Patients who are seeking a new dentist will more then likely turn to search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo to search for a dental practice near them. This is why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical to the success of your website. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is what enables patients to see your dental website in the search results they receive from searching for a dentist or dental service you provide. Since the goal of SEO is to get your dental website to appear on the first page of these results, if your website is not currently appearing there or you have never received SEO for your website – you should consider the mass potential it could bring to your website and the number of people visiting your website each month.
Take a look at the image below. The green highlighted box represents organic search results, as a result of SEO. The reason why these are called “organic search results” is because they are unbiased and controlled by an algorithm at Google. Best of all, organic search results are free, so you will never have to pay a fee when a user clicks on your organic listing. This is why many dentists find that spending time to improve their website’s SEO can result in huge benefits for their dental practices. Take a look at the image below. The green highlighted box represents organic search results, as a result of SEO.
By making sure your website is sprinkled (but don’t get ridiculous) with relevant keyword terms like “Wilmington, DE Dentist” or “family dentist” or “invisalign” of the dental services you provide and what potential patients will be searching. This involves making sure your website is emphasizing terms patients will use, not just the proper medical terms that will be less familiar to people searching. Google’s algorithm will then crawl your website to see that these terms are on your page so it knows to point users searching for them to you. It is very important to give Google what it wants!
The 2nd most important step is link building. There are two ways to do link building, the cheap way and the right way. The cheap way involves paying an outsourcing firm in India a few hundred bucks to spam blogs and sites across the internet with links back to your website. This rarely works, and when it does, it doesn’t work for very long.
The proper way to do link building is to make a big list of:
Then, contact these companies and individuals and ask them to link back to your site, and if necessary, offer to link to theirs. By building up links back to your website, Google will know that you are more important than other Dentists in your area who have no links, and treat you accordingly.
If you live in a very rural area, your website has been up for a while, you regularly update it, and have a few links to your website from some good sources, then like the local paper, you may be in good shape.
The easiest way to find out is to Google yourself or “dentist” with the city you live in to see if and where your website is appearing. If your website does not appear in the top 10 organic search results, then that is a huge red flag that it is time to rethink your strategy and look into getting SEO help. Because once your website stops appearing at the top of organic search results, it will take more time for it to naturally get listed on the first page, even if there is no competition. Optimizing your website will get it there faster.
It will take some time for your dental website to get picked up and properly ranked organically by search engines. Sometimes its as little as a week or two, and other times it can take months of tuning a dental website to get it to the top of a search query for your area. All geographical areas are a little different, and may require different strategies.
If money is tight, you can always wait and see – your dental website can always be optimized later. However, time lost is money lost, and the sooner you start an SEO campaign for your dental website, the sooner you will get more website visitors, and ultimately more patients. In the mean time, there is always Pay-Per-Click marketing to get the traffic going immediately!
Dr. Wade Kifer
“I would Like to say that I have been very happy with Jeff and the team at Great Dental Websites. We looked around and they promised the most attention to detail and flexibility of any of the other website companies. [...]“