People using the internet to research for products and services is increasing, as a result search engine optimisation is of growing importance for small businesses. In order for Dental Practices to attract new patients it is important that they rank well for their selected keywords, to do this it is best to outsource your SEO work to a professional agency with a track record of results.
I have, however, put together a list of tips which we include in our various SEO packages to help our clients rank well and increase their patient enquiry numbers.
Ensure the technical setup of your website is search engine friendly
One of the most important aspects of SEO is to ensure that the search engines can read and index your website. Unfortunately most website designers spend lots of time making the graphics layout look visually appealing to their human audience, but you also must remember that search engines look at your site through a very technical lens.
If your site is heavy on Flash, make sure there’s a text based description that lives in the HTML to help clue in the search bots. Consider removing your splash or welcome page, and instead build a homepage with descriptions and pointers to the main content areas of your site.
Come up with a Keyword list
Brainstorm and make a list of keywords you want your practice to be found of. The next step is to ask your members of staff, friends and family how they would search for anything dentist related – again add to the list. Make a list of your competators and note what keywords they are ranking well for and which they aren’t and finally you can use a keyword tool to get more keyword ideas.
Ensure your website is correctly optimised with these keywords
The Meta Title is the most important on-page ranking factor that the search engines look for. You need to make sure that your meta title is unique to every page, no more than 70 characters long and to include the keywords you have come up with relevant to the page. Keywords should be included in H1 tags, within the page copy and in any links on that page. Alt image tags should also be keyword laden. Please note that there is no ideal keyword density as some would have you believe, you want to include keywords but don’t be spammy otherwise the website may get penalised.
Create a blog on your website
This is a great way of having useful, relevant content on your website which will encourage users to visit. It’s also great for the search engines because fresh, unique content is becoming a very important ranking factor. Dental blogs can include oral hygiene tips, new treatment information and practice news such as course details you or your staff have been on.
Post links to your site and/or key pages on social sites like Facebook & Twitter
Once you have these blog posts or articles on your site you should start linking to them from other websites. Start with social websites such as Facebook or Twitter, links from here will drive traffic to your website and it has an added SEO benefit of boosting your rankings.
Claim and optimise your Google Places listing
One of the most important SEO tips i can give is to claim and optimise your Google Places listing. Local search results often appear above organic one so if your practice is ranking well for Google Places you will increase your web traffic. To claim your Places listing you will need a Google account. Make sure you add the relevant categories and try and get a 100% completed account by adding additional information, pictures and videos.
Garner online Reviews
The number and quality of online reviews associated with your Google Places account is one of the most important ranking factors according to both industry experts and our own experience. You can get reviews directly though Google or through 3rd party websites like www.dentistfinder.net