As we introduced in part I of this article, many dentists find that what they have relied on in the past just isn’t generating the new patient flow they previously experienced. Additionally, there have been significant changes in Internet marketing during just the past year. Keeping up with the changes necessary to attract new patients from Internet search is a challenge.
Let’s look at what’s changed—and what’s stayed the same, this time in terms of SEO and local listings.
Your SEO Needs to Be Strong
The need for effective search engine optimization (SEO) is constant. This gives your website visibility for location-based service search phrases such as “Dallas cosmetic dentist,” “dental implants Boston,” or “sedation dentistry in Fargo.”
PPC Extends Visibility
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is another fundamental element in maintaining a competitive edge online. PPC helps extend visibility for core service keywords, such as “cosmetic dentist” or “dental implants.” Since you can control the geography where these ads are shown, it allows your practice to be listed high in the search results for the geography around your practice from which you can reasonably expect to draw patients.
Google’s new expanded text ads are the next generation of the standard AdWords text ad, featuring:
- Two headlines
- More characters
- Expanded description
This new ad type provides longer, more controllable messaging in your ads. These are improving click-through-rates by up to 20 percent, according to online advertising company WordStream.
Your Local Listings Need to Be Claimed and Optimized
Internet success is also heavily dependent on local listings. These include such online directories as Google My Business, Bing Places, Yelp, Yellow Pages, and others. Claim these key listings; make sure your practice name, address, and phone number are correct and uniform; and optimize them as much as possible with services offered, a catchy business description with keywords, attractive photo content, and more.
Well-developed local listings tell prospective patients what they need to know about your practice through pertinent information and visually attractive images.
Make sure you track your results to know what is working for your practice. It isn’t rankings for random keywords that matters; it is the rankings for the right keywords that bring in traffic and productive new leads that become paying patients.
The Future of Internet Marketing
It’s hard to predict what new developments will shape Internet marketing in the months ahead. But remember this: You must keep your online presence fresh and relevant. There are more ways than ever before to engage current patients and future prospects.
By ensuring your website is mobile friendly, developing your local listings and online reviews, using SEO and advertising effectively, and tracking your results to evaluate your success, you will be a step ahead and enjoying the benefits that come from being a leader online in your market.