A Local SEO Strategy Has Teeth to Grow Your Dental Practice
As a dental practitioner when you read about SEO, there is a strong reference and interplay with websites, blogs etc. It’s true that the reference has relevance for your practice but you are not targeting the entire internet and most likely you are not selling products or anything else. The goal of dental marketing is to acquire leads, specifically ones in your vicinity. That’s why you need a local SEO strategy.
Local VS Organic Search
To understand how Google treats different types of queries, search for “signs of tooth decay.” You would see results such as informational websites, blogs, and magazines, many of which are targeted to Indian or international audiences. In fact, you probably won’t see a local dentist in the top results. Optimizing for this type of search is general organic search engine optimization (SEO) .
Now try searching for “tooth decay treatment near me.” Google recognizes that this term has local intent. The top results are places, specifically dental clinics near your location. You will see three places featured (known as the three-pack), along with a map and link to additional places. Optimizing for this type of search is local SEO marketing.
Why Local Search Optimization is Different
Organic SEO is about optimizing a website, which is identified by its URL (Internet address). In this method you must have something on the website or a link to the website for impact. By contrast, local SEO strategy is about optimizing a business, primarily identified by its NAP (name, address, and phone number). Even a mention of your dental practice, known as a citation, can be important even if it doesn’t include a website link.
Local SEO Best Practices
Focussing general SEO most of the marketing advice that you will get online is directed at retailers and other national businesses. How does local search optimization differ from the general SEO and what is SEO for Dental practices?
Google My Business: There are many platforms for local business listings, but this is by far the most important. Be sure to claim your profile, add details where possible, and remove any duplicate listings. This is one of the important step connected with SEO for Dental practices as patients in the vicinity of the clinic site are top priority customers of the practice.
On-site optimization: Typical SEO factors such as page speed, Meta tags, content quality, and keyword usage are still important. Additionally, you need to optimize your location information for a successful local SEO strategy.
This includes having a contact page, a prominent (and ideally clickable) phone number, and adding NAP details in the sitewide footer, for better understanding you can contact us.
NAP consistency: Even a minor change in a page URL can break links. Similarly, inconsistencies in your practice details can “break” citations. Avoid variations (i.e., “Your Smile Center” in one place and “Smile Center” in another), and if the details about your practice change, update them everywhere.
Citations: Where does Google find these online references to dental practices? Sources range from business directories and customer review platforms to local newspapers. Even a mention from a local blogger can help. If you have an opportunity to get your practice out there (with accurate NAP), take it. If you find a reputable directory with an option to add or update your business information, use it. Alternatively, you can use a third-party local data aggregator (LDA) to help acquire and maintain citations.
Reviews: Statistics show that people trust businesses with positive reviews, and good reviews translate into increased revenue. If that isn’t reason enough to work on building your online reviews, you should know that online reviews are also a ranking factor in local search. You rank higher with a good portfolio of reviews.
City landing pages: How far do patients travel to visit your practice? Most likely, your target market encompasses nearby cities and pin codes. Include pages on your website targeting those locations but be mindful of Google’s quality standards. Don’t use false location information or stuff the pages with keywords or add low-quality content.
What do local and organic SEO have in common
As brick and mortar businesses, should dental SEO marketing focus exclusively on local search and forget about standard SEO? No, in fact, most principles of site optimization apply and hold good, no matter what your industry or goal is. These include:
- Efficient site navigation
- Content and meta tags optimized for targeted keywords
- A diverse portfolio of quality backlinks
- Excellent user experience (UX)
- Website free of glitches and technical errors
- Fast loading, mobile friendly site
- No keyword stuffing, duplicate or low-quality content, or spammy links.
Where have we reached and Going forward:
Standard organic SEO can easily bring internet traffic from around the world. Yet, only people near your practice represent meaningful leads. If you aren’t focusing on local search, you are missing massive opportunities.
The objective of this article was to make you familiar with local search and its strategic significance towards lead generation especially in local SEO for Dental clinics. We also felt that a discerning dental practitioner like you needs to understand what he or she is committing to and why? The reason is very simple. If you do not have an awareness of a particular digital marketing concept you would be deprived of the benefits through inaction. Also based upon relevant understanding if you have built conviction on the way your practice can grow, then you are likely to act and experience your patient base going up.
As a parting note we want to advise you that please do not get overwhelmed with “the ifs and buts” of the process and technicalities. Just like you an expert in dental matters you need not be an expert in every field. There are experts in the Digital marketing field as well and now you are armed with information to get the best out of them.