Many times, dental marketing strategies tend to focus on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in a broad sense. It’s a common misconception that “bigger is better” when it comes to SEO. This mentality often results in a marketing campaign overreach, with an excessive amount of keywords and locations being targeted.
This tactic just serves to dilute search results and hinder a practice from ranking high in and around the office area. What many dentists (or other business owners) may not be aware of is the value in narrowing down SEO strategies to local markets.
Keywords: The foundation of a successful SEO strategy
So, how do you know what keywords to optimize your site for?
To lay the groundwork on your local SEO campaign, begin by researching your competitors and what keywords they are ranking for.
Determining what keywords your competitors are ranking for is easier than you think. To get an idea of what these keywords are, input their website URL on Google’s Keyword Planner tool. If these keywords are relevant to your practice and the services being offered, you should consider incorporating them in your website content and ads. However, even if the keywords aren’t relevant to your practice, this methodology at least gives you an idea of how your competitors are marketing to their customers that can, in turn, help you craft your own local strategy.
Keyword Planner is also useful in determining keyword search volume. To maximize your local reach, think “outside the box,” so to speak. Besides using keywords that include your immediate location, incorporate other nearby areas or landmarks to extend the reach of your campaign. For example, if you’re practice is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, think beyond the expected “dentist in Fort Lauderdale” or “Fort Lauderdale dentist” keywords and consider including keywords such as “dentist in Sunrise,” “dentist Plantation,” “dentist Davie,” etc., as 78% of location-based searches on mobile result in conversions.
Also, be sure to incorporate long-tail search terms, as statistics show that 50% of search queries are four words or longer. Long-tail terms should have additional details about your services, such as “emergency dentist in Fort Lauderdale,” “best root canal dentist near me,” or “Davie dentist open after hours”. That being said, don’t stray too far away from your practice’s location. Optimizing for too broad a scope can backfire, preventing you from ranking or establishing yourself as an authority in your immediate area. Also, keep in mind that keywords (even long-tail keywords) should be succinct.
How to start ranking locally
Once you have your keyword list ready, it’s time to put them to use in acquiring local patients. The goal is to rank on the first page of a search for your keywords, as research from HubSpot shows that 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results. Here’s how to incorporate your keywords so you can start ranking in your area and generate conversions.
Incorporate your keywords throughout your practice’s website, especially on the homepage and use keywords (sparingly) as anchor link text when appropriate if directing to a relevant page. Include a variety of keywords in your content, but be careful not to overdo it. Make sure the content flows naturally to avoid being flagged as spam.
Title tags, meta descriptions, and alt tags serve to provide a succinct explanation to search engines about what a webpage, file, or image is about. Search engines crawl meta data and use it to rank sites, so be sure to include relevant keywords and the location of your business in these descriptions.
A schema is a markup that tells search engines what your pages are about to help them properly index your site. You can include details about your practice’s location, keywords, hours, services, and many other tidbits that can help you rank locally.
Monitoring a campaign
The work doesn’t stop once you rank in the top results for a local search. You need to ensure your practice maintains its authority and continues to rank well. Google’s algorithm (the method by which the search engine determines how to crawl and rank web pages) can change at any time. Stay in the know about new SEO trends and ask patients for positive reviews to further boost your credibility.
Also, be sure to monitor your campaign’s performance frequently and make tweaks to keyword selection as necessary. There are a variety of ways you can monitor how your site is ranking, such as:
- Manual search: Open an incognito window in your browser and input your keywords (and keyword variations) in the search bar.
- Online programs: There are several online programs that can show you how your website is ranking and for which keywords, but most require a paid membership. Those that are free may not be entirely accurate or run the data in real time.
- Enlist a digital marketing team: An experienced digital marketing team (like Conversion Whale) will have the tools to check your site’s rankings and provide you with frequent progress reports as well as suggest ideas for improvement if they notice your ranks have fallen.
Need more help?
If this sounds too complicated, give us a call. We can help you select the highest-ranking keywords for your local dental marketing campaign.
Here at Conversion Whale, we pride ourselves in achieving SEO results that convert. We know what works for dentistry in your city. Being one of the few dental driven digital marketing agencies means we have the data to back it up. We also stay on top of any changes in the search engine algorithms. To learn more about our services or to get started on a local SEO campaign, contact us.