So you’ve started up a new Dental Practice and you just got your new website up and running. Hopefully, you’re one of the savvy people that understand the need to be found online, both to make yourself easy to find and contact for existing patients, as well as new patients.
To start with, research your keywords and find what you need to be ranking for. Once done, start optimising…
SEO fundamentally falls into two categories (note, these split into numerous categories from then on, but here are the basics):
On-site Optimisation – On-site Optimisation is exactly what it says in the name. Optimising all of the on-site data to make the website easy to read by viewers and search engines alike. The ways you can do this are:
- Content – Create some bespoke content, Google wants to be able to deliver content to viewers that they would not see anywhere else. So having the same content as one of your competitors will be a big no-no in Google’s eyes. Make sure the content flows well, mentions keywords (but not by stuffing them in) and is easy to read.
- Meta Data – This is the data Google relies on to help it understand what the content on the page is about. Make sure the Meta Titles contain your keywords that are relevant to the page they sit on. Also make sure that they are made with the viewer in mind, not search engines.
- Coding – Not to get too technical, but make sure that your code is clean and up to date. The big difference between HTML 5 and its predecessors is the ability for HTML 5 to describe the content and structure to a search engine in a much more detailed way.
- Website Health – Make sure that the website is as fast as possible, Google likes websites that load under 3 seconds, mainly for mobile viewers – which leads me to my next point…
- Responsive – Over the years new gadgets have been introduced to us in the form of tablets, phones, computers, laptops, even gaming devices with inbuilt browsers. Each one offering a different screen size. A responsive website will ‘respond’ to the device that is viewing it and adjust its content and design to fit onto the device’s screen. Google likes this.
- Blogging – Writing about your topic gives Google the impression that you’re active and at the head of your game. Google wants to deliver the best content to the user to answer their search query. If your website is writing about more and more stuff related to your topic, then you’re giving Google more and more content to feed to the user, thus making it more like Google will recommend you.
Off-site Optimisation – Again, exactly what is says in the name. Off-site optimisation is how Google can build up the trust in your website. There are two very important ways to optimise your website off-site.
- Citation building – Having mentions of your brand name (usually the name that matches your Google business listing) will build trust in Google’s eyes. If other companies or directories are mentioning you then you must be trustworthy and a decent practice! To do this a lot of SEO analysts will add companies to topic related directories. For example, dental surgery directories. In these directory listings, you need to make sure you keep a consistent Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP). If these show up inconsistently across the web Google will lose trust that you’re a genuine company, or may even get confused as to who you really are!
- Link Building – Link building is very important to rank highly on Google. In a similar way that Google will look at other companies mentioning you, a link is even more valuable for the same reason. If a company is sending their traffic your way then it really is a good recommendation! Of course, Google is too smart to think that a load of links on a load of websites means your a good website! Instead, they’ve come up with an algorithm that ranks websites on their trustworthiness (usually on the links linking to those websites as well). It can get quite complicated, but the best way to build links is to reach out to other companies and post content that will get you noticed!
In SEO On-site and Off-site complement each other. If you have great Off-site optimisation but bad On-site you may find that your efforts are useless, and vice versa. It’s best to do both.
Note: There are many other different factors that will affect your Google rankings, these can consist of Schema markup data, User Experience, numerous factors to do with link building (C-Blocks, anchor text) etc… This article is to cover the very basics.