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How to Get New Patients Using Search Engine Optimization

One of the most frustrating parts of being a dentist is that you accomplish the hard work of building a phenomenal practice, with the staff and facilities needed to deliver quality dental care to hundreds of local patients, but lack the marketing acumen to attract those patients in sufficient numbers.

Today, I’m going to show you how to get new patients, with the bulk of the process requiring only a few hours of work, which your front desk staff can most likely perform during quieter periods in the office.

1)  Ensure You Have an Attractive Website

In order to attract new patients online, you must first have an attractive online presence that reflects the professionalism, quality of care, and concern for patient comfort that your practice provides.

If you don’t have a website, there are plenty of web specialists who can set you up with one for relatively little money. However, be sure to check their previous work, and speak to their former clients to ensure you’re not wasting your money.

Your website needs to only do a few things to be effective: Provide an idea of what patients can expect if they choose you to be their dentist (as stated above), clear information on your location and the hours you are open, and an easy way to contact you – by phone, contact form and email.

2) Create a List of Keywords

A keyword is a word or phrase that people type into Google when looking for something. That ‘something’ is usually entertainment, such as a YouTube video, or some sort of information, such as an article in the Wall Street Journal. However, they could be looking for a local dentist because they just moved to a new area. That’s the key for marketing your practice online.

For example, the keyword a potential patient might type into Google could be, “Williamsburg, VA dentist”. So, to start getting new patients online, you must first create a list of keywords you anticipate people may type into google when looking for a local dentist. A simple way to accomplish this is to use this free online tool:

First you list all of the towns and counties you serve in the left column. Next, list all of the dental services you provide in the middle column. When you are finished, simply click the button “merge” and your new list of keywords will appear below. Copy that list, and add it to an excel document, and you’re done creating your list of keywords!

3) Create an article for each Keyword

Now that you have a good list of keywords, you must next create content around each of them to post on your website.

You see, simply having these keywords on your website won’t ensure you rank at the top of Google for these keywords. Google wants to give its visitors links that have real, useful content. And it is web pages like that which will be at the top of the search result pages when people type in the keywords you have created.

So, what you need to do is write a 750-to-1,200 word article around each of your keywords. This can be tricky when you first start. However, by the time you (or an able staff member as noted above) have reached your 3rd article, you will have a good understanding of how to create content that will effectively rank at the top of Google for your list of keywords.

For example, if the keyword is, “Bucks County, PA dentist”, you can write an article titled, “How to Select a Bucks County, PA Dentist”. Do you see how I embedded the keyword into the title? Now you can write an entire article about how people in Bucks County should go about selecting a competent dentist in their area.

4) Always Write in the Third Person Tense

This is very important. You want to write the article as a third party advisor, and NOT as a dentist seeking new business. I know this sounds counter-productive; however, you need to understand that Google does not want to rank promotional content at the top of their search engine. And why should they? I mean, who wants to see ads anyway?

Instead, Google wants to provide their users with the most objective information available.

So, act as a third party advisor when writing these articles.

In case you’re wondering if this will prevent new business – the answer is that it won’t. Instead, people will Google the keyword, click your site which is now at the top of Google, and call your phone number. What they won’t do is spend a lot of time reading the actual article.

The reason why is because the vast majority of these web visitors are looking for services when they’re typing their keyword into Google. They want to get the sense that you have some authority and experience, and that’s what an article written from a third person perspective provides. They may even think they’re looking for information about the dentist they have clicked on, but the bottom line is that they’ll be looking into your practice, because you’re the one that ranked at the top of Google!

5) Keeping Up with Keywords

Once you’ve written an article for each of your keywords, next you want to track where they are ranking on Google. You can use to accomplish this.

This way you can improve or replace poorly ranking articles with more, or better, content.

Based on your location(s), there could be 10-to-200 people typing your keywords into Google each day. It’s up to you whether or not you are there in the search results when they need your dental care.


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