Local SEOMarketing Insights

Dental Practice Checklist: On-Page SEO

Keywords are not the only search engine optimization Google checks before raising a ranking on SERPs. There are over 200 factors in technical and on-page SEO, and these signals, when optimized will earn a dental practice website the top spots in organic search positions.

Woman sitting on sofa couch checking on-page SEO on a laptop computer.

What is on-page SEO?

On-page SEO is a term that is generally known to include optimized content and keywords. Factors that are grouped in this category are self-manageable, as opposed to the ones that require experts or engineers. There are three categories that web page improvements fall into content, or on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical. 

Which top SEO factors are on-page vs off-page vs technical

On-page  Off-page Technical
Content Local SEO Site audit
Title tag Backlinks Crawling 
Meta description Social media Indexation
Headline Sharable content Render
Header Blog Ranking
Internal linking Influencer marketing Clickability
Keywords  XML sitemap Schema
Image optimization/alt tag HTTPS URL
PageSpeed 

How to DIY SEO 

Optimizing on-page factors has one goal: ranking. Google crawls and indexes pages rating quality, contextuality, and relevancy, so the user is served accurate information based on the query. When the pages meet SEO best practice, Google ranks the site as high-quality and sends searchers or organic traffic to the domain.

While there are over 200 factors to consider in SEO, we are sharing the ones we are asked about the most. Take a look at the parts of a website you can SEO yourself.  

Content

In a study to measure content effectiveness, 57% of marketers said on-page SEO provided the most marketing impact in response. The content, or copy on a site, is one of the easiest optimizations to perform if it’s being written by the dentist. The rule when it comes to creating marketing, promotional or blog content is to write it for a person first and search engine second.  

Writing should be a conversation, using natural language instead of complex dental terminology. About 8% of search queries are written as a question format. Content should be written as if it’s answering a question, think of the way in which users pose queries in a Google search.

Research the topic before you begin. What we have learned at Conversion Whale is that even though dentists are the experts when talking about dentistry, the key to great content is understanding what the user wants, not only what the dentist wants to write about.

Title Tag

A title tag is used in two areas of a search. First in the heading link of a SERP and then as a heading on the webpage. Title tags provide an indication of the topic of the content and although these HTML tags do not influence ranking, if it is not relevant to a search it does impact SEO.

Best practice for title tags:

  • Limit character count to 70.
  • Include the focus or primary keyword.
  • It should sum up the context of the page it leads the user to.
  • Include the dental practice or business name in the title tag, e.g.: Dental Practice Checklist: On-page SEO | Conversion Whale

Meta Tag

Click-through from the SERP is stronger with descriptive meta tags. These mini-descriptions, which appear under the title tag, summarize the content on the page it links to. With such limited space to create a meta, these descriptions need to be persuasive to encourage click-through.

Best practice for meta tags:

  • Limit character count to 160.
  • Include the focus or primary keyword or phrase.
  • Think of it like a mini-call-to-action

Headline

Writing an effective headline takes practice. Headlines appear at the top of a blog or article and lead the reader into an introduction about the topic in the long copy content below it. It should include a little of everything such as powerful words familiar to patients, emotional context, and a prompt to peak interest. 

Best practices for headlines:

  • Limit to 55 characters.
  • 6-word headlines show the strongest click-through performance.
  • Include at least one keyword that users search for. 

Header Tag

There are up to six types of header tags to use in the main body of content. H1 header tags appear after the headline and lead the user into the most important information needed to understand the remaining content, and H6 contains the least important. For the most part, the content uses H1, H2, and H3 tags. 

The headers enjoy two roles. The first is to streamline the user journey, creating an easy and structured read for the user.  The second is that while the headers do not impact SEO, the part they play in the user journey does affect SEO – so including them to break up long content, add context and establish structure is essential.

Best practices for header tags:

  • Limit to 70 characters.
  • Contextualize the main idea of the copy that follows on from the H1.
  • Use a keyword in the H1.
  • Question-answer formats maximize H1s, for example, if the content is about root canals, then make the H1 a question: What is a root canal?

Internal Linking

Linking content internally from one page to another is best practice for on-page SEO. Internal links give a reader directional context on a subject, and sending users to relevant content gives websites credibility with Google. 

When users spend a long time browsing a site, it signals Google that the content is valuable and purposeful, resulting in more traffic directed to it.

Best practice for internal linking:

  • Only link to relevant, related content pages.
  • Use links sparingly, and nor more than once for every 100 words.
  • Include anchor text links into an internal link strategy.

Keywords

Incorporating relevant keywords into the content naturally is likely the most familiar part of search engine optimization. Keywords are used to propose the ideas within the content, so research is crucial to understand which keywords are relevant, meet search intent, and ensure annual volume opportunity clicks to a webpage.

While keywords help Google match a search inquiry to suitable webpage content, overuse may result in punishment and a decrease in ranking position on the SERP.

Best practices for keywords:

  • Keywords should be added once in the title, H1, and first paragraph or first 25 words.
  • Include synonyms throughout the content instead of repeating the keyword multiple times.
  • Research keywords for relevance and intent, and understand the audience it’s targeted at and the words they are familiar with. 

Image Optimization

Image context is often overlooked, however, Google returns visuals more than 26% of the time in searches. Two of the most important optimizations for images are description (also called an alt tag) and filename, which play a considerable role in SEO. An alt tag simply describes the picture as-is, as if the writer is explaining exactly what is seen in the image to someone who is sight-impaired.

Best practices for images:

  • Include the keyword the file name and alt tag, and describe the visual, limited to 125 characters.
  • Use the appropriate image format, PNG or JPEG. 
  • Compress and resize images to load quickly, lagging load speeds will cause users to bounce.

Schema

While we consider schema both on-page SEO and technical SEO, it’s an important feature in driving visitors to a site. Schema markup allows website owners to create a structured data vocabulary, or semantic vocabulary for web pages, to help search engines index pages and send back the most relevant, informative search results for a search query. 

Structured data makes meaning of keywords entities, actions, and relationships by placing a markup code in the HTML. A good example of practices that use structured data is when the first organic SERP provides a featured snippet of the search query.

Contact on-page SEO experts

At Conversion Whale, our SEO experts have partnered with thousands of dental practices in their goals to conquer the ever-changing search landscape. We support new, growing and scaling businesses in organic and paid search, and our talented teams can show you how to raise your SEO ranking too. 

Contact us today.


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