It is crucial to understand organic SEO, as it guides almost every decision your digital marketing team makes. Even once you possess working knowledge, you must always stay up-to-date on its ever-evolving best practices. Due to Google’s constantly refining its search algorithms and priorities, SEO strategies must stay current. This necessitates a full-scale interconnected approach to your online presence. We understand that this may be a tall order for you given the fact you have the practice to run, so it is important to have a talented and knowledgeable marketing team on your side. At MDPM Dental Marketing, we focus on establishing your online presence across all of your sites and pages in a way that helps ensure you are ranking highly for searches. Although we are able to handle all of your SEO efforts, it is important to understand the ways SEO benefits you and why it is crucial to prioritize it in your marketing efforts. With this in mind, today’s blog focuses on the importance of SEO and how we utilize it to increase your online visibility.
What Is SEO?
Before taking an in-depth look at the subject, it is important to understand the basics. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) concerns itself with helping you rank higher on search engines — mostly Google. This is because the tech giant has over 90% of the search engine market share across the world. While best practices are shared across most search engines, any guidelines provided by Google should be where you focus.
If your practice has been around for a long time and is staying busy, you might wonder why you need to focus on this aspect of digital marketing. The main reason is that it helps ensure you are constantly gaining new patients and retaining your existing ones. When you have a widespread online presence, people who are looking for a dental practice in their area will be able to see yours. Moreover, if you are constantly updating your website and posting regularly, they will see that you are staying up-to-date and are striving to make improvements. Similarly, when someone is searching for practice, you ideally want yours to be at the very top of their searches. Most people don’t read beyond the first page, and the top results account for most click-throughs. Consider your own search habits; if you are looking for something online, you are probably going to click on the top two or three results. This holds true for your patients as well.
A major benefit of Organic SEO is that it builds on itself over time. The more you add to your website, the more that search engines will index your site and recognize the value that it has. This means that once you have your online presence in a healthy place, any additional updates and content will enhance what you already have — increasing your overall ranking. Now that we have the basics covered, let’s dive into the specifics that will help increase your placement on Google.
Mobile Sites And Localization Are Key
According to Google, over half of all searches come from mobile devices, and a third of these are related to location. This means that your SEO strategy needs to focus on both optimizing your website for mobile devices, and on your location. Again, think about your own search habits — consider how you query Google for a service you need. If you live in Dallas and you need an electrician, you are probably going to search for something along the lines of “best electrician in Dallas.” This holds true for dental practice searches as well. You want Google — and your potential visitors — to know where your practice is located. Search engines have a thorough grasp of users’ habits, and they know that location is valuable data. This means you want your location clearly established on all pages of your website — including all blog posts you publish. It is also essential to have a Google My Business page that has your location clearly noted and links to your website. Google recognizes the value of having this page, and it adds to your overall ranking.
Because so much traffic — especially that concerned with location — comes from mobile devices, you need to have a website that looks good and functions well on phones and tablets. This is known as having a responsive website, which despite what you may think differs from a mobile-friendly site. A mobile-friendly website just shrinks a page down to a smaller size but keeps everything else the same. This does not provide a great user experience and will leave users struggling to click links and engage with your content. A responsive website, on the other hand, changes based on the size of your visitor’s device and automatically adjusts itself to accommodate different scales. The links become easier to click and any content you have will stay easily accessible. When your website functions well on all devices, users will engage more and will ultimately be more likely to contact you and schedule an appointment. If you do not provide an efficient user experience, they will probably visit another site to find the information they need.
User Experience Is Paramount For Organic SEO
Along with needing a responsive website, you need to pay close attention to your website’s overall user experience (UX). UX is one of the most important elements that guide SEO best practices. Although Google has very complicated, ever-evolving algorithms that influence website ranking, most of them come back to providing a good user experience. The search engine understands that a high-quality website is one with useful information that visitors navigate easily and return to repeatedly.. Because Google values these traits so highly, you must as well. There are lots of things you should do that may seem minor, but they add up in a big way and can provide the push to raise your website in the rankings.
