According to Matt Cutts, a respected Google expert and search guru, publishing articles in article directories as a marketing effort won’t have the same effect on SEO rankings that it formerly had.
Matt suggests expanding your website with additional pages, and allowing backlinks to occur naturally. From what I can tell, Matt is also a still a strong proponent of high-quality blogs.
Natural Backlinks Difficult for Dentists to Acquire
For dentists, whose products and services aren’t as enticing as that of many retailers and restaurants, natural backlinks and social mentions are rare. The general public is not excited to share tips on avoiding oral cancer, but a piece on Paul McCartney’s love interests may go viral. So, how can dentists heed Cutt’s advice and gain backlinks by letting virtual nature take its course?
Guest Blogging is Still a Hot Topic
When you write a post that appears on another health professional’s blog, and the text includes keyword-rich links back to your site, you will gain SEO credit. The Google Page Rank (PR) of the site on which your guest blog is posts influences the amount of PR credit your site will receive. Guest blogging on a blog with a PR of 0-1 will not be nearly as effective for your site’s SEO credit as will posting to a blog with a PR of 3+.
Start by exploring websites and blogs in your area. Find blogs about your community, health and wellness, health education, kids’ activities, or beauty. Use the SEO Quake browser plugin to determine each blog’s PR. Those that have 3+ might be worth your time. Contact the site owners as a community member, not a stranger. Ask if you can provide a custom article, free of charge, for the site owner’s blog readership. Establishing these connections is difficult, primarily because it feels foreign. However, this is a new age in networking for business.
Testimonials Help a Ton
Ask your patients to post reviews on your Google+ page, or on Yelp, YellowPages, Merchant Circle, or Yahoo Local. Positive testimonials are like social mentions; according to the Hummingbird algorithm revisions, Google will provide you with more SEO credit (higher rankings) if you have testimonials across the web. Note, though, that if you do not ask your happy patients to post testimonials, you may only see reviews of negative experiences about your business. You must ask your loyal patients to support you by voicing their opinion of your business online. Whether you set up an account on Yelp or Google+ is irrelevant; consumers have the freedom to post anything about your business, good or bad. There’s not much you can do about it, so hop on the bandwagon and collect some positive reviews now.
Get Involved in Social Sharing & Commenting
This is probably the hardest thing for dentists to do, because in their free time, they want to do what others do: relax, enjoy family and hobbies, and talk with friends. Dentists have always kept a professional persona in the office and in public, and saved their relaxed, “real” self for after hours. This technique will not work in today’s Internet world. Those who thrive with social media, backlinks, and natural sharing post “stuff” about themselves and share their opinion online, blurring the line between professional and personal personas.
Don’t just post to Facebook when you have office news – like a new product, information about gum disease, or a before-and-after photo shoot. Instead, post pictures of your vacation (modest photos, of course). Share your children’s accomplishments, and give a shout out to patients who do something great, like get a promotion or spend Saturday volunteering at the animal shelter. What I’m saying is, BE part of your community online. Don’t just be a dentist.
Help With Your Dental Website & Marketing
If all of this sounds great, but you have zero time to put toward it, call MDPM Consulting today. We’re here to handle most of the work for you, and we have an excellent track record of success. To us, success means higher rankings and more traffic, resulting in more new patients, for our client dentists and physicians. Call 972-781-8861 or email us at [email protected] today for a complimentary website analysis.