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Dentist’s Website on Page One… But That’s Not the Whole Story

November 11th, 2008 · No Comments

You may think it sounds pretty impressive to hear that a website is on “page one.” Granted, being on page one (or even better, at the top of page one) is a great goal if the term your site is found for is a good one. Here’s what I mean –

When someone is looking for a dentist online, he or she will usually Google* the word “dentist” and a nearby city. This would mean that a Katy, Tx resident may type in “Katy dentist” or “Houston dentist.” Beyond that, the searcher may look for a more specific topic like “cosmetic dentistry,” “gum disease,” “crowns in an hour,” or “clear braces.”

To be found on page one for these relevant terms is terrific. To be found on page one, even in the number-one spot, for a term that few people search for is useless. When I read about a site that’s “on page one!” I want to know what term is associated with that rank. If it’s “red-headed dental assistant,” it’s no good. So how can you know what terms folks are searching for? A combination of common sense and research will produce a good, solid list of keywords for your website.

When selecting keywords, start with the services you offer, particularly those that are highly advertised (thus popular) and those you want to promote. Invisalign, Lumineers, and Zoom! Whitening are now recognized brands that people search for online. General services, like fillings, crowns, and dentures, are also important. Choose cities within a 12 to 20 mile radius. Make sure the cities you choose are those where your ideal patients reside. Your name, the names of your associates or partners, and/or your practice name are also good keywords. But wait, there’s more.

An SEO company worth its salt will advise you on your list, keep the focus somewhat narrow, then research the terms to determine how many folks are actually looking for the keywords you chose. The SEO company will revise and amend the list so that it’s more in line with what folks are actually typing in when they search for a dentist online.

Working the keywords into a solid front- and back-end SEO strategy is essential to moving your site up the rankings. All aspects of a website – from graphics to written content to layout to navigation – contribute to a solid SEO strategy. The back-end work – tags, submissions, coding issues, etc. – is equally if not more important. In short, the entire website should be built with your custom SEO strategy in mind. The more competitive your market, the stronger your strategy must be.

Once your site is live, expect 3 to 12 months of waiting while search engines index and rank the site. Supplement your marketing with pay-per-click advertising if you want immediate results. During the wait time, your site should progress up the list toward page one, then up page one towards the top. Ranking reports provide information that will guide the SEO team to tweak your site as needed for optimal results. The one advantage your competitor may have that you cannot attack is longevity. A great site that’s kept up to speed with SEO tactics and has years of tenure online can outrank a new website with an equally good strategy. Because no one knows the exact formula for site rankings, SEO is an ever-changing field. To truly compete, a dentist needs an experienced, hard-working team of search engine and web design specialists at work every day, all year long. You can claim page one for a good term, but it will take expertise, time, and patience.

Read more about dental websites here. If you want to discuss your website’s design or SEO strategy, call TNT Dental, the dental website experts, today.

*Other popular search engines include Yahoo, MSN, Ask, and more.

Tags: Dental Websites · Websites & Internet