Table of Contents
- What Is SEO For Dentists?
- An In-Depth Explanation Of SEO For Dentists
- How Can A Dental Practice Rank Higher In Google?
- 8 Dental Website Ranking Factors: What Really Matters For Dental SEO
- #1. Dental Website Load Speed Is An Important Factor Of SEO
- #2. Great Dental SEO Requires Websites To Be Mobile Optimized?
- #3. How To Optimize And Rank Higher For Dental Keywords
- #4. Pay Attention To Your Website Meta-data
- #5. Why Copywriting Is A Vital Part Of SEO For Dentists
- #6. A Dental Website Needs Links, Links, And More Links
- #7. Social Media Improves SEO For Dentists?
- #8. Last But Not Least, Optimize Your Google My Business Account
- Dental SEO Training And Support
- SEO For Dentists Actionable Steps [Webinar]
- Improve Your Dental SEO Campaign With These Tips [Webinar]
- Don’t Be Overwhelmed With SEO, We Can Help!
- Lean On Us For Dental SEO Training
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Do dentists need SEO?
- What’s the return on investment of SEO for dentists?
- How can a dentist rank #1 in search engine results?
- Is my dental SEO campaign working?
- Is SEO for dentists necessary?
- Does SEO for dentists build trust and credibility?
- Does SEO for dentists drive more traffic to my website?
- How do search engines decide where to rank dental websites?
- Will SEO for dentists help me find the right kind of patients?
- How long does dental SEO take?
- 21 Essential HIPAA Dental Questions You Were Afraid To Ask
- Webinar Recording: We Got Hacked! How To Prevent Your Facebook Page From Being Hacked, Like Ours Did
- Dentist Website SEO: What To Know About Google’s ‘Helpful Content’ Update
What Is SEO For Dentists?
What is SEO for dentists, (AKA) dental SEO?
SEO for dentists is a digital marketing technique that focuses on optimizing a dental practice website and other online assets, with the intent of increasing their visibility in search engines like Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Duck Duck Go and many other search engines.
Dental SEO techniques focus on developing a website in a way that makes the user experience more friendly, which includes improving the technical aspects of a dental website like mobile optimization, SSL, and load speed, as well as user experience.
User experience in dental SEO has to do with the how a patients feels as they navigate your dental website.
- Does the website visitor find what they are looking for quickly?
- Is the usability of the website simple and effortless?
- Is the information correctly arranged throughout the site?
Search engines are interested in the actual experience of the user. They measure user interactions with a website and apply those to their search engine algorithm.
Does this mean that the search engines are checking out how aesthetically pleasing your website is? Not necessarily. Google, Yahoo!, and Bing don’t care what your website looks like but aesthetics do play a part in user experience. It’s important that a dental SEO specialist take both technical and user experience aspects into consideration when developing a dental website.
Why Is SEO For Dentists Vitally Important To Practice Growth?
In the past few years there has been a massive shift in marketing initiatives. In nearly every industry marketing experts have been moving advertising spend away from traditional marketing and towards digital marketing. For dentists, SEO is a big part of a digital marketing campaign.
Why is it that digital marketing growing so fast?
- Patients are spending huge amounts of time in digital platforms.
- It’s far more effective at targeting and reaching a local patient.
- Practices see a much higher ROI with digital marketing.
- Tracking is much more specific and measurable.
- Conversion towards scheduled appointments happens much quicker.
- Dentists receive a benefit of two-way communication versus one-way communication.
The list can go on, and on, and on. But, a simple way to explain the reason for the shift is that your patients and potential patients are consuming information digitally more than with traditional marketing. And, the momentum does not appear to be changing.
There is one last and extremely important reason that you should seriously consider starting a dental SEO campaign. Your competitors are doing it.
What Are The Benefits Of Dental SEO?
Once you kick off a dental SEO campaign you’ll see the following benefits:
- More potential patients will find your website.
- Your practice will be seen with a higher level of credibility and trustworthiness.
- Your website user experience will be greatly improved.
- There will be higher conversion rates of website visitors to scheduled appointments.
- Improved brand awareness.
- Other marketing initiatives like dental social media will be improved.
An In-Depth Explanation Of SEO For Dentists
#1. How Do Search Engines Work?
This is the place to start. A basic understanding of how search engines work is necessary to understand how a dental SEO campaign should be set up.
