Dental SEO Services
As a dental professional, business is tough without enough clients around to give service to. You can always work for a big dental firm to secure your monthly income but the entrepreneur inside you just says NO.
And true enough, you can get by without having to work for someone else. After all, true bliss is found in being able to work your passion in the way you want to – becoming your own boss.
But being the boss means leasing an office, hiring professional staff, paying utility bills, and buying equipment. If you’re not getting enough sales traffic, your business can go bankrupt anytime.
If you’re a start-up doing your research or a clinician looking for ways to save your business, then you’ve come to the right place.
But before you continue reading this article, let me tell you 3 things you should expect:
- This article will be long (so maybe grab a bucket of popcorn?)
- However, it will be positive (so no, you will not be closing shop anytime soon)
- Get ready to fall in love (with something that we really love too!)
If you’re prepared for the long ride, we’ll be happy to take you for a drive!
The Pros & Cons Of Running A Dental Clinic
Okay. If we’re talking business, we might as well get serious about it. Let’s take a look at how dental clinics perform in the market objectively.
- Dental Clinics work with teeth, gums, and anything related to oral health. People need to maintain oral health in order to satisfy the most primary needs in life (eating, drinking, etc.)
- Dental procedures usually require repeat appointments to maintain oral health.
- With a good dentist, patients stay with the same clinic for an average of 10 years. And the Lifetime Value of each one is promising.
- Having a dental clinic lets you take advantage of walk-in patients as well as patients who regularly set up appointments.
- Dental care is a bit expensive and most people with low to average income forgo it.
- There are days when the dental chair feels so lonely.
- Running your own clinic means shouldering all responsibility – bills, marketing efforts, manpower, failed procedures, etc.
Dentistry is a high-paying profession. As a business, it doubles or maybe even quadruples that potential. But the problem lies in how you can fill that dental chair frequently and consistently. No matter how good a dentist you are, no matter how great your clinic is, no one will know if no one can find you.
What’s a star without an audience to perform for?
And, that’s our cue!
If you aren’t getting seen, are you just going to wait around and do nothing? We are no experts in dentistry, but we are experts in SEO. And right now, it’s exactly what you need.
What Is SEO?
A lot of businesses are now migrating to the online world. Well, maybe not migrate – just building a second home. And, trust me, it’s one of the best decisions you’ll make for your business too.
The online world is vast and it promises an unlimited number of opportunities. But it is also because it is vast and limitless that makes it all the more difficult to tame. The internet is for everyone. And we’re talking of thousands, millions, no – billions of people.
Luckily, search engines like Google have made a special place for each and every website to compete on equal grounds. Now, there is no need to manually send out URLs to acquaintances hoping that it’ll spread through word of mouth (or mouse, if it matters). We have search engines allowing users to reach us as easily as one click – but of course, first, we need to be seen.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the systematic and strategic way of making search engines recognize your website. Search engines are awesome but they’re not omnipotent. They are virtual machines running on codes and commands. They cannot keep track of every new website that is birthed into cyberspace – let alone assess how great it is with one look.
When we meet a friend at the mall and they don’t recognize us from afar, we wave. The same thing goes with SEO. We apply certain methods and strategies so that we can get the search engines attention. Ranking on the top pages of a search engine’s organic search results would skyrocket your website traffic. And more visitors means more returns.
How Is SEO Going To Help Improve My Dental Business?
Dental businesses rely heavily on the number of appointments they can get booked in a day. As a professional and an entrepreneur, you should know that it takes 3:1 or 4:1, income to expenses ratio to make a business run smoothly and profitable. And you’re not going to get that many appointments if you isolate your marketing efforts offline.
Building a website, implementing a proper SEO strategy, and increasing your online presence can really help your business in more ways than one. Specifically, it can:
Help You Reach a Bigger Market
With offline marketing, people ten blocks away from your clinic know you exist. With online SEO marketing, the whole city can know that your clinic exists. Now, that’s not a bad bargain at all.
Many people reach out to online resources before they make a final decision on which clinic to visit. If you are actively participating in the online scene you can definitely benefit from this advantage. All you need to work on is creating a website that entices locals enough to want to buy services from you.
Increase the Number of Appointments You Receive
When you are more visible, you increase your chances of landing appointments. People generally don’t like browsing more than just a few websites. And most that get the chance to be browsed are websites that appear on the very first page of the SERPs. If you maximize your efforts in SEO, it is not impossible for you to be one of these selected websites. Although becoming a nominee does not necessarily seal the deal, still, you get the chance to showcase what your clinic has to offer. And not all websites get that chance; make the most out of it.
Expand Your Business Area
Launching an SEO campaign also means receiving an audience outside your HQ’s city. You get the opportunity to land appointments from neighboring cities as well! People who are convinced of quality will not mind the extra 45-minute drive. But in order to land these outer city regulars, you need to make the effort to make your website all the more convincing. Always generate relevant content, value quality, and never settle for something short of amazing.
