Savvy dentists know an optimized website is essential for successful dental marketing. However, many do not fully understand the impact a solid healthcare SEO foundation has on new patients’ ability to find their site.
In this blog post, we debunk seven common dentist SEO misconceptions you need to let go in order to drive more site traffic and effectively grow your practice. Read on for more!
1. SEO for medical doesn’t work
Most consumers (69 percent) searched for local businesses online at least once per month in 2018, and only 8 percent have never done so, according to BrightLocal. Consequently, people in your local area are searching for dentists. If your website isn’t properly optimized, however, it probably isn’t ranking highly in search results.
Perhaps you gave healthcare SEO a try once or twice, but quickly became frustrated by a lack of impressive results. You might not realize this, but building a successful SEO strategy is a process — just like starting a dental practice.
If mastering SEO rankings was easy, everyone would do it. When you put in the time and effort, you’re rewarded with your desired outcome.
2. Dental SEO equates to poor quality content
No doubt, you’ve seen dentist websites that are barely readable due to keyword stuffing. Once upon a time, this was considered a good SEO practice, but it has long been out of style.
In fact, Google considers keyword stuffing an irrelevant practice. The company has warned that taking this route causes a negative user experience that can harm your ranking.
You don’t have to sacrifice quality content to implement a dental SEO strategy. In fact, skilled SEO writers are able to incorporate keywords in a manner that flows, so the reader doesn’t even realize the content is optimized.
3. Healthcare SEO is a one-time effort
If you think your SEO for medical strategy can be implemented once, then never spoken of again, you’re sorely mistaken. Google changes its algorithm approximately 500 to 600 times per year, according to Moz. Most of these updates are minor, but your website needs to keep up with the fast-paced nature of SEO.
Failing to comply with major Google algorithm changes can hurt your rankings, but that’s not the only reason your SEO efforts require constant nurturing. Publishing quality content on a regular basis — i.e., your dental practice blog — also factors into your search ranking. If your competitors regularly produce fresh content, they’ll likely outrank you.
A Google update you should know: Google Chrome version 68
4. Guest blogging is a poor dentist SEO strategy
Having high-quality content on your practice website is a must for SEO, but don’t stop there. Guest blogging is a fantastic opportunity to raise your profile, so seek out relevant opportunities.
Get the most from this savvy dentist SEO strategy by including a well-written bio with each post, contributing only to credible blogs and publications, and only agreeing to write on topics where you can truly add value. This can help new patients find your practice, while defining you as a dental industry expert.
5. Keyword research for healthcare SEO is unnecessary
When patients search for a dental practice online, they use certain terms more often than others. If your website content doesn’t contain these keywords, it won’t appear high in their search rankings.
Despite Google’s frequent algorithm changes, HubSpot notes the one thing that has remained constant throughout the years is the need to conduct keyword research. Ultimately, your goal should be to rank higher than your competitors on the key terms and phrases most important to your practice.
6. There’s no need to hire a medical SEO company
You’ve always maintained your practice website yourself. In the little free time you have, you’ve managed to learn the basics of SEO, so you don’t see the point in outsourcing it.
The thing is, SEO practices change constantly. As a busy dentist, it’s possible you can’t dedicate the time needed to stay on top of these updates and implement them.
Just as your practice specializes in dentistry, a medical SEO company concentrates solely on boosting your search results. Leave the SEO work to the experts, so you can spend more time with your patients.
7. Only one dental SEO keyword should be used per page
In the past, it was considered useful to create different pages for every single keyword you wanted to target, but that practice has become obsolete. This practice can make your site difficult to navigate and it hinders your ranking, due to changes in search engine algorithms.
These days, one page can rank for hundreds or even thousands of keywords, according to Ahrefs, a data-driven marketing toolset. Of course, pairings should always make sense, but as long as all terms and phrases support the theme of the page, you’re golden.
For more information on the topic of dentist SEO, check out the blog post “Everything you need to know for effective dental SEO.”