The goal of any professional website, whether it be dental, orthodontic, medical or any small business, is to direct prospective new patients to pick up the phone or email your office for a new patient exam. Your website is a marketing sales tool first… and information site second. Your content must engage the viewer, direct them to look further into your site, and create an emotional response so they make the contact. Once they have started treatment, your site is used to provide content rich information to promote and exceed patient and parent expectations of the overall treatment experience. Ex: 24/7 access to patient information, appointment confirmation, e-newsletters etc.
Listed below are 10 SEO marketing tips to incorporate into your website to increase page ranking on Google
1. Include all major content keywords early, often, and on all pages. Search engines place more importance on keywords found early in the content of the page. It’s a good practice to feature the keywords you want the page to be indexed under within the first 25 characters. Then find a way to naturally repeat these keywords several times in the first 20% of your page copy. In general, your keywords should be between 1 and 5% of the total words on the page.
Your website is all about content and optimizing for Google. Find a way for both to work together when writing content. It grammatically may look a little awkward, but who cares if it improves ranking and builds your practice. Most viewers won’t even notice the difference if worded correctly.
2. Use text links to your internal pages instead of pretty pictures – This is when optimizing for search engine positioning conflicts with graphic design and the aesthetics of your site. Doctors and graphic designers want to build links into pretty pictures and fancy drop down or pop out navigation to preserve the sites “look”. Unfortunately, these links are difficult for most search engines to see and follow. Ensure your home page contains actual text links to key pages within your site and every page on your site has a text link pointing to it somewhere within the site.
3. Use text, not pictures as your main communication tool – This is another problem with graphically designed pages and flash. Because designers want to control the typefaces, placement and appearance of the pages, web designers often build sites using pictures of words, not the words themselves. This is bad, very bad. The search engines can’t see the words contained in the pictures, only actual text.
To test this, go to your site, place your cursor at the bottom right hand corner of your site, left click and drag your cursor to the left and up the page. Any words which turn blue, character by character, are coded as text. Any words which turn blue all at once are pictures of words. Generally, all keywords you want ranked on the search engines need to be text on your pages, not pictures.
4. Write Long Copy – The average page ranked on the first page of Google contains more than 400 words. Don’t fall into the trap of writing short copy on all of your pages so users will not have to scroll.
5. Link within your site – Linking to pages within your site is a powerful SEO tool. For example, on your home page, link Invisalign text to the Invisalign page on your site. Also links to a blog, MySpace, and Facebook improve page ranking when used and set up correctly for SEO. Always have links to social networking sites prominently displayed on your home page. On average, most visitors only read 2.5 pages of content, then leave. Makes sure links are added to the most frequently viewed pages.
6. Use Site Maps – A site map helps to ensure the search engines index all the pages on your site. It should be updated by your webmaster whenever pages are added to your site.
7. Make sure you have clean URLs – This means no ?’S and &’s in your URL. Most search engines stop at ? and & signs and ignore everything which follows. Check each page of your site to ensure the URLs are correct with both title keywords and content.
8. Stay organized around the topic – It’s always beneficial to organize your content so that visitors have a good sense of where everything begins and ends. Avoid long paragraphs of text. Break content up into short paragraphs to be read easier on a computer screen or use bullet points. This encourages patients to stay longer on your pages to read content.
9. Use relevant language – Think about the words that a user might type in when looking for an orthodontic treatment provider. Users who know their topic, like yourself, might use different keywords in their search queries than someone who is new to the topic. Anticipating these differences in search behavior and accounting for them while writing your content (using a good mix of keyword phrases) could produce more positive results. Avoid rehashing (or even copying) existing content that will bring little extra value to users.
10. Offer exclusive content or services – Consider adding something new to your site to grab the attention of new patients (video) and useful services to improve the patient online experience throughout treatment (24/7 access to appointment and financial information, newsletters, email reminders, etc). Write an ezine article, break an exciting news story with an online press release, or leverage your unique treatment and customer service. Your competition may lack the resources, knowledge or expertise to implement these marketing strategies.
Create Great Content Which Patients Want To Read And Link To… Everything Else Will Eventually Take Care Of Itself!
The key to successful SEO ranking is action. Take marketing responsibility for your website. Sit down in front of your computer and determine if your website is designed for optimum SEO performance. Your Internet marketing strategies and future of your practice depend upon it….
For more information on how to increase your website presence on the Internet, contact Orthopreneur Marketing Solutions Toll Free at 877-295-5611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary preliminary consultation of your Internet and SEO marketing needs.