You’ve probably heard the term “keyword” quite a bit, especially if your dentist office has a website that’s optimized for search. Do you know what keywords are, how they should be selected, and how to leverage them for the best SEO results and top Google rankings? You may not be an SEO guru, but informed consumers make wise decisions – isn’t that what you tell your patients? In this blog post, I’ll explain the basics of keywords so that you can feel confident making decisions about the health of your dental website.
Why Keywords Matter
Search engines, the largest of which is Google, send out robots (also known as bots or spiders) to all websites on the Internet. These robots take your website’s code and filter it through an extremely complex algorithm. The data produced determines two things: 1) which keywords your site will come up for in Google searches, and 2) the ranking, or order, your site will be listed for various keyword searches. So, your website should include the most strategic keywords, those that your potential patients use when searching for a dentist.
There are two types of keywords: those in the body text on a webpage and those in the metadata, which is in the code. Today, Google’s indexing bots only factor in on-page keywords, so meta-keywords don’t affect your dental website’s Google ranking. Bing and Yahoo still rely, in part, on meta-keywords. The most effective and well-rounded websites feature both on-page and meta-keyword strategies. The most important keyword usage is in the original body text on a website, in headings, and in hyperlinks to related pages on your website.
Some experts rely solely on tools, like Google Adwords Keyword Tool, to find keyword phrases. Others believe that common sense should dictate keywords for a dentist website. In truth, both practices have merit. A combination of the two is ideal.
To begin, list your dental services, the cities you serve, symptoms patients often mention, and synonyms for the services, cities, and symptoms. Next, combine words to make phrases that you believe potential patients would use in a Google search. Then go to the free Google Adwords Keyword Tool and enter your phrases, one by one. After each entry, assess the data that’s shown. Google’s tool will show related keyword phrases, their popularity locally and nationally, and their competition.
Don’t make assumptions that highly competitive keywords or the most searched for keywords are best. A solid SEO strategy balances competitiveness with popularity. Select a few of the most popular and competitive terms, but realize that you will invest a lot of time and effort in ranking high for these coveted keyword phrases. Next, select some keyword phrases that have moderate or low competition, but good popularity. Ranking high for these phrases will require less work and time.
The next step involves integrating keywords into your SEO strategy. First, make sure that your website has 100% original copywriting. Do not settle for library articles and stock content. Google has published statements that tell us, any “duplicate” content on your website could harm your rankings.
Next, in that text, the headings, or H1s in code-speak, should include some of your keywords. Links within the text should be placed on keywords, then direct to related pages of your website. These are the basics. There are many considerations for on-page SEO, and I’m only covering the bare bones basics here. You will also want to include keywords in your page titles, link attributes, image tags, and meta-keywords within the coding. Oddly enough, keywords in the meta-description aren’t important.
From there, create a content marketing program that includes blogging multiple times each week with keyword-optimized, original text. You can boost your strategy by submitting keyword-rich articles and press releases to publication websites, as well. Guest blogs that link back to your site are excellent for SEO, and the links should be placed on keywords. Keep in mind, this is an ongoing strategy, and you’ll need fresh content on your website, blog, and in your articles each week. It’s a lot of work, but if you stick to this strategy, starting with great keyword selection, you will reach page one of Google, and you can maintain your high rankings long-term.
Do-It-Yourself or Full-Service SEO
You can do everything in this article yourself. Or, if you’re like most successful dentists, you probably prefer to focus on dentistry and running your practice, while handing your marketing off to a respected professional. Modern Dental Practice Marketing Consulting would like to be that resource for you. Our dental copywriters are trained in clinical dentistry, SEO copywriting, and dental advertising guidelines. As a marketing consulting company, we build dentist websites, and we also offer WordPress blogs and microsites, articles, press releases, and even branding and direct mail.
To discuss your keyword selection or complete dental practice marketing with MDPM Consulting, call Jill today at 972-781-8861, or email us at [email protected].