Dental Marketing and SEO – 3 Important SEO Tips For Copywriting
There’s no secret that the major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing update their rankings algorithms as often as they can. This definitely helps consumers find what they’re looking for online, but it’s a big problem for dental marketing experts. How are we supposed to put together a concise dental SEO plan if things are always changing?
The good news is that the fundamentals of SEO copywriting don’t change. They’re pretty consistent.
In this article I’m going to review 3 of the most important dental SEO tips for copywriting.
No time to lose, let’s get this party started.
What Is Dental Marketing And SEO Copywriting?
Copy or copywriting is the written text, and SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. So, SEO copywriting is writing copy with the intent to help your website rank higher in the search engines. And, for dental practices the ultimate goal is to rank higher in the local SEO search section of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), which is the Google map.
When this is achieved a dental practice will see much higher rates of inbound calls. We know, we’ve been tracking local SEO stats for years.
1) Understand Keywords In Dental SEO Copywriting
Keywords, or keyword phrases, are the words that you want to rank for in the search engine results pages. Without some research and planning your copywriting may have little impact on your SEO.
So, here are some of the most important local SEO tips for copywriting.
Understand Keyword Intent
Once you’ve decided which keyword or phrase you want to go after you need to make sure that you write copy that matches the intent of the keyword.
A search engines goal is to match the search phrase with the content. If a potential patients searching “history of root canals” lands on the homepage of your website where there is no information on the history of root canals, you will not have achieved search intent and you’ll drop in the rankings for that keyword phrase.
It’s that simple folks. Make sure to write copy that answers the intent of the search phrase.
Don’t Keyword Stuff
Keyword stuffing is an SEO tactic that is considered spamming or spamdexing. It’s when a copywriter puts the keyword that they’re going after excessively in the copy, metadata, and backlink anchor text.
- Don’t keyword stuff.
- Even if someone tells you to.
- It’s not worth it.
Keyword stuffing was a tactic used by lots of SEO companies for years, but the search engines figured out how to identify keyword stuffing. It’s frowned upon by search engines because it lowers the quality of the copywriting.
Over the past few years the search engines have modified their algorithms so that websites found keyword stuffing do not gain an unfair advantage in rankings over competitors. Many recent reports have suggested that keyword stuffing will actually drop your rankings.
Try To Get A Featured Snippet
Less than half of the search result pages end in a click. What this means is that people are finding the answer to their query on the SERP page without clicking in to one of the results. Some of the reasons for this are:
- Introduction of the knowledge panel
- Google Ads
- Featured Snippets
Let’s spend some time discussing featured snippets because these are a big deal in SERP rankings.
What Is A Featured Snippet?
Featured snippets are the first thing that searchers see at the top of the SERP. And, on mobile devices they take up enough of the screen that they’re usually all that someone sees. A featured snippet encourages people to click through for more information. If you can get a featured snippet it’s a quick way to the top of the search engine.
Featured Snippet Example
Featured snippets are pulled from a website and displayed as in the example below, where I searched “how long does a root canal take”. The circled result from loveyoursmile.com is the featured snippet. Google decided that loveyoursmile.com had the most relevant answer to the query and used some of the copy from the page to answer the question.
How To Get A Featured Snippet
If you want to shoot for a featured snippet start with your web pages that are already ranking in the top ten results for the search phrase. If you don’t have any pages that rank in the top ten then you may need to get some help and step up your dental SEO game. If you aren’t sure how to find out if you’re ranking in the top ten, then you definitely need to get some help and step up your dental SEO game.
But once you have a page optimized and it’s on the first page of the SERP’s you’ll need to add some copy. You can do this by building into your page or post the additional questions in the featured snippet section for the search phrase you rank for. For example, in the screen shot above where I searched for “how long do dental implants take”, notice the other four questions under the ‘People also ask’ section.
Those question are there because they are highly searched phrases. You don’t have to be a dental SEO genius to do SEO. You just need to know what you’re looking at and have the time to do the work.
You should use these questions in the ‘People also ask’ section on your page that is already ranking, and answer them. Many SEO experts do this by building in a table of contents and making the titles of each table the questions in the featured snippet section.
Sounds kind of circuitous doesn’t it? But it works. You’re sending signals to Google that your web page or blog post has answers to all of the questions in the featured snippet section.
2) Add Custom Copy To Your Website Pages
Custom copy is an absolute must when it comes to helping your website to rank higher in the search engines. If custom copy was not part of the SERP algorithm then dentists would just copy and paste from competitors websites. Obviously this would end up making the information on the internet worthless.
The goal here is to provide helpful information that consumers will value. That’s what to focus on when getting started with dental SEO copywriting.
Add Copy Sections To Your Homepage
The homepage of your website is the most likely page to rank highest in the search engine for general dental keywords. These would be keywords like ‘dentist’ or ‘dental practice’. Service related keywords like ‘dental implants’ or ‘teeth whitening’ will rank but it will most likely be the service pages that talk about those services that rank in the SERP’s.
So when it comes to ranking for main keywords one important copywriting tactic would be to add custom copy to your homepage. Here are a couple ways to do that.
