If you’re not examining the competition, you could be missing critical information that could really help push your practice forward in the search engine results pages.
How do you do a competitive analysis for SEO? First, identify your competition. Then, determine your strengths and weaknesses through an evaluation process. Examine the strategies the competition has used to decide what actions would help you.
This one is easy. In Google, enter your location + dentist. This will give you a clear idea of who your main competitors are in your specific area.
Once you’ve done that, check your other areas of expertise. Do you provide dental implants? Orthodontics? If you provide either of these or something else unique to your practice, go to Google and type in your location + the keyword relevant to you. This will help you understand which other practices you are directly competing with for new patients in all fields.
Look at the three top practices that came up in the search you just did. Visit their websites. Look through them and see what’s different from your own. Do they have professional photos? Or generic stock photos? Do their services have their own pages on the website?
Make a list of items you think they’re doing well, and what you think you’re doing better. This will help you get a sense of what you can do to improve your practice’s online presence.
One major key to help your website rank highly online is your off-page search engine optimization. This involves submitting your website to business directories and linking with local organizations.
Look into where your competitors are listed, so that you can get ideas for sites where you can also list your practice. Plug their websites into a free tool called Open Site Explorer to see what comes up.
Look for two key points when you do this. First, do they have any spammy or suspicious links? Most of the time you can tell immediately just by looking at the website that it could be potentially harmful to link to your website. You want to make sure you avoid these sites. Second, what websites are present that show a higher level of authority or trust?
Listings like Google My Business, Yelp and Foursquare provide valuable link opportunities. Remember, you only want links from websites that are trustworthy and reputable.
Now that you know the basics, start using your competitive analysis to generate ideas for how you can improve your practice’s online presence. Remember, if you don’t keep growing, somebody else will.
Would you like to talk about more strategies that can help your practice get a competitive edge? Get in touch with us, and we can develop a plan that is customized just for your dental practice.