The internet is a massive, almost unimaginable, digital universe with billions of websites. A search engines purpose is to discover and organize the web pages, so that the information someone is searching for, can be found.
The most used search engine is Google with more than 75% of all search traffic. Others search engines are Yahoo, Bing, Duck Duck Go, Brave and hundreds of others.
Top Ten Search Engines In The USA
Which Search Engines Should A Dental Practice Optimize For?
Obviously you start with Google. Google controls more than 75% of all search traffic.
Of the other search engines in the top ten, you want to focus on those that people may use to find a dentist. Amazon is not a search engine that consumers use to find a dentist. If you removed Amazon search traffic from the list, you’d probably find that consumers searching for a dentist use Google close to 90% of the time.
#2. Dental SEO Is Based Upon Crawling, Indexing, & Ranking
For dental websites to show up in search results, the website must first be crawled and indexed by the search engine. Being found by the search engine is an essential piece of the dental SEO puzzle. If dental websites cannot be crawled and indexed, there is no way that it will show up in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).
Have you ever heard of web-crawlers or web-spiders? These are automated computer programs that search (crawl) the web and index the results for the search engine.
Why Is It Necessary For Search Engines To Crawl And Index Websites?
The internet in its raw form does not have a search mechanism. It’s just billions of websites all in a big mess. Search engines like Google discover web pages through links and index them. In the indexing process they analyze the web page and store the information in their search engine index. This allows consumers using that particular search engine to find information quickly.
To be clear, when you search the web using Google you’re essentially searching a copy of the internet according to Google’s indexing. Same thing goes when you use Yahoo! to search. You’re actually searching Yahoo’s copy of the internet.
So, if your website isn’t indexed by Google then no one will be able to find it when using the Google search engine.
How Links Improve Indexing And Crawling
Hundreds of billions of web pages are indexed each day by search engines, which crawl hundreds of millions of new pages by following links. Links are what help the web crawlers identify new content, which is another reason why linking correctly is so important to SEO for dentists.
Without the web crawlers finding and copying, following every link, indexing new information, and sorting the results, consumers would likely never find what they want. Crawling is the key for creating a searchable index like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
So, if a dental marketer or your webmaster says that your website isn’t indexed, it means that it can’t be found using a search engine.
If you happen to be in the market for a new dental website, make sure that the company building your site submits it to the main search engines indexes so that it can be found.
#3. How Do The Search Engines Rank Dental Websites?
The goal of a search engine is to show a relevant set of search results as quickly as possible. The better a search engine does to provide a consumer with what they want, the more likely they’ll be to use the search engine again.
And…. if you follow the money you’ll find that the more that consumers use a particular search engine, that search engine can charge more for advertising. We won’t be speaking about Google ads too much in this article, but this is basically how search engines make money.
What Is A SERP And Why Is It Important To Dental Practices?
SERP is an acronym for Search Engine Results Page. When a consumer uses a search engine to look for information on the internet, after hitting enter, the page that shows the results is the SERP. The SERP is the search engines response to a query.
There are several different places on a SERP that a dental practice can show up. There is organic results, which are below the Google map. There are the local SEO results, which are on the Google map, and there are Google ads which are at the top of the page.
SEO and SERP results only effect the organic and local results. If a practice wants to rank higher in the Google ads, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is needed, not SEO. SEM is a completely different method of digital marketing.
SERP’s are very important for dentists because the higher a dental practice’s website or Google My Business account rank, the more likely they will get phone calls from prospective patients.
How Does A Website Move Up Or Down In The Search Engine Rankings?
After a Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) is displayed, the person searching will end up interacting with the results. An example would be a click on one of the results. The interaction with the SERP results along with additional activities influence future SERP results.
Activity On The SERP Influences Future Rankings [Example]
If a website shows up in a SERP for a particular keyword phrase but no one clicks on it, then the search engine will begin to realize that the results is not relatable to the search phrase. The long term effect is that the website will be pushed lower in the SERP based upon the user behavior.
In addition to user behavior there are several factors that improve or decrease your SERP rankings. It’s a long list but a few of the big ones are; backlinks, mobile optimization, semantic saturation, core web vitals, HTML Tags and meta descriptions, Structured data, and the strength of your Google My Business page.
We’ll be talking about many of these in this article, but for now, let’s focus on user behavior.
