This week’s guest blog was written by Joshua May, our SEO expert.
From Internet Live Statics data of 2022, Google processes over 8.5 billion searches each day for users looking for content, products, and services. Organic search drives more than 50% of all website traffic. So, search engine optimization (SEO) has become a very important marketing strategy for dentists in today’s digital world.
Accordingly, dentists must understand SEO well enough to execute it correctly if we want to reach the top three pages of search results because according to multiple studies, 75% of people find what they are looking for on page one while only roughly 25% of people visit page two or page three of search results.
Now, SEO can seem very complicated, especially because search engines and web technology constantly evolve. There are hundreds of metrics that Google measures when determining if a website is good enough to show to its users. And at last check, the figure was approaching 300 different metrics. But let’s take a step back and simplify SEO conceptually based on the needs of search engines like Google.
What do search engines need?
Search engines were not created to promote businesses. They were created to help people find information and to answer their questions. But search engines like Google only gather information. They do not create it. So, they need metrics to measure and guidelines that guarantee the information they gather and share is relevant, trustworthy, and helpful, otherwise, people will conclude that the search engine is unreliable and stop using it.
Relevancy, trustworthiness, and helpfulness are the three pillars of SEO. Each one of Google’s nearly 300 metrics fits within at least one of these three pillars. Because search engines were created to help share information, the most effective digital marketing strategy for your dental practice is to:
(1) provide helpful information that is relevant to your industry,
(2) on a trustworthy site,
(3) to build an audience that trusts you enough
(4) to contact you and try your service.
Content Relevancy: Become the “Google” of topics related to dentistry.
Your content is the “value” your website shares with visitors before your dental office receives any contact or financial information from them. Valuable content can be:
- Long-form, detailed text explaining a series of dental topics (like with blog posts)
- A thorough description of each of your services (like with your primary pages)
- Informative and/or entertaining videos, audio files or downloadable materials
- An app or web-based tool that’s designed to solve common problems your patients experience
Even descriptive images of your procedures and comments/testimonials from former patients are considered valuable content to share. But whatever form your content takes, it must be relevant to the keywords and questions your patients search for, as well as useful or helpful to them, clear to understand, and uniquely yours (not plagiarized).
Your dental website’s goal should be to become the source of all valuable content about dental care in your local (or national) market. The more valuable content your website provides, the more relevant Google will consider your site to the topics related to your business.
Trustworthiness: Votes of authority from others in the same community.
The internet is a massive worldwide web of pages all tied together through text links or image links. And each link from one web page to another is an “endorsement,” or vote of trust and authority, for the target page. But this is not a complicated principle or a new concept to understand!
From childhood through adulthood, we experience the principle behind trust through links. Each time a new friend introduces us to their network (friend group), we gain a level of authority/trust through our association (or link) to that friend, in the eyes of the network. The founders of Google realized that just like we build trust through our real-life human networks, web pages also build trust through their network of links to each other.
So, the popularity of your webpages increases based on the number and quality of links to your pages from other relevant pages on the internet. Because users typically share pages that they trust and value (through links), Google gives a higher level of credibility to a webpage that has more quality links to it than another similar site, considering it a greater authority on the topic.
A content strategy that grows your website (such as blog content) is very important, because each new relevant webpage links to the most important pages on your site, boosting its authority/trust on Google.
Helpfulness: Delivering a positive user experience.
If you have ever left a website feeling frustrated because it did not behave the way you expected, then you are exactly who Google is advocating for with these new SEO metrics.
In the latest evolution of Google, the search engine began measuring dozens of web page performance metrics to reward websites that do their best to be as fast, secure, and intuitive as possible.
Google believes that a person should easily find the information they’re looking for once on a website. They reason that if users suffer a terrible experience while using a website, then it does not matter how great its content is or how authoritative the site is voted to be, users will leave dissatisfied. Google considers things like:
- How helpful is your dental website?
- How pleasurable is your visitor’s experience?
- Are visitors clearly provided with the information they were searching for?
- How well is your content organized?
- How quickly can they navigate using their favorite browser?
- Is the website safe?
These are some of the important questions Google answers about your site when scanning it for a positive user experience.
PageSpeed and Core Web Vitals are sets of technical performance metrics that measure how efficient and useful your web pages are when experienced by users through mobile or desktop browsers. These metrics include, but are not limited to:
- how fast a web page loads
- whether the layout shifts outside of the user’s control
- how long it takes for the page to become interactive
- any errors preventing easy navigation
A website that doesn’t provide a positive user experience will lose to an identical website that does.
Focus on these fundamental pillars of SEO!
The primary purpose of your dental website is to share your unique knowledge, expertise, and perspective on the web to build a loyal audience. The secondary purpose of your site is to convert that audience into leads/customers.
By focusing on the simplicity of Relevancy, Trustworthiness, and Helpfulness as the most fundamental aspects of your SEO strategy, you will position your site to rank higher on Google, beating out your competitors so that more people discover your business, experience your unique perspective, and eventually contact you for dental services.
Call Identiwrite Creative Now for Better SEO!