SEO for Orthodontists
People used to search the phone book for an orthodontist. Now they go online and use search engines like Google to find a professional worth calling.
Consumers who search online for businesses typically narrow their choices down to the first few listings that come up in their search. The ranking of the search results that appear there depends on a practice called search engine optimization, or SEO. And your business can use SEO to make appearing in those results much more likely.
SEO for orthodontists is probably a relatively new concept to you—but it’s one you should be aware of. As more people turn to the Internet for information, more businesses are ramping up their efforts to reach them, using websites, social media, and local directories to get their attention.
If you want to keep your practice afloat and gaining the most visitors possible online, you’ll need to improve up your marketing efforts. And that starts with improving your SEO.
This page provides an overview of SEO and why it’s so important to your orthodontic practice. You’ll also get advice on how to start a successful SEO strategy that will attract more visitors thanks to an impressive online presence.
Let’s start by going a little more in-depth into what SEO is and how it works.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization involves improving, or optimizing, your website for search engines to ensure your site ranks as high as possible. At the most basic level, this involves adding certain words and phrases that people are searching for—typically called keywords—to your content. However, effective SEO isn’t that quick or that simple.
Search engines use much more than keywords to determine where websites rank for any given search. They also consider factors like how quickly your website loads, whether or not it is mobile-friendly, how long visitors stay on your site, the number of links directed at your pages, and so on. This means that optimizing your site requires much more than putting words on a page.
Additionally, SEO becomes more complex when you consider that all of your competitors are implementing it as well. Every other office in your area is researching keywords, acquiring online publicity, and creating content that’s relevant to prospective patients. The harder they try, the higher they rank, and you have to work just as hard to keep up.
Additionally, the right keywords depend on the type of user you want to reach. People don’t just search for orthodontists—they search for orthodontists in a particular area or that perform particular services. Your SEO strategy needs to target the individuals looking for these specific criteria.
In short, SEO is an ongoing process that has the potential to be complex and time-consuming. However, the results are absolutely worth it, as we’ll explain next.
What Are the Benefits of SEO for Orthodontists?
The main reason to implement SEO is to rank higher in search engine results. The higher you rank, the more clicks you will get from people who are searching for orthodontists online. Because a vast majority of people choose to click on the first few search results, it pays off to occupy the top spots for relevant searches.
Here are just a few reasons why search engine rankings—and, consequently, SEO—should matter to you:
You’ll Get More Website Visitors
Studies show 70 percent of search engine users click organic listings when they perform a search, three times more often than paid listings. More than half of those clicks go to the first three results for any given query.
The higher your site’s ranking, the more visitors it will attract. And with more visitors, you’ll get better opportunities to convert the people browsing your website into patients.
SEO Costs Less Than Other Methods
SEO isn’t free, but it’s significantly less expensive than paid search, display ads, and many other marketing techniques. Given the traffic that comes into high-ranking sites, your practice could generate more leads with a smaller financial investment.
SEO Offers Better Targeting
Right now, you may be using broad keywords on your website like “orthodontist” or “get braces.” By utilizing SEO, you’ll be able to better target the people who are looking for services in your specific area. This may involve updating your keywords to something like “orthodontist in [your city],” or “where to get braces in [your state].”
What Can Orthodontists Do to Boost Their Website Rankings?
Now that you know why SEO for orthodontists is so important, you need to start implementing it. Search engine visibility doesn’t happen overnight, and even after you’ve achieved your goals, you’ll need to keep working to maintain your standing.
Try out some of these helpful tips to get started with SEO on your website.
Use Sensible URLs
Search engines don’t know what to do with random strings of numbers and letters. If your URLs (that is, the addresses of your pages) don’t contain the words and phrases you want to rank for, you’re missing out on a great SEO opportunity. Check each URL in your website and make sure they clearly explain what the page includes.
For instance, your “About Us” page should be named something like about-us.html. But if you write a page about the importance of dental care, it should be something like About Us” page should be named something like about-us.html. But if you write a page about the importance of dental care, it should be something like why-dental-care-matters.html. As you can see, there’s a search phrase right there in the URL!
Just be careful not to overdo it. Don’t insert a bunch of keywords or phrases into your page titles or URLs in an attempt to rank them better. why-kids-need-braces.html is a normal URL. kids-braces-dallas-austin-texas-dental-care.html is considered “keyword stuffed,” and may actually hurt your rankings.
Start a Blog
Of course, you want people to come to your office to take care of their orthodontic needs. That doesn’t mean you can’t provide some free advice before their first visit. One way to attract new patients who are searching online—and showcase your expertise—is to create content that educates them.
If you don’t know what to write about, consider answering patients’ questions about dental health and hygiene. You’ll gain the trust of new patients, and the large amount of content on your website will catch the attention of search engines.
Since blog posts typically include a high number of keywords, and you’re likely to write them into your content without even thinking about it, they can offer a huge boost to your SEO.
Leverage Local SEO
Nobody wants to travel far for orthodontic services, so they’ll narrow their search to local professionals. To be seen by these prospects, make sure your SEO strategy includes local SEO.
Use your town and nearby towns as keywords in your copy, meta descriptions, or even in your domain name and page titles, if it makes sense. Also, get your site listed in local directories like Google Maps and Yelp. This helps prospective patients find your practice, which will eventually bring them to your website.
Search engines consider the trustworthiness of a website when ranking it for relevance. That’s why link building is an important part of SEO. When other people add links to your site, it’s a signal to search engines that you have content worth linking, and that your site is trusted by them. This can help improve your rankings dramatically.
Acquiring links takes time, though. Unless you are actively asking other website owners for links, you’ll need to create compelling content that people naturally want to link. In the meantime, try to add internal links so visitors can quickly travel from one page of your site to another, building up page views—and rankings—along the way.
Start Your SEO Strategy Today
Whether they dread dental work or can tolerate it, people prefer visiting an orthodontist who has the expertise and bedside manner to make the visit as painless as possible. Ultimately, it’s up to you to make the visit pleasant, but SEO can help create a good first impression.
If you aren’t already utilizing SEO on your website, try one or two of these tips to get started. Don’t think you’ll have the time to optimize your site for searches? Give us a call to find out how we can implement SEO for you, boosting your site to the top of the search engines and attracting more new patients than ever before.
Ready to try SEO for yourself? Need the help of an expert? Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to find out how WebpageFX can help you attract more potential patients from search engines.