There’s no getting away from the fact that search engine optimisation (SEO) is necessary for websites (and their connecting businesses) to get noticed online. It allows small online start-ups to compete with larger enterprises, levelling up the playing field so to speak.
What about local businesses like dental practices? That’s where local SEO for a dentist can help.
It stands to reason that if you have a dental practice in Sydney, it’s improbable that you’d be attracting patients from Melbourne or Brisbane. Instead, you’d probably be looking at a particular catchment area, probably no more than a 20-30 minute drive away from your dental clinic.
The question is, how do you target those people and those people only without attracting interest from far afield? By adopting a local SEO strategy, of course.
This post will talk about five proven strategies for localised SEO that will work for your dental practice. So let’s get started.
Step #1 Take control and optimise Google My Business
If you had a chance at free advertising, you’d jump at the opportunity, right?
Well, that’s what Google My Business (GMB) is.
Yet, just 64% of businesses with a website presence use it.
GMB is a woefully underused marketing tool that should be integral to localised marketing for your dental practice.
So what is Google My Business exactly?
If you’ve ever searched for, say ‘ family dentist in Sydney,’ you’ll notice 3-5 results that show immediately after a Google map. These results have star ratings, contact details and links to the company website.
More importantly, they appear before the first organic search listing. Inevitably this is the first place a searcher might look. In other words, it pays to be in those first 3-5 search results.
Here’s an interesting stat to prove a point – A typical business will receive 59 actions from their GMB ad every month
So what do you need to do?
If you haven’t already done so, the first step is to claim your GMB page by creating a listing. Then ensure you fill out all the relevant information in as much detail as possible. This includes opening times and hours, correct contact details and of course, location.
Next, ensure all the information is kept up to date and relevant and encourage reviews.
If you want to ensure your dental practice is one of the first on your local listing, you need to provide:
- Relevancy – Is your listing relevant to what the visitor is searching for?
- Distance – Are you within proximity to the visitors’ search pattern?
- Prominence – How well known is your dental practice online?
Here, key points are to use location-based keywords where possible, ensure your address is completed and up to date, and garner reviews. Oh, and don’t forget to link it back to your dental practice website.
Step #2 – Optimise your website for local search
In essence, optimising your website to incorporate local search is local SEO for a dentist 101. It’s should always be the starting point of any local SEO strategy. Here are some pointers.
- Ensure you have a physical address on the home page of your site
- Incorporate dentistry-related keywords including ‘dentist in’ or ‘dentist near’ your prominent area
- Ensure location-based keywords are included in meta titles and meta descriptions
- Add suburb-specific pages to your dental website
- Incorporate Google Maps into your site so new patients can find you.
Remember, people are more likely to engage with businesses, including dental practices close to them. Local search engine optimisation allows you to capture a local search territory or suburb to connect with searchers in your area. Therefore, it pays to use location-specific keywords across all your content where possible.
Step #3 – Don’t forget Yelp
Yelp is arguably the most popular online directory for local businesses, and just like Google My Business, it’s free to set up. Here are some top tips to optimise your local SEO strategy using this platform:
- Choose the right service category
- Fill out your profile completely
- Include relevant keywords in your listing
- Be active and responsive – even to negative reviews
Just like GMB. Yelp needs some initial work to get it going, but the key is to keep it updated. New patients won’t connect if your contact details are wrong or if you haven’t included them at all. That’s how local SEO for a dentist works.
Step #4 – Standardise your NAP listings
NAP is purely an acronym for your contact details (Name, Address and Phone number), and if you’ve been taking notice of localised SEO hints and tips, you’ve probably been including them across lots of content. If so, a good local SEO strategy is to standardise them. In other words, contact details for any dental practice should appear in the same format.
This is crucial for three reasons:
- They become instantly and easily recognisable to anyone checking out several or more of your listings. This, in turn, makes them easier to recall when needed.
- Google will scan all your NAP listings, so ensuring they read the same every time is key
- It makes it easy for you to quickly spot any errors and correct them when they follow the same format.
Step 5 # Include location-based keywords in your URL’s
One sure-fire way to improve local SEO for a dentist is to include location-based keywords in your URL’s. The term ‘URL’ is short for Uniform Resource Locator and is nothing more than an address associated with a unique piece of content. So if, for instance, you’re an orthodontist in Blacktown, Sydney, it would make sense for your URL to include those words or, indeed, connotations thereof.
This way, both the search engine and visitors can immediately see that you are an orthodontist based in or near Blacktown.
As a top tip – when creating URL’s the ideal length is around 70 characters. Long enough to reflect the product, services and relevancy but short enough to be memorable.
So there you have it—five simple and cost-effective tips you can use to become a master of your local SEO strategy.
If you are looking to improve your local SEO for a dentist and would like more hints and tips or don’t know where to start, we can help. Mediboost is Australia’s #1 agency for new patient growth. It has helped many dental practices increase their patient base using tried and tested local SEO strategies that work.
If you’re not attracting the patients you should, call today on 1300 163 058 or schedule a chat. We’d love to hear from you.