Category Archives: SEO

[VIDEO] Attracting traffic to your dental practice website

I’ve just completed the monthly dental marketing club live stream on Facebook, this month we looked at the first part of search optimisation and getting your dental practice website found.

The video is just under an hour long  and goes through how to optimise a website to be found on Google.

This video looks at Website Traffic Optimisation (part one), and includes:

Keyword/phrase Research. Techniques and strategies to research the words and phrases that people search for in the local area.
Search Optimisation. What you need to do, where, when and how in order to get your website found.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is often seen as a dark art, it doesn’t have to be that way and with some clear understanding of how to attract traffic you can begin to create an online dental marketing machine.

How to rank in the search results for your competitor’s business name

Okay, let’s start with a question… Is it possible to rank in the search results when someone types the specific name of your competitor?

Let’s take this a step further… Is it possible to out-rank your competitor when someone types their name into the search?

The answer to both of these questions is YES, but with some strong caveats.

The first thing to mention is that one of the strongest mechanisms that Google uses to work out what a website is about, and therefore whether it will be relevant to any search results, is the words that are included in that website. Google reads your website pages very quickly, possbily a couple of times a day and uses the words in the site to work out what an individual pages about. If you mention the words dental implants then Google will know that page is about dental implants etc. This is VERY basic but is the essence of the way Google works.

So here’s an example…

Let’s say your dental practice uses your name as its business name e.g. ‘Mark Oborn Dental’, it would be pretty difficult for any other competitive business to rank for that name, you would completely dominate the search results if you chose this as your business name. This would be because in order for any website to rank for those specific words, ‘Mark’ and ‘Oborn’ those words would need to be included within the text of the site… A pretty strange thing for a competitive business to do!

However, let’s say that ‘Mark Oborn Dental’ is in Swansea, let’s also say that a  competitor practice has imaginatively called themselves ‘Swansea  dental practice’. Let’s add in another another competitor that has imaginatively called themselves ‘The Swansea Dentist’.

There is virtually no way that ‘Swansea Dental Practice’ and ‘The Swansea Dentist’ will ever rank for ‘Mark Oborn Dental’ as they would almost definitely need to get the words ‘Mark’ & ‘Oborn’ into their website and there would be very few reasons as to why they would do this.

However what about looking at it the other way round…

How easy would it be for ‘Mark Oborn Dental’, who is in Swansea to get the words ‘Swansea Dental Practice’ and ‘The Swansea Dentist’ into their website?

All ‘Mark Oborn Dental’ would need to do is include the phrase something along the lines of “Mark Oborn is an established Swansea dental practice that has, blah, blah… making him the Swansea dentist that X number of people have chosen”.

So in one fell swoop we’ve managed to get our own business name and the name of our competitors into the homepage of our website, all we would need to do* is to ensure we continually repeat these words throughout the site, in conjunction with other optimisation techniques around these same keywords to ensure that we rank for them.

It then wouldn’t take too much work to not only rank for the competitors business names but actually outrank them.

So, when deciding on a practice name, choose your name carefully!

Oh, by the way, as with many of my blog posts, this is actually a real life example although I’ve changed the names and geographical location to hide the innocent… Very proud to see my clients website out ranking their competitors!

 

*There is actually far more to ranking in the search results than just continually repeating the same words… In fact do this too much and you can end up being dropped from the search results altogether with the Google penalty. I’m simply using this here by way of an example.

Search Engine Optimisation – How to do it.

Why bother with search engine optimisation (SEO)?

Being  on the first page of Google search in your local area is one of the key ways of getting people to your website. If no one visits your site then it doesn’t matter how pretty it is or how much functionality is on it, the whole exercise has become pointless.

So are you looking for more visitors to your website? Are you able to see the direct link between visitors to your site and new patients in the chair?

What exactly is SEO?

Search engine optimisation is the process by which we rise through the Google search results, hopefully to position one so that your website is found when someone types into the Google search box.

How does SEO work?

In days and years gone by optimising a website was fairly easy to outsource, all you needed to do was find an optimisation company, pay them enough money and you would be number one on Google. The principal way that this was done was by creating back links, these are essentially links on other websites which direct back to your site. This is a typical link – and this typical link is seen by Google as a vote for your website – after all, if people are putting links on other websites back to you, you must be important right?

Links equals votes equals more visitors equals more patients in the practice.

In recent years Google has recognised that companies which offer optimisation services have been simply placing thousands of links around the Internet, all pointing to their clients’ websites  and so Google have looked for other indicators on whether these links should be counted as a vote or not.

The best way, in my opinion, to optimise a website is to treat Google like a human being. Forget trying to beat the system, just think of them as human and ask yourself some simple questions about your website. If you wanted to  work out a way of ranking websites to show which were the most popular what would you do?

How to know if a site is great

Here’s my logical top list of things that would indicate that a website is good.