There is some disagreement in the online marketing industry that user behavior may or may not influence SERP rankings. The reason why there is so much confusion on this is because Google and the other search engines don’t want marketing companies, or anyone for that fact, to know exactly how the SERP algorithm works. If marketing companies did know, then they could manipulate the rankings and in the long run this would not be best for consumers.
But, there is quite a bit of research that has been done on user behavior and much of it appears to have an effect on the SERP’s. Some of those interactions include, click-through-rate (CTR), bounce rate, session duration and session depth.
The take away from this is that if you want to rank higher in the SERP’s for dental service related keywords then you should to create the best user experience possible. You want your website to answer the questions that the searcher is looking for and also lead them as deep into your website as possible. The longer they spend on your website the more likely you’ll rank higher in the future for the search phrase used.
How Can A Dental Practice Rank Higher In Google?
Let’s get down to brass tacks here. That’s what my grandpa used to say.
Dental SEO Is Based Upon Technical Issues And User Experience
The goal of all search engines is to give the consumer the best answer for their query.
When a patient clicks to your website. what happens?
- Does your website load fast enough?
- Is the navigation effortless and simple?
- Are they able to find what they want quickly?
- Do they click through deeper into the pages of your website?
- Do they scroll?
- Does their mouse move across the screen as if they’re reading the page.
All of these website visitor actions, and many more, are measured by Google and the other search engines to determine which web pages should show up in the SERP.
If there is little activity, or if the visitor quickly bounces off your page, your website rankings could be negatively effected.
Why Does Google Include User Experience In The Algorithm?
Google tracks how people interact with your website and then uses that information to improve their search engine results page (SERP). For example, if people on their mobile phones are landing on your website, but your website isn’t mobile optimized, then they’ll probably have a frustrating experience.
Everyone has clicked a non-mobile optimized site. How difficult is it to find what you want when the images are too small to recognize or the text expands beyond the screen of your phone?
You need to make sure that your website is mobile optimized. If it’s not, Google will eventually lower your website in the SERP’s, because searchers are having difficulty finding what they want.
SEO For Dental Practices Should Focus On Technical Aspects
The performance of your website has much more to do with the user experience and the technical aspects, than whether or not your website is aesthetically pleasing. Google, Yahoo, and Bing don’t really care what your site looks like. Obviously, aesthetics play a big part for dental practices because of what’s called transference. Transference is when a person attributes the feeling that they have for one thing to a non-related other thing.
The up-shot is this, if your website is ugly then people will transfer that feeling towards their thoughts of your dental quality. For this reason it is important for a dental website to look great, but it has very little to do with ranking.
If you’re looking to be found online with search engine optimization and an SEO for dentists campaign, you’ll want to make sure the technical aspects of your website are dialed in and your dental website is getting an A+ grade from Google.
What Are Some Of The Important Dental Website Ranking Factors?
There are a hundred ways in which to optimize a dental practice online. Depending on where the practice is when they get started, which keywords they want to go after, and where they want to show up in the SERP, tactics and processes change.
BUT, there are a few ground rules that everyone has to pay attention to, because these are the things that the search engines have asked to be done.
Throughout this SEO article we’ll be talking about this list of rankings factors.
- Website load speed
- Mobile optimization
- Keyword optimization
- Correct site metadata
- Publishing new and custom content
- Offsite and onsite link structure
- Social signals
- Google My Business optimization
All effective dental SEO campaigns should involve all of the items listed above.
8 Dental Website Ranking Factors: What Really Matters For Dental SEO
#1. Dental Website Load Speed Is An Important Factor Of SEO
If a website takes more than 3 seconds to load, 40% of the visitors will abandon the site. When this happens, Google recognizes that the user experience is suffering and your website rankings will be penalized.
Google is on the side of the consumer, not the business owner. Google is doing everything they can to improve the consumer user experience. Google knows that if consumers can find what they want, they’ll keep using Google, and Google can sell more advertising to business who want to attract consumers.
If you have not checked your website load speed run a test with this tool to assess the site’s grade and speed. If your website fails this check, you should consider investing in a new dental website or updating the one you have.
Should A Dentist Be Concerned If Their Website Is Loading Slowly?
In psychology there is a concept called transference, which is when a person redirects an emotion or feeling about one thing to an entirely separate issue. Whether you like it or not, a patient’s experience on your website has a transference effect.
