Orthodontist SEO - What SEO can do for you
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your business’ website to rank high in natural search results on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, for industry-related keywords. Hubspot research shows that over half of online shoppers spend up to 75% of their online shopping time engaged in product and business research. Given such statistics, it’s no wonder that an ever-increasing number of businesses are clamoring for those few top spots in the search results.
What Starting an SEO Campaign Entails
What does it take to have your practice be in the top results when someone searches for an orthodontist in their city? SEO focuses on improving your ranking on the results page of a search engine, which in turns leads to greater exposure and traffic to your site. Analysing your existing online footprint is a great way to assess the current situation and paves the way to go forward.
Whether you’re thinking of doing some SEO work yourself, or you’re considering hiring a dedicated SEO professional or firm, the steps listed in this guide are provided as considerations to take for you orthodontist SEO campaign.
Key Elements of an Orthodontist SEO Marketing
An SEO campaign is not a single-effort process, as you might think. For example, simply implementing keywords to your content alone won’t yield great results. Instead, a wide range of optimizations need to take place in order to effectively begin ranking on the results page. Some major elements include:
- Website Optimizations: Ensuring that your website’s elements are correctly titled and tagged is essential for successful ranking.
- Navigability: Your website should be easy to navigate and should lead potential clients along your appointment or consultation booking process.
- Content: The content on your website is what visitors will first interact with, it’s how they’ll find your site, and is how they’ll learn about your products and services offered.
- Backlinks: Google’s web-crawlers read through your website and it’s pages quickly, and they navigate from page to page with links.
Where to Start your Orthodontist SEO
Maintaining a well functioning site is essential to a good customer experience, and will improve your SEO overall. However, there are certain factors which a site analysis which you can’t see from the front-end of the website, which an analysis would uncover. These elements of your page can often hold back your page’s rankings if they’re not optimized correctly, some examples include:
- Page Errors: page load errors will make visitors leave your site, as they’re unable to find what they were looking for. Some examples of common errors are:
- 404 not found - when the page the user is looking for cannot be found by the server.
- 500 internal server error - is when there is an internal error with the server, and no more information can be provided.
- 503 server unavailable - when the server hosting your website is unavailable and can’t load the page the user looking for.
- Content & Organization: the organisation on the content of your site is important for visitors to be able to easily navigate and find what they need, but also for the web-crawlers to quickly read the content on your site.
- Link profile analysis: Reviewing the current links to and from your website, and reviewing their validity and authority. While in general backlinks are good for your site, if they’re from an unreputable source they can actually hurt your rankings.
On-Site vs Off-Site Optimizations
To properly optimize your website to rank, there are considerations both on the website and off that must be taken. On site optimizations refer to the changes you make to the actual website that visitors land on, such as title tags and page structure. Offsite optimizations include everything done off the main site, such as backlinking and social media integrations.
On-site optimizations, as mentioned before are the edits, adjustments and - optimizations that are implemented to your site. While a lot of these are visibly apparent, they are all considered by the crawlers, and contribute to your page’s rankings. Keep in mind, some if not all of these can be done “DIY” style, and are some of the more basic optimizations that you should consider.
- Keyword Selections: Correctly tagging your website with keywords will identify your page’s content on a basic level
- Website Structure: The physical layout of elements on your website affects how the web-crawlers read your site
- H1: A Page without an H1 - a main title - will likely struggle to rank, and is an easy optimization
- Title Tag: A title tag provides a short description of what your page is all about, and ultimately how it helps your customers and their needs.
- Meta Description: The Meta Description is the brief description that you’d find under a URL on the SERP, as shown here:
- Custom Content: Having unique, high-quality content on your website is one of the strongest ranking factors. If your content is not only detailed and relevant, but updated regularly, you have a better shot at ranking over a page with static content.
- On-Site Security: Since 2014, Google has been known to boost rankings of sites that use HTTPS over HTTP, a more secure access protocol for websites.
- Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a service offered directly by Google to monitor and track a wide range of statistics on your website and pages.
The Value of Quality Content
When talking about content, we’re referring mainly to the written words on your page. This could be everything from a page header, to a body of text, to photo captions. This text, when correctly optimized, is what Google’s web crawlers are looking for and credit you for. Content has been and most likely always will be Google’s main ranking factor - it’s how users can find your website through a search engine, and it’s how users can learn more about your business upon landing on your website.
