Typically the highest traffic source to a dental website is organic search queries.
A person types the following into Google: Is Invisalign better than traditional braces?
Your dental practice specializes in Invisalign orthodontics. So, how does that person wondering about Invisalign get to your website?
Search engine optimization, SEO for short, is how. SEO is all about driving web traffic to your site through organic search results. Building a great website doesn’t have much value if potential patients never see it. SEO is how the patient above lands on your site, and then eventually becomes an Invisalign patient in your practice.
Search engine optimization can seem like a mystery. With millions of websites out there it seems impossible to actually get a potential patient to land on your site without writing your site address on a sticky note and handing it to them.
It’s no mystery to us. At Advice Media, we’ve been building the web’s best dental practice websites for over 20 years and optimizing them to rank on the first page of organic search results. We’ve seen and adapted to the ever-changing algorithms that govern search from Google and Bing. We’ve been doing this so long we often know about new changes to the search algorithms before they are made public. Really? It helps to be a Google Partner and to have your digital team certified across the Google product suite.
But enough about us. How does search engine optimization work for your dental practice? More importantly, what isn’t your site doing now that is keeping it from showing up in an organic search?
Let’s get into the ins and outs of SEO for your dental practice.
What Patients See When Searching for a Local Dentist
For a service, such as straightening your teeth with Invisalign, Google (and the other search engines) assumes you want local answers/providers. So it tailors your results around dental practices near your location.
When Google returns the results to that Invisalign search noted above, the search engine results page (SERP) has three main sections:
The three main sections to a Google Search Results page:
- Paid search ads
- Google My Business listings
- Organic search results
Our comprehensive SEO campaigns include strategies that impact Google My Business and organic search results, as well as your dental practice’s overall web presence on directories and review sites. To have a successful dental Internet marketing campaign, Google’s bots and algorithm need to be able to understand what your site is all about and if potential patients would find value if directed to it. Beyond organic search, we also leverage paid search results and their corresponding keyword bidding methods to deliver a higher ROI for your practice.
Dental SEO Ranking Factors
How to Maximize Visibility for your Dental Practice
Every search engine has one goal: to provide users with the most relevant result as quickly as possible. Google looks at signals to determine if your website is relevant, trustworthy, and deserving of being ranked higher in search results. Here are some of the most important factors that contribute to the success of your medical practice online:
First off, (and the best part for our designers and writers) we build beautiful dental practice websites. We fill them with well-written, informative copy. We populate pages with an engaging mix of text, high-resolution photos, animations, and videos.
For instance, if your practice performs root canals, we will have text describing the procedure, and we may also have animated images of the process. And if we can get you to star in a video explaining a misunderstood procedure, that’s even better. At Advice Media, you have control over your website’s aesthetic.
Then, when a potential patient searches “root canal,” Google’s bots crawl your site to find relevant content for root canals. If Google finds a blog written this month about how root canals save the natural tooth, the content is accurate and grammatically correct, and the images load quickly, Google sees value and will likely deem your website a good option to display.
Google and the other search engines love sites that are linked to other sites. For instance, a periodontist wouldn’t place dental implants and a dentist likely won’t perform gum surgery, so the two providers can provide links to each other’s sites. Other links can come from blogs, Business Facebook pages, dental seminars, and media mentions.
Google places value upon links because it makes your practice appear to be an expert. After all, another site is linking to your site for information. Expertise is an important ranking factor for search algorithms.
Part of our service for dental practices is ensuring how smoothly your site runs. The first, and most important, aspect is that your site is mobile-friendly. Every website we build at Advice Media works the same whether on a visitor’s phone or on their desktop at home. The different platforms will present different formats — desktop sites are horizontal in layout, while mobile phone layouts need to be vertical — but the look and feel will match and be instantly identifiable.
Test if your dental practice website is mobile responsive.
Beyond being mobile-friendly, your site needs to perform well. We continually audit each site by looking for dead links, monitoring slow page load times, and examining all aspects of how your site performs. Google ranks sites based on how user-friendly they are, and performance plays a big part in that.
Proper coding makes it easy for the bots crawling your site to understand what every page is about. We use things such as header tags (these designate the headings on each page), meta descriptions (these describe the contents of the page), sitemaps (a list of URLs on your site to help bots index and discover your site), and hundreds of other tools that no one sees except Google and Bing.
The goal of these technical SEO steps is to make it as easy as possible for Google to understand your site. Then Google and other search engines can comfortably place it higher in search results, knowing there will be value for the searcher.
See What Our Clients Are Saying
In the dental world, where a patient can’t have Amazon deliver a dental crown, a search is local. Google assumes that searchers looking at “Dental crowns” may have just chipped a tooth and are thinking a crown may be in their future. If the person is searching in Miami, it’s not likely a SERP from Wichita will have much value. Google wants happy searchers, so it returns listings from Miami, even the area of the city where the search is originating.
We make sure the listings for your dental practice are consistent on the web (and you’d be amazed at how many places that is!). Does this seem OCD? Well, if your street address is 201 Maple Avenue in one directory, 201 Maple Ave. in another, and 201 Maple in another, Google gets confused. It assumes these could be separate practices. Same with hours. If you have different summer hours but your winter hours are on some of your listings, Google punishes your site for that inconsistency.
We have a tool called Local Power that ensures all of your practice information is identical across the web. That’s easy.
Local optimization also involves managing your online reviews on the various health review websites and other locations such as Yelp. We help you generate more reviews from happy patients, and we make sure you respond to reviews (Google likes that, as it shows you’re engaged with your patients). We also help make your Google My Business listing as robust as possible by including photos, descriptions, and more.
Let’s Get to Work Optimizing Your Dental Practice
Your dental practice website is one of your most important employees! Its role in your success cannot be overstated. So, let’s work together to optimize it for search and bump you higher and higher on those search returns. At Advice Media, we’ve been building and optimizing some of the web’s most effective websites for over 20 years. Check out our dental website portfolio and then let’s talk. Complete the form below or call (435) 575-7470.