  1. People stay on the site for a long time. If they do this then it must be good?
  2. People look at lots of pages. This must mean that content is good and people want to read it.
  3. People don’t bounce back to Google after doing a search and clicking on a link, if they stay on a website then it must have answered that question?
  4. Visitors to the website share it on Facebook, Twitter and Google plus.
So let’s think seriously about this from moment, apart from point number four all of the above are to do with good quality content. They are NOT  to do with simply paying someone to do your optimisation, people will want to read good quality content which is engaging and from the heart, this kind of content comes from you… And you alone.
Of course and optimisation company can assist you in providing this content and here  are my top tips on how to write engaging content.

How to write engaging content

People all think differently, some people want to know the ‘ why’  about a particular subject before they know the ‘ what’. The temptation is a dental practice is to delve straight into the ‘ what’  type of information.
Take a look at most dental implant pages on websites, they normally start with something along the lines of “A  dental implant is a titanium replacement for the root blah, blah, bah…” – this is diving straight into the ‘ what’  and gives no indication as to why the reader ought to read any further.
So always begin every piece of content with WHY. Give  your reader the reasons why they should read any further.
  • Why should they bother replacing missing teeth?
  • Why should they bother straightening crooked teeth?
  • Why should they bother looking after the teeth at all?
If you answer the WHY  at the beginning of your content you will engage the reader and give them reason to read on. If they read on then it means they have stayed on the page longer and not bounced back to Google –  all great for SEO!
Once you have told them why they ought to read more you can give them some information on the ‘what‘.
  • What our dental implants?
  • What type of orthodontics do you offer and what are they?
You will find that more people Read this section because you have given them a reason to in the previous ‘ why’  section. The section that talks about ‘ what’  only needs to be short and explains very briefly what treatment is.
Next on the list is to give them some ‘ how’.
  1. How do dental implants work? 
  2. How is treatment for orthodontics delivered?
Giving someone the how allows them to explore some of the deeper questions they may be asking,  how does the procedure work, how does the costing process work, how can I overcome any pain with this treatment, how do I get in contact with the dentist etc.
Answer all of these questions in the ‘how’  section.
Finally comes the ‘what if’. This allows your reader to try on the treatment you are suggesting, you can include sentences like “Patients  often tell us that their lives have been transformed after having dental implants, here is what one happy patient says <<insert testimonial here>>”.

The final ‘what if’  section is extremely important and starts the process of the patient imagining themselves  going ahead with treatment. You need to ensure that you include some strong calls to action in this section and suggest that the patient call you or book an appointment.

You may also put links in this section to other resources within your website which could help the patient more.

So how does all this help with SEO?

Think about it. If you write your content in this way, people will like it, they will read it, they will engage with it, they will stay on the page longer, they will click on additional links visiting other pages of your website and they will not bounce back straight to Google after completing their search.

Google will see that people like your website, and if people like your website Google will rank you higher.

A further challenge to you is to think about what else you can do on your website which would get people to stay on longer? Start thinking images, videos, questionnaires  and other engaging things for people to do.

What if your website ranked higher?

So finally, what difference would it make to you if your website ranked higher? If you got more people to your website and then got more people to engage with you and convert what impact will it have on your practice?

The reality is that a dental practice doesn’t need a huge amount of traffic to their site, they just need the traffic that is visiting the site to be high quality and convert.

“Mark and his SEO company have added incredible value to our clients’ websites. I would personally recommend Mark Oborn Ltd to anyone looking to improve their web presence.”
Iain Forster, Managing Director, DIO Corporation

If you want  to learn more about search engine optimisation I have a free guide on my website, if you aren’t already subscribed simply enter your details to the right now for immediate access, it contains more insights and ideas on how you can begin optimising your website.

As more and more people turn to the Internet to find out any information that they want, it is becoming more and more important to ensure that your website ranks highly,  so get writing, get engaging and start building!

 

 

How to Create a Dental Website That Works in 6 Steps

As an online marketing consultant for dentists I get to see many dental practice websites, none of which I have built myself as I don’t build websites… many of which work and many of which don’t.

As I work closely with these practices I’m able to see the conversion rates from the websites and have drawn up my top tips for ensuring that your website converts and actually does what it’s supposed to do.

You can either watch the video below or read the text in this blog post.

Don’t bother with that fancy scrolling image thing that so many practices do on the home page

I see so many dental practice websites with this scrolling image thing, what is it all about? From a user point of view the chances of anyone sitting there and waiting for the image to scroll is highly unlikely, and from a search engine optimisation point of view sometimes these images look to Google as though they are lots of images stacked on top of one another. Google could then question why are you trying to hide images?

My advice is to go with a small, relevant image all your practice logo and be done with it.

Ensure your contact us tab is top right

This seems to be where our eye is drawn to look for the contact details. A look at some of the bigger sites and you will notice the contact us type is always top right. Whilst standing out and doing things different is great, sometimes it’s good to stick with what people are expecting. So in this instance don’t try to be clever, just put your contact us type top right.

