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.
- People stay on the site for a long time. If they do this then it must be good?
- People look at lots of pages. This must mean that content is good and people want to read it.
- 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?
- 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’.
- How do dental implants work?
- 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!