Unfortunately, unless your practice is located in a very non-competitive area or you aren’t relying on your website to attract new patients to your practice, this is a dangerous assumption to make. Without a consistent effort to promote your practice online, it won’t show up when people are searching your area for dental practices or dental services.
What Do I Need To Do To Help Local People See My Website When They Search Online?
Let’s start by explaining what doesn’t work…
In the past, it was possible for dentists to hire agencies who would use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to quickly and predictably rank their website high in Google. This SEO often involved really spammy tactics such as:
- writing “SEO copy” for the website. This content was keyword-loaded, and because it was written just for the search engines, it made little sense to the human reader
- article marketing, using articles of such a low quality they would make you shudder
- link-building. SEO agencies would pay offshore workers to create dozens, hundreds or thousands of links to the target website, in an effort to trick Google into thinking the website was hugely popular and deserving of ranking.
Old SEO practices meant that the practice who paid the most money to an SEO Agency was the one that ranked the highest, whether it deserved to or not.
Thankfully, those days are gone. Google has evolved, and is now sophisticated enough to identify this type of SEO Malpractice. Now it’s looking for Best Practice.
SEO Best Practice
Now Google wants local business websites to rank on their own merits. It is looking for evidence that the site is of a high quality, that all of the content is original and of relevance to the visitor, and that the site is showing evidence of E-A-T: Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness.
In the case of a local dental practice, Google also wants to verify that your website does in fact represent a bona fide dental practice. If you can demonstrate that your website has relevance to a local audience, proximity to the search area and prominence (it stands out from the rest of the local dental practices), then Google may reward you with a place on the very prominent map that accompanies many locally-based searches (such as “dentist Sydney”).
Local SEO For Dentists Requires A Multi-Faceted Approach
Your Website Must Be Optimised To Attract Local Visitors
- Your website needs to give signals to the search engines (like Google) that it represents a bona fide dental practice in your location
- It must also contain information that makes it clear to local visitors that you are connected with your community
- You need a site structure that makes sense for your visitors
- You must have an effective, locally-optimised contact page ESPECIALLY if you have more than one practice location.
Your Practice Must Be Listed In High-Quality, Relevant Online Directories
- This includes business, health and dental directories
- As well as relevant (and high quality) local directories
- Your presence in these directories must be consistent (same address format, no misspellings)
Your Website Must Be Filled With High Quality, Relevant Website Content
- Website content is often text-based, but in some instances, it’s more effective if it’s developed as a downloadable document, web-based resource page, audio or video presentation or as an image (like an infographic).
- Google likes fresh content as well, so adding regular articles to your website’s blog is now a critical part of your online visibility- and, of course, these must be written in accordance with our advertising guidelines
- Google and the other search engines like to see original content on websites: so your website’s copy can’t be cut from other dental websites and pasted into your own
- Your website must demonstrate two things to Google: Your E-A-T (Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness) and your CONNECTION to your location
If People Are Talking About Your Practice, You Need To Know
- If people in your location have mentioned your practice or its practitioners online, it can sometimes be possible to use this mention to increase your online visibility
- If people are reviewing your practice, you need to know what they are saying, and to have a system in place to manage your reputation
You Need A Community Connection Strategy
- Involvement in your local community is critical to your local visibility
- By knowing your community’s interests and needs, you can develop information and resources that locals will find helpful, valuable and shareable
- Community Connections can also be made offline, and amplified online
If that sounds like a lot, you’re right: but the good news is that you don’t have to do it alone!
Select the Dental Local Search Package that suits you, and our team will become your online visibility team.
Local Search Packages For Australian Dentists
Dental Local Search Essentials
Perfect for the new or established practice on a budget, or a practice in an area with little competition.
Dental Local Search Growth
Developed for practices in areas with medium online visibility
Dental Local Search Authority
For practices in areas of strong competition, or to accelerate your visibility (perfect for a new practice in a metropolitan area)
These SEO Packages Won’t Suit Every Practice
We know that not every practice is willing to do what it takes to improve their online visibility, which is why we’re picky when it comes to the practices we’ll work with.
- Some practices still think it’s possible to use trickery and black hat methods to game Google. If this is you, we can’t help you. We hate SEO Malpractice and won’t be party to it.
- Other practices are comfortable with bending or breaking the Advertising Guidelines and being non-compliant with other laws and regulations. We will only ever work within the law, so if you’re likely to insist upon pasting testimonials on your website or using misleading language in an attempt to attract new patients, we aren’t the right fit for you.
- Some dentists believe that their marketing can be completely hands off and that they won’t need to provide any input. We’ve found that this type of approach leaves your marketing ‘soulless’, and, since dentistry is all about relationships and trust, we know we’d be doing you a disservice by not getting your input and direction: after all, you know your patients much better than we do.
- We also can’t work with practices who like to cut corners, who are stuck in the discounted dentistry game, or who are more focused on the money than the communities they serve.
We’ll Be A Great Fit If:
- You love what you do- dentistry is in your blood and you have far more good days in your practice than not! You have great pride in your practice and your team, and have worked hard to establish a quality practice that takes great care of your patients.
- You know and like your patients and community, and will commit to helping us to understand what’s important to them: this means that we can tailor your marketing message to meet the needs of your practice and your community.
- You know that marketing is an investment and not an expense. Your investment might be substantial, but we’ll be working hard to ensure you receive a good return.
- You understand that we need to measure the results we achieve for you, and that we’ll need you to help by maintaining excellent records of the origin of phone and email enquiries.
- You understand that organic and local search visibility is not a sprint: at best it’s a middle distance race, but for practices in areas of high online competition it can be a marathon. We’ll let you know what distance we think you’ll be running, and will provide you with options that will give you a boost when it’s needed.
- You’ll listen to our recommendations and act on them: the online landscape is in a constant state of flux, and we sometimes have to change our approach to meet the current situation.
- You’ll give us a little bit of your time every month so that we can meet (by email, phone or Skype), review the previous month and discuss the tactics for the month ahead. Consider us part of your team, your Online Marketing Manager.
How Much Does It Cost?
Our packages start at $1650 per month (including GST). You won’t be locked into any contracts, and you can stop at any time.
Ready To Get Started?
Before we begin, we need to know whether Local SEO is what you need, what you’re wanting to achieve and whether we’re a good fit for each other.
Complete this form, and one of our team call you to discuss your needs.