Dental Practice SEO – Part 3 – On-Page Optimization – Improving your website ranking on Google
Welcome to the third video in our Dental SEO series where we’re going to talk about on-page optimization, or how to change the content of your website to rank better for the keywords your potential patients are searching for.
If you didn’t see our previous video about Keyword Research, you should start there. For those that did watch the previous video, you’ve done your research, you selected some great keywords to go after, so now let’s talk about how to actually make your dental website show up better for those keywords.
On-page optimization is the part of the SEO process that I think most dentists know about, you know, changing title tags, optimization meta descriptions, adding the right keywords to the page, etc. Unfortunately… this is actually the part of the SEO process that has A LOT of misconceptions. We constantly see dentists (and the marketing companies they’ve hired) trying on-page SEO strategies that haven’t worked for years. So let’s start off by first tackling some of these misconceptions so you can avoid wasting your time and money doing something that isn’t going to get you anywhere.
Well written content is key
A lot of dentists we speak with are under the impression that “Google likes content” so they go out and try to write a lot of content like blog posts thinking this will help them rank better. What many don’t understand is that while… yes… Google does like content… it likes well written, informative, and useful content. If you’re just writing content for the sake of writing content like most dentists do, if you’re writing a bunch of blog posts where the quality of information is a mile wide and an inch deep, then no, that is not going to help you rank at all.
A lot of dentists also think ranking better is all about “putting the right keywords on the page”. This is true to some extent but… not really. Google can understand that your website is a dental website and that your Invisalign page is talking about Invisalign. You don’t have to mention the same keyword 50 times on your page like many dentists think you do in order to rank better, if anything, doing this is going to make you rank worse.
Answer the public
On-page SEO used to be a lot of tricks and technical hacks for how to fool the search algorithm into thinking that your page was more relevant than a competitor, but today better rankings are achieved not through fine-tuning all the technical elements of a page but rather by just creating better and more engaging content. Let’s look at how you can do this:
If you want to attract more Invisalign patients for example, you need a high quality, high value landing page talking about Invisalign. To do this you need to create a page that answers the questions people who are looking for Invisalign are going on Google to search for. There’s a really awesome tool to help you with this, it’s called Answer the Public.
Just go to www.answerthepublic.com and type in a dental service like “Invisalign” and this tool will organize and show you a list of common questions people are searching for around the topic of “Invisalign”. Let’s look at some grea t examples and also think about the type of content we can create to help answer these questions for potential patients.
- Why is Invisalign is better than braces?
This is a great question we can answer on our website. We can write a paragraph about the differences between Invisalign and braces, maybe a pros and cons list, or maybe a video showing the difference between the two options.
- What Invisalign looks like on teeth
For this question you can take a photo of one of your patients with and without the Invisalign trays and show people that it’s really hard to notice if someone is wearing them.
Here’s some more good questions:
- Can Invisalign fix overbite?
- Can Invisalign fix underbite?
- Does Invisalign give you a lisp?
- What insurance covers Invisalign?
These are all really good questions, real questions that real potential patients are actually looking for. This is the type of content you want to have on your website that will create value for those patients and also impress Google. You can answer these questions with written content, pictures, videos from you the dentist, videos from your patients such as testimonial videos, frequently asked questions sections with dropdowns, etc.
Using Answer the Public you can find a lot of great ideas for what type of content you should put on the website. Again, ranking high on Google isn’t about different technical tricks, or stuffing the word “Invisalign” in as many places on your website as possible, it’s about building a page and a website that is genuinely very helpful for people who are looking for different dental services.
Today, people want to do their research BEFORE they call you
The mistake a lot of dentists make is they want to do more Invisalign, or Dental Implants, or whatever particular service they want to offer. They put a page on their website saying “We do Invisalign, call us!” … this doesn’t work.
You see, back in the 70s, 80s, 90s, back when if you needed something, you’d whip out the YellowPages book, go to the section of whatever service you were looking for, plumber, dentist, mechanic, whatever, then you’d have a bunch of small ads, one of them would say “Looking for an oil change? Give us a call!” and you’d pick up the phone, call that business, and have a conversation.
That is NOT how people do business today. Today, people want to do their research BEFORE they call you. They want to figure out 80-90% of what they don’t know about a certain product or service before they pick up the phone to talk to you. Your website needs to provide people with everything they need to know about a given dental procedure to make a solid informed decision. When they do call, they are just calling to see if you are congruent with what they’ve read about you so far and make a final decision on whether they think you’re the right practice to go with.
If you want to rank better on Google for keywords like Invisalign, Dental Implants, or any dental procedure, look at the questions that people have in relation to those services, and do an excellent job of answering those questions on a website that looks clean, well organized, and easy to navigate.
Blog Post Strategies
One big mistake we see a lot of dentists make is they take really good questions and they write a blog post about it. This is a strategy that a lot of dentists have been taught by marketing companies and unfortunately while it was a very effective strategy maybe 10 years ago, it’s not really ideal today and largely unnecessary.
For example, there are probably hundreds or thousands of people in your area every month searching for “what does Invisalign cost?” Let’s say this was a keyword you wanted to rank for, many dentists who are a bit more savvy with digital marketing think that the way this happens is you write a blog post about this and you have a title like “What does Invisalign cost in Toronto?” and you answer the question in a blog post on a separate page.
This strategy worked very well a decade ago, but today it’s largely a waste of time and will make your website worse because you will have hundreds of low quality blog posts with very little information talking about a million different things that could have been condensed into a few higher quality pages.
If you have a specific question, Google’s algorithm is smart enough to know if your question is answered in a particular section of a certain page and take you right to the answer. You don’t need to have 100 different pages or blog posts to answer 100 different questions, you can put that into the same page. Here is an example. When I search for “What does Invisalign cost in Thunder Bay?” Google shows me a snippet of the answer to that question on one of our landing pages. It is the #1 organic search results showing up right below the ads.
If you have a good landing page, with answers to common questions people have around that particular dental service such as Invisalign, it is going to rank much better than a website that has 30 different blog posts on 30 different Invisalign questions.
Now having a blog post or article on a specific topic can make sense, if you legitimately need 500-1,000 words or more of content to really answer the question properly. However, often what we see is dentists with websites that have dozens of blog posts on topics or questions that could have been answered in a single paragraph. Don’t do this, it’s stupid, it’s outdated, it doesn’t work.
So to wrap things up, if you want to rank better on Google, it has a lot less to do with little tricks and technical hacks than it has to do with just creating good, useful content that helps your potential patients understand how different dental services work and how they can help them. Content doesn’t mean just text, you want to use pictures and videos as well to better answer those questions.
Use a tool like Answer the Public to better understand the types of questions people have related to these services, or honestly… stop and think about the kinds of questions you’ve been asked by your patients when they come in to do a consultation. Answer those same questions on your website.