Patients equate their experience of your website with the quality of your dental care.
#2. Great Dental SEO Requires Websites To Be Mobile Optimized?
In 2018, Google announced a search engine update regarding mobile-first indexing. Mobile-first indexing means that the mobile version of your website is what Google uses for indexing and search engine optimization.
It has not always been this way. In the past, Google has used the desktop version of a website in its indexing. However, in 2019 63% of the US search traffic was on a mobile device.
Google intends to make searching as simple as possible and since most people are using mobile phones, they’ve made the transition to mobile-first indexing.
"Most people on Google are using a mobile device, but Google's ranking systems still look at the desktop version of a website's content to evaluate its relevance to the user. This can cause issues when the mobile site has less content than the desktop. Moving forward, mobile optimization is a must."
A mobile optimized site is designed for mobile viewing and built with a mobile-first approach, which allows for the site to reformat itself for mobile users. Mobile-optimized sites are made to be as frictionless as possible when viewed on a small device.
#3. How To Optimize And Rank Higher For Dental Keywords
One of the first steps of any dental SEO marketing campaign, is to research and put together a list of the phrases that you want to optimize for. You may decide that you want to go after a particular keyword because there is very little competition, or it may be that the search phrase is your most profitable dental service.
Which Keywords Should A Dentist Optimize For?
However you go about doing your research you should know that, nearly 80% of all dental patient searches are related to the following keywords. You’ll want to make sure you add these keywords to your own list:
- Dentist in [your area]
- [Your area] dentists
- Best dentists in [your area]
- Dentists near [your area]
- Emergency dentist [your area]
Tools That Dental Practices Can Use To Do Keyword Research
Tools That Dental Practices Can Use To Write SEO Copy
Yoast and RankMath are WordPress plugins that evaluate each page on your website and give you direction on how to optimize the page for a specific keyword. These plugins will give suggestions on length of content, linking structure, keyword density, metadata and other importnat factors that will improve your dental SEO campaign.
Search engine optimization for keywords requires copywriting, which can take time. If you’re the type of dentist or marketing manager that doesn’t have time to write new dental practice content, then you’ll want to hire a dental SEO company to help you out with your copywriting and SEO.
When it comes to patients looking for a dentist online, they use geo-locators and services in their search phrases. When you optimize your website for keywords, all that you’re doing is giving Google an easy way to make a connection between your website and the search phrase of the potential patient.
If you don’t include city, state, and service information in your dental services content, your search engine optimization will be lacking and you’ll be missing out on new patient prospects. Make sure that your dental SEO includes keyword planning and search engine optimization tactics.
#4. Pay Attention To Your Website Meta-data
Meta data is the information that the search engines look at when analyzing a web page. It ties directly into influencing the SERP algorithms. If you have not added meta data to your website, then Google doesn’t know what your site is about.
The search engines provide a simple way to add meta data to your web pages.
#5. Why Copywriting Is A Vital Part Of SEO For Dentists
Creating new content for your dental SEO strategy is most easily done with blogging.
Blogs have become more important than ever as an SEO for dentists strategy. When the blog content on your site is useful and interesting, your potential patients view your practice as a trusted source. Google recognizes this and it’s an indication that you’re creating valuable content and your blog posts will improve in the search engine results page (SERP’s). The best dental SEO services always leverage blog posts.
The first thing you need to do is add a blog to your website. Adding a blog is simple and anyone in dental website design can do it a few minutes. I spoke with a dentist the other day who was charged $400 to add a blog tab. That’s ridiculous! It’s takes approximately 127 seconds to add a blog to your dental practice website. If your website company is charging to add a blog, call us. We do it free for our clients.
The next step in leveraging your blog as an SEO for dentists strategy is to create custom and original content as often as possible. Make sure that your dental blog posts are lengthy. My recommendation is that they’re at least 650 words long for the best dental seo strategy.
#6. A Dental Website Needs Links, Links, And More Links
The importance of a search engine optimization SEO link strategy cannot be overstated. We’ll be discussing two types of links; inbound links (backlinks) and internal links.
Dental SEO Inbound Linking (AKA Backlinks)
An inbound link is a link to your website from another website. A good example of this would be a link from a local business directory, or an article about oral health in an online periodical that links to your website.
According to dental SEO experts, inbound links are the most powerful source of ranking power for your dental SEO marketing.
