Part 7: On-Page SEO: Optimizing Your Website for Maximum Visibility

Tyson Downs
February 3, 2023 | 9 min read

tab32 thanks Tyson Downs of Titan Web Agency for the insights in this post

We are moving right along in our 9 Part Series: An Introduction to Marketing Your Dental Practice Online.

Last week, in part 6, we went over reviews. We talked about how to get reviews and use them to your advantage. Have you implemented any of those strategies we discussed? 

If you haven’t read it, you need to check it out. I'd say it is perhaps one of the most important, and highly impactful activities that you can be focusing on in your office. 

Today, in part 7, our topic is: On-Page SEO: Optimizing Your Website for Maximum Visibility

Now, on-page SEO can get technical. Don’t gloss over this because you're concerned about not fully understanding it. We will try and keep this at a high level overview. 

Let’s begin by defining what it is. 

On-page SEO is simply the SEO properties that are present on your website. 

Everything ON your website= on-page (or on site) SEO

Everything OFF your website= off-page (or off-site) SEO

Simple enough, right?

So, when we are performing on-page SEO, we are simply helping the search engines have a better understanding of:

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • Where you do it
  • How do you it
  • What makes you unique
  • What your customers (patients) think of you, what you do, and how you do it

So, with that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 11 on-page SEO tips for dentists that can help you maximize your site visibility, which will have a direct impact on your rankings in the search results, which has a direct effect on the number of visitors to your site, which has a direct effect to the number of incoming leads you receive, which ultimately helps you get and keep more new patients.

Before we get too far into things, I want to quickly touch upon keywords. 

A keyword is simply a term you want to show up for in the search engines. 

So, perhaps you are a dentist in Salt Lake City.

While ‘dentist in Salt Lake City’ (SLC) may be a good term to show up for, oftentimes, people won’t want to travel by 15-20 other dentists to cross town to go to your office. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t optimize a page on your site for that term, I’m saying you want to consider your specific area of town, perform keyword research, and make a determination. It may make more sense to dominate for the area of SLC that you are located in, perhaps: ‘dentist in Sugar House’ (area on the east side of SLC).

1. Specific (Long-Tail Keywords) for Each Page

In the SEO space, these more specific phrases (called long-tail keywords) are how most people search. Here are a few examples:

  • Dentist in south las vegas that takes aetna
  • Dentist in west SL valley good with kids
  • Same day crown dentist in boise metro
The thing about these long-tail keywords, is that just by the nature of them often being unique to the person searching, then of course, they are less competitive. Because they are less competitive, you’ll be able to show up higher in the search results quicker than you will of the ‘main’ or ‘money’ keywords such as ‘dentist las vegas’. While they won’t bring as much traffic, they definitely should be optimized for on your website. 

2. Keywords in Your Headlines and Subheadings

Where do you put these keywords we mentioned? 

Of course in the text of a page you’ll want to have keywords or variations, but you’ll want them also in the headings. Google places a greater weight on the keywords that are in the heading when determining what a page is about. 

In this post, all of these items in the list are coded as ‘heading tags’. Giving Google specific information about what the page is about. 

You’ll also have a heading tag that is typically the title as well.

Usually, you’ll want to use the primary keyword you are optimizing a specific page for in the headline of your page or blog post, and then make sure to use a variation of that keyword in a subheading.

Google is becoming better and better at understanding related terms and how terms are used in the context of the sentence they are in. It is no longer (and hasn’t been for a long time) wise to continually mention your keyword on a page in an unnatural manner.

Here’s a good example of how you structure your website page by using your keyword in your headlines and subheadings:

See how we’ve created a logical structure, using subheadings to plan-out sections.

3. Schema Markup

Schema markup is a semantic language that provides information about your website or webpage to Google for display. 

This goes back to some of our previous posts where we talked about wanting to give Google as much information about your business as possible. Schema allows you to give them a bit more info. 

Adding schema on your website allows the search engines to pull data from your website, such as your address, phone number, logo, hours, and more, and then display them right in the search results.

