SEO is a relatively new marketing channel. Many of you are familiar with SEO, but most of you are still learning. The good news is that it’s not necessary for you to learn everything there is to know about SEO in order to rank well in search. It’s often a good idea to outsource.
But just because you’re outsourcing doesn’t mean you shouldn’t participate in SEO activities. I have found that the dentists and dental practices that rank the highest in search engine results pages (SERP) have two things in common:
• They are good dentists who are top in their field. They do good work, and they consistently have positive reviews on both Google and Yelp.
• They are SEO partners. They are involved, often sending new photos for use on their website and social media sites. They run online and offline specials and promotions. They are a part of the SEO team, and continually share dental marketing ideas.
SEO is a long-term marketing strategy at the core of your business. It connects with your audience, finds and gives them the information they’re looking for, builds relationships, and hopefully converts people into becoming your dental patients.
Getting a first page Google ranking doesn’t matter if it doesn’t drive traffic and ultimately convert people into customers. So consider how you can connect to your audience through a solid user experience, a personal connection, and valuable content.
Here are some tips for effectively working with an SEO agency:
- Understand the basics—Contrary to popular belief, SEO is not comprised of magic fire and wizardry. It’s just like any field of study in that there are many facets. Just like you’re probably not interested in learning exactly how your mechanic fixes your brakes, you still understand the basic process. It’s the same with SEO: know the basics. When your SEO talks about current ranking factors, it’s important. SEO is a puzzle, and ranking factors are the pieces.
- Share the latest—When your marketing goals change, include the SEO agency. SEO strategy should be aligned with your marketing goals both onling and offline. If you’re holding an office drawing, talk about that online. Share the news when new employees join the team. Let people know what’s going on internally so we can align your staff with the real world.
- Avoid keyword obsession—Don’t hyper-focus on keywords. Instead, look at how many calls or sales you have, how many referrals, your organic search volume, appointment requests, click-throughs, and dollars earned per month. Make sure you and your digital marketing agency are pursuing common and clear marketing objectives, with quantifiable and measurable data.
- What happens in IRL—If you hosted a community event, tell your audience. You want to tell people online what you’re doing in life outside the dental office. Do it naturally and authentically. That might even be your SEO magic fire! It’s the kind of content that is shared and attracts visitors to your website. Show people what you’re doing out there in the world.
- Know your NAP—Learn your name, address, and phone number, and then stick with it! I’m serious. Are you spelling out “Street,” or abbreviating it as “St,” or are you adding a period so it’s “St.”? Analyze it that much. Is your business name Our DentalCare, Our Dental Care, or Our Dentalcare? It matters. Make a decision and stick with it. As a result, your business will be found more easily online and it will rank higher in search engines.
- Read the reports—This is the best way to analyze goals and determine whether they’re being met, and if not, how the strategy should shift. Reports are a good way to check in and make sure everyone’s looking for the same results. If those expectations aren’t clearly defined, everyone will be disappointed. Make sure you’re on the same page.
- Ask questions—There are no bad questions. Ever. Ask them. You will learn more in the process.