It seems dental SEO can no longer afford to be thrown in the ‘too hard’ basket.
Dentists who want to grow and scale their dental practice are becoming SEO savvy. No longer content just to engage an SEO expert, they’re also building their own dental SEO muscle.
Whether it’s through experience (sometime painful) or necessity (who doesn’t want new patients?), they’re deciding SEO is part of dental business marketing.
I certainly don’t claim I’m fully in the know. After all, SEO is a constantly moving feast. However, here’s what I’ve learned. With dental SEO, you need to know enough.
How much is enough? Well, enough to know whether your SEO is working. In many ways, you need to know enough not to be dangerous.
If you feel like you’ve been walking in the dental SEO darkness, take these five savvy tips on board.
Let’s shine the light on what you need to know.
#1 Give Yourself More Credit For What You Know
Right. So, this is not an invitation to pat yourself on the back and think I know it all.
But here’s what I’ve noticed about dentists. We tend to not give ourselves credit for what we do know about our market. And yes, this applies dental SEO.
A lot of us say I don’t know what SEO is relevant for my dental business. My response? Take five minutes and think about the questions you’re asked – and answer – every single day. Don’t underestimate the importance and power of your responses to those questions. Therein lie the seeds of excellent SEO keywords, content and strategy.
We have a tendency to think SEO is somehow ‘out there’. Separate to our business. For someone else to do. Something on which we’ll take advice. This is only true to a point. If we’re working with an SEO-consultant, it’s our job to come to the party too.
Approaching dental SEO this way increases the chances your it is more deliberately relevant for your would-be patients and business.
#2 Devise a Dental SEO Plan
You might do this on your own, or you might engage someone to help you, but whatever you decide, be sure there’s a plan to back it up.
The plan does not need to be complex, detailed or foolproof. But it does need to consider:
Your objective. (What are you hoping to get out of your SEO investment?)
The analysis. (Have you looked at comparative websites? What content are they creating?)
The tools. (Is Google AdWords your best bet? Are there other tools you should engage?)
Your business needs. (Is your SEO plan relevant for your business and its location?)
Like every plan, one specifically for dental SEO will need periodic reviews and revisions. Once devised, it’s not a hard line in concrete that’s never revisited. Rather, based on results, changes and improvements will need to be made.
#3 Invest in Dental SEO Equity
Don’t be confused. I’m not saying go invest in a business that does dental SEO. I am saying build your own dental SEO equity.
You do that by creating on-page SEO with your own business website – where the SEO equity of your business resides. In simple terms, that’s your website content, business brand messaging, the website’s coding, the topics you cover, and questions you answer.
Essential to get right before and after your website’s development, finessing the on-page SEO is an ongoing task that forms part of your dental SEO plan.
#4 Shine a Light on Keywords
Here’s an SEO truth: keywords are important.
Some people adopt the field of dreams approach when it comes to their website. Build it and they’ll come, they think. But a sound dental SEO strategy is more robust than this.
In the pre-build stage, when you’re developing content, SEO is a factor that should be considered. Balanced with the authentic messaging and story of you and your business, keywords can be integrated as part of a consolidated approach.
In my mind, I see it as a VELscope for keywords.
If you don’t shine a light on what your website needs to do, it’s hard to know what the website will look like, or how it should perform.
Justin Morgan, the Dental Marketing Guy, believes there are three important questions every website needs to answer as quickly and easily as possible.
What is this website about?
What can I do here?
Why should I do it?
Answers to these questions are the foundation of your SEO.
The key thing is, these questions need to be answered through the lens of someone who’s never met you. It’s important you don’t answer them, or that anyone who knows and trusts you doesn’t answer them.
On Fancy Dental’s website home page, there’s a picture of something totally irrelevant to the people they want to attract. Maybe it’s the latest piece of equipment they’ve invested in. This is backed up a vanilla statement like, We’re your caring dentist.
To top it off, there’s nothing on Fancy Dental’s website that gives me confidence I can trust them enough. It doesn’t make me want to ring and book an appointment. No video, no pictures of the team, or appropriate before and after shots that establish authority and trust. No blog that adds value and gives the gift of information.
Will the right words, images and explanations convert immediately? Or even on the patient’s first visit? Perhaps not. But done well, they do open the door to building a relationship. Why? Because you’ve taken the time to devise a dental SEO plan that’s tailored to attract and serve your ideal patient.
Dental SEO is not an add-on or buzzword. It’s an integral part of any dental business marketing strategy. For the best success, take time to learn enough about what works for you. You’ll be glad you made the investment when your website visitors connect and convert.