One of the disadvantages that small businesses, including local dental practices, is they often do not have the resources, including the financial resources, to compete with larger businesses that have corporate funding and investors behind them. This is at its most obvious when you consider the amounts large businesses have to spend on their marketing compared to smaller, local businesses.
If you have a local dental practice, it might be that some of the dental practices that operate in your area come under the umbrella of corporate dentistry and it, therefore, means that they have far greater amounts to spend on marketing themselves to gain new patients. What that can mean is through the natural reduction in patient numbers through those moving away or passing away, you may struggle to replace them.
You do not need to be a business guru to fathom that, if your dental practice’s patient numbers are reducing, its revenue, profitability, and even sustainability are all at risk. This creates the need to seek other ways to compete within your local marketplace and, thankfully, there are several, but the most effective is often search engine optimisation, aka SEO.
SEO is the practice of optimising a business website so that it can rank highly on search engines when internet users are searching for the product or service that this business offers. For example, if someone has just moved into your town and is seeking to register with a dentist from Dental O So Gentle for dental implants, you want your dental practice’s website to be one of the first they see when the search results appear.
The problem many dentists have is, although they may be experts in oral health and dental procedures, when it comes to SEO they know little or nothing about it. That problem can be overcome by approaching those who are experts in SEO, such as an SEO agency, to carry out SEO for you.
What an SEO agency will do is overhaul your website, not necessarily by changing how it looks, but instead by ensuring the content there is optimised for search engine rankings, as well as many of the technical elements which happen behind the scenes such as metadata and internal linking.
An SEO agency will also undertake tasks such as ensuring your Google Business Profile is 100% accurate, that you have a decent number of backlinks from high-authority websites, and that you have local citations in several online directories.
When all the above tasks, as well as the ongoing publishing of high-quality, optimised content, are in place, it can be transformative in terms of where your dental practice’s website ranks on search engines, especially on the largest search engine by far, Google.
They will be guided by two key tasks which are keyword research and competitor analysis. The former will ensure that the content created for your website and all the other optimisations allow Google bots, when they crawl your website, to correctly identify which keywords you are trying to tank for. Ideally, those keywords will equate to the searches that local people looking for dentists in your catchment area are regularly typing in the search box.
In addition, an SEO agency will also carry out competitor analysis. If you want to know how to be the #1 ranked local dental practice website on Google what better way to find out than to assess the website that is currently doing so? Analysing what keywords, content, and backlinks that website uses, provides you with invaluable information and data on how to optimise your website.
This will not be an exercise in copying content from other websites, but simply gaining knowledge of what Google regards as a top-ranking website in your local business niche and then emulating that. Accordingly, it does not matter how much money a larger dental company has spent on marketing because money cannot buy rankings. Instead, by implementing a highly effective SEO campaign your website can outrank any other local dental practice, no matter how large they are.