Like many dental practices in highly competitive areas it can be difficult being found in search engines.
A report by BrightLocal confirms the difficulty many local businesses (including dental practices) have trying to compete against well established and/or large websites in search engines.
The high volume keywords such as “dentist” “teeth whitening” etc can be difficult to rank for in competitive areas.
So how can you help improve your chances of being found in search engines?
Claim your local listing in search engines
The most important local listing to claim is “Google my business”.
Once you have claimed your listing you can add your logo, a brief description of your practice, opening hours and a link to your website.
Gain online reviews
An important aspect of your Google my business page is that your patients can leave you a review.
Try to gain as many Google reviews as you can (at least more than 5) as when your Google my business page is visible in the search results it will start to show a star rating. If your competitors do not have any reviews, or have less than 5 reviews, you will appear more visible than them.
Build Local Citations
A citation is a mention of your practice on the web. Citations can include a link to your website, in addition to your practice name, address and phone number.
It is important to make sure that there is consistency in your citations i.e. using the same practice name, address and phone number format, as Google finds it difficult to recognise different versions around the web and might not be passing on the benefit to your website and Google my business listing.
Use Location Keywords
The best chances for your website to compete in your area is to use location keywords in your tags. It might sound obvious but many websites don’t have them. Understanding the locations that might be best for your practice in terms of the size of the location and the amount of competition in the area are key to the visibility of your practice in search results.
Use Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords such as “private cosmetic dentist” can offer the best opportunities for practices competing in highly competitive locations as keywords like these are less likely being used by your competitors. However whilst it might offer you opportunities in terms of visibility in search results, the search volumes for long tail terms are likely to be significantly less than generic terms like “dentist”.
Use Pay-per-click (PPC)/Google ads
Our advice, especially for new websites, is to use PPC to gain visibility on page 1 of Google whilst the search engine optimisation (SEO) is happening.
PPC is also very useful for gaining page 1 visibility in highly competitive areas. And managing the ads well can lead to a very good return in investment!
Make Sure You Are Mobile Friendly
Google announced a few months ago that it is punishing websites, who are not mobile friendly, in their mobile search results. This is good news if your competitors aren’t mobile friendly as if your site has been optimised for mobiles you are likely to be more visible than they are in mobile searches.
This is important as a large proportion – sometimes up to 60%-70% – of searches are carried out on mobile devices!
Here at Dental Design we can take care of all the above for you. If you are interested in knowing more please feel free to give us a call on 01202 677277.