When you’re putting together a new website for your practice, it can feel like the most important decisions lie in the design. Is the logo right? Does the colour scheme work? I’m not sure about that photo of the smiling kids...
But the content of your website is even more important, because that’s what will drive traffic. It’s important to give your readers the information they need and use the right tone, all while making sure you’re actually bringing people to the website in the first place.
Here are five tips to keep in mind when you’re writing your website:
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) means using little tricks and tips to boost a website’s traffic, like taking the terms people use in search engines and working them into your website copy.
When people first discovered that using keywords helped search engines crawl their website – and give them a higher ranking – they started to go a little crazy.
DON’T: “Dr. John Smith is a gentle dentist in Toronto. If you need a gentle dentist in Toronto, call Toronto dentist Dr. John Smith. Dr. John Smith is Toronto’s top dentist for people who need an awesome Toronto dentist.”
Think about the search terms people actually use when they’re in the market for a local dentist, like “dentist in Toronto,” or “Toronto dentist.” If you’re in a city that’s divided into large neighbourhoods and you’re trying to target a specific area, you might choose “Chelsea dentist” or “dentist in Chelsea.”
Focus on one or two really great keywords, and that’s it. Work them into your copy in a way that sounds natural.
DO: “If you’re looking for a dentist in Toronto, call ABC Dental on Yonge Street. Dr. John Smith has more than 20 years’ experience as a Toronto dentist.”
You could fill up your body copy with precise search terms, but if that’s the only place you’re using them, you won’t see great results. That’s because search engines rank pages according to where they’re seeing the keywords – not how many times a keyword appears.
For best results, here are the ideal spots to use your keywords:
Keep in mind that there are certain areas you don’t want to pepper with keywords, because it could actually deter search engine crawlers. These include:
Keep your keywords focused in the four main areas – Header (H1 tag), URL, body copy, and image alt text – in order to give your content the best chance of a top ranking.
It’s not just about bringing in potential patients based on your city name. Choose two or three key services to promote – such as dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, periodontics, or teeth whitening,– and explore which search terms patients are using.
Maybe you’ll notice a consistent theme in the searches, like “missing teeth,” “missing tooth,” or “no teeth” within the dental implant queries. Then you’ll know to work those phrases into your copy.
Searches can change depending on the area, so make sure you’re researching local trends. If someone is Googling for teeth whitening in a rural area, they might use “yellow teeth,” or “teeth stains,” but in a big city, they might use “whiter teeth,” “brighten smile” or “celebrity smile.”
It’s also important to think like a patient, not a dentist. Sure, “endodontics” is a casual word for you. But 95% of your patients would never associate it with a root canal, which means it wouldn’t be an effective keyword.
A website packed with nonsensical keywords – even if they’re in the right places – isn’t going to help you.
Think back to your school days: what made a good essay? A beginning, a middle, and an end, right? Clear, concise sentences? Accurate facts?
Yes, you’re trying to bring in as many viewers as possible, but you also need to (A) make sense, and (B) promote yourself positively.
Sometimes dental practice websites fall into the trap of writing their content exclusively for potential new patients, but they certainly aren’t the only readers out there.
As you’re writing, think about your primary audiences and how you can speak directly to them:
You may find your content also brings in two secondary audiences, without even trying:
Questions or comments? Send us an email. We’re always here to help!