Think about it. How does Google know that your dental practice is a better option than another dental practice? They don’t have someone on the ground in your community evaluating dental practices. Inbound links are a very simple way for Google to measure the quality and relevance of your dental practice. A company with a great local reputation that locals enjoy will have more people talking and linking to them online.
Google measures the value of the inbound link by the quality of the website that is linking to your website. If the website is established, reputable, has lots of traffic and also has lots of links itself, then Google will see this as a reputable link. A great way to think about inbound links is that they’re similar to votes of confidence. Google is assessing the trustworthiness of your website through the types of inbound links that you have.
On the other hand if the website linking to you has only been online for a few days and doesn’t have any traffic or links, then it would be regarded as a weak link. Weak links can be considered spam and actually damage your rankings. You need to be careful in which links you acquire.
Building Inbound Links With Citations
You’ve probably been approached by your dental SEO company or another dental marketing organization with this comment, ‘You need to create more dental citations’. Well, what in the world is a dental citation?
The most useful search engine optimization SEO strategies should always include citation creation and clean-up, (AKA directory creation and clean-up). Citations create inbound links to your dental website and help it be be viewed as a reliable source.
So, what’s the difference between a citation, directory listing, and a local listing? All directory listings and local listings are citations but not all citations are directory and local listings. So when someone says you need more citations, one way to get more is to submit your practice information to directories.
For example, Healthgrades is a great listing to have, but it’s not a local listing. Healthgrades would be considered a national directory listing. On the other hand the, ‘Miami-Dade County Business Directory’ or ‘The Nephi Utah Onion Festival Directory’, (yes that’s a real thing) would be local listings.
Citations can be corrupted with bad information. There are a lot of reasons that a citation would be incorrect but we’re not going to get into that in this article. What you do want to do is check your current citations and make sure they have the correct name, address, and phone information. This is also known as your NAP information.
Good Internal Linking Helps With Search Engine Indexing
Internal links are links from your website to another page on your website. A good example would be a blog post that talks about dental implants and links to your dental implant service page.
Why are internal links so important? In order for the search engine spiders to find all of the pages on a website, they require access to a crawlable link structure, which is a method that allows spiders to tour a website’s architecture. Once a new page is discovered via a link the page can be indexed.
Many websites make the deadly mistake of burying or masking their primary link navigation in a manner that search engines can’t see. This reduces their chances of being discovered in search engine indices.
Also, just because you have a website it doesn’t mean that Google knows the type of patients you’re wanting to attract. Internal links help to solve the problem by structuring your links to show Google what services are most important to your practice.
In the image below the Google spider comes to your website and it sees a link from A to B and A to E. But the spider doesn’t see any links to pages D and C. In this situation the D and C pages will not be indexed.
In the graphic below notice the linking is hierarchal. Creating a link structure is a way to show search engine crawlers all of your pages. It will also send a signal that the pages at the top of the hierarchy are most important.
Some dental SEO experts call the above example a pyramid linking structure. There are different linking structures and some experts favor one over another. The most important part of this is making sure that all pages on your website are linking to and from and that there is a structure that helps Google see which pages are most valuable.
#7. Social Media Improves SEO For Dentists?
Did you know? Your dental practice’s social media platforms and the activity on those accounts is included in the ranking algorithm. That’s right, dental practice SEO and dental social media marketing work in tandem. Staying active on your social media accounts presents yet another opportunity to improve your Google rankings.
What Is A Dental Social Media Signal?
When you post on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, or any of the other social media platforms, your followers can comment, share, and like the posts. We call this social media engagement. Engagement is easily recognized by search engines and helps to identify authorities in an industry.
Lame Posts = No Social Media Signals
Think about it this way. Below is a super lame dental post. I blurred the practice information for fear of embarrassing them. The one on the left is the post. In the middle is how much engagement it received, big goose egg. On the right is how many more people saw the post because of the engagement on it. Another big goose egg.
This is a great example of a completely ineffective social media marketing post, and it provided zero in SEO for dentists benefit.
Awesome Post = Lots Of Social Media Signals
Search engines will take into account the engagement as a measurement of the quality of content from the social media channel.
Now take a look at the image above. It’s a great example of a post that received a ton of engagement. Notice the 75 social media comments, the 29 engagements, and 1 share.
