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The Best SEO Practices in 2021

By Planet DDS
January 13, 2021

Three Focus Points For Dental Practices to Stand Out

By Dr. Greg Grillo

If you spend any time online, you know a little about SEO. And as a business, you’ve probably been approached by vendors who promise to boost your SEO. But in 2021, what does that mean, and how do you make it really work for your practice?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has one primary aim: Get traffic to your site. The same way a coffee shop wants to see a steady flow of cars coming through their drive-through, your website wants visitors landing on your page. And you want the right visitors, so it’s about quantity and quality.

Traditionally, SEO improves by fine-tuning the content of a website to appeal to search engines, like Google. Specific terms that people search for, along with images and relevant tags, are placed with the right frequency in the right places. While SEO can still work this way, relying on traditional SEO methods has a few issues:

  • It’s expensive. I t takes time and effort to keep optimizing pages with keyword research, trends, rankings, and modifications.
  • It’s hard to read Google’s mind. They change the algorithms and mysterious rules that determine how a site gets indexed.
  • It can actually look bad. Adding extra content and images to a website can clutter a page and deter visitors.

In 2021, SEO continues to be a shifting, moving target. But too many small businesses are pouring a lot of money into optimizing their content for organic results. While that’s effective, it doesn’t make the most sense for a small business today.

So, what works?

You can, and should, still optimize your content, but the strategy to get the most bang for the buck needs to follow Google’s lead. Like it or not, Google sets the rules. By accepting the truth, you can apply strategies while others still are practicing old methods. Follow these three SEO strategies for dentists that work in 2021:

1.Get Your Website Right

But wait, isn’t it expensive and cumbersome to revise the content on your website? Yes, it can be. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore the heart of your online presence. Your goal is to get people to your dental site, engage them, and ultimately see them sitting in your chair.

In the mystery of SEO, Google considers how appealing your website is to visitors. It’s one thing for people to show up as a drive-by. But if they click away in three seconds, that “bounce-rate” doesn’t look good. The user experience matters to the search engines, and it also matters to your practice.

An exceptional website looks simple, but there’s a lot built into one that really helps your SEO. The design needs to be free of all that traditional SEO clutter. People’s attention spans aren’t increasing, and your site has about seven seconds to hook someone or to see their taillights. Design, SEO-optimized content, and features that hold visitors on your site are just some of the keys to a Google-friendly site.

SOLUTION: Consider a Legwork Dental Website where everything your practice needs for SEO is incorporated into it. From clean, eye-catching designs to mobile-first optimizations, you’re covered. Plus, 85% of users say that a brand’s website should be as good or better than its desktop website when viewed on mobile. So just having this part right makes a big difference. Legwork blends all the pieces to make sure your website enjoys an SEO advantage that works for you 24/7.

2. Shift to SEM for SEO

Without throwing too many more acronyms around, we do need to talk about this one. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) sounds similar, but it’s a shortcut past those taking the long (expensive) route to SEO.

Paid ads can significantly improve search rankings for a fraction of the cost of an extended, never-ending organic SEO project. SEM offers the capability of reaching more people in a defined region by showing up in local search results. And since 75% of people never leave page one of Google when searching, there’s only one place you want to be.

For example, when someone searches for “Invisalign® near me,” they’re shown results from their geographic area. If a practice has great organic SEO, they’ll show up at the bottom of the page. Why? Because ads that target the same search in the same area will show up on the top of the page. Google is in the business of making money, and they’re giving the nod to those who pay to play.

Better yet, SEM ads land in Google Maps results. They leapfrog past practices with more reviews and that are located nearer to the person searching. It sounds like cheating in the SEO world, but it’s just a matter of understanding how the online world turns.

SOLUTION: Successful SEM involves hyperlocal ads that match the search terms that people use in your area. Managing the moving pieces can be challenging, but this powerful method deserves a place in your toolbox. Legwork Local makes sure your business listings are accurate and puts you at the top of Google Maps with ads that match the right parameters.

3. Push and Pull For SEO

In the complex formula that Google controls for search results, new and returning traffic increases your online authority. Encouraging your patients to return to your website is a push tactic that feeds SEO. A monthly email may give a reader a snippet of a new blog article on your website, for example. They click to read more, and they’re on your site again.

Ad campaigns that pull leads to a landing page on your site also bolster traffic. By using web forms like quizzes and assessments, patients spend time on your site and they often provide contact information for further engagement.