The Internet is a highly competitive space, but it is also your most useful tool for building up your client base! Many people’s search for a new dentist begins entirely online and they look at a variety of factors before making a final decision on the dental practice their family could potentially visit.
If you spend a lot of time and effort building your brand and beautiful new website, but you don’t see an increase in appointment bookings, you might want to ask yourself why. Websites are heavily dependent on search engine optimization to even show up on people’s Google pages when they are searching for a new dentist in their area. Google does not care about how nice your website looks as much as it cares about what is written on it.
We are here to give you some tips and pointers on making your dental practice stand out on the frontlines of search engines.
Tip 1: Look at Successful Pages
Put yourself into the mind of your ideal patient: what would they be looking up when they are searching for a new dentist? Go through the first few pages that pop up and have a notepad at the ready. What do all of these sites have in common?
Pay attention to the amount of written content, the types of pages those sites have, the sentence structure, paragraph formatting, and everything you can parse. Now, it is no accident that those specific sites get ranked high by Google; they are doing something right. Take note of the general formula for success and replicate it for your own content, within reason of course as to avoid plagiarism.
Tip 2: Optimize Your Keywords
Make sure to find long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are made up of a string of multiple words that help you target more specific demographics and audiences with your website and maximize your conversion rate. Long-tail keywords are likely being searched by users with a high intent of action. This means that whoever is visiting your website is likely looking for a specific solution to an immediate problem, therefore increasing the chances of conversion and making better use of your ad budget.
Another tip for optimizing these keywords would be to put them near the beginning of your content as that further helps Google filter your website as a search result.
People with specific dental issues are likely looking up symptoms and solutions to said issues and having your website show up for those searches can be a good way of developing new leads. This is discussed further in Tip #5.
By having as many keywords and phrases as possible, your website will be pushed further up the search results when a potential patient searches for those specific terms. It is important to integrate said keywords as seamlessly into the website as possible as you want to give the user a good experience after they have already clicked on it and, hopefully, they will book an appointment!
Tip 3: Create Engaging, Varied Content
Not only does Google record how many people click on your site, but it also keeps track of how long people spend on the page. This is called “dwell time” and you can increase this by making your content more visually engaging. This metric helps your SEO!
Make sure to include not only text, but images, videos, infographics, and whatever else is relevant to your content. This will make the user more engaged and the task of reading will seem not as daunting to them as it would if you just had a wall of text. But remember, either use only your own media or licensed stock photos as image plagiarism is not tolerated.
Tip 4: Build a Great Google My Business Page
Many users do not even look at a practice’s website and go solely based on the Google My Business listing. They just click on the first one they see and use the call function to call and book an appointment! This is an important process and can be detrimental in someone’s journey for choosing their long-term dentist.
One of the ways Google decides which business listings to show you first is by the number and quality of reviews. Encourage your front desk staff to incentivize positive reviews as the higher the volume the more credible your practice is in the eyes of Google.
Make sure to add photos both inside and outside your office so that people not only get a sneak preview of their experience when they come in but so that they have a frame of reference as to what your practice looks like from the outside for ease of access.
Tip 5: Dedicate Pages to Common Dental Searches
Have you ever looked up dental information and ended up on a specific dentist’s website? That is because many practices employ this strategy of providing general information people could be searching for.
Let’s say, someone is wondering why their tooth hurts. They search it on Google and end up on a web page that informs them of various causes of tooth pain. But, surprise surprise, when at the end of the page, they stumble right into a call to action, namely an incentive to book a dentist appointment and then they realize that they have been on the website of a nearby dental practice all along!
A good website will make it very easy to book an appointment so make sure to include a prompt and an easy-to-do-so at the very end of these informational pages as people will realize that the issue they are researching requires dental attention and, wow, they are already on a website of a nearby practice! This also goes hand in hand with helping you establish more long-tail keywords (Tip #2) and bring people with specific intents to your website.
Many of these methods won’t yield results the moment you implement them and may take some time to be effective. There is also no guarantee that the results they yield eventually will drastically transform your business.
However, not optimizing your website to the best of your ability will also certainly not help your practice gain new patients and you want to always make sure that you are doing whatever you can to maximize interest and patient flow. Begin thinking about the way your site is optimized and the quality of the content on it and you will be well on your way to maximizing your online presence!