You can use Schema Markup Validator to check if the website uses a schema markup. Here’s a live example of how the Schema Markup Validator works.


4. Internal Linking

You’ve probably heard that ‘backlinks’ are important for SEO, but did you know that internal links from your own website are important as well?

Internal linking is when you place links (using descriptive anchor text, these are the clickable words that you actually press on and are then redirected to the new page) on your website from one page to another.

This could get complex, but in the ‘tldnr’ version:

Use descriptive and relevant keywords to link to other pages on your site.

Want to link to the cosmetic dentistry page from the homepage? Link to it using a term such as ‘cosmetic dentistry’ or one very similar.

You’ll do that for other pages on your site, and that gives the search engines what? Right, more information, that’s what we are going for.

5. Important Keywords in Title, Length Doesn’t Matter

Every page on your site should have a unique title. Google will display the first 70 characters, but it’s fine if it’s shorter or slightly longer than that, Google can still read it. The page title should first and foremost be for the visitor, and secondly for the search engines, so be sure to make it descriptive, relevant, and non-spammy.

6. Write a Compelling Meta Description

The meta description is the brief description of your page that shows up underneath the title of your page in the Google search results. Google usually displays up to 160 characters (including spaces) so keep that in mind so your sentences aren’t cut off. 

7. Fix Broken Links

Aren’t broken links frustrating? Surely you’ve been to a website, found something interesting, clicked on it, and it took you to a blank page? Frustrating!!!

While they don’t have a direct impact on SEO (that we know of), they do impact user experience, which is said to have an impact on SEO. Every few months, do an audit of the external links on your site and fix any that are broken. 

You’ll want to look every few months for any broken links on your site and fix them. Sometimes, they’ll just happen because things break, if you have a marketing company you work with, they can likely help you fix it. 

If you use WordPress for your website, you can download software that will monitor broken links on your website. 

8. Descriptive Filename and ALT Text

Let’s get this right out of the way, YES, this is an old SEO strategy, that said, understand that implementing this strategy isn’t going to make huge improvements to your SEO performance, but it’s a tiny piece of the puzzle, in giving more information about your website and business.

File names should be something along the lines of:

Dr. James Profile Pic

Then, alt text would be something like:

Dentist in Boulder, CO posing for picture

The file name should be basically describing it in a way that would allow you to easily find the file on your computer, and the alt-text would be descriptive for somebody that doesn’t have good eyesight and is using an accessible version of your website. 

9. Make Your Site Fast

Did you know that people have the attention span of a goldfish? No, really, it’s true. 

Why would this matter to you? Those same people are visiting your website, and they want things to load fast. Loading fast will provide a better user experience (a great thing!), AND, think about it, if your site isn’t loading fast, and somebody hits the back button on their browser to go back to the search results, and goes somewhere else, what does that tell Google?

-the first site didn’t have what I needed or was looking for

Do you think Google will take that into account the next time somebody searches for that term in Google? I’d bet they do. Make having a fast site a priority.

10. Optimize Your URL

This one is easy. 

Your URL structure should be descriptive of the page and as a result the keyword you are targeting on the page. 

Example:

YES: mywebsite.com/services/cosmetic-dentistry

Just be consistent with your URL structure, and anything in the menu of your site should have it’s own url such as mywebsite.com/page-name

For the URL structure, keep it short and sweet. There’s no reason for long URL’s. 

11. Mobile Responsiveness

From our series so far, you should know that we are proponents of giving users a great experience. That said, your website should be as user-friendly on a phone as it is a desktop.

Google started favoring sites that are optimized for faster mobile speeds — even for desktop searches. Mobile responsiveness matters.

When your website is being designed, be sure to be watching how the mobile version is being developed. With around half of traffic these days on mobile devices, you can’t leave your mobile version of your website to chance.

If you're not sure about your own site's mobile readiness, use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test tool.

Follow these 11 tips, and you’ll be well on your way to improving your results in the search engines.

Click here to read part 8!


 Tyson Downs 1Tyson 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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