Orthodontist SEO Guide
Every orthodontist is a dentist, but only a small percentage of dentists are orthodontists. And business may not always be steady for your orthodontic practice if you’re only relying on referrals from dental offices. It’s important to have a strong web presence to capture the attention of patients who are searching online for your services. If you’re not showing up near the tops of SERPs (search engine results pages), that mom who needs braces for her child will simply go to a different doctor.
There are several steps you can take, however, to be competitive online and show patients why your practice should be chosen over others in the same city. We created this Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Guide specifically for orthodontists so you can position yourself as an authority and maximize your online rankings.
This SEO guide will answer the following questions:
- What’s the Importance of Mobile Friendly Websites?
- Does Bounce Rate Affect SEO?
- Do Google Reviews Help SEO?
- What Makes a Trustworthy SEO Company?
- What is Social Media Content Management?
- What are Social Signals?
- Why Outsource Social Media Management?
SEO FAQs to Get You Started
What’s the Importance of Mobile Friendly Websites?
Back in the day when phones could only load a few text websites (slowly), mobile optimization wasn’t a big deal. Most people accessed the internet through their computers. Today’s digital landscape is drastically different. The ratio is now flipped: most web traffic actually comes from mobile devices.
Google has even announced mobile first indexing, so your SERPs rankings are now based on your mobile website and not your desktop one. That means you need to have a mobile-friendly website in order to show up high in SERPs and attract patients to your practice. Depending on how your website is setup, you may be able to make the adjustments yourself. Or, you can hire a qualified website development team to make the necessary changes.
Does Bounce Rate Affect SEO?
When someone visits a page on your website it’s considered a session. If they only view one page and then leave, this is known as the bounce rate. For example, a patient may do a search for “orthodontists near me,” click on a search result, and then spend thirty seconds skimming the page. After getting the information they need, the person exits back to the SERP. This is considered a “bounce.”
A bounce rate of 40% or 50% is considered average. A rate of 70% or 80% (or higher) can be a sign that something is wrong. The reason 50% isn’t something to worry about is that a lot of traffic on the internet isn’t human. There are a lot of bots that will visit your website and some are even from Google.
Google also doesn’t explicitly look at bounce rate when determining SERPs rankings. Even if a visitor only views one page on your website, if they stay on that page for two minutes to read all the content, Google will deem your site more valuable in relation to the keywords you’re targeting.
If you have a very high bounce rate coupled with short viewing times, however, you should use analytics to investigate. One of the main reasons people leave websites is lack of content. A blog is a great way to offer patients valuable information while also encouraging them to explore more of your pages and contact you.
Here are a few other SEO issues to look for to improve bounce rate:
- Poor web site design
- Slow loading speeds
- Poor mobile optimization
- Content that doesn’t connect with visitors
Do Google Reviews Help SEO?
Patient reviews carry a lot of weight for two reasons: they show other patients why they should pick you over other orthodontists, and they let Google know your practice is legitimate. Though other review websites have their place, the reviews you get through Google My Business are top priority for SERP rankings. Google can easily verify reviews done through its service, so businesses with plenty of 5 star reviews receive more clicks and a boost in rankings.
Local search rankings are important for orthodontic practices because all of your patients will come from your city. Google will look at three factors when determining your rank: distance, relevance, and prominence. Reviews fall under the prominence factor.
Don’t be afraid to ask patients for reviews and even send them a reminder email. If you do this on a consistent basis, you will soon have a frequently-updated stream of reviews coming in.
What Makes a Trustworthy SEO Company?
Because you need to focus on providing care for your patients, hiring an SEO company can ease the stress of trying to manage a website by yourself. Orthodontic search keywords often get less search traffic than general dentists (2,200 local searches per month compared to 62,000), meaning that orthodontic specialists are competing for less patients in the same market. An SEO company can help you outrank your competition and increase business.
Here’s what to look for when selecting a company:
- Cost and services should be sent in writing
- They should have a great portfolio with reviews
- A database of resources on their website to help you learn basic marketing
- Interest in learning about your practice
- Regular reports that show what’s been done and the results
Working with Social Media
What is Social Media Content Management?
Social media exists for the sole reason to share content, whether through text or images. Everything you post on social media platforms should match the look and feel of your website and be a direct representation of your practice. Successfully managing your social media presence will attract new followers and new patients.
Content management involves a lot of planning to make sure you’re posting regularly and that your posts reflect your practice and how you want to be perceived. It also involves engaging with your audience and finding new opportunities to grow your channel. The more channels you have (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), the more important content management becomes.
What are Social Signals?
Everytime someone interacts with one of your social media channels, it’s a social signal: likes, shares, comments, views, mentions, etc. Relevant and active social media accounts send these “signals” to Google about how much people online are engaging with your online presence. The more signals, the better.
Having a solid social media presence can boost your rankings, so if you’ve been shying away from using social media, now is the time to start.
Why Outsource Social Media Management?
Just like managing a website and keeping it updated with fresh content, social media is a lot of work. Many businesses and practices make the mistake of approaching their professional social media accounts the same way they do their personal accounts. That’s a huge mistake. Whereas posting at random times when something pops into your head is fine for your friends, your patients expect relevant content that gives them something valuable.
Managing your channels can easily become very time-consuming. Here is just a sampling of everything that goes into managing your social media presence:
- Creating content calendars
- Making images
- Writing each post to pique interest
- Developing hashtag strategies
- Engaging with your audience
- Scheduling posts
- Responding to comments
- Monitoring competitor pages
- Analyzing engagement
Most businesses and practices decide to outsource social media management because they understand how important it is, but they don’t have the time to do it effectively.
You know have a starting point for your SEO efforts and can make informed decisions about your next steps. Streamlining your website, increasing your SERP rankings, and being consistent with social media will help your orthodontic practice stand out from the rest and attract new patients outside of referrals.
If you need social media or SEO help, let us know today by sending us a message. We specialize in South Florida businesses so we’re experienced with local orthodontic patients and what they’re looking for.