Patients who are seeking a new dentist will more then likely turn to search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing are two of the tools we can use to make sure patients see your dental website in their search results. The goal is to get your dental website on the first page. Lets take a look below at the 3 different types of search results found on a typical search for a dentist by a potential patient.
Take a look at the image to the left. The highlighted box represents organic search result, as a result of your dental SEO. These results are unbiased and controlled by an algorithm at Google, and best of all they are free. You don’t have to pay when a user clicks. So how do you get to the top? 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”. We want to make sure we’re emphasizing terms patients will use, not just the proper medical term. Google wants to see these terms on your page so it knows to point users searching for them to you, and we want to give Google what it wants!
The 2nd most important step we can take 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:
We’ll 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 then other Dentists in your area who have no links, and treat you accordingly.
In the last few years, search engines have changed the way data is displayed to you for some search queries, taking into account where you are to display information from Google Places (Google Maps) in your search results. The image to the right shows this area highlighted. Again, these search results are unbiased and controlled by an algorithm. In order to get your website to appear here, in addition to have a strong organic SEO presence, it’s important to fill out all the information on Google’s Local Business Center for your business, and make sure it matches the info on your website and other online presences (facebook, yelp, etc). Additionally, there is some data we can provide to search engines “under the hood” of your website that Local Search loves. Don’t worry, we do this automatically for you – forget I even mentioned it.
Our SEO service includes registration and population of your dental practice on Google Places, Yelp, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, Twitter, and other online directories, helping ensure you the best possible chance of landing your dental website in the coveted first page of local search results. We’ll link all these services to your website and when possible, display badges for the social networks so patients can stay in touch.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) search results are bought by other Dentists (see image on the left for highlighted area). It’s an auction system, so whoever bids the most for “New York City Dentist” will appear at the top. PPC ad campaigns are a great way of flipping a switch and getting traffic to your site, which ultimately results in calls and patients. However, without proper management, the expenses can get out of control quickly! We’ve developed the expertise to know what terms work and which don’t to make sure you get the best possible ROI. Every campaign is a little different, so please contact us for a quote.
If you live in a very rural area, and your website has been up for a while, you regularly update it, and you already have a few links to your website from some good sources, like the local paper, you may be in good shape. The easiest way to find out is to google yourself – if you aren’t in the top 10, it’s time to rethink your strategy. The downside to this is that it will almost definitely take more time for your website to naturally get listed on the first page, even if there is no competition. Optimizing your website is a shortcut that 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 PPC to get the traffic going immediately!
“To all the web site DIYr's – just use Great Dental Web Sites instead. If you're disappointed I'll eat my shoe.”