Are you an orthodontist looking to learn more about orthodontic SEO and how to leverage in order to superpower your business and your bottom line?
Well, you have come to the right place. Here at INTJDC, we are experts at dental and orthodontic SEO, and in this article we aim to provide you with the evergreen basics of a powerful orthodontic SEO strategy that you can start implementing right away.
Leveraging the powers of SEO is no magic pill, and seeing the results of your efforts is inevitably going to take some time if you are completely new to digital marketing. Don’t worry though, we are talking months here rather than years, and the upside is going to be well worth the effort. In fact, you can be sure that all of the orthodontists who are currently thriving and raking in a disproportionate amount of the business over their competitors are already in the know about how to leverage dental and orthodontic SEO to their advantage. There is no reason why you cannot very quickly become one of them.
If this sounds good, then keep on reading.
What orthodontic SEO is and why you need it
SEO stands for search engine optimization and can be summarised as the art and science of making your website appear among the top search results whenever someone puts a particular question or key phrase into Google (Or any other search engine for that matter).
A great number of both on-site and off-site factors play into whether or not a particular website is going to be favoured by Google and appear near the top of search rankings. These SEO factors include relevant, high quality content that uses the specific keywords, key phrases and questions that people are putting into search engines, website load speeds, layout, title tags and other metadata, and whether or not the website is mobile friendly.
Today, just about everyone relies on search engines for recommendations, advice and directions. No matter what business you are in, you should be harnessing this knowledge and using it to position your business in the digital space, so that people can actually find you and discover what it is you have to offer.
In many ways, SEO and social media have become the new word of mouth. Just think about it in the context of your own experience – aren’t you much more likely to ask Google for the ‘best Thai restaurant in Detroit’ than, say, a colleague or a friend?
The businesses and professionals that manage to put themselves on the map by taking the time to learn how to do keyword research, write and publish high quality content on their websites, build their backlink profiles and do everything else that goes into creating and maintaining a SEO optimised website are the ones that are going to incongruously prosper. By the same token, any business, including any orthodontic practice, that is not using a SEO strategy are likely to get thwarted by the competition.
This orthodontic SEO strategy is guaranteed to work
If you are looking to get started with an orthodontic SEO strategy that is completely fail proof and guaranteed to work, feel free to copy ours.
As already hinted at, a great number of factors play into SEO, so what we are covering here is just the vital basics. Certain aspects of SEO, such as which web host provider or WordPress plugins to use for your website are beyond the scope of this article. Still, if you take and implement all of the tips we are about to give you, you are guaranteed to start attracting greater volumes of prospective new patients to your orthodontic website and business than ever before.
All right, here we go.
Build a sleek, easy-to-navigate orthodontic website
A sleek, simple and easy-to-navigate website is at the core of great SEO. What you want to aim for is a website that has a smooth, elegant and professional design. It needs to be lightning-quick, and it needs to work just as well as mobile devices since more and more people are using their phones to browse rather than their computers.
Consider your orthodontic website a digital extension of your orthodontic practice. How do you want your prospective new clients to feel when they are visiting? Everything should look clean, cool and professional.
Many website hosting services come with pre-made templates to choose from – we recommend choosing one of these and adding your own text and photos as needed, rather than trying to mess with graphic design. Even better, hire a professional graphic designer to help you with your website. Trust us, it’ll be worth it. If your website is clunky and slow, search engines and prospective new clients are going to be put off by it.
Maintain an orthodontic blog that search engines will love
While all of the text on your orthodontic website is important, but from a digital marketing perspective your blog is your greatest asset. Sure, all of your title tags and bread text weigh in on how search engines identify and rank your website, but your blog is really where you get to keep adding SEO-rich content over time.
Writing and maintaining a blog for your orthodontics practice is a time-consuming endeavour, one that requires plenty of commitment and tenacity, particularly in the beginning, before your efforts start producing results.
Use software to do keyword research
Rather than doing painstaking manual keyword research, use a software that has been specifically designed for the purpose. Our favorite softwares for SEO keyword research (and competitor research, which is extremely handy) are Ahrefs and Semrush.
Reviewing or describing these softwares in detail is beyond the parameters of this article, but to give you a good overview, both are keyword research tools that allow you to see precisely how many searches are done for any keyword, key phrase or question on a monthly basis. Using a SEO research tool like Ahrefs or Semrush is priceless because of all of the hours and all of the guesswork it saves you. Without using a software, you have no way of knowing whether there are twenty thousand or just twenty Google searches for ‘best orthodontist in Toronto’ on a monthly basis.