Setting up and maintaining an active blog is one of the easiest ways of improving your ranking chances. In fact, it’s one of the easiest things that you can do yourself. Blog posts contain content which when optimized correctly with keywords and title tags etc., can be indexed by Google bringing more people to your website.
If you don’t already have a blog up and running on your website, you should keep these points in mind to make sure you’re making the most out of your blog posts:
- Who is your target audience? Your targeted audience dictates the tone and purpose of your text - is it sales content, technical copy, or general info you’re trying to provide?
- What visuals will you include? These could include videos, images, animations etc.
- Posting Frequency - How often will you post - daily, weekly? Having frequently updated “relevant” content will help with your rankings as Google rewards fresh, updated content.
- Who will write it - Who writes the actual blog posts can affect their effectiveness. While you or perhaps a colleague or friend can probably write a well-written post about your chosen topic, a dedicated SEO will be better able to correctly implement your keywords, as well as internal and external links for maximum ranking opportunities.
While certain professions require further education and specialized licensing, this applies to all businesses. You have the freedom to post whatever you wish on your website, however you should always abide by relevant industry guidelines, avoiding misinformation and false claims. As a basic guideline, you should:
- Never publish misleading or false information
- Never claim to be an industry-expert without correct certifications or licenses required
- Never make false claims or promises for your clients if you can’t deliver on them
Navigational Elements of an Orthodontist SEO Page
Remember that Google is always trying to provide the most relevant content to the users, or, potential clients searching for your services. Navigability and accessibility are a part of the relevancy of your pages and their content, so remember to keep this in mind when designing and optimizing pages.
All the optimizations we’ve mentioned thus far are to be applied directly on your orthodontist website, which is not to say that there isn’t work to do off the page, too. Below we’ll look at some optimizations that take place off your website, and on other websites, which contribute to your orthodontist SEO campaign.
Backlinking is one of the pillars of ranking; without quality backlinks you’ll struggle to rank for competitive phrases and locations. Backlinks are in essence links to your website/pages from other websites and pages. Ideally, you gain backlinks from reputable, authoritative websites in similar industries to yours. This signals to the Google crawlers that you’re referenced as a source of information on an already-authoritative site, in turn boosting your pages and even domain authority. There are a lot of backlinking factors that are taken into account, such as the domain age, the number of linking root domains and root pages, and more.
Your website has many links on it, and coming to it from other sites. These links are reviewed and make up your site’s link profile. Your SEO should try to optimize the link profile of your website, avoiding and trying to remove “negative” backlinks. Negative backlinks could be links from not-credible sources, or pages which have been penalized by Google. These negative backlinks can hurt your own’ page’s authority in the eyes of the Google crawlers, even if they’re not actually on your page.
Vertical Directories and Orthodontist SEO
Directory listings are great for increasing the visibility of your website and bolsters the Google Local Listing, as long as the information is uniform across all platforms. Some examples of popular directory listings include:
- Yellow Pages
- Facebook Business Pages
The directories also serve as a platform to build backlinks to your website. While still valid and valuable, Google no longer rewards these types of backlinks as much as they’re not as organic a form of a backlink for visitors to find you.
Social Media to Supplement SEO
While social media is in its own right a powerful and necessary online marketing tool for many businesses, it can actually supplement your SEO services to compound your results. Both social media and SEO are organic inbound methods of reaching potential customers, which ultimately help build a relatable company identity to interact with your customers and the public.
Facebook for SEO
Facebook is the largest social media platform, with over 1.4 billion daily active users it’s simply too big to ignore especially from a business point of view. Not to mention, Facebook ads can be extremely targeted with parameters such as age, gender, location and many more being offered.
Instagram & How it helps SEO
Instagram is a great way to directly interact and communicate with your customers, both current and potential. Different instagram strategies such as giveaways and industry collaborations can be treated as mini-campaigns to drive more natural traffic to your site, and bolster your SEO.
Linkedin for Orthodontic SEO Campaigns
LinkedIn (along with Facebook, Youtube, Wikipedia and Twitter) is one of the top 5 websites indexed by Google. Leveraging that fact is invaluable, especially when you’re found on Google because of LinkedIn.
