Dental SEO and Why You Need It

Dental SEO has become a very important part of any web strategy that a dental practice has. SEO, for those who don’t know, is Search Engine Optimization. The art of optimizing factors on and off your website to improve its search rankings.

Every month, over 1.5 billion people use a search engine and over 20 billion searches are performed. Here are some amazing facts about search engines and their users from Search Engine Journal:

  • 70-80% of users ignore paid adverts
  • 75% of users never scroll past the first page of results
  • SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, whilst direct mail & advertising leads have a 1.7% close rate
  • 18% of clicks on a search go to the site in position #1
  • 93% of online experiences start with a search engine
  • 39% of customers come from search engines
  • 82.6% of Internet users use search engines

So you see, you can’t ignore search engines, and you can’t ignore SEO. Dental SEO has become a very competitive industry thanks to the facts above. It’s become more important than ever for your dental practice to be #1 in key local searches.

How Does Dental SEO Work?

Dental SEO has one simple aim: get your website to the top of the search results in order to get you more leads. So how do we do this? DentalWebsiteDesign.com offers complete SEO packages for dental practices to ensure that you have more time to spend on the things that matter to you: your practice and your patients.

However, if you want a do-it-yourself approach to Dental SEO, then please read on, as we show you the basics of what we’d recommend that you do.

1. On Page SEO

On-page SEO

On Page SEO diagram from Moz.com

We’ve written an in-depth blog article which you can read here, outlining our recommendations for on-page SEO. We’ll offer a brief introduction to some techniques here:

  1. Content:  provide good content on every page which provides your users with an answer to a question, or provides excellent information on a subject which they’re interested in. With a dental practice, this could be treatment information or dental health recommendations.
  2. Title: using keywords in your title tag is one of the best things you can do for your on-page SEO. They are one of the most important factors in SEO.
  3. URL: include your keywords in the URL of your website page.
  4. Images: using images on your website helps to break up the text, and can provide extra web visitors from image searches. Always add “alt” tags and “title” tags for your images
  5. Keywords in your content: your keywords should be mentioned several times within your content. But keep it in context – everything should make sense to your reader.
  6. Interlinks: link to other relevant or useful content across your website. It helps the reader and impresses the search engines

Of course, on-page optimization is all very well, but there is a great deal to do which doesn’t involve your website at all. That is called off-page SEO.

2. Off Page Dental SEO

Off-page SEO refers to the practice of helping to rank your website higher in search engines by relying on other websites to help to promote your own web page.

Why is Off-page SEO so important? Since search engines began to be a popular way of finding information, they have been trying to find ways to make the search experience better for the user. To do that, search engines take into consideration on-page and off-page SEO as well as some other quality factors.

Off-page SEO gives the search engines an idea of how popular your content is with other websites and other web users. A useful web page is likely to have more links to it, more Facebook likes and more retweets.

A successful off-page SEO strategy will increase your website ranking, and give your site more exposure, which after all, is what we need.

There are a few popular methods of off-page optimization. Here are some of those methods:

  1. Link Building: By building links to your website (from other sites), you are essentially getting “votes”, allowing you to increase your standing over competitors websites. The best way to get high quality backlinks is to receive natural links from other websites in the industry. However, many site owners decide to use other strategies, and get backlinks from various other sources. I would not recommend doing this, as you’re likely to get a penalty from Google. Here are those places, for those who are interested:
    1. Blog directories
    2. Forums
    3. Website comment links
    4. Article Directories
    5. Link exchanges
  2. Social Media: Another good signal that your website is popular is being shared on social media; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and alike. Although these are usually “no-follow” links, search engines are increasingly using social media popularity as a way to rank websites.
  3. Social Bookmarking: Using websites such as reddit.com, stumbleupon.com and delicious.com can help to get your website content out to a larger audience.

3. Local Directories & Yellow Pages

yelpHave you added your dental practice to Yelp, Google Local or Yellow Pages yet? If not, I’d suggest doing it now. Websites such as Yelp – in which your patients can review your practice – are becoming an excellent source of patient referrals. They’re not strictly great for optimizing your website, any reviews received on Google Local will appear in local searches. Users are more likely to visit your site if it has five star reviews.

Violations

Be aware that over-optimizing your website by stuffing it with keywords, or using spam link building methods can earn yourself a penalty from Google, and could get you banned from a search engine altogether. Please be aware that if you try these methods yourself, it’s always best to read as much as you can about SEO and Dental Search Marketing.