What you don’t see in the stats in that image is the total number of impressions, which is how many times the image was seen. It was seen over 2,000 times!
#8. Last But Not Least, Optimize Your Google My Business Account
Most of you have used Google and you’ve seen Google My Business listings, but you may not have known what they were.
Google My Business is an online profile for your dental practice that lives right on Google’s map platform. Your Google listing is searchable and contains your practice (NAP) name, address, phone number and other pertinent information. Think of it as a mini dental website hosted by Google itself.
The huge benefit to ranking well in Google maps is that studies have shown most patients searching online use the Google map to find local businesses. The Google map is used so often, studies have shown that patients are choosing a dentist right from the map, without even looking at the practice website.
Dental SEO Training And Support
SEO For Dentists Actionable Steps [Webinar]
Your Google My Business account shows up in the Google map dependent on where the person is searching from. This is called a local search result. It’s what happens when you search for a local business from your cell phone. The GPS connection in your mobile is recognized by Google which produces results that are close to your location.
For example, when a potential patients searches ‘dentist near me’ and they’re standing just outside your practice, you’ll probably show up at the top of the Google map in their result.
In this short dental SEO video recording Adrian gives a great example of how and why your practice may not be showing up for people searching for a dentist.
Improve Your Dental SEO Campaign With These Tips [Webinar]
Most dentists, and frankly many dental marketing companies, are not familiar with the fact that you can optimize your Google My Business listing which will help it rank higher on the Google map.
In the video recording below you’ll see how to begin optimizing your Google My Business account and three dental SEO case studies.
Don’t Be Overwhelmed With SEO, We Can Help!
My Social Practice has served dentists and orthodontists for over twelve years. Our team of experts has helped hundreds of dentists boost their search engine ranking through effective SEO for dentists strategies.
A Recent Dental SEO Case Study
Dr. Bana Ball and her team at Shady Grove Pediatric Dentistry were trying to grow their pediatric dental practice online. She knew that most of her new patients found her practice on the Google map. She was intrigued with My Social Practice’s Google Maps SEO service, which focuses on helping a dental practice to rank on the Google map rather than in the organic results below the map, and wanted to give it a try.
Below is an example of Shady Grove Pediatric’s Google Maps rankings for the keyword ‘pediatric dentist’. On the left is where she was ranking when we started. On the right is 90 days after we began the Google Maps SEO service.
Lean On Us For Dental SEO Training
When you combine great promotion, online advertising, building and establishing a great local brand, social media, fantastic website development, digital marketing, together with SEO for dentists; you’ll see your practice grow like never before.
If you are ready to take the next step to attract new dental patients but don’t know where to begin or simply don’t have the time to get going, My Social Practice is here to help. Fill out a form to get a personalized no-obligation dental SEO summary and quote. An SEO and marketing strategy can be one of the best investments you’ll make for your dental practice. We can’t wait to get you started.
Frequently Asked Questions
If a dentist’s goal is to increase new patients, dental SEO should be seriously considered in dental practice marketing efforts.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a dental digital marketing strategy that focuses on the search rankings of your dental practice’s website, Google My Business account, social media accounts, and other online assets. The reason a dentist would want to implement an SEO strategy is to help to increase the number of people that find his/her dental practice online through a search phrase.
In dental marketing SEO case studies it has been found that phone calls will increase significantly when a local dental SEO strategy is implemented.
ROI is an acronym which stands for Return On Investment. ROI allows dentists to measure the quality of their marketing investments. The actual ROI numbers can be acquired though tracking leads from the dental marketing initiative, to the dental service paid for. In order to get actual ROI number a dentist needs to have their marketing efforts tied their PMS and dollars paid for dental services.
Another way to track ROI is to attribute a average conversion for the following attributes; inbound calls, appointments scheduled off of inbound calls, average dollar amount per patient. The ROI number with this method will not be exact but with attention to detail a dentist can get a close idea of what their ROI is on any marketing effort.
A dentist can calculate their ROI by subtracting the marketing cost from the total income generated from the dental marketing investment, which is also called the net return.
Once you have the net return you divide this number by the cost of the investment, and multiply by 100. This gives you the return on the investment. An article in DentistryIQ explains how to calculate an ROI on dental technology investments.
