Is your dental practice showing up on the first page of the search results? If not, then prospective patients won’t even know that your practice exists. They’ll make an appointment with a competitor instead.
How can you get your practice showing up on the first page of Google’s search results?
In the article, we’ll walk you through the 7 keys of Local SEO. These are the same steps we use to get our dental SEO clients ranking on the first page of Google.
Step 1. Create a Responsive Website
First, you need to make sure that your website is responsive and accessible across different devices, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Google gives higher rankings to websites that are mobile friendly. Before doing anything else, make sure that your website is highly responsive. This is an easy win.
If it’s not responsive, consider a new website that utilizes Dentalfone’s exclusive Hybrid-Responsive™ technology, which provides advanced responsive technology that adapts specifically to the device being used by your patient.
Step 2. Optimize Your Website For Relevant Keywords
It’s critical that your website has different pages for each of the different services and procedures that you provide.
For example, if you’re a general dentist that offers cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, and pediatric dentistry, then you’ll want pages on your website for each of those services. Similarly, if you’re a periodontist, you should have separate pages for each of your specific procedures.
And then, it’s important to make sure that these sub-pages are properly linked up on your website, so visitors (and search engines) can find these pages.
The next step is to optimize these pages for relevant keywords. First, you need to be aware of the phrases that people are searching for – and then you need to incorporate those phrases into the content of your pages. Specifically, the most important places to incorporate keywords are in the title tag, header and website body copy of the page.
For example, if you’re an orthodontist in Boston, your patients will search for you using phrases like “orthodontist boston” or “boston orthodontist.” And for that reason, you’ll want to make sure that the word “orthodontist” and the word “Boston” are in the title, header and copy of your homepage. Likewise, if you also offer Invisalign services, then you’ll want to have an Invisalign page optimized for relevant keywords.
In addition, you also want to make sure that your contact information is easily found on your website. Specifically, you should include your practice Name, Address, and Phone number — known as your “NAP” — in the footer of each of your pages. (As we’ll see a bit later, this has an impact on your local rankings.)
By taking these steps, you’re putting your website in the running to show up in Google when prospects are searching for you. But there are still more steps in order to rise up above your competitors in the rankings!
Step 3. Optimize your Google My Business profile(s)
In order to show up in Google’s local map results, you need to have a verified Google My Business profile. Take care to select proper categories, complete the description field, and add images to your profile. Also, make sure that you’ve correctly filled out the hours of operation and other details.
And if you have multiple locations, make sure that you have a Google My Business profile for each location.
Creating your Google profile is a necessary step to rank in Google’s results, but as we’ll see, we’re not finished yet…
Step 4. Ask Current Patients for Reviews
Reviews are an important part of Google’s local search engine algorithm. If you can get more reviews than your competitors, you can gain an edge in the rankings.
People generally don’t take the time to write reviews and testimonials for services they’re happy with unless prompted. Ask current patients to add a Google review about your dental practice.
Step 5. Get Listed in Online Directories
Next, in addition to your Google profile, it’s important that you get your dental practice listed on all of the other directory website, such as Yelp, Manta.com and dozens of others.
By getting your business listed, and using consistent NAP information across your listings, you communicate to Google that your business is a real, trustworthy business. Each time your NAP is published on a webpage, this counts as a “citation” for your practice. The more citations you have, the higher your business will rank in the local search results.
Step 6. Promote Your Website with Press Releases
The next step is to promote your website, so you continue to generate new citations and links to your websites.
One promotion method in particular that we recommend for dentists is online press releases. By publishing press releases, you can build even more citations for your practice. Done correctly, a single press release can generate up to 200 citations for your practice!
We recommend getting into a regular schedule with press releases so that you are consistently announcing and promoting news about your practice. For example, you can promote new services, seasonal specials, new hires, new office locations, rebranding, and new websites, as well as other announcements.
Step 7. Tracking
Last but not least, be sure to track your results. You’ll want to be tracking your keywords, traffic, and conversions from SEO on an ongoing basis. That way, you’ll know what’s working and you’ll also identify your areas for improvement. Only by tracking can you maximize your return on investment (ROI).
Need Help with SEO?
At Dentalfone, we specialize in search engine optimization for dentists. If you need help, you can learn more about our dental SEO services here, or call us at (855) 385-3663.