Results from a Proven Orthodontic SEO Company
On The Map Marketing has been in business for almost a decade with an undisputed reputation for achieving results. An effective SEO campaign should generate not only traffic to your website, but also quality leads for new business. These results can be achieved one of two ways, however: by staying within Google’s guidelines… or falling outside of them.
Black Hat vs White Hat companies
As an orthodontist, you had to go rigorous schooling and then professional licensing or even a 3 year residency to be accredited to practice. Your marketing strategies (and company that carries them out) should reflect this. On The Map has experience working with doctors, lawyers, dentists and other professional fields which all have complex legal guidelines for marketing. We always follow not only Google’s guidelines, but also professional guidelines to ensure that your reputation isn’t damaged through shoddy marketing. The company you decide to hire to market for you should always be in line with your goals and expectations, making them either a white hat company or black hat.
White Hat SEO
A White Hat SEO company, implements white hat strategies. These always follow Google’s guidelines for search engine marketing - in other words, they don’t cheat the system to rank your website. These companies and strategies are always your best bet for achieving long standing results, although at first the results may come slower.
Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEO companies implement strategies that do not fall within Google’s guidelines. They cheat the systems in place for ranking to produce results faster than usual. However, these results don’t last long, as Google catches on to the loopholes they’re exploiting rather quickly. Examples of black hat techniques include hiding content and links, irrelevant redirect links, scraping and more.
How to Track Efforts and Growth
- Profitability: SEO is a long term strategy, therefore it’s unlikely that you’ll break even in the first 30 or even 60 days. However, once your SEO campaign is in full effect, the income generated from your inbound leads should more than cover your SEO costs.
- Getting Leads: SEO is recognized as the best way to generate inbound leads from the internet. The fact that you’re specifically targeting shoppers in the
- SERP Ranking Improving: Tracking the previous ranking you’ve achieved lets you see which phrases have been performing best over time - key to making any necessary changes going forward.
- Reviewing Link Profile: As mentioned briefly before, your website’s link profile affects rankings. You want to ensure that all your backlinks are from reputable, authoritative sources so that they have a positive effect on your ranking. It’s good practice to review the overall profile regularly to ensure its overall health.
Expected ROI from Orthodontist SEO Campaign
You may have heard the phrase “SEO is a marathon, not a sprint” before - it’s a pretty accurate phrase, as SEO does not typically produce short-term results. The optimizations involved can be implemented relatively quickly, but it’s all a question of having Google and the crawlers pick up on these changes you’ve made. The time in which Google recognizes your optimizations can vary, depending on several factors such as the number of pages your site has, your crawl budget and more.
Orthodontist SEO Campaign Length
All SEO campaigns are different, as are all websites - and thus the results you see with time can vary. However, if the keyword competition is low for your chosen targeted phrases, and if a well-rounded approach is taken you could expect to start ranking for some phrases in as little as 30 days.
For broader, more competitive phrases or perhaps a national campaign, it can sometimes take up to 6 months to start ranking for the most competitive phrases. The more competitive the phrases you’re targeting are, the more in-depth your campaign will have to be in order to match or beat your competition.
While it may take anywhere from a month to 6 months to start ranking, it’s always important to keep in mind that running an SEO campaign is like going up a downward travelling escalator. If you want to go up it you have to run, push and keep putting fuel into the fire. However, as soon as you stop moving forward, you can quickly start falling down - the first page of Google. A successful SEO campaign requires constant input in order to perform and maintain the results you desire.
Orthodontist SEO - The Best Proven Marketing Investment
SEO is by far the most profitable digital marketing strategy available. This has been proven by countless industry studies, and by the fact that you’re targeted interested buyers. The strategies, while not always simple to understand or immediately see the effects of, will produce results in the long run that will speak for themselves. It’s important to consider the fact that an effective SEO campaign takes time to be in full effect.
On The Map Marketing always implements strategies abide by search engine guidelines, thus ensuring long-term success, not short-term artificial rankings. In an always-changing internet world, you simply cannot afford to ignore SEO anymore. Together with On The Map, you can experience the full benefits of an effective SEO campaign, and start seeing the results your orthodontist practice deserves.