You may have some doubt as to whether or not you actually need to be concerned with search engine optimization (SEO) for your dental website.
Is it really that important to rank highly in search engine results? Your dental SEO efforts (or lack thereof) can have a greater impact that you realize. You may be fooling yourself with some of the following common misconceptions.
“People will find my office without going online.”
In the good old days, word of mouth and the good old Yellow Pages were all you needed to lead new patients to your door. Today, 71 percent of dental patients search online before scheduling an appointment with a new dentist. If you don’t show up in that search, that’s a lot of new patients you are turning away without even realizing it. And don’t assume they will dig deep enough in the search results to find you. 90 percent of people won’t even go beyond the first page.
“I’ll just use paid search ads instead.”
You might think that using paid search ads can make up for poor or non-existing SEO. Search ads can be a great supplement for organic SEO, but not a cost-effective replacement.
Organic search results generate 20 times more clicks than paid search ads. They also cost way less. Also consider that paid search results only last as long as you are still paying for them. As soon as you stop spending, you stop ranking. With true SEO, you get consistent, ongoing results for far less expense.
“I only need to rank for local search results.”
Even if you feel that local search is the only reason people will be looking for you online, you still need to optimize for those results by making the most of your Google My Business page. Incomplete or inaccurate information (and even a lack of patient reviews) can push you down below your competitors, even if you are the closest option in terms of proximity.
“People mostly search for my name, so I’ll rank first anyway without SEO.”
Hopefully you picked a name for your dental practice that is unique enough to have low search competition and is easy for people to remember. If so, then your brand driven SEO is probably fine. If, on the other hand, you are stuck with a name that is generic and commonly searched for (e.g., “Brighter Smiles”), you’ll need to put your SEO to work to help people find you more easily.
“All of my dental marketing is offline.”
Are you using print, radio, tv, or billboards as your primary marketing? Those are all great channels, but they all also tend to rely on online search to convert. Even when you include a phone number or website address in your offline advertisements, people often don’t remember them, and will try to find you through Google instead. Make sure your brand-related SEO (i.e., your business name) is in good shape before you invest in any offline marketing campaign.
Want a complete guide to dental SEO?
SEO is one of the most important, and most challenging, topics in dental marketing. Download your copy of The Definitive Guide to Improving Your Dental SEO and get an in-depth explanation of search engine optimization and how it can help you reach your marketing goals.