Add A Google Reviews Feed To Your Homepage
In the example below I’ve screen shot the top header imager for this dental website client of ours. We’re feeding the reviews that the practice gets into the main image so that everyone who comes to the site sees them. Why? Statements of social proof from current patients are far more valuable than you talking about yourself.
There are lots of places to display positive Google reviews on your dental website. But, I think the homepage is absolutely necessary. If you’re thinking to yourself, ‘We don’t have enough Google reviews. Why would we want to do that?’ Then you should take a look at our dental reputation management service, which is freaking awesome at helping dental practices get new 5 star Google reviews.
Add An ‘About Our Practice’ Section To Your Homepage
In the example below I’ve taken a screen shot from one of our dental website clients homepage. We added a section that talks a little bit about the practice in the ‘About Our Practice’ section.
Why would we do this? There is almost always an internal page that talks about the practice. Well… I’m glad you asked. The reason is that Google looks at the copy of your homepage to see how well to rank it for keywords, especially main keywords like ‘dentist’. If there is very little homepage copy then you have a problem.
The key here is to make sure that the copy on the homepage is succinct and clear. You don’t want your homepage to just be text.
Update Your Bio Or About Me Page
The dentist bio page or on some websites it’s called the “About Us” or ‘Meet The Dentist” page, is the second most trafficked page on most dental websites. It’s the page where you have the ability to build trust in your skills, team and dental capabilities.
For most dentists, their website bio page was written when their website was first built and it’s never been updated. It’s important to update and add new content to your Bio and About The Dentist page.
We’ve put together a super simple way to update your Bio and About Me page; download the Bio or About The Dentist template to help you update your copywriting.
A Great ‘About The Dentist’ Page Example
Adding Sections To Your Bio And About The Dentist Page
If I were a dentist and was updating my bio and about me page, I would take a look around at the other dentists in town and see how they have their about me pages set up. Doing this will give you great ideas on how to structure the page.
A great way to structure the page is to have sections that talk about different aspects of the doctors skill set, interests, and personal life. Obviously the more information and transparency, the better. A potential patient considering the practice would learn more and feel more comfortable with more information rather than none or less.
I would recommend adding these sections:
- History or Why I Became A Dentist?
- Education and Schooling
- Recent Continuing Education
- Humanitarian Efforts
- Accreditations and Affiliations
- Home Life and Family
Make sure to use photography. More than just one photo is helpful to highlight the doctors personality and trustworthiness.
3) SEO Dental Blogging Advice
If you don’t have a blog on your website, get one. Adding a blog to a website takes approximately 4 minutes and 21 seconds. So, if your website company says that it’s going to cost thousands or even hundreds of dollars, give us a call. We’ll set up a blog on your website at no cost. Matter of fact, if you are a client of any of our dental marketing services, we’ll build you an awesome dental website for free.
Once you have a blog on your website you’ll be ready to put your SEO copywriting into full gear.
Word Count Is Important
The total number of words that you have on each blog post is something to be aware of. There is quite a bit of research suggesting that more copy on a page helps it to rank higher. A general rule is to write a minimum of 450 words. But, the best way to see how much copy you’ll need is to use an incognito search and see what practices blog posts are ranking for the keywords you’re going to write about.
This will give you a baseline on how to get your dental website to rank higher in the search engines.
For example, in the graphic below you’ll see that I did an incognito search for the keyword phrase ‘dental implants in draper utah’.
Gauging Your Blogging Word Count
I went to each of the top three pages in the SERP and found that the first page results had anywhere from 250 words up to 2250 words. My recommendation would be to always write towards the top end of the scale. So, more than 2,000 words.
Internal And Outbound Linking
Internal linking is when you link from the blog post to another page on your website.
The purpose is two fold; first you want to give the reader a link to more information on the topic. For example, I’m going to link in this sentence to a case study we did on dental SEO. See that? The words ‘dental SEO’ is an internal link. And it’s a relevant internal link because this blog article is all about dental SEO. The link to the case study goes into much more information about SEO and the service we offer that helps dental practices rank higher in Google. See, I just did it again.
The second reason to internal link is to send a signal to Google about which pages (or keywords) are most important to your practice. Which, helps Google know which keywords you want to rank for. With My Social Practice, our SEO service is very important. So, you’ll notice that a lot of the copywriting on our blog is about different aspects of dental SEO. If you were to read through many of those articles you’d start seeing a pattern of linking to our dental SEO website page. See, I just did another internal link.
So, make sure you know which keywords you’re going after. Once you know this create service pages on your website that talk about the keywords you want to rank for. The last step is to start writing blog posts about the service and link internally to those service pages.
Guess What? We Can Do This For Your Practice
With well-written SEO copy you’ll begin to fully optimize your website and patients will find your practice online. As you can see from this article, it going to take precious time to write good blog content.
We have an amazing SEO service for dentists. We’re confident that our team of SEO guru’s will optimize your practice and meet all of your expectations.
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 located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Adrian is passionate about helping dental practices grow. 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 SEO for dentists or our dental SEO service, please schedule a complimentary consultation. And, don’t forget to read our Google My Business reviews.