Again, think about your own searching behavior. If you go to a website that loads slowly or is arduous to navigate you aren’t going to remain there for very long. Luckily, many of the things the appease search engine algorithms also make for a good user experience
For starters, your site needs to load quickly — ideally in under three seconds. This includes every page you have, and it needs to be a high priority. You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to make sure your website is operating fast enough. You also want to make sure every page of your site is accessible with as few clicks as possible. This is best achieved through having a top navigation bar on each page with dropdowns to content. This can’t be random, however. It needs to follow a clear hierarchy that utilizes descending headers. When Google crawls your pages, it is looking at the backend, HTML side of your website, and it sees how everything is organized. It likes headers because they inherently organize information in an intuitive way for visitors. While it may be outside the scope for what you are trying to do yourself, Schema.org provides data markups that are informed by the elements search engines look for. They have HTML layouts that adhere to established standards. They include helpful tags for links in addition to other technical tools that Google recommends. We understand that you probably aren’t trying to learn all of the ins and outs of SEO as they pertain to the more technical side of your website, but that’s why we are here to help. When we build custom websites, we do so with all SEO best practices in mind.
Another element of providing an excellent user experience for Search Engine Optimization purposes is making sure everything looks great. Even if you have the elements that contribute to good SEO, it all needs to come together cohesively. At the end of the day, if users aren’t interacting with or staying on your site, you won’t get the results you want. In addition to having intuitive navigation, your website needs to be consistently branded and use similar color schemes throughout. You should avoid walls of text and utilize relevant images that also serve as links to get users to the pages they want to find. All elements of your website need to be ADA compliant. Utilizing title tags, helpful alternative text tags, responsive design, and a proper heading system all allow your website to be accessible to everyone. Utilizing these techniques allow for text alternatives, non-text content with alternative text for those who need it, text transcripts, closed-captioning, audio descriptions, and more. Overall, a great user experience goes a long way towards improving your search engine ranking because it makes visitors interact more with your website.
Update Your Pages And Publish New Content
For your website to show up in Google searches, it must be indexed. Indexing is when search engines collect and store data about your website, so when a search is made, your website shows up in the results. When you refresh your pages or create new content, search engines will likely index your website more often, which essentially keeps it on their radar. Realistically, however, you won’t be updating your pages too often, so consistently publishing blog posts and other original content helps achieve this goal. Before delving into the importance of creating content, it should be noted that when you can, you should update the static pages of your website. This means updating office hours for holidays, creating new bios when you hire new team members and highlighting new services or technology you offer. Besides prompting Google to crawl your page more, it helps patients know everything you have to offer — putting you ahead of your competition.
Publishing new content is essential for your SEO. Sharing information is important for your users, which, in turn, helps your rankings. For starters, creating helpful, original content is an opportunity for visitors to consider you an authority in your field. If an inquisitive individual searches for “How often do I need a dental checkup?” and they find a recent, informative post about this topic, they will view your practice as more trustworthy. After all, you are providing them with the information they are seeking. This is also an opportunity to provide links to relevant pages on your website, so the user can click through to your service page and see that you offer checkups. Blog posts also provide an opportunity to focus on keywords you want users and search engines to associate with you. If a post mentions “root canals,” and your location then it is more likely to come up when potential patients are searching for root canal providers in their area.
Blog posts are also a good way to increase your visibility within your community. You can highlight goings-on in your area and showcase that you are an asset not only to your patients but for everyone you’re around. They also show that you are providing helpful information for anyone who seeks it, which showcases your authority and trustworthiness. After all, you want your patients to feel confident in your knowledge and abilities. Finally, when you write and publish original blogs, you own them entirely, so you can use them in your marketing efforts and share them with other channels — like your social media pages. For instance, you can link to them from your Google My Business Page, which will not only direct local users back to your website but will also directly show Google you are staying active, which can help your overall SEO.
Contact Us To See How We Can Manage Your SEO Strategy
SEO is a cornerstone of digital marketing, and it is crucial that it guides all of your efforts. We take a holistic approach to search engine optimization, which means that every service we provide organically contributes to your overall rankings. At MDPM Dental Marketing in Dallas, TX, we understand that focusing on your practice, team members, and patients is your main priority, so we are here to handle and manage your SEO strategy as well as all other aspects of digital marketing. If you have any questions or would like a free analysis of your website in addition to your social media and online presence, we encourage you to contact our office at (972) 781-8861 today.