Why Should My Dentist Care About SEO?
On my last visit to my dentist for my bi-annual cleaning, it became obvious to me that even dentists can no longer simply rely on word of mouth to grow their establishments in a time where everyone is googling for health practitioners to visit instead of asking around. For years now, my dentist has concluded every visit by giving me a plastic pack with a new toothbrush, a toothpaste sample, lip balm and a business card. On the back of the card is an offer: $50 off my next visit if I refer a new patient to him. Given the lack of patients in the office, that little card does not seem to be doing the trick.
Everyone is working to digitalize their business in 2020, especially with COVID-19 descending upon us and presenting new struggles when it comes to attracting new customers. This is why Orthodontist SEO is key to attracting new patients and letting brands be seen. Most people assume that SEO is aiming to be first on Google searches, and they give up because it seems like it’s too high a mountain to climb. However, the aim is not Google, actually, it is to improve your website ranking and let your name be known. It’s always better to be heard of than completely unknown.
There are many who have struggled to find the right marketing mix because even though the internet presents us with great knowledge, it is also highly congested with information that can overwhelm and confuse new learners even more. SEO is less intimidating than it sounds, and the crux of taking up this practice is so that your clinic can earn revenue and maintain a sizable customer base.
Set Up a Website
In order to improve your website rankings, you have to first, well, set up a website! This shouldn’t be done just for the sake of it, as your website still needs to be well planned from its design to its content. Having a website that isn’t designed to be seamless for both desktop and mobile is going to be a big roadblock for your potential interested customers who are checking it out to validate your establishment’s credibility.
You should take note to:
- not overload it with videos and images so that it loads too slowly for the user.
- design it well and ensure that it is at least of a similar standard to your rivals.
- make sure it’s well designed for both mobile and desktop navigation.
Build an SEO Strategy
To rank highly in search engines like Google, you have to know and be familiar with the key search terms you should be tagging your clinic with so that they turn up in relevant searches. These keywords include the location your establishment is located in, the services you offer, your profession, your prices, and more.
An example that people could be googling could be “Bugis root canal treatment” and if you tagged the location of your clinic (imagine that it’s also located in Bugis) for SEO, it would highly increase the chances that you would turn up on the top few rankings. This will help us transition to the two main rankings businesses optimize themselves for on search engines, the first being map rankings and the second being search rankings.
Map rankings are a key opportunity for you to shine as a local business, especially important on internet services like Google Maps. When potential customers are searching for a dentist in your specific region, you will use SEO to ensure that you’re one of the top results that pop up when they do.
Before you do, you need to first learn what citations are. Citations are what help Google searchers discover local businesses and can also impact local search engine rankings. They are online mentions of a business’s name, address, and phone number.
Here are some tips on how to ace map rankings:
- Be responsive to your patients’ reviews online and encourage them to make positive reviews!
- Completely fill in your Google business page. The more details, the more credible it would look.
- Add 20 – 30 citations monthly as having them logged in the top citation sites really boosts your placing on Google Maps.
- Update around five to 10 citations each month to synchronize the information across different websites.
- Get started with Schema markup, a form of microdata that codes semantic vocabulary onto your website. With this, search engines will be able to generate comprehensive search results that answer searchers’ queries and make you stand out from competitors.
Search rankings for local businesses are key to your SEO success and for standing out. This is probably the best chance at appearing on the first page of the Google search, as pages that appear from the second page onwards have drastically lowered chances of being clicked on.
With how algorithms and search engine services are constantly experimenting and changing, you should stay up to date on the best SEO practices. One way that can improve your page’s search rankings is by writing blog articles that cover topics relevant to your business and the issues its services are able to target.
A hair salon could write blog articles on why DIY hair bleaching at home is risky, how to deal with split ends, and best products to use for dry scalp, so on and so forth.
Lastly, ensure that your website is able to operate at a smooth rate. Websites that are slow to load and are constantly bombarding viewers with ads will have a much lower rate of clicks and viewership than more user-friendly ones.
While on the topic of blog articles, I can offer a more in-depth guide on how you should write your blog content and how they can bring leads to your site and create rapport with your readers. Generating a blog entry each week is a straightforward and simple strategy in itself, but here are other options and tips to consider before you start writing!
Writing blog entries for improving your SEO ranking is different from the personal blog articles we wrote on sites like Blogger back in 2010, penning our personal feelings. Business blog articles should be written in line with your profession and the services you offer.
As a dentist, you can write about common dental issues, tips on how to maintain healthy gums, common questions you receive as a dentist, or what to expect when a patient is considering getting braces. You can slip in a ‘self-promo’ after the article, subtly nudging the reader that you happen to offer these services that they are looking for, and that you’re at least a competent enough dental practitioner to be able to answer their questions of concern.
Your articles are not just for one-time use, and can even be recycled for use on your various other platforms like your business social media, mailers, and even YouTube videos.
The more topics you’ve covered and the more you have written, your blogging would in turn improve your page’s ranks on search engines as you are constantly generating and reusing keywords important to your area of expertise, leading more customers to discover you.
Lastly, make sure that your articles always contain the contact information of you or your clinic as a call-to-action for their online consumption of your content to finally become offline action.
In this era of informational technology, potential customers are looking a lot more to search engines to recommend to them the best places to frequent or the best sites that answer their questions. Look at SEO as your opportunity to network with potential customers and to build a relationship of trust with readers from all over the world with the reach that the Internet has. SEO is a constant journey of learning and staying updated with the latest algorithmic rules. With some practice and commitment, you will be sure to see the fruits of your labor harvested in terms of an expanded customer base as well as revenue.
Don’t let bad SEO hygiene stand between you and your next customer. Remember, you only have six seconds to give them a reason to care, a reason to engage and a reason to buy. But, if they can’t find you, or you’re buried on “page 2”, you won’t even get your six-seconds. You can learn more about how to harness the power of the six-second story on your website to engage prospects and inspire remarkable customer experiences by following @TopRightPartner on Twitter, connecting with me on LinkedIn, subscribe to the TopRight blog, and buying copies of my latest books, Strategic Analytics and Marketing, Interrupted.