Search engine optimization (SEO) is a marketing technique that focuses on attracting organic or non-paid traffic to your dental practice website by ranking it high on search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords and phrases. Effective SEO can help your dental practice increase organic traffic to your website and reach the end goal of attracting more patients.
Improving your website’s ranking on the main search engines is important as potential patients searching online for a new dental practice rarely go past page one of the search results. In fact, according to a recent study, results on the first page of the main search engines received almost 94 percent of traffic. Understanding and executing SEO techniques can dramatically improve the reach of your dental practice.
Why is SEO important for your dental practice?
SEO is a very powerful marketing tactic that can bring your dental practice more qualified leads and patients. Moreover, studies have indicated that SEO can have a better ROI than traditional marketing techniques such as TV and print ads. SEO provides your practice visibility, credibility, branding, traffic, reputation and a high ROI.
Visibility and branding
When potential patients search online for your practice, you must appear higher in the search engine rankings. Most of you may not know that there is much importance in appearing in search results for terms related to your specialty. For example, most people do not search just once. Instead, they click on a few websites, edit their search criteria, search again, then further change their search keywords, and so on.
So, how can this behavior help your dental practice? It means if you can consistently show in all these search results, you may end up gaining more mindshare with each potential patient. The chances are good that they will click through to your website and trust you more.
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Most people, unintentionally, make mental notes of the keywords or phrases they enter into search engines. Moreover, in the minds of potential patients, your website ranking is a vote of confidence. They feel if Google trusts this business to be relevant, then it must be. Your patients may not realize it, but high search rankings make your dental practice more credible in their eyes.
Top positions on search engine results pages receive most of the impressions and clicks, which means ranking in top positions can significantly increase traffic to your website. Broadly speaking, SEO focuses on creating keyword-relevant title tags and meta descriptions, which show up in the results pages. These optimized tags and descriptions help increase the click-through rate, which increases web traffic.
SEO rewards your dental practice at a higher rate than other forms of offline advertising or online marketing. This is because SEO is an inbound marketing strategy and therefore allows you to market to potential patients when they are looking for relevant products and services. In order to reach your target audience, you need not interrupt their TV show or take up precious space on a page where they are reading an article. You just show up online when they are looking for practices like yours. As a matter of fact, you do not even have to convince them to use your service. The only message you must convey is that you are the perfect business to visit.
SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies as it targets users who are already searching online for your products and services similar to yours. SEO tactics can help you save money as opposed to outbound marketing strategies such as cold-calling. While cold-calling is an effective strategy, the lead generation is 61 percent more costly than that generated by an inbound strategy like SEO. Moreover, because SEO targets patients who are actively searching for services like yours, the traffic is more qualified than other marketing strategies, resulting in more cost-savings.
It is essential to have a digital marketing strategy that includes SEO so your dental practice can easily be found in search engine results. Your dental practice needs to have an SEO strategy in place if you are looking to expand your reach and visibility. SEO continues to be one of the most critical components of any practice’s branding efforts and online presence.