Think of your website as an extra staff working 24/7 to promote your business. This way, spending a little bit extra on it would feel like paying an extra hand its well-earned fee!
Organize Appointments More Effectively
With a website, you can also add a feature that will allow patients to book for appointment themselves. I’ve seen a lot of clinics do this and more often than not, people appreciate it. It lets them choose a schedule that is convenient for them and this alone can convince them to try out your services.
Using this feature can also become an advantage on your part. You can just open time slots your clinic can be available for the day so you don’t have to go through all the trouble of telling people your schedule. Even when a patient calls your clinic to set up an appointment, you can simply encourage them to visit your website and see if any of the open schedules work for them. By doing so, you’re also improving your website’s CTR so it’s like hitting two birds with one stone!
While this is not directly related to SEO, it does help improve user experience. And user experience always goes hand-in-hand with SEO – that is, if you want to achieve the best results.
Reduce Offline Marketing Costs
Starting an online marketing campaign, SEO especially, may seem like an intimidating expense at first. After all, you are spending for something intangible, something that you doubt will make your business advance at all. But let me put all your worries to rest.
SEO might just be the best marketing tool you will ever spend money on.
SEO Has Measurable Returns
– Unlike conventional marketing strategies, the progress of your SEO can be measured in metrics. For example, when you give out flyers, you don’t know how many got read, kept for future reference, or thrown away in the dump. SEO is not like this at all. You can always have your website audited after a couple of months of engaging with SEO. You can gain relevant data such as your website’s CTR, DA (Domain Authority) and PA (Page Authority) scores, number of visitors who visit your cash pages, backlinks, so on and so forth. Everything can be calculated, including your ROI.
SEO Has Limitless Reach
– Say you print 100 flyers, then that would technically mean you can reach 100 people. If you print 200 flyers, you also get 200 people. So how many more flyers do you think you need in order to reach each and every family living in Cyprus? With SEO, you can reach not only every family in Cyprus but outside Cyprus as well – and everything is done with a fixed expense.
SEO Is Cost Efficient
– If we go back to our example on number two, you’ll realize that in order to connect with a very large audience, you need to double or maybe even triple the costs of your marketing efforts as well. SEO on the other hand, gets cheaper in the long run. Most of the costs you incur would be on the beginning of your SEO campaign. Once it settles, you wouldn’t have to keep paying so much anymore – except for costs on maintenance. When your website starts landing you appointments like crazy, the money you spent will feel incomparable to the money you earn.
Building Your Dental Website’s SEO
At this point, I bet you can’t wait to start your Dental SEO campaign. Many clinics opt to use SEO Agencies to build their website’s competitive advantage but it is entirely up to you if you would do the same.
Agency or not, it is important that you are also well aware of what goes on in an SEO campaign. On top of learning more about SEO, you also get to safeguard your assets from shady agencies who claim to know a lot about SEO but are only interested in ripping you off of your money.
In general, building your dental website’s SEO would require the following tasks:
- On-site Audit
A good SEO campaign always begin with site audits. The purpose of this is to identify which parts of your website are in need of serious help. You may not know it but you may already be doing things right for some parts of your website and those really don’t need to be changed anymore. The main goal of SEO is to optimize your website to help it catch Google’s attention. This is why it only needs to correct problems that may be interfering with your rank on Google.
Running your metrics, checking how well your website currently competes with others, checking your website speed and responsiveness, are some of the few things specialists take into account during an on-site audit.
- Main Pages
Your main pages are sections of your website that actually count. This is where SEO must be strongly applied. These pages may include (but are not just limited to) the homepage, locations page, portfolio page, product/service page, subscription or sign up page, and contacts page. It is in these pages that you make your pitch as a reputable dental clinic; this is where patients either drop off or continue with your business.
The first thing SEO would look at in these pages is if you’re doing the following things correctly:
– Your main pages’ keyword density should be comparable or superior to those of your competitors. This affects how your pages will rank.
– Your links in the main pages must be centralized, all pointing towards the cash pages. Also, it is advised that your pages link to relevant internal and external resources that users will appreciate. The use of internal links improves your website’s link equity while external links help establish your website as a reputable and reliable resource. External links, however helpful, also have certain repercussions for your website so it is wise to use them sparingly and make more room for internal links!
- Header and Footer – The header section of your main pages should be brief and uncluttered, but you should still have your main keyword placed here naturally. As for the footer, make sure to include your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) information clearly and consistently across all pages. It is better to use just one footer for every page of your website in this case.
Title And Meta Tags
Tags are also very important to SEO because it signals Google what your website is really about. For example, as a dental website, it would be unwise to create content entitled “The Biggest Problem Mankind Faces.” It would be twice the problem if you use the same title in your meta title tag.
So why is it a problem? Is being creative, unconventional, and metaphoric a sin in the online world?
