It’s important for any business that operates locally to get hold of the local customers. For this purpose, there are many ways to target the locals with the help of digital marketing. You can conduct PPC ad campaigns for a specific geographical area with the help of targeting options. Likewise, social media also provides the option of targeting individuals based on their location. However, for a small business, it may not always be feasible to promote their services on a regular basis. So, is there another way to target local consumers without paying for it? The answer is yes! All you need to do is start with local search engine optimization (SEO). You may be familiar with the term ‘SEO’ where you need to optimize your website as per the search engine algorithms in order to enhance your rankings in search results. For this purpose, you have to follow various on-page and off-page SEO factors. On-page SEO factors are concerned with modifications or optimization process within your website such as adding keywords, internal links, etc. Off-page factors refer to optimization process conducted outside your website such as article submission, social media, etc. So then you might wonder what local SEO is.
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your owned properties so that your website features in search results for a local area. If a person living in the area of your operation searches for services offered by you, then your website will feature in the search results. For example, your dental clinic is located in Edmonton and a person living in Edmonton searches for dental services. Now, this person is most likely to see your dental website in the search results page if you have conducted local SEO for your dental website. Similarly, a person residing at some other place searches for “dental clinics in Edmonton” or “dentists in Edmonton”, then your dental website will be featured as well. Thus, local SEO enables you to get local web traffic. The more traffic you receive the better will be your conversion rate. In other words, the more people visit your dental website and see the services you offer, the more they will visit your dental clinic for oral or dental treatment.
To start with local SEO for your dental website, here’s what you should be doing.
Keywords are a crucial element when it comes to optimizing your webpages. They are included within your content, the alt tag section for images, URLs, meta description, etc. In order to get your website featured in the search results, it’s important that you add the right keywords wherever applicable. But before you go to adding the keywords, you need to know what keywords your local customers prefer to use when searching for a dentist or dental services. For this purpose, you need to research the right keywords that go along with your dental clinic and the services you offer. There are many websites that provide you with keyword ideas such as Keyword Discovery, Keyword Tool.io, Wordstream’s Keyword Tool, and Google Keyword Planner. However, for Google Keyword Planner, you need to sign in with your Google account and start an ad campaign. So unless you start with Google AdWords, you may not be able to get the list of keywords. But there are other ways to know which keywords are right for you.
You must’ve have noticed when you type in the search query, Google will auto complete the query before you finish typing. These auto complete or suggestions provided by Google are commonly used keywords. Also, at the end of the search results, you will find a list of related searches. You can use these keywords for your content as well. Plus, keeping an eye on your competitors’ websites will enable you to identify the keywords they are using for optimization purpose. For local SEO, it’s always recommended that you include the local area in the keyword phrase when searching for keywords. For example, if your dental clinic is located in Calgary, then you may enter the “city + keyword” that is “Calgary + Dental Clinic.” The keyword tools will give you a list of keywords that are closely associated with your main keyword and your local area.
Be Consistent With Your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP)
Your dental clinic’s name, address, and the contact details should be the same for all your owned properties online. This means that your social media profiles, the website, local directories, etc. should have the same NAP information. Also, within your website, your contact page and the homepage should have the same information. You can place a Google Map widget with your NAP information placed in the footer of your website. This is beneficial for your website to get featured when a person in your local area searches for a dental clinic. The person will also be able to see your exact location and if your clinic is located nearby, then he is likely to visit it when he requires any dental treatment.
Get Listed on Google My Business
Do you want to get your dental website featured on Google search results? Then get it listed on Google My Business Page. A properly optimized Google My Business page will allow you to enhance SEO efforts and boost rankings in the local search results. Properly optimizing your Google My Business Page means that you need to follow these tips:
In order to make changes to your profile page, you need to verify that you are the owner of the page with the search engine. Once you register your firm with Google, it will take a few days to get your page verified. To confirm your verification, you need to log in and find the checkmark with the word “verified” next to your dental brand name. In case you are yet to verify your dental brand name, then you will find the “Verify Now” button on your dashboard.
Google offers the option of adding categories to describe what your business is about. For dental clinics, some of the categories may include “dentist”, “cosmetic dentist”, “dental implants”, “emergency dental service”, etc. While adding the categories, make sure you choose the ones which are most relevant to the services offered by you.
Use the description field to let your prospective patients know more about your dental clinic. Write a description that compels viewers to visit your dental clinic when they need any dental services. Be careful that you avoid any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. You can also decide to add some keywords in this field as well. Ideally, your description should range somewhere between 150-200 words.
Add the working hours so that people know when they can fix an appointment or visit your clinic. In case of an emergency dental clinic, it would be beneficial to list that your dental clinic is open 24/7. When a person is in need of an immediate dental treatment, then your dental website will be featured in the local search results. Therefore, you are sure to get new patients for your dental clinic.
You can add images of both the exterior and the interior of your dental clinic. Images help people to find your location easily. Ensure that your images are sized between the range provided by Google and they are of good quality.
Getting your dental clinic listed in the local directories is a great way to boost your local search rank. When a person searches for dental services, there is a good chance that the local directories will appear ahead of organic search results. Other information that people generally search such as the contact details, working hours, etc. are provided by these local directories. Therefore, get your dental clinic listed on local directories by claiming and completing your listings. As mentioned earlier, make sure that your NAP information is the same across all directories.
The local directories not only help you get citations but also allow you to get links to your website. More links indicate to search engine spiders that your website is a relevant source for the content that users search. This directly enables the search engines to rank your website higher. Also, the more places you are listed, the more confident a person will be in choosing your dental clinic over others. Ensure that your dental clinic falls under the “verified listings” category as they are more accurate with respect to the information provided and customers tend to trust them.
Get More Reviews
Choosing a dentist is a high involvement decision and so, people are likely to trust and choose your dental brand based on what others have to say. Therefore, you need to have more positive reviews online. You may consider having client testimonials on your dental website itself. However, getting reviews on popular platforms such as Google My Business, Yelp, HealthGrades, Facebook, and local directories will certainly enhance the credibility of your dental brand. Reviews can a differentiating factor for prospects to choose you over the competitors. Therefore, ask your customers to write reviews if they are delighted with your services. You may send a review request email and add the link to the page you want them to review. At the same time, it is equally important that you provide excellent dental services.
Your social media profiles have an impact on the local SEO results. Most social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. allow you to add your location and contact details. Keep the NAP information consistent across all these social platforms. You can also find your potential customers on Twitter or Pinterest by using the search function provided by these social media channels. To add more, if you conduct ad campaigns, you can specifically target locals based on their location.
Have a Mobile-Friendly Website
A person will usually search for a dentist using his smartphone. Hence, you need to have a mobile optimized dental website so that it shows up in the mobile search results. A mobile optimized website provides the best user experience. If a person visits your website and finds that your website takes time to load or the texts do not appear properly, he will immediately move out. Therefore, Google gives preference to those websites that are mobile-friendly. If you do not have a mobile optimized dental website, then do not delay. Apart from fetching you a good rank in search results, you will see an increase in the web traffic as well.
Following this local SEO for dentists will allow your website to be listed more frequently in search results. As mentioned earlier, the more people see your dental website, the more will be the web traffic. This increased traffic will result in getting new customers for your dental clinic and thus, improve your conversion rate. For more information on local SEO for dentists, consult a professional local SEO firm. It’s best that you take professional assistance if you do not have a dedicated team to look after your SEO efforts. This is because local SEO is a continuous process and at no point, you should stop the optimization process. Even if you reach the top of search results, you need to constantly work on optimizing your website so that you do not allow your competitors to get ahead of you.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches.
Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.