Congratulations! You’ve finally opened your own dental practice. Now all you need are patients to fill your books and make your practice a success. You know most of your audience can be reached online, but you’re just not sure how to attract and connect with new patients online.
If you want your dental practice to succeed, you need to understand search engine optimization (SEO) and how to create an enticing online presence. Once you’ve mastered these two areas, your dental practice will move up the Google rankings until it’s on page one of the search results.
What Is Dentist Website SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Essentially, SEO is how you increase your site visibility online and improve your site’s searchability. Search engines like Google and Yahoo! use bots to crawl website pages and collect information. The bots then index this information and an algorithm analyzes everything to determine how to order the information in the search results. If you have a poorly built website that’s not properly utilizing SEO, your website could be pushed to page 10 of the search results. People see the information on the first page of Google results as relevant and reliable, so you want your dental practice to appear as high as possible when people are searching for dental services.
Why Is Dental SEO Important?
The better your SEO, the more likely your dentist website will appear on page one of Google, Bing, and Yahoo! search results. You want your website to appear on page one of the search results because you’re more likely to see visitors to your site and to generate new clients. In fact, according to Zero Limit Web, page two and three of Google search results only receive 5.59 percent of clicks. Page one receives nearly 72 percent of clicks, with more than 67 percent of those clicks going to the top five search results.
You also need to follow best dental SEO practices to stay competitive. You want to rank higher than your competition on search results because whichever business is listed first is most likely to get the patient’s business.
Top 6 Dentist Website SEO Best Practices
Optimizing your site can take some work, but once you know SEO best practices you can make sure you’re implementing them moving forward. Below are the six top SEO tips for improving your site rankings.
1. Use Keywords Naturally
Make a list of keywords for your practice and then naturally incorporate them into your website headers and content. Make sure to focus on long-tail keywords, too. Long-tail keywords typically contain several words and have a lower search volume. An example of a dental long-tail keyword would be “how often should I go to the dentist,” “dental services in [city],” or “root canal services in [your area].” These are more specific keywords than your typical “dentist” or “dental services.” Long-tail keywords are important, however, because people searching for these specific terms are likely ready to convert into a client.
2. Make It Mobile Friendly
Mobile devices account for over 55 percent of all searches as of January 2021. This means that more than half of your target audience could be visiting your site from a mobile device. You need to ensure everything not only looks good on a mobile device, but it all needs to run smoothly too. Avoid slow load times and keep the design clean.
3. Utilize Formatting Tools
Website formatting tools (such as the H1, H2, etc. features) serve two main purposes. First, they make your web content look more attractive. Clear headers and subheads help the eye travel the page and bring people to the information they want to know without losing them on the way. The second purpose of formatting tools is it makes it easier for search engines to scan your content for relevant information.
4. Change Image Names
A common mistake dentists make when creating their website is overlooking image names. Images contain valuable data that search engines can use to rank your website. This means you need to be using alt tags and adding descriptive names to images. For example, instead of “33245.jpg” rename the image to something more descriptive like, “child in dentist chair.” Then, update the alt text to include some keywords and even a location. The key with images is to be as descriptive as possible while incorporating keywords and other useful information search bots can use to properly index your dental website.
5. Link Pages Internally
For the most part, you should use outbound links sparingly. What you want to focus on instead are internal links. This essentially means linking to other pages on your website to encourage visitors to explore your other content. For example, if you mention dental crowns on the main page of your website, be sure to include a link to the page that goes into more detail about your dental crown services. Internal linking will help potential clients navigate your website and it also helps search engines crawl your information.
6. Secure External Links
External links, or backlinks, can be really beneficial for your website. External links are when another person or website links back to your dental website. This helps drive traffic to your page and also signals to search engines that your content is relevant. A great way to secure backlinks is to create relevant, informative content for your website, usually through a blog. If others find your information useful and unique, they may share your article or link back to it from their own website.
Start Receiving New Patients Now With a Dental Directory Listing
Another option is to have your business listed in a high-quality online directory. Lots of people use online directories to find qualified dental services “near me,” so listing your site in a directory is a great way to drive traffic to your website and increase your ranking on Google. If you’re ready to improve your Google ranking right now and move up to the front page of search results, then start by adding your dentist website to The Dental Directory, the largest dental directory in the US.