Make your telephone number selectable text so that you can click to call from mobile phones

I’ve recently been looking at statistics on websites and many of them have about 30% of the visitors viewing the site from a mobile device. The recent ” 2013 UK future in focus” ComScore report shows that it is mainly between the hours of 10 AM and 5 PM that we are using computers, outside of this time mobile devices dominate the share of page traffic on a workday.

ComScore Device Traffic

If you want to take advantage of the commuters on the train or bus on their mobile phone then having your website mobile compatible is a good idea.

Of course the best solution is a fully mobile site or at least one that has an adaptive design to different device formats. And if you want to really be making use of the mobile browsers then having a click to call friendly number on the homepage will be vital.

Use an engaging video to keep visitors on the site longer and engage with them

Having a video on your homepage is a great way to interact and engage with visitors, it also has a tendency to keep people on the page longer which will have an impact on your Google ranking, as it is an indicator that people like your site if they stay on the page for a while before bouncing back to Google for another search

Have a call to action with a signup box on the right-hand side of the page which is viewable without scrolling

By incorporating some form of direct call to action where the visitor feels as though they have achieved something and got something from your site will greatly increase conversions. If you offer a free consultation, then do this in exchange for an e-mail address.

You will of course need an e-mail marketing software to manage this and my recommendation is Aweber.

Click for more information on how to set up in Aweber e-mail marketing campaign

Create the content of your page around the four elements of why, what, how and what if

As a dentist or technical person within dentistry the chances are that you think very analytically and are interested in the detail. Not everyone thinks this way and if your webpage launches into the precise way that you deliver your service many people may not engage with it.

By starting off with ‘why’ they need to listen to what you have to say you will engage a wider range of people.

Finishing off with ‘what if’ allows your website visitor to ‘try on’ emotionally the results of solving their dental problem.

Of course this list is not totally exhaustive and there is a huge amount of scope for any designer to be able to create a fantastic looking and functioning website around these parameters. If you follow the basic six steps above you will find that your website converts better and that you end up with more patients, of course, assuming that the actual design of the site is great too.

 

 

Dental Business Cards, SEO & Writing A Dental Blog!!

Dental Business Cards, SEO & Writing A Dental Blog… seems an odd mix, so what do they all have in common?

I’ll take (Search Engine Optimisation) SEO first.

SEO
Optimising a website to appear top of a Google search, or even to occupy every search result for a chosen key word, is the holy grail of most websites… getting to the top of a search means you get found and once your site is found you can work your marketing magic and close a sale (Yeh I know that’s bit of a summary, but closing a sale from a website is a topic for another blog post perhaps).

But have you heard of ‘long tail key words’? Long tail key words are long searches or phrases that people type in to search engines to find answers to their problems or stuff they are looking for. Examples could be:

implant dental laboratory in london
dental surgery specialising in veneers
marketing consultant for dentists
cosmetic veneers for short teeth

Now the thing is, many websites are search engine optimised (SEOd) for searches based on short key words, such as

london dentist
veneers harlow
implants northampton

This isn’t a problem, but research has shown that if a person types a very specific phrase – a long tail key word – the conversion rate is VERY high, a high conversion rate means a high ROI, and we all like that don’t we! The conversion rates are higher as it looks as though your site has been tailored exclusively for them and their search criteria.

So optimising your site for Long Tail Keywords is a great way to get good response rates.

So how do find out what long tail key words are good?

Just do a search on Google and you will find loads of clever (and probably very good) software to buy. I prefer not to buy anything I don’t have to, so I use a website called statcounter. This is a free bit of software that sits on your website gathering data about what was typed in to the search engines to get to your site, it’s not the most sophisticated software by any means, but it provides the beginner with just enough data to get going.

Now here comes the link for this blog with Dental Business Cards… look at the results for the past week or so for my blog…

11.36% of visitors ended up at the blog by typing Dental Business Cards, a complete accident on my part. I didn’t plan it this way, I just wrote an article on Dental Business Cards because it seemed like a good idea… but it got picked up by the search engines and is a great example of a long tail key word/phrase.

And now this is where the Dental Blog part comes in…. I suggest you:

  1. Write a blog, write lots of articles and get that blog networked around the internet (A whole other blog post I fear)
  2. Instal Statcounter or similar
  3. Once you know the phrases that draw people to your blog… USE THESE PHRASES AS BLOG TITLES!

Wow, yeah, do you get it? This is a MEGA way to get people to read your blog and get it found… write blogs that contain your long tail key words/phrases, you’ll inevitably write more engaging content as people WANT to read it, and when they get to your blog after typing such a specific phrase only to find YOU have written a blog about THEIR specific problem… guess what, so long as you have good mechanisms in place, you’ll get higher conversion rates.

If you do this, you know your blog will be found and you know what search terms people will type to get there AND you know that once they get there conversion rates will be higher because you have been so specific

Of course you need to write the blog and get it networked a bit to increase the chance of search engines finding it, if you need help with this… just call (07769 898798), email, Tweet or Facebook

Until next time,

Stay sharp,

Mark