Knowing which keywords and questions people are searching for is the key to success when it comes to writing your blog. If you are a Toronto-based orthodontist, you want your orthodontic website to show up among the top search results whenever someone is doing a local search for the best orthodontist in Toronto.
If your orthodontic website does not appear near the top of the search results when a prospective new patient is looking for orthodontic services, that prospective patient is going to go to someone else’s practice – it’s practically guaranteed.
Put your orthodontic practice on the map
Local searches is an extremely powerful search engine feature if yours is a brick-and-mortar or service-based business.
If your orthodontic practice is not already on Google Maps, make it a priority to add it as soon as possible. Adding your orthodontic clinic to Google Maps (as well as Yahoo Maps and others) is incredibly easy and only takes about a minute.
First, you need to be signed into Google Maps with your Google email account. There are a few different ways of adding your business to Google Maps, but this one has got to be the easiest: Simply type your business address into the search bar and click ‘Add’ in the Business Profile on the left. You can then claim the business by adding the name of your orthodontic practice, a link to your orthodontic website and contact details.
This simple step alone has the potential to transform your business, since appearing in local search results is much more powerful than attracting lots of generalised traffic to your website. To illustrate, someone might be visiting your blog to learn more about different teeth straightening options, but if they are located in Frankfurt, Germany, they are unlikely to become your patient if your clinic is based in Miami, Florida.
Leverage real customer reviews and testimonies
The word of mouth still has power – particularly if it is amplified online. In other words, you are able to get favourable reviews and testimonies from some of your patients, this is pure gold for your business.
The most potent types of reviews you can hope to get are Google reviews and testimonies that you can share on your orthodontic website.
If you are not used to asking your patients to review your orthodontic practice, you may feel slightly awkward asking at first. The key is to ask when the patient is already expressing praise – that way, you are not imposing on them by asking for a review, and you are practically guaranteed that the review is going to be positive.
Build your backlinks
Backlinks is an important aspect of search engine optimization that many tend to overlook.
Backlink are essentially links that lead back to your website content, and having plenty of backlinks scattered throughout the internet leading back to your orthodontic website is a great way of generating extra traffic, as well as of building credibility with Google.
Not all backlinks are created equal, and there is a world of difference between receiving a backlink from a well-established, high authority website and sharing your own link on Twitter.
A comprehensive backlink strategy consists of getting as many high authority and therefore quality links back to your website as possible. A great way of building your backlink profile is to guest blog on high-authority orthodontic websites.
Arm yourself with patience
Arm yourself with patience – lots of patience.
If your orthodontic website is brand new, Google’s algorithm is initially going to consider it unimportant. It takes a long time for a brand new website to gain credibility and eventually become recognised as a high authority site by the search engines.
However, if you just keep adding high quality content, optimizing your website and beefing up its backlink profile, you will eventually get there.
Realistically, you should not expect to see any real results for the first couple of months after implementing your orthodontic SEO strategy. This can be quite nerve wracking, because it can feel like you are throwing in a tonne of time and effort without achieving anything. But just remember that persistence is key. If you are doing everything right, something should start to happen after six to nine months.
Hire or consult with a SEO marketing expert
There is no rule saying you have to do everything yourself. In fact, chances are you are a very busy orthodontist with plenty of obligations on your plate as is. Learning about SEO and spending countless hours writing content for your blog might be the last thing you want.
This is where we may be able to help you. Here at INTJDC, our digital marketing experts know precisely what it takes to get an orthodontic website to rank higher – much higher – in search engines. From doing the necessary keyword research to writing SEO-rich content for your blog, we can advice or handle the while process for you. If this has your interest, do reach out to us for more information on our SEO services.
A lot goes into learning about and then implementing a powerful orthodontic SEO strategy – but doing so is absolutely vital for your business.
The orthodontic practices that are going to thrive in the years ahead are the ones that appear in search results when prospective new clients are searching online for ‘best orthodontist Orlando’ (or insert wherever your orthodontic practice is based).
Even if you know absolutely nothing about internet marketing except what you have just read in this article, you can still win at this game. There is nothing stopping you from either putting in the hours and the sweat equity it is going to take for you to become as great at SEO as you need to be. On the other hand, you could also skip the learning curve and work with our digital marketing professionals instead. If you’re interested, we can help you put together and implement the orthodontic SEO strategy your orthodontic practice deserves.