A dentist can improve their search engine rankings by performing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on their website and other online assets, like their Google My Business account. In an article by ahrefs it was found that it takes small businesses between 61 and 182 days in order for a dental marketing initiative to help a dental practice rank in the top ten listings in Google.
Keep in mind though that when you talk about rankings you need to make sure that you know in which section of the SERP’s you’re trying to rank higher in. The organic listings are below the Google map and are tied very closely to your dental website SEO. The listings in the Google map are local SEO results and are tied closely to your Google My Business account and your website.
The tactics involved to help with dentist SEO are inbound and internal link building, copywriting, and fixing website errors. Be wary of dental marketers who promise number 1 rankings within a specific time period. Promises like this are usually strong handed sales tactics. Something that seems too good to be true, is often, to good to be true.
There are several key indicators and dental SEO performance metrics that a dentist or dental practice manager must track; website and social media impressions, organic rankings, local SEO rankings, backlinks, how well service pages and blog articles rank, domain and dental page authority, clicks, conversions, and new patient phone calls.
A dental marketing company that performs SEO for dentists will set proper expectations, provide their dental client with reporting, statistics, and suggestions on how to improve the SEO campaign.
The short answer to this question is ‘Yes’, especially if you’re wanting your dental practice to be found online by potential patients. Dental SEO helps practices rank higher in search engines and it doesn’t depend on what type of dentist you are. Any dental practice can benefit, whether you’re a general dentist and orthodontist or a specialty practice.
The primary way that potential patients find dentists is in local SEO, which is the Google map. Nearly ¾ of all potential patients trust the results and use the Google map. SEO for dentists is one way to help your Google map rankings and attract more new patients.
Studies have shown that consumers trust businesses that show up on the first SERP. More than 90% of all actions taken on a SERP happen on the first page, indicating trust.
Dentists who appear on the first page of search results in the organic section of rankings as well as in the Google maps 3-pack receive much higher engagement from people searching. There’s a reason why the majority of people click on one of the top suggested results, and it’s perceived trust.
High dental SEO rankings create a positive cycle in regards to credibility. The higher you rank in search results, the more potential patients are likely to trust you and click on your website. The more people who click on your website, the more Google trusts you as a reliable and credible source, which will continue to push you towards the top results.
SEO for dentists is a digital dental marketing strategy that optimizes your online assets so that you’re more likely to be found by potential patients searching online. Whether the consumer is searching directly for your dental practice using a discovery search, SEO for dentists will help your practice be found.
The ranking algorithm for search engines are constantly receiving updates and changes as the search engines attempt to create the best experience for the user.
The first step in being found online is to make sure that your website has been indexed by the search engines.
The second step is to optimize your website. The optimization process is lengthy but there are a few key things to make sure are optimized.
- The meta data of your web pages
- The content on each page
- Whether the content is original or copied
- The length of the copy
- The history of your domain and the strength of past SEO efforts
- How fast your website pages load
- Whether your website is mobile-friendly
- How long people spend on your website
- The internal link structure
- You inbound link strength
- Your bounce rate
- The structure and layout of your website
- E.A.T principle
As long as you know which patients you are attempting to attract, SEO for dentists campaigns can be altered and tweaked to focus on attracting those patients. If a dentist wants to attract dental implant patients the campaign can focus on helping the practice rank as high as possible for keywords related to dental implants. Or, if there is a geographical area that you want attract patients from, an SEO for dentists campaign can focus on optimizing for a specific geographical area.
Depending on the goals and expectations of a dental SEO campaign, timing will vary from a few months to possibly years.
SEO for dental practices should be a consistent and long term initiative. Dentists who begin SEO when they need new patients immediately, will inevitably be disappointed with results. The best course of action is to allocate some of a dentists marketing budget towards and SEO campaign that will always be running.
The idea we’re suggesting here is not to discourage a dentist from starting an SEO campaign, it’s simply the reality of how dental digital marketing works now-a-days. The ROI benefits of dental SEO are so high that forward thinking dentists have shifted their marketing budgets from traditional advertising towards SEO.
About the Author: Adrian Lefler is a dental marketing expert and a key member of the dental marketing team at My Social Practice. My Social Practice is a dental marketing company located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Adrian is passionate about helping practices grow through SEO for dentists. If you’d like to book one of the members of My Social Practice’s speaking team, you can do that HERE. Interested in learning more about the benefits of dental SEO or our dental website service, please give us a call.