A website is a powerful marketing tool for any business, but it can be especially beneficial for dentists. In addition to providing basic information about your practice, a website can also help you attract new patients and build relationships with existing ones. However, simply having a website is not enough. To maximize the benefits of your online presence, you need to make sure that your site is visible to potential patients. In this article, we will discuss basic SEO for dentists.
What is SEO and how can it help my dental practice?
SEO, otherwise known as “search engine optimization” is a process of improving the visibility of your site in search engine results pages. By optimizing your site for relevant keywords, you can reach potential patients who are actively searching for dental services.
Each search on Google, or even on a click on a webpage has a dollar value of some amount. It can range from a fraction of a cent up to thousands and thousands of dollars.
If you are able to rank for relevant search terms in your area, you are capable of bringing in a lot of new business to your dental practice. Not only that, but you are able to do so at a fraction of the cost of other marketing channels.
SEO is an ongoing process, and it’s important to keep up with the latest trends and changes in the industry. However, there are some basic things that you can do to get started.
Website – Basic SEO for dentists part 1
Just by making a few simple changes to your website, you can start to attract more patients and grow your practice. In this section of the guide, we will explain the first part of the process.
If you don’t already have a website, you need to get one. Here’s the process for getting a good dental website up and running:
You need to choose a company to host your website. I generally like to buy my domains from the same place that I buy my hosting, just for simplicity sake.
There are a lot of different hosting companies out there, so it’s important to do your research and choose one that’s right for you. A couple things to consider with a hosting company:
- Location of their servers in proximity of your office (preferably the same country)
- Good, reliable service, and easy to work with
- Security certificates are free
If a hosting company offers those things, you are probably going to be fine. I prefer to work with Siteground, personally.
After you choose your hosting, you want to select a good domain name. Here are some things to consider when it comes to domain names:
- Keep it short and/or memorable
- .com is usually preferable
- Avoid hyphens
Don’t fuss about picking a name that matches your name of keyword if it’s not a good fit.
If your dental practice is called “Lake View Family Dental” in Reno, NV, you don’t have to go with lakeviewfamilydental.com. Especially if that is already taken. This is a chance for you to choose something shorter and memorable, like “lakeviewdental.com” or even “renodentist.com”. Something like that would be fine.
Now that you have your domain and hosting squared away, it’s time to choose a platform for your website. For dentists, I recommend WordPress. It’s relatively easy to use and there are a lot of great themes (pre-made designs) and plugins (additional features) available for it.
There are other platforms out there, but WordPress is my favorite. If you go with another platform, that’s usually fine. Just be sure to do your research and make sure it’s a good fit for you.
The next thing you need is an SEO plugin. This will help you to optimize your website for the search engines. I recommend Yoast SEO or RankMath. They are both great plugins for SEO.
Indexing – Basic SEO for dentists Part 2
The next thing you need to do is submit your website to the major search engines. This is called “indexing”. Indexing is basically when the search engine crawlers come to your site and add it to their database.
Without it, Google will still find you, but not quite as fast. Since SEO is slow enough of a process as it is, we don’t need anything else hindering our progress.
In order to be indexed quickly, you will need a sitemap. A sitemap is a file that tells the search engine crawlers what pages are on your site.
It is also important to have your site linked with Google Search Console and Google Analytics. This will allow you to track progress and find out which keywords are working to drive traffic to your site.
Keyword Research – Basic SEO for dentists Part 3
You’re almost finished laying the ground work for your site, but there are just a few more important steps.
While we use the term “keywords”, it might be more appropriate to call them “search terms” or “keyword phrases”.
For example, if someone was looking for a dentist in Reno, they might search “Reno dentist”, “dentist in Reno”, or “dental office near me”.
Those are all examples of keywords. As a general rule of thumb, you want to use keyword phrases that are:
- Relevant to your business
- Not too competitive
- Are valuable for your business
You can use a tool like Google Keyword Planner or Moz Keyword Explorer to research keywords. Once you have a list of potential keywords, you will want to start incorporating them into your website.
The title tag is the text that appears in the search engine results when someone searches for one of your keywords. It is also what appears at the top of your browser when you visit a website.
For example, if someone searched for “Reno dentist”, the title tag might say “Reno Dentist – Lake View Family Dental”.
Your title tag should be:
- Relevant to the page it is on
- Less than 60 characters
- Unique to each page
The meta description is the text that appears below the title tag in the search engine results. It is a chance for you to give a brief description of what someone will find on your webpage.
For example, if someone searched for “Reno dentist”, the meta description might say “Looking for a dental office in Reno? Look no further than Lake View Family Dental. We offer a wide range of services to meet your needs.”
Your meta description should be:
- Relevant to the page it is on
- Less than 160 characters
- Unique to each page
Headings are the large, bold texts that you see on a webpage. They help to break up the content and make it easier to read.
You want to use headings to:
- Break up your content
- Make it easy to read
- Include keywords
Internal links are links that go from one page on your website to another page on your website.
They are important because they:
- Help the search engine crawlers find your content
- Tell the search engines what your website is about
- Make it easy for people to navigate your website
External links are links that go from your website to another website.
They are important because they:
- Show the search engines that your website is a reliable source of information
- Make it easy for people to find more information about the topics you are discussing on your website
That is why it is important to link to webpages with good authority on the subject you are discussing. If you link to a spammy site, that could hurt your ranking.
When you are adding links to your website, you want to make sure that they are:
- Relevant to the content on the page
- Not broken
- Not going to a spammy website
Technical SEO is the process of making sure that your website is set up in a way that makes it easy for the search engines to find and index your content.
One of the most important aspects of technical SEO is site speed. You want to make sure that your website loads quickly because:
- People are impatient and will leave if your site is slow
- Slow sites are penalized by the search engines
You can use a tool like Google PageSpeed Insights to check the speed of your website.
Another important aspect of technical SEO is mobile-friendliness. With more and more people using their phones to access the internet, it is important to make sure that your website looks good and is easy to use on a mobile device.
You can use a tool like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see if your website is mobile-friendly.
Read more about Technical SEO for dentists.
After you have taken care of your website, you can focus on building your content. Content is what will really set your website apart from the competition.
When creating content, you want to make sure that it is:
- Relevant to your target audience
- Unique (don’t plagiarize someone else’s content)
- Well-written and structured
Your goal should be to create a user friendly experience on Google.
Here are some ideas for content:
- Dental tips and FAQs
- Educational blog posts
You want to create new content on a regular basis. A dental blog is a perfect way to churn out new content. One to two new articles per month is a good goal to shoot for, but the more you can do, the better.
Link building is the process of getting other websites to link to your website.
It is important because more quality links pointing to your website equals higher ranking.
The quality of the websites linking to you matters more than the quantity. You want to focus on getting links from websites that are:
- Relevant to your website
- High quality (have a good reputation or high domain authority)
There are a few ways to get links from other websites:
- Create great content and hope people link to it
- Reach out to other website owners and ask them for a link
- Do guest blogging
Links from relevant websites are worth more than links from irrelevant websites.
Basic SEO for dentists summary
We hope this guide on basic SEO for dentists was helpful to you. Now that you have read it, you have a better understanding about what it takes to rank on Google. Even if you don’t want to do the work yourself, it is nice to know what you are asking to be done for you.
Does basic SEO for dentists still feel like a lot of work?
If you think you need help with your SEO, contact AdPro4U. We have an expert team that knows how to rank dentists on the first page of Google! We look forward to hearing from you.