SEO for Dentists – Common Questions from Your Peers
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a key component in your practice’s successful online marketing strategy. But, it’s a very complex topic. We thought we’d highlight some of the most common questions below in case you too have the same questions for your dental practice’s marketing.
Q: Do hashtags (#) help?
A: This handy icon helps current and prospective patients find posts on a specific topic in the social media arena (i.e. #teethwhitening). Hashtags are great for helping you distribute content on social media platforms, and are a potential source of backlinks to your practice’s site. However, hashtags don’t yet apply to search engine optimization algorithms.
Q: Is it possible to use too many keywords?
A: Keywords are great – up to a point. These relevant words can be included in titles, content headers, image alt tags (i.e. descriptors that appear in place of an image), and throughout the copy. But be careful – you know what they say about too much of a good thing. As a best practice, if your copy sounds unnatural when read aloud you’re probably guilty of keyword stuffing. And, since search engines are about as forgiving as a waistband after Thanksgiving dinner, your page ranking will suffer.
Q: How long does it take to verify a Google Maps listing?
A: Google throws shade to the old adage, “Good thinks come to those who wait,” by confirming your Google+ listing in less than fifteen minutes. Just ensure you are physically in the office because Google will call the phone number associated with the street address to verify your account.
Q: How do I correct my Google Maps location?
A: Having the wrong location shown in Google Maps is just as bad as giving prospective patients a business card with the wrong phone number. Fortunately, it’s a pretty simple fix. Simply log into the Google dashboard and move the pin on the map to reflect the correct location. Make sure that the correct address is showing in your dashboard as well. Please note that if you are seeing an old address in Google’s search results, you’ll need to report your old location as “moved” via the edit menu in Google Maps to avoid a duplicate listing. (Learn about duplicate listings and why they’re bad for your rankings here.)
Q: When should I add SEO to my online marketing strategy?
A: Now! Search engine optimization takes time to produce results, which means starting now will set you up for success in time for busy season.