Determining which web elements are most correlated with organic local search rankings will allow you to maximize your dental practice’s online exposure at no cost AND convert up to 8x what traditional paid advertisements yield. To find out more about these specific web elements, take at the sections below
Below is the a-typical layout for a local dental query. Listed first are paid ads
This form of search marketing has it’s own set of rules and strategies. Most local business owners decide to start with PPC, however this can lead to massive advertising waste IF you don’t already have a strong web presence and up-to-date social proof in place.
Beneath the search ads you’ll find Google’s Local Stack (see image below). This compact, rating & review driven showcase displays the local businesses relevant to what your patients search for.
As you may have guessed, this section of the SERP (search engine results page) also has its own set of rules. These rules have been termed local SEO. This newer form of search engine optimization (SEO) has led to incredible growth for local businesses.
According to Jupiter Research, a Forrester Research company, 81% of internet users find their desired destination through a search engine. And while we could throw another statistic at you about the number of people using the internet today, a quick look at your own daily information needs should answer this.
Local Search: Ranking Specs
So, exactly how many attributes are taken into account by a search engine?
This is where things become a bit tricky. Fundamentally there exist a handful of simple attributes that Google, Bing, Yahoo, and any decent search engine will take into account when determining what a SERP displays first. These things include…
- Online Directories
- Page-Level Link Metrics
- Page-Level Keyword and Content-Based Metrics
- Page-Level Social Metrics
- Domain Level Keywords
And while major search engines do release search guidelines and updates to the public, many of the technical specifics driving this massive ranking system are left unknown. For example:
- How attributes are used
- The weight each holds
- Attributes’ interrelated correlations
- And most significantly, WHY
This shared curiosity of “why” brings together data scientist and marketing professionals from around the world and drives massive data partnerships, all in an effort to produce a “guesstimate” of how these search engines really work.
To respond to the unanswered question of “how many search factors exist?”, web expert Moz estimates over 170. This may seem excessive or unmanageable, but in reality these factors are aggregated and categorized to form a set of tangible web-values that any online marketer can handle. In the end, these values embody the necessary steps to produce a profitable rank for any local business online.
Where to start
Local businesses are always being told different ways to ‘join the web.’ For any 1 problem on the web, you’ll typically find 4-5 possible solutions being offered by 20+ companies.
So how do you know which is right for your dental practice?
Well, how about leveraging something your dental practice already has: a reputation.
Google (along with every major search engine) has recently revamped their search environment to better suit local markets. Fortunately, this new environment evaluates “rank weight” through a proven brick-and-mortar marketing principle: word of mouth.
For the web, this means online ratings and reviews. Ratings and reviews are the best place to start out when taking your dental practice online. (or any local business for that matter)
Why? If you create a strong web presence through:
- Grade A Ratings
- Authentic Reviews
- A Strong, Consistent Directory Presence
You can’t lose. Not only will you not lose, your dental practice will have a solid foundation for executing ANY online marketing strategy: PPC, SEO, SMM
Dentist’s Guide to Local Marketing
Today more people than ever are searching for local related information. From movie features, to restaurant times, to reviews of local dentists, our lives have become dependent on the quick and simple local information we can pull out of the web how ingrained search is to our daily lives.
Search engines (hyperlink search engine basics article) have always listed results as follows:
Google Page 1
3-4 Ads top
Organic (seo) results below
Google Page 2
Organic (seo) results
While this structure still remains in tact, the results focus has shifted.
As the smartphone market began to explode, so too did the need for “on-the-go” information. This massive increase in search volume points toward an increasing need for local info.
How is this different from search 5 years ago?
According to Google:
- 50 percent of consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone will visit the store within a single day.
- 34 percent who search on computer/tablet also visited within 24 hours.
Meaning: your dentist practice’s rank in a local “dental” search will have a direct impact your business.
Google (along with every major data organizer) recognized this prevalent need and decided to implement a new, localized element into their search environment. This new local element is known as the “local stack.” Below is a picture of this local stack, something you may have seen yourself when searching for a local restaurant.
So, how is this different from what previously existed?
Aside from the new look, there are actually several major factors that have come into play for the local stack’s ranking system. Courtesy of Moz.com, below is a brief description of each local ranking factor, as well as pie chart outlining the avg. weights each factor holds.
