The keywords you choose to include in your online efforts to attract new dental patients have a tremendous impact on how high you’ll place on local search engine results pages (SERP).
Back in the day, “black hat” SEO types used to “stuff” dentists’ website pages with keywords to try to get better SERP placements. Those days are gone, because Google got wise to that trick quite a while back. Keyword stuffing now draws a major penalty.
So, you need the right keywords to show up in search results, but even keywords aren’t what they used to be. The emphasis used to be on single keywords like dentist, cavity, or filling. You can use the keyword “dentist” and probably get a lot of views, but those searchers will run the gamut from people looking for low-price services to people needing extensive oral surgery.
“Dentist” is relevant to a large group of searchers, but less relevant to everyone who is looking for a particular type of dentist or dental service. It’s too wide a net.
If you get more specific and use a keyword like “gum disease,” you’ll more likely show up in the results for people searching for that term. A lot of those searchers will be looking for general information on gum disease, rather than for a dentist to treat it. Add in the word “treatment” and you’ll narrow the results even further, but far more of those searchers will be looking for exactly that – treatment for their gum disease.
Even though Google now makes organic search pretty much local, you can place higher by adding a geographic keyword or phrase. Now, we have something like, “gum disease treatment Cleveland Ohio.” Who is going to see your listing with those keywords? People in or near Cleveland who need treatment for their gum disease. And those are exactly the patients you want to see your listing. They have a dental problem and they’re looking for someone near them to take care of it.
That phrase, “gum disease treatment Cleveland Ohio” is an example of a long-tail keyword, and that’s what your marketing needs in today’s internet environment.
If you think about it, the example given above is pretty much how most people will search for a dentist these days. All dentistry is local, so they’ll almost certainly specify a geographic area. Savvier searchers will specify the type of dentist or their dental problem.
More searches are being done from smartphones and other mobile devices than from desktop or laptop computers. And most smartphones have some version of a digital assistant like Siri or Cortana. When those smartphone users bring up their digital assistant, they’ll use a voice query. Going along with the example above, they’ll say something like, “Siri, find me a dentist in Cleveland, Ohio who treats gum disease.”
Run your own digital-assistant search on your phone and see whether you come up in search results. You’ll either be gratified or dismayed by the results.
To attract new dental patients, your marketing needs to be seen online. Be sure to include the right keywords in your marketing, and more new patients will find you.