So, you have your fantastic new dental website and can’t wait for the patients to start flocking in. But the weeks pass by and there doesn’t seem to be any improvement, what is happening? Surely a website should attract hundreds of new potential customers?
Indeed it should but a key aspect to make this happen is SEO – Search Engine Optimization. This is a vital process and something that all websites can benefit from including dental practices. To boost your new patient uptake and keep your website thriving we discuss SEO below and how to optimize your online dental content.
Why is SEO Important for Dental Practices?
- Competition for patients is something that all dental practices have to struggle for so any advantage you can gain is a big plus.
- SEO is one such way you can do this as it can boost your ranking on search engines like Google when customers are trying to find your business. With greater visibility on search engines, your online presence should improve and ultimately you should be able to attract a wider range of patients to your practice.
Five Simple Ways to Optimize Your Dental Website for SEO
SEO is a complex process but there are some great starting points for dental SEO. These are simple steps that anyone should be able to introduce without in-depth web development knowledge.
1. Research Relevant Local Keywords
The starting point of SEO is keywords as these are the words and phrases that potential customers will search for on Google. As dental practices typically serve a local area it’s advisable to research local keywords that utilize the town or city your surgery is in. Think about what a person might search for if they need to find a dentist or dental treatment. Phrases like “dentist in XXX”, “dental surgery in XXX”, or “dental treatment in XXX” could be useful for example where XXX is your location. Draft a list of keywords that local customers could search for and use tools like Google Keyword Planner to help research the phrases in more detail.
2. Create a Business Listing on Google My Business
Have you ever “Googled” a business and noticed that they have a proper profile complete with a map and customer reviews? Or maybe you’ve opened Google Maps and found a business in your hometown? These listings are possible by creating a Google Business Profile and this is a completely free service. Every dental practice should have a Google Business Profile and it should be as detailed as possible. You should include photos of your surgery and dentists, a link to your website, a business description that uses keywords, and important customer info like opening times and services provided. This is brilliant for SEO but it’s also a fantastic tool for potential customers too.
3. Optimize Your Website Content
Once you have created a list of relevant local keywords that you feel will attract new patients you must optimize your website for these phrases. If you optimize your content for those keywords, when people search for them on Google, you will have a better chance of ranking higher and thus getting new customers. Website optimization is an entirely separate subject and this could be where you need the help of professionals. You can do simple things to start like including keywords in the META title and description, including keywords in headings, and using keywords multiple times in any written content.
4. Create Useful Content for Your Patients
Your dental website will most likely have a set of generic pages like “About”, “Contact”, and “Services” and these are needed to give patients important information about your business. It’s also a great idea to provide other info that your patients can utilize too. The best way to do this is via a blog and you could have regular articles relating to dental hygiene, using mouthwash, and how to floss properly for example. This gives real value to patients and shows that you care but you can also use these blogs to add keywords and boost your SEO.
5. Encourage Patients to Leave Business Reviews
Google looks kindly on business reviews as it shows that your dental practice is active, has a customer base, and has a great reputation (hopefully!). It’s advisable to encourage patients to leave reviews on platforms like Google Business Profile, Trust Pilot, and any social media platforms you have. Always make sure that you reply to reviews thanking the customer, or addressing their concerns if this is possible too.
Implement These SEO Processes to make Your Dental Website Competitive
This is a fantastic starting point and by implementing these five things you should start to notice a difference in search engine results and website traffic. By optimizing your dental website you can stay ahead of the competition and make sure you are visible to potential local patients.