Moral of the story: offering people the easiest way to discover and ultimately evaluate your business through social proof is the first step to getting the most out of local search. (or any search engine for that matter) If your online business strategies take into account the items listed above, your business’s organic growth will never be the same.
Top Dental Keywords
As a dental practice owner, it’s important to know what patients are looking for online. The following insights (if used correctly) should allow you to market your practice efficiently, while exposing opportunities in the keyword marketplace.
What are Keywords?
A keyword is a term or phrase someone types into a search engine (ie. Google) when they have a question, interest, or general information need. These keywords are evaluated on a number of levels, two key factors being the keyword length (how many letters are in the search query) and the number of monthly searches.
Typically, these metrics are inversely related, meaning the longer a search term is (known as a long-tail keyword), the less monthly search volume it produces. It’s a good idea to include this type of long-tail keyword IF it’s relevant to your dental practice. But keep in mind, the more your keyword profile favors long-tail keywords, the less marketable your web properties becomes.
The ideal keyword profile favors neither long-tail or short-tail keywords, but rather finds mid-length keywords with a decent monthly search volume. Why not just go for the highest searched keywords? Every keyword you decide to use places you in direct competition with other websites using these same keywords. The shorter the keyword, the more competition, which in turn greatly limits your chances of ever placing within the top 5 search results.
Provided below is a list of the most popular dental terms and phrases that trigger local searches within Google. You can easily append your city to any of these keywords or key-phrases within Google (or any search engine) and see where your competitors are ranking. (ex. Your City + “Keyword” ) Finding strong search terms with little competition is the best place to invest in initially.
Keyword Monthly Local Search Volume
dental implants 1,220,000
the dentist 550,000
cosmetic dentist 301,000
dental implant 246,000
cosmetic dentists 110,000
cost dental implants 110,000
find dentist 110,000
find a dentist 90,500
dentist office 90,500
implant dentist 74,000
dental implant surgery 74,000
dental implants costs 60,500
best dentist 60,500
dental dentist 49,500
dentist implants 49,500
general dentist 49,500
best dentists 40,500
dentist teeth 40,500
dentist reviews 40,500
kids dentist 33,100
mini dental implants 33,100
top dentists 33,100
sedation dentist 27,100
cost of dental implants 27,100
my dentist 27,100
dental implants dentures 22,200
cheap dental implants 22,200
dentist whitening 22,200
children dentist 22,200
dentist tooth 22,200
dental implants procedure 22,200
dental implants information 22,200
affordable dental implants 22,200
dentist offices 22,200
childrens dentist 18,100
dentist review 18,100
teeth whitening dentist 14,800
smile dentist 12,100
dental implant cost 12,100
dentist cost 12,100
children’s dentist 12,100
dentist search 12,100
local dentist 9,900
top dentist 9,900
invisalign dentist 8,100
tmj dentist 8,100
dentist clinic 6,600
dentist crown 6,600
braces dentist 6,600
dentist dmd 6,600
dentists reviews 6,600
sedation dentists 5,400
dental implant center 5,400
female dentist 5,400
dentist veneers 4,400
dentures dentist 4,400
Most Searched Orthodontic Keywords
Keyword Local Search Volume
Pediatric dentist 301,000
Dentofacial orthopedics 246,000
Pediatric dentistry 110,000
Pediatric Dental 40,500
Clear braces 33,100
Dental braces 33,100
Clear retainer 27,100
Clear retainers 27,100
before and after braces 22,200
braces before after 22,200
braces colors 22,200
braces for teeth 22,200
braces invisalign 22,200
cost of braces 22,200
find orthodontist 22,200
orthodontic retainers 22,200
invisible braces 18,100
straight teeth 18,100
dental orthodontists 14,800
adult braces 12,100
braces color 12,100
braces for adults 12,100
braces on teeth 12,100
kids braces 12,100
lingual braces 12,100
invisalign before and after 9,900
How To Increase The Visibility Of Your Dental Practice By Up To 1,400%
Social & Professional Networks
User driven networks are prime real estate in the marketing world. Why? People are frequenting their social and professional networks as much if not more than search engines. They’re also free, and highly lucrative ways to advertise socially.
Map directories are fairly self-explanatory, but offer yet another web avenue for people to find your business. Map directories typically won’t incorporate review or rating systems, but offer highly useful search functionality for its users:
These are resources you may find useful for developing and optimizing your directory listing content.