Now, more than ever before, people turn to the Internet to find a local dentist. In fact, 77 percent of people look for their healthcare providers online, and 43 percent looking for dental services select their dentist based on online reviews. Another 18 percent choose their dentist based on how high their website ranks in Google search results.
Across all industries, 75 percent of users will end up doing business with one of the top three search results when they search Google for a product or service. On top of that, three in four don’t go to the second page of search results. The point is: if you want to grow your dental practice, you have to rank high in search results.
Sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, devising and executing an effective dental digital marketing strategy is not easy, but it is possible if you partner with an expert marketing team, like Sure Oak. The trick to climbing to the top of search engine results is search engine optimization (SEO).
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
SEO is the most effective way to increase the number of users who visit your website from search engines, like Google. Those clicks make up your organic search traffic — people who choose to visit your website over other websites listed in search engine results pages (SERPs). Investing in SEO means making improvements to your website and other digital assets so search engines will reward you with higher rankings and — ideally in the top three.
Improving your SEO all comes down to abiding by specific criteria, or ranking factors, created by search engines. Ranking factors are essentially guidelines for how to perform well in search engines. So if you follow those guidelines, you’ll rank well in SERPs, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that straightforward.
For starters, Google uses more than 200 ranking factors to determine search rankings. Not only that, but the impact each specific factor has on rankings has never been confirmed by Google. Oh, and the list of ranking factors periodically changes, sometimes without warning. The only way to learn what works and what doesn’t is through experience.
One of the things we’ve learned about Google’s ranking factors is that search rankings are based not only on your website’s performance — including the front-end and the back-end — but also your presence on other websites, like social media channels and business directories. And, depending on the existing footprint of your web presence, SEO for dentistry can be relatively simple or downright complex, which is why you need the help of an expert dental SEO consultant.