tab32 thanks Tyson Downs of Titan Web Agency for the insights in this post
Welcome to part 8 in our 9-part series: An Introduction to Marketing Your Dental Practice Online.
We discussed on-page SEO last week (SEO that happens on your website).
Today, in part 8, our topic is: Off-Page SEO: 10 Dental Marketing Strategies You Can Implement Right Now.
What is Off-Page SEO?
It would make sense that if on-page SEO happens on your website, then off-page SEO happens everywhere else.
It may include getting a backlink from a website, guest blogging, being a guest on a podcast, getting reviews, etc. Basically, if it isn’t happening on your website, and it isn’t paid advertising, then you can call it off-page SEO.
We always recommend starting your SEO activities on your website first. There’s so much improvement that can be done by optimizing one’s website, and more often than not, it can be less time-consuming, so we always say to start with your website.
So, here we go. Here are some dental marketing ideas and tips to help you improve your off-site SEO.
1. Claim, Optimize, and Update Your Review Profiles
Marketing software company Moz estimates that up to 8.4% of your search rank comes as a result of your reviews on third-party sites. Think Yelp. Google Business Profile. HealthGrades, etc. To ensure you are making the most of this potential, be sure to have claimed the most important review sites for your industry and market, that you have fully optimized the listings (filled out all relevant information), added photos, hours, and everything else that they allow you to do. Then, be sure that you are responding to all reviews, both negative and positive.
To identify the most important third-party sites for reviews in your market, simply search:
Dentist reviews city name
This will show you the review sites that Google feels are the most important, and that’s a good spot for you to start.
2. Be Consistent
As we’ve talked throughout this course, we want to give Google as much information about your business as possible.
- Who you are
- What you do
- Where you do it
- How you do it
- What makes you unique
- What your customers (patients) say about who you are, what you do, and how you do it
One way that we can give Google more information about us, and have them be confident that they have the correct information is to ensure our business information that is published online is consistent. In SEO, we often call this NAP, it stays for Name, Address, and Phone Number.
Often businesses will have incorrect information due to a move or a rebrand, or change in ownership.
You can check your listings, as well as reviews, on-page SEO, rankings, and more here. It’s all automated using extremely advanced software and is available to you without speaking to anybody and within minutes.
3. Guest Writing/Blogs/Podcasts
At one point, years ago, this section would have simply been about guest blogging. But with the rise in the popularity of podcasts, that has changed.
Being a guest on a podcast is a great way to get other websites linking to yours. Now you do need to specifically ask the podcast host for them to mention your website, and to include it in the show notes, most won’t have a problem with this, and being a guest on a podcast can generate several, if not dozens of links to your website.
With guest posting, usually, you are able to include a link in the blog post as it is appropriate, or if not, then in the author bio.
These are pretty easy to find, just use Google and search things such as:
Dentist blogs write for us
Be creative, and you’ll find a lot of opportunities.
4. Write a Press Release
Press releases aren’t near as popular as they once were. We will use them for our clients when a dentist brings on a new dentist, or buys/opens a new practice. Things that are truly newsworthy. Yes, you will get some backlinks from this, and you will get some ‘citations’ (mentions of your business with your NAP details), and this certainly doesn’t hurt.
But what you want to do is go the extra step, and reach out to the local news outlets and share it with them. Often, they are looking for new stories, if you can provide them with a story, that includes a professionally written press release, the chances of them picking it up improve significantly over just a random press release that we see other dental marketing agencies do that is just a bunch of mumbo jumbo.
The goal should always be to provide a user experience, and if somebody is reading a press release that is actually newsworthy, and about a local business, then THAT is providing a good user experience while improving your SEO at the same time.
Pro Tip: A press release can act as pro-active review management. When somebody searches you by name or your office, the press release will often show up in the search results on page 1 of Google. See an example below of a press release we did for Finn Hill Dental in Poulsbo, WA.
5. Get Reviews
Yes, we talked about this earlier in the series, but encouraging patients to leave reviews, and implementing the tips we provided helps improve your SEO performance because it allows the search engines to learn more about how you do business, and what the public thinks of your business.
6. Consider a Dental Membership Program
While not specifically off-page SEO, this dental marketing strategy can help differentiate your practice from the competition. Only you can decide if your practice should offer a dental membership program.
If you decide to offer one, it can be an effective way to build patient loyalty by offering membership rewards. tab32 dental membership plan practice management module enables you to create, manage, and grow an in-house membership program that generates recurring revenue, boosts patient loyalty, and increases case acceptance.
7. Community Involvement
It only makes sense that as a local business owner, you are involved in some way in the community.
You can do this through sponsoring events or local athletics.
You can also partner with a charitable organization and raise money or be a donation drop off.
Beyond the obvious benefit of giving back and doing a good thing, and potentially getting new patients who want to go to a dentist that supports the community, you can often get a backlink to your website as a sponsor or partner.
8. Take Full Advantage of Your Google Listing
Google has such a stronghold on local search, you almost have to play their game.
You’ll want to optimize your profile fully, add pictures, get reviews, add your services, and more. If you do these things, you can rise up in the search results. It becomes tricky though when others are doing it as well, that’s when it often helps to hire a professional that is experienced in local SEO.
If you need help optimizing your Google listing, be sure to pick up our guide: Deciphering Google Business Profile for Dentists: The Formula to Rank Higher in Local Search.
9. Facebook Advertising
I know, the next couple of strategies aren't so much ‘SEO’, but they ‘off-page’ strategies.
I recommend all dentists try advertising on Facebook. Facebook gives you a lot of targeting options, so you can narrow down your target audience more than Google. That said, people on Facebook aren’t usually on their to buy or book appointments. You’ll get more ‘looky-lues’ but if you can respond to inquiries quickly and have a good offer, it’s worth a shot. Be sure to go back and read our post about using PPC first (insert hyperlink to the previous post).
10. Use Email
Maintain a relationship by communicating with your patients more than when they come in 1-2x per year. Use email to just stay top of mind. If nothing else, use the automated emails that are sent out for birthdays, etc by your practice management software.
While not perfect, it is better than nothing.
Ideally, you’ll be emailing them a few times a year and giving them a tip or two, letting them know what’s going on with new technology, sharing a recent patient case study, mentioning anything new in the office such as team members, and then extending an offer on a service.
That said, if you don’t do this type of email marketing, don’t worry. It is extremely rare.
The good news? It is done so infrequently, you will really stand out if you do it.
Maintain a connection with current patients by taking advantage of your in-house email database. Your patient intake forms should collect patient emails. You can use them to stay in touch with patients in between appointments and you don’t need to email more than once a month.
Email marketing can also be a tool to remind patients of an upcoming appointment and confirm that appointment. A simple email reminder can minimize the number of cancellations and no-shows at your practice, saving you money in the long run.
How many of these strategies are you using? Which one is your favorite? Stay tuned next time where we will wrap up the 9-part series.
Tyson Downs, the owner of Titan Web Agency, has years of experience working with small businesses and helping them meet their revenue goals. Prior to starting Titan Web Agency, he freelanced in SEO and Web Design while working in the corporate world. Tyson is a graduate of Brigham Young University, the father of 5, and enjoys spending time with his family. Particularly on the baseball field.
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