Part Two of Three
You can learn anything online, so I have no true industry secrets to share. A dentist or copywriter can learn the ins and outs of SEO copywriting with a quick Google search. What I can offer is knowledge built from two decades of experience as an SEO and dental copywriter, editor, and marketer. Over the years as a dental marketing company owner, I’ve seen SEO strategies significantly evolve. I want to share with you the best practices to use right now.
In this blog, PART TWO of a three-part series, we will explore how to write headings for search-engine-optimized dental websites and blogs. I will also share tips for image selection and optimization. I’ve interviewed hundreds of dentists and probably 100 consultants, product manufacturers, and labs. I know what dentists want from images, how consultants think about images, and most importantly, what appeals to potential patients.
Let’s dig in.
Copy Headings for SEO on Dental Websites & Blogs
A title is the first heading on both webpages and blogs. Like the first impression you make on a new acquaintance, images make a second first impression. The title of a blog or webpage is the “smile” that draws attention to the text.
3 Elements of a Great SEO Title
First, your title must include your keyword or, at a minimum, some variation of it. This is essential for a solid on-page SEO strategy. (There are some free SEO title-generating tools online, but most require a subscription after a 7-day free trial. These are helpful at first, but unnecessary if you learn how to do it right.)
Next, the title needs to convey what the article will provide to the readers. Oftentimes, I see people write a title, but after reading the article I don’t feel satisfied that the title was accurate. The title lied. This happens a lot with questions as titles. Questions make fantastic titles! But they absolutely must fulfill their promises.
Your titles should be catchy. The page title shows up in the Google search engine results page (SERP, for short). This will look familiar:
The title of my blog is in purple. Words like secret, top, cost, and best tend to win clicks, as do titles with numbers. Questions tend to make a good hook, as well. On a Google SERP, your page title will compete with 9 other organic listings, possibly ads, and in some cases, three listings on Google Business (maps).
Lastly, use subheadings, and tag them with H-tags in ascending numerical order. All of the titles on a page should have an H-tag, or heading tag. The title is H1, and there should only be one H1 per page. Then, the first subheadings are H2, secondary subheadings are H3, and so on. Do not go out of order. Google hates that.
Image Selection and SEO for Dental Marketing
Humans love visuals. Interesting images appeal to us; this is the very basis of why art is such a huge part of all human cultures. Images also send a message, so selecting the right images for your website is vital to engaging visitors.
What NOT to do:
Do not choose images that depict dental tools, chairs, or procedures. Surveys tell us that up to half of the population is afraid of the dentist’s office, and these types of images can evoke fear. Don’t use them.
Do not use photos of random professionals. Stock image sites come in very handy for dentists who aren’t also photographers. However, some stock images feature unknown clinicians: dentists, hygienists, assistants, anesthesiologists. Any professionals shown on your website should work in your office. Otherwise, don’t use the photo. Better yet, take your own photos!
Don’t select clinical images. The occasional x-ray image is fine, but don’t use pictures of the dental implant healing process, gum disease, or tooth decay. Clinical photos may appeal to you as a dentist, but they intimidate and scare patients. Even smiles with the lips pulled back look strange and alien to non-professionals.
Along the same lines, only choose clinical image illustrations; don’t use clinical photos. To explain a root canal, choose illustrations or illustrated videos. (People love videos.)
What TO do:
Find pictures of smiling people that represent the demographic your office serves. If you want to use nature-scapes of your area (mountains, lake, beach, etc.) or landmarks, be sure to choose photos that also feature happy people. Remember, the images you select should send a message: you make people smile. A beautiful landscape of your town might make a good background, but the foreground needs people. In dental marketing, the rule is, people attract attention more than landscapes.
Use images of your office, inside and out. Cell phone cameras produce great photos for online use. Don’t be afraid to snap pictures for your website. If you opt for patient photos, just get a signed release from the patient.
Full-face before-and-after pictures are fantastic for a patient gallery and for use on webpages and blogs. Just get that signed release. A before-and-after with a case study and patient testimonial speaks volumes about a dentist!
Use an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO or All-in-One SEO to add metadata, including Alt-image tags. The Alt-image tag provides Google with a description of your photos, so they can be indexed. This helps with SEO. All images need alternative tags: photos, logos, and illustrations.
What else does a dental marketing company do to optimize a blog?
Find out in the next post! I’ll share two more top insider secrets next week: internal and external linking.
By the end of this series, you should feel equipped to compose a quality, well optimized dentistry blog to post for your website.
If you’re a dentist who does not have the time or desire to write SEO’d blogs for your website, give my dental marketing company, Identiwrite Creative, a call. You can reach Riese Duty at [email protected] or 972-679-6885. We will usher you into a season of online marketing success!
If you’re a copywriter, or you want to learn SEO copywriting, contact me, Shauna Smith Duty, at [email protected]. I am happy to share my knowledge and expertise with the next generation of copywriters. We need educated writers of integrity composing web content.