|By Trisha M. | Solution21 | Web Designer|
Dentists often stress the importance of prevention and maintenance to patients as a way of achieving oral health and wellness. This principle of proactive care can easily be applied to marketing of a dental practice. Making sure you have a dental website with quality content that is properly optimized for access on various devices is a given, but all this effort (including time and money) is a waste if your potential patients never find your website amongst the competition. This is where Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, comes into play.
Good SEO vs. Bad SEO
Just like any method of marketing, there are good methods and bad methods. However, for a dental practice, it is essential to stay away from “black hat” techniques, as these may result in permanent banning from the largest search engine sites such as Google and Yahoo. Black hat techniques should be avoided at all costs, and are often associated with irrelevant, spammy content; keyword stuffing; and the buying of backlinks to boost false popularity and ranking. Websites using black hat SEO techniques are penalized and often banned, resulting in an inability to advertise successfully for even the best of websites.
Another costly mistake dentists should avoid is that of a static website. If a website is “stale,” it is not regularly updated with new information or content. Search engines will typically rank these sites lower if they are not providing consistent changes showing the site is active. Dentists are encouraged to add educational content on a monthly basis or maintain a regular blog that is continually posting to stay relevant.
The third mistake made is that of poor user experience. Someone who visits a dental website is often looking to learn more about the procedures they may undergo. If the content is poorly written, irrelevant, or full of keywords to the point it provides absolutely no valuable information, it will turn patients away. A quality online experience is what consumers are looking for, and they will often visit the websites of companies who provide them with a positive experience and timely, educational content. Dentists are encouraged to work with an SEO company that provides legitimate backlinks and informative social media posts for realistic results. A company that guarantees placement on the first page of Google quickly is probably using black hat SEO techniques and should be avoided.
You don’t have to be an SEO expert or high-end website designer to assess the effectiveness of your website and determine if it is properly optimized. Dentists are encouraged to visit their dental website to check:
- How quickly the website loads versus loading time of competing business websites
- How often information is offered to potential patients via articles or blogs
- How often content is updated and added to
- How relevant the content is to the practice
- Where the site lists when the city and “dentist” are searched through a search engine
- If the site is included on review websites and in online directories such as Yelp for building reputation and visibility
Dentists who are investing in SEO want to achieve a higher return on investment. Marketing money should effectively improve dental’s website and advertising efforts and turn visitors into patients. Because search engine algorithms change regularly, it can be difficult for a dentist without a specialty in search engine optimization to stay on top of the ever-changing field of SEO. Professional SEO companies who specialize in dental websites or medical website design and marketing, such as Solution21, are available to bring years of online marketing experience to the table for amazing results. Consider working with Solution21 if you are seeking an SEO firm that can keep your healthcare site relevant, competitive, and working for you!