We’ve compiled five easy tips that dental practices can use to climb search rankings with speed. We aren’t saying that you’ll appear at the top of the search results in a couple days, but we do guarantee that using these tips will help a practice climb search rankings on all major search engines over time. Persistence and patience are key factors in search engine optimization, and while it won’t happen overnight, keeping these best practices top of mind will help your content rank.
Tip 1: Keyword planning
It all starts with keyword planning
Dental offices with great content on their websites tend to appear at the top of the search results, and great content has a focus on keywords. Before a webpage is created, your practice must first determine what word or words you want to rank for. Keyword planning is not simple, especially for practices that don’t understand how to plan. Your practice cannot simply pick a word, type it a bunch of times and cross your fingers to appear at the top of Google search rankings. Search engines are not fooled by this. Keyword density is important, but it’s not the only thing that the search algorithms consider when ranking pages in search results, especially with new progress with Google’s RankBrain. There are many factors that affect local search, and it’s important to dominate the ones you have control of to move into the coveted Google 3 Pack.
Make target keywords niche, targeted and relevant
When keyword planning, be sure to use niche words, and target keywords that are relevant enough to get your practice appearing in front of the right people online. If your local practice wants to appear to the right local audience, you must be sure to be specific to your community. A local dentist office is going to have a hard time appearing for the keyword “dentist.” It’s not impossible, but it’s difficult for dental practice to appear in the top few results for broad focused keywords. There is a much better chance to appear at the top of the search results if the keywords are narrowed down.
Keyword planning example
For example, a dental office in Buffalo, New York wants to appear in front of local patients who may have a chipped tooth. They’d be much more successful aiming to rank for “chipped tooth repair in Buffalo” rather than the word “chipped tooth.”
Tip 2: Strengthen meta descriptions
Meta descriptions should contain your keywords
A meta description is a small description of what your webpage contains, it’s basically a summary of your practices’ webpage in ~160 characters. These too must have a focus on keywords, and for smaller businesses such as dental practice, it’s important to have the right keywords in the meta description.
Meta description example
To keep this example consistent, “chipped tooth repair in Buffalo” was set as the Google search terms to see which practices appear in the search results. It’s always a good idea to look at the practice that appears first, see how they are doing it, and try to better their meta description.
In this case, this dentist office clearly knows what they are doing! As you look above, you can see that the meta description contains most of the words that we searched for. This is a fantastic way to target the specific search query of “chipped tooth repair in Buffalo” and to get frantic patients with chipped teeth through your office front door.
Help guide patients from page to page
Proper meta descriptions not only help in search result rankings, but they also give your prospective patient a summary of exactly what they may be looking for. New patients want it easy, they don’t want to spend a long time browsing for dentists—they want to find answers easily and the solutions fast.
Tip 3: Be unique
Search engine bots search for unique content
It’s tough for your practice to be unique from the fifty other local practices that compete in your practices’ geography. However, the content on your practices’ website should aim to be unique and somewhat different from the rest in order to stand out in the search rankings. The reason being that Google and other search engines search for original content when their bots are crawling sites. This means every site in a specific industry that has similar webpage copy will likely blend in, and the bots won’t declare those pages as original or unique. Don’t expect a dentist office page to appear high on the search rankings if it sounds exactly like every other local dentist page!
Tip 4: Stay active everywhere online
The more online activity, the better
You practice has to stay active online if you want to climb search rankings, make a name for yourself on places other than your company website. Your practice can improve your local search by using data aggregators, or you can manually create listings on tons of directory sites.
Online mentions increase search engine influence
One thing many smaller businesses, such as dental practices, fail to understand is that business pages on reputable websites are so important! Social platforms like Facebook, Google Business Profile, LinkedIn are an easy way for your practice to index your name across various sources on the web. Likewise, review sites are hugely important! The more your practice is mentioned online, the greater the influence you will have on search rankings.
Tip 5: Blog
Blogs help keep web content fresh
Blogs are not only fun to write, but also a way to continuously produce new website content. Google’s algorithm specifically calls for continuous web content and publishing if your business wants to appear high on the search rankings. Google is pushing web developers and content writers to keep websites from getting irrelevant or outdated, making content marketing a healthy practice digital strategy.
Blog with a strategy in mind
Your practice should establish a blog plan, no matter what. If that same dental practice in Buffalo New York wanted to blog, maybe they’d write about the “Top 10 chipped tooth horror stories.” These types of articles are relevant to your industry, and are loaded with keywords about a dental practice. Tools such as WordPress, Medium and Ghost are all super useful in order to easily get started with blog publishing.
A blog presents a huge opportunity
It could be a funny blog, or serious industry stories, as long as the content that is being produced has a focus on your respective industry. That’s just one example, but there are tons of opportunities for businesses in any specific industry. Don’t believe us that blogging is important? Here’s 58 reasons why businesses should run a blog.
Climb search rankings conclusion: Content is key
Whether it’s keyword planning for the content you write, writing great meta descriptions, writing original content or blogging, it all involves the production of content. That’s because content is key. Implement these strategies and monitor your rankings. There are a variety of SEO tools, both free and paid that your practice can use to do so. While your rankings won’t shoot up overnight, your office has a huge opportunity to improve your search engine rankings and outrank your competitors to get more patients through your doors.