The internet is a very crowded marketplace of ideas, information, conversations and business. Getting your dental practice noticed by potential patients is difficult to say the least. Too often searches for your dental practice don’t lead to your website. Sometimes the top listings have similar names, but sometimes they’re simply unrelated. How would you like to know three ways to upgrade the online visibility of your dental practice’s website?
Bigger Is Better. Believe it or not, search engines tend to rank sites with more pages higher in search results. Is there a magic number? No, but any expansion helps. Begin with basic pages – about, contact, services, insurance, bios, etc. Then follow a strategy to add more – blog, links, testimonials and so on. The deeper page structure of your site should help increase your search engine ranking. It’s important to make sure your site maintains a well-planned hierarchy and clear navigation. Each new page should have unique titles and meta descriptions as well. If search engines get confused while cataloging your site your search results will suffer. Finally, create useful, interesting and relevant content on your new pages. You want to give your visitors a reason to click through to each of them. The stickier your website the better it will reflect on searches.
Blog is a Verb. Having a blog doesn’t do you any good if you don’t blog on a regular basis. Do not use a separate domain to host your blog. Put it on your dental practice’s domain. This will help you easily increase your website’s page count. It’s not necessary to blog every day to get noticed. A couple new, original posts per month will work – more will work better. Google’s search engine algorithm measures frequency of updates as well as how recently you last updated your blog.
Blog about things your patients and potential patients find interesting. While you may be an expert on crowns, your patients may be bored by an article on the different processes for fitting a crown. However, articles such as Types of Smiles and How to Read Their Meanings, When It’s Time to Consider Braces for your Preteen, or the Best Toothpastes and Brushes for your Money might get some shares and likes. Don’t be afraid to turn comments on. Patient engagement is very important. Plus, you can delete a comment if you get trolled.
Make it easy for your patients and potential patients to share your articles. Cross-promote your posts on all of your dental practice’s social media platforms. You want shares, likes and links. The shares and likes will boost your social media presence and the links will boost your site’s search ranking.
Reviews Matter. The importance of review sites for your home page’s search engine optimization (SEO) is gaining attention. These sites increase your online footprint. The more reviews you have on a site the higher it may rank during an online search. Review sites offer an opportunity to create synergy between your onsite and offsite SEO efforts with reciprocal links. Be sure to ask visitors to your website to follow the link and leave a comment about their experience on the review site. Search engines will not rate these links as highly as natural link building through editorial, but they will take notice so long as you don’t duplicate the reviews on your practice’s website. Search engines don’t like duplicated content.
Yelp and Google+ are popular review sites which often perform well in searches. They also happen to be free. Claim your listing and set up your practice’s profile. With that step finished you’re ready to have patients leave reviews. Yelp and Google+ have policies prohibiting the solicitation of reviews and use algorithms to limit how many reviews can post over given time periods. However, there are ways to encourage your patients to leave reviews. These two are usually effective:
• Place a notice on the backside of your patient’s appointment cards requesting that they leave feedback about our service.
• Send follow-up emails to patients shortly after their appointments asking that they rate their experience.
Many small businesses find it difficult to keep up with website management, SEO and online marketing. After all, time is limited and boosting your online presence is a process that takes time. The steps above are just three of many possible ways to make your dental practice more visible. Based on case studies and experience a qualified digital marketing firm can tailor an online strategy to your dental practice’s goals and expectations. To learn how ProSites can help you boost your online presence, contact us for a personal consultation at 888-932-3644.