The 5 Biggest Dental SEO Mistakes (& How to Avoid Them)
If you can't find your practice online, it's most likely due to your search-engine optimization strategy. SEO is constantly changing, and if you (or your marketing company) are making these 5 mistakes, it's likely costing you new patients, revenue, and time...
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Mistake #1: Using Research Intent SEO Keywords
By using SEO keywords, you are helping search engines categorize your website correctly so your website is chosen to provide results for someone searching for a dentist in your area. The list of keywords you choose is vital to your SEO strategy, but dentists fail to prioritize the keywords that will actually attract new patients. For example, keywords like “dental implants,” are great, but they have research intent. These keywords are used by dentists researching new procedures, price-shopping patients researching the cost of implants, and more. By ranking for these keywords, your website will show up to a group of people that might not be interested in a new dentist. The patients most willing to book and appointment with you aren't using research intent, they are using hiring intent.
Keywords with hiring intent include phrases like "near me," "same day," or "appointment." For example, “dental implants near me.” Use these phrases to turn your SEO keywords into hiring intent keywords, so you can put your website in front of patients that are most likely to book an appointment with you, and even make a same-day appointment!
Mistake #2: Never Updating Your Keywords
Many dentists chose their SEO keywords once, years ago, and never research them again. But the most effective keywords are constantly changing. In fact, 16-20% of search questions have never been asked before... When was the last time you updated the SEO keywords for your practice’s website?
If you are still using outdated keywords in your SEO strategy, your practice will be pushed lower and lower in the search rankings! Even if some of the keywords you have been using are in our list of Top 60 Keywords for Dentists, if a competitor is utilizing higher-ranking keywords, you are losing patients due to your outdated SEO. 63% of patients will choose one healthcare provider over another based on which has a stronger online presence. Download our SEO guide, How Patients Are Searching in 2020, to get a list of the most-searched keywords, so 63% of patients start choosing you over the competition.
Mistake #3: Forgetting Local SEO
Local SEO strategies are often an afterthought in dental SEO, which may be the biggest mistake on this list! Nearly half of all Google searches are local searches, and 80% of local searches convert. If a patient is searching for a local dentist on their phone, there is an 88% chance they will either call or visit within 24 hours! Local SEO is a strategy that targets the patients most likely to visit your practice. To show up on Google for local new patients, pair your SEO keywords with your practice location to optimize your website, ads, and content. Use the chart below as a guide:
Bonus Tip: Most patients are willing to travel 5-10 miles to see their dentist, but 16% will travel 10-20 miles. For this reason, we suggest pairing your keywords with adjacent cities. However, you do not want to simply list numerous locations, as it will dilute your relevance. Choose your locations wisely and spread them out throughout your content!
Mistake #4: Setting It and Forgetting It
SEO is a constant strategy that needs to be tackled continuously, which is why we were shocked to learn that some dental marketing companies are only checking on their client’s SEO once a month...or even less often! Google updates its search algorithm at least twice a day. That means every year, there are over 730 Google algorithm updates. Every single update pushes your website down in the Google rankings, which is why you, and new patients, might not be able to find your practice website. You need a team to constantly support your SEO efforts so you can stay on top of the search results, where patients can find you! To learn more about where your website stands in the rankings, and how to improve, click below to schedule a free Marketing Assessment Call with us.
Mistake #5: Changing Your SEO Before It Starts Working
It's no secret that SEO can take months to start working, but if you (and your marketing company) remain patient, the progress will pay off. Many dentists become impatient waiting for results and decide to change their strategy, but that only confuses Google, lowering your ranking. Some dentists resort immediately to Google ads, to replace their SEO strategy, and while Google ads have extreme value, they should not completely replace your SEO strategy.
Before hiring Firegang, one of our clients was paying for Google ads just so they could show up in the search results. But when our SEO strategy began working for them, they no longer needed to pay for their ad, because they were sitting on Page 1 of Google! Now, their new patient calls have increased due to their SEO ranking, without spending a dime on online ads.
Firegang's SEO Results
Firegang’s handcrafted, never automated, SEO approach ranks our clients' websites on page 1 of Google for as many high-volume, relevant search keywords as possible. We recently optimized Tulip Tree Dental Care’s website with a brand new SEO and Local SEO strategy. Now, when patients search keywords such as “dentist near me,” “pediatric dentist South Bend,” and “emergency dentist South Bend,” Tulip Tree’s website ranks on page 1, where hundreds of patients can find them. Originally, Tulip Tree only ranked for 6 keywords, now, they rank for 82 keywords across all services offered!
Tulip Tree's SEO strategy directly improved their new patient numbers. The chart below shows how many new patients (not leads, these are actual new patients!) came from Firegang's SEO and Local SEO strategies.
If you want to learn where your website stands, how to improve your ranking, and how Firegang's handcrafted SEO approach can help you book more high-quality new patients, then click below to schedule your free Marketing Assessment Call.