If you have a website for your dental business (which I really hope you do!) you’ve probably been wondering how to get your site to show up higher in the search engines. It’s true that more people turn to the web when they’re looking for a new dentist than any other source. So your position in the search engines can be critical to the future of your dental practice.
In fact, studies have shown that a top 10 position in the search engines can increase traffic to your dental website by 600%. That’s a lot of potential patients!
If a search engine optimization consultant is out of your budget at the moment, there are a few SEO tactics that you can handle in-house:
Get familiar with your keywords.
Make a list of the words that you’d like your website to rank for. Make sure that these are the same words your patients would use. You might add “periodontal disease” to your list, but your patients might actually type “gum disease” into Google. It’s important to know the exact keywords that your prospective patients would use in order to look for a dentist on the internet.
Map your keywords to your web pages.
Now that you have a list of the correct keywords, you need to outline which keywords belong to which pages. Don’t think of every keyword as pointing to your home page. Each of your web pages should have their own keywords.
Start using your keywords.
Once you know which keywords belong to which page, start using those words on those pages. If you want a page to rank for “sedation dentistry” add the phrase “Sedation Dentistry” to that page’s headline, use the phrase a few times in the page’s text and add it to the page’s title tag. Do not use the keyword too often – this is called keyword stuffing and it’s actually counterproductive to your search engine optimization efforts.
Take advantage of local directories.
One of the great things about dental marketing on the web is that we’re targeting a relatively small population. There’s no reason for a general dentist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to be concerned with patients in Trenton, New Jersey. Rather than spending your time and money trying to optimize your dental website for the “world wide web” focus on your own local area. The results will be quicker, more relevant to your business, and much less expensive.
Install a web tracking program.
There are many web analytics programs on the market, and your web hosting company probably has several that you can easily add to your own web site. My personal favorite is Google Analytics which is free but still very in depth. You simply need to sign up for an account at google.com/analytics and then add the tracking code to each of your web pages. Once it’s installed, it will give you great insight into the keywords that are bringing visitors to your site, where they’re coming from, and what they’re doing once they land on your dental website. This information will help you perfect your seo tactics in the future.
Stay in it for the long haul.
While this isn’t actually a search engine optimization technique, it’s important to keep in mind that your dental website is not going to shoot up to #1 in Google on the very first day. Search engine optimization is not a one-time activity, but something that must be continued and maintained on a regular basis.
By following these tips you’ll be able to implement your initial search engine optimization program in house. Your website is a great dental marketing tool, so it’s worth the time and effort to make it work for you.