If you’re anything like most dentists, you know how difficult it is to generate new patients, expand your practice, and improve online visibility. You’re also likely familiar with local search engine optimization, or local SEO, and know that boosting your website’s local SEO ranking is a critical step in achieving all of the goals mentioned above.
However, the dental industry is competitive, and a comprehensive local SEO strategy requires substantial time, experience, and effort. As a result, many dentists let their search engine optimization strategy fall to the wayside as they work to manage their practices and provide superior care to their patients.
Fortunately, you don’t have to burn the midnight oil or hire an SEO agency to improve your search engine rank. Instead, even beginners can incorporate a few tried-and-true dental SEO marketing tactics, courtesy of our dental marketing experts at Weave.
5 Reasons Why Local SEO is Important for a Dental Practice
Before we dive into our top five tips to improve your local SEO strategy, let’s look at a few reasons why dental SEO is so important.
Local search engine optimization is the process of improving your rank in local search engine results pages, like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. For example, if a potential patient searched, “dentist near me,” or “dentist austin tx,” a website optimized for local queries would appear at the top of the first page of search engines’ organic results.
More than likely, the top-ranking dentist website didn’t achieve its rank by chance, either. Instead, the dental office or its dental SEO experts incorporated on-page, off-page, and technical tactics to improve the website’s value and trustworthiness in the “eyes” of Google’s Algorithm.
As a result of a solid local SEO for dentists strategy, a top-ranking local business website can enjoy benefits such as:
1. More Leads
Did you know that the first five search engine results capture nearly 70% of clicks? If your dental website doesn’t rank within the top five results, you could miss out on hundreds of prospective patients and thousands of dollars in unrealized revenue.
Improving your local SEO strategy and boosting your search engine ranking will bring more qualified leads to your website. As a result, you can make more conversions, book more appointments, and generate more income without blowing your marketing budget.
2. Better Visibility
Similarly, local search engine optimization improves your visibility in two ways: by improving your rank and increasing your likelihood of ranking for a certain keyword, phrase, or query (i.e., “dentist near me.”) through on-site content and backlinks from authoritative online directories.
3. More Web Traffic
Your rank in local search results and the amount of traffic on your dental business website are heavily correlated. As a result, a higher ranking dentist practice website typically has more visitors, which improves its rank even more.
4. More Competitive Digital Marketing Efforts
Even if you’ve never launched an SEO campaign for your dental practice website, your competitor likely has. By leveraging SEO-based content and other ranking factors to drive more potential dental patients to your website, you can expand your market share and compete online and offline with local industry leaders.
5. Faster Results
Finally, a local SEO campaign can rapidly impact your dental marketing efforts. Unlike other marketing campaigns, which often cost hundreds or thousands of dollars and require weeks to generate any momentum, local SEO is relatively inexpensive and only needs a few small tweaks to boost your rank in leading search engines.
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How to Find Your Local SEO Ranking
You can easily determine your local SEO ranking in one of two ways. First, head to your favorite search engine and typing, “dentist near me” or “dentist [your town]” to view your local search results and determine where you rank compared to your competitors.
Alternatively, you can use a local keyword tool like Moz or SEMRush to check your ranking. To do so, paste your website’s URL into the tool to analyze your ranking, compare your standing with your competitors, and perform some quick keyword research to identify other relevant words and phrases you can incorporate into your web content.
Check Metrics to See How Your Practice is Performing
Did you know that you can use Weave to track your dental website’s online metrics, too? Weave Analytics’ centralized, user-friendly hub makes it easy to analyze SEO and social media data, monitor your online presence, and manage Google reviews without ever leaving the platform.
Perhaps most importantly, you can get an at-a-glance look at your local SEO campaign’s performance between appointments, phone calls, and staff meetings.
5 Steps to Improve Your SEO Locally
You know the benefits of local SEO, but how does local search engine optimization actually work? Below, we’ve gathered our top four local SEO ranking tips to improve your dentistry’s local listing position in Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other major search engines.
1. Gather Positive Online Reviews to Build Your Practice’s Reputation
Every dentist wants to receive positive reviews from their patients, but your reviews can do more than remind you that your patients value your dental services. 5-star Google reviews help new patients build trust with you and your staff. In fact, a positive Google review can have the same effect as a word-of-mouth referral for many search engine users.
Highlighting positive testimonials on your website and Google My Business page will ensure that new leads see the best your dental practice has to offer as soon as they click on your local listing or home page.
Further, reviews on your Google My Business page will improve your search engine rank and visibility. For best results, use the Weave communication platform to collect and monitor your Google reviews, then select several to highlight on your site.
2. Provide a Professional and User-Friendly Website
You would never welcome clients into a dingy, outdated, or neglected dental practice. If you haven’t emphasized user experience on your website, though, your website could make the same kind of poor first impression on new patients.
You don’t need to hire a professional web developer to redesign your website, but you do need to prioritize a clean, professional, and easily navigable site that highlights your dental services, features your social media handles, and includes authoritative content to engage your users.
3. Update Your Google My Business Page
Your Google My Business Page is an essential tool for your dental marketing campaign. Still, 60% of local businesses have never claimed their listings.
Leverage the search engine giant’s tools by claiming, verifying, and optimizing your Google My Business listing with information such as:
- Your dental practice’s name
- Your address
- Your phone number
- Your business hours
- Your business category
- Your URL
A brief description that includes your most popular services and a selling point that sets your business apart from your competitors
An optimized Google My Business listing might not guarantee a position at the top of the search engine, but it does increase your chances of appearing in the top three results.
4. Drive Traffic to Your Dental Blog Via Email
Email marketing is an efficient and effective way to boost your site’s rank when it comes to local SEO for dentists. After sharing a few high-quality blogs to your website, make a post on social media and follow up with an email directing patients on your mailing list to your latest article using Weave’s simplified email marketing platform.
Weave will not only oversee your responses and make it easier to respond to your patients but provide you with pre-made templates perfect for the busiest dental practices. All you have to do is add your links, select your segment list, and press send.
5. Search Google for Keywords to Put in Your Online Content
If the idea of performing keyword research sounds intimidating or even impossible to you, you’re not alone. Countless dental practices turn to an SEO company instead of attempting it themselves.
You don’t have to break the bank or hire an expensive SEO service to conduct keyword research, though. To get started, choose a few keywords that your website already ranks for, then compare them with your competitors’ keyword rankings. Type the words or phrases into a Google search and review the suggested related searches that appear below the search bar.
Select several relevant queries, keywords, or phrases that appeal to your customers and make sense for your business. You can then begin to incorporate them into your web content, blog posts, and service pages.
Local SEO Versus SEO
Ready to launch your local SEO campaign? Before you get started, it’s vital to know the difference between a local SEO campaign and a traditional SEO campaign.
As you might have guessed, local SEO campaigns help improve your dental website’s ranking within local search engine results. On the other hand, traditional SEO campaigns work to improve your ranking on a national scale. Rather than solely competing with your local competitors for a top position in Google’s search engine results, you’ll compete with every vying industry leader in the country.
That said, both local and traditional SEO use several of the same tactics to improve search engine ranking, such as keyword research, on-page and off-page methods, and backlinking.
Managing your dental practice, caring for your customers, and boosting your website’s search engine optimization isn’t easy. With Weave, it becomes a bit more manageable.
Weave’s communication management platform centralizes all of your marketing, outreach, and scheduling efforts into a single, easily actionable hub. There, you can schedule appointments, send out text reminders, and manage Google reviews in minutes – no marketing experience or SEO company required.
For more information on how to help your dental practice be successful watch a demo from our Weave team today.