Where to Start on Your SEO
SEO – search engine optimization – is a long-term strategy that can be intimidating for small businesses like dental offices, especially if you’re just starting out on the process.
There are several aspects to SEO, including technical factors and link building. However, a solid SEO policy begins with the content of your dental website. Without quality material, other site optimization techniques won’t do your business much good.
The context of your content gives search engines like Google the information they need to index your web pages properly so your potential patients can find you online. And once these people arrive on your site, strong content can help drive them through your practice door.
Search engines – and Google in particular – deliver search results pages to their users based on the value and relevance of page content. So, good SEO starts with understanding how to produce quality content that matches user search intent.
What is Search Intent?
Search intent (user intent or audience intent) is the purpose behind an online search – the reason someone enters a specific query or other phrase into a search engine. Everyone who uses a search engine is looking for something.
They may be searching for:
- Answers to a question – informational intent.
- A specific business – navigational intent.
- Something they want to acquire – transactional intent.
In dental SEO terms, these factors translate into search term keywords such as:
- What does root canal treatment involve? (Informational intent).
- Emergency dental services in Orlando (navigational/transactional).
Quality, relevant content on your dental site that matches search intent will help your pages rank highly in search engine results – steering potential patients to your blog posts (for informational intent) or procedural pages (for navigational/transactional intent).
What is Quality Content?
Search engines assess the quality of each web page by looking at various factors. For example, if a page has a lot of factual errors or grammatical or spelling mistakes, search engines will work out that little effort has gone into creating the content. Search engines also dislike content that’s thin on information or appears to have been generated automatically by an article spinner or copied from another source.
Search algorithms also determine the readability of a page and its suitability for your target audience. It does his by using tools like the Flesch-Kincaid system that evaluates things like the number of syllables per word and length of sentences. Another way that search engines determine the quality of content is by measuring user interaction. For instance, if most visitors to your website immediately bounce back to the search results page, it tells the search algorithm that your content offered them nothing of value so they had to look elsewhere for the information they wanted.
How to Produce Quality Content
If you create quality content for your readers, search engines will like it as well. Here are a few tips on creating good web page content.
- Get readers’ attention with a strong page title and an intro that encourages them to stay with you so you can get your message across.
- Hold the reader’s attention with clear, concise content that engages with them.
- Use short sentences and simple words.
- Avoid technical jargon where possible.
- Speak to your audience directly with words like “you” or “your”.
- Favor the active voice over the passive voice.
- Use synonyms to avoid over-repetition of the same words or phrases.
- Structure your content with subheadings and bullet points for ease of reading.
- Break up slabs of text with images such as photos or video.
How to Use Keywords
While Google tells us that page content should be created mainly for people rather than search engines, you still need to use keywords (in moderation) to demonstrate to search algorithms that your content is a good fit for what your prospective patients are looking for online. However, beware of keyword stuffing. Overuse of keywords in a misguided attempt to speed up the SEO process creates a poor experience for readers, and search engines will recognize this.
Examples of keyword stuffing include:
- Unnecessary repetition of words or phrases.
- Using words out of context with the subject matter.
- Using blocks of the same keyword.
So, create content rich in information that uses keywords in context, sparingly, and appropriately.
Good places for keywords are:
- Page title.
- First paragraph.
- Near the end of the page.
Importance of Blog Posts for SEO
Optimizing the static content of your site – such as procedural pages and About Us – helps you sell your dental services to potential patients. SEO blog content opens up further possibilities to attract new business on an ongoing basis.
Blogging allows you to produce a steady stream of fresh, more informative content that will:
- Enhance your authority.
- Strengthen your online presence.
- Keep visitors coming back for more.
- Convert more of your site visitors into paying patients.
Well-optimized blog content boosts your site rankings to position your practice as a go-to resource that answers questions on dental subjects and helps to solve readers’ oral health issues. Blogging also gives you more scope than your service pages to link to quality external sites with a high Domain Authority, which improves SEO. You can also use internal links to other pages on your own site, which helps readers and search engines navigate through your site.
Other Dental SEO Considerations
Once you have strategies in place for on-page optimization of your procedural pages and blog posts, you’ll need to consider other important SEO tactics such as off-page SEO – getting backlinks from other sites – and technical factors to make sure search engines index your pages. Juggling link building and technical SEO with creating a consistent flow of quality blog content takes a lot of effort – which dental offices seldom have the time or resources for. That’s why they look to DentalROI.
As specialists in dental marketing, we can take care of all your SEO needs, including keyword-optimized written content, images and custom videos, plus link building and social media management. Get in touch now if you need to start and maintain a solid SEO campaign with a constant return on investment.