The fight for first-page Google rankings has gotten fierce, and dentists are clawing tooth and nail for one of these coveted spots in their markets.
SEO is far too complex to be reduced to a single “key to success,” but there’s one key practice without which you just won’t get seen online. And that key practice is consistency.
Consistency is required across every page of your website without exception. There are certain items that absolutely have to be there, and those items have to be handled in certain ways. That’s not to say that you should go overboard and be foolishly consistent when it’s not warranted. Just follow common sense.
Why is consistency so important? Because Google favors sites that are easy for searchers to use and that provide the information they want. If your prospects have to hunt all over your website for information, you’ll lose the SEO battle. And, Google favors local results on local search, so your website has to convey that unfailingly.
Here are five of the items that must be used consistently across your website.
This is your practice’s Name, Address, Phone. The information and format should be absolutely consistent across every page, including the location(s) on the page. If you have multiple locations, include the practice name and designator (South, Downtown, etc.) and individual telephone numbers wherever appropriate.
- Map and directions
Dentistry is a local business, and a map showing your location(s) is a local signal. So are written directions from various approaches, and/or the option to search for directions, such as Mapquest.
Obviously, your pages won’t be all the same, but they must have the relevant keywords for the particular dental topic. Those must be woven into the text in a non-obtrusive manner; repeatedly adding something like “Portland’s Best Dentist” on the page will lose you search “points.”
- Page Titles and Header Tags
These are important for Google and for your prospects. Page titles should include one or more relevant keywords, be easy for prospective dental patients to understand, and have the title and heading metadata completed with the relevant keyword(s) included.
Pages with relevant photos rank higher than pages that offer just a “wall of text,” and they tend to hold searchers’ attention and generate more click-through. Photos should neither overpower the page nor be lost on it.
- Testimonials and External Reviews
Your website is all about giving your dental prospects reasons to choose you. Testimonials and reviews offer social proof and confer trustworthiness in Google’s view.
Testimonials can be videos (with transcripts) and/or written. Testimonials should be relevant to the dental condition or solution on that page; a glowing testimonial about your practice on your Implants page won’t mean anything to the gingivitis patient who never visits that page.
SEO is incredibly complex, and this post has barely scratched the surface. Nevertheless, employing these five consistency tips will go a long way toward increasing your likelihood of landing a first-page placement on Google. Without them, your chances of being found by the new dental patients you want to attract are slim.