Dentistry is an increasingly competitive field with many practices competing for a limited audience base from their target audiences and zip codes. If you don’t have a predictable digital marketing strategy in place, you’ll never reach the new patient potential that exists right now in your market.
Your digital marketing strategy should be designed and crafted to to your specific practice and location. At Falling Up Media, we’ve helped grow dental practices for almost 10 years and understand how the dentistry field works.
We know what strategies and tactics to use to get the best results from digital marketing specifically in the dental industry. The truth is, the following 5 SEO tips for dentists are pretty basic stuff, but time and time again we see new(and existing) dental practices fail to put these into play.
1. Create Service Pages for All Services You Provide
People are often nervous about visiting a dentist and want to make the right choice. Your website provides potential patients with all the information they need to know about your practice, culture, services and skill set. That’s why it’s important to create individual pages for all of the dental services you provide. You should pair this strategy with regular blog content around similar services to give search engines context about your practice.
When building out your content for your procedures and services pages keep in mind it will showcase your authority in the field and ensure your prospective patients don’t feel as anxious. These pages will also help you include procedure-specific keywords like “Emergency Tooth Extraction in Phoenix” or “Phoenix Teeth Whitening Services”.
Service pages will help drive traffic to you, but don’t neglect the other key pages (home, about us, team, contact, etc) These pages will help your patients know more about your practice. In the dental industry, a doctor profile and meet the team page can instantly build some trust between a potential patient.
2. Local Search / Google Map Packs
Most dentistry practices are local businesses and rely on patients that live or work within just a few miles of their office. Patients don’t want to go out of the way to visit a professional and look for practices close to their home or workplace.
That’s why you need to strengthen your local search game. Here’s what you can do:
Build & Audit Citation Listings
Maintain consistency of information on your website, social media profiles, Google business page, and directory websites like Yelp.
Make sure your name, address, phone number, and other such information is accurate and consistent everywhere.
Look at your location pin on Google Maps and make sure it’s in the right place.
If any information is wrong, correct it immediately because you don’t want your patients to encounter wrong phone numbers or addresses.
If you’re missing any citations, build them out. Just keep in mind consistency is key here. It can be intense work, we typically build and/or modify over 60 individual local citation sources for new dental clients.
3. Avoid Website Builders (i.e. GoDaddy Website Builder, WIX, Etc)
Google and other such search engines study the overall structure and integrity of your website by looking at it’s code before indexing it. In addition to on-page and off-page SEO factors they look for other technical factors such as vulnerabilities, errors that can be exploited, hidden malware and spyware, etc, before they determine rank the website.
Website builders might seem like a convenient and cost effective way to build your website, but they can damage your reputation in the long run. The sacrifice in quality for affordability shows in the user experience. Search engines don’t like these platforms that run the same bloated code as thousands of other websites, and in many cases can hold your website back from ranking higher.
4. Add a Blog and Resources Section
Like we mentioned in the first tip, creating valuable informational content and showcasing authority is a great way to earn a prospective patient’s trust and encourage them to choose you.
A healthy and informative blog or resource section will not only bring in more organic traffic and give you the opportunity to establish a foothold in the industry, but support and validate your main content.
Here are some benefits of a blog for dental practices:
Ability to Reach New Audiences
Some prospective patients just want access to information from an authoritative source. They want answers to questions like “which is the best toothbrush” or “how to keep teeth white”, etc.
You can create posts with answers to these questions to help attract research traffic.
While most of these people won’t convert immediately, they’ll help you establish a good reputation and support other content that will bring in revenue. They’ll also allow you to target more keywords and bring in organic traffic.
A Resource for Existing Patients
We know a blog can help attract new patients, but it’s also the perfect tool to engage and retain existing patients. You can create a series of posts around common care after standard procedures, promote ongoing promotions and deals, and provide an inside glimpse into the people behind the practice.
Increased Social Media Reach
If you’re like most practices and struggle to create meaningful social media posts for your practice, sharing blog posts is the easiest strategy you can do. You can build your social media visibility and draw more potential patients by not only sharing blog content on your social profiles, but encouraging others and existing patients to share as well.
5. Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Responsive
It’s 2017 and it’s sad that we even have to talk about this. But unfortunately we still see outdated dental practice websites that are not mobile friendly!
Mobile search volume has long surpassed desktop search volume, and it’s only rising. You need to make sure your website is compatible with the mobile platform. From what we’re seeing in the dental industry, around 80% of the traffic comes from mobile devices and only 20% comes from desktop.
If your website is slow to load and doesn’t function well on smaller mobile screens, you’ll have a higher bounce rate. But technical jargon aside – you’re never going to land that elusive new patient without a properly working mobile website.
If We Only Had More Time
These five SEO tips for dentists just scratch the surface of what’s required in a comprehensive SEO strategy. But they are tactics that have a direct impact on your local search rankings – in other words have a direct impact on acquiring new patients.
Looking for more help? Download our Must Have Digital Marketing Strategies for Dental Practices in 2017 ebook for more.