Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a way of building your dental practice’s authority and reputation online. SEO helps Google and other search engines rank your website higher in search results so potential patients can find you wherever they’re looking for a dentist online. This means if someone is searching for a “dentist near me”, or “dentist in my area accepting new patients”, you want your practice to appear.
Why does SEO work so well?
Location is everything in Google search results. As a general rule, the first search result gets an average of 28.5% of all traffic for a given search query. Moreover, most people don’t bother to look beyond the first page, so if you’re not appearing until the second or third page, you might as well not be on there. By contrast, a Google Ad gets an average of 3.17% of search traffic. So putting in the work to be at the top of the Google search results pays real dividends.
In terms of a return on investment, SEO also works out cheaper in the long run than spending the equivalent on Google Ads:
– Average Cost Per Click of a Google Search Ad = around $5
– A single keyword in the top position with 2,000 searches = around 570 clicks
– The ad cost for 570 clicks per month = $2,850 per month
What does success look like for SEO?
Unfortunately, improvements in page rankings are not a linear process, which can be frustrating for clients. There just isn’t a steady improvement over time. It is always three steps forward and one step backward. This is because the online environment you’re in is constantly changing and shifting the goalposts – there might be increasing competition or Google algorithm updates impacting you.
Sometimes there is a strong improvement at the beginning, but it might plateau for a few months before you see further improvement. However, we can ensure that you are trending in the right direction and that you see consistent growth over time, which results in a strong return on investment. However, that timeframe is likely to be months, rather than immediate.
When we measure the impact of SEO on your online presence, we’ll be looking at:
- Organic traffic improvement to your website
- Individual keyword movement – i.e., did your positions in Google for these keyword searches go up or down the page?
- Form submissions
- Click to call
Success might include earning your spot at the top of the leaderboard for “best dentists near me,” or ranking at the top of the first page for “crown replacement dentist in Houghton”.
One thing that we can’t directly track as an SEO metric is the number of new patients acquired. That is an important business goal for growing dental practices, and it is a byproduct of these metrics, but cannot be traced directly to them. SEO is about improving online authority (how credible you are) and presence (how easy you are to find), after that, other factors come into play that will determine whether they decide to become a new patient or not.
What factors will influence an SEO campaign?
Your goals play an important part in how successful your SEO campaign will be. Goals can include:
– Increasing organic traffic to a site
– Increasing form submissions on a site
– Increasing the number of intake calls
– Ranking higher for “dentist in [city]”
Where your organic presence is at the moment can also impact how your SEO campaign will run. Considerations can include:
– Where do your pages rank at the moment on Google?
– How many priority pages need improving?
It is also important to understand whether you are consistently adding valuable content to your site. Content is considered valuable by Google when it is highly relevant and/or original content that readers will find useful. Content is king online and adding valuable content regularly is one of the most valuable SEO tools available. Content could include long-form blog content or updating critical website pages such as service pages.
What are on-page and technical SEO?
Each component of a page affects the overall performance of the page and the website. Optimizing things in the back end of a website, such as meta-data, schema, and page speed will show Google that you are providing a quality visitor experience. Improving those technical aspects of your website will impress Google. You may not see the difference by just looking at your website, but Google will.
What is off-site SEO?
Off-site SEO is a key part of your reputation management. You can think of it as your professional references in the digital world. If you post a story on social media and your favorite influencer shares it, that would result in a valuable backlink to your website from their profile.
We work with our clients across these SEO areas. If you would like more information about how we can help you, feel free to schedule a free consultation.
If you would like to see aggregated data of the success my clients have seen with our SEO work, you can download this deck for an insight into how SEO could help your dental practice.