Put yourself in the position of a patient looking for a new dentist. They are perhaps in pain, have moved to a new area and need to locate a new practice or are unhappy with their current practice. Where do they look?
I’ll Just Google It
The first port of call for many people nowadays is ‘I’ll just Google it.’ In fact the term Googling has become a commonly used phrase in day-to-day language. This potential patient would open their web browser (whether on a PC, tablet or smartphone) open Google and search for “ local dentist”, “dental crown”, “dental implant’ or any number of search strands. They’d then sit pack and peruse the results.
The question is – does YOUR practice show up in these search results?
Does YOUR practice feature in the first two pages of Google (or Bing, Yahoo) when potential patients are looking for a dental practice?
Do YOU know what phrases people are searching for to find a dentist?
If you answered no to any one of these questions, then I suggest that you may need to improve your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is basically the art of getting your website found on these search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing) by as many people as possible. SEO focuses on improving your ‘organic’ or ‘unpaid reach’ i.e. you are NOT paying for adverts (this is done via a feature called Google Adwords).
Think about it, if you had a burst pipe and Googled ‘local plumber’, you’d start calling those listed on the first page and perhaps the second but you’re not going to go much further. Someone looking for a dentist will do exactly the same thing. So you need to be found.
SEO works in numerous ways both on your website and off it, including using that valuable content you may already have on your website but in a strategic way. It ensures your presence online reaches the optimum number of web users, making your website more attractive to them.
Why is Search Engine Optimisation important?
Well, frankly, if you don’t rank highly then another local practice is getting all of those potential new patient consultations.
SEO is important for a number of reasons, among them being the idea that a customer-focused website is far more successful. A high search engine ranking means your site will appear in the first few search results, signalling to the potential client that you are a trustworthy company that cares enough to make their website visible and user-friendly, which in turn shows commitment to good service.
The rules and process which follow on from employing SEO will ensure your website will run much more smoothly, be maintained better and will consistently bring in more internet traffic.
Part of the art of making SEO effective is understanding what search terms people put into Google (keywords), how much traffic there is there (how many people search these words) and also how much competition there is (what other practices are competing for business). Therefore before you start any SEO work you would need to understand what keywords that potential patients are searching for. Once this research is done, you can begin optimising your website accordingly.
Onsite and Offsite Work
SEO works by a combination of editing your website regularly as well as listing your business and carrying out work on other websites. Writing new blog content every month and using your social media daily also all help with your SEO. This is all balanced with an understanding of your keywords and monitoring how you are ranking each month. It is quite a science! and to add in another complication, Google changes its algorithms regularly, meaning that you need to stay up to date with any changes they make to continue to rank highly.
How Can it Make a Difference to Dental Practices?
Inevitably, dental practices compete in a specific geographical area. If you and other local practices are offering a similar service, the business whose website is optimised will come out ahead in any internet search result. It will be you that a new patient calls first. It is as simple as that. Therefore when we work on SEO for our clients we focus strongly on local SEO i.e. attracting patients that are in your local catchment area.
Need Help with SEO?
Practice Growth Agency offer a cost-effective SEO Starter Package for your business. This simple, no-nonsense package will monitor and help you develop a strong web presence and increase traffic and calls to your practice. Explore our service here.