Content Marketing and SEO for Dentists
Let’s face it… content marketing and SEO for dentists can be tricky and confusing.
Whether you’ve just started your content marketing or SEO strategy, or if you are looking to revamp an old strategy, getting back to basics is the best way to make sure that your strategy is not only effective, but also completely update friendly—you don’t want to use tactics that will work fine for a little while but actually hurt you the next time Google updates their algorithm.
Here are some basics to get you started (or restarted), and ensure that your SEO and content marketing efforts are as effective as possible.
Always Think of Your Customers First
In the world of SEO, there is a lot of emphasis put on the keywords that are inserted into the content.
While keywords are vitally important, they are not the most important part of SEO. No one will read your content if it is not valuable or uninteresting. There is nothing wrong with inserting keywords, but the primary focus should always be on creating content that your patients actually want to read and something that they will find interesting.
In addition, if you only write content that is optimized for keywords and not for readers, there’s a chance you’ll see a serious problem the next time Google updates its algorithm. With every update, the algorithm is becoming more and more sophisticated, focusing on generating search results that are actually valuable to users.
The bottom line is that the content you create should first and foremost be valuable for your audience—it should be written in a way and about topics that fulfill their needs.
SEO Is Only Half the Story
SEO is the foundation of any great digital marketing campaign, but it should not stand alone. It can be significantly enhanced by blogging, email campaigns, and social media efforts.
Effective dental SEO feeds off of traffic from these avenues, upping your page rank in relevant search results even if some of your site visitors do not necessarily come from those search results.
Use Google Analytics to see where else your traffic could and should be coming from. Organic search is usually at the top, but email, bookmarks, referrals, social media, and paid search are all aspects that Google looks at.
This multi-tiered approach is like diversifying your assets in an investment. It ensures a more widespread reach and hedges one bet against another – so even if one avenue isn’t showing great results, your other avenues may still be effective while you boost the failing area.
How SEO Is Impacted by Social
One of Google’s most recent updates has put a serious emphasis on social. How strong your social signals are, how active your pages are, and how much information those pages contain (i.e., how trustworthy your website appears), are all vitally important to SEO.
Are you factoring social media into your content marketing efforts? As you are thinking about and starting to develop your SEO campaign, make sure that it is closely related to your social strategy.
If your office does not yet have a social strategy, now is the perfect time to pick one up. It’s just another place for potential patients to find you and a way to boost overall page views, as well as keep current patients engaged with your practice.
SEO For The Long Haul
Realistically, any SEO strategy takes months to properly employ and to start showing real results. This is not a short-term solution for slow page traffic. It is long-term only.
If fast results are what you are looking for, then Google Adwords or “PPC is the best option in the short-term as you develop your content marketing footprint online and develop strong, longer-lasting SEO rankings.
As mentioned earlier, social media can help to speed up the process, but it is important to remember that search engine optimization’s greatest benefits are seen over time.
Once your page is established, you have a much higher likelihood of being found, and that position is difficult to shake.
Making keywords the primary focus of your content is a bad plan. It puts too much focus on the search engine and not enough focus on the reader.
You want your content to help you rank, of course, but stuffing it full of keywords just to make sure this happens can backfire on you.
If you write content about topics related to your industry and that target your audience, you are naturally going to rise through the page rankings—because users will be searching for the topics that you write about.
That doesn’t mean that keywords are all bad or that they shouldn’t be used.
Careful keyword research can be seriously helpful in generating a positive content marketing campaign. It can also help you narrow in on the patients you want to target and what topics they are interested in.
If you are writing about the right topics, for the right people, the keywords will still have to be used as part of the natural writing process… so don’t jam them in where they don’t belong.
Let’s Get Technical
One of the reasons that many local businesses shy away from SEO is because it seems very technical. Reading about it, it feels like you need to understand HTML and how websites are coded in order to really make use of it.
That’s just not true!!
It is true that you want those who click on your links to be taken to the right page.
You do want to know where your content is, and guide people to it properly.
You do want to have your pages indexed correctly, so they are easy for searchers to find.
But when it comes to meta tags, meta descriptions, heading tags, etc., all you really need to know is that great content with a few very relevant keywords wins out over gibberish content with lots of somewhat relevant keywords.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that when it comes to content marketing and search engine optimization for dentists, you need to worry less about keyword density and more about whether or not the content itself is valuable.
The focus of our content is to get people to trust and engage us.
Patients are looking for knowledgeable dentists in their area. That’s what you want to focus on as you start writing content, either for your webpage or for your blog.