Five Critical Search Engine Tips for Dentists
Would it surprise you to learn that 77% of medical and dental patients conduct an online search prior to booking an appointment? That’s what The Digital Journey to Wellness reports in their recent Google study—a fact that probably won’t come as a shock to dentists who engage in search engine marketing and keep up with dental marketing trends.
According to a study by the search engine optimization (SEO) company BrightLocal, medical and dental practices are among the top five categories getting positive results using local SEO. The other business categories to make the top five are restaurants, general stores, hotels and retail shops.
SEO is important for dentists who want to be competitive because it’s a very cost-effective way to reach patients. Here are five tips to help you get the most exposure via search engines such as Google and Bing:
1. Focus on the problem. Patients are more likely to focus their search on their problem rather than the type of doctor who can treat them. A patient is more likely to search for “gum disease” than “periodontist.” Of course, some will still search by type of doctor. Include both in your keywords, but focus on the problem first and foremost.
2. Be specific. The more specific the search terms, the more serious the searcher. For example, someone looking for “top vacation rentals” still has a long way to go to find that perfect vacation. Are they looking for a summer vacation or a fall getaway? A romantic weekend upstate or a family vacation overseas? None of this is clear from their search. However, if they look for “Niagara Falls summer vacation package,” they’re going to find very specific and targeted results that will help them plan their vacation.
3. Make locale a priority. Dental SEO must be locally focused. You need to include names of the regions you serve. But the number of regional areas you can effectively optimize for is limited. You won’t get the best results by trying to keyword target every small town or major city near your practice. That dilutes your results. It’s best to pick one or two geographic keywords.
4. Fresher is better. SEO has matured over the years, but one thing hasn’t changed: the need for fresh content. Search engines tend to overlook content that’s stale, favoring sites that are dynamic and changing. One of the benefits of regular blogging is that it keeps your content fresh, and Google and Bing―and your readers―engaged.
5. Remember those patient reviews! Patient reviews are an important boost to search engine results. If you have many reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, Healthgrades, Angie’s List and others, you’ll have higher search visibility. Dentists serious about high search engine ranks actively look to build patient reviews.
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