Q: Where is best place to bury a dead body?
A: Page 2 of Google.
That’s right, it is literally page 1 or bust when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). But, what is that secret sauce that makes you stand out from the other dozen dentists in your town—at least online? In the interest of full disclosure, only 3 people know the real answer to that. All 3 of them work at Google and they have more security clearance than the FBI director. But, all is not lost. Many really talented people make their best guesses as we all jockey for the coveted #1 slot. Here are some tactics to move on up the rankings and get those new patients calling your office.
Think of internet searches as a conversation. Searchers are asking questions and you want to be the answer. For instance, someone looking for dental implants will search “dental implants”. In the past, the SEO trend was to stuff as many keywords in your site as possible. If you could include the name of the town where you are located right next to the key word, over and over again, you hit the SEO jackpot (example: dental implants in Cary NC X 100). As Google does, they changed the rules of the game. To be clear, no one knows exactly what those rules are but experts agree that the current algorithm may penalize sites for “keyword stuffing”. However, there is an appropriate balance with relative content. You can use your subject matter/keywords in the service category page, in the clinicians’ bios and on blogs. These are all legitimate places to use your keywords and will accomplish the desired amount of redundancy.
PRO TIP: When using keywords, be certain to use both your clinical terms (i.e. periodontal disease) and the colloquial term (gum disease).
Forget about bitcoin—links are the currency of the internet. The more you have, the richer (in position) you are. As with keywords, there is a balance. You want to focus on high quality sites with good domain authority. What this means is that you do not want to link to any site that will have you—focus on well established sites with a good reputation. One way to do this in a shorter amount of time is to be a dental authority. Everyday, hundreds of reporters are searching for quotes for their articles. HARO.com (short for Help A Reporter Out) offers a free service that compiles dozens of requests and emails those queries to their mailing list. It’s a quick scan for you, your office manager or marketing director a few times a day. You can send your response to the email of the requester. Many times you can see what outlet the reporter is writing for and can decide if you want to respond (i.e. nbcnews.com vs a largely unknown group).
PRO TIP: If you are easy to work with, you can make a solid contact at the publication and they will just contact you directly for future commentary which means longer turn around times and easier communications.
Finally, a great way to be found in internet searches is to have new, relevant content. Blogging is an excellent conduit for relatable information focused on your business (dentistry). When writing a blog for your dental website there are a couple of points to ponder:
Who do you want to read it?
This is an easy answer—or is it? You are a dentist and you think like a clinician. Your patients are not clinicians; they are lay people looking for a solution. Be that solution with relatable content.
Example search term: replace missing tooth
This person needs an implant but may not know or search the clinical term. As mentioned before, you want to speak in language and terms your potential patients will understand, not your colleagues.
How are they searching?
In addition to the common names for dental treatment, you want to write with the thought of how information is searched. In this era of voice to text queries, many times the “search” is in the form of a question, “Siri, how do I replace a missing tooth?” Again, you want to be the answer—very specifically. Perhaps the title of your blog post reads 'How to replace a missing tooth'—known as a long tail key word. The article will give a high level overview of the implant process and your practice’s ability to take great care of their dental need and thus solve the searcher's issue.
Are you interested in learning more about how to attract new patients to your dental practice? Discover this valuable information and more in Dr. Bobbi Stanley’s Small Business for Dentists courses.