Page 9?!

Joe Hohman

Owner & COO
February 14, 2019

Page 9?!

How to get your practice found on Google.

You’re the best dentist in town. We know it. You know it. But Google’s a little behind the curve. Okay, Google’s a lot behind the curve. You’re on page 9, and it’s lonely down there.  You invested good money into your website, but what good is that if nobody can find it?

As much as I wish that there was a magic button to launch your website to the top of the listings, there isn’t. Like most things worth having, a good search ranking takes time and effort.

We’ve been in the dental website and SEO game for a while now, and here are a few things we’ve learned along the way...

1. On-page SEO is critical.

Yup, critical. Google’s looking at your website, and they’re trying to find out who you are, where you are, and what you do.  You’ve got to give them what they’re looking for.

Here are the things to check first:

  • Title Tags – The title tag is what shows at the top of the browser window when someone’s looking at your site.  If you’re a “Dentist in Schenectady, NY” you better make sure you say that in the title tag, especially on your site’s homepage.
  • Headlines & Paragraphs – Use these as an opportunities to work in a keyword or two. But don’t get greedy – if you stuff your page with keywords, Google will lower your ranking. Worse yet, your site’s gonna be really weird to read.
  • The “NAP” – That stands for Name, Address, & Phone Number.  Having this on your site helps Google associate you with your business location.  We usually put it at the bottom of every page.

Is there more to it than that?  Sure, but these basics will take you 80% of the way there. If you’re one of our clients, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. We handle your on-page SEO when we build your site, and we’re happy to make tweaks over time to get you the best ranking possible.

2. Your local listings matter.

You’ll want to make sure that the major business listing sites (like Google Maps, Yelp, and Facebook) are showing consistent and correct information for your practice's locations, and that any duplicate listings are removed.  We've found that when this information is consistent in as many places as possible, it's a strong signal to Google's ranking algorithm that your business is a major player in your area.

Follow these tips to get further faster:

  1. Start with Google. Go to https://business.google.com to claim your listing. Make sure your website address is correct, your “NAP” exactly matches the information you used on your website, and that your profile is 100% complete.
  2. Next, check Facebook, Yelp, and Healthgrades for the same things.
  3. Finally, make sure all the other business listing sites have the correct information. There’s a ton of them out there. While you can definitely claim and manage the listings manually, we recommend using a service like Moz Local to take care of the heavy lifting for you.  Life’s too short.

3. Reviews make a big difference.

Another major signal to Google's local businesses algorithm is online reviews – both on Google and on other trustworthy sites. Reviews provide social proof that your practice actually exists, has real patients, and that you’re awesome.  If you don't already have a patient review strategy in place, we’d love to help you create a successful review campaign.

4. Fresh content for the win!

Google loves when local businesses provide helpful information and valuable resources to the community. The best ways we've found to do those things is by creating service-specific landing pages to capture more traffic for people searching for a certain service (like dental implants or Invisalign) and by writing blog articles that center around important keywords or topics.  If you enjoy writing, or have a team member who does, you can do this yourself. If not, we’ve got your back.

As with most things to do with marketing, SEO is all about patience and a good long-term strategy.  No one is going to hack Google in a month, but if you do the right things, your site will naturally climb to the top over time.

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