Dental SEO Expert

Dental SEO Expert

James Norquay

James Norquay

25 May 2020

Quick Insights

Is local SEO different from SEO?

Local SEO is a specific set of tactics and techniques to improve your dental practice’s online presence to your service area. It often involves optimising your Google My Business listing(s) for localised dentistry-related searches.

Can you do your own dental SEO?

There’s nothing stopping you from carrying out your own on-page and off-site SEO. In fact, in this article, we’ll share a few process that you can replicate in your own time.

How Search Engine Optimisation Can Solve Your Problem

You didn’t invest 7 years of your life into becoming a dentist and tens of thousands of dollars into your dental practice just to worry about the lack of new patients.

But not all SEO companies are the same. Read on to see why we are dental SEO experts.

Dental SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be key for any dental practice to get ahead in the digital sphere. For an industry that often relies on traditional marketing and word of mouth, the foot traffic potential from the online channels can sometimes be pushed to the back. Think of how many things you Google; businesses, cafes, restaurants, research papers, ‘near me’. As a dentist, SEO can be very critical to your digital marketing plan, essentially so that your website ranks first, on the first page, as an organic search result.

But What Is Dental SEO?

SEO refers to the optimisation of search engines as part of a digital marketing strategy. Google and similar search engines have algorithms put in place which rank websites in terms of relevancy and popularity for your search term. Their ‘bots’ will crawl through sites in accordance with this algorithm to rank your site, and ultimately, if your website is not near the top on the first place, there is a high chance it will be missed by potential customers. Luckily, these search engine rankings can be influenced through a variety of optimisation techniques, so that your online presence is built high and potential patients can find your dental practice. The following are four pillars of SEO, which each present some of the key areas for optimisation:

1. Content Marketing

Content Marketing involves the creation of online material that does not explicitly promote the brand, rather revolves around creating value and customer relationships by understanding consumer interests and needs. This online material, which may take the form of a blog or onsite content, indirectly drives people to the product.

Keyword Research– 

Tools and software are used to determine what dental terms, phrases and questions are being searched for regarding a particular keyword. These can be used when building and reviving current websites, or writing content about that keyword, as the most searched results help understand what the consumer cares about. These keywords may be short-tail (one to two words and straight to the point), or longtail (a more specific, long question-like search). For Dental, an example of short-tail search would be ‘retainer’, whereas a longtail could be ‘how often are you supposed to clean a retainer?’. Keywords and their relevant terms can be incorporated into articles, blogs and other content which is picked up by the search engine crawl bots, and thus allows the dental site to achieve topical relevancy which gives the content a greater probability to rank higher in the SERPs.

Content Analysis- Pruning 

For your dental website, there may be many pages, but not all of them have value. Content Pruning is when the pages on your site are redundant, and you remove or improve those that have little traffic or value. The pages that weigh down a website will no longer be crawled by bots, and the overall performance of the site will improve, thus placing your clinic website higher on the search ranking page. Other things to consider include bounce rates, traffic, time spent on page & interaction.

Content Analysis – Onsite Optimisation 

Onsite Optimisation revolves around ensuring titles, tags, photos and the written content on your dental website are optimised to targeted keywords and searched terms. It is also very important to update old content with new relevant information, as content freshness is a ranking factor with all other things being equal (called Query Deserves Freshness or QDF for short). This on-page content optimisation can ensure the phrases and information given is what potential clients are searching for.

2. Link Building 

Essentially, links are like votes for your dental site. The more links you have, the more Google believes your site is of high quality as it is being cited often. SEO specialists incorporate link building to help dental services thrive online.

Outreach and Authoritative Blogs

Outreach is the process of prospecting relevant and well-known sites, obtaining an email and writing to them to pitch an article. The article may be an updated version of something they have written in the past, or new relevant content. Within the pitched article, there would be a link back to your Dental site, and perhaps other sites to show authenticity. Once this link is published on authoritative dental sites and blogs, Google will see the site is worthy of citation, and thus be boosted on the search engine ranking. Blogs are usually centred around a list to make it engaging and easy to digest by the reader, such as ‘Top 5 Best Tips for Braces’.

PR Links 

Being linked back to in an externally written article also builds up links. This is usually undertaken through PR, guest posts, and journalists outreaching for a source to cite. For example, if a journal of dentistry or health online magazine wanted insight from dentists, your dental clinic could submit a line, with your name and a link to your dental clinic website.

Quora and Yahoo Answers 

Quora and Yahoo Answers are other ways to boost your organic search ranking, without being too self-promotional. Answering questions allows for engagement within the community, and if you help solve an issue, the dental clinic you recommend becomes more memorable. This work particularly well for long-tail keywords.

3. Local SEO

Local SEO is highly relevant in the dental industry, as usually, individuals will go to a dentist within close proximity to their house or workplace. Local SEO involves targeting those in the same geographic region and making your business website available to them at the time they need them. It is sometimes conducted through ‘near me’ searches, but regardless, search results will change depending on your specific location. This is because Google recognises some searches have ‘local intent’ such as dentist surgeries. For example, ‘How to clean a retainer’ does not have local intent as ‘best dentist near me’ does.

Google My Business (GMB)

Google my business is when Google takes searches a step further by providing a list on the results page of local businesses, a phone number, opening times, reviews and photos. They are increasingly becoming more sophisticated and may be general, such as listing multiple dentists in the area, or specific to one particular dental business.

Local Citations 

Local citations are mentions of the dental business on local business directories, community pages and social media platforms. Citations that are also geographically limited by industries such as professional services of dental directories are ideal for local dentists. This can assist the local web presence of the brand to consumers, resulting in new patients from the area, with the flow on benefit of improving local search rankings.

4. Technical SEO

This pillar of SEO is usually best left to the SEO experts, as the strategy becomes more advanced and tech-based.

Website Speed

Your Dental website’s site speed and page speed will be a big factor in Google’s ranking algorithm, as has come out and stated website speed in a ranking factor. It also betters the user experience when they come to fast running, professional looking dental site. Small changes can be made to improve this such as still incorporating photos which are compressed in size. Other changes are more advanced, such as where your site is hosted and what scripts your site is using.

Site Architecture 

Common structures that make up a page include HTML (the text of the site), CSS (the colours, fonts and looks of the site) and JavaScript (the interactive behaviour & frontend functions of the website). Your dental website will have a title, subpages, page templates and menu silos that will fall under these site architecture examples, whereby Google determines the quality and relevancy of these elements in their ranking.  A relevant, readable URL and subsequent subpage URLs should be available for web users and bots to easily identify the purpose of the page.

Schema 

Incorporating a Schema markup is essentially manually enhancing the search result by adding features through codes. Aspects such as the dental practice’s review rating, local business schema using the Dentist markup.

What should a Dental Practice Care About SEO Strategies?

Dental Practices should strongly consider incorporating SEO into their marketing strategy to boost their organic search. Due to the popularity of the industry, local competition and a push to online tactics, SEO marketing is a significant factor in driving exposure and foot traffic. New dental patients can result from this online marketing technique when undertaken properly, through sincere content, links and local searches. Talk to an SEO expert today to better understand your options for optimisation.

James Norquay

James Norquay founded Prosperity Media in 2012 after working in the SEO & Content Marketing space for over 10 years. Prosperity works on Small to Large eCommerce, Marketplace and many other projects in Australia and the US markets.