Well, no. You can have as much artistic freedom as you want in your creations. However, the problem would lie in categorization. We have to keep in mind that although search engines have excellent programs and systems, they are not immune to error. And being vague, unclear, or symbolic will not help minimize this margin of error.
At the end of the day, crawlers and indexers (the ones responsible for categorizing and including your website in Google’s searchable index), are artificial. They are not made to think outside the box so you cannot expect them to realize that content entitled “The Biggest Problem Mankind Faces” should be indexed along other content related to dentistry.
This is why it is common practice to have your main keyword inserted somewhere in your title, meta title, and meta description tags. This sends Google and its bots CLEAR signals that help improve your website’s indexation and rank. Again, in SEO, you can create content however you want – just see to it that you do these 3 correctly.
- Link Building
Link acquisition is one of the more important tasks you need to accomplish in your SEO. And not just any old link would do, especially not links acquired through grey or black hat methods. Links serve three purposes for a website:
- They connect your website to another or vice versa. This connection allows authority from one website to another. Getting inbound links would mean that the authority flows back to your website – except for cases when your link is tagged with a NoFollow. To know more about NoFollow and NoIndex tags, check this article out!
- They allow Google bots to crawl your website. When bots crawl the internet, links serve as portals for them to jump from one website to another. The websites they crawl get a chance to get indexed on Google. This is why linking to a new post or page is important for your website’s SEO. Links help non-indexed pages get found by bots easily. So when your website is due for another crawl, bots can make their way to your new content – and hopefully get it indexed on Google. To know more about why your links aren’t getting indexed, here’s another Tayloright article for you.
- Backlinks are important quality signals for search engines. When more and more websites link to your content, search engines interpret this as an indication of trust. Because websites are referring to your website as a relevant source of information, search engines would want to make your content more visible and available for users therefore improving your rank in SERPs.
Many tools, like Siteliner, can help you monitor backlinks your website get and identify which of your pages perform best. It is important to note though that backlinks obtained through illegal practices (e.g. buying sitewide links) will do more harm than good for your business. Acquire links legally and honestly by creating content people would link to not just because they are paid to do so but because they believe it’s something their users can benefit from.
Another problem, SEO tries to address is the location and correction of website errors. For example, 404 “Not Found” links, duplicate keywords and content, or faulty 301 redirects hurt your website’s authority and may consequently affect your website’s rank. SEO tools like Screaming Frog SEO Spider should help you locate these errors conveniently so that you or your website’s developer can deal with them accordingly.
SEO will not work as efficiently if the content your website offers is junk. If you show Google a keyword-stuffed, link-flooded, randomly-generated post, your website will be sleeping with the virtual fishes for sure.
Quality is an important criterion search engines take careful consideration of when ranking websites. When you create content, you must see to it that you come up with something that gives value or something that answers a question or concern your users may have. Quality content vary in forms but over the years, certain themes and formats have been observed and believed to have better chances at ranking Google. In no specific order, here are some of those themes/formats:
- “How to’s”
- The Best XX of YY
- XX Steps to Get YY
- 20xx Complete Guide to YY
And more. As you can see most of these titles are specific, timely, and they all answer a particular concern users may have. These themes are usually used in content for blogs – which by the way you should consider having in your website as well.
Another aspect that SEO finds important is the effectiveness of your brand signals. These signals refer to anything that alerts users and search engines of your business’s identity. Logos, trademarks, site marks, and other graphic representations of your brand are signals. Your presence in various websites and active participation in social media can also be considered as brand signals.
Brand signals, when taken advantage of properly, lead to branded searches that can really help improve your website’s ranking on Google.
Because when a lot of people start looking for more information about “Dr. ABC Cyprus Dental Clinic” in Google’s search box, Google will also begin its own search on “why people are searching for this clinic.” Again, this signals quality and reliability. Google may begin to think “Hey, I’ll just make it easier for people to find this clinic, let’s move it up a bit in the ranks.”
Nah. I’m just speculating. But who knows – right?
Social signals are like brand signals but most of them are seen in social media websites. In the practice of SEO, it is believed that actively updating and engaging in social media activity will do wonders for your online marketing campaign. Millions, maybe even billions, have social media accounts – be it in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or all of them. Because these websites have pretty enormous authority, performing positively on these websites would mean grabbing Google’s attention instantly.
Should I Hire A Professional For My Dental Website?
Okay. So now that we’ve laid out most of what SEO covers, you should have a better idea of how much work needs to be done and maintained throughout your dental SEO campaign.
The next thing you must be wondering right about now is whether to hire someone to do it or manage it by yourself. Both options have their pros and cons really, but what you should really take into account is TIME.
Do you really have time to spare for your website’s SEO?
Do you think you can manage to perform your usual tasks just like before now that your adding more workload?
Can you keep doing this consistently, knowing that when your SEO campaign kicks in, more patients will be lining up on your schedule?
If you’re in doubt, asking for help and more advice is natural. Maybe you can come to a better conclusion after reading this material.
Hope this article helped you a bunch. Cheerio!