Dentists sure know all about waiting. We wait all the time, for the mandibular block to work, for the alginate to set in the mouth of a gagging patient, for Mr Jones to finalise his account, for the kettle to boil during our five minute lunch break…
Dentists can be pretty good at waiting- but of course it’s frustrating at times. We do it so often in practice, it doesn’t seem fair that we have to wait for things so mundane as our website appearing high in the search results- especially when we’re investing good money for fancy-pants things like SEO!
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a term that describes the activities undertaken to help a website become visible and legible to search engines, and ultimately to help them rank well for selected keyword phrases (search terms like ‘dentist Sydney’) in the Search Results.
SEO tactics come and go: there have been a plethora of tactics taught over the years and applied with gay abandon to websites all over the internet. Many tactics are not compliant with Google’s Terms of Service. Google and the other search engines expect that websites will rank on their own merits, and frown upon any practice that artificially inflates the website’s authority.
In recent months, many websites have been struck off Google’s index in a series of algorithm updates that have targeted sites with dodgy content and ‘unnatural backlink profiles’ (which generally occur as a direct result of unethical SEO tactics being used in an attempt to inflate the sites rankings in the search results). Being struck off Google’s index of websites is about as invisible as a website can get!
Neil Patel (an SEO expert and someone who has taught me a lot over the years) describes an approach some SEO providers use: ‘chasing algorithms’ (using short-term tactics-du-jour instead of solid, ethical, long term SEO practices):
This [chasing algorithms] is a tempting way to do SEO since delivering high rankings in a short amount of time makes clients happy, who are then happy to pay you. Unfortunately nobody else benefits from chasing algorithms. Not the client, the search engine or the searcher.
The Search Engines want users to be presented with quality results when they do an internet search. ‘Quality websites’ are websites which have something useful to offer the visitor. A Quality Website could also be referred to as an Authority Website.
Neil Patel strongly recommends that business owners focus on creating an Authority Website for their business:
A website with authority comes down to exceptional content, reputation and age.
He explains that creating authority essentially requires a Content-Based strategy. It’s important to create quality content, and to share it on your website, and to encourage further distribution and conversation through a well thought out Social Media strategy.
Neil explains (in a wonderful article that you can read here) that the process required to build an Authority Website is:
- Play by the rules- Google’s rules- always!
- Create exceptional content on a frequent basis
- Create diverse content- not just articles, but video, images, audio…
- “Stay In The Game For Years”
If you can train yourself to be patient and to wait for results to happen naturally over time you will avoid making questionable decisions that could ultimately do you way more harm than good. See, the fastest person doesn’t always win the race.
It takes some effort and expertise to create a content strategy that works well for an Australian Dental Practice, but it truly is well worth the effort. An Authority Website doesn’t just look great: it can become a valuable asset for your practice, attracting new patients to your business.
Ranking may not happen quickly (depending on your location in Australia). But with ongoing effort, patience and a whole lot of waiting, you’ll definitely get there! In my own words 😉
Focus on building a quality site that provides great value to your online visitors, and be sure to constantly add fresh, interesting content to the website. Everything else will happen naturally!