7 Keys to a Successful Local SEO Strategy for Dental Marketing
Don’t leave these out when planning your dental marketing strategy.
Are you looking to attract more patients to your dental practice?
While word-of-mouth dental marketing and print advertising are still great ways to reach your local community, more patients than ever are searching for their next dentist online. As they do, nearly 20% are most likely to pick the top-ranked office in their search results.
How can you move your practice to the top of the list? The answer is search engine optimization (SEO). Increasingly, SEO is becoming a must-have part of any dental marketing strategy. Today, we’re sharing how to get it right.
If any of the following steps seem overwhelming, don’t hesitate to reach out to a marketing agency for help.
1. Claim and optimize your local Google Business Profile.
Formerly known as Google My Business (GMB), your Google Business Profile is a free service that allows you to establish an online listing all about your company. This is the simplest and most effective way to take control of your online presence and make it easy for people to find your dental practice.
Your Google Business Profile is the small box that will appear on Google any time someone searches for your practice online. It serves as a snapshot of your most important details, including:
- Your location
- Your contact information
- Your operating hours
- A link to your website
- Patient reviews
- Google Maps directions
With around 5.4 billion searches each day and a 92% market share, Google is the search engine to focus on, especially for local business owners. Studies show that nearly half (46%) of all Google searches have local intent, with users adding phrases such as “near me” or a specific city after their search terms.
If you haven’t added or claimed your Google Business Profile, now is the time to do so. Thankfully, the process is quick and easy. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started.
2. Research the right keywords for your business.
Keywords are critical to a successful local SEO strategy for dentists. These are the words, terms, and phrases that your target patients are using as they search for a dentist online. As you create content such as blogs, articles, FAQs, and other website sections, you can include these keywords to help them find your site more easily.
In addition to the obvious words, such as “dentist” or “dental office” don’t forget to add keywords that also mention your location. For instance, if your practice is in Chicago, you can use key phrases such as “dentist in Chicago, IL” or “Chicago dentist” to appear higher on local search results. Don’t forget to also use keywords centered around any specialty services you offer, such as orthodontics!
There are many digital marketing tools designed to help you research certain keywords that are most likely to appeal to new and current patients. Start by making a broad list of topics that are relevant to your practice, then expand that list with a list of related phrases. This article explains how to perform keyword research, including which metrics to look for, such as:
- Monthly search volume (MSV)
- User intent
3. Optimize your website for professionalism, page load speed, and quality content.
To appear as high as possible on the search engine results pages (SERPs), you’ll need more than a strong keyword strategy. Google bots routinely crawl websites to determine which ones are credible, and they’re looking for features that make each site look as legitimate and credible as possible.
While the specific Google algorithms change on a regular basis, there are certain elements that you’ll always need. In addition to creating SEO-centric content, don’t forget to polish the other parts of your website. It should look professional, load quickly, and be filled with relevant, high-quality information that your patients want to see.
Not only will this help you stay in Google’s good graces, but it will also pique the interest of your visitors. Research reveals that 40% of people will leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
4. Publish high-quality content regularly.
As you’re researching your approach to SEO and keywords, remember that this isn’t a one-and-done type of process. To maintain patient engagement and rise in the search engine ranks, you’ll need to post helpful, informative, and engaging content regularly.
In addition to narrative-style blog posts, feel free to mix up your format a little! Create an FAQ guide that answers some of the most common questions you field in the office. Take readers on a tour of your practice, either through images or video. Hold interviews with some of your staff members.
All the while, keep your keyword strategy top of mind, looking for ways to organically weave in the short-form and long-tail keywords that will appeal most to your readers.
5. Use social media to connect with patients and promote your business.
It’s 2023. If your dental practice doesn’t have at least some type of social media presence, it’s time to add one. You don’t have to join every platform, but stick to the basics and post often. Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are great places to start, allowing you to interact with your followers in a creative and engaging format.
In addition to creating platform-specific content, you can also use these spaces as ways to cross-promote your website material. Share links to your blogs, newsletter sign-up pages, upcoming events, and more. Keep an eye on comments and respond to questions in a timely manner to build rapport and grow your community.
6. Get involved in the community and participate in local events.
Did you know that you can work on your SEO strategy even when you’re offline? Any time your practice sponsors or participates in a local event, you help to get your name out there. Then, when people go home and Google you, they’ll engage with the content you’ve created.
This is why it’s important to connect the two! If your practice is involved in an event, share about it on your social media platforms! Post teasers and updates leading up to the event, then share pictures and recaps when it’s over.
7. Ask for reviews.
Don’t shy away from asking your current patients for reviews. They can share their feedback directly on your Google Business Profile, which helps boost your listing. Google rewards both positive and consistent reviews, so this is one of the quickest ways to improve your visibility.
If you don’t have a formal review-request process in place, there are a few ways to start. These include:
- Sending personalized emails
- Sending text message reminders
- Asking face-to-face
- Asking on social media
- Adding a review reminder on appointment cards
To encourage happy patients to share their opinions on your practice, try to ask before they leave your practice. The longer you wait, the less urgency they’ll feel.
Ace your approach to SEO and dental marketing.
There are many ways to approach dental marketing. In addition to other forms of outreach, don’t forget to make SEO a central part of your strategy.
These 7 tips above can help you optimize your online presence, one step at a time. If you don’t have the knowledge, time, or desire to focus on SEO, it’s smart to hire a firm that can. In fact, it’s well worth making this your primary marketing expense!