As a dentist, competition for first-page rankings in Google is fierce. So how can you set your practice apart from the pack and get the most visibility for your practice? The answer is to implement a local search engine optimization (local SEO) campaign following a proven step-by-step process.
SEO involves engaging in online activities that are known to get noticed by search engines. In general, five activities help you get noticed by search engines in a way that matters to dentists. These include local citations optimization, online review marketing, content writing, link building, and website optimization. These five things, which I’ve listed in order of how much technical knowledge is involved, create a robust online presence that search engines notice.
When managed properly, a local SEO campaign can be one of the best marketing investments you can make for your dental practice. For best results, you need to approach SEO in a step-by-step fashion.
- Keyword research
- Keyword optimization
- Citations and Links
This is a simple formula to rank higher, generate more traffic, and attract more patients.
When you’re ranking at the top of Google, you get free traffic and free patients. SEO is truly one of the best marketing investments you can make for your dental practice.
Most people believe it can take 6 months to a year to gain first-page Google rankings, but in local markets, results often come faster. Most dentists aren’t following SEO best practices.
Following the 5 steps, it’s not uncommon to gain first-page local rankings within 30 days.
Search Engine Marketing for Dentists
SEM involves paying search engines, through a bidding process, to appear when people in your area search for certain terms. These results are marked “ads” and appear on the top and right side of a SERP. (search engine return page)
For example, if you want to appear when people in your area search for “teeth whitening” or “best dentist in [your area],” you can bid on these keywords to appear in the paid results the search engine displays on the search results page.
This can be a very fast and effective way to get noticed in search engines, but it’s a bit of a sophisticated practice to know exactly how to research the search terms that will give you the best results. Keywords for “Dentist” are expensive as there is a lot of competition for the words associated with services that produce the most revenue. In the keyword research, you can uncover long-tail keywords with lower search volume but are less expensive and can produce better results.
Statistically, 20% of the clicking happens here and the other 80% in the organic results. (SEO)
Simplistically, SEM is similar to “renting” as SEO is to “owning”. It only works when you pay. If you stop paying, your phone stops ringing. With search engine optimization, it takes a little longer for search engines to notice you, but your benefits generally last much longer and don’t require you to keep paying to keep getting results.
A strategy may start with SEM and taper it off as the SEO takes effect.