When it comes to local small businesses, it’s difficult to know which ones can benefit from today’s search engine optimization (SEO) practices. But there’s one community business where there’s no denying the power of SEO: the local dentist. It might sound strange, but locally based SEO can generate a lot of business for dentists, especially if you’re using the top six ways to boost your dentistry business using local SEO listed below.
What is Local SEO for Dentists?
As a local business, you want to make sure your dental practice has a presence in both the physical and the online worlds. When it comes to online, you need to make sure that your location, contact, and advertising information is accessible through organic searches. This is a basic principle of local SEO and can be done by registering and maintaining your practice’s information on major search engine listings. As a result, people searching for a dental practice in your area will be able to find you, leading to new patients.
Below are some additional ways to integrate local SEO into a small dental practice:
1. Building a Patient-Friendly Web Site
Your dentistry’s web site must cater to patients, meaning that it’s easy for them to access and navigate. It should also feature well-written content on every page that is related to the dental industry, but without too much industry-specific terminology and including smoothly incorporated keywords. The site should also feature a strong call to action and contact information that is easy to locate. Finally, you also need to have linked icons for all major social media. The easier you make it for prospective patients to browse your site and contact you, the more likely they are to do so.
2. Citation Building
Aside from using SEO to be discovered organically, you need to do some citation building to increase your recognition in searches. Including your name, address, and phone number on online business registries is one way of doing this; examples include Yelp and Bing Places. Upon doing so, Google, Yahoo!, and other search engines will recognize your site, provide your name as a searchable business, and allow you to be ranked in searches. Citations are an important part of modern SEO, so it’s vital that you create them. One last important point: Working in the health field, authority and legitimacy is key to earning trust and bringing in new patients. Having a citation present on major sites like Yelp and Bing will go a long way in establishing your reputation online as a legitimate and trustworthy business.
3. Online Review Generation
Once you are registered for citations in business listings, you’re going to get rated. According to recent statistics, when people locate your dentistry online and see positive reviews, they are more likely to visit your practice as a result. And reviews should always be encouraged; positive ones mean more searches and, ultimately, higher SEO rankings. Better yet, if you happen to collect the e-mail addresses of new patients, you could consider sending them an e-mail to check in regarding their last appointment and encourage them to submit a review. Offering clearly labeled links within the e-mail itself to direct patients to a place where they may submit a review will encourage them to do so. However, it is always best practice to get permission from the patient to e-mail first; if they consider the e-mail spam, they’re less likely to leave a good review.
4. Inspired Customer Referrals
In the old days, you always asked patients to refer you to their friends and family. While still a valid method, it’s also a tad slow; now, the preferred technique is referral marketing. You can offer an item, both digitally and physically, such as a gift card for a service or a discount on products to help encourage patients to spread the word. People always like receiving gifts, and giving them one will help them to remember your business and the high-quality service they received, leading to referrals. It all comes down to pleasing your existing patients and giving them an incentive to bring in new ones.
5. Every Door Direct Mail
Think direct mail no longer benefits dentists? Think again. Every door direct mail (EDDM) is a service where you select postal routes, then create mailings that are delivered to every house along those routes. This method is still effective at boosting awareness, though note that the law says you are only allowed to create and distribute so many pieces of direct mail. Your direct mailer should be visually appealing, with short, specific sales copy that has a solid call to action. It also never hurts to put a copy of your mail piece on your web site, especially if it includes a current promotion; not only will potentially more people see it this way, but anyone who loses the physical mailer will still be able to see it.
6. Improved Social Media
Social media can no longer be ignored. As mentioned earlier, you’ll only increase online traffic to your web site if you set up a business account on reliable social media sites, specifically Facebook and LinkedIn, as they cater more to professional businesses. You can also place a short advertisement on YouTube, as visual social media has proven to be enticing. It should be noted, however, that it is important to make sure all of your digital SEO material is completely mobile-friendly. Test every piece of content you create for your practice across both desktop and mobile devices, as it is imperative to ensure the success of your local SEO efforts.
There’s a growing trend of supporting local businesses, which can be a positive factor in building up a community of healthy business. Thanks to local SEO techniques, a dental practice only stands to gain from being listed, optimized, and present on social media.