumers ever know you exist. SEO might be your only chance to get in front of patients who turn to the Internet to research dentists in their area—do you want to keep missing out?
Better yet, if your competitors aren't already investing in dental SEO for their practices, this is a fantastic opportunity for you to get in front of them and attract more patients to your practice before they get the opportunity. You already know that your practice is the best one in the area—with a fantastic looking website and great SEO, you can prove it.
What is Needed to Develop Good Dental Practice SEO?
Any marketing plan requires knowing where to reach your target audience and how to reach them. SEO is no exception. When you address the needs of dental patients, you get their attention. This attention raises your rankings, which garners even more attention, and the cycle continues.
Here are some things your practice can do to begin the process of developing good SEO for your website.
Add Relevant Keywords
Yes, prospective patients search for dentists, but they also search for specific services, from teeth whitening and bridges to annual exams for kids. “Long-tail searches,” which are made up of several words, have lower search volumes, but the traffic that comes in from these queries is often highly targeted and ready to convert into a real customer.
For example, rather than focusing on optimizing your website simply for “dentist” or “dental services,” you might make sure that your website includes keywords like “dentist in [your city]” or “children’s dentist in [your area],” or even “broken tooth repair in [city], [state].” These are long-tail keywords.
Also, when optimizing your website, make sure to include keywords and phrases that describe all the services you provide. For example, don’t just use words like “dentist” or “dental services” in your website’s copy and URLs. Use words like “root canal,” “porcelain crown,” and the names of procedures you perform or products you offer.
Optimize for Local Searches
When it comes to health and medicine, people look for local service providers. You’re missing these prime prospects if your SEO plan doesn’t target specific geographic areas. The easiest way to improve your results is by adding the name of your town and nearby towns to your website copy.
However, don’t forget about other areas of your site—don’t just improve your copywriting. You should also add locations to your page titles and URLs.
Also, ensure you’ve registered your business on Google Maps and local directory sites, which will help improve your visibility in local searches even further.
The ultimate goal of SEO is to attract more patients through increased search engine visibility. That doesn’t mean they have to pay for all of your knowledge and expertise, though.
For an experienced dentist, SEO marketing should be as much about building credibility as it is generating revenue. Blogging is one way to do that. By writing a blog with dental care tips, you will start to attract interested readers and potential patients.
As your traffic grows, your search rankings will also rise, and you will become an authoritative source and first choice for those looking for a dentist in your area.
Need Help With Your SEO? Give Us a Call!
Now that you understand the importance of SEO for dentists, you probably have a lot of questions about how to get started. Don’t let all the do’s and don’ts of SEO overwhelm you—call WebpageFX and let our experts guide you to the top of the search engines!
We’ve helped hundreds of clients—including several dentists—boost their search engine rankings through a variety of SEO services. Our team of experienced professionals knows how to drive more visitors to your website and help you attract new patients to your practice.
If you’re ready to start improving your SEO but don’t have the time or staff to do it, let us know. Our affordable SEO plans will give you the presence you need to attract more patients, and you’ll barely have to lift a finger. Give us a call or fill out our simple online contact form today to get in touch with us for a no-obligation quote. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Ready to start reaching more patients online? Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to find out how WebpageFX can help your practice grow with a SEO plan.