Your business relationship with online searches begins with your dental website. And if you’ve already created a functional and aesthetically pleasing website, purchased the perfect domain name, found a reputable and reliable host, and uploaded your pages, you still haven’t quite done enough.Once you’ve got your website up and running, you have to work pretty hard to ensure that prospective patients can find you online. This process generally begins with SEO for dentists, but there are plenty of other strategies that will help to increase your visibility and online presence.And you need to cover all of your bases (within reason and your budget) if you want the best chance to be found by prospective clientele. You’ll find that the following tactics are designed to deliver results, playing into your overall strategy for increased visibility.
1. Submit your site to Google and Bing
Search engines are the best way to get found online, and with Google dominating the search market (claiming nearly 70% of all search traffic), you can’t afford not to list your dentist website with this preeminent outlet.
Although they don’t get nearly the same search traffic as Google, Bing still commands a fair share, and since your efforts for one will likely carry over to the other, there’s really no good reason not to submit your website to Bing, as well.
How do you submit them? Well, you don’t technically have to do anything, they’ll eventually get around to finding you, but I recommend installing and submitting a sitemap and verifying your account in webmastert tools.
2. List with directories
This might sound pretty basic, and it is. But that doesn’t mean you should discount or overlook the benefits of listing with some of the top directories.For one thing, you might find that they already have listings for you that have simply gone unclaimed, and you don’t want somebody else filling in the blanks.But you should also know that business directories like Yelp, Angie’s List, YellowPages, Superpages, CitySearch, Mapquest, and ThinkLocal allow you to post a link back to your website, increasing your visibility and chances to be discovered.And of course, they are an open forum for users to find your dental practice and write rave reviews that could encourage other users to check out your site and give your services a try.
3. Use relevant keywords, titles, and tags
If you’re at all familiar with dental SEO, you no doubt know the value of trending keywords, at least in a general sense. But you might not realize the relevance of hidden elements like metadata (i.e. tags and titles).All are important when it comes to getting found in the online arena. Google has begun to pay a lot more attention to the finer details such as this over the last few years for a couple of reasons.Let’s face it when websites for dentists are built, they typically aren’t built with SEO in them from the ground up. The designer will put something together that looks nice and then perhaps have a developer code it, but usually the SEO coding is not done as it should be.First, they want to make sure that the keywords their users are seeking actually relate to the content that they reach. So while you can certainly find ways to insert trending keywords like celebrity names or popular TV shows into your content, you really need to take pains to make it relevant, or you’ll risk penalties from Google.Their other gripe is keyword stuffing, so try to avoid this at all costs. And don’t forget about the relevance of tags and titles, which web crawlers will find and index. These elements won’t be visible on dental websites, at least not to the untrained eye, but they can show up in search results, so be careful what you write.
4. Start a blog
Ongoing SEO efforts rely heavily on updated content that features new and trending keywords. A blog is one of the best ways to increase online visibility for your dentist websites.
Of course, you can also use a blog to promote sharable content, encouraging readers to like, share, and repost items they find informative, entertaining, or otherwise valuable to family, friends, and other online contacts.
Creative, original, and compelling content begs to be shared. And when readers and followers do some of the heavy lifting for you by spreading your content around, your chances to be found definitely increase.
5. Link to social media accounts
You can utilize your social media profiles in two main ways when it comes to increasing online visibility.First and foremost, you can link them back to your website. You can start with a general link to your homepage, but also link back to specific pages or posts on your blog as you see fit.The more interesting prospect, however, is that your followers could share and repost these links, increasing your coverage and your chances to be found by the search engines and more importantly, prospective patients.Social media for dentists is a great way to get found in and of itself. But it can also help you to increase the reach of your dental website.
6. Strive for organic growth
The major hubbub of late revolves around organic linking, as opposed to linking schemes. And there are several options to achieve this goal.You can take the reins yourself and try to post with reputable industry blogs to build up your authority, comment in online forums, question and answer sites, and just take the backlink you get as a bonus (if you do in fact get one).But you might be better off engaging the services of an SEO company that specifically offers organic linking strategies as a means of targeted online marketing. Effective and appropriate backlinks are perhaps the most important tool available to increase your rankings.
7. Manage your reputation
Getting found is one thing, but you also want to get found in a positive way. Unfortunately, this might not be the case if you fail to manage your online reputation.Even if you provide stellar services at great prices and you make customer satisfaction a top priority, you simply can’t please all the people all the time. This could lead to unfair negative reviews. Or perhaps your competitors are smearing your good name.You not only need to be aware of these happenings and how they’re affecting your search results and the way consumers are finding you, but you need to take steps to reverse the damage and replace it with a positive online image.This can be done by petitioning to have fraudulent and/or libelous reviews removed, but this rarely works. The better solution is to create more positive reviews, and more content about your practice in general in order to oust the negative findings from top slots. A company that specializes in online reputation management can help you with both.Getting found online is not easy, but it certainly isn’t the luck of the draw. You certainly can’t afford to leave it up to pure chance. You can of course hire a professional SEO company to manage everything for you. Or you can do it yourself.But remember, there isn’t shortcuts. You need to put some time and energy into crafting quality content, including keywords and metadata that will further your cause. Once more people are able to find your services online, you’ll have a better chance of operating a thriving dental practice in the real world.