An SEO Strategy for Dentists that Works
Search Engine Optimization takes time. But there’s a way to make an immediate, positive impact on the results you’re getting from search engine traffic.
While you’re using all the right technical, SEO best practices to please Google – you should take a step back and think about how you can improve user experience.
Most of what you (and your competitors) are told about optimizing your website for search engines deals with making changes to the site to make it more appealing to search engine algorithms. That is, many tips deal with giving the search engine what it wants in order to improve your organic rank.
But there’s another side of the SEO coin – and it’s especially important for dentists.
Search engines don’t make dental appointments – people do. So, while focusing on what the search engine wants, also consider what your prospective patient wants.
Whatever organic traffic you get now is not likely to change overnight based on improvements you make for search engines – but you could improve the number of leads that turn into patients based on changes you make for the user.
Here are three specific ways to immediately make your website more user friendly – and get more out of your existing organic traffic:
1) Include an urgent, obvious call to action on your website.
When a prospective patient lands on your website, give them a clear action to take. Even better, direct a call to action at new patients by including a special offer.
Something like: “New patient special offer: enter your email here to get an appointment within the next 10 days.”
New patients don’t want to wait months and months for an appointment – so give them a reason to schedule one immediately and they’ll be more likely to take that action.
2) Display your contact information on all pages.
Make sure all of your web pages have at least a phone number and address prominently displayed near the top of the page. That way, no matter what page someone ends up on, they have the opportunity to reach you by phone or see your location.
3) Update your meta-descriptions to be more personal and informative.
A meta-description is the text within your website’s code that search engines use to generate your search engine results listing Changing your meta-descriptions is a little more technical than some of these other suggestions, but it can have a big impact.
You can change your meta-descriptions in your website control panel. When you do, keep in mind the key-words that your prospective patients may be searching for. When updating your content on your website, make it personal to you, your staff and the environment of your practice and what you stand for. Keep in mind you only have about 160 or so characters to work with, so keep it short and to the point. Depending on the search engine, you may get more room.
Introduce yourself in the first person, using “I” phrases. Most dental meta-descriptions use “we” phrases, which is much less personal. Talk about what you do, where you do it and why.
Example: “I’m Dr. Smith, a periodontist working on 124 Pine St here in Springfield. I specialize in quick, trouble-free implants for every budget. My appointment turnaround time averages under 10 days.”
One More Bonus
When you improve user experience and begin to get more clicks and activity on your webpages, search engines will take notice and will also improve your search engine ranking. Think of it as user-experience based SEO.
In the end, user experience and search engine rules are converging towards the same goal: making search engines a place where people can find and use exactly what they’re looking for.