Critical SEO Steps for Your Dental Practice

No matter how “out of the loop” you might be, chances are that you have heard of search engine optimization and how vital it is for developing online traffic and encouraging visitor conversion. However, it’s just as likely that you have no idea how to go about optimizing your dental website for search engines. It can be confusing, certainly, but there are some specific areas that you should understand right off the bat. Here are some simple, easy steps to maximize your visibility, and ensure both human visitors and search engine spiders can find you online.

Title Tags

Title tags are snippets of information that are displayed next to your search engine listing. These tell web surfers (and search engine spiders) what your site is about very briefly. They provide a short description but you also need to ensure that they’re optimized with keywords.

With title tags, you’re limited to 70 characters, including spaces between words. In addition, you need to ensure that your page’s most important keywords are included in the title tag for that page. This means that you need to use specific keywords, rather than those that apply to your site in general.

Meta Description

The meta description displays under the title tag in a search engine result. Here, you have more leeway in terms of character count, as well. These can be up to 40 words or so in length, which gives you plenty of room to describe the page, use keywords and ensure that visitors want to visit your page.

As with your title tags, you need to make sure that the meta description is optimized using page-specific keywords, rather than site-specific keywords. For instance, if your page is about dental implants, then your meta description should reflect that.

Page-to-Page Crosslinking

While your navigation menu will be how most consumers move from page to page within your website, you need to do more than this. In addition to having fully-accessible, easy-to-read navigation menus, you also need to make sure that you make use of contextual linking within your pages. For instance, to encourage search engine spiders and human visitors to move to deeper pages in your site, you should include contextual links within the page content. Here’s an example:

“We offer advanced teeth whitening techniques.” In this example, “teeth whitening” would be hyperlinked to another page within your site that offered information about your whitening techniques, technology and benefits. This offers better readability than linking in text using the “click here” method.

Organize Your Content for Readers

One of the most important aspects of optimizing your site actually has nothing to do with keywords, with title tags or any other technical considerations. Organizing your site logically, with the content of each page based on the navigation menu, is vital. You should also make sure that you use headers clearly and consistently throughout your content so that your visitors can easily locate what they want.
Clear, concise organization and easy navigation ensures that your human visitors (those most important to your ultimate success) can get where they need to go without any hassles. After all, that’s really what your website is about.



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Posted under Web Marketing, Web Site Design on May 31st, 2011 |

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About the author
Colin Receveur is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and dental web marketing expert who has pioneered the way dentists market themselves online for the past decade. Since incorporating in 2001, Colin has established a rock solid track record with his dentist clients and turned SmartBox into a stalwart